AUSTRALIA & ST PAISIOS OF MY HEART
Aboriginal Parish in Australia
The Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) has recently launched an Aboriginal Australian mission in Gunning, New South Wales, near an Aboriginal community north of Canberra, the capital of that Commonwealth. The parish has been named for one of the Saints who has shined forth here in North America (and around the world, really!), St. John (Maximovitch) the Wonderworker, who was ROCOR’s Archbishop of San Francisco and Shanghai. (He labored in Paris too, a refugee from the Russian Civil War [i.e., Reds vs. Whites].)
I note that the missionary priest, Fr. Seraphim Slade, is himself an Aborigine convert and ordained just last year. Very cool! This Indian encourages Aboriginal Orthodox missions here in the Americas too: Let’s not rest on our Alaskan laurels now! (And yes, Indigenous people come in all shades, there and here.) 😉 This retired broadcaster also likes the idea of Fr. Seraphim’s Aboriginal media work!
The Australia Diocese directory gives contact info as follows:
St John the Wonderworker of San Francisco Chapel
Australian Orthodox Indigenous Mission
All Services in English – phone for Service Times
50 Grovenor Street
Gunning NSW 2581
P.O. Box 55
Gunning NSW 2581
Priest Seraphim Slade
Phone: (02) 4845 1370
Mobile: 0432 113 858
International Phone: +61 (2) 4845 1370
When they have services seems uncertain: one blog I saw had a definite every-other-week schedule (fortnightly, as they say Down Under), but the diocese doesn’t, so ISTM you’d do best to phone Father during the week before going, just to make sure he’s going to be there.
This is the same ROCOR diocese that received Indonesia missionfounder Fr. Daniel* and some of his flock a couple years ago (“Friends of” site in English) after they apparently had some differences with the Patriarchate of Constantinople’s effort there (site partly in English, part Indonesian), and seems to handle the revived Church of Russia mission in South Korea. It’s also the former residence of ROCOR’s First Hierarch, Metropolitan HILARION, who seems to still be leading that diocese along with his duties in New York.
Glory to God for all things!
(*–Want an Irish Orthodox connection? Fr. Daniel’s emphasis on indigenously-driven, acculturating mission reminds me of my kinsman St. Declan of Ardmore, County Waterford, who brought the Gospel to his and my own Decies [Ir. Deise] ‘tribe,’ maybe even before St. Patrick! You want controversy?: When Declan had succeeded in converting most of the people, their ruler still wouldn’t go along. Since Declan was a member of his ‘clan,’ and thought a Christian people should have a Christian Ri, he had him voted out by acclamation, and himself voted in temporarily — a Bishop and everything — to hand off the reins to a neophyte Christian kinsman! And this in one of Ireland’s couple dozen most important petty kingdoms!)
Eastern Orthodox Christianity