Upon completion of the Council of Bishops of the Russian Church Abroad, His Grace George, Bishop of Canberra (vicar of the Diocese of Australia & New Zealand) visited New York City. On Saturday, June 17, Bishop George and His Grace Nicholas, Bishop of Manhattan (vicar of the Eastern American Diocese) prayed together at the All-Night Vigil in the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in New York City, and together led the Polyeleos, while Bishop George served the remainder of the Vigil. Upon completion of the service, dinner was served.
On June 18, the Sunday of All Saints Who Shone Forth in the Russian Land, Bishop George celebrated Divine Liturgy, co-served by Bishop Nicholas. Their Graces were joined by cathedral clergy – senior priest Archpriest Andrei Sommer, Archpriest Vasiliy Raskovskiy, Abbot Eutychius (Dovganyuk), Hieromonk Nikolai (Letsin), and Protodeacon Vadim Gan, as well as visiting clergy.
Read aloud at Liturgy were prayers for peace in the Ukraine and to All Russian Saints, while upon the conclusion of the service a moleben was served to All Saints Who Shone Forth in the Russian Land. Many of the faithful who had gathered for Liturgy communed of Christ’s Holy Mysteries.
Bishop Nicholas congratulated the clergy with the feast and spoke in brief about the work of the Council of Bishops in Munich at the Convent of the Holy Nun-Martyr Elizabeth, and acquainted them with the Council’s epistle.
The Protodeacon intoned the Polychronion for Metropolitan Hilarion and Bishops George and Nicholas.
Bishop Nicholas expressed his joy to Bishop George at the opportunity to interact with one another, and thanked him for their shared prayer. On behalf of the cathedral clergy and Bishop Nicholas personally, Bishop George was presented with embroidered Gospel markers for the Sydney cathedral, along with requests for prayers.
In turn, Bishop George thanked Bishop Nicholas for his kind words, his hospitality, and the opportunity to lead for the first time the festal Sunday service in the Synodal Cathedral. He spoke about his plans to visit his monastic brethren and the faithful in West Virginia and Georgia before his return to Australia, and will once again serve in the Synodal Cathedral on July 1-2.
Upon completion of the service, the cathedral sisterhood invited the clergy and parishioners to a festal lenten luncheon in the church hall, during which Bishop George spoke about the life of Orthodox Christians in Australia.