This year’s celebration for the Feast of Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker, Archbishop of Myra, was especially meaningful and blessed for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Canada and its faithful.
His Eminence Archbishop Sotirios of canada, together with His Grace Bishop Athenagoras of Patara, as well as 17 Reverend Fathers, celebrated the Great Vespers on 5 December 2023, at the celebrating community of St. Nicholas.
The Archbishop explained in a fatherly manner the importance of a Cathedral Church, and why the Saint Nicholas Community, which is owned and fully under the auspices of the Archdiocese, and includes the Metropolitan Cultural Centre, is the best church to be the Archdiocesan Cathedral.
Following the Great Vespers, individuals attended a complementary dinner hosted by the Cathedral Council at the adjacent Cultural Centre. It was a truly magnificent evening with moving speeches from Mrs. Anastasia Sotiropoulos, Cathedral President, and Archbishop Sotirios. A youth dance group of the Greek Community of Toronto entertained guests with traditional Greek folkdance.
Over 600 people attended the Vespers Service, among them Mrs. Anastasia Sotiropoulos, President of the Cathedral Church; Ms. Zoe Veroutis, President of the Archdiocesan Philoptochos Council; Ms. Betty Skoutakis, President of the Greek Community of Toronto; Mr. Nick Mantas, Toronto City Councillor; as well as Father Dositheos (Holy Archangels Monastery, Texas), and Gerontissa Alexia and Sisters from the Holy Monastery of Patrokosmas.
The following morning, on December 6th, His Eminence Archbishop Sotirios of Canada, His Grace Bishop Athenagoras, Father Evangelos Anastasiadis, Father Triantafillos Porfiris and Father Emmanuel Karofilakis celebrated the Divine Liturgy. Hundreds of faithful came and partook in the Mystery of Holy Communion.
In his homily, the Archbishop invited everyone to celebrate the Nativity of Christ as St. Nicholas would have done.
Two individuals, Mr. Steve Vretos and Mr. Angelo Toulis, were recognised for their tireless work and contributions to the St. Nicholas Cathedral and were presented with custom made plaques by Archbishop Sotirios.
Following the Liturgy, the faithful went to the Metropolitan Cultural Centre for a luncheon and the traditional singing of Christmas carols led by His Eminence, together with the Fimi of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. It was a celebration full of joy for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Canada and we thank and glorify God for His many continued blessings.