Antonious (Mobayed)

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The Very Reverend Antonious (Mobayed), Archimandrite, was the representative of the Church of Antioch to the Church of Russia, and the first priest of St Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church, Melbourne.

Biographical information

  • Graduated from Balamand Theological Seminary
  • Graduated from Kiev Theological Academy.
  • 1914: Archim. Antonious appointed representative of the Church of Antioch to the Church of Russia.
  • 1929: The Communist Revolution forced Archimandrite Antonious to return to Lebanon.
James Batrouney, an Arab residing in Melbourne, visited Lebanon/Syria and met Archim. Antonious. After J Batrouney's came back to Melbourne, Archim. Antonious was recommended as a suitable priest for St Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church, Melbourne.
  • 1931 Nov 12: Archim. Antonious arrives in Melbourne, having been commissioned by Patriarch Arsanios of Antioch. Both Arabic and Russian members of the community financially contributed to bringing Archim. Antonious to Australia. Archim. Antonious brought with him everything needed for the celebration of the Divine Liturgy; some of these items can be found at St Nicholas Church today.
  • Archim. Antonious was well-suited to the local situation, being able to speak fluent Arabic, Russian and Greek.
  • First services were held in St. George Anglican Mission. This marks the beginning of a long and amicable relationship between Anglicans and Orthodox in Victoria.
  • 1932 Mar: Community purchased a church using four £125 donations from John Batrouney, Joseph & Walter Davis, and Alex Malouly.
  • 1932 Palm Sunday: The iconostasis - based on the iconostasis at Holy Resurrection Cathedral, Tokyo - was completed. First service held.
  • 1932 May: At the first council meeting, the majority of the community wanted to name the community after St Anthony, many preferred St George; to settle the dispute, Archim. Antonious placed 12 names in a bag on the altar and George Facoory, the oldest member of the community, drew out St Nicholas.
  • 1933 Oct 1: Metropolitan Timotheos, head of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Australia and New Zealand, consecrated the church. Consecration chanted in Arabic, English, Greek, Slavonic, and was attended by Rev. F.E. Maynard (Anglican) and the Greek and French consuls.
  • The Russian members of the community helped to convert the church into an Orthodox Church, wrote icons, and organised a Slavonic choir that chanted the Liturgy every fourth Sunday.
  • Archim. Antonious, in running a newly-founded church, was able to list many accomplishments: he organised a choir, taught the youth the service in Arabic, established a youth society designed to help the youth acclimatise and keep close to the Church, travelled to Sydney, Adelaide and New Zealand to raise funds so that St Nicholas Church could have all the necessities and trappings for Orthodox services.
  • 1943 Nov 9: Archim. Antonious reposes after a short illness. He was buried by Metropolitan Timotheos and assisted by Archimandrite Theophylactos and Fr Michael Shehadie.
  • 1950s: When the Russians established their first church in Melbourne in the early 1950s, the committee of St Nicholas donated a Slavonic Bible, both in memory of Archim. Antonious, and as a symbol of the enduring friendship between the Syrian/Lebanese and the Russians.

Sources

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