OUR PARISH PRIEST
Father Savas is currently the Parish Priest of our establishing Community & Church of Saint Savvas of Kalymnos in Sydney. Fr Savas is married to Presvytera Styliani and has two beautiful boys.
He was born in Sydney in 1978, and from the tender age of 3 years old until his ordination to the diaconate he served with great joy as an altar boy, at his local Parish Resurrection of Christ- Kogarah. Having completed his secondary education & his Higher School Certificate in 1996 he gave up his position to study Law to fulfill his desire to become a priest having received an offer to study Theology at St. Andrews Greek Orthodox Theological College in 1997. Due to personal reasons and with the direction, blessing and guidance of his spiritual Father in April of 1999, Fr Savas departed from the college and at the end of the year moved to Greece to continue his studies. He was ordained to the diaconate on the island of Kalymnos (Ecumenical Patriarchate) by the former Metropolitan Nektarios.
For reasons beyond his control, disappointed and betrayed by his hierarch and others, Fr Savas was forced to leave his metropolis and returned back home to Australia. Having returned he went to study a four year degree- Bachelor of Secondary Education (Humanities & Social Sciences) and graduated with honors From Sydney University in 2005, also being awarded with the prestigious award for Academic Excellence & Outstanding Scholastic Achievement as a new member of the Golden Key International Honour Society (Sydney University Charter). Fr Savas then taught at various government and private secondary schools, also establishing together with his business partner their own photographic studio specializing in child and family portraiture. It is significant and worthy of note that it is his business that sustains his family, and did not want to depend on his priesthood and church for a wage to survive, and this has been blessed by his Bishop and Holy Synod.
After many years of disappointment and constant pleas to find justice within the ‘official’ church hierarchies- who never ever responded in any way or cared about Fr Savas case, but with constant prayer and Faith in Our Lord Jesus Christ, Fr Savas on the 5th of December 2010 (feast of Saint Savvas the Sanctified) by the will of God was re-instated as a deacon & was ordained to the Holy Priesthood in Athens by His Eminence Christopher of New England of the Former Exarchate of the Patriarchate of Alexandria (co-celebrant and in communion with Patriarch Philaret- Kyiv Patriarchate). Upon his ordination, he immediately was honoured and elevated to the high rank of Protoprespyter and Spiritual Father-confessor. Fr Savas on the same day (with apospasma) was given canonical release to the Holy Synod of Greece (OC) Metropolis of Australia & Oceania and was immediately appointed to serve the Church of Saint Nektarios in Wollongong.
Coming to a church which was ready to close its doors, he had raised the congregation to a large vibrant once again community, With his hard efforts and peoples loving support Fr Savas managed to restore the old church-ready close its doors, to a new-renovated church, new gold guilded icon screens & icons externally infront of church (both paid by Fr Savas), rendered walls in and out, wall iconography, of altar and church, new ecclesiastical pews, church items etc which Fr Savas gathered from peoples loving support, with no help at all from the church committee.
In 2012, with the Decision of the Synod (OC) Greece under Serapheim, father Savas was appointed General Archdiocese Commissioner for NSW- Second in line to the Vicar General.
In October 2013 Fr Savas was elected and appointed also as Secretary of The Metropolitan’s Council.
With the establishment St Savvas Church in late 2014, on the 19/1/15, Fr Savas & his Community, were accepted and remain officially & canonically under the Omorforion of the Clergy of the Patriarchate of Kyiv.
With the blessings of His Beatitude Patriarch Philaret, a delegation was sent to Sydney Australia end of February 2015 headed by His Eminence Chrysostom of Chersonysos & Azov Peninsula - Patriarchal Exarch of Greece, who officially on Sunday of Orthodoxy March 1st 2015 officially accepted Fr Savas through the (Laying of Hands) reading the Priest Prespyter Ordination prayers upon him again & appointed Fr Savas as the General Archdiocese Commissioner for Australia & Oceania of the Exarchate - Kyiv Patriarchate.
In November 2016, Fr Savas was also nominated by the local MP, accepted & appointed by the Governor General of Australia as a Justice of the Peace.
With a strong Church Committee and devout faithful, St Savvas Church & Community continues to grow with our Beloved Saints Blessings for the Glory of God.
On Sunday 12th November 2017 upon the invitation of Fr Savas, a Patriarchal Delegation led by the Patriarchal Vicar Metropolitan Epiphanios of Pereyaslav (now the canonical First Hierarch of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine), conducted and consecrated officially our Church & Holy Altar of St Savvas of Kalymnos, a beautiful service and Historic event for our Church. At the end of the service with the blessings of His Beatitude Patriarch Philaret, Fr Savas was awarded the Patriarchal Order & Medal of St Nicholas (the highest order & medal for Clergyman of our Patriarchate), for his devout endless & tireless work, effort and dedication in establishing from scratch our Parish and Church of St Savvas of Kalymnos in such a short period of time.
