About Us

Mission Statement

St Nicholas is a living and breathing thing that is represented by the people it serves. To serve our parishioners we must focus on, though not limited to, the following aspects:
  • Spiritually and in Fellowship and Unity
  • Leadership and Succession Planning
  • Education
  • Communication
  • Provision of services to our youth and seniors 

The Future

The members of the Parish Executive Council of St Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church are committed to:
  • Work as one and foster common sense of unity in order for our church to become stronger
  • Implement our vision for the next 1 – 5 and 5 - 10 years for the glory of God and our Church
  • Advance the interests and the common good of the church at all times on a professional basis, with love and harmony and in universalism
  • Re-build our church’s Physical and Spiritual Infrastructures
  • Administer the business of the Church on a professional on a transparent basis at all times to meet the needs of our parish and in order  to provide for a better future
  • Re-establish subcommittees to assist with all aspects of running the church and the  implementation of various project


Father Dr. John Karaan (2010 - Present)

Father Romanos Al-Baba (2009-Present)

Father Elias Khoury (1982 - 2010)

With the retirement of the late Father Nicholas Shehadie in 1982, Father Elias was ordained a Parish Priest o­n the 28th of March by his Grace, the late Bishop Gibran Remlawi and appointed the position of Parish Priest of St. Nicholas Punchbowl. That year Father Elias left his job at Outboard Marine Australia and dedicated his time to the parish of St Nicholas, which up until 1994 spread all the way to the Blue Mountains.

Fr. Elias is now the parish priest of a the St John the Baptist Mission parish located on First Avenue in Campsie, NSW

Father John Shehadie (from 1973 - 1982)

In 1973, in order to alleviate the problems of one priest serving all of New South Wales, bishop Gibran gave a blessing for a new church in the western suburbs of Sydney to be built.  Fr John Shehadie, son of Exarch Nicholas Shehadie, was appointed priest of St Nicholas Church, Punchbowl, which he served until his 1987 retirement. Father John Shehadie was the younger brother of the Very Reverend Father Michael Shehadie who served at St George Cathedral at Redfern.

Father John Shehadie who had also studied at the Balamand before arriving in Australia, together with his wife Olga, and children Anthony, Michael and Louise served at St George Church for a short while, then founded St Nicholas Church in Punchbowl. The last of a Shehadie generation that entered the Holy Order.

The History of Antioch Orthodox in Australia 

The Antiochian Orthodox Church in Australia