Two Senior Clergyman of the Diocese of Australia and New Zealand Repose in the Lord After Long Illness

On Thursday, May 12, 2016, the second week of Holy Pascha, Mitred Protopriest Michael Li and Mitred Protopriest Michael Klebansky reposed in the Lord.


Fr Michael was the Chief of the Russian-Chinese Orthodox Mission of the Diocese of Australia and New Zealand of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, and the last surviving priest of the Orthodox Church of China, who was ordained during the period of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Beijing by its head, hhh Victor of Beijing and China in 1950. A Russian-language account of his life and work, the history of Orthodoxy in China and sufferings during the "Cultural Revolution" can be read here.


(Future) Fr Michael Klebansky at
the royal doors, in the last row.
In the center of the
first row is Priest
Photius Huo, China, 1961.

Mikhail Fedorovich Klebansky was born in June 15, 1936, in China, at the Barim Hailar-Harbin Branch of the Trans-Siberian Railroad. After graduating from school in Zhalantun, he worked as a mechanic and welder from 1950-1962. On April 1, 1962, he moved to Australia and worked as a toolmaker at BMC. On July 14, 1963, he was ordained to the diaconate, and on January 24, 1965, to the priesthood.

Fr Michael studied theology in Sydney at the program founded by Protopriest Rostislav Gan.

For many years, Fr Michael served in New South Wales at Protection of the Holy Virgin Church in Cabramatta, and also ministered to the faithful of Holy Dormition Community in Wollongong since 1967. He later served at SS Peter and Paul Cathedral in Strathfield, St Vladimir Church in Centennial Park, Archangel Michael Church in Blacktown and the Archbishop's Church in Croydon, NSW. He also performed divine services at the Russian Convent in Kentlyn.

In 1981, he moved to Queensland, where he served as Rector of St Nicholas Cathedral for over 15 years.

From 1982, Fr Michael Klebansky was a member of the Diocesan Council, and since 1991, Dean of Queensland's Russian Orthodox Churches. In 1999, he briefly served as spiritual guide at the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem.

In 2000, he returned to Australia and served at Meeting of the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God in Rocklea (near Brisbane).