Sunday, January 25, 2015

Concelebration at St Sava Monastery in Canberra

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On Sunday, 12/25 January, clergy from ROCA and the Free Serbian Orthodox Church / Church of the True Orthodox Christians of Greece concelebrated at the St Sava New Kalenich Monastery in Canberra. Igumen Christophor presided, with Igumen John (Smelic)(ROCA), priests Zvonimir Jovic and Bojan Vlajic, as well as Protodeacon Vasily Yakimov (ROCA) concelebrating. A mixed children’s and pilgrims’ choir chanted.

The 34th St Sava Festival was opened after Liturgy on Saturday 11/24th January with an epistle from His Eminence, Bishop Ambrose of Methoni to his Serbian flock in Australia. Festivities continued for more than two days. The feast day of the Monastery, in honour of St Sava of Serbia is on Tuesday 14/27 January and will be celebrated with a festive Liturgy, the rite of the Slava, and a procession around the Church, followed by a festive meal. All are welcome to attend.

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Protodeacon Vasily Yakimov reading the Gospel

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Young participant at the Children’s Camp reading the Epistle

More Pictures from Children’s Camp


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The children’s choir singing at Liturgy on the day of St Gregory of Nyssa, Friday 10/23 January.
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The Great Entrance.

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National anthems every morning

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Services and singing practice in Church.

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Trivia quiz night

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Sessions in the camp hall

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Posters made by children to collect funds for the benefit of disabled children in Kosovo.

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Presentation of certificates, awards and gifts.

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The closing session of camp 2015

Source

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Children’s Camp at Serbian Monastery 2015

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The annual children’s camp at St Sava New Kalenich Monastery near Canberra concluded today, 11/24.January. 28 children attended from all over Australia.
camp15aa.jpgEvery morning, after the short prayer service, the children raised the Australian and Serbian flags accompanied by singing the national anthems. Thereafter followed dormitory inspections with announcement of winners of the bedmaking contest. Breakfast was then served, after which followed morning lessons. There were daily lessons in the Law of God, services morning and evening, and singing practice. In addition, the children learned about iconography and church and Serbian history. Select lives of Saints were read. The main course of study was presented by Igumen John (Smelic)(ROCA) and rassophore nun Elisabeth of the Annunciation Hermitage (ROCA), with select sessions by Fr Bojan Vlajic and others.
camp15a2.jpgThe campers conscientiously kept the fasts and learned more about the meaning of this pious practice.
The children chanted the Divine Liturgy on the feast of Theophany, on Friday 10/23, and Saturday 11/24 in English and Church Slavonic. All prepared for Confession and Holy Communion at the conclusion of the camp. An exciting treasure hunt incorporating questions on the spiritual materials studied served as the exam.
camp15aa1.jpgFriday afternoon, the very reverend Abbott Hristifor presented each child with a graduation diploma from the St Sava Academy 2015. Various prizes were presented to the most improved camper, the best singing voice, best organiser, best behaviour, and others.
The weather was comfortably cool in Canberra, allowing for outside play and swimming.

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Saturday, January 10, 2015

Nativity Epistle of the Right Reverend Andronik

Nativity Epistle of the Right Reverend ANDRONIK
Archbishop of Syracuse and St. Nicholas, Ottawa and Canada
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.”
(John 1:14)

Greetings on the Nativity of Christ and the coming New Year of 2015!

Dear in Christ pastors, clergy and faithful of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, greetings to all on the occasion of the great feast of the Nativity of the Incarnate Lord our Jesus Christ!

archbishop-andronik.jpgBy God’s infinite love of mankind and to adopt mankind for Himself, the Son of God descended from heaven twenty centuries ago and was born in Judaic Bethlehem from the Ever-Virgin Mary. Though this glorious event took place among us so many years ago, each one of us from year to year still experiences it in his or her heart.

The best gift that we could bring to the newborn Christ child is our faithfulness to the Church and love of one another and to those who by imprudence find themselves over the side of the lifesaving vessel of the Church Abroad. Let us pray, brothers and sisters that we may not only in name, but in spirit become children of God, so that none of us may perish, but inherit eternal life.

In our time, when heresies and schisms befall the Church of Christ with such force, only our faithfulness to God, obedience to the Church and love of one another will help us overcome all our troubles.

At this time, when our hearts are overflowing with love, and our gratitude to God reverberates in our souls for His eternal grace to us, our lips cannot stay shut, but cry out,

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men!”

Greetings on the feast!
+ANDRONIK
Archbishop of Syracuse and St. Nicholas, Ottawa and Canada

Upcoming children’s camp at Serbian Monastery

1camp-services.jpgThe traditional annual children’s camp at the Free Serbian Monastery of St Sava will take place from January 18 to 23. The camp is open for children aged 7 to 12 years old of all nationalities.

Please download a registration form here and return to the organisers as soon as possible.

1camp-altar-boys.jpgLessons in the Law of God at the camp are given in English by Fr John Smelic (ROCA). There are short daily morning and evening services, which the children chant and read themselves. Accommodation is in separate girls’ and boys’ dorm houses on the grounds of the monastery. There is opportunity to play tennis, fish in the monastery lake, and an excursion. At the end of the camp, all the children take Confession and Holy Communion.

1camp-meal.jpgMore information from Jela Bulatovic, who can be contacted on telephone 0402033834.

The St Sava Festival will take place at the monastery the weekend of 24-25 January, and is open for all pilgrims.

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Thursday, January 8, 2015

Metropolitan Agafangel’s Nativity Epistle

Nativity Message
of His Eminence Metropolitan Agafangel,
First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad

Dear hierarchs and pastors, monastics and laity, brothers and sisters!

bishop-agafangel1.jpgIt has been a long time since we last had such a difficult year for our Church. This is because of the events which have shaken the world, which in turn resound very noticeably in our lives. Now, almost universally, the world has turned to war. “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” (Matthew 24.7-8). Indeed, we see firsthand the beginning of these tribulations - not so much physical as spiritual ones. We have reached the time when even those who are called to keep and observe Truth have stopped accepting “sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears,” (2 Timothy 4:3). Everything is coming true - “Then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another” (Matthew 24.10). The ever-present apostasy is coming upon us like the approaching night, gradually and inevitably absorbing the souls of men. Less and less souls warm themselves around the spiritual beacons of intact faith. Even the visible, earthly Church is harder to find in the ruling chaos surrounding Her. As we enter the period of Passion Week of human history, we can only observe what is happening. In our weakness we are not able to prevent the end of time.

But we remember that the historical birth of Christ occurred in almost the same kind of impenetrable night, during a time of captivity, apostasy and national poverty, when prophecies were silent, and the priesthood and leaders of the people had degenerated into Pharisees and scribes. The Incarnation of God pierced the surrounding spiritual darkness as the saving beam of a lighthouse during a storm of complete destruction. Suddenly a guiding star was revealed to travelers astray. A highly anticipated door of freedom, was suddenly flung open, leading out from the crude and hateful prison!

If we are with God, then we have nothing to fear! I urge you, my dear ones, to spiritual renewal by the current Nativity of Christ! May it shine in every heart with the unwaning light of Divine wisdom! So that we, despite of the fallen and sinful world, together with the entire Holy Church, would exclaim in a single triumphant voice: O Life-Giver, Christ our God, glory to Thee!

+ Metropolitan Agafangel
Odessa, Nativity of Christ, 2014-2015.

Russian original

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Metropolitan Agafangel
First Hierarch of the Russian
Orthodox Church Abroad

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Bishop John of Melbourne
Vicar bishop of Australia

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  • Serving priest: Father Nebojsa Mirkovic
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Annunciation of the Mother of God Women’s Monastic Community

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  • Spiritual Father: Bishop John.
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