Monastery of Pantanassa (Mangrove Mountain, New South Wales)

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Monastery of the Holy Mother of God "Pantanassa"
Jurisdiction Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia
Type Male Monastery
Founded 1976
Superior Abbot Stephanos
Approx. size 4 monks
Location Mangrove, New South Wales, Australia
Liturgical language(s) Greek
Music used Byzantine Chant
Calendar Revised Julian
Feastdays celebrated Nov 10 (Metochion)
Bright Saturday (Monastery)
Official website none advertised

The Monastery of the Holy Mother of God "Pantanassa" (Queen of All) is a monastic community for men under the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia. The monastery is located in Mangrove, New South Wales (west of Sydney), and was established in 1976 under the omophorion of His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos of Australia. The current abbot is Archimandrite Stephanos; there are currently 2 priestmonks (including the abbot), one monk and one novice in residence.


  • 1976: Holy Monastery of the Transfiguration of our Lord established by Archbishop Stylianos. The Brotherhood lives in St Arsenios' House, and worships at the Holy Transfiguration Monastery.
  • 1995: Monastery moved from Sydney, New South Wales, to Mangrove Mountain, New South Wales. Holy Transfiguration Monastery becomes a parish, and the brotherhood was given put under the patronage of the Mother of God "Pantanassa" by Archbishop Stylianos. The Pantanassa brotherhood commenced living in a small monastic complex on the side of the mountain below a 200m (approx. 680 ft) cliff.
  • 1995: The Monastery of the Holy Cross, a female monastery, is established at St Arsenios' House with four nuns. Abbot Stephanos of Pantanassa Monastery is the spriritual of father of Holy Cross Monastery as well.
  • ~2003: The Monastery of the Holy Cross moves to present location on Mangrove Mountain, about 5km from Pantanassa Monastery.
  • 2005 May 27: Pantanassa Monastery began excavation on the monastic site on top of the mountain. Archbishop Stylianos announces an Australia-wide fundrasing campaign.
  • 2005 Jul 16: The foundation stone of the new monastic church was laid at Pantanassa Monastery by Archbishop Stylianos, assisted by Bishop Seraphim.
  • 2005 Aug: Driveway for new monastic complex finished.
  • 2006 Feb: Construction anticipated to begin on first phase.
  • 2006 Apr: Around the time of Pascha, construction of the main church ('katholikon') and a part of accomodation well under way.
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"Holy Archdiocese of Australia
Holy Monastery Mother of God the Queen of All"

Monastic Complex

After moving to become the Pantanassa Monastery in 1995, the Brotherhood built a small site to live in until they built the complex that would be the monastery. In 2005, the Brotherhood, after numerous difficulties, began excavation at this site, located 50 metres from cliff-face; in 2006, it is anticipated that construction will begin.

Current Monastic Complex

Currently the Brotherhood lives, works and prays at a small monastic complex on the side of Mangrove Mountain, below a 200 metre cliff, where there is a small chapel dedicated to Sts Ephraim and Isaac the Syrians, living quarters sufficient for the monks, an iconography studio (the primary source of income), a candle-making factory, St. Joseph's joinery workshop. Other structures from the complex include a secluded cabin named after Elder Paisios the Athonite (+1994), a set of beehives, a timber cabin used for confessional and bookshop, an outdoor chapel with a 6 metre timber crucifix used during the Patriarch's 1996 visit, and a cave dedicated to St. Anna. There are also numerous dams on the property for water, the largest dam being adjacent to St. Patrick's fields.

New Monastic Complex

Building works started on the new monastic complex site at the top of the mountain on 27 May 2005. The preparatory works began with excavating the mountain to provide three flat levels for buildings to go on, which were completed by the July 2005 foundation ceremony. During further excavation, a 400 metre (~1350 ft) driveway through forest to the building site was constructed and completed in August 2005. There are three stages involved in the construction of the new monastic complex:

  1. Includes the new chapel and the first section of the living quarters, sufficient for the present number of monks.
  2. Includes the remainder of the living quarters for the monks and the office.
  3. Includes the iconography studio and guest accomodation.
  • Other structures include the confessional, the library and the refectory (opp. entrance of church, adj. to main entry).

The new monastic complex is designed to have the layout and aesthetics of a traditional Athonite monastery by having the main church in the middle of a cloistered quadrangle. This formation is intended to have a fortress effect, by appearing solid and uninviting to outsiders, its few openings giving little opportunity for interaction; whereas to those welcomed into the complex, having a softer style of architecture and opening with a continuous arched cloister and details reminiscent of Athonite structures.

Bibliography and Links

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
Other Jurisdictions
Male: New Kalenic (Serbian) | St Sava (Serbian)
Female: St Anna (Antiochian) | Nativity Skete (Serbian)