Parishes in Australia (OCA)

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Parishes in Australia
Jurisdiction OCA
Diocese type Administrative District
Founded 1971
Current bishop n/a
See(s) n/a
Headquarters Syosset, New York State, USA
Territory formerly Sydney and Brisbane, Australia
Liturgical language(s) Slavonic and English
Musical tradition Russian Chant
Calendar Julian
Population estimate unknown
Official website Listing in 2006 Sourcebook & Church Directory
This article forms part of the series
Orthodoxy in Australia
Orthodoxy in Australia Timeline
Statistics of Orthodoxy in Australia
Antiochian Orthodox
Gk Orthodox Archd. of ANZ
GOA Aus - Abp Makarios
Antiochian - Met Basilios
ROCOR - Met Hilarion
Serbian - Bp Siluan
Romanian - Bp Michael
Without local bishop
Pan-Orthodox Synaxes
Episcopal Assembly SCCOCA
Antiochian Orthodox
Greek Orthodox (Aus)
Notable Monasteries
St Anna
Holy Cross
O.L. of Kazan
Proph. Elias
St John Mtn
St Sava (Elaine)
Complete List
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The Orthodox Church in America - Parishes in Australia was the name applied to the churches who, in 1971, left ROCOR and asked to be taken under the OCA's protection. For most of its history, the parishes were administered directly by the metropolitan of the OCA.

There are presently no parishes in Australia that are under the omophorion of the Orthodox Church in America.


In 1971, in a split from ROCOR, a group of Orthodox faithful applied to the Orthodox Church in America for acceptance.

St Nicholas Parish in Bankstown, NSW, was formed in 1959 and worshipped in premises the parishioners built on land leased from NSW Government Railways. In 1971, it was under the rectorship of Archimandrite Veniamin (Garshin) who had resigned as dean of the ROCOR Cathedral in Sydney and departed from that jurisdiction. At that time they petitioned OCA for their acceptance under the omophorion of the OCA Metropolitan. Their petition was quickly granted.

A second parish in Brisbane, Holy Annunciation Church, was formed under the rectorship of Fr. Gregory Malisheff and, following the example of the Bankstown parish, petitioned the OCA and was also quickly accepted.

In 1977, a third group, later named the Australian Orthodox Fraternity of St Michael, was formed in metropolitan Sydney for the purpose of purchasing and organising another parish, under the rectorship of Fr Michael Mersher. In November of that year, Mr Verjbitsky contacted the Uniting Church and was offered a surplus Presbyterian church in Homebush. The building was made suitable for Orthodox worship, including an iconostasis, on January 26, 1978. Fr Michael was the rector from 1978-80, Fr Theodore Michaluk from 1980-86, Fr Leopold in 1986, and Fr Igor Chlabicz from 1987.

Following the repose of Archimandrite Veniamin in 1994, the Orthodox Church in America was unable to supply a replacement priest for the Bankstown parish. The parish council of St. Nicholas approached Bishop Gibran, then Antiochian Orthodox Bishop for Australia and New Zealand, and asked if he was able to supply a priest who could celebrate in Slavonic. Hieromonk Andrija (Zoran Vujisić) and, later, Fr Nicholas Gan assisted on a temporary basis until Fr Mitko Machevski commenced services at St. Nicholas on August 10, 1996. The parish later formally changed jurisdictions to the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia and New Zealand. Fr. Mitko was appointed rector of the parish, which continues to use Church Slavonic and follow the Julian Calendar.

In Brisbane, Holy Annunciation Orthodox Church found itself without a rector after Fr Ian Bojko retired in 2005. In 2009, the parish requested permission to enter the ROCOR Diocese of Australia and New Zealand as an English-language parish; this was accomplished by the mutual consensus of Metropolitans Jonah and Hilarion and the transfer was finalised in May 2009.

After the rectorate of Fr. Igor Chlabicz, the Australian Orthodox Fraternity of St. Michael was served by Rev. Fr. John Vesic, a priest of the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Australia and New Zealand. In March 2011, the parish received the blessing of Metropolitan Jonah of the OCA to join the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Australia and New Zealand, with Bishop Irinej of Sydney placing a new antimens in the church on Forgiveness Sunday, 2011. This parish is also designated an English-language parish - at the time of its transfer, the only one in the Serbian Orthodox Metropolitanate of Australia and New Zealand.

Current status of parishes

The OCA Parishes in Australia is now a defunct administrative grouping, having existed from 1971 to 2011.

The following parishes, who originally formed the grouping, moved to:

The final OCA presence in Australia concluded with the repose of Fr Ian Bojko in Jan 2013.


  • His Eminence Sylvester (Haruns), Archbishop of Montreal and Canada; administrator of the parishes in Australia, 1972-1981.
  • His Beatitude Theodosius (Lazor), Archbishop of Washington, Metropolitan of All America and Canada; administrator of the parishes in Australia, 1981-2002.
  • His Beatitude Herman (Swaiko), Archbishop of Washington and New York, Metropolitan of All America and Canada; administrator of the parishes in Australia, 2002-2008.
  • His Beatitude Jonah (Paffhausen), Archbishop of Washington, Metropolitan of All America and Canada; administrator of the parishes in Austraila, 2008-2011.

External links