Monday, February 29th, 2016

An inter-Orthodox gathering will be held at St Athanasius Coptic Orthodox Theological College (SACOTC) on 8 Marchwhen the Donvale Campus hosts a guest lecture by His Holiness Patriarch Irinej, the international leader of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

The guest lecture to be provided by His Holiness, entitled Theology as a Hope for the Future of the Church, represents a remarkable theological, spiritual and inter-Orthodox collaboration between two communities.

The Coptic Orthodox Church was founded by St Mark the Apostle in Egypt and has traditionally been defined as Oriental Orthodox along with a cluster of other Asian, Middle Eastern and African Churches, meanwhile the Serbian Orthodox tradition is placed under the banner of Eastern Orthodoxy capturing mainly European Churches.

SACOTC Dean and Chancellor, His Grace Bishop Dr Suriel, believes this special gathering will build bridges of hope, forge new friendships and create common understandings.

“This is a unique opportunity for the college students, staff and wider Melbourne Coptic Orthodox community to celebrate a shared Orthodox faith tradition with our Serbian Orthodox brothers and sisters in Christ,” Bishop Suriel said. “The Coptic Orthodox community looks forward to welcoming His Holiness and representatives of the Serbian Orthodox community as a gesture of good will and love, respectful dialogue and a deep desire for Christian unity and peace in the world.”

SACOTC is one of 11 member colleges of the University of Divinity, the only specialised university in Australia. 

The Program

9.30am: A lined procession of Coptic Orthodox school students welcoming His Holiness (Driveway)

10am: Shared prayers and hymns in the chapel with His Holiness (Church)

10.20am: Brief tour of the College provided to His Holiness (College)

10:30am: Introduction by His Grace Bishop Dr Suriel; Lecture and Presentations (Hall)

11:15am: Shared lunch (Hall)

12:15pm: Official photograph and tour of St Michael the Archangel Monastery

About His Holiness

His Holiness Patriarch Irinej was born in Serbia in 1930. He studied at the Theological Seminary in Prizren, graduated at the Faculty of Orthodox Theology in Belgrade and was made Professor of the Prizren Theological Seminary. Before assuming the professorship he received the monastic name Irinej. His Holiness has served as Principal of the Monastic School in the Monastery of Ostrog; Principal of the Prizren Seminary; Bishop of Moravica and Bishop of Nis. He was elected as Archbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade-Karlovci and Serbian Patriarch in 2010 making him the 45th Serbian Orthodox Church Patriarch.

The Details

  • SACOTC hosts Serbian Orthodox Patriarch and entourage
  • On Tuesday 8 March 2015, 9.30am – 12:30pm at 88-154 Park Road, Donvale
  • Photographic opportunities and interviews can be arranged on the day or prior.

T: 8872 8450

E: [email protected]

St Athanasius Coptic Orthodox Theological College

88-154 Park Rd, Donvale, Victoria 3111
P.O. Box 1153, North Mitcham, Victoria 3132 Australia Telephone: (+61 3) 8872 8450 Facsimile: (+61 3) 8872 8469 Email: [email protected]

ABN 61 153 482 010 CRICOS 01037A 

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Contact Profile

St Athanasius College

St Athanasius College (SAC) is a theological college specialising in the Coptic Orthodox faith and catering for both local and internatioanl students through our in-class and online study modes. SAC was founded by His Grace Bishop Dr Suriel in 1999. In 2011 SAC was accredited as a Recognised Teaching Institution of the University of Divinity. This paved the way to offer a Diploma and Advanced Diploma in Theology. SAC will soon offer a raft of post graduate courses to respond to our current rapid growth trajectory. 

Maggie Trainor
P: 0388728400
M: 0438 824 123


Serbian; Serbia; Coptic; Egyptian; Egypt; Orthodox; theology; ecumenical; university; education; tertiary; schools; college; bishop; suriel; multicultural; ecumenism; ecumenical; religion



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