Αrchbishop Sotirios: Bishop Christoforos was a “Man of God”

The late Bishop Christoforos of Andida, who served as auxiliary Bishop under Archbishop Sotirios of Canada. (Photo by Archdiocese of Canada)

TORONTO – The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Canada noted the falling asleep in the Lord of His Grace Bishop Christoforos of Andida. His Grace passed away on February 14. He was 89 years old.

His Eminence Archbishop Sotirios, as a member of the Holy and Sacred Synod, was at the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and when he learned of the death of Bishop Christoforos, spoke with His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew during the meetings of the Holy and Sacred Synod, about the life of His Grace, calling him a “Man of God,” and remarking on his many contributions as both a priest and bishop in Canada. The Archbishop then went down to the Patriarchal Church of St. George to light a candle for the repose of the soul of Bishop Christoforos.

Bishop Christoforos was a humble and diligent worker in the vineyard of the Lord. He served the Church in Canada with distinction for more than twenty years. He was the first dean of the Toronto Orthodox Theological Academy and was instrumental in cultivating the first cohorts of students who graduated from the Academy who were ordained as priests, and who today serve our communities across Canada.

He was a man of deep faith, with trusting and abiding love in Christ, the Theotokos and the Church. He particularly loved and spoke often about the lives and teachings of the saints. His humility and Christian example brought many people, particularly the youth, to Christ and His Church, and he served as a father confessor to many clergy and laity.

Before being ordained a bishop, the then-Archimandrite served as the parish priest at the historic Church of St. George in Toronto. He was consecrated as a hierarch on June 26, 1999, at the Church of St. Nicholas, also in Toronto, becoming the first auxiliary bishop of the then-Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Toronto.

He studied Theology and Philosophy in Athens and received a state scholarship. He earned his Master of Arts degree from the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom and taught for many years at the Ecclesiastical Academy on Mount Athos.

Archbishop Sotirios had to return hastily from Constantinople for the funeral of his grand-nephew, Dimitri Alexandris, grandson of his brother, Fr. Konstantinos, and therefore it was not possible for the Archbishop to attend the funeral of Bishop Christoforos. The Archbishop communicated with His Eminence Metropolitan George of Thiva and Levadeia who represented the Archbishop and spoke on his behalf.

Following his return from Constantinople, Archbishop Sotirios conducted a memorial service at the St. John the Theologian Chapel after the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, February 16, for the repose of Bishop Christoforos’ soul.

The Archdiocese of Canada urges that “we all pray that the soul of the late Bishop Christoforos is among the saints and angels in heaven. May his memory be Eternal!”