Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Feast of Saint Nicholas in Brisbane


On Sunday, 10/23.12, the monastery of St Nicholas (Free Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Australia and New Zealand) celebrated their patronal feast. Bishop Ambrose presided at the festal services in concelebration with Bishop John, Archimandrites Hristifor and Simeon, Protopriest Zvonimir, and Priests Alexander and Atanasije.


Bishop John presided at the Divine Liturgy on Saturday 9/22.12. Thereafter followed a moleben asking God’s blessing for the Free Serbian Diocesan Council meeting, which subsequently elected Archimandrite Hristifor (Nedjic) as candidate to be Bishop for the Free Serbian Diocese of Australia and New Zealand.


Meeting Bishop Ambrose on Sunday 10/23.12.



Procession around the Church



The Slava.


The St Nicholas Church has been frescoed beautifully over the course of the past year.



After the service, the parish sisterhood offered a sumptuous meal in the hall.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Concelebration in Melbourne


On Sunday, 26.11/9.12, Bishop Ambrose served in the parish of the Dormition of the Theotokos in Beaumaris (Melbourne), in concelebration with Bishop John of Melbourne (ROCA), Protopriest Stylianos, Hieromonks Theophilos and John, and Deacon Anastasios. During the service, he ordained Fr Anastasios to the priesthood.


See also

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Bishop Ambrose in Sydney


On Sunday, November 12/25, 2018, the feast day of St John the Merciful, Bishop Ambrose visited the Greek Old Calendar parish of Sts Cosmas and Damian in Sydney. He concelebrated with father Nebojsa Mirkovic (ROCA).




Monday, November 19, 2018

Baptism in Sydney


On Friday, 26.10/9.11. 2018, the servant of God Natalia was received into the Holy Orthodox Church by the Mysteries of Baptism and Chrismation.


The services of the making of a Catechumen, the Baptism, and the Chrismation were performed in English by priest Nebojsa Mirkovic, with the sponsors and a few guests present. In accordance with the canons of the Church, the baptism occurred by full immersion three times.


The next day, she communed of the Holy Mysteries for the first time at the Divine Liturgy at the same church.


Natalia was raised in the roman-catholic heresy, but having come to know Christ at a mature age, is now an Orthodox Christian. She is a member of the parish of St John of Kronstadt in Sydney. May God grant health and salvation, and many years, to our sister in Christ, the newly-illumed Natalia, and may she keep her baptism pure from any stain, error or sin!


Thursday, November 1, 2018

Visit of Bishop John to Lyons

On Sunday 15/28.10, the parish of St Nicholas the Wonderworker in Lyons (France), welcomed Bishop John. At the Divine Liturgy, he concelebrated with Protopriest George (GOC), Protopriest Hristo, Protodeacon German Ivanoff-Trinadzaty and Deacon Eugene Doroshin.


Many children attended the service, which was marked by a distinctive sense that the parish is one spiritual family in Christ. There were many communicants. The excellent choir was adeptly led by Geman Ivanoff-Trinadzaty junior. After the service the parish sisterhood offered an extensive lunch in the parish hall.


Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Where is the Church? The example of St John the Chozebite.

john1.jpg St John the Chozebite, commemorated on 3/16 October, received the holy Schema of the monks from his grandfather, who was also a monk. After bidding him farewell, John departed for Jerusalem.

“At that time, he did not accept the holy Fourth Oecumenical Synod at Chalcedon, but separated himself from the Orthodox Church; for this he was prevented from approaching the holy Cross when he attempted to venerate it. Then he heard a voice while he slept, saying, ‘They that are not in communion with the Orthodox Church are not worthy of worshipping the Cross of Jesus, our Lord.’ He awoke after this and hastened to a church where he sought absolution.”

We are very familiar with St Mary of Egypt, and how her sinful life prevented her from entering the Holy Sepulchre specifically in order to venerate the Holy Cross. But why was St John the Chozebite prevented? He was a pious monk from his youth, from a good Orthodox family…!

The life of the saint does not state specifically whether his grandfather and guide to the spiritual life also rejected the Synod of Chalcedon. But one might deduce that this was the case, since St John made no changes to his life while living at his first monastery. Neither did he find it possible to return to live there, having been enlightened by God as to the correctness of the Fourth Oecumenical Council.

St John’s grandfather had led him to the spiritual life. He owed his relative every respect as an elder. Yet he did not allow their spiritual bond, nor the bond of blood to delay keep him separated from the Church of Christ.

