CLIFTON, NJ – His Grace Bishop Apostolos of Medeia, with the permission of His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, and the Patriarchal Commission of the Metropolis of New Jersey, ordained Fr. Michael Diamond (Diamantakos), a married father of one child, as Presbyter, in a moving ceremony at St. George Church in Clifton on June 27.
In his remarks, Bishop Apostolos noted that the newly ordained priest, Fr. Michael Diamantakos, was prepared from an early age in a Christian and spiritual family environment, to reach today with simplicity and humility to be worthy of the grace and blessing of the Blessed Virgin to enter the ranks of the sacred clergy.
As he stated, "with great joy today we celebrate the sacrament of the ordination of Fr. Michael. Our Archbishop Mr. Elpidophoros as a man of love seeing the injustice suffered by Fr. Michael not being able to serve the Church gave him permission to be ordained and to fulfill his life’s dream.”
“I am glad that you recognize and thank our Ecumenical Patriarch, who consented to your return and to become a worthy clergyman of our Holy Archdiocese, as I am glad that you recognize all the people who gave you this joy,” His Grace continued. “To love and serve the Church with devotion, to honor your pastor, the priestly brethren, and to honor the flock of Evangelismos tis Theotokou Church in Jersey City, a parish where you were ordained a new pastor. May God give you strength and enlightenment so that you can fulfill your sacred duties.”
“I warmly thank the Archbishop for giving me the honor of presiding over your ordination, my first in this historic Metropolis of New Jersey,” Bishop Apostolos said.
In his speech, the newly ordained priest expressed his gratitude to the Holy Trinity of God, who required him to enter the Holy of Holies and warmly thanked His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Archbishop Elpidophoros, for their love, and Bishop Apostolos for presiding over the ordination, as well as his spiritual fathers and family members who stood by him and supported him in his course according to God.
He added: “It is very difficult to find words to express how I feel today. Feelings of joy, fulfillment and peace coexist with the feeling of expectations of the clergy. What I can say with confidence is that gratitude and thanksgiving are predominant in my soul with the wonders that are happening today. Many thanks to my family, Presvytera Adamantia and our daughter, Vasiliki, for their love and support. I pray to God to give me the strength to be worthy of everyone's love and trust.”
Fr. Diamond, visibly moved by the experience, spoke with The National Herald, thanking God for the joy and honor He gave him, his late parents who taught him love for the Church, Presvytera Adamantia and their daughter Vasiliki, for the strength and courage they give him, the clergy and all the people who honored him with their presence.
He told TNH: “With humility and gratitude I was ordained today as a priest in the same church where I was ordained a deacon 15 years ago. I will immediately take on the role of presiding priest at the historic Evangelismos Church in Jersey City, and I ask God to give me the strength to live up to expectations. I want to be a priest who forgives, loves his flock and stands by God, as my spiritual father, Fr. Ioannis Orfanakos, taught me. I promise Archbishop Elpidoforos that I will serve and contribute to the Church the best I have.”
Fr. Diamond continued: “My dream since I was a child was to serve the Church. In 2000, I graduated from the Boston Theological Seminary. Immediately after, I was a lay assistant at St. Nicholas of Baltimore, I later served in the Metropolis and today a decades-old dream of becoming a priest is coming true.
“From a very young age, everyone said that when I grow up I will become a priest and today at the age of 47, their prediction came true. God heard my prayers and helped me get to this point,” he said.
Presvytera Adamantia spoke to TNH with words of love and respect for her husband and thanked God for bestowing on her the honor of seeing him fulfill his dream of becoming a clergyman.
She told TNH: "Ever since I met him the priesthood has been a way of life for him. I wholeheartedly support his decision because I know how much he loves the priesthood. I know that our lives will definitely change from now on and I pray to God to help us be worthy of the honor towards the Church.”
Presvytera Adamantia, told TNH that she was born and raised in Koropi and met Fr. Michael when she visited Baltimore to help a sick relative. He was then serving at St. Nicholas, a church that also helped her.
They married in 2004 and now have a 15-year-old daughter, Vasiliki.
Evangelismos Parish Council President Dionysios Koukounaras congratulated Fr. Diamond on his ordination, welcomed him to his new parish, and wished him every success in his pastoral work.
The Holy Mystery was followed by dinner at The Graycliff banquet hall in Moonachie.
Finally, it should be noted that Fr. Michael Diamantakos was ordained a deacon on October 16, 2005 by the former Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey.