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The Holy Monastery of the Mother of God ‘PANTANASSA’ is a coenobitic monastery for men located on the Central Coast of N.S.W. Australia. The monastery was established with the blessing of His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church, in 1976. It may come as a surprise to many that a monastic community founded on traditional Athonite monasticism exists in Australia. This is why, after many years of hesitation, prayer and humble reasoning, Pantanassa Monastery decided to create its own web-site. We pray that we will be able to respond to the magnitude of this task, and ask you to keep us in your prayers.
With the blessing of His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos, Pantanassa Monastery was founded in 1976 by the former abbot, Archimandrite Stephanos in Sydney, under its previous name, Holy Monastery of the Transfiguration of our Lord. The monastery remained in Earlwood, Sydney, until 1995, even though suitable land for the monastery was purchased at Mangrove Mountain on the central coast of NSW, in 1980. By 1995, a small dwelling had been constructed at Mangrove Mountain. With the blessing of His of Eminence the brotherhood later moved to this new site in the same year. Simultaneously, His Eminence renamed the monastery Pantanassa Monastery. The word, Pantanassa is from the Greek panta ‘all’ and anassa ‘queen’, hence the ‘Queen of All’.
There are currently two priest-monks (including the abbot), one deacon-monk, two monks and one novice living there. Daily services are held in the chapel of Saints Ephraim (d. c. 373) and Isaac (d. c. 700) the Syrians, both pillars of Orthodox spirituality to this day.
The current monastic dwelling is located on the side of a mountain below a 200 metre cliff edge. It is surrounded by virgin forest overlooking a small valley and river.
In May 2005 construction of the full monastic complex began in earnest on top of this cliff, which overlooks the Dubbo Valley and nearby National Parks.
The monks support themselves by making prayer ropes, pure bees’ wax candles, handmade incense, hand painted icons in the Byzantine style, and by mounting icon prints on timber, as well as other liturgical products.
'Our eyes must acquire a gentle glance, and so convey the mercy from on high.'
Saint Gregory Palamas