Wednesday, November 4, 2015

St John of Kronstadt - Sydney parish feast

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On Sunday, October 19/November 1, the Sydney parish of St John of Kronstadt (rector: father Nebojsa Mirkovic) celebrated its parish feast.

The Divine Liturgy was followed by the rite of the Slava and a moleben with procession around the church.

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Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Protection of the Mother of God - Melbourne Parish Feast

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The Protection of the Mother of God parish in Melbourne celebrated its feast day on the Protection of the Mother of God, October 1/14. The rector of the parish, Igumen Andrei (Erastov), concelebrated with igumen John (Smelic). Despite the feast falling on a weekday, quite a few people were able to attend the services.

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Source

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Feast day of Saint Hariton

dsc00700.jpgOn Sunday the 28.9/11.10, the feast day of Saint Hariton was celebrated by pilgrims and monastics at the Annunciation Hermitage.
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Saint Hariton the Confessor offers us an example of faith in God in unexpected and perhaps challenging moments in our lives. Whatever happens to a Christian is from God and is exactly what is needed for his personal salvation.
Read a life of the venerable confessor here.

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Friday, August 28, 2015

Dormition of the Mother of God

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O Most Holy Theotokos, save us!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Archsbishop Averky: On Prophet Elijah and the Antichrist (1971)

The second Forerunner of the coming of Christ

MKG78928 Russian icon of the Prophet Elijah in the wilderness and his Fiery Ascent into Heaven leaving his disciple Elisha to carry on his work, Northern school, c.1600 (panel)<br />
oil? on panel<br />
72x57<br />
Mark Gallery, London, UK<br />
copyright unknown

An angel in the flesh and the cornerstone of the prophets, / the second forerunner of the coming of Christ…” With these words the Holy Church glorifies the great Old Testament righteous man who lived 900 years before Christ - the glorious holy prophet of God, Elijah. By his unusually strict ascetic life, he appeared more like an angel than a man.

But why does the Holy Church calls him “a second forerunner of the second coming of Christ”?

This is because, just as before the first coming of Christ in the world, St. John the Baptist appeared “in the spirit and power of Elijah” (Lk1:17), so also before the second coming of Christ on earth the Prophet Elijah himself will appear (see. Malachi 4:5). As we know, he did not die but was lifted up to heaven alive, with his flesh, in a chariot of fire (see para. 4 Kings 2, 11).

The beloved disciple of Christ, St. John the Evangelist tells about this in his marvelous Apocalypse. The Holy Prophet Elijah, along with another Old Testament righteous man - Enoch, who was also taken to heaven alive because he “walked with God” (Genesis 5:24), will appear again in the days of the Antichrist. They will prophesy and turn people away from worshiping Antichrist. The Seer of Mysteries calls them both “witnesses of God”, “two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth” (Rev.11:3-11). Both of them - Enoch and Elijah - will prophesy for one thousand two hundred sixty days (or 42 months, or three and a half years), that is, in all the reign of the Antichrist, and will do great signs and miracles to convince people not to recognize or accept the sign of Antichrist on their right hand and forehead (Rev.13:16).

averky2.jpgBut God’s permission, “the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit”, i.e., the Antichrist himself, “shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.” (Rev.11:7).

It is noteworthy that “they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth(Rev.11:10).

Why “tormented”?

The people are “tormented” because the prophets will appeal to their conscience. Because they will try to awaken the sleeping conscience - diverting them from worshiping the Antichrist and turning to the true God, to Christ.

It has always been so with the prophets of God. None of them finished their life by a natural death - they were all tortured and killed by the people whom they rebuked for their sinful lives.

The same fate will befall those who do not wish to “keep up with the times”, do not want to take part in the general corruption of morals, and who try to awaken the conscience of others by indicating to them the error or mistake of their chosen the path in life, of their improper approach and conduct.

Such people, who want to keep their conscience pure, the others will hate and seek to destroy in every way - if not physically, then at least mentally.

We do not have the information to assert that the Antichrist has already come, but … only spiritually completely blind people cannot see that what goes mad in the world now is preparing for his speedy arrival and reign. Moreover, his faithful servants work with an extraordinary energy (worthy of a better work). They have already sold him their souls for money and all sorts of earthly goods: For honor, power and domination in human society, for all sorts of carnal pleasure and delight, in order to enjoy them without hindrance or punishment.

