On Tuesday evening, 21 November 2023, the Greek Orthodox Parish of St Catherine in East Malvern hosted an Open Day for St Andrew’s Greek Orthodox Theological College. The event was well attended by clergy and laity, including current students and alumni, with its purpose being to provide a vision and inspiration for theological education, together with helpful course information regarding theological studies and an overview of the overall activities of St Andrew’s.
The event was opened by His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia, College President and Dean, who emphasised to all that the study of theology is ultimately an entry into ‘the joy of the Lord’. Amongst other things, His Eminence noted: “We have come to you this evening, inviting you to “come and see”, wishing to share with you the joy that presents itself with the study of theology, with the joy of being taken by the hand and brought before the very presence of the person of Jesus Christ, to the extent that this is the ultimate purpose with regards to the study of theology—namely, to encounter Christ and, as we read in the Gospels, to “enter into the joy of [our] Master” (Mt 25:23).”
Then in his address, the College Sub-Dean, Associate Professor Philip Kariatlis, pointed out that theology is not just an academic pursuit but also involves a personal transformation as the student strives to encounter the living Christ in their academic journey. Three student testimonials were given by Revd Fr Panteleimon Laskaris (alumnus), Dr Sophie Koutoulas (Masters student) and Anastasios Karadis (second-year Bachelor student) offering various student insights about their time at St Andrew’s. The evening concluded with the Registrar, Father Anastasios Kalogerakis, outlining the various course options and modes of study available to prospective students. Both he and Dr. Kariatlis made themselves available for questions and conversation to many attendees during the generous supper provided at the close of the event by the Parish Philoptochos and volunteers.
The