Feast Day of Holy Transfiguration Monastery

Holy Transfiguation Monastery in Bombala is located in the remote country two hours away from Canberra, the capital of Australia. This monastery has over 100 acres of land and is headed by Archimandrite Alexis (Rosentool), for many years a spiritual sanctuary for many Orthodox Christians in Australia. Besides Fr Alexis, three monks labor spiritually in the monastery. Not only Russians, but also Greeks and Serbs often visit, many of whom participated in the building of the monastery church, the monastic residence, the pilgrims' hostel and other buildings. Here pilgrims can attend services, spend time in quietude and prayers, work in the garden, help in the restoration and construction work and perform other obediences. The founder of the monastery, Archimandrite Alexis, was a student of Archimandrite Kyprian (Pyzhov) of blessed memory, a great icon-painter, and he paints icons himself. Some churches were painted with icons by him with the help of Antonina Ganina. He is also the spiritual father of many Orthodox Christians in Australia, and speaks at local Russian and Serbian youth conferences. Many remember him from Jerusalem, where he served as Head of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia for several years.

When the feast day falls on a weekend day, some 180 people come. This year, the holiday was on a Thursday, and still, 80 people came from all over Australia. On the eve of the holiday, all-night vigil was served by His Eminence Archbishop Hilarion of Sydney and the Diocese of Australia and New Zealand, along with visiting clergymen, with the monastic choir singing together with former students of Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville, NY. The choir sang in Church Slavonic, English and Greek. The following morning, Fr Ilja Dragosavlevic, rector of a parish of the Serbian Orthodox Church, performed the lesser blessing of the waters along with Deacon Alexander Abramov from Protection Cathedral in Melbourne, and Hieromonk Makary, a resident of the Monastery, performed the proskomedia along with Protodeacon Basil Yakimov of St John the Forerunner Church in Canberra. The clergy greeted His Eminence Archbishop Hilarion at the entrance to his cell at 9 o'clock in the morning. His Eminence was joined by Archimandrite Alexis, Protopriest Alexander Morozov, Rector of St John the Forerunner Church in Canberra; Protopriest Nicholas Dalinkiewicz of Protection Cathedral in Melbourne; Priest George Robinson and the aforementioned clerics. Archbishop Hilarion gave a sermon in Russian and English, after which a moleben was served along with a procession of the cross. At the end of the service, a protodeacon intoned the monastic "Save, O Christ God," to His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus, the Ruling Archbishop, the Superior and brethren of the monastery. After service, a trapeza prepared by pilgrims was offered.

Protodeacon Basil Yakimov