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

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type=Male Skete|
founded=1960|
superior=Hmk [[Joachim (Ross)|Joachim]]|
size=1 monk|
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)|Joachim]]. Currently, the skete has 1 priestmonk in residence.
==History==
===Hmk Joachim===
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]], then Archbishop, now Metropolitan [[Hilarion (Kapral) of Sydney|Hilarion of Sydney]](since elevated to First Hierarch of ROCOR), 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 Australian - 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’'church', has become a place of pilgrimage and quiet prayer for growing numbers of visitors to the Skete.
==Future plans==
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 ten years has since 1999 have not yet amounted to even 40% (at Jan 2009) of the total neededrequired.
===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 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.
==Publications==
Along with other plans, the Skete intends to expand its publishing activities.
 
==Schedule of Services==
All services in English.
==External link==
*[http://wwwdirectory.rocorstinnocentpress.org.au/directorycom/indexviewparish.html Australian and New Zealand cgi?Uid=271&lang=en ROCOR Parish Directory: Parishes and Monasteries in Australia] (on ROCOR diocesan website)
*[http://www.members.optusnet.com.au/georgesaadi/html/news_events.html Pilgrimage to St. John the Baptist Skete]
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