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St. John the Baptist Skete (Kentlyn, New South Wales)

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{{monastery|
name=Holy Skete of St . John the Baptist|jurisdiction=[[Diocese of Australia and New Zealand (ROCOR)|Russian Orthodox Church Outside RussiaROCOR ANZ]]|
type=Male Skete|
founded=unknown1960|superior=Hieromonk Hmk [[Joachim(Ross)|Joachim]]|
size=1 monk|
hq=Kentlyn, New South Wales, Australia|
music=[[Russian Chant]]|
calendar=[[Julian Calendar|Julian]]|
feasts=[[January 7August 29|Jan 7Aug 29/20Sep 11]]|
website=none advertised
}}
The '''Holy Skete of St . John the Baptist''' is a [[skete]] for [[monk|men]] under the [[Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia]], in the [[Diocese of Australia and New Zealand (ROCOR)|Diocese of Australia and New Zealand]]. The skete is located in Kentlyn, New South Wales, and <!--was established in 1956 under the [[omophorion]] of His Grace Archbishop [[nameSava (Rayevsky) of Sydney|nameSava of Sydney]] by Father name[[Hieromonk]] [[Dimitry (Obuhoff)]],and re--> is currently headed established in 1999 by Hieromonk [[HieromonkJoachim (Ross)|Joachim]] Joachim. Currently, the skete has 1 priestmonk in residence.
==History==
===Hmk Dimitry===
In 1956, Archbishop [[Sava (Rayevsky) of Sydney|Sava of Sydney]], Australia and New Zealand commissioned Hieromonk Dimitry (Obuhoff) to establish a [[monastery]] at Kentlyn (near Cambelltown, southwest of Sydney), on land donated by [[Protodeacon]] Peter Grishaev. To join him, the Archbishop recruited three candidates to test their [[monasticism|monastic]] vocation with Hmk Dimitry. The first [[Divine Liturgy]] was celebrated on [[September 16]], 1956.
By March 1959, however, Hmk Dimitry had been transferred to care for the Russian [[parish]] in Geelong, Victoria; two of the novices returned to the world, and Michael Sorokhin, the third novice, was left in charge of the diocesan workshop and candle factory in an adjoining rugged and densely timbered sandstone property. This property would later became Saint John the Baptist Skete.
'''Origins'''===Monk Guri===On [[October 5]], 1960, Monk [[Guri (Demidov)]] arrived in Australia as a refugee from Harbin, China. He took up residence at St John the Baptist Skete. Living in a small, one room tin hut surrounded by thick bush he became its first, and only, monastic inhabitant. Fr Guri was devoted to prayer and craved solitude, and found both in the 18 hectare grounds of the skete, often attending daily services at the nearby [[Monastery of Our Lady of Kazan (Kentlyn, Australia)|Convent of Our Lady of Kazan]].
In 1956 the then head imitation of the Sydneymonastic hermits in Egypt, Australia Judea, [[Mount Athos]] and New Zealand Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR), Archbishop SavaFr Guri cleared out a natural cleft in a nearby sandstone rock face, commissioned Hieromonk Dimitry (Obuhoff) to establish and so made a monastery at Kentlyn (near Campbelltownsmall, SW Sydney) on land donated by Protodeacon Peter Grishaevcramped cave where he would spend many hours reading prayers and using his prayer rope. The Archbishop recruited three candidates to test their vocation to the monastic life with Father Dimitry, Only God and on the 16th of September 1956 the first Divine Liturgy was celebrated.Sadly, by March 1959 Father Dimitry had been transferred to care for the Russian parish at Geelong, Victoria; two of the novices returned holy Angels were witnesses to secular life, his prayerful vigils and the third, Michael Sorokhin, was left in charge struggles. This cave has since become a place of the Diocesan workshop and candle factory in an adjoining rugged and densely timbered sandstone property that later became Saint John the Baptist Skete[[pilgrimage]].
'''Monk Fr Guri'''had an extensive library on the [[asceticism|ascetic]] life and [[hesychasm|hesychastic]] prayer, especially the [[Jesus Prayer]]. He would often copy excerpts from the writings of the Holy Fathers on the ascetic and spiritual life in small school exercise books. These books, the fruit of his reading and struggles, he would give away as a blessing to those whom he felt would benefit from the wisdom of the Holy Fathers.
On Over the 5th of October 1960 Monk succeeding years Father Guri (Demidov)laboured with Michael Sorokhin, recently arrived as a refugee together with volunteers from the Russian Orthodox community in HarbinSydney, China, came to Kentlyn and took up residence at erect a small brick building containing six monastic [[cell]]s surrounding a large central room that was intended to be part of a large monastic [[church]] dedicated to Saint John the Baptist Skete. Living in a small one room tin hut surrounded by thick bush he became its first, and sadly, only monastic inhabitant.Father Guri It was devoted not to prayer, and craved a life of solitudebe completed. He waited alone, which he found in the 18 hectare grounds of the Skete, often attending daily services at the nearby Convent of Our Lady of Kazanpraying that others would join him.
'''Old age eventually forced Father Guri’s Cave'''Guri to move from his beloved isolation at the Skete to a small hut in the Convent grounds, and finally to the Saint Sergius Nursing Home, Cabramatta. He died in deep old age at 98 years on the [[August 23]], 1992. This faithful monk is buried in Rookwood Cemetery, Sydney.{{orthodoxyinaustralia}}===Without a monastic===While the nearby Diocesan workshop and the [[candle]] factory continued to function, the unfinished Skete building was used for a time as a printing facility, finally being abandoned. Uninhabited for over a decade the building fell derelict, a nesting place for birds, a home for possums and vermin, damaged by vandals and in a serious state of disrepair.
===Hmk Joachim===In his search for silence, 1999 Hieromonk Joachim received a [[canonical release]] from the [[Serbian Orthodox Church in Australia and in imitation of New Zealand|Serbian Orthodox Church]] to the monastic hermits of ROCOR. He was invited by the Egyptian and Judean desertscurrent diocesan [[bishop]], the Holy Mount Athos and the vast forests Archbishop [[Hilarion (Kapral) of Sydney|Hilarion of Sydney]] (since elevated to First Hierarch of RussiaROCOR), Father Guri cleared out a natural cleft in a nearby sandstone rock face, making a small, cramped cave in which he would spend many hours reading prayers and using his prayer rope. This was his favourite retreat after communing at to rebuild the Divine Liturgy. Only God Kentlyn Skete and the holy Angels were witnesses restore [[cenobitic]] monastic life, as well as to his prayerful vigils and strugglesprovide a base for missionary work amongst anglophonic Australians.
'''His Love With the help of a very small group of faithful volunteers, the early 2000s saw four and a half years of work to clear the neglected grounds of decades of accumulated rubbish and undergrowth, and the Skete building secured and made temporarily habitable and weatherproof. There is now modest accommodation, an office, dining room and, most importantly, a prayer room or [[chapel]] where the monastic labour of the Hours of prayer according to the [[typicon]] of the Holy Fathers'''Orthodox Church are said daily.
With the blessing of [[Abbess]] Evpraxia, Father Guri was reputed to have had an extensive library on the ascetic life and hesychastic prayer (Joachim has been permitted the use of the Jesus Prayer - also called old monastery Church of All Saints in the Prayer neighbouring [[Monastery of Our Lady of Kazan (Kentlyn, New South Wales)|Our Lady of the Heart Kazan Monastery]]. A small congregation from various national backgrounds - ’Lord Jesus ChristRussian, Cypriot, Greek, Son of GodPalestinian, have mercy on meSerbian, a sinner’ Lebanese and Australian - attend the foundation of Orthodox Christian ascetic prayer).He would often laboriously copy excerpts from the writings of the Holy Fathers on the ascetic and spiritual life Divine Liturgy served in small school exercise books. These anthologies, the fruit of his prayerful reading English every Sunday and spiritual struggles, he would give away as a blessing to those whom he felt would benefit from the wisdom of the Holy Fatherson major feast days.
'''Father Guri’s Solitary Labours small cave, scene of his many hidden vigils and spiritual struggles, has been cleaned of the dirt and rubbish accumulated since his departure. A floor has been laid, overhanging rock walls strengthened, and icons and a burning lampada installed. Sanctified by Father Guri’s prayers and Repose'tears, this sandstone cleft, the Skete’s first 'church', has become a place of pilgrimage and quiet prayer for growing numbers of visitors to the Skete.
