Metropolitan Jonah (Paffhausen) attends the Symposium at the Australian & New Zealand Diocese

With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, Archbishop of Australia and New Zealand, His Eminence Metropolitan Jonah (Paffhausen) arrived in Sydney from Washington on Friday 14 July 2017. His Eminence was invited as the guest speaker to participate in the Sydney Symposium dedicated to the New Martyrs of Russia.

On Saturday 15 July, Metropolitan Jonah opened the Symposium with a lecture on “The Relevance of the New Martyrs to youth today”. Following the talk, question and answer time generated interesting discussions. After lunch provided by the young mothers, mitred Archpriest Michael Protopopov, rector of the Dormition parish Dandenong gave a talk entitled “Nicholas II – Commander in Chief and Victim of the Great War”. Following the lecture the youth spent some time getting acquainted. That evening Matins was served at Sts Peter and Paul Cathedral followed by dinner.

On Sunday 16 July in the early morning, Syezd participants and Cathedral parishioners greeted Metropolitan Jonah and the Divine Liturgy commenced. His Eminence was joined by His Grace Bishop George of Canberra, Vicar of the Australian and New Zealand Diocese, as well as mitred Archpriests Michael Protopopov and Nicholas Karipoff rector of the Holy Protection Cathedral Melbourne, clerics of Sts Peter and Paul Cathedral, Archpriest George Lapardin, dean of the Cathedral, Protodeacon Alexander Kotlaroff and Deacon Michael Storozhev.

Lunch was served after the service, then Syezd participants listened to Father Nicholas Karipov’s lecture on the “Significance of Patriarch Tikhon to the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad” and Father Michael Protopopov’s lecture on “Fr Jacov Korchinsky – Missionary and Martyr”.

A general discussion was held on contemporary issues affecting youth today and how they may preserve their faith according to the teachings of the Church in these difficult times. The participants provided constructive feedback on the structure of the Symposium and agreed that Symposiums for the youth and young parents should continue in future years. A new committee will work towards the next Symposium which will be held in Sydney in 2018.

The young mothers were thanked for all their time and effort in preparing delicious meals for the duration of the Symposium which catered for the tastes of young appetites.

At 10:30pm that evening, Syezd participants attended the all night service for the Royal Martyrs with several serving in the altar and remaining participants singing in the choir under the direction of a young conductor Reader Nektary Kotlaroff. The youth choir sang sacred pieces composed by Ledkovsky, Chesnokov and Kurt Sander – a contemporary Orthodox composer.

The Divine Services were led by His Eminence Metropolitan Jonah and His Grace Bishop George. Co-serving with the Hierarchs were, mitred Archpriest’s Michael Protopopov and Nicholas Karipoff, Archpriest George Lapardin, Archpriest Nikolai, cleric of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Archpriest Ljupco Dvojakovski, Abbot Joachim (Ross), Priest Alexander Korjenevski, Protodeacon’s Alexander Kotlaroff, Constantine Moshegov, Hierodeacon Seraphim (Nikolosky) and Deacon Michael Storozhev. During the Small Entrance, His Grace Bishop George elevated Priest Alexander Korjenevski to the rank of Archpriest.

Upon the completion of the service, Bishop George thanked His Eminence Metropolitan Jonah for taking time to come to the Diocese and participating in the Symposium. On behalf of all participants, Bishop George presented His Eminence a Panagia with requests for prayers. In return, Metropolitan Jonah expressed his gratitude and wished His Grace strength in his hierarchical duties.

At 2:30am an Agape meal was served in the church hall for all those who participated in the service. This concluded the Symposium and the faithful departed in a Paschal spirit.

Glory be to God!