On Saturday, 24 October 2015, His Grace Bishop Irinej of Australia and New Zealand of the Serbian Orthodox Church, together with the Very Reverend Protopresbyter-Stavrophor Ilija Dragosavljevic and Metropolitanate Secretary, the Reverend Deacon Aleksandar Ivanovic, joined His Eminence Archbishop Paul of Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines of the Antiochian Orthodox Patriarchate, together with his clergy, faithful and guests for the consecration of the Holy Archangel Michael Monastery Church at the newly acquired Antiochian Village in Goulburn, New South Wales.
The Antiochian Village is a spiritual revelation. There are facilities where the faithful will be able to stay in for some days, praying, contemplating, learning, mixing with others, etc…. it is the church in the world.
Today, more than any other period of our history, the church needs effective means to face the secular and paganistic world and to prepare and provide its faithful, from the day of their birth until leaving this world all the necessary means to defeat the spiritual darkness and to live and preach the Teachings of their Savior.
The village has begun working with the children and youth plus the parents and grandparents. Will provide educational programs “we have started that” already began utilizing the facilities which may cater to hundred persons in addition to the clergy and leaders and teachers. We have a permanent nun; soon we will have a permanent priest. We already began the celebration of the divine services beginning the first of September 2015.
What we have been seeing of damage happening in the family and the community, will leave us no choice, but to work seriously to face and replace the atheistic secularism of our time; and to place God and His Teachings back in the heart of the family; you see, like I do, that a good percentage of our youth do not know the real God, the normal, the spiritual, etc…. the family has gone down and adopted instead a personal philosophy which satisfy its physical and temporary desires according to the Western Philosophy.
What we see around us, is the destruction of the family and the ignorance of all the teachings which can build the soul and bring a person closer to the God.
For this reason, it was the responsibility of the church to begin working to preserve the Christians teachings and the moral which the Lord Himself gave us.
Here, comes the idea of the Antiochian Village, yes, we have been working diligently for the last-fifteen years to build Sunday schools, youth groups and activities, choirs, little children school, working with the homeless, helping the refugees and the needies, etc.
The Village consists of 4 sets of buildings, each consists of two floors. We are equipped to serve one hundred persons plus, for 1 to 5 days. This is the plan A. Our B plan is to have the place to accommodate people for 5, 10, 15, 20 days. The idea of the village and its importance spread fast in the minds and hearts of our people all over the Archdiocese. They responded generously to meet the responsibility of the remodeling and purchasing whatever needed (and much is needed) we will be using these facilities to prepare our next generations, it’s a place where your children and grandchildren will have a place where they may go, relax, pray, learn, mix, meet, play etc… And be exposed to the will of their Lord. To strengthened the feeling between the generations and with their families and their Lord. We will work for a better and stronger family, church and nation. This Community is our Community and whatever will help to promote it we will be ready to do.
To all those who came forward from the beginning offered a generous helping hand, thanks and God Blessing
From the Office of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese – Sydney
Also have a look at the website of Antiochian Village: http://www.antiochianvillage.org.au/