Over the succeeding years ==Future plans==The first priority when Father Guri laboured with Michael Sorokhin, together with volunteers from the Russian Orthodox community in Sydney, to erect a small brick building containing six monastic cells surrounding a large central room that Joachim arrived at Kentlyn was intended to be part of a large monastic church dedicated to Saint John the Baptist. It was not to be completed. He waited alone, praying that others would join him.Old age eventually forced Father Guri to move from his beloved isolation at make the Skete to a small hut in the Convent groundshabitable, remove tons of accumulated rubbish and finally clearing the surrounding bush to reduce the Saint Sergius Nursing Home, Cabramatta. He died in deep old age at 98 years on the 23rd threat of August 1992. This faithful monk is buried in Rookwood Cemetery, Sydneybushfires.While the nearby Diocesan workshop cautious and the candle factory continued economical expense has been used to function, make the unfinished Skete old building was used for a time as a printing facility, finally being abandoned . Uninhabited for over a decade liveable - the building fell derelict, a nesting place for birds, a home for possums and vermin, damaged by vandals and in a serious state of disrepairmain endeavour has always been to raise funds to rebuild.
'''A New Beginning''' In 1999 Hieromonk Joachim received a canonical release from the Serbian Orthodox Church to the ROCOR. He was invited by the current diocesan bishop, Archbishop Hilarion, to rebuild Mr Nicholas Proskurin of Leda Building Plans P/L has kindly prepared the Kentlyn Skete and restore coenobitic monastic life, as well as providing a base architectural plans for missionary work amongst English speaking Australians. With the help of a very small group of faithful volunteers, the past four and a half years have seen the neglected grounds cleared of decades rebuilding of rubbish and undergrowth, the Skete building secured and made temporarily habitable and weatherproof. There is now modest accommodation, an office, dining room and, most importantly, a prayer room or chapel where the monastic labour of the Hours of prayer according to the typicon of the Orthodox Church are said dailyDevelopment approval has been given by Campbelltown City Council'''Worshipping in English''' With The proposed scheme incorporates the blessing of Abbess Evpraxia, original structure from Father Joachim has been permitted the use of the old monastery Church of All Saints in the neighbouring Our Lady of Kazan MonasteryGuri’s time. A small congregation from various national backgrounds - Russian, Cypriot, Greek, Palestinian, Serbian, Lebanese, and Australian converts - attend Keeping faithful to the Divine Liturgy served in English every Sunday and on major feast days. '''Father Guri’s Cave Renewed''' Father Guri’s small cave, scene of his many hidden vigils and spiritual struggles, has been cleaned spirit of the dirt and rubbish accumulated since his departure. A floor has been laid, overhanging rock walls strengthened, and icons and a burning lampada installed. Sanctified by Father Guri’s prayers and tears, this sandstone cleftoriginal plans, the Skete’s first ’church’, has large central room will become a place the nave of pilgrimage and quiet prayer for growing numbers of visitors the monastery church dedicated to Saint John the Skete. '''Following Father Guri’s Example''' Where Father Guri would record by hand in exercise books the results of his prayerful readingBaptist, with the Skete now publishes eastern wall removed to build on an English language monthly journal - ‘The Voice’ - using the benefits of contemporary computer technology and desktop publishingaltar area. Following Father Guri's example, it is The walls will be raised to allow a modest attempt to make the treasures of the Orthodox faith available in English to Australian Orthodox Christians new roof with cupola and enquirersa wooden floor will be installed'''Our Goal - Rebuilding the Skete'''
The first priority when Father Joachim arrived at Kentlyn was to make the Skete habitable, remove tons of accumulated rubbish and clearing the surrounding bush to reduce the threat of bushfires. While cautious and economical expense has been used to make the old building liveable - the main endeavour has always been to raise funds to rebuild.
Mr Nicholas Proskurin of Leda Building Plans P/L has kindly prepared the architectural plans for the rebuilding of the Skete. Development approval has been given by Campbelltown City Council.
The proposed scheme incorporates the original structure from Father Guri’s time. Keeping faithful to the spirit of the original plans, the large central room will become the nave of the monastery church dedicated to Saint John the Baptist, with the eastern wall removed to build on an altar area. The walls will be raised to allow a new roof with cupola and a wooden floor will be installed.
Attached to the church and monastic cells will be a new extension comprising an office/library cum reception area, a trapeza (monastic dining room), kitchen, storeroom, laundry and ablution area.
