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DIOCESE OF BUENOS AIRES AND SOUTH AMERICA: February 8, 2008
The First Day of the Visit of the First Deputy of the President of the Synod of Bishops to the Parishes of Buenos Aires and the South American Diocese

At the request of His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, His Eminence Archbishop Hilarion of Sydney, Australia and New Zealand, along with his secretary, Protopriest Michael Boikov, traveled to Santiago, the capital of Chile. Metropolitan Laurus, troubled over the lack of spiritual ministry of the flock of the Russian Church Abroad in South America, sent Vladyka Hilarion to visit the clergy and laity of Chile, Brazil and Argentina.

His Eminence and his consort, Fr Michael, were greeted with special honor by the local authorities and by Priest Alexei Aedo and Dr Elizabeth Georgievna Jurlow of the local St Nektarios Mission.

The honored guests were taken to the Chapel of St Nektarios of Pentapolis, located in a building of Santiago Central University. Its rector, Fr Aleksey, who is also a professor at the University, along with a group of parishioners, met Vladyka with the traditional cross on a tray. Under the singing of Ton despotin, sung in the Greek style, His Eminence venerated the holy icons and blessed all those present, among whom were Roberto Leon, the Warden and Psalm-reader of the parish; Enrique Parze; and Dr Orlova, the Parish Secretary. Then, with the blessing of Vladyka Hilarion, Fr Michael performed a moleben of gratitude, during which Fr Aleksey read the Gospel in Spanish on Jesus Christ's miraculous healing of the ten lepers.

At the end of the service, everyone proceeded to the home of Ekaterina Jurlow, Dr Orlova's elder sister, for lunch. A traditional Russian meal was offered, but with the inclusion of a special South American fish, Blancini.

Fr. Alexei and his parishioners gave a brief overview of the current status of the members of ROCOR and the present conditions of church life, following which they escorted their guests to a vacant apartment belonging to the Aguayo Rojas family, local parishioners who are currently on holiday in Argentina

Protopriest Michael Boikov