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hq=Kentlyn, New South Wales, Australia|
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 [[Sava (Rayevsky) of Sydney|Sava of Sydney]] by [[Hieromonk]] [[Dimitry (Obuhoff)]], and re-established in 1999 by Hieromonk [[Joachim
(Ross)]]. Currently, the skete has 1 priestmonk in residence.
In 1999 Hieromonk Joachim received a [[canonical release]] from the [[Serbian Orthodox Church in Australia and New Zealand|Serbian Orthodox Church]] to the ROCOR. He was invited by the current diocesan [[bishop]], Archbishop [[Hilarion (Kapral) of Sydney]], to rebuild the Kentlyn Skete and restore [[cenobitic]] monastic life, as well as to provide a base for missionary work amongst anglophonic Australians.
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 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 Orthodox Church are said daily.
With the blessing of [[Abbess]] Evpraxia, Father Joachim has been permitted the use of the old monastery Church of All Saints in the neighbouring [[Monastery of Our Lady of Kazan (Kentlyn, New South Wales)|Our Lady of Kazan Monastery]]. A small congregation from various national backgrounds - Russian, Cypriot, Greek, Palestinian, Serbian, Lebanese, and
Anglo-Celtic - attend the Divine Liturgy served in English every Sunday and on major feast days.
Father Guri’s 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 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.
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 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 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. All Orthodox Christians of good will are asked to generously contribute and support our efforts.
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 (~$
18 in Australia).
Along with other plans, the Skete intends to expand its publishing activities.
All services in English.
*Sunday, 8:30am: Hours and Divine Liturgy.
6:30pm: Molieben and Akathist to the Theotokos.
*Saturday, 5:30pm: Vigil (reader's service) and confessions.
Visitors to the Skete and Father Guri’s cave are always welcome. Please phone ahead of your arrival.
*Superior: Hieromonk Joachim
*Phone: 02 4626 3945