From the Editors: Below is a letter from His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, addressed to GS Poltavchenko, Plenipotentiary Representative of the President in the Central Federal Region. Similar letters were also sent to Protopriest Michael Boikov, President of the Russian Orthodox Parish Association of Archangel Michael Church in Cannes; AK Orlov, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Russia to France; VI Yakunin, President of the Russian Railways; IB Divinsky, President of the Russian Mt Athos Society; VA Shevchuk, President of the Benevolent Council of Archangel Michael Church in Cannes; Mark Selawry, Executive Director of the Fund for Assistance to the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia; the Sisterhood of St Seraphim Church in Sea Cliff and Mr Nicolas Mokhoff.
To the Representative of the President in the Central Russian Region,
Georgi Sergeevich POLTAVCHENKO
Esteemed Georgi Sergeevich:
On behalf of the organizers, participants, visitors and from me personally, please accept our heartfelt gratitude for your labors and great assistance in the preparation and operation of the 12th All-Diaspora Russian Orthodox Youth Conference held in Paris.
The conference included 150 participants: hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church from Russia, Europe and America, representatives of the clergy, youth from the dioceses of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Moldova, the countries of Europe, Australia, the USA and Canada.
For the first time in the history of the Russian diaspora, we were able to do that which we desired to for many years—to gather within the framework of a single event Orthodox youth from the fullness of the Russian Church those who in the coming decades will manifest the work of the genuine unity of the Mother Church, and to incorporate missionary projects for the education within the Orthodox faith of new generations. This is what our spiritual fathers worked so earnestly and so wisely for—His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II and Metropolitan Laurus—and towards which the clergymen of the Russian Church in the Fatherland and abroad who work with youth devote their spiritual labors and time.
According to preliminary reports, the success and benefits of the 12th All-Diaspora Youth Conference are undeniable. The work of this forum and the events that were part of this endeavor were inspiring, leaving an indelible impression and providing a spiritual boost to the hearts of the young generation, coaxing them to active work in bringing to life the garnered knowledge and projects in their own parishes, in the dioceses and within Orthodox youth organizations.
Obviously, that such a great event could not have been possible without the effective cooperation and material support of those who care for the upbringing of the young generation in the traditions of the Orthodox Faith, and its active and multifaceted participation in contemporary life.
One would like to believe and hope that Paris’ youth conference is only a beginning of a beneficial tradition of large-scale measures with the participation of Orthodox youth of the united Russian Church, aimed towards the personal transformation of our successors in the harvest-fields of missionary work and Divine virtues.
Once again I express to you, dear Georgy Sergeevich, my genuine gratitude and invoke upon you and your efforts Divine blessing.
With respect, and love in the Lord,
Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York
First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia