DIOCESE OF AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND: September 4, 2013
Protopriest Michael Protopopoff Receives an Award From the Serbian Orthodox Church
On Wednesday, August 28, 2013, the feast of the Dormition of the Most-Holy Mother of God, Hi Grace Irinej of Australia and New Zealand of the Serbian Orthodox Church celebrated Divine Liturgy at Dormition Church in Dandenong, NSW, Australia, with the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. His Grace was joined in the service by Protopriest Michael Protopopoff, the parish rector, and other visiting clergymen.
At the conclusion of the service, Vladyka Irinej congratulated all the worshipers. He had a special greeting for Fr Michael. “The Serbian Church,” said Vladyka, “deems Fr Michael to be one of our own, not only for his support and good relationship with us, but by his birth in Belgrade.” Bishop Irinej then bestowed the Order of St Savva of Serbia, Second Degree, on Fr Michael for his many years of support to the Serbian Orthodox Church. The award was given in accordance with a decree by the Council of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church, the ukase signed by His Holiness Patriarch Irinej of Serbia.
In response, Fr Michael expressed his gratitude to Vladyka Irinej, and the entire Serbian Church he represented, for the great honor. “I am very touched by the attention you pay me,” said Fr Michael. “I truly feel close to the Serbian people not only because we are brothers in faith, but because we share a homeland, it is where I was born. Incidentally, I just returned from a trip to Serbia, where I was able to visit the graves of my parents.”
Tables were prepared in the parish Social Centre. According to tradition, the clergymen who took part in the divine services warmly congratulated the parish on their feast day. Fr Michael thanked everyone who came to share in their celebrations. Addressing Vladyka Irinej, he also thanked him and gave him the commemorative Medal of the 400 th Anniversary of the Romanov Dynasty on behalf of Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna.