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Ordination of new priest by His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia in Brisbane, Queensland

With feelings of emotion and spiritual joy, on Saturday 12 March, 2022, the faithful of the Greek Orthodox Parish of Agia Paraskevi, in the suburb of Taigum in Brisbane, welcomed their Spiritual Father and Shepherd, His Eminence  Archbishop Makarios of Australia. With the same feelings they shouted “AXIOS” (he is worthy) to the newly ordained Priest Fr. Athanasios Athanasiadis, who will serve in their Parish.

The ordination  took place on the morning of Saturday of the First Week of Lent, March 12, a day when our Church commemorates the miraculous miracle of St. Theodore of Tyre. Father Athanasios received the second level of the priesthood through the hands of His Eminence Archbishop Makarios, who presided over the Divine Liturgy at the Church of Saint Paraskevi, accompanied by the Protosyggellos of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia, Very Rev. Fr. Christoforos Krikelis, the Abbot of Saint George Monastery at Yellow Rock, Very Rev. Fr Ieronymos Voultsidis, and by priests of the Archdiocesan District of Brisbane.

Among the congregation were the Honorary Consul of Greece in Queensland, Mr. Dimitrios Raptis, as well as representatives of the federal and state governments, and the local government.

In his ordination address to Fr Athanasios, the Archbishop focused on the responsibilities of a clergyman, and addressed his paternal advice to the new clergyman. In way of introduction, after describing how the disobedience of the first-created man (Adam and Eve) changed human life from theocentric to egocentric, he stressed to the newly ordained priest that the main purpose of the pastoral ministry of each clergyman – and therefore, his own from now on – is to reunite man with God with every distancing factor of life, whether it is small or large. “In this sacred moment, when the Grace of the Holy Spirit finds you worthy to receive the second degree of the priesthood, I ask and urge you with all my love, never to forget this great responsibility assigned to you by the Church: unite man with God, “he said, among other things.

His Eminence then urged Fr. Athanasios to proceed as a truly virtuous clergyman, showing the people of God only Christ and avoiding the alienation caused by the acquisition of worldly wisdom.

“Start your pastoral ministry assuming that each person is a part of your own life,” was one of the pieces of advice he gave to the new Priest, noting that the longer Christ lives in you, the more the crucified love will grow in your heart for all of Adam (all of creation) and the more you will live the grief and sin of the other as if it were your own, without being disturbed and wanting to exhaust him “.

Finally, the Archbishop stated with conviction that Fr. Athanasios will give his entire existence to the Church and will be consumed for every soul, while he also made a special reference to the Archiepiscopal Vicar of Brisbane, His Grace Bishop Emilianos of MeloA, whom he thanked for his spiritual support and tireless efforts for the local Church of Australia and for his contribution to the Holy Archdiocese of Australia.

It is noted that Fr. Athanasios, originally from Pieria, Makedonia, has studied at the Department of Pastoral and Social Theology of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

During his studies there, he met and became close friends with His Grace Bishop Emilianos of Melos and the  Abbot of Saint George Monastery in Yellow Rock, Very Rev. Fr. Ieronymos Voultsidis, whom he decided to follow permanently in Australia.

During his address before the Archbishop, deeply moved because the prayer he said 33 years ago, as a server of the altar at the parish of Agia Paraskevi in ​​Katerini, was now fulfilled, he referred with emotion to his long-standing friendship with His Grace Bishop Emilianos of Melos and the  Abbot of Saint George Monastery in Yellow Rock, Very Rev. Fr. Ieronymos Voultsidis , expressing his gratitude for the protection and guidance they provided.

He also expressed heartfelt thanks to His Grace Bishop of Elpidios of Kyanea, and to all the clergy of the Archdiocese of Perth, especially to the Abbot of the Holy Monastery of St John of Mountain in Perth, Fr. Prodromos Souris, for their help and support during his deaconate in Western Australia.

After referring with emotion to his wife, Presvytera Anna, who, as he confessed, has stood as his rock in the face of life’s problems, he addressed with words of filial love and respect to his Shepherd, His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia, noting that it was a milestone in his life, as he surrounded him with paternal affection and trust from the first moment. “I will try with all the strength of my soul not to disappoint you, neither you, nor any of the spiritual people that God has brought richly into my life,” he assured, concluding his address before the Archbishop.