Archbishop Sotirios of Canada presided at the Vesper Service at Ss. Panteleimon, Anna, and Paraskevi Greek Orthodox Church in Markham (Toronto), Ontario, with Bishops Andriy of Toronto (Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada) and Athenagoras of Patara (Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Canada) in attendance along with twenty-five priests and deacons. (Photos Archdiocese of Canada)
ΤΟΡΟΝΤΟ – Vespers for the Sunday of Orthodoxy was celebrated joyfully and with solemnity at Ss. Panteleimon, Anna, and Paraskevi Greek Orthodox Church in Markham (Toronto), Ontario.
His Eminence, Archbishop Sotirios of Canada presided at the celebration, with Bishops Andriy of Toronto (Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada) and Athenagoras of Patara (Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Canada) in attendance.
Over twenty-five priests and deacons from the Toronto Clergy Association of the Greater Toronto area participated, representing the Greek, Romanian, Antiochian, Ukrainian, Carpatho-Russian, and Canadian (OCA) Orthodox parishes and communities. The responses were sung by chanters and choirs representing the various churches in Greek, English, Arabic, Romanian, Ukrainian, and Slavonic. Many of those who have attended the Sunday of Orthodoxy services in Toronto over the course of many years commented upon the fact that the singing and chanting of this year’s service was undoubtedly of the highest quality in their memory.
Archbishop Sotirios offered the homily, amplifying the meaning of the celebration and reminding all present that we, as human beings, are all images – icons – of God. He went on to speak of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the spiritual meaning and consequences of this unprovoked war, especially since it was initiated by a traditionally Orthodox country. He called all present to offer prayerful and material support for all those suffering, and especially to ask the Lord to bring peace as soon as possible.
With the blessing of Archbishop Sotirios Bishop Andriy, himself from Ukraine, offered personal remarks in regard to the war in Ukraine, underlining the fact that Ukraine is a peaceful nation which has never made war against anyone, and describing the horrendous destruction and suffering which is being wrought in Ukraine at this time due especially to the targeting of the civilian population and infrastructure by Russian troops.
Following this Fr. Bohdan Hladio, president of the clergy association, thanked Archbishop Sotirios as well as the parish council and Philoptochos of Ss. Panteleimon, Anna, and Paraskevi Church for their kindness and hospitality in organizing this event, and offered words of gratitude to the Archbishop, clergy, and faithful of the Archdiocese for their outstanding generosity in support of those suffering in Ukraine as well as the over two million refugees who have fled the country.
Following the service everyone proceeded to the church hall where the parish council president, John Psihos welcomed everyone, and the Philoptochos offered everyone a wonderful lenten meal, complete with delicious Greek delicacies, which were greatly appreciated and enjoyed by all.
The evening ended with His Eminence again thanking the bishops, clergy, the chanters, the parish council, and especially the Philoptochos for their contribution to the success of this event, and following his closing blessing clergy and faithful from all our communities departed to their homes, spiritually and physically fortified and prepared to continue their Great Lenten journey to Pascha.
BOSTON – Metropolitan Methodios of Boston, along with the clergy and the laity of the parishes of New England, celebrated the Thronal Feast of the Metropolis of Boston in memory of Saint Apostle Andrew the First-Called.
ATHENS — After several years of strained relations that raised tensions to alarming levels, longtime regional rivals Greece and Turkey made a significant step Thursday in mending ties during a visit to Athens by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
ΝΙΨΟΣΙΑ - Turkish-Cypriot hardline nationalist leader Ersin Tatar has one word of advice for European Union leaders who hope the island divided by unlawful 1974 Turkish invasions will ever come together again.
ATHENS - A former deputy prime minister for Greece’s major opposition SYRIZA has joined the ranks of defectors leaving the party’s central committee in disaffection with new leader Stefanos Kasselakis.
TIRANA - Defying Greece and the European Union, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said the prosecution of a detained ethnic Greek Mayor-elect of the seaside town of Himare will go on even though it’s blocking his country’s European Union hopes.
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