On Sunday morning the 27th of November, on the day that the Cathedral of Hagia Sophia in Adelaide was officially handed over for public worship, a second important ecclesiastical event increased the joy of the clergy and the faithful who took part in the Divine Liturgy. This was the ordination to the diaconate of subdeacon Petros Georgiadis, conducted by His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia.
In the presence of his wife, Efthymia, and their four daughters, the new Deacon received the paternal wishes and blessing of his Shepherd together with spiritual advice and admonitions for the exercise of a fruitful priestly ministry as well as wishes from Their Graces, Bishop Silouan of Sinope, the Archiepiscopal Vicar of Adelaide and Bishop Emilianos of Meloa, who were both present.
Initially, His Eminence invited the ordained deacon to enter the holy orders with humility and a spirit of discipleship towards all which is sacred and has been handed down by the tradition of our Church. “Build your ministry on the foundation of the holy apostles and prophets”, he urged the deacon, “and secure it on the cornerstone, which is Christ. And then you will have the certainty that you are walking the path of the Gospel. Your ears and your eyes must be closed to the calls of the world, so that your spiritual ears and your spiritual eyes can open and thus be able to comprehend the words of eternal life and encounter the truth in the face of Christ.”
Moreover, the Archbishop warned the new Deacon that nothing is easy nor a given; nothing is achieved without effort and struggle, without faith and devotion to Christ and His Church. For the difficult times and the trials he will confront, the Archbishop advised him to turn back to the day of his ordination and remember the Gospel reading, which emphasises that “the things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” (Luke 18:27).
It was a moving moment when His Eminence referred to the late mother of the ordained deacon, Evangelia, who was a person of Christ and the Church and raised her son in a Christian manner. “Today, she is praising you in the heavens,” he said, “and surely her soul is rejoicing because she realises that her prayers for her child have been answered and borne fruit. This is a message for all of us – to understand how much value a mother’s prayers have for a person”.
Concluding his spiritual counsels, the Archbishop praised the many qualities and gifts of the new Deacon, praying that all these be increased within the priesthood and utilised for the glory of Christ and the Church.
For his part, the new Deacon thanked the Bishops who were present and his family, while referring to His Eminence with words of gratitude, noting that, “Once, Your Eminence, you told us that we experience the beautiful things in life with our eyes closed. They are simple and easy. Today, I too, with absolute freedom, leave myself to God’s grace and with my eyes closed, experience lofty and great things. Thank you for all your love and affection.”