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The Monastery’s Location:
The monastery is situated next to the city of Heathcote, in the state of Victoria. Heathcote is around 100 km north of the city of Melbourne. The monastery serves the Coptic congregation of Melbourne and some neighbouring cities like Bendigo and Kilmore.
The History of the Monastery’s Establishment:
In 1989, the late H.H. Pope Shenouda III laid the foundation stone of the monastery during his historic visit to Australia. Through the recommendations and support of H.H. Pope Shenouda, a group of monks were sent from monasteries in Egypt; Father Ishaq El-Antoni, Father Titus El-Baramosy and Father Philopateer El Anba Bakhomious. They succeeded in building the church and four cells. A number of monks took turns in the monastery’s service including Father Matta El-Baramosy, Father Yoakim El-Baramosy, Father Polykarpos El-Baramosy, Father Daoud El-Baramosy, Father Maximos El-Baramosy, Father Abib El-Baramosy and Father Makary El Anba Paula. Father Matta El-Baramosy is the deputy of the monastery and has been so for nearly 10 years.
Currently, there are three monks in the monastery.
The Monastery’s Saint: Saint Anthony.
The Monastery’s Description:
The development of the monastery continued as a number of surrounding lands were purchased. Construction was active throughout the last years. The monastery now includes: eight cells, a building for the monks, a retreat house, a large two-storey library, a carpentry workshop, a mechanics workshop and a guest room. It is common for the monastery to be crowded with visiting worshipers from Melbourne and neighbouring cities.
Many of the Coptic congregation visit the monastery to baptize their children, attend Holy Week and have retreats. The first monk to be ordained in the monastery was Father Raphael Saint Anthony who was ordained on the Feast of Saint Anthony in 2016.
His Holiness Pope Tawadros II visited the monastery on the 9th of September 2017 and officially opened the two storey library.
The monastery and its deputy; Father Matta El-Baramosy enjoy a deep brotherly relation with Saint Shenouda’s Monastery in Sydney and its reverent abbot; His Grace Bishop Daniel. They both support each other. The monastery is visited by a number of bishops during their trips to Australia. During their visits, Liturgies are prayed regularly in the monastery, followed by a meal in brotherly love. Churches in Melbourne carry out trips to the monastery to gain its blessing.