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Very Reverend Father Michael Shehadie was the parish priest of St George Antiochian Orthodox Church from 1934-1951.
Michael Shehadie was born in Lebanon in 1895, the second child of Fr Nicholas and Khourieh Alexandra Shehadie. Growing up there, he studied at Balamand, Lebanon, and then in Russia; however, his wife Hannah (nee Khoury) did not want Michael to be ordained at that time. Michael chose to become a chemist/herbalist.
He arrived in Sydney, Australia, in 1925 with his wife Hannah and his two daughters Alexandra (Alice) (m. Mounir Doumani) and Paulette (m. Daniel Joseph). In Australia, Michael and Hannah then had two more children, Nicholas (later Sir Nicholas) (m. Marie Bashir, currently Governor of NSW), George (m. Carmel Wigan), and Margaret (m. Morris Hanna).
After the repose of his father in 1934, however, he accepted ordination to the priesthood and became parish priest of the Church of Saint George Redfern. After his ordination, the family then had one further child, Margaret (m. Morris Hanna).
At the end of World War II the Egyptian government offerd Fr Michael the position of Honorary Consul in Australia. Due to jealousy within the church community and his devotion to the church, he declined. The Egyptian government would not accept anyone else, so the position remained unfilled.
In 1949 while Fr Michael was parish priest, the NSW government decided to resume the land the church was built on to erect Department of Housing flats. Fr Michael ensured the NSW Minister, Clive Evatt, found a suitable site close by for the replacement church. Land was granted at the corner of Walker and Cooper Streets, Redfern, where the church—now cathedral—stands today.
Fr Michael Shehadie worked on the new church, but only lived to see it approved, not built. In 1951 he reposed suddenly. The new church was completed in 1953.
V Rev Fr Nicholas Shehadie Exarch
|Parish Priest of Saint George Redfern, (in Sydney)
(Church of Antioch)
V Rev Fr Malatius Hussney Exarch