Our parish began officially on Sunday the 9th of November 1980. The first Divine Liturgy was served in the hall of St. Therese's Catholic Church, corner of Sutherland and Coward Streets. Fr. Nicholas Marketos was appointed as the Parish Priest and thus began the work of the parish in our community.
After 12 months, the parish bought the existing Anglican church at 13-15 Tunbridge St, Mascot and together with the assistance of the Parish committee, the Ladies Philoptohos and of all our parishioners, the parish began to grow spiritually. Groups were organised for hospital visits, a youth fellowship was created and a senior citizens group began to meet weekly.
Due to the limited seating capacity in the "old" Church, the parish bought a plot of land on Coward St beginning the building of the "new" Church of St. Catherine's. On the 7th of February 1993 His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos of blessed memory, laid the FOUNDATION STONE and a year later, on the 6th of February 1994, His Eminence officially opened the new Church of St. Catherine's for the glory of the triune God.
Fr. Nicholas, known for his Godly zeal, organised the parish into a spiritual centre where many Orthodox faithful would find solace and comfort. Apart from being a father confessor, he organised numerous functions to support the orthodox missionary work in Madagascar and Indonesia.
On the 25th of November, 1996, during the visit of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to Australia, Fr. Nicholas was awarded the Cross of the Patriarchate for his services to the Archdiocese and to the wider Australian community.
On the 27th of November 2010, the Archdiocese approved Fr. Nicholas' retirement from active parish duties and Fr. Athanasios Giatsios was appointed as parish priest of St. Catherine's Church, having continued the legacy with the CONSECRATION and laying of the CONSECRATION STONE held on 25 November 2021 with his Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia with all bishops of our Holy Archdiocese.
On 1 December 2021, the archdiocese appointed Fr Stavros Ivanos to lead the next chapter in the history of our church and with Fr Nicholas’s blessing.
Fr Stavros Ivanos – Parish Priest
Fr Stavros Ivanos was raised in Canberra ACT, having relocated to Sydney to pursue his studies at Saint Andrews Theological College. Soon after his graduation, Fr Stavros married Annette Tsigounis and was ordained to the diaconate by His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos of blessed memory on the 14th May 2006.
Fr Stavros served three years as personal deacon to His Eminence before being ordained to the priesthood on the 26th October 2008.
On 5 June 2021, His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia conferred the sacred duties of a spiritual father and confessor.
The Archbishop gave him the following paternal advice: “Seek an opportunity to forgive people. What we need to do is to imitate Christ, Who is looking for a way to save all of us.” His eminence also mentioned to offer people what they need from the Church: a little compassion and some love. “You have a loving heart; you are a sensitive person, noble and faithful to the Church, to your Archbishop and to our Holy Archdiocese. And all these things are a guarantee that you will be a good and blessed spiritual father and many souls will find rest under your guidance, and they will also find salvation.”
Fr Stavros and Presbytera Annette are blessed with a daughter, Elizabeth. He has served as assistant parish priest at the Greek Orthodox Church of St Euphemia in Bankstown, Sydney, for two years prior to undertaking pastoral commitments at St Stephanos in Hurlstone Park.
Fr Stavros is a bi-lingual priest, fluent in both Greek and English and is very dedicated in serving the growing pastoral and spiritual needs of the parish and community.
Our parish is growing. Our fellowships & our seniors group play a pivitol role with social welfare & visits to hospitals and monasteries. Greek dancing lessons have been introduced to our children under the guidance of Mr Dimitrios and Mrs Stavroula Papapetros under the Aristotelion Greek Dancing Group. A website has been created to connect you with our parish from all over the world. Recently, our parish began a children's playgroup in conjunction with the Greek Welfare Centre.
Our parish is making an effort to connect orthodox students of the local public schools with their local church by organising liturgies for their spiritual needs. Visits to our Church are organised in conjunction with the local schools, so that we can introduce the Orthodox faith to non-Orthodox children as well.
With God's help, the parish of St. Catherine's is looking forward to the challenges of the future generation and hopes that it will always continue to grow spiritually for the glory of God and the salvation of the world.