DIOCESE OF AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND: April 25, 2018
Bishop George of Canberra makes an archpastoral visit to New Zealand
The Church of the Resurrection of Christ in Auckland, New Zealand, traditionally celebrates its feast day on Thomas Sunday, the week after Holy Pascha. His Grace Bishop George of Canberra was greeted on Saturday, April 14, 2018, by clergymen and parishioners at the Serbian Church of Holy King Miljutin, after which all-night vigil was performed.
On Sunday, Vladyka George celebrated Divine Liturgy, joined by the Dean of New Zealand, Protopriest Vladimir Boikov; Protopriest Savva, Rector of the church; Priest Alexander Skorik; Priest Evgeny Kulanov and Deacon Vladimir Pilipovich. During the minor entrance, Vladyka George elevated Fr Alexander to the rank of Protopriest, and Fr Eugene was given the right to wear the gold pectoral cross. His Grace addressed the parishioners with a sermon, then announced that Fr Vladimir was being awarded the “Medal of the 100th Anniversary of the Reestablishment of the Patriarchate in the Russian Orthodox Church” for his efforts in renewing parish life in New Zealand. Senior Sister Stefanida Nikitina and Alexander Donchenko, a benefactor of the parish, also received medals.
The sisterhood then hosted a trapeza luncheon; the Orthodox faithful of New Zealand rarely get to meet a bishop, so this Paschal celebration was made more significant.
The next day, Vladyka George and Fr Vladimir traveled to Wellington, where they met with Vladyka Amphilohije, Metropolitan of New Zealand of the Constantinople Orthodox Church. Vladyka Amphilohije has done missionary work in the country for many years, as well as the rest of Oceania. Through his efforts, Orthodox parishers were established on Fiji, Tonga and Samoa. Vladyka Amphilohije is preparing for retirement, so Vladyka George visited him at his residence to bid farewell. The candidate to assume the New-Zealand cathedra, Archimandrite Chrysostom, Protoyncellus of the city of Ierissos, near Holy Mt Athos, was also in attendance. Vladyka Amphilohije warmly greeted the visitors.
Vladyka George then visited Hieromonk Ambrose (Mooney), now retired, who led his ministry in Wellington for many years, and for a time, headed all parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church in New Zealand. The clergyman welcomed the hierarch with great joy, and received the “Medal of the 100th Anniversary of the Reestablishment of the Patriarchate in the Russian Orthodox Church.”
That evening, Vladyka George returned to Australia.
Photos: (Alexander Skorik).