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News

Updated 15 July 2024

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- Golden Wedding Anniversary & Potluck Fellowship Meal - 30 June, 2024

On All Saints Day Sunday, the last day before the beginning of the Apostles Fast, we were all treated to a Potluck Meal for fellowship after the liturgy. It was a wonderful opportunity for people to get together, including newcomers, to socialise and be part of the spiritual family of Holy Ascension. We also celebrated the 50th wedding anniversary of John & Christine with a brief blessing at the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy... and with a delicious red velvet cake expertly made by Samantha! Many Years to John and Christine! Thank you to everybody who attended, participated and contributed to this amazing event.

- Great Feast of Pentecost 2024

On Sunday 23 June 2024, the Great Feast of Pentecost was celebrated at Holy Ascension Orthodox Church with a Festal Divine Liturgy. Immediately after the Liturgy, the Vespers for the Day of the Holy Spirit was served including the special prostration prayers of intercession for the living and the departed. 

 

 

- Great Feast of Ascension – 2024

With great success, Holy Ascension Orthodox Church served the Festal Divine Liturgy for the Patronal Feast of Ascension at 32 Electra Street, Williamstown.  A festive potluck fellowship meal followed after the liturgy where we enjoyed lots of food and delicious desserts kindly offered by our faithful. During the festive banquet we were treated to a photo slideshow of Holy Ascension showing the life of the parish over its 15 years. We sincerely thank all altar servers and choir singers, volunteers and to everyone who attended, and to those who offered prayers in their absence. We also kindly thank the church council of Williamstown Uniting Church Electra Street for kindly permitting Holy Ascension Orthodox Church the continued use of their hall and acknowledge their support.

- 15th Anniversary of Holy Ascension - 31 May 2024

With the blessing of Bishop George for the upcoming occasion of Holy Ascension's 15th anniversary since its establishment (4 June, 2009), our community is now officially named Holy Ascension Orthodox Church. We thank Bishop George for making this wonderful gesture and gift to Holy Ascension. Read Bishop's official decree here.

- Visit of the Hawaiian Iveron Icon – 25 May, 2024

On Saturday, 25 May, Holy Ascension Orthodox Mission was visited by the Hawaiian Iveron Icon of the Theotokos (a copy of Panagia Portaitissa). The icon was streaming myrrh throughout its entire visit, exuding a very strong rose fragrance. The entire church has been permeated by this aroma now for a few days. An Entreaty to the Theotokos was served before the icon. Around 45 people were in attendance, from various jurisdictions and from far and wide. At the conclusion of the Entreaty, a brief sermon was given on Faith and Miracles. The faithful then venerated and prayed before the icon, asking for the prayers and intercessions of the Most-Holy Theotokos. Everyone was also anointed with the myrrh that was streaming from the icon. Devotional items (icons, crosses, prayer ropes, medallions…etc) were brought by the faithful to have blessed by touching them on the Myrrh-Streaming Icon. The faithful also were gifted printed paper icons of the Hawaiian Iveron Icon. Fr Demos from St Paraskevi Greek Orthodox Church in St Albans attended, venerated the icon and gifted Fr Nektary a set of pure beeswax bishop's candles from his parish's candle factory. We thank Fr Nektary, the Guardian of the Icon, for travelling and bringing the Hawaiian Iveron Icon to the Mission. We also thank Bishop George and the Dean, Fr Michael, for including our Mission in the busy travel schedule of the icon as it visits many parishes throughout the Eastern States of Australia.

https://www.ohiia.org/the-iveron-icon

- Sunday of Thomas & Mothers Day 2024

A very happy mothers day to all of our mothers (mothers of newborns and long-time mothers), grandmothers, Godmothers and nuns! Blessed nameday and Many Years to all named Thomas!

- Entreaty to St Varus - 12 May, 2024

A Memorial Entreaty to St Varus was served on Sunday, 12 May, at the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, to remember and pray for Jenifer and Donald, grandparents of Zoe.

- Great Doxology for the Feast of St George - 6 May, 2024

A Slava (Great Doxology Service) was served on Bright Monday 6 May, the feast of the Great-Martyr and Trophy-Bearer St George, at and for the household of Milan and Evie, whose family patron is St George. We wish them Many Years (Sretna Slava) and to all named George and Georgia.

 

- Holy Week & Pascha 2024

With great success, Holy Ascension Orthodox Mission served Lazarus Saturday and Palm Sunday Divine Liturgies as well as the Paschal Triduum, including the Vigil of Pascha at 32 Electra Street, Williamstown. The Divine Services were commemorated and celebrated with beauty, reverence, solemnity and much joy especially at Pascha. This was made possible only by the grace of God and the prayers of the congregation - the spiritual family.

 

The Mission Choir sang beautifully under the capable leadership of both Erica and Zoe. A festal banquet to break the fast was held after the Paschal Vigil with lots of wonderful dishes and sweets and of course Easter eggs!

 

Thank you to everybody who attended and those who were absent but were nevertheless present in spirit and remembered in our prayers. Massive thanks to everybody who helped to make Holy Week and Pascha so beautiful and prayerful at our little Mission: choir singers and readers, altar servers, cleaners, ushers, candle and icon curators, caretakers, photographers, epitaphios carriers, those who held candles and other items in our processions, palm cross makers and those who provided palms, our flower decorations team and to our kitchen team and everyone who brought something along especially for our paschal banquet, our Paschal Gospel readers (this year we read the Paschal Gospel in New Testament Greek, Turkish, Burmese and English) and to everybody who came and worshipped with us!

- 2024 Lenten Pantry Drive

An overflowing food pantry, filled with various non-perishable food items, toiletries, cleaning agents and hygiene products, were delivered on Holy Tuesday to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia – District of Northcote Welfare Centre. The Welfare Centre is a philanthropic body for the immediate relief of poverty and homelessness. Thank you to all who contributed and donated items during our Lenten Drive.

 

 

- Sunday of Orthodoxy 2024

On Sunday 24 March, Holy Ascension Orthodox Mission celebrated the Triumph of Orthodoxy where we all honored the restoration of icons and their veneration. After the Liturgy, we honored the commemoration of the Sunday of Orthodoxy with an icon procession. The faithful of our Mission participated in the icon procession by reverently holding icons in their midst. 

Click here for more information on the theme of the Sunday of Orthodoxy.

- Baptisms – 23 March, 2024

On Saturday, 23 March, we celebrated the Baptisms of Helary, James, Jaydon, Michael, Nathan, Nicholas and Samantha. The Baptisms took place at Holy Ascension Mission in Williamstown.

Helary has taken the name Mary in honor of St Mary of Egypt for her baptismal name.

James has taken the name Theodosius in honor of Venerable Theodosius the Cenobiarch.

Jayden is named in honor of Jadon who rebuilt a section of the walls of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 3: 7).

Michael is named in honor of the Archangel Michael. 

Nathan has taken the name Varus in honor of the Martyr Varus.

Nicholas is named in honor of St Nicholas, Archbishop of Myra in Lycia.

Samantha is named in honor of Venerable Samthann the Abbess of Clonbroney in Ireland.

After the baptisms, our neophytes were treated to a festive lenten lunch and cake (made by expert baker and newly-illumined Samantha!) to celebrate the occasion.

On the following day, Sunday 24 March, our neophytes received Holy Communion for the first time at Holy Ascension Orthodox Mission in Williamstown in the presence of their sponsors and spiritual family.

We congratulate the newly-illumined and their sponsors, and wish them Many Years! We also thank the organisers, contributors and donors of our festive lenten lunch.

- Forgiveness Sunday 2024

On Sunday 17 March, the first service for Great Lent was served with the Vespers of Clean Monday followed by the Rite of Mutual Forgiveness. Wishing everybody a blessed and spiritually fruitful Great Lent.

- Catered Lunch & Family Fun Day - 10 March, 2024

Our Family Fun Day was held on the Meatfare Sunday (the last Sunday that meat is eaten until Pascha) with great success.

It was a wonderful opportunity for people to get together, including newcomers, to socialise and be part of the Mission family.

Thank you to everybody who attended, participated and contributed to this amazing event.

Our next Catered Lunch will be on Palm Sunday 28 April after the Divine Liturgy. Fish and chips will be served.

- Meatfare Saturday Memorial Service - 9 March, 2024

A Memorial Service was held at the end of the Divine Liturgy on Meatfare Sunday. Thank you to everybody who attended, prepared koliva, and who prayed for the deceased.