From numerous predictions by the ancient Fathers of the Church, we know that the majority of people, of all religions, including our Orthodox faith, and not excepting priests, will enthusiastically accept the Antichrist as their lord and king. They will worship him, and begin to persecute and destroy anyone who opposes the Antichrist.

And while we do not yet see the Antichrist as a particular person, even now a great “sifting” of people is taking place. Some “keep up” with the servants of the coming Antichrist, being bought for money or other earthly goods and recruited into his camp. Others - resolutely avoid, dissociate themselves, and quickly go off away from them, by this arousing the anger and hatred of the former.

vladika-averky.jpgBrothers! It has never been such a cunning time, in which people so excel at deception, falsehood, craftiness and lies. It is necessary to be extremely vigilant, especially attentive and cautious in one’s approach to them, in order to not be tempted by enticing words, and not get entangled in the nets of Antichrist. Do not trust anyone who comes to you with any flattering proposals whatsoever, or with lucrative promises, even if it is a person clothed in spiritual garments, if you know that they are close to some dubious or obviously anti-Christian organisations, if they entertain friendship with the enemies of Christ, and especially - if they receive money from them, whatever the plausible excuse.

The time has come now, when more than ever before, you need to carefully distinguish who of the bearers of the high calling of Pastors of the Church of Christ is indeed serving Christ, and who has already sold himself to the servants of the coming Antichrist. By this, instead of serving Christ, they serve the Antichrist. You need to distinguish, in order that you not be found following a wolf - even one dressed in sheep’s clothing - instead of a true Pastor.

Particularly dangerous pastors among such false shepherds are those who preach a need for peace with everyone, under the pretext of “non-condemnation” and “Christian love and forgiveness”. Let us remember that the peace with the Antichrist (as with his servants) is already a betrayal of Christ - and hence enmity against Christ!

For “what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? “(2 Cor.6:14-15).

Even the smallest flirting with the servants of the Antichrist, and pleasing them with however plausible a purpose - is a crime and will not pass in vain. It is by no mistake that the old Russian proverb says: “Tell me who your friends are, and I will tell you who you are!”

In our evil times, what is most necessary for all of us who wish to remain faithful to Christ the Saviour, is ardent zeal. This is what the holy and glorious prophet of God, Elijah was so famous for. Instead of any compromise with the servants of the Antichrist, we should have a complete irreconcilability toward them, even if we are threatened with temporal death. Let us remember that Enoch and Elijah, after being murdered by the Beast-Antichrist, will be revived to life again “after three days and an half the spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.” (Rev.11:11).

After this Christ our Lord Himself will appear, Who will consume the Antichrist with the “spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming” (2 Thes 2:8). Yet after this, time will be shortened, and the end of this world will come, and the Last Judgement will be opened.

Brothers! If you hear of anyone who relates to preaching on the approach of the Antichrist, the Second Coming of Christ, the end of the world and the Last Judgement with mocking, with an ironic smile on his face, or with anger and irritation, then know that you are dealing with a person who, one way or another, has been drawn in by the servants of antichrist, to involvement in preparation for his speedy arrival and reign on earth. Beware of such people, as destroyers of our holy faith and the Church!

On the Day of Judgement, their “secrets” will be revealed, and all of them, along with the Antichrist and his servants, will receive a just recompense in the “lake of fire burning with brimstone” (Rev.19:20). But for the righteous, such as the holy prophet Elijah, and for all those who did not bow, and did not join the service of the Antichrist, but rather honestly and earnestly opposed him, that eternal blessed life in the “New Jerusalem” will begin, which the seer of mysteries was made worthy to see coming down from God from Heaven (Rev. 21:2).

“Whoever has Having the ears hear, let him hear!” - Amen

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The holy Great-Martyr Marina speaks

saint_marina_icon.jpgOrthodox Christianity is not some sort of faded and outdated set of traditions.
On the contrary, God gives those who give Him their hearts and lives great power, intelligence, and a joy that cannot ever fade - it can only grow. All the pleasures of this world become meaningless in the face of this eternal joy:

I do not want anything at all from you! I only want to remain a faithful servant of my Saviour!

