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Feast of Saints Constantine and Helen celebrated in Renmark, South Australia

The Archdiocesan District of Adelaide is blessed to have two churches dedicated to the memory of the Emperor Constantine and his devout mother Helen – in the regional centres of Whyalla and Renmark. The church in Renmark in particular is blessed to be the centre of a thriving Orthodox community in the Riverland that has been able to sustain the presence of a full-time priest. With the blessings of our father and shepherd Archbishop Makarios of Australia, the parish again celebrated its patronal feast this year in full panegyric style.

The celebrations began with the service of Vespers on the evening of the 20th of May 2024, presided by Archepiscopal Vicar for the District of Adelaide, His Grace Bishop Silouan of Sinope, assisted by the long-time parish priest Fr Dimitrios Moraitis. This was followed by Matins and the Divine Liturgy the next morning, again presided by His Grace, which was well-attended and included pilgrims from Adelaide and neighbouring Mildura. In addition to Fr Dimitri, the liturgy was also assisted by Fr Jeremy Krieg – CEO of the Greek Welfare Centre of SA – who used the opportunity to also make some enquiries with a view to providing social services in the region to service the Greek and wider communities on a more regular basis.

During his address in the Liturgy, His Grace conveyed the pastoral blessings of His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia, and spoke on the lives of the patronal saints Constantine and Helen. His Grace emphasised that although the two led different paths in the spiritual journeys, nevertheless they both exhibited the key traits of repentance. His Grace pointed out, without exaggeration, that most of those present would not have been Orthodox were it not for the contribution that these two made to the Faith.

The service was followed by a luncheon put on by the committee and philoptochos of the Parish-Community of Renmark, which was attended by up to 150 faithful. The success of the event – run by a committee which includes a number of young members (including the recently-appointed president, who was himself celebrating his name day) – points to a community with a future. We look forward to Orthodoxy continuing to thrive in the Riverland region in the years to come.