Mr. M. Troyanovsky, Russia’s general consul in Sao Paulo, visited Russian-speaking communities in southern Brazil from July 26 to 31, 2012, at the invitation of the Russian diaspora there and that of the rector of St. Peter’s in Santa Rosa, Rev. Dionisy Kazantsev. Mr. Troyanovsky timed his visit to the celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of the first Russian Orthodox church in Brazil.
On July 26, Mr. Troyanovsky visited the Parish of St. Sergius of Radonezh in Porto Allegre, the capital of the province Rio Grande do Sul.
On July 27, he met with parishioners of the churches of Ss Peter and Paul and John the Baptist. In the evening of that day, the festivities were opened in a grand ceremony. After the official part, Father Dionisy Kazantsev addressed the gathering. He spoke about the history and the present state of Orthodoxy in Latin America. He also thanked local authorities and people for the support they give to various initiatives of the Orthodox parish.
On July 28, the commemorative day of St. Vladimir Equal-to-the-Apostles, the Baptizer of Russia, a thanksgiving was celebrated at St. Vladimir Square in the city of Campina das Missioes, the cradle of the Russian emigration in Brazil. After the service, a memorial plate was unveiled on the five meter-tall arch under construction in the square, devoted to the centenary of Russian Orthodoxy in Brazil.
On Sunday, July 30, the Divine Liturgy was celebrated at the church of St. John the Theologian. After the service, Father Dionisy Kazantsev, in the presence of numerous worshippers, thanked Mr. Troyanovsky for his coming to the region and his special attention to the descendants of Russian emigres.
Festivities on the occasion of the centenary of the first Russian Orthodox church in Brazil will continue up to October 2012.
The first Orthodox church was built in the city of Campina das Missioes in 1912 by Russian emigres. The church was dedicated to St. John the Theologian. During World War II, it was burnt down. Because of differences between Russian and German emigres, it was decided to construct a new building for the church 10 km away from the city center. The church in which celebrations are held today was built in 1955.
The year 2012 marks the centenary of St. John’s. In this connection, parish activists decided to hold through the year various expositions and theme dinners and to introduce local people to the age-old history of the Russian church through local and regional mass media.
It is planned to have finished the restoration work in the church by October 9 and to conduct a solemn service dedicated to the centenary of the parish on October 14.