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DIOCESE OF AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND: October 19, 2013
Protection Church in Cabramatta Celebrates its 60 th Anniversary

On Monday, October 14, 2013, the feast of the Protection of the Most-Holy Mother of God in Cabramatta (Sydney), His Eminence Archbishop Gabriel of Montreal and Canada celebrated Divine Liturgy along with the parish rector, Protopriest Boris Ignatievsky, the cathedral clergymen and visiting priests. The parish, one of the largest in the Russian diaspora, was celebrating its 60 th anniversary. After Liturgy, a moleben and procession of the cross took place, led by Vladyka Gabriel, who congratulated the parishioners on their jubilee, and awarded gramatas of blessing from the President of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia to a number of parishioners for their efforts. The parish sisterhood, under the direction of Mrs Paramonova, offered a splendid trapeze luncheon, at which congratulatory speeches were read.

The founders of Protection parish, under Priest Konstantin Naverezhsky were SA and TD Vikhlyaev; PF and VM Yakunin; VN and MT Starov; EM Tretyakova and others, who organized the community in nearby Fairfield, NSW. Then, in response to the wishes of many parishioners to have a church in Cabramatta, Archbishop Theodore (+1953), the first ruling bishop of the Australian Diocese, divided the community into two parts; one on Fairfield, where Archimandrite Mefody was assigned, and Cabramatta, under Fr Konstantin.

The laying of the cornerstone of the Cabramatta church was performed by Bishop Afanasy (Martos, +1983) in 1953. In June of that year, Protopriest Rostislav Gan, who had recently arrived from Harbin, China, was assigned its rector.

From 1953 to 1956, discussions were held on building a large, brick church. Finally, the parish decided to undertake the project proposed by engineer MS Miklashevsky. Construction of the gold-domed church was led by the vice president of the building committee, AV Bobyrev, who exerted a great deal of energy in the task. The frescoes, painted in the ancient Russian style by Archimandrite Alexis (Rosentool) and AV Ganina, was completed under the fourth rector of the parish, Protopriest Peter Sheko. The great consecration of the church was performed by Bishop Daniel of Erie, who was the ruling bishop at the time, on Saturday, October 24, 1992.

Protection church has a parish council, sisterhood, parish school, youth group, settlement and Russian Charitable Society’s senior home dedicated to St Sergius of Radonezh.