Archpriest Rufus Tobolov reposes in the Lord

The funeral of Archpriest Rufus Tobolov was held on 4 July, 2023.

The service was performed by His Grace Bishop George of Sydney, Ruling Bishop of the Diocese of Australia and New Zealand, co-served by eight priests, three deacons and many acolytes.

A farewell sermon in his memory was delivered by the rector of the parish, Archpriest Alexander Borodin.

Rufus Grigoryevich Tobolov was born in China in 1940. He came to Australia in 1962 at the age of 22. In 1965 he enrolled in Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville, NY, from which he graduated in 1970. In 1971 he married Illaria Titova, with whom he fathered five children. In 1973 he was ordained a deacon by Bishop Constantine of Brisbane, and in 1978 Metropolitan Philaret ordained him a priest. He began serving at St Seraphim Church in Brisbane, then at St Nicholas Cathedral, and in 1984 was appointed rector of St Vladimir's Church in Rockley.

On July 20, 1986, at the general annual meeting of parishioners, a decision was made to build a new building for the church of the Mother of God. Father Rufus began to implement the construction project and laid the first stone himself. He put a great deal of work into the construction of a new church building. The church was consecrated on December 25, 1993 by the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, Metropolitan Vitaly.

In 1995 he moved with his family to Russia, to the Primorsky Territory, where he served for 15 years, built a church in honor of the Iberian Icon of the Mother of God in the village of Khmylovka near Nakhodka, and became its rector. He also served in the villages of Livadia and Wrangel of the Southern Deanery of Vladivostok Diocese.
In 2010 he returned to Australia for reasons of health.

After the funeral service and during the memorial meal, many parishioners recalled the kind, open heart of Fr Rufus.
Fr Rufus was a very interesting interlocutor, a thoughtful storyteller, kind, caring and a sincere person. In 2010, while working on the book "Ural Cossacks in Queensland", an interview was recorded on video in which he discussed the Cossacks, life in China and Australia.

Eternal memory to Fr Rufus!


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