So answered the young girl Marina to the ruler, the persecutor of Christians. He offered her a famous and luxurious life, full of every earthly pleasure.
Before her beheading by the sword,15-year old Marina turned to the crowd of spectators and said:

I beseech you, my brethren and friends, as the unworthy handmaiden of the Most High, hearken with understanding to this small exhortation. You know that only one is the true God to be contemplated and worshipped in Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Whoever believes in this triple unity alone is being saved. Therefore, transcend every creation of the visible and sensible world. Elevate your minds and acknowledge only the Father of lights and His Only-Begotten Son and Word, our Lord Jesus Christ, and the All-Holy Spirit. These three persons are one eternal God, almighty and incomprehensible; and by no other name can one be saved.

15000 men cried out “We are also Christians”, and were martyred that same day. The women and children who likewise suffered were uncountable. They all received glory from God and today stand before His throne, praying for us, with their leader, the Great-Martyr Marina.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II (July 17) – a sermon by Archbishop John Maximovich 1957

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Forty years ago, a single day saw the collapse of the greatness and glory of the Russian State, a bulwark of peace throughout the whole world. The signature of the Sovereign, the Emperor Nicholas II – on the act of abdication from the Throne, set a historical boundary separating Russia’s great and glorious past from her present dark and cruel circumstances.

The entire weight of the present regime’s evil and its reordering of life is aimed at honest, well-intentioned and devout people, and the whole nation lies in oppression and constant fear. People are afraid of their own thoughts, thoughts they have not expressed aloud; they are afraid, that what they are thinking may be reflected in their facial expressions.
What happened that day, forty years ago?
Apostasy from God’s Anointed, apostasy from an authority submissive to God, apostasy from the oath of fidelity to the Anointed Sovereign, given before God, and the giving over of him to death.
He who had devoted all his strength in God’s name to the service of Russia was first deprived of authority, and then also of freedom.
For decades the dark forces of evil carried on a struggle against God’s Anointed, against the ruling authority faithful to God. These same forces also killed the Emperor Alexander II, the Tsar-Liberator.
This crime sobered the people, it shook the entire country, and that moral upsurge gave Emperor Alexander III, the Peacemaker, the opportunity to rule Russia with a strong arm.
Russia enjoyed two decades of peaceful life and development. Then a new conspiracy arose for the overthrow of the Royal Throne. It was a conspiracy of Russia’s enemies.
Within Russia itself there was a struggle against her very essence, and, having destroyed the Throne, Russia’s enemies even obliterated her name.
Now the whole world can see the close connection between the Royal authority, faithful to God, and Russia. When the Tsar ceased to be – Russia ceased to be.
The struggle against the Tsar and Russia was carried out by concealed godlessness, which later revealed itself openly.
Such was the essence of the struggle against the Tsar and Russia, against the foundation of her life and historical development.
Such are the meaning and aim of that struggle, which perhaps not everyone realised – those who were its accomplices.
royalmartyrs1.jpgEverything filthy, paltry and sinful which could be found in the human soul, was summoned against the Tsar and Russia. All of this, with all its might, rose up in struggle against the Royal Crown, which was crowned by a cross, for Royal service is a bearing of the Cross.
People always rise up against the Cross by means of slander and falsehood, doing the devil’s work, for according to the word of the Lord Jesus Christ, When he speaketh a Lie he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it (John 8:44).
Everything was roused up against the most meek, pure and abundant-loving Tsar, so that at the terrible hour of the struggle against him he would remain alone. Filthy slander was diseminated beforehand against the Tsar and his family, so that the people would grow cool towards him.
Faithless allies took part in the conspiracy. When the Sovereign was in need of moral support, his closest associates did not provide it and violated their oath. Some took part in the conspiracy; others, out of weakness, counselled abdication. The Tsar remained completely alone, surrounded by “ treachery, baseness and cowardice”.
From the day of the abdication, everything began to collapse. It could not have been otherwise. The one who united everything, who stood guard for the Truth, was overthrown. A sin was committed, and now sin had easy access. In vain do some wish to separate February from October, the one was a direct consequence of the other.
In those March days, Pskov became the Tsar’s Gethsemane, and Ekaterinburg – his Golgotha. (Many attribute the Russian Revolution to the Bolsheviks who seized power in October 1917. Archbishop John and others point out that the groundwork was prepared for the Revolution much earlier, as evidenced by the lack of support of the Tsar at the time of the February uprisings, which precipitated his forced abdication in March).
Tsar Nicholas died as a martyr, with unshakable faith and patience, having drunk the cup of suffering to the dregs.
The sin against him and against Russia was perpetrated by all who in one way or another acted against him, who did not oppose, or who merely by sympathizing participated in those events which took place forty years ago. That sin lies upon everyone until it is washed away by sincere repentance.
In raising up prayers for the repose of his soul, we pray also for Tsars Paul I and Alexander II, who were likewise slain in March. We pray for the forgiveness of the Russian People of the grave sin of betrayal and regicide. Woe to those who call evil, good - and good, evil. Before us, before the Russian people, lies the path of resurgence – which is a path of consciousness of sin and repentance.
For the rebirth of Russia, all political and other programs of unifications are in vain: what Russia needs is the moral renewal of the Russian people.
We must pray for the forgiveness of our sins and for mercy on our homeland, just as the Lord God freed Israel from the Babylonian captivity and restored the ruined city of Jerusalem.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God

