BOSTON – His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros has ordained Pavlos Sotirelis, a senior at the Holy Cross Greek Orthodox school of Theology to the diaconate in the School’s Chapel. The evening before the Archbishop tortured him as a monk, the first monastic torture at the School in 40 years.
The new Deacon was admitted to the Monastic Brotherhood established by the Archbishop but he will serve at the English Office of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople.
During the ordination service the Archbishop changed the deacon’s name to Ieronymos, which was chosen by His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
Addressing the new deacon, Archbishop Elpidophoros said that “to aid you in this high calling, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew conveys to you a great gift and an honor, a new name by which you shall be known: Ieronymos!
You receive this name to honor His Beatitude, Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece, where you were born. And with this name, you receive a heavenly intercessor, Saint Ieronymos Simonopetritis, who was canonized just this past November 28th, after the decision of the Holy and Sacred Synod to recognize recent Holy Ones of Mt Athos.”
Archbishop Elpidophoros said, “you will need St. Ieronymos’ help, because you have been called to go to the Phanar – the Sacred Center of our Faith – to assist in the English Office of the Patriarchate. As you may know, St. Ieronymos Simonopetritis was the Secretary of his Monastery before he became the Abbot. And even when he became the Abbot, he continued with those very duties.”
The Archbishop also said that, “although you are young, you have grown up in a house surrounded by love, with the noble examples of your parents. You have given yourself to love by being an eager doer of the word, by serving and being of help wherever you have been called. And now are called to deepen your love of God, and your love of neighbor, and so follow the One Who hung on the Crossbar of the Law and Prophets, in your ministry as a deacon of the Church.”
Deacon Ieronymos, in his response to the Archbishop, said “Your Eminence, Archbishop Elpidophoros, I stand before you today, asking God to enlighten my mind with the right words by which to express my thanks to Him, and to Your Eminence for the kindness and paternal love with which you have embraced me. I stand before the sanctuary with fear and trembling, not daring to look up to my Master, and offering my unworthiness before the mercy of our Lord, for even in my slumber, He roused me up to do His work.”
He added that, “since hearing of my forthcoming ordination, I have strained to fill my days with prayer, fasting, and contemplation, seeking to ‘study and shew myself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth’ (2 Tim 2:15). Fearfully, faithfully, and hopefully, I contemplated God’s unending charity in calling me to Him that I might serve His elect as a deacon, offer intercession before the Altar of Sacrifice, and bring forth the consecrated Life-giving Body and Blood of our Lord to the faithful.”