SYDNEY – A festive Hierarchical Divine Liturgy was celebrated at the Cathedral of the Annunciation of the Theotokos, in Sydney, on Friday, June 11, the day the Orthodox Church honors the memory of the Apostles Bartholomew and Barnabas and on which Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has his name day.
The Divine Liturgy was presided over by His Eminence Metropolitan Seraphim of Sevastia and was concelebrated with their Graces Bishop Iakovos of Miletoupolis and Bishop Emilianos of Meloa. In addition, the Archiepiscopal Vicar of Canberra, the Very Reverend Archimandrite Father Prochoros Anastasiadisparticipated along with many priests from Sydney.
With the blessing of His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia, His Eminence Seraphim ordained Deacon Dimitri Katsis to the priesthood. The Archbishop has travelled to the Ecumenical Patriarchate to convey to His All-Holiness the respects and wishes of the bishops, the clergy and the Christ-loving people of the fifth continent and, as a Synodal member, he will participate in the work of the Holy and Sacred Synod.
In his ordination speech, Metropolitan Seraphim addressed advice and paternal counsels to the young priest, beginning with the exhortation: “To have this fear of God that you have today, in your whole life. Never become comfortable with the holy altar; never think that everything is a given,” he strongly emphasised to Fr. Dimitri. He continued, “what we have is the Grace of God and we ought to respect it accordingly, and testify Jesus Christ with our lives and serve the Gospel.”
In his special reference to the Primate of Orthodoxy, Metropolitan Seraphim stressed that “we strongly feel the blessing and Grace of God, today, for He has granted the Orthodox Church, for thirty years now, a strong and courageous Patriarch; a Patriarch who dared to do what was [not] considered to be timid; he made moves that an Ecumenical Patriarch had never previously made; he raised the Ecumenical Throne and his voice was heard throughout the world. In the European community, and in all the major international organisations, the Patriarch was present and is respected by all,” he said, “and in the person of the Patriarch, all Orthodox Christians are honoured, and especially the Hellenes.”