To the devout Reverend Clergy;
The honourable Administrative Committees;
And the Ladies’ Auxiliaries;
Of the Parish-Communities;
Of our Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia.
You would have already been informed through the media about the enormous damage caused by the recent bushfires throughout New South Wales. Due to the strong winds, these fires could not be controlled completely by the Fire and Rescue Services, bringing about terrible devastation particularly in the Blue Mountains, the extent of which is not yet fully known.
In that area there stands, for many decades now, the Holy Monastery of St George of the Mountain. Although it does not have Monks at present, its heroic Abbot, Archimandrite Kyriakos, has worked night and day for nearly 20 years to complete the building facilities.
The extraordinary sacrifices of this one devout Abbot are known only to God and the visiting pilgrims who also contribute voluntarily to the task at hand.
Accordingly, it was only by a miracle that Father Kyriakos escaped with whatever he was wearing, as his residence and other areas of the monastery turned to ash. Fortunately, however, the two holy churches and the candle factory were not seriously affected.
In spite of this, Father Kyriakos lost all his belongings: his clothing, vestments and books, and even several domestic animals which met a frightful death in the flames.
Now more than ever, the Monastery and the Abbot require our philanthropic assistance. We must offer it in all possible ways. For this reason, a special Collection will be held in all our churches throughout Australia, to which we are called to contribute to the best of our ability. The collected amount is to be sent without delay to the Central Offices in Sydney marked for “The St George Monastery Appeal”, so that it can help meet the many needs.
We note that a good portion of the collected amount will be forwarded also, through the Red Cross, to the closest victims of the fire in the region.
Praying that God protect us from similar dangers, I warmly thank you and remain:
In Sydney, 21st October, 2013
With deep love in the Lord,
(Encyclical is to be read during the Divine Liturgy of Sunday 27th October, 2013, before the Collection is conducted).
CHURCH SURVIVES DESPITE FIRE DEVASTATION
NEOS KOSMOS REPORT (26/10/2013)
Whether it was divine intervention or just plain luck, St George Monastery of Yellow Rock NSW survived the fiery inferno that passed through its neighbourhood.
Though little was left of Father Kyriakos Stavronikitianos’ living quarters, the two churches on the land and the candle factory were spared, only suffering minimal damage.
Already the outpouring of support has overwhelmed Father Kyriakos. Via social media, countless Greek-Australians have been putting up their hands to ofer their services.
The Monastery will remain closed until it is deemed safe to return to the area, and will not have a Sunday service, the Archdiocese says.
The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia is taking up the initiative to help bring in donations, for Father Kyriakos and all the other victims affecte.
The Archdiocese has opened a bank account to raise funds for the Monastery. People are urged to donate to the:
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Property Trust – St George Monastery
BSB: 082 057
Account Number: 616 960 042
Bank: National Australia Bank (NAB)
You can also donate to the Australian Red Cross, by calling 1800 811 700, or visiting: