"Russian-Chinese Orthodox Mission (ROCOR) in Australia" was founded
in 1999, according to the decree of the governing Archbishop of Sydney, Australia and New Zealand, His Eminence Hilarion (Decree №6-6 of June 15/28, 1999).
The mission aims to spiritually educate Chinese-speaking Orthodox population of the diocese.
To head the mission was appointed Archpriest Michael Li.
They created a supporting Society to help Fr Michael Li. The following people were in the Society: chairperson - Sophia Mikhailovna Boikova, secretary/bookkeeper - Eugenia Mironovna Papusheva; members: Lydia V. Gromov, Tamara Ivanovna Gayntsova, Catherine Smolyanskaia and Sergei Nikolaevich Zaleyko.
The idea of creating a Russian-Chinese Mission came to His Eminence
Vladyka Hilarion shortly after his arrival in Australia. His Eminence Archbishop
Anthony of San Francisco and Pavel Suslov advised that in Shanghai there is an
Orthodox priest Fr. Michael Li.
Abp HILARION &
Fr Michael Li in Shanghai
In 1997, Archbishop Hilarion was in Shanghai and met Fr Michael Li and
invited him to relocate to Australia to provide pastoral oversight of the Chinese-speaking Orthodox residents of Sydney. In May of 1999 Fr M. Li, arrived in Sydney with his wife Matushka Anna. They were met by quite a large group of Chinese speaking residents of Sydney. The Diocesan Secretary Protopresbyter Fr Michael Boikov also came to meet the newly arrived Father.
At Archbishop's chapel they conducted a thanksgiving service when
Fr Michael arrived and they prepared for him an apartment.
Vladyka Hilarion organized a meeting, where the Supporting Society to the Russian-Chinese Mission was elected.
Upon his return from Shanghai, Vladyka Hilarion asked S. M. Boikov to
help with the immigration of Fr Michael Li. Thus was born the Russian-Chinese Orthodox Missionary Society. This Society took upon themselves
to help the diocese to provide funds for Fr Michael Li. The Society worked diligently to collect funds to pay for the apartment, rent which cost 500
dollars per month. It also paid for medical insurance, which cost 3,115 dollars per year. The Society was seeking funds by selling pirogues, pies, dumplings and using other activities.
It should be noted that great deal of work was performed by Catherine Smolyanskii, Evgenia Popova, Galina Diachenko, Mary Portnyaginoy, T Razgildeevoy Amara, Irene Razdobreevoy, Cleopatra Epovoy and mother of Anna Li.
The Society existed for 3 years. Yearly due was $60. The Society has
supported 53 families. The Society expects that Fr Michael Li will soon have the right for permanent residency in Australia and then there would be no need to pay for medical insurance.
The Society thanked the sisterhood in Croydon, for their permission to
sell our products (cakes, dumplings and so on) inside the enclosure of the church to arrange meals in favor of our mission.
The Society thanked the Diocesan Ladies' Aid Committee, which has provided 1,000 dollars annually for Fr Michael Li's health insurance.
June 25, 1999 was the 50th anniversary of the ministry of Fr Michael Li.
On September 21, 1999, Fr Michael Li was awarded a pectoral cross.
On Jun 12, 2000, Fr Michael was elevated to the rank of archpriest.
On Dec 9, 2000, Fr Michael Li has undergone a back operation.