Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia, November 10, 2023
By Aleksandar Mladenovski
On Wednesday, November 8, when the Orthodox Church celebrates the feast of St. Demetrios the Great Martyr, a historic event occurred in Wollongong, Australia.
On its patronal feast, the Macedonian Orthodox parish of St. Demetrios witnessed the first concelebration between hierarchs from the Macedonian Orthodox Church-Ohrid Archbishopric and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.
His Eminence Metropolitan Timotej of Debar and Kičevo and administrator of the Macedonian Orthodox Diocese of Australia (Sydney), concelebrated the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy with His Grace Bishop George of Sydney, Australia, and New Zealand of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.
Serving with the hierarchs were Fr. Nikola Hristoski, Abbot Gavril Galev, Fr. Naum Despotovski, Fr. Kliment Dzeparovski, Fr. Robert Ilijevski, and Deacon Nikolce Gjurgjinovski from the Macedonian Orthodox Church, and Fr. Ljupco Dvojakovski and Deacon Martin Naef from the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.
In a great act of love and to enrich the festal joy, His Grace Bishop George gifted the parish a portion of the holy relics of St. Demetrios the Great Martyr. In a grand festal manner as befits such occasions, the relics of St. Demetrios were received at the front of the church by His Eminence Metropolitan Timotej, joined by a multitude of faithful.
As a sign of deep gratitude, His Eminence Metropolitan Timotej gifted His Grace Bishop George with an episcopal Panagia, thanking him for this act of love and asking him to pray for the Macedonian Orthodox faithful. A hand-painted icon of St. George the Great Martyr was gifted to His Grace Bishop George by the president of the parish council, Mr. Lou Stefanovski. His Grace Bishop George gifted His Eminence Metropolitan Timotej a blessing cross, thanking him for the invitation to serve with him.
In an address to the faithful, His Grace Bishop George spoke of the personal significance of this feast day for him, as it was on the feast of St. Demetrios that he became an Orthodox Christian many years ago.
As it said in the Church, there is no coincidence, only providence. Let us thank God that we experienced this great festal joy to honor the martyrdom of the servant of Christ, St. Demetrios.
A local news outlet reported about the feast:
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