O Most Holy Theotokos, save us!

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O all-merciful Mistress Theotokos,
heavenly Queen, all-powerful Protectress,
our hope which is never put to shame.

We thank Thee for all Thy benefactions to the Russian people
from ancient times until today,
revealed through Thy wonderworking Icon!

And now, most good Mistress, look upon us,
Thy sinful and unworthy servants, show us Thy mercy and pray
to Thy Son, Christ our God, that we may be freed from all evil.

Protect and grant wisdom to the pastors of the Church,
that they may worthily shepherd the flock of Christ,
and rightly divide the Word of Truth!

Send down Thy holy blessing on all Orthodox Christians,
who venerate Thee and pray to Thee before Thy wonderworking Icon!

Standing before the throne of the Most High God,
be our Protectress and Intercessor!

For who shall we run to, if not to Thee, Mistress;
to whom shall we bring our tears and sighing,
if not to Thee, Most-Holy Theotokos;

for we have not other help, we have no other hope,
apart from Thee, Heavenly Queen.

We run to Thy protection,
by Thy prayers send down upon us peace, health,
abundant fruits of the earth, favourable weather,
save us from all misfortunes and sorrows, from disability and illness,
from sudden death, from all evil,
and from enemies visible and invisible.

Grant us wisdom and instruct us, O all-merciful Intercessor,
teach us how to traverse the path of this earthly life without sin:
For Thou knowest our weakness, Thou knowest our sins,
but Thou also knowest our faith, and seest our hope:
Grant us correction of our sinful life, and soften our evil hearts.
Strengthen us in the true faith,
put in our hearts the spirit of fear of God,
the spirit of piety, the spirit of humility, patience and love,
persistence in good deeds:

Free us, then, from temptation
from disastrous soul-destroying teachings,
from lack of faith, from moral decay and eternal perdition.

For we beseech Thee, most-pure Mistress,
and falling down before Thy holy Icon, we pray:

Have pity and mercy on us,
and in the terrifying judgement day,
by Thy help and intercession,
enable us to stand on the right hand side of Thy Son, Christ our God,

to Whom is due all glory, honour and worship,
with His Unoriginate Father,
and the All-Holy, Good and Co-essential Spirit,
now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

Amen.

Adapted from an old Russian prayer book (Shanghai, 1938)

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

ALL SAINTS OF RUSSIA

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And he came down with them, and stood in the plain, and the company of his disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judaea and Jerusalem, and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases; And they that were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed. And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all. And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh. Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.
Luke 6:17-23

The Ten Commandments given to Moses on Mount Sinai commanded what thou shalt do and what thou shalt not do, written on stone tablets, so as to be learnt by heart.

The Beatitudes of the New Testament speak about blessedness and love, for inscription on the tablets of the heart of each person, by the Holy Spirit. The Greek word used is an adjective that means “happy”. The saints perceived that HAPPINESS could be attained both here and in the future life, by renunciation of sin and acquisition of the holy Spirit.

All the Orthodox peoples and nations were foreordained and called upon to keep faithful under the harshest conditions of life that they might become “A CHOSEN RACE, A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR A POSSESSION.” (1 Peter 2,9).

The synodal act of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia for the glorification of the New -martyrs of Russia in 1981 begins:

“From the days of Great Prince Vladimir, the Russian people with all its heart has accepted the holy Orthodox Faith. This faith inspired numerous holy princes, bishops, and ascetics, sanctifying the Christian order of Russian culture. These were founded on the Christian principles set forth in the sacred Scripture and tradition of the Orthodox Church. Being realised in Russian national life in various degrees in various periods of history, these principles have continued to exist in all layers of the Russian people, from the Tsar to the last pauper, for the course of more than nine hundred years. They became our triumph and our glory as they passed from the Church Militant (here on earth ) and entered into the Church Triumphant (in heaven). They await us! They exhort us to follow them!
However, during the past two centuries, instigated by the enemy of our salvation, the antichristian principle of revolutionary atheism has directed all its strength and means toward the annihilation of these principles of the Russian people.”

