Monastery of Gorgoepikoos (Geelong, Victoria)
|Holy Monastery of Gorgoepikoos|
|Approx. size||5 nuns|
|Location||Geelong, Victoria, Australia|
|Liturgical language(s)||Greek, English|
|Music used||Byzantine Chant|
|Feastdays celebrated|| Jan 2 (Chapel)|
Oct 1 (Monastery)
|Official website||none advertised|
The Holy Monastery of Panagia Gorgoepikoos ("She who is Quick to Hear") is a monastic community for women under the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia. The monastery is located in Lovely Banks, Geelong, Victoria, and was established under the omophorion of His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos of Australia in May 1993 by Mother Kallistheni, who remains the abbess. Currently, the monastery has 4 nuns (Sisters Makrina, Nikodimi, and Natalia, and the abbess, Mother Kallistheni) and a novice, all of whom speak fluent English.
The monastery is situated approximately one hour, by car, from Melbourne and is close to the seaside suburb of Geelong. Initially the Monastery stood on 17 acres of land but recent land purchases have allowed for growth extending the property size to 20 acres. This growth has allowed the monastery to purchase bees to produce their own honey, a donkey and 2 alpacas.
To create privacy for the monastery, Cox Road, running outside the monastery, has recently been closed off—an initiative instigated by Mother Kallistheni.
History of the Monastery
Much of the initial capital for the Monastery was donated from the Zantis family of Goulburn. The majority of this donation was from Mother Kallistheni's father, Angelo Zantis (deceased), and Mother Kallistheni herself.
Mother Kallistheni, the first abbess of the monastery, was born Kalomira Zantis (nicknamed "Corrine") and raised in Goulburn, NSW, Australia. Her father's name was Angelo Zantis and her mother is Nina. She has two other siblings, Sheridan and Peter.
Her genealogical tree shows that her grandfather was a village priest in the province of Karavas (Kythera, Greece). He was a priest and schoolmaster for four decades and is affectionately known as "Papa Vangelli" by the Kytherian community, and was married to Presvytera Stamatia. Most Kytherians today aged between 60 and 100 and living in Australia or the USA would more than likely have been christened by her great-grandfather. Papa Vangelli had 8 children:
- Peter, Harry, Theodoros, Georgitsa, Maria, Kanella, Kalomira, and Louisa.
- Kalomira married Sarandos Zantiotis and had 4 children:
- George (deceased), Jim, Maria, and Angelo (deceased)
- Angelo married Nina Souris (from Armidale) and are the parents of Mother Kallistheni.
Programme for members of the public
Pilgrims can visit the monastery daily (except Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays) and are able to attend the services chanted by the sisters.
- Monday: Open between 2-5pm on School and Public holidays.
- Tuesday: Open between 9am and 5pm.
- 9am Divine Liturgy.
- Wednesday: Closed.
- Thursday: Open between 9am and 5pm.
- 3pm Vespers.
- Friday: Closed.
- Saturday: Open between 9am and 5pm.
- Sunday: Open between 2-5pm.
- 3pm Paraklesis.
- Second Archdiocesan District of Victoria and Tasmania
- February issue of Orthodox Contact. The last article is of a visit the monasteries of St Anna and Gorgoepikoos.
- Holy Services in English: Programme for 2008
|Orthodoxy in Australia: Monasteries|
|Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia|
| Male: Pantanassa | St George | St John |
Female: Gorgoepikoos | Holy Cross
|Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia|
| Male: Holy Transfiguration | Archangel Michael |
Proph. Elias | St John the Baptist | Holy Trinity
Female: Our Lady of Kazan | Presentation
| Male: New Kalenic (Serbian) | St Sava (Serbian) |
Female: St Anna (Antiochian) | Nativity Skete (Serbian)