Monday, July 27, 2015

Video report from pilgrimage to Romania

Our American brothers from the Church of the True Orthodox Christians of Greece recently made a pilgrimage to Romania. The group visited the important sanctuaries of the Old Calendar Orthodox Church of Romania, along with other holy places. Inspired by their interaction with the local True Orthodox Christians, they offer this video report:

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Concelebration at St Sava Monastery in Canberra


On Sunday, 12/25 January, clergy from ROCA and the Free Serbian Orthodox Church / Church of the True Orthodox Christians of Greece concelebrated at the St Sava New Kalenich Monastery in Canberra. Igumen Christophor presided, with Igumen John (Smelic)(ROCA), priests Zvonimir Jovic and Bojan Vlajic, as well as Protodeacon Vasily Yakimov (ROCA) concelebrating. A mixed children’s and pilgrims’ choir chanted.

The 34th St Sava Festival was opened after Liturgy on Saturday 11/24th January with an epistle from His Eminence, Bishop Ambrose of Methoni to his Serbian flock in Australia. Festivities continued for more than two days. The feast day of the Monastery, in honour of St Sava of Serbia is on Tuesday 14/27 January and will be celebrated with a festive Liturgy, the rite of the Slava, and a procession around the Church, followed by a festive meal. All are welcome to attend.

Protodeacon Vasily Yakimov reading the Gospel

Young participant at the Children’s Camp reading the Epistle

More Pictures from Children’s Camp

The children’s choir singing at Liturgy on the day of St Gregory of Nyssa, Friday 10/23 January.
The Great Entrance.

National anthems every morning


Services and singing practice in Church.

Trivia quiz night


Sessions in the camp hall

Posters made by children to collect funds for the benefit of disabled children in Kosovo.


Presentation of certificates, awards and gifts.

The closing session of camp 2015


Monday, November 24, 2014

Pilgrimage to the Holy Land 16th-24th July 2015

Our Greek sister Church, the Church of the True Orthodox Christians of Greece, is arranging a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in July 2015.
The pilgrimage will be led by Bishop Ambrose, and all the guiding, explanations, etc will be given in English.

The pilgrims should arrive in Tel Aviv, where the pilgrimage will begin, whether directly from Australia or from Europe, by 12noon of 16th July. Departure will be on the 24th July.

hozeva.jpgThe exact order of the visits will be arranged later, but the pilgrimage will include the following Holy Places:
Jerusalem: Church of the Anastasis, Holy Sepulchre, Golgotha, Sion, Tomb of the Mother of God, Gethsemane, Mount of Olives, place of the Ascension, Jerusalem monasteries.
Bethlehem: Cave of the Nativity, St. Theodosios’ Monastery, St. Savva’s Monastery, Bethany, Convent and Tomb of Lazarus, (and if possible Hebron and Abraham’s Oak).
Jericho: Mount of Temptation, Hozeva Monastery, St. Gerasimos’ Monastery, Sycamore of Zachaios, Jordan river.
Galilee: Nazareth, Cana, Mount Tabor, Capernaum, Sea of Galilee, Tiberias.
Nablus (Samaria): Well of Jacob
Lydda: Tomb of St. George
Sinai: St. Catherine’s Monastery, and ascent of Mount Sinai.

Included in the price: Comfortable hotel accommodation in two-bedded rooms (supplement for single), breakfast and evening meal each day, transport by coach to all the places mentioned above, taxi up Mount Tabor, taxi to St. Savva’s Monastery, cruise on Sea of Galilee, lunch in Tiberias, tips.

All visitors should have an Australian, New Zealand or European passport valid for at least six months after the date of the pilgrimage. The number of pilgrims will be limited to 50.
PRICE: 780 EUROS or 1140 AUD at present rates.

For participation, please contact our agents: Andreas and Maria Kakliakmanis, tel.+30-6988-621148.
I hope that John Banjanin, tel. 0061-0418441144, will help with the arrangements.

Please book as soon as possible.
A deposit of $300 will assure your place.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Archbishop Andronik’s visit to the Annunciation Hermitage

On Saturday 7/20 September, at the fore-feast of the Nativity of the Mother of God, Archbishop Andronik served at the Annunciation Hermitage.
Vladyka arrived Friday afternoon for a tour of the monastery property, taking part in the evening service and trapeza.


s494.jpgIn his sermon (audio recording), Vladyka Andronik reminded the people to stay faithful to the Holy Orthodox Church in these difficult times.

Vladyka also spoke regarding distancing ourselves from the world, seeking spiritual nourishment in monasteries (audio recording), for the salvation of our souls.

After Liturgy, Vladyka Andronik blessed the new portal Cross and kupol at the hermitage entrance.
The work was carried out by master craftsman and benefactor Dmitri Kichakov.


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

vl-sophrony-in-holy-land.jpgArchbishop Sophrony of St Petersburg invites people to join his pilgrimage to the Holy Land from December 1st-15th. Guided tours will be in Russian, and for those comfortable with the language, this is a wonderful opportunity to meet another of the Bishops of our Church. The group will also visit the parish of the Annunciation in the Nazareth, which is a part of ROCA.
Vladika Sophrony wrote after his previous pilgrimage:

Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Jerusalem … I once thought that Jerusalem would remain an impossible dream for me.
My acquaintance with the great shrines began at Nazareth, with the church of the Annunciation and the place where the brothers Zebedee once lived (Apostles John and James). Next, I went to Jerusalem, meeting Patriarch Irineos, who is under house arrest. We visited the mountain monastery of St George the Chozebite.hozeva.jpgNext - the Jordan the monastery of St. Gerasimos of Jordan, where the holy family stopped in their flight from Herod. From the Mount of Temptation one can see the entire world which “lies in evil” - which the devil once offered to the God-man. At early liturgy in the church of the Nativity I saw where the Creator of the universe found refuge in a very narrow cave. The Judean Desert…Climb high into the mountains. Here the venerable Savvas founded the monastery with a strict rule prohibiting entrance for women. The monastery of St Theodosius. Here are the relics of St Euphrosyne of Polotsk. In the caves of this monastery the prophet Isaiah and King David hid. The Magi stayed here on their way back to their country after worshipping the Divine Infant Jesus.
img_6079.jpgThe Lord allowed me to visit many other holy places connected with the earthly life and preaching of our Saviour Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgin. We visited Hebron and the Oak of Mambre, which, unfortunately, does not uplift us with its greens. The field of the Shepherds, the Monastery of St. George, the Mount of Olives, the Church of St Mary Magdalene, where lie the relics of the venerable martyrs Grand Duchess Elizabeth and Nun Barbara. We followed the earthly footsteps of St John the Baptist, visited the temple of Protomartyr Stephen, the church of St Simeon, Capernaum, the site of the execution of the Sebaste martyrs, the cave in which St Nicholas laboured; We were at the well of patriarch Jacob; venerated the tomb of the Virgin Mary, the righteous Ancestors of God Joachim and Anna, and St Joseph the Betrothed, and also followed the path of our Lord and Saviour’s passion on His way to Golgotha. Freely paraphrased from Vladika Sophrony’s blog.

Those interested should contact Vladika Sophrony directly for more information and registration: email: or telephone +7 921 115 49 93. The cost of the pilgrimage is approximately USD1000, excluding airfares to Tel Aviv. See also the St Petersburg Diocese.
For those not fluent in Russian, it will possible to join future pilgrimage groups from our own Australian Diocese and from America. These will be announced in due course.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Kupola and Cross erected at the Annunciation Hermitage!

01.jpg05.jpgGlory to God, on the day of St Anthony the Roman, Saturday 3/16th August workers put up a golden kupola and Cross over the church at the Annunciation Monastery.
Left - The kupola master builder - Dmitri Kichakov. Right - Blessing prayers

37.jpg 40.jpg
The workers managed to lift the kupola without the use of machinery.
We were blessed with good weather and no wind.

Left - View from St Hariton’s skete. Right - View from St Herman’s skete.


Finally, the spring sun came out to make the kupola and Cross shine!
Note the local inhabitants wondering at this new sight
(circled in red, this and next 2 pictures).
Kangaroos are a common sight in this area - as are eagles, echidnas, and lizards…
The monastery now has a traditional Orthodox look. 93.jpg
Glory to God!
May He save all our workers and kind helpers!



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