St John lived during the theological controversy regarding the Divine and human natures of Christ. It was a time of extreme troubles among Christians, precisely because of differences in doctrine. In the history of the Church, new and un-orthodox teachings emerged from a complicated background, where personal passions, antipathies, ‘politics’ and historical circumstances figured prominently. It must have been confusing indeed for the faithful to find the truth. Yet St John did not choose to ignore the problems, nor did he conclude that ‘this is for the Bishops to decide’, nor did he simply ’stay with the family’ to avoid making a decision.

Today’s theological controversy deals with the nature of the Church. Some promote the strange idea that there is no necessity for Orthodox Christians to be in communion, asserting they are all ‘in the church’ if they call themselves Orthodox and have not denied any of the important tenets of the Orthodox Christian faith - even if find that in actual fact, they are separate from all other Orthodox Christian churches. This is a teaching markedly different from the traditional view of the Church. It is true that our modern time is confusing and difficult for the faithful to navigate - but the difficulties pale against the realities of life during the Christological or iconoclastic controversies.

In our extremely complicated times each one of us must stop and honestly reflect whether we are in the Orthodox Church of Christ.

May God enlighten those who truly seek Him to deny themselves, and bravely seek His One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church!

Monday, August 27, 2018

Children’s camp in England

During August 2018, an informal children’s camp was held in England, where Bishop John contributed with teaching Law of God classes. The children experienced communal camp life, daily church services, living in tents and taking their turn in a roster of duties.


Everyone sang and read at the services together.


We had our meals together, during which we listened to reading from an edifying children’s book.


Daily blessing of porridge at breakfast!


The children had lessons every day. This years’ theme was the Divine Liturgy.


Vespers in candlelight.



The children prayed every morning and evening in the improvised barn-chapel, which they themselves helped decorate.


View of the altar in the barn-chapel.


Finding the spot in the service book…


The altar server with the censer ready.


We celebrated the Divine Liturgy on Sunday and at the end of the camp.


The children baked their own prosphoras, which were offered at the Liturgy.

camp18-13.jpg 227560.p.jpg?mtime=1454091711

In addition to other excursions, we made a pilgrimage to the monastery of St Fursey, a 7th century Irish missionary monk who established a monastery on the site of an earlier Roman fortress.

Troparion of St. Fursey of Burgh Castle, Tone 5
Establishing thy monastery in a Roman fortress / thou didst teach men that the Orthodox Faith is a true bastion / against the onslaughts of every evil force, O Father Fursey. / Wherefore pray to God for us / that we may all be bastions of the Faith / standing firm against the rising tide of falsehood, / that our souls may be saved


The walls of the huge Roman fortress where St Fursey built his monastery.


Group photo of the pilgrims.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Transfiguration at the Convent of the Annunciation in London



On the great feast of the Transfiguration of our Lord, Bishop John visited the historical Convent of the Annunciation in London, UK. The Convent was established in the 1950s by St. John of Shanghai and San Fransisco and nuns from the Holy Land, guided by the ever-memorable Abbess Elizabeth (Ampenoff).



The Midnight Office, Hours and Liturgy were read and chanted in Slavonic, Arabic and English, and attended by faithful of diverse national backgrounds. Bishop John blessed the grapes and fruits brought by the people. After the service, the sisters invited the parishioners for tea.


Newly-ordained priest Nicolae Capitanu (Old Calendar Orthodox Church of Romania) services the large population of Old Calendar Romanian faithful in London.


Friday, August 17, 2018

Bishop John visits St Edward Orthodox Monastery


On Sunday 30.7./12.8. Bishop John visited the St Edward Orthodox Monastery near London, England. By God’s providence, the relics of the 10th century Orthodox Martyr, saint Edward the King of England, are venerated in this monastery since 1988. The monastery is located in peaceful surroundings within the Brookwood cemetery.



At the Divine Liturgy Archimandrite Alexis, Priest Borislav and Hierodeacon Sabbas (GOC) concelebrated. Parishioners of many nationalities attended the service, which was chanted in English, Greek, Romanian and Slavonic.

The brotherhood kindly offered a meal and opportunity to speak with the people after the service.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

St John of Shanghai and San Fransisco service in Sydney

Pictures from the service in honour of St John of Shanghai and San Fransisco in Sydney.
Sts Cosmas and Damian Church (GOC), priest Nebojsa Mirkovic (ROCA)






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