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DIOCESE OF AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND: September 6, 2012
Dormition Parish in Dandenong, Victoria, Marks Its 50th Anniversary and the 40th Year of Their Rector’s Service 

On Saturday, September 1, 2012, His Eminence Archbishop Michael of Geneva and Western Europe, making an archpastoral visit to the parishes and monasteries of the Diocese of Australia and New Zealand of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia with the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, officiated at the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Parish of Our Lady’s Dormition in Dandenong, Victoria, and the 40th anniversary of the service of its Rector, Mitred Protopriest Michael Protopopov. At the end of Divine Liturgy, His Eminence read the following message he received from the First Hierarch:  

Your Eminence Vladyko, Dear in the Lord Fathers, Brothers, Sisters and Children: 

I send my heartfelt greetings to you on the fiftieth anniversary of your salvific service to  God, the Church and the people of Dormition Parish in Dandenong. At the gravesite of  Hieromonk Seraphim (Rose), the great ascetic of the Russian Church Abroad, who died  thirty years ago in California, I lift my prayers up for the health and salvation of the  rector, clergymen and all the parishioners and worshipers of our church in Dandenong,  and that the Lord preserve and confirm your magnificent temple until the end of time. I  join with you spiritually on this holy day of Dormition Parsh and invoke upon you God’s  blessing.  

Asking your holy prayers, with love in the Lord,

+Hilarion, 
Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York, 
First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.

Archbishop Michael then gave Fr Michael a decree of blessing from the President of the Synod of Bishops. After veneration of the cross, a festive celebration was held and many congratulatory speeches given.