On Sunday, 31 December 2023, in the middle of the joyous festive cycle of the Holy Twelve Days of Christmas, and specifically on the Leave-taking of the Feast of Christmas, the great and beautiful priestly family of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia welcomed a new member, Deacon Evangelos Aspiotis. The ordination of the new Deacon took place at the Church of the Holy Apostles, in the city of Newcastle, New South Wales, by the hands of His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia.
During his address of admonition, His Eminence expressed the joy of the local Church and himself personally, for the entry into the priesthood of a person who has a special zeal for the liturgical life of the Church, as well as an infinite love for the Holy Altar, who is called henceforth to minister. In support of this, he pointed out: “I know very well that, living in rural Australia, you would drive many hours every Sunday to come to Newcastle in order to go to the Church of the Holy Apostles, attend the Divine Liturgy, be sanctified and then return to your family home. Everyone here in the parish, first of all Fr. Nicholas, appreciate your apostolic zeal and praise your love for the Divine Liturgy.”
Afterwards, the Archbishop paternally urged the ordinand not to lose this precious gift and spiritual resource that he possesses, that is, the zeal for the Worship of God, but to cultivate it as much as possible and to increase it, “without ever becoming familiar with the sacred and divine, and without the Worship of our Church ever becoming for you a mere habit and a formal duty”. Archbishop Makarios also urged him to truly become a “Evangelos”, as his name indicates, i.e. a preacher of the good news, and to pursue this not only with words from the pulpit, but primarily with his life and example and the good witness of his ministry.
Apart from this, after counting the many gifts and virtues that adorn the personality of the new Deacon, His Eminence estimated that the blessed family he has created along with his Presbytera and their four children, will help him in the accomplishment of the difficult task he undertakes.
Concluding, the Archbishop recalled the words of the Apostle Paul of the Gentiles: ” be sober-minded in all things” (2 Tim. 4:5) and the command “prepare the way of the Lord”, which was heard in the gospel reading of the day. Therefore, he urged the new Deacon on the one hand to be constantly spiritually alert and to keep the eyes and ears of his intellect open to what God commands, and on the other hand to be fully aware that he is becoming a clergyman not to work for himself, but with the mission of preparing the way which the Lord will walk in order to come and be born in the heart of every believer.
At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia also tonsured two Readers, those being Mr. Ioannis Willmot and Mr. Aaron Donato, whom he properly advised for the ministry they are undertaking, while he wished all the faithful and the Parish Priest, Father Nicholas Scordilis, that the new year 2024 would be blessed and fruitful for the Parish – Community of the Holy Apostles and for their families.