In our times of the 21st century in the so-called free western world, the Christian principles have been replaced by antichristian principles….by satanic principles. Before our eyes duplicity and deceit have pulled down the last remnants of Christian culture…..by that same evil satanic force that was experienced in Bolshevik Russia with God-fighting atheism, and which ultimately seeks the destruction of mankind.
The Devil, through his loyal servants, tries to uproot true faith and the Church. This is being carried out by the ruthless dismemberment of the Christian order of human life as formed by the Church, which has its beginning from the times of the apostles. Sometimes crudely, and sometimes in a devious and crafty way, all original faith and pious tradition, willed to us from ancient Christianity, is being destroyed. Satan, brazenly lifting his head, now triumphantly marches throughout the world, reaping for himself a bountiful harvest (of human souls, whom he aims to damn for eternity).

The whole world now resembles the land of the Gadarenes, not wanting to be healed by the Lord/Healer and expelling Him away from itself.

Even though we sometimes hear hypocritically pronounced words of righteousness, the actual deeds of the speakers clearly show, that these are – only words: their words say one thing, but their deeds are completely different! The Lord clearly and convincingly explained: By their deeds you will know them

Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
Mathew 7:16-20

vladika-averky.jpgArchbishop Averky (1964)of Jordanville summarised our contemporary world by his following words:

It is dreadful to think how few people there remain at the present time, who soberly look at the events happening in the world, honest and sincere people, not having sold their soul to satan for one or the other earthly benefit, not working wholly for their sinful passions and not demonically-possessed, like the vast majority.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us look to Jesus Christ, the originator and accomplisher of our faith, Who, endured a CROSS, having despised the shame, and hath sat down on the right of the throne of God (Heb.12,1-2).
Archbishop Averky (Taushev), 20th century

Friday, June 12, 2015

Parish feast in Dandenong

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On Friday 30 May / 12 June, the community in honour of the Tabinsk Icon of the Mother of God celebrated its patronal feast with the services of Matins and Divine Liturgy.

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6078a.jpg6077a.jpgAt trapeza, Abbott John read the historical account about the wonderworking Tabinsk Icon.

Some of the parishioners shared their memories of the Icon and of parish and community life in the Russian community in China. They recounted how in the 1960s, when most of the Russians were leaving China, many wanted to take the Icon abroad to safety. However, some maintained it should stay. As a result, it is unknown what happened to the wonderworking Tabinsk Icon after the Chinese cultural revolution.

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Metropolitan Agafangel
First Hierarch of the Russian
Orthodox Church Abroad

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Parishes

Melbourne, VIC
Parish of St Gregory the Theologian

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  • Address: 4 Gilbert grove, Bentleigh, VIC
  • Clergy: Bishop John (ROCA) and Priest Ioannis (GOC)
  • Service times:
    Sundays and feast days: Matins 8 am
    Divine Liturgy: 930 am.
  • Saturdays and eves of feasts: Great Vespers 630 pm

Sydney, NSW
Parish of St John of Kronstadt.

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  • Serving priest: Father Nebojsa Mirkovic
  • Address:
  • Service times:
    Sundays and feast days: Matins 730 am
    Divine Liturgy: 9 am.
    Please contact us to confirm what time Liturgy is served.
  • Saturdays and eves of feasts: Vespers 530 pm
    or All-night Vigil 6 pm

Dandenong, VIC
Community of the Tabinsk Mother of God Icon

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  • Services once a month
  • Visits by Bishop John

Western Victoria
Annunciation of the Mother of God Women’s Monastic Community

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  • Spiritual Father: Bishop John.
  • Address: 266 Nowhere Creek Rd, Nowhere Creek, 3469
  • Service times:
  • Sundays and feast days: Divine Liturgy: 9 am
  • All-night Vigils (including Divine Liturgy) on select occasions.
    Please contact us to confirm what time Liturgy is served.

Brisbane, QLD
Community dedicated to St John Chrysostom

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  • Reader’s services

Canberra, ACT

  • Visits by Fr Protodeacon Basil Yakimov

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