Adrian Augustus

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The Reverend Father Adrian Augustus (born Vishal Augustus; 1977, Lucknow) is a priest in the ROCOR Diocese of Australia and New Zealand, where he serves a parish in Sydney and is the Dean of Pakistan, within the Diocese of Australia and New Zealand of ROCOR.

Biographical Sketch

Life in India

  • 1977: Vishal was born in Lucknow, northern India, where he was raised in Roman Catholicism and attended a Catholic school.
  • Vishal converted to Anglicanism, later becoming an Anglican deacon serving in India.
  • Vishal inquiring into Orthodoxy, exchanged correspondence with Abp Hilarion of Sydney, who provided detailed responses.
  • Abp Hilarion suggested that Vishal go to Holy Trinity Seminary, Jordanville. Family illness prevented this.

13 september 2007 in Croydon he was baptised into orthodoxy with name Adrian.

Life in Australia

  • Vishal moved to Australia, where he was received into the Orthodox Church with the name 'Adrian'.
  • 2009 May: Adrian was ordained to the diaconate.
  • 2011 March 13: Dcn Adrian ordained to the priesthood.
  • After ordination, Fr Adrian continued secular work in the finance industry.
  • Fr Adrian was appointed rector of St Michael the Archangel Russian Orthodox Church, Blacktown.

Missionary to Pakistan

  • Abp Hilarion received correspondence from people who had left the Catholic seminary in Pakistan and were inquiring into Orthodoxy. He forwarded this to Fr Adrian, who asked permission to go to Pakistan to meet with them.
  • First mission trip
  • Fr Adrian was met, not only by the two he expected, but by 50 people.
  • After he settled into his hotel room, he was not allowed to leave the hotel (as he is ethnically Indian) until a local member of parliament permitted him to leave for 12 hours.
  • During this time, the press reported that a priest had arrived, and more people came to see him.
  • Fr Adrian preached for two hours, about the history and praxis of Orthodoxy. He then answered many questions about Orthodoxy. After his sermon, 110 Catholics joined the Orthodox faith, followed by 74 people the next day.
  • When asking why his sermon had interested them, people responded that they were touched that Fr Adrian, an Indian, had come to preach Orthodoxy and looked on them as equals.
  • When asking why they had invited him rather than other Orthodox priests in Pakistan, people responded that they hoped to be cared for by the largest and multicultural Church, the Church of Russia.
  • Fr Adrian then took on the responsibility of preserving this community, and Metr. Hilarion blessed the Archangel Michael Mission.
  • His second trip to Pakistan was focused on pastoral care, meeting with people and understanding their needs.
  • He celebrated the Divine Liturgy there for the first time.
  • On the same trip, a former Catholic priest and his wife converted to Orthodoxy, through being touched by the ancient prayers of the Liturgy while translating them.
  • Fr Adrian also baptised over 50 other people.
  • He was also able to secure a missionary visa.
  • There are now three Christans who wish to become priests, and there are plans in place for their training in other parts of Asia. There are also six young women who wish to become nuns, and there are plans for their training in Russia.
  • To October 2012, Christians gather in homes for reader's services (Hours, Typica, Gospel) and fellowship.
  • 2013 Jan: With Fr George Maximov, Fr Adrian accompanied Metr Hilarion on journey to Sri Lanka and India. Ordinations included 3 priests for Pakistan, one reader for India, in addition to the tonsure of one monk from the Philippines.
  • 2013 April 4: Appointment as the Dean of Pakistan confirmed by Metr. Hilarion.
  • Fr Adrian holds pastoral courses for newly-ordained clergymen during visits there and via the internet, and the local clerics teach catechism for adults and Sunday schools for children. He has recently acquired a parcel of land for a church, established a missionary fund for aid to new Christians, and is collecting money for the construction of a church in Sargodha. Orthodox Christians there, mostly Pakistani, also include Iranians and Afghanis. He also assists a small Orthodox Christian group in India.