Day of Holy Transfiguration Monastery
Holy Transfiguation Monastery in Bombala is located in the remote
country two hours away from Canberra, the capital of Australia.
This monastery has over 100 acres of land and is headed by Archimandrite
Alexis (Rosentool), for many years a spiritual sanctuary for many
Orthodox Christians in Australia. Besides Fr Alexis, three monks
labor spiritually in the monastery. Not only Russians, but also
Greeks and Serbs often visit, many of whom participated in the building
of the monastery church, the monastic residence, the pilgrims' hostel
and other buildings. Here pilgrims can attend services, spend time
in quietude and prayers, work in the garden, help in the restoration
and construction work and perform other obediences. The founder
of the monastery, Archimandrite Alexis, was a student of Archimandrite
Kyprian (Pyzhov) of blessed memory, a great icon-painter, and he
paints icons himself. Some churches were painted with icons by him
with the help of Antonina Ganina. He is also the spiritual father
of many Orthodox Christians in Australia, and speaks at local Russian
and Serbian youth conferences. Many remember him from Jerusalem,
where he served as Head of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission of
the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia for several years.
When the feast day falls on a weekend day, some 180 people come.
This year, the holiday was on a Thursday, and still, 80 people came
from all over Australia. On the eve of the holiday, all-night vigil
was served by His Eminence Archbishop Hilarion of Sydney and the
Diocese of Australia and New Zealand, along with visiting clergymen,
with the monastic choir singing together with former students of
Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville, NY. The choir sang in Church
Slavonic, English and Greek. The following morning, Fr Ilja Dragosavlevic,
rector of a parish of the Serbian Orthodox Church, performed the
lesser blessing of the waters along with Deacon Alexander Abramov
from Protection Cathedral in Melbourne, and Hieromonk Makary, a
resident of the Monastery, performed the proskomedia along with
Protodeacon Basil Yakimov of St John the Forerunner Church in Canberra.
The clergy greeted His Eminence Archbishop Hilarion at the entrance
to his cell at 9 o'clock in the morning. His Eminence was joined
by Archimandrite Alexis, Protopriest Alexander Morozov, Rector of
St John the Forerunner Church in Canberra; Protopriest Nicholas
Dalinkiewicz of Protection Cathedral in Melbourne; Priest George
Robinson and the aforementioned clerics. Archbishop Hilarion gave
a sermon in Russian and English, after which a moleben was served
along with a procession of the cross. At the end of the service,
a protodeacon intoned the monastic "Save, O Christ God,"
to His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus, the Ruling Archbishop, the
Superior and brethren of the monastery. After service, a trapeza
prepared by pilgrims was offered.
Protodeacon Basil Yakimov