- Deacon Emil Mishriky Leave of Absence - February 2024

With the blessing of Bishop George, Deacon Emil Mishriky has taken a 3 year leave of absence. We wish him and his family a blessed next chapter together and continue to remember them in our prayers. We also thank Deacon Fr Emil and his family for their many years of support and dedicated and diligent service as co-founders of Holy Ascension Orthodox Mission.

- Wedding – 4 February, 2024

On Sunday 4 February, John and Amy were married at Holy Ascension Mission in Williamstown. Nichita and Erica had the honour of being the wedding sponsors. A festive banquet was held at the Mission afterwards. We congratulate the newly married couple and wish them Many Years!

- Entreaty for the New School Year - 28 January, 2024

An Entreaty for the New School Year for students and teachers was served on Sunday, 28 January, immediately after the Divine Liturgy.

 

 

- Inauguration of Library - 21 January, 2024

On Sunday 21 January, after the Divine Liturgy, the official opening and inauguration of Holy Ascension Orthodox Christian Library was held. The clergy and faithful said a short prayer for the Library and for all of its future users, donors and benefactors, followed by the blessing of the Library. A brief exhortation was then given on discernment and the importance of spiritual reading. holyascension.church/library

 

 

 

 

- Theophany - 19 January, 2024

Holy Ascension Mission celebrated the Great Feast of Theophany for another year in Williamstown. Following the Divine Liturgy, the Great Blessing of the Waters was held. The faithful piously queued at the end of the service filling their bottles with Holy Water to take home as a blessing.

- Blessing & Distribution of the St Basil Cake - 14 January, 2024

The tradition of the blessing and distribution of the St Basil Cake was held at Holy Ascension Mission this Sunday immediately after the Divine Liturgy. The tradition is in honor of St Basil who would give alms to the faithful in his diocese (he was Archbishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia, an inland province of Asia Minor, now modern Turkey). He would deliver gold coins to the local baker. The coins would be embedded in the dough which would then be baked. These loaves/cakes of bread would then be given to the poor in St Basil’s diocese. The faithful of St Basil's diocese were a proud people and wouldn't accept charity. So this was St Basil's way of helping them. This year our Altar Server John H., found the Vasilopita Coin. Congratulations John, with the blessings of St Basil the Great!.

- Nativity - 7 January, 2024

Holy Ascension Mission celebrated the Great Feast of the Nativity of Christ for another year in Williamstown to a full attendance and with great solemnity. A festive fellowship meal was held and enjoyed immediately after the Divine Liturgy.  We were also treated to a surprise visit from St Basil (aka Father Christmas) who was ably assisted by Altar Server John distributing striped candy canes to the faithful and wishing everybody a Merry Christmas. Christ is born! Glorify Him!

- New Year’s Resolution 2024

RESOLVE – to decide firmly on a course of missionary action in Australia by supporting Holy Ascension Mission, your English-speaking, Missionary-Oriented church.

 

Holy Ascension is one of the very few (too few) missions in all of Australia. 

Australia has the dubious distinction of being the last inhabited continent to receive the Light of Orthodoxy. It took almost 20 centuries to reach us!

It took almost 21 centuries to start having church services in English - and we are an English-speaking country!

Dedicated parishes serving all church services only in English took even longer to get started.

Unfortunately church services in the vernacular (a normal practice in the Early Church and throughout the first millennium) is still considered an abnormality at worst and a novelty at best. 

Let’s work to overcome these difficulties by supporting Holy Ascension Mission.

For 2024, consider contributing to Holy Ascension Orthodox Mission’s ongoing needs.
Go to our How-to-Help page to find out how.

 

Wishing everyone a blessed Nativity & Theophany season and a spiritually uplifting 2024.

- Entreaty for the New Year - 31 December, 2023

An Entreaty for the New Year was served on Sunday, 31 December, immediately after the Divine Liturgy.

 

- Surprise visit from St Nicholas  - 24 December, 2023

On Sunday 24 December, after the Divine Liturgy, we were all treated to a surprise visit from St Nicholas (aka Santa Claus) who was ably assisted by Altar Server John distributing striped candy canes to the faithful and wishing everybody a Merry Christmas. Word is that there may be another visit by St Basil (aka Father Christmas) on 7 January! :-)

- Artoclasia (Blessing of the 5 Loaves) - 17 December, 2023

On Sunday 17 December , the Blessing of the Loaves, Wheat, Wine and Oil was served after the Divine Liturgy for our Annas in honor of their patronal saint (St Anna). We wish them a blessed name day and Many Years!

