We, the participants of the 12th All-Diaspora Russian Orthodox Youth Conference, held in the city of Paris under the aegis of the Hodigitria of the Russian Church Abroad, the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God, thank God for the mercies and blessing sent down upon us. We all also joyfully express our filial gratitude to Your Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and to Your Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, for your fatherly care, the attention you have paid to us and the edifying epistles you sent to us. For the first time during the time of the Russian diaspora, we have been able to achieve what for many years the hierarchs of the Russian Church Abroad strove towards, to gather young Orthodox Christians within the framework of a single event from the fullness of the Russian Orthodox Church of twenty-six separate dioceses and twelve nations.
The organizers and inspirers of this conference placed an important challenge before the delegates, to hold working sessions and lay the foundations of forms of cooperation which would enable the further development of missionary work of the Orthodox Church and the strengthening of friendly relations between the young people of various nations.
We would like to separately stress the significance and clear impression left with the participants of this conference by the lecture of Hieromonk Irinei (Steenberg). The main idea in this inspired speech was that missionary work must be built on the transformation of one’s persona, which is only possible through prayer and through communion of the Mysteries of the Holy Church. These words as well as the warm epistles from the Primates of our Church inspired the participants of the conference towards creative and fruitful efforts as we broke up into working groups. The result of the joint discussions were the development of new ideas and plans which our Orthodox youth would like to make manifest in the parishes, deaneries and dioceses of the entire fullness of the Russian Orthodox Church. These ideas can be divided into three general categories:
а) missionary tourist trips, youth festivals with a spiritual direction, processions of the cross and pilgrimages;
b) joint youth trips to participate in missionary projects, developing new youth programs.
It was especially joyful for all present that we began the event on the feast day of St John, Archbishop of Shanghai and San Francisco the Miracle-worker, our common protector, who at one time or another ministered to all three branches of the Russian emigration. An indelible impression, pious ecstasy and inspiration were also garnered from prayers before such great holy relics as the Crown of Thorns of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Honorable Head of St John, the great Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, the relics of Queen Helen, Equal-to-the-Apostles and St Genevieve, Protectress of Paris.
From all our hearts, we beseech as your children the prayers of Your Holiness and Your Eminence, the Primate of the Russian Church Abroad, to continue and develop the ideas and initiatives placed here in Paris for the benefit of our Mother Orthodox Church and Holy Russia.
With love in Christ,
The Participants of the 12th All-Diaspora Russian Orthodox Youth Conference, successfully held by the will of God and by your prayers in Paris on July 1-8, 2011.
July 8, 2011.