news from saınt nıcholas’
~ A Monthly Newsletter For Parishioners and Friends of Saint Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, Wallsend ~
Number 1 ~ May 2007
PARISH LIFE IN APRIL AND MAY
A lot has happened in parish life over the last 6 weeks.
Easter fell early in April this year, and so the month began with the solemn services of
Holy Week. We had the beautiful “Twelve Gospels” service on the evening of Thursday
April 5th; Vespers with the bringing out of the Shroud on Friday April 6th; and the joyous
Easter services at midnight on Sunday April 8th. All the services were well-attended and
On Friday April 13th and Saturday April 14th we repeated the Easter services to complete
“Bright Week”. The special Easter bread or “Artos” was cut and distributed after the
service on Saturday.
On Monday April 16th and Tuesday April 17th we had services for “Radonitsa”, the “day of
rejoicing”. This is the day set aside in the Russian Orthodox Church as the first after
Easter on which prayers are offered for the departed. Following Divine Liturgy on
Tuesday morning a number of parishioners visited Wallsend and Sandgate cemeteries, as is
customary on this day, praying there for our church founders and builders and other
members of the community who have departed this life over the years. At Wallsend
cemetery we encountered and exchanged Easter greetings with Father Alexander
Filchakov, Irene Lupish, Alexander Yakimov, and other members of the Theophany
parish in Mayfield. Father James later travelled up to East Maitland where he and Peter
Schulha visited the cemetery there.
On Wednesday May 2nd, the feast of Mid-Pentecost, the sad news was received that one of
our church builders, Volodya Kaiko, had reposed in the Lord after a prolonged illness.
Volodya was 83 years of age. The son of an Orthodox priest, he himself served with
reverence in the sanctuary at Saint Nicholas for many years, supervising a generation of
younger altar-servers. He was a steadfast Orthodox Christian to whom our small parish
meant a great deal. May his memory be eternal!
On Saturday May 5th a number of family members and parishioners gathered in Wallsend
cemetery to mark the first anniversary of the repose of Nina Shalimov. A memorial
service was served at her graveside.
On Monday May 7th many gathered at church for Volodya Kaiko’s funeral. Father James
served the funeral, and the choir was made up of singers from our own choir and from the
Theophany parish. Volodya was afterwards laid to rest at Sandgate Cemetery, not far from
Alexander Medwedew and Nikolai Goura. The 40th day after Volodya’s repose will fall on
Sunday June 10th, the feast of All Saints of Russia. As we have a service in Wallsend that
day, a memorial service will be served after church. Further details will be made available
closer to that date.
SERVICES IN MAY, AND THE
WINTER SCH EDULE OF SERVICES
We have two major sets of services this month: on Monday May 21st and Tuesday May
22nd for our parish feast day of Saint Nicholas, and on Saturday May 26th and Sunday
May 27th for the Great Feast of Pentecost (or «Троица»). As Archbishop Hilarion will be
in Russia on our feast-day, we have set aside major festivities until he is able to be with us.
We will nevertheless have a blessing of water and moleben - a service asking for the
prayers of Saint Nicholas - on the day.
A Winter 2007 schedule of services covering the months June, July and August will be
available in church as of Saint Nicholas Day. June and July will be quiet months with only
the regular Saturday & Sunday services. One highlight in June, however, will be
Archbishop Hilarion’s visit to preside at the service on Sunday June 24th, after which there
will be a festive lunch. Vladyka’s visit will be all the more special in that he will, God
willing, be bringing with him the miracle-working “Kursk-Root” Icon of the Mother of
The schedule will change somewhat in August so as to accommodate Archbishop
Hilarion’s visit to Gosford on Sunday August 12th and Father James’ need to be there; we
will have three Saturday & Sunday services that month, with the Great Feast of the Lord’s
Transfiguration falling on the third Sunday in August this year. Please read the schedule
for August carefully when it becomes available!
П АСХАЛЬН ОЕ П ОСЛАН И Е П РЕОСВЯЩ ЕН Н ОГО
АРХИ ЕП И СКОП А И ЛАРИ ОН А, СИ Д Н ЕЙ СКОГО И
АВСТРАЛИ Й СКО-Н ОВОЗЕЛАН Д СКОГО
Пасха Господня 2007 г.
Возлюбленные о Господе Клир и Паства Австралийско-Новозеландской Епархии!
Христос Воскресе !