The design is modest, practical and economical. With the exception of the Church, the whole area, including the existing small monastic cells, is comparable to a normal suburban house. Even so, building costs make an immediate start impossible - our savings of the Skete and the funds raised by a small group of supporters over the past four years has since 1999 have not yet amounted to even 1040% (at Jan 2009) of the total needed. '''An Invitation to Help''' Orthodox Christians who value traditional Orthodox monastic life and the vital importance in plays in the life of the church are invited to help Hieromonk Joachim rebuild the Skete, and complete what Father Guri began 46 years agorequired.If Orthodox monasticism is to grow and flourish in Australia then there must be Orthodox monasteries.In helping to rebuild Saint John the Baptist Skete, you will also be participating its missionary endeavours. His Grace Archbishop Hilarion is convinced of the necessity for Orthodox Christian evangelism in Australia. With his blessing Saint John the Baptist Skete hopes to provide a place of silence, worship, prayer, pilgrimage, retreat, hospitality, and counsel. There are plans to expand the Skete’s publishing activities.Orthodox Christians of good will are asked to generously contribute and support our efforts.  '''St John the Baptist Skete  PO Box 321X
Leumeah NSW 2560===An Invitation to Help===Orthodox Christians who value traditional Orthodox monastic life and the vital importance in plays in the life of the church are invited to help Hieromonk Joachim rebuild the Skete, and complete what Father Guri began 48 years ago. If Orthodox monasticism is to grow and flourish in Australia then there must be Orthodox monasteries.
In helping to rebuild Saint John the Baptist Skete, you will also be participating in its missionary endeavours. His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion is convinced of the necessity for Orthodox Christian evangelism in Australia. With his blessing, Saint John the Baptist Skete hopes to provide a place of silence, worship, prayer, pilgrimage, retreat, hospitality and counsel. All Orthodox Christians of good will are asked to generously contribute and support our efforts.
Tel: ==Publications==Where Father Guri would record by hand in exercise books the results of his prayerful reading, the Skete now publishes an English language monthly journal - ''The Voice'' - using the benefits of contemporary computer technology and desktop publishing. Following Father Guri's example, it is a modest attempt to make the treasures of the Orthodox faith available in English to Australian Orthodox Christians and enquirers. Subscription to ''The Voice'' is by voluntary donation (02~$20 in Australia) 46263945.
email: frAlong with other plans, the Skete intends to expand its publishing activities.joachim@rocor.org.au'''
The Divine Liturgy is celebrated ==Schedule of Services==All services in English each .*Sunday , 8:30am: Hours and most wednesdays at 8Divine Liturgy.30 am in the old monastery church of All Saints*Tuesday, Smith Street, Kentlyn (near Campbelltown, South West Sydney) - 7.00pm: Molieben and Akathist to the Theotokos is served every Tuesday evening in All Saints Church at 6.30 pm. Panikhida *Saturday, 5:30pm: Vigil (Memorial reader's service for the departed) served each Satruday at 8.30am. Prayer requests welcomeand confessions.
Visitors to ==Superiors of the Skete and Father Guri’s cave are always welcome==#Hieromonk [[Dimitry (Obuhoff)]], 1956-1959. Please phone ahead of your arrival#Monk [[Guri (Demidov)]], 1960-~1990#Hieromonk [[Joachim (Ross)]], 1999-present.
[['''Subscribe ==Contact Details==Visitors to ‘The Voice’ - the Skete’s monthly Orthodox journal - $18Skete and Father Guri’s cave are always welcome. Please phone ahead of your arrival.00 per annum *Superior: Hieromonk Joachim. Send your details to the above address*Phone: 02 4626 3945*Email: kosovo_au@yahoo.com.''']]au{{orthodoxyinaustralasiasmall}}*Church: Church of All Saints, 32 Smith Street, Kentlyn (southwest of Sydney, near Campbelltown).{{AusMonStub}}*Postal Address: PO Box 321X, Leumeah, NSW, 2560
==External link==
*[http://directory.stinnocentpress.com/viewparish.cgi?Uid=271&lang=en ROCOR Parish Directory]*[http://www.rocormembers.orgoptusnet.com.au/directorygeorgesaadi/html/indexnews_events.html Australian and New Zealand Directory: Parishes and Monasteries in AustraliaPilgrimage to St. John the Baptist Skete] (on ROCOR diocesan website)
{{AustralianMonasteries}}
[[Category:Orthodoxy in Australia]]
[[Category:Australian Monasteries|John]][[Category:ROCOR Monasteries|John]][[Category:Monasteries|John]]
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