On the 11/10/2018 with an Official Announcement of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in the framework of granting Autocephaly to our Ukrainian Church, all Anathemas, Excommunications & Defrockments were uplifted from our Patriarch Philaret and subsequently ALL the clergy under him, restoring HIM and ALL the clergy to their episcopal and priestly rights and with their flock joining them to canonical communion with worldwide orthodoxy, recognised canonically by all, without exception or debate.
Fr Savvas Infront of the Miraculous Body- Relic of St Savvas of Kalymnos
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OUR CHURCH & COMMUNITY
Our Church & Community was officially and legally registered, in 2014. Church Services initially took place at a temporary premises in Kogarah Bay, until the church was able to find a permanent existing church to purchase or land to buy & build in the area. Through Gods Grace a major miracle took place on 31st August 2016 by our Beloved St Savvas and within two years of being established against all odds against those who were trying to shut us down & had attacked our Saint & community, we were given the opportunity to purchase an existing Church on a large block of land and a large hall with a smaller one with many other facilities, within the St George area and on the main Hwy. Not only was this former Protestant Church established in 1890, it was a landmark of Banksia and the wider St George Area. The first Agiasmo- blessing of the Church & premises took place on Wednesday 16th November 2016 & the First Historic Divine Liturgy with the blessings of our Patriarchate was served on Sunday the 20th November 2016. St Savvas Orthodox Church, although it serves predominately in Ukrainian, Greek & English- is an Eastern Orthodox Church and welcomes all Orthodox, having Parishioners who are Ukrainian, Serbian, Greek and many more.
Our Church & Community of St Savvas the New of Kalymnos is one of the first Churches named solely after the Saint in all the world, apart from his Church on the Island of Kalymnos- were his Miraculous Holy Relic (Full Body) is found. Fr Savvas has also been blessed to Be Given one of St Savvas Stoles from his monastery- which emanates a divine heavenly Fragrance, along with a small wooden prosforo seal (typari) carved & used by the Saint himself & from Aigina Fr Savas was given one of St Savvas own icons he painted & signed with his own hands while in Aigina in 1919, one year before his spiritual Brother St Nektarios Fell asleep. These priceless treasures have been placed within his church for all devout to venerate & receive blessings.
Within the main Church we also have a Chapel in Honour of Panagia Hrisoleontissa (Historical Monastery & Miraculous icon in Aigina) in which an exact copy of her Miraculous Icon was given to our Church by the Abbess of the Monastery who is Fr Savas & Presvyteras Styliani's Aunty and is now housed in her Chapel with a side altar to St Euphemia as well. Panagia Hrisoleontissa had a special place in the hearts as we know of both St Nektarios & St Savvas of Kalymnos as they not only both at one point lived within her monastery - while fixing Holy Trinity but also would go and spend hours in front of her miraculous icon and pray with tears in front of her. St Nektarios himself before leaving Aigina to be entered into hospital before he fell asleep, he went up to the Monastery of Hrisoleontissa and prayed for the last time hours before her icon as he knew he was departing within days from this world. Both Saints loved Panagia Hrisoleontissa. Hanging from our icon is also an engolpio of our late bishop & exarch who dedicated it to Panagia but sadly did not get to see it be housed in her chapel here.
On Sunday 12th November 2017 a Patriarchal Delegation led by the Patriarchal Vicar Metropolitan Epiphanios of Pereyaslav (now First Heirarch of the canonical Orthodox Church of Ukraine) conducted and consecrated officially our Church & Holy Altar, a beautiful service and Historic event for our Church & our Patriarchate in Kyiv in which we are ecclesiastically under.
In time if we have a need to expand and re-build or renovate in the future, the proposed Church God Willingly will be a replica of His Church in Kalymnos Stone Byzantine Style- Cross Shaped, with a difference of having a (Gynokoniti) Womans Level-Balcony within, which His Church in Kalymnos does not have. Along with a community Hall & other Facilities. For now our church & Hall will remain as is.
Initial Proposed designs & Sketch can be seen below, as with colour pictures of His Church in Kalymnos-Greece.
St Savvas needs your Help!
If anyone would like to donate and help in raising funds for our Saints Church & to help assist paying off the loan of our Church please contact us or Fr Savas or you may deposit direct in the following account:
ANZ BANK - KOGARAH
The Orthodox Church of "St Savvas of Kalymnos".
BSB NO. 012-310
ACC NO. 4108-99362