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Raisa Kolesnikova – Memory internal

On March 29, 2018 at 14.45 in our hospital in Vancouver (VGH) our dear parishioner Raisa Kolesnikova died.

I often ask myself, how did we end up with my family in Vancouver? To justify mymself said that after retirement in a crumbling country it is difficult to raise children, after many years of service, nothing real could be done for your country, we must try to do something for the family … But this was not the complete truth. In the nineties we began to go to the church much more, remembered the roots of our ancestors, visited holy places…

On the first Sunday of December 2000 – a week after arriving in Vancouver – our family was at the Holy Resurrection Sobor. On a tea party after the Liturgy, Raisa Ilyinichna Kolesnikova and her husband Nikolai Mikhailovich came to us. Our mood was joyful because we got to Canada and found our Orthodox church as a foothold in an unfamiliar country.
From Raisa and Nicholay there was an additional flow of optimism, tranquility and love. Since then, our relationship has strengthened and continued to this day. You can tell a lot about the Kolesnikov family, their hobbies, friends and students in the field of art, about Raisa Ilinichna’s hospitality … But how did they end up in Vancouver? What is the meaning of their life, what remains after them?

In January 2011, I managed to shoot an interview with Raisa Ilinichnaya in which she speaks about people who influenced her life purpose, which allowed her to approach the Lord. It seems to me that Raisa’s words about the main events in her life will say more than words of anyone.
Exactly 40 years ago Father Alexander Men baptized Raisa and she certainly became his spiritual daughter, provided him with all possible assistance, was in correspondence with him after leaving for Canada, headed the group of Mercy, who helped the sick and orphans in Russia and Ukraine. In her interview, Raisa Kolesnikova also talks about how Archbishop Seraphim was able to replace father Alexander in Canada, and Father Michael Fourik directly nurtured her family and helped in the work of the Mercy group.

Raisa’s brother Vladimir Ilyushenko in the book “Father Alexander Men, Life, Death, Immortality” quotes part of the correspondence between Fr. Alexander and Raisa – see the excerpts here.

There are a lot of publications about Raisa’s Orthodox works – some are given here.

Once during a meeting with Vladyka Seraphim at Kolesnikovs’ home, Vladyka said to those present that the Lord had called us to baptize Canada in Orthodoxy.
For me personally – this is the answer to the question, why are we here.

I want to believe that Raisa’s life was devoted to the example of strengthening Orthodoxy in Canada, helping others with her smile, warmth, kindness and boundless love!

Memory Iternal to Raisa!

The funeral of Raisa Kolesnikova will take place in our church on the Great Thursday, April 5 at 11.30.
At the funeral, daughter Elena arrives.

Alex Ovodov

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