С великой радостью и духовным веселием православные христиане во всех концах
земного шара светло празднуют ныне Победителя смерти, Воскресшего из мертвых
Господа Иисуса Христа. Для верующего во Христа смерть уже не страшна, ибо
смерти нет, она умерщвлена Его крестной смертью на Голгофе и славным Его
Для христианина, очистившего себя покаянием и молитвенным подвигом от
бремени греховного, просвещенного и освященного благодатью Святого Духа,
исход из этого земного мира, исполненного множества трудов и болезней, является
многожеланным переходом в подлинную и блаженную жизнь Царства Небесного.
Великий апостол Павел всей душой желал скорее уйти из этого греховного и
суетного мира и только быть со Христом. “Если же мы умерли со Христом,” он
писал христианам в Риме, “то веруем, что и жить будем с Ним, зная, что Христос,
воскресши из мертвых, уже не умирает: смерть уже не имеет над Ним власти” (Рим.
Жизнодатель Христос многократно обещал верующим в Него воскресение и
вечную жизнь. “Истинно, истинно говорю вам: верующий в Меня имеет жизнь
вечную” (Иоан. 6, 47). “Ядущий Мою Плоть и пиющий Мою Кровь имеет жизнь
вечную, и Я воскрешу его в последний день” (Иоан. 6, 54).
“Я есмь воскресение и жизнь; верующий в Меня, если и умрёт, оживёт. И всякий,
живущий и верующий в Меня, не умрёт вовек” (Иоан. 11, 25-26), сказал Спаситель,
утешая Марфу, сестру Марии и Лазаря, четыре дня уже лежащего во гробе;
Божественной Своей силой Он воскресил его, растлевающегося во гробе и
смердящего, к жизни. Почему Спаситель совершил такое дивное чудо? Евангелист
Иоанн Богослов поясняет, цитируя слова Господа: “дабы вы [т.е. мы] уверовали”
(Иоан. 11, 15).
В лице Лазаря четверодневного святые Отцы Церкви образно видят человеческий
род, духовно умерший, гниющий и смердящий во грехах своих, и нуждающийся в
спасительной, оживительной силе Искупителя-Христа. Через веру и искреннее
покаяние мытари, блудницы, разбойники и самые отчаянные грешники получали
прощение грехов и воскресение к вечной блаженной жизни, даже здесь уже на
земле. Поэтому, не будем и мы отчаиваться, возлюбленные братия и сестры, в своем
спасении, видя в себе множество грехов и отсутствие добрых дел. Смирим себя
постоянным сознанием своего недостоинства и с верой и покаянием будем умолять
Господа о прощении и воскрешении нашей падшей, грешной души.
Не видим ли мы сегодня также дивное возрождение Христовой веры и
Православной Церкви на многострадальной Русской Земле после многолетнего
жестокого страдания её епископата, духовенства, монашествующих и
многочисленного сонма верных чад и пролития ими обильных рек мученической
крови? Сегодня Русская Церковь на Родине восстала и восстает из пепелища к
великой духовной славе, молитвами её святых новомучеников и исповедников. Она
победила своих гонителей и врагов Божественной, воскрешающей силой Христа,
обещавшего, что врата адова вовек не одолеют Его Святую Церковь.
В этом судьбоносном году, 17 мая, в праздник Вознесения Господня, изволением
Святого Духа и Соборным постановлением Епископата Русской Православной
Церкви Заграницей, после долгих и тщательных обоюдосторонних переговоров в
богословских комиссиях, состоится в городе Москве восстановление
евхаристического общения между разрозненными частями Поместной Русской
Церкви - Русской Православной Церкви Заграницей и Русской Православной
Церкви Московского Патриархата.
Возлюбленные о Господе, чада нашей Австралийско-Новозеландской паствы,
поздравляя всех вас со Святой Пасхой Господней, призываю всех к усердной,
горячей молитве о Богоугодном завершении долгожданного процесса
восстановления, в духовном единстве, разделенных и рассеянных жестокими
судьбами мировой истории, многострадальных православных русских людей на
Родине и православных русских людей во всемирном рассеянии. Но в этом
радостном событии участвуют не только православные русские верующие, но и
многочисленные люди всех национальностей и рас, принявшие святую
православную веру через свидетельство и миссионерские труды Русской Церкви и
находящиеся в её спасительном лоне.
