Michael Li

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Mitred Archpriest Michael Li is a clergyman of the Diocese of Australia and New Zealand of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. At the time of his repose he was the senior priest of the diocese and, having been awarded the second pectoral cross, its most decorated clergyman.

Biographical timeline

  • 1925: Born at the Beijing Spiritual Mission (Beiguan) to an Orthodox family, the oldest of six children. He was raised in the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission. Abp Victor became his first spiritual father.
  • 1932: Enrolled in the Russian-Chinese Orthodox School, Beijing. He began to sing in the choir from 10.
  • 1939: Graduated from the Mission's middle school.
  • 1948: Studied at the Mission's seminary. Tonsured a reader.
  • 1949: Michael married Anna (Liu Shirong). Ordained to the diaconate by Abp Victor.
  • 1950: Graduated from seminary and ordained to the priesthood by Abp Victor - one of three students from his graduating class (of 20) who were ordained. He was assigned to St Innocent Church, Beijing. During his priesthood in China, he served in Chinese.
  • 1951 Nov: Fr Michael was moved to Shanghai, and assigned to the Cathedral, serving under Bp Symeon of Shanghai. Between 1950 and 1960, his four children are born.
  • 1966: At the beginning of the cultural revolution, Fr Michael was imprisoned and forced to work in a stone quarry until he reached retirement age. He had to produce one ton of gravel each day, remain silent at work and in public, and was questioned each day about who he had spoken to. His family was evicted from the church residence, and all ecclesiastical possessions were confiscated and burnt. With his family, he was taunted as a devil for his beliefs. Fr Michael attributed the survival of his faith to the reading of prayers - which he had to do secretly.
  • 1986: Fr Michael was released from the labour camp. He resumed serving, and moved to Harbin where he served as second priest at Holy Protection Church there.
  • 1989: Due to interference from state authorities, Fr Michael returned to Shanghai.
  • 1997: Through a parishioner at the Harbin parish, Fr Michael met Abp Hilarion in China.
  • 1999 May: Fr Michael arrived in Australia with his wife, Matushka Anna, and he was received into the Diocese by Abp Hilarion. He was appointed the head of the Russian-Chinese Orthodox Mission in Australia. He was briefly assigned to Holy Protection Church in Cabramatta, before being assigned in June to the Archbishop's Chapel in Croydon.
  • 1999 Sep 16: Awarded the right to wear a gold pectoral cross.
  • 2000 Jun 25: Elevated to archpriest.
  • 2002 Jul 23: Awarded the jewelled cross.
  • 2007: Fr Michael was awarded the mitre in recognition of his many years of faithful service to the Church.
  • 2008: Fr Michael was awarded the second pectoral cross.
  • 2016 May 12: Fr Michael reposed (during the second week of Pascha). Many began to acclaim him as a confessor of the faith.

Bibliography