Hieromonk Maximos was born Michael Gareth Davies in the small town of Nowra on the New South Wales South Coast, Australia, in 1966. He is the eldest of four children. His parents, Ivor and Carole, raised him to be a good Catholic Christian, setting him the wonderful example of their own lives. He attended the local Catholic primary school and then the nearest state high school, finally ending up at the University of Sydney where he graduated with degrees in Arts and Law.
After a few years practicing as a corporate lawyer in Sydney, Michael felt the Lord calling him to a monastic vocation. At around this time he met Father Nicholas Zachariadis through whom he became introduced to the Melkite Greek Catholic community in Sydney. He attended Divine Liturgy most frequently at the Melkite Cathedral of St. Michael’s in Darlington, and also went quite often to various Orthodox churches within the Sydney metropolitan area.
After coming to the U.S. with Fr. Nicholas to embark on the journey that led eventually to the formation of Holy Resurrection Monastery, the now Brother Maximos, spent time at Mt. Tabor Monastery, Redwood Valley, and with the embryonic HRM during its initial formation in the Bay Area. The community put Br. Maximos’ legal training to good use, and he became largely responsible for the temporal and administrative side of the monastery’s life, a role he continues to fulfill as Protos (deputy to the Abbot) and Economos (treasurer).
In 2000, when Bishop George Kuzma formally erected the monastery, Br. Maximos was tonsured together with the other monks into the Lesser Schema. After a few years it became apparent that the community needed another priest. Fr. Maximos had already done some studies in philosophy as part of his undergraduate studies, and had supplemented this by studies within the monastery under the guidance of Abbot Nicholas. In order to complete the studies necessary to qualify him for priestly service within the monastery the community sent Fr. Maximos to the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA, where he completed his Masters in Orthodox Christian Studies through the Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute. Bishop John Michael Botean ordained him in 2006. During the period of his studies, Fr. Maximos lived with the Dominican community at St. Albert’s Priory, a thoroughly delightful experience.
Over the past decade Fr. Maximos has written many short articles for church publications, including First Things and America, as well as our eparchial newsletter Unirea Canton and the Valyermo Chronicle. He has also been asked by a number of parishes and other church and academic organizations to preach retreats and other talks. He has been blessed to be the confessor and spiritual father of a number of people.
Fr. Maximos has given a number of workshop retreats, these have included topics such as:
Theologies of the Body: A Patristic Look at the Thought of John Paul II
Luminous Darkness: St. Dionysius the Areopagite
Instroduction to Eastern Christian Spirituality
The Jesus Prayer
Fr. Maximos has also contributed material for the radio program, Light of the East.
Masters Thesis, ”Sins Voluntary and Involuntary: John of Damascus, Natural Integrity and the Moral Vision of Eastern Orthodoxy”
“Celibacy in Context”, First Things December 2002
“What Divides Orthodox and Catholics? How the faithful can foster ecumenism on the level of church culture” America Magazine, December 3, 2007
Watch a video interview about Father Maximos