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Archbishop Makarios of Australia inaugurates an independent living facility for seniors in Cairns

“This work reflects the essence of the Orthodox Christian faith. It reminds us that when we work together guided by the principles of our faith, we can create something truly beautiful and transformative. Let us continue to support each other, help those in need and build a community of mutual respect and care.”

The above was underlined by His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia, during the official opening and blessing, on Saturday, 15 June 2024, of a new structure of the philanthropic organisation of the Holy Archdiocese, St John’s Community Care, in Cairns, North Queensland. The new structure being the Estia on Arlington Lifestyle Apartments, which provides independent living for Seniors in a safe and supportive environment.

His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia, who had laid the foundation stone of the ambitious residential project in late 2022, returned with much joy and emotion to Cairns, to bless its opening. It is noted that the Estia on Arlington structure has 32 independent apartments, with two bedrooms each, with common areas, which ensure independent living conditions for their elderly residents, with the constant care and support of the structure’s dedicated staff.

This is an initiative that attempts to prevent institutionalisation and reverse the image of the nursing home that most people have in their minds. His Eminence, referring to the holistic approach with which the project was designed and implemented, spoke of a “refuge” where the elderly and those in need “can find comfort, dignity and a sense of belonging”. “It has been designed not only to meet the physical needs of the residents,” he added, “but also to cultivate their spiritual, emotional and social well-being.”

Expressing grateful thanks on behalf of the local Church to all those who contributed to the implementation of this wonderful project, the Archbishop made a special mention of the St John’s Community Care Activity of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia and warmly congratulated its President Mr. Theo Bacalakis and the members of its Administrative Board.

During his address, Mr. Bacalakis, Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, initially testified to the love and respect of all the members of the Parish – Community of St. John the Baptist Cairns towards the person of their Chief Shepherd, Archbishop Makarios of Australia. In addition, he thanked His Eminence for his constant support, while assuring the dedication of St John’s Community Care in providing quality living services to our Senior Citizens.

The official opening and blessing ceremony of the “Estia on Arlington” structure was attended by, among others, His Grace Bishop Bartholomew of Charioupolis, Archiepiscopal Vicar of Brisbane, Father John Kapetas and Father Sotirios Papafilopoulos, Parish Priest of the Church of Saint John the Baptist, Cr. Rhonda Coghlan, Local Councillor of the City of Cairns, as representative of the Mayor Cr. Amy Eden, the members of the Board of Directors of St John’s Community Care and the staff of the newly established structure.