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Northcote: The Feast Day of the Church of Saint Vasilios, Brunswick

With due ecclesiastical splendour the first day of the New Year, the feast of the Circumcision of our Lord in the flesh and the memory of Saint Basil the Great were celebrated in the Archdiocesan District of Northcote, Victoria. The centre of the feast day events was the celebrating Church of Saint Vasilios in the suburb of Brunswick, Melbourne.

At the Great Vespers, on the eve of the feast, His Grace Bishop Evmenios of Kerasounta, Archiepiscopal Vicar of Northcote, officiated, and conveyed to the congregation the festive wishes of His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia. The holy sermon was preached by His Grace Bishop Themistocles of Nicopolis, of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, who is currently in Australia, and who is from Sierra Leone where he ministers.

At the conclusion of the Vespers, His Grace Bishop Evmenios, offered heartfelt wishes to Father Vasilios Kourtesis for his name day, who has served the Holy Archdiocese of Australia for fifty years.

On the day of the feast, Bishop Evmenios officiated at the matins and presided over the festive Divine Liturgy, while during his sermon he referred to the great gift of time that God gives us to come to find ourselves. “This is not a time to waste but to find ourselves and restore our relationship with God”, he emphasised and continued: “Every new year requires change, in order for everyone to survive through it. However, we usually want change, but in others. We more easily demand change from others, rather than from ourselves. But the world, and our society, is not going to change if we personally, each one of us, do not change internally first. Let us find peace within ourselves, so that externally each of us may become the salt of the earth and the light of the world.”

At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, His Grace Bishop Evmenios of Kerasounta cut the traditional Vasilopita of the Parish and made a special reference to 2024 which is an important year for the Holy Archdiocese of Australia, as it celebrates the 100th anniversary of its foundation, and also the visit of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in October, when the anniversary events will culminate.