St Gregory’s Orthodox Mission

Upon the request of Protopresbyter Dr Doru Costache and Orthodox faithful of various ethnic backgrounds who gathered in their first assembly on 1 May 2017, His Grace Bishop Mihail Filimon blessed the establishment of the Romanian Orthodox Parish of Saint Gregory the Theologian, Sydney, on 1 June 2017. Here is the official page of the mission on the website of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of Australia and New Zealand.

The parish is active in the northern parts of Sydney as an Orthodox mission whose main language is English. Beginning as a multiethnic mission and continuing to be so, the divine liturgy is celebrated entirely in English, but, when pastoral circumstances demand it, the parish priest also uses Romanian. A particularity of our gatherings is the participation of all present in prayerful attitude, made possible through the simplification of liturgical music and of the usual choreography. Another important feature is the input of the entire congregation to the process of making sense of Scripture, an activity which often replaces the parish priest’s sermons. As a rule, we end all our liturgical assemblies by agape meals, to which we all contribute. Here is a photo gallery from various activities.

From the outset, the mission enjoyed the generosity of The Pittwater Wesleyan Methodist Church in Mona Vale, being graciously permitted to use the chapel located at 1803A Pittwater Road, Mona Vale NSW 2103. Given the schedule of the hosting community, the mission of Saint Gregory the Theologian celebrates the Sunday holy liturgy every second week, in the eve, Saturday evening, as advertised on its Facebook page.

Alongside the celebration of the holy liturgy and other holy mysteries (sacraments), the mission manifests its presence by way of a Facebook page maintained by the parish priest. On a weekly basis, the page offers reflections on the Sunday evangelic and apostolic readings and meditations on the writings of Saint Gregory the Theologian. Less regularly, it offers information concerning Romanian Orthodoxy. So far the latter category features contributions by Ms Alina Victoria Paraschiv, Revd Dr Nicolae Cristian Câdă, and the parish priest. Recently, a new category of posts was established by Ms Monica Ibrahim, exploring contextual aspects pertaining to Australian Orthodoxy. At times, the page presents either partial or whole video recordings of the sermons.

Saint Gregory the Theologian
Church of Saint George, Oropos, Attica
1240-1250
Byzantine Museum, Athens, Greece
Photo by Doru Costache
4 December 2018