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On Sunday 18 August and Monday 19 August 2013 we celebrated the Great Feast of the Transfiguration of our Lord, God and Saviour Jesus Christ.  All-night vigil with the blessing of five loaves and wheat, wine and oil was served at 6.00pm on Sunday evening.  On Monday morning, the parish rector served Divine Liturgy.  As is customary, grapes and other fruit were blessed at the end of Divine Liturgy.  This year, a quantity of organic honey from the Wollombi Valley – a gift from friends of our parish - was also blessed, the jars of which were then distributed to the faithful.

The feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord is an important one for us, it being the day on which the ever-memorable founder of our parish, Archpriest John Lupish, arrived in Australia in 1949 with his family and many who were to become his parishioners.  In 2014 we will celebrate 65 years since his arrival and the beginnings of Russian Orthodox life in Newcastle and the Hunter Valley.

Shortly before all-night vigil on Sunday 18 August a group of relatives and friends gathered in Sandgate Cemetery for a memorial service marking the passing of almost twelve months since the repose of the ever-memorable Anton Szabunia, who departed this life on 20 August 2012.  Mr Szabunia also arrived in Australia on 19 August 1949, travelling here aboard MV Fairsea with the Lupish family and many others.  May God grant him rest!

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