Не о нынешнем ли радостном дне говорил преподобный Анатолий, Оптинский
старец, когда прозорливыми своими устами он изрек следующие удивительные
слова: “Будет шторм. И русский корабль будет разбит. Но ведь и на щепках и
обломках люди спасаются. Не все погибнут. А что после шторма бывает? После
шторма бывает штиль. А потом будет явлено великое чудо Божие. И все щепки и
обломки соберутся и соединятся, и снова явится великий корабль во всей своей
Христос Воскресе! Воистину Воск ресе!
+ Архиепископ Иларион, Сиднейский и Авст ралийско-Новозеландский
ARCH BISH OP H ILARION’S 2007 PASCH AL EPISTLE
Archbishop Hilarion’s Paschal Epistle was read in church by Father James on Bright Saturday, the Saturday
after Pascha. It is printed here for the benefit of those who did not hear it, and for the careful consideration
Beloved in the Lord, Clergy and Faithful of the Australian & New Zealand Diocese!
Christ is Risen!
With great joy and spiritual gladness Orthodox Christians in all corners of the world radiantly
glorify today the Vanquisher of death, our Lord Jesus Christ Who rose from the dead. For
those who believe in Christ, death no longer evokes fear, for death is no more, it has been
destroyed by His death on the Cross at Golgotha and by His glorious Resurrection.
For a Christian, who has purified himself from the burden of sin through repentance and
fervent prayer, and has been enlightened and sanctified by the grace of the Holy Spirit, the
end of this earthly life, which is so replete with difficulties and maladies, is a much-longed for
passage to the true and blessed life of the Kingdom of Heaven. The great Apostle Paul
desired with all his soul to leave this world of sin and vanity as speedily as possible and to be
with Christ alone. “Now if we died with Christ”, he wrote to the Christians of Rome, “we
believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the
dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him” (Rom. 6:8-9).
Christ the Giver of Life repeatedly promised resurrection and eternal life to those who would
believe in Him. “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life”
(John 6:47). “Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him
up at the last day” (John 6:54).
“I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.
And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die” (John 11:25-26), declared our Saviour,
comforting Martha, the sister of Mary and Lazarus, who had been lying in the tomb four days;
by His Divine power He raised back to life Lazarus who was decomposing and putrefying in
the grave. Why did the Saviour perform such a wondrous miracle? The Evangelist John the
Theologian explains, quoting our Lord, “that you [i.e. we] may believe” (John 11:15).
The holy fathers of the Church see in the person of Lazarus, who had been in the grave for
four days, an image of the human race, which, being spiritually dead, decaying and emitting
the foul smell of sin, is in need of the saving and vivifying power of Christ the Redeemer.
Through faith and sincere repentance publicans, harlots, thieves, and the greatest of sinners
have received forgiveness of sins and resurrection to eternal blessed life, even while still
abiding here on earth. Therefore, let us not despair, beloved brothers and sisters, of our
salvation, when we see within ourselves an abundance of sins and the absence of good deeds.
Let us humble ourselves by recognising our unworthiness and, with faith and repentance, let
us beseech the Lord to forgive us and raise up our fallen, sinful soul.
Do we not likewise see today the wonderful rebirth of Christian faith and the Orthodox
Church in the much-suffering Russian land, following the cruel suffering for many years of
the episcopate, clergy, monastics and the multitudinous choir of the faithful laity, and the
abundant rivers of their martyric blood? The Church in Russia has arisen and is continuing to
rise up from the ashes to great spiritual glory, through the prayers of her holy New Martyrs
and Confessors. She has gained victory over her enemies by the Divine, resurrecting power of
Christ, Who promised that the gates of hell would never prevail against His holy Church.
In this auspicious year, on 17 May, on the feast of the Lord’s Ascension, by the will of the
Holy Spirit and the Conciliar resolution of the Episcopate of the Russian Orthodox Church
Outside of Russia, following lengthy and careful bilateral negotiations by theological
commissions, the reestablishment of Eucharistic communion between the separated parts of
the Local Church of Russia - the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and the
Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate - will take place in the city of Moscow.
Beloved in the Lord, faithful children of the Australian and New Zealand flock, greeting all of
you with the Holy Pascha of the Lord, I appeal to you to offer up fervent and ardent prayers
for the God-pleasing fulfilment of the long-awaited process of the reestablishment in spiritual
unity, of the divided and scattered much-suffering Orthodox Russian people in the homeland
and the Orthodox Russian people dispersed throughout the world by the cruel consequences
of world history. However, it is not only the Orthodox Russian faithful who will be
participating in this joyous event; also celebrating will be the large throng of people of all
nationalities and races, who have accepted the holy Orthodox faith through the witness and
missionary labours of the Russian Church and have found their home in her saving bosom.
