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All-Diaspora Youth Conference in Sydney, Australia, from July 13-21

SYDNEY: All-Diaspora Conference of Russian Orthodox Youth in Sydney, Australia, 12-21 July—May 2002

The next International Russian Orthodox Youth Conference will be held in Sydney.
"... I left a part of my heart in Australia, where a great deal had happened during those two months...many joyful and happy moments in sincere discussion and in many people's prayers..." Archbishop Nikon (Rklitski, 1976)

When our great Russian poet, A.S. Pushkin, was exiled from the capital, he suffered greatly; when he was leaving, he wrote: "As an artist, I am insulted; as a citizen, I am stung; but upon my oath I would never trade the Motherland for anything else, I would not have any other history and culture besides the one of our ancestors, the one given to us by God." And now, being far from Russia, we could say along with Pushkin that we also would not trade our Motherland and our rich Russian culture. Thanks be to God, we were able to keep our Orthodox faith. And not only keep it, but also to sow the seeds which brought forth fruit, which is the testimony of the truth of Orthodoxy among the heterodox surrounding us. Thanks be to God, we still use the Russian and the Church-Slavonic languages. Also, we are trying to pass on the passion for the languages and even spread that passion, at home and in the Saturday church schools. The Church is attempting by every means to continue this by calling youth to the conferences in parishes and generally. The latter are the international conferences. International Russian Orthodox Youth Conferences are organized in different countries where there are parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, in order to unite young people of Russian origin who experience similar struggles to keep their faith and Russianness in the midst of by other religions, and in a world which is openly against the Holy Russian ideals, a world which misunderstands and misportrays our history and life.


These conferences unite our youth, provide them with great support, give the youth the knowledge that they are not alone, but that there are many other Russian young people with similar problems, aspirations and ideals. In these conferences, solid friendships are formed, and even marriages result, when young people come together with th intention of continuing the way of their ancestors--to keep the spirit of Russia Abroad, so that our children are not turned into "Ivans who know not their ancestors." Since the fall of communism in Russia, our compatriots have had the opportunity to take part in these conferences, share their experiences and opinions. By order of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, the next International Russian Orthodox Youth Conference will take place in Sydney, the cathedral city of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese, from 12-21 July 2002. The Conference's theme is "Confirm Thy Church, o Lord." The conference will take place generally around the Sydney churches. It is expected that the conference will host the Sacred Miracle-working Icon "Kursk-Root" of our Lady, accompanied by the new First Hierarch, Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York, Laurus, by Bishop Alexander of Buenos Aires and South America and Bishop Gabriel of Manhattan. Many guests will convene from many parts of the world, including Russia, to participate in services, discussions, etc. The conference will start with a Hierarchical Liturgy officiated by Metropolitan Laurus, on the feast day of SS Peter & Paul Cathedral and at All-Saints church in the residence of Archbishop Hilarion of Australia and New Zealand. We welcome priests from other countries to visit and to participate in the services and in the proceedings of the conference, so that they could share the true Chrisitian joy of spiritual unity. The Conference program involves lectures, discussions by topic; also the showing of documentary films.


Presentations will be made by the clergy and by the representatives of the Orthodox community. Following the tradition of Russian hospitality, all conference participants will be provided with plentiful meals of both Russian and Australian cuisine. The participants may choose to stay in a top-level hotel in the city centre with a discount, or may be placed in a large house near the cathedral, or may stay with friends. The language of the conference will predominantly be in Russian, with English translation. During and after the conference, meetings, trips, and events actions will be organized for the guests. All Russian orthodox youth, age 18 and older is invited to the conference. Application forms are available at We would be very grateful to all priests if they made an announcement about the conference. Donations to the organizing commitee would be greatly appreciated (cheques should be addressed to: SS Peter & Paul Cathedral Conference Account) and be sent to the address: Rev George Lapardin, SS Peter & Paul Cathedral, 3-5 Vernon Street, Strathfield NSW 2135. We pray to God and hope that the International Conference will be a fruitful and unforgettable event in the spiritual life of both participants from abroad and from the Australian & New Zealand Diocese, once called a “pearl of the Church Abroad."
Fr. Serafim Gan, Committee Member

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