 

- Baptisms – 16 December, 2023

On Saturday, 16 December, we celebrated the Baptisms of Abhi, Josh, Dillania and John. The Baptisms took place at Holy Protection Cathedral in East Brunswick. Abhi is named Michael in honor of Archangel Michael as his baptismal name. Josh has taken the name Justin in honor of Martyr Justin the Philosopher. Dillania is named Abigail after the Righteous Abigail, wife of King David. John is named Konstantine in honor of the Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Constantine the Great, the first Christian Roman Emperor. The following day, Sunday 17 December, our neophytes received Holy Communion for the first time at Holy Ascension Orthodox Mission in Williamstown in the presence of their sponsors and spiritual family. After the Liturgy, during fellowship, we were treated to a festive lunch of fish and chips and other goodies to celebrate the occasion. We congratulate the newly-illumined and their sponsors, and wish them Many Years! We thank the organisers, contributors and donors of our Festive Fish and Chips Luncheon. We also thank the clergy and faithful of Holy Protection Cathedral for allowing us the use of the Cathedral for this special occasion.

- Baptism – 9 December, 2023

On Saturday 9 December, we celebrated the Baptism of Vasilios. The Baptism took place at the Holy Monastery of Axion Estin in Northcote. Vasilios is named in honor of St Basil the Great, Archbishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia, as his baptismal name. The following day, Sunday 10 December, Vasilios received Holy Communion for the first time at Holy Ascension Orthodox Mission in Williamstown in the presence of his sponsor and his spiritual family. After the Liturgy, during fellowship, we were treated to a variety of traditional Turkish sweets to celebrate the occasion. We congratulate the newly-illumined Vasilios, and his sponsor Anastasios, and wish them Many Years! We also thank the clergy and faithful of the Holy Monastery of Axion Estin for accommodating Vasilios on this special occasion.

 

 

- Family Fun Day - 26 November, 2023

Our Family Fun Day was held on the last Sunday before the beginning of the Nativity with great success.

Kids had lots of fun decorating the Mission's Christmas and playing games.

Grown-ups attended and volunteered at our Library Workshop in the lead-up to the Library’s official opening.

Everyone enjoyed a festive lunch with a delicious spread.

It was a wonderful opportunity for people to get together, including newcomers, to socialise and be part of the Mission family.

Thank you to everybody who attended, participated and contributed to this amazing event.

- Library Workshop - 26 November, 2023

The Library Workshop was held under the most capable leadership and organisation of June our Librarian. Thank you to everyone who attended and volunteered their time and assistance with covering our library books with protective “contact” covers. Inauguration of our Mission Library Coming Soon.

 

 

- Christmas Tree Decoration - 26 November, 2023

On Sunday 26 November after the Divine Liturgy, the children of Holy Ascension Mission, with the support of their parents, decorated the Mission's Christmas Tree. Thank you kids big and small!

- Wedding - 17 November, 2023

On Friday 17 November, Millen and Emily were married at Holy Protection Cathedral in East Brunswick. Ari and Poppy had the honour of being the wedding sponsors. We congratulate the newly married couple and wish them Many Years!

 

 

 

- Entreaty to St Varus - 5 November, 2023

An Entreaty to St Varus (patron saint of those who died unbaptised) was served on Sunday, 5 November, immediately after the Divine Liturgy. As a predominantly "convert congregation," it was a welcome opportunity to commemorate those whom we knew who passed away who were not Orthodox Christians.

- 2023 AGM - October 29, 2023

On Sunday 29 October 2023, after the Divine Liturgy, the 2023 Annual General Meeting was held. Thank you to all registered members who attended.

- Artoclasia (Blessing of the 5 Loaves) - 16 July, 2023

On Sunday 16 July 2023, the Blessing of the Loaves, Wheat, Wine and Oil was served after the Divine Liturgy for Pablo Sr and Pablo Jr in honor of their patronal saint (Apostle Paul) and for Julian in honor of his patron saint Martyr Julian of Tarsus. We wish them a blessed name day and Many Years!

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