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Sydney, Australian and New-Zealand Diocese: March 13, 2006

Report from the Chancery of the Diocese of Australia and New Zealand on the Archpastoral Visit to the Church in Indonesia 

From February 17-25, 2006, His Eminence Archbishop Hilarion, accompanied by Deacon Christopher Henderson, visited the Orthodox Mission in Indonesia , which has been a part of the Diocese of Sydney, Australia and New Zealand since 2004.

Archimandrite Daniel (Byantoro), the founder of the Orthodox Mission in Indonesia , began preaching in 1988. Since then, many Indonesians accepted the Holy Orthodox Faith, communities were founded, churches were built and priests ordained. In 2005, Fr Daniel and his Mission were accepted into the bosom of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. Archbishop Hilarion made his first missionary visit to Jakarta that year, and ordained six new priests for missionary and pastoral work.

Fr Daniel is known to many parishioners of the Australian Diocese, since in December 2005, he participated in the Extraordinary Diocesan Conference, spoke at the Youth Conference in Djeelong, and afterwards visited several Russian parishes in Sydney , where he preached and read lectures.

The next day, after the arrival of Archbishop Hilarion in Jakarta , His Eminence flew to Solo (or Surakarta ) in central Java. Here, in Holy Trinity Church , the first one built by Fr Daniel, Vladyka performed Divine Liturgy every day along with the clergymen of the Indonesian Orthodox Mission. Over the course of four days, two new priests were ordained—Fr Boris Setyavan and Fr Panteleimon Lakey; two deacons: Deacon Macarius Mursanto and Deacon Varnava van Basten, and two readers.

Returning to Jakarta on Wednesday, February 22, Archbishop Hilarion performed the minor blessing of the new, splendid church built in honor of St Nicholas the Wonder-worker of Myra . In another Jakarta church, dedicated to Holy Apostle Thomas, Vladyka ordained another reader for a mission near Jakarta .

The archpastoral visit to Indonesia concluded with a festive luncheon in the local hotel on the evening of February 24, attended by some 200 people, parishioners and visitors, including government representatives on religious affairs.

There is a real opportunity to broadly expand the Orthodox Mission in Indonesia . Orthodox missionary priests of this country, a neighbor of Australia , are worthy of our earnest fraternal love and support—prayerful, moral and material.