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GOA Chancellor Nektarios Papazafiropoulos Ordained to Episcopacy

BOSTON – The ordination to Bishop of Diokleia the Chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Fr. Nektarios Papazafiropoulos, took place on Saturday, April 15, at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New York. The Divine Liturgy and ordination were presided over by Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, assisted by Metropolitans Panteleimon of Veria and Paul of Kozani from Greece. The newly ordained bishop had a spiritual bond with Metropolitan Paul of Kozani due to the years the latter served under his leadership at the Cathedral of St. Demetrios in Astoria. Also participating from Greece was Bishop Christoforos, chancellor of the Metropolis of Kozani.

It is noted that only Metropolitan Apostolos of New Jersey participated from the Eparchial Synod of the Archdiocese of America. Additionally, four auxiliary bishops participated: Athenagoras of Nazianzus, Joachim of Amisos, Sebastian of Zela, and Constantine of Sassima, as well as Bishop Theophanes of the Albanian community. A multitude of priests from the greater New York area, as well as relatives, friends, and acquaintances of the ordained from various cities attended.

Archbishop Elpidophoros, in his address, praised the new Bishop and highlighted his achievements from his previous positions, including his leadership at the Cathedral of St. Demetrios in Astoria. He emphasized that the new Bishop will continue to serve in the chancery of the Archdiocese. He said, among other things, the following

“Beloved Bishop-Elect of Diokleia, Your Grace Nektarios. On this auspicious day, you behold Hierarchs from across our Sacred Archdiocese and across the ocean, gather together to lay their hands upon you, and prayerfully and piously beseech the Holy Spirit of God to elevate you into the brotherhood of the Episcopacy of our Holy Orthodox Church.

“You have served the Church in many capacities, both here and in Greece, the homeland of your family. Of late, you have been the Chancellor of our Sacred Archdiocese of America, ministering with dignity, with decency, and above all else, with fidelity to the Gospel. As such, you have proven yourself a worthy son of the Ecumenical Patriarchate – the Mother Church of Orthodoxy. And you will continue as my Protosyncellos, until such time as the Church calls you to another ministry.”

In another instance he said, “Your Grace, you stand here today, in the presence of so many elders and senior Hierarchs of our worldwide Church. An abundance of brother priests are praying with and for you. Your family and friends, and the community of Astoria, which you served with so much love and devotion, and the faithful from many Churches in the Tri-State Area are here as well.”

The newly ordained Bishop Nektarios thanked former Archbishop Demetrios of America by saying that “it was he who invited me to return from Greece to the United States, and gifted me with the wonderful Parishes of Saint Nicholas in Babylon, New York, and finally the Cathedral of Saint Demetrios in Astoria. I am fortunate to have connected on a personal level with many Hierarchs that I can call friends. His Eminence Metropolitan of New Jersey Apostolos, whom I met when I was visiting as a clergyman from Greece and he was serving at St. Demetrios in Astoria. My parents and family had an opportunity to host him many times. I’m grateful for him for being at their funeral.”

Bishop Nektarios continued: “With His Eminence Metropolitan of Chicago Nathanael we have been friends for many years and when he was in New York we had many chances to get together and share our concerns about the Church and how it could better serve the faithful. It’s a blessing to be here serving the Church as Hierarchs where we can make a difference. Both, their Eminencies, Apostolos and Nathanael, voted for me as members of the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, for which I am grateful.”

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