DIOCESE OF AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND: June 1, 2012
Protection Church in Cabramatta, Australia, Holds a Benefit for Presentation Convent’s Building Fund
On May 27, 2012, Protection of the Holy Virgin Church in Cabramatta, Australia, hosted a dinner with a lecture by Priest Nicholas Karipoff to benefit the building fund of Presentation of the Mother of God Convent in Bungarby.
Abbess Anna grew up in the Cabramatta parish, her family’s house was right next door to the church at the time that its rector was the renowned priest Fr Rostislav Gan.
When she was tonsured to monasticism, Mother Anna had later served as abbess at Gethsemane Convent in Jerusalem. Returning to her homeland in Australia, she and two nuns who had also lived in the Holy Land decided to establish a convent in a remote area of New South Wales, in the town of Bungarby. A large parcel of land was purchased, some 300 hectares, with a small old house, where Mother Anna settled.
The location is secluded, far from settled areas, and so they needed to provide all their necessities for themselves. A garden was created, a fruit orchard planted, and chickens are kept there. There is a great deal of work to be done: the nuns sew church vestments for the diocese’s clergymen, they embroider, make jam and delicious chocolate candies of unequalled flavor. With the help of Orthodox parishes in Australia, they already built a chapel on the property. They have now begun to build monastic cells [living quarters]. The convent now has nine residents, and the old house cannot accommodate everyone.
Most of the work is done by volunteers from the Orthodox communities of Australia. The nuns earn money themselves and receive help from the parishioners of Cabramatta and other parishes. The walls of the residence have been erected, capped by a roof, but the edifice will not ready for residents until the interior is finished and doors and windows installed.
After the residence is complete, they will begin to build a church, for which plans have already been prepared. However, the nuns need assistance.
On May 27, a regular benefit dinner was held, organized by the Cabramatta parish and Mark Ganin. Fr Nicholas Karipoff, rector of Protection of the Holy Virgin Church in Melbourne, gave an interesting lecture on how the church reconciles its teachings with modern science and technology. There were some 110 people in attendance. There was an auction which included three watercolors by Antonina Ganina, plus baked goods donated by parishioners and friends. The event managed to collect no less than $17,000.
Those willing to help build the new convent dedicated to the Presentation of the Mother of God in Bungarby can make donations to:
Account name: Presentation Sisterhood
Account number: 124235
Address: Rennies Road Bungarby NSW 2630
Or visit: cabrapokrov.org/sisterhood-raffle
Vladimir Kuzmin, Sydney