The Year 2 students embarked on a trip to Geelong Monastery, where they were amazed by the architecture of a spectacular church sitting on the top of the hill, overlooking all of Geelong. We arrived in time to take part in a beautiful Liturgy. The children lit a candle, kissed icons, and for many, this also offered the opportunity to have communion. At the end of the service, the priest gave the children a handful of antihero (hold bread) and the children gulped it down saying “it was the best bread ever”!
One of the sisters talked to the children about the Monastery and some of the duties that were undertaken there. Students then were able to explore the grounds while eating their snack. The animals were a highlight, as children searched for fresh grass on the hills and hand-fed the goats. They spotted a puppy dog which wasn’t quite as small as they were expecting! We didn’t spot the cats, I think they were in hiding with all the commotion and excitement from the children, which probably frightened them. There was also lots of exploring in the paddocks, looking for bugs and worms too!
Later, students visited the gift shop, looking at the wonderful items (icons, necklaces, crosses, magnets, angels, etc), and some of them even got a chance to make a purchase. They were excited to know that the money goes straight to the church to help others. After lunch, we all sat quietly inside the outdoor church. The Sister talked to the students about the property and they had the opportunity to ask lots of questions.
Time flew by so quickly, as we were all having so much fun, and soon it was time to head back to school. The children were so excited about how much fun they had! We hope that this positive experience at the Monastery will encourage families to take the trip together with their children and visit this wonderful place.
We thank all the families who sent non-perishable foods along with their children, that we then presented to the sisters at the Monastery, they were so appreciative of the generous donations!
Orthodox Studies Teacher