Rector of the patriarchal monastery of the Church of Holy Apostles Peter and Paul in Dublin, Father Michael Nasonov was born in 1973 in Sevastopol. He studied theology in St. Petersburg and in Paris at the St. Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute. After receiving religious education the priest worked in the seminary in Kostroma and then taught at St. Tikhon’s Theological University in Moscow. Father Michael was ordained a priest in Kostroma. He has a wife and three children.
Father Michael came to Ireland in April 2011. He became a deputy of his namesake, Fr Michael Gogolev, who for 11 years was rector of the parish of the Russian Orthodox Church in Dublin. In May 2011 Bishop Elisha of the Diocese of Sourozh arrived in Dublin and blessed the new priest for the pastoral service of Ireland. “My appointment is entirely dependent on church authority. You see, we work a little like the military: they say where to go and you jump to it!”
Almost immediately after his appointment to Ireland as the Diocese of Sourozh confronted Fr Michael with a difficult task: to collect 50,000 euros to purchase the Russian Orthodox Church in Dublin from the Church of Ireland. The priest performed the task.
With the arrival of Father Michael Nasonov in Dublin Orthodox parish there have been significant changes. Liturgy began to be conducted not only on the weekends but also on weekdays, and on Fridays the faithful can attend a special service, Akathist. After the Akathist father Michael invites all parishioners into pastoral conversation. “Unfortunately, during worship or confession is not always possible to talk to people,” he said. “During conversation, you can communicate in a simpler setting. For example, people ask me about the differences between Orthodox and Catholics, about how the church relates to the theory of evolution… There are all kinds of questions!” Father Michael wants to make sure that the church works every day, and that everyone can return at any time to pray.
Together with other activists from the Russian community Father Michael initiated the activities of the Russian school at the church. Now there are not only general education courses for children from Russian-speaking families, but also a coursein doctrinal law, as well as classes in theology for adults. In September of 2011 a school-based at the church in Ireland opened the first Russian school of music. However, because of the devastating floods in October 2011, the school was forced to suspend its activities.