Was it not of this joyous day that St Anatole, the elder of Optina, was speaking, when his
prophesying lips uttered the following amazing words: “There will be a storm. And the
Russian ship will be shattered. But people can be saved even clinging to boards and debris.
Not everyone will perish. And what happens after a storm? After a storm there is a calm.
Then a great miracle of God will be made manifest. All the boards and debris will come
together and be united, and again the great ship will appear in all her beauty!”
Christ is Risen! - Truly He is Risen!
+ Archbishop Hilarion of Sydney, Australia & New Zealand
CH URCH LIFE: EPISTLE OF TH E SYNOD OF BISH OPS TO
TH E GOD-LOVING FLOCK
Note: A Russian translation of this epistle has been printed in the May 2007 edition of «Церковное Слово».
Dear in Christ fathers, brothers, sisters, loyal children of the Russian Church Abroad:
Christ is Risen!
"As the sun outshines the stars," writes bishop Gregory of Nyssa, "so does Holy Pascha
surpass all other church celebrations." The church refers to "the Beautiful Pascha", "the Feast
of feasts and the celebration of celebrations." Blessed Metropolitan Anthony profoundly
explained that, if every feast is a mystery, then the Feast of feasts, Pascha, is the mystery of
mysteries. The first Christians called Pascha "the Day of the Lord", for it embraces with its
light the whole Universe, "the seen and the unseen worlds," the worlds of the living and the
dead. Everyone tries to come to church on the day of Pascha in order to greet the mysterious
holy joy. The best expression of Christians’ Paschal joy lies in the celebratory words: "Christ is
Risen!" – "Indeed He is Risen!"
The Pascha of the Lord is the cornerstone of the new, true life of the world. Pascha forever
confirmed faith in the eternity of life. The Apostle Paul wrote that "If Christ did not rise, then
our faith is in vain." Is it not for this reason that our hearts tremble and glow with the fire of
life, seeing the "eternal joy" and feeling the authentic celebration of the church day "which the
Lord hath made"?
How can one become worthy of the great holiness of Pascha? How can one live Pascha in all
its fullness? How can one cleanse oneself of sins and passions in order that one may with a
clean heart, together with the angels, glorify the Resurrection of Christ, bow to Him, as the
only One who is Holy and Without Sin, the One who defeated death and gave "those in the
tombs" eternal life? How should one spend these bright days, leading to the reestablishment
of peace and unity of the Local Russian Orthodox Church, which will occur on the feast of
the Ascension of the Lord? How can one prepare for these events?
"Come close to God," writes the apostle James, "and He will come close to you." Bishop
Tikhon of Zadonsk teaches that "When one prays with all one’s strength and all one’s heart,
one’s heart will be filled with God’s love." It is necessary to have constant heartfelt prayer, to
participate in the mysteries of the church, to have the correct manner of life, to fulfil the
tenants of the faith, to actively do good. Let us turn our hearts to Christ and ask Him for
forgiveness of all of our sins that prevent us from "partaking of the feast of faith and
receiving the riches of holiness." Let us fight our weaknesses, work within the laws of Christ,
"be active for the faith, which at one time was committed to the saints," in order to attain the
Life-giving Christ in our hearts.
We call on the God-loving clergy and flock to pray in this bright state that the forthcoming
visit to Russia by the delegation of the Russian Church Abroad goes well and serves for the
benefit of the entire Russian Orthodox Church. It is necessary that the prayerful preparation
for the coming celebrations in Moscow take place not only in private prayers, but among
everyone together in church at Holy Liturgy. Therefore, the Synod of Bishops has adopted
the following petition to be pronounced during the Litany of Great Supplication [that is, the
litany after the reading of the Holy Gospel at Divine Liturgy – ed.] starting today and
continuing until the 6th Sunday of Pascha: "Bless, O Saviour, the good intentions of thy
servants, the Most Reverend Metropolitan Laurus, First Hierarch of the Russian Church
Abroad, and his companions, and accept their prayers, grant them a spirit of wisdom and
reason, place in their hearts a spirit of fear of Thee, a spirit of piety and zealousness for the
glory of Thy Holy Name, in order that they may in a well-pleasing manner fulfil the task of
building up the unity of the Holy Russian Church, as one Body of Christ. Grant them safe
travel in the air and a safe return, hear and have mercy."
In this we again and again underline that our Church does not intend to step away from the
path our fathers taught us, to change anything in its complete rejection of any false teachings,
such as "ecumenism," which distort the purity of the Orthodox Confession of Faith. On the
contrary, beloved in Christ, by the will of God we are now receiving the opportunity to
meekly, but without any stepping away from the Truth of the Holy Fathers, provide feasible
help to our Orthodox people and to warn them about all manner of "liberal" and "syncretic"
interpretations of the words of Christ and the dogma of the One, Holy and Apostolic
The prayer "Receive Ye the Body of Christ, taste ye of the fountain of immortality," which
usually accompanies those communing from the chalice, during the Paschal period is sung
before its appearance, as if calling all to come forward. For this reason, let us come frequently
to the communion of the Holy Mysteries of Christ during these bright days. Then our Pascha
on earth will be unto us a foreshadowing of the future Pascha, "opening the gates of Heaven
for us." Such a celebration of Pascha will help us to resurrect together with the Man-loving
God and to prepare in a proper manner for the coming reestablishment of full brotherly
relations within the Local Russian Orthodox Church. Amen.
Truly Christ is Risen!
With Paschal joy in the Risen Christ,
Metropolitan Laurus of Eastern America and New York,
First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany
Archbishop Hilarion of Sydney, Australia and New Zealand
Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America
Bishop Michael of Geneva and Western Europe
Bishop Gabriel of Manhattan
6/19 April 2007
INFORMATION SOUGH T
Information is sought from anyone who may have known or recall a woman by the name of
Elena Georgievna Mediantzeva. Born in Siberia in 1914, she later lived in Harbin and
Shanghai. She and her very young son, Nikolai, came to Australia via the Phillipines in the
late 1940s or very early 1950s. She was married in 1951 in Parkes to Ivan Korodki, and had
two more children, a son and a daughter, in the mid-late 1950s, one of whom (a daughter,
Nina) was baptised here at Wallsend in 1956. After her marriage, Elena Georgievna lived in
Cowra, Greta and Wollongong. Anyone who recalls Elena Georgievna or her husband, Ivan,
should speak with Father James at the earliest opportunity.
MAY 2007 EDITION OF «Ц ЕРКОВН ОЕ СЛОВО»
The May 2007 edition of the Russian-language Diocesan journal, «Церковное Слово»
(“Word of the Church”), is now available. Apart from the Epistle of the Synod of Bishops
already mentioned, it contains news from the most recent Synod meeting in New York, two
lengthy pieces (one an article, the other a transcript) touching on the matter of unity within
the Russian Orthodox Church, and an article on the occasion of Archpriest Michael
Protopopov’s 35th anniversary of service in clerical rank, amongst other things. Notices detail
various ordinations, transfers and awards, the most noteworthy of which is the award to
Archpriest Michael Protopopov of the mitre. Copies are available in church for $2.00.
A PARISH WEBSITE
As of May 11th, our parish has a functioning website. Designed and maintained by young
parishioner Sarah Carles, the website can be accessed at www.stnicholaswallsend.org.au. The
site is at this stage fairly simple, but nevertheless has information about our parish and its’
history, service schedules, contact information, and news. Improvements will be made in due
course and new information added regularly. Feedback and suggestions are welcome, and can
be offered in person or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABOUT TH IS NEWSLETTER
This newsletter is a new feature of parish life designed to keep parishioners and friends in
touch with what is happening in our parish, our diocese of Australia and New Zealand, and
throughout the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia. God willing, it will be available in
church on the first Sunday service of each month, with copies posted or emailed to those
unable to make it. The newsletter will also be available on our website. Those wishing to
receive a copy by post should speak to Father James; those wishing to receive an email copy
should send an email message to that effect to email@example.com.
TO REMEMBER IN PRAYER:
Travelling abroad: Metropolitan Laurus, Archbishop Hilarion & their companions
The sick: Vasili, Vasili, Vera, Eugenia, Olga, Galina, Tatiana, Ekaterina, and Daniel
Newly-departed: Wlodzimierz (Kaiko), a church builder and long-serving parish councilor
and altar server here at Saint Nicholas
3 Irving Street
Wallsend NSW 2287