: Australian & New Zealand 2024 Diocesan Great Lenten Pastoral Conference

The Australian & New Zealand Diocesan 2024 Great Lenten Clergy Retreat was held on Tuesday, 2 April and Wednesday, 3 April. The clergy of the diocese headed by His Grace George, Bishop of Sydney Australia & New Zealand gathered at All Saints of Russia Church, Croydon Tuesday evening where matins was served. During the service, the participating clergy had an opportunity to take confession prior to receiving Holy Communion the following day.

On Wednesday 3 April, 52 attending priests and deacons greeted His Grace Bishop George at Sts Peter and Paul Diocesan Cathedral. The reading of the hours commenced followed by the Presanctified Liturgy which was headed by Bishop George.

The liturgy was sung by the Russian Orthodox Male Choir of Australia.

During the Small Entrance, Bishop George awarded the following clergy clerical awards:
Fr Alexander Skorik – Jewelled Cross
Fr Gabriel Lapardin – Palitsa
Fr Alexander Borodin – Palitsa
Fr Dionysios Halim – Palitsa
Fr Barnabas Jellings – Archpriest
Fr Ivan Todoroski – Skoufia
Fr Mark Woloszyn – Skoufia
Fr Stephen David – Skoufia
Fr Gennady Baksheev – Skoufia
Fr Vasiliy Konstantinidis – Kamilavka
Fr Paul Tokareff – Protodeacon

Fr Vladimir Boikov gave the sermon and explained the importance of Great Lent.

Following the liturgy, the clergy gathered in the cathedral hall for lunch provided by the sisterhood.

After lunch, Bishop George opened the conference by greeting the clergy and encouraged them to continue reading the life of the Saints and take example from their lives. Bishop George shared that the life of Saints provides education for our spiritual life, and we must have a thorough knowledge of their lives to be able to teach our flock about how they lived and how they acquired the Holy Spirit, thought temptations and having lived a Christian life.

Fr Peter Hill spoke on the Justification in St Paul and the Holy Fathers/Continuing Education for Newly ordained clergy to help with preparation in becoming a pastor.

The conference was an opportunity for the clergy of the Australian & New Zealand Diocese to come together during the period of Great Lent to co-celebrate a Presanctified Liturgy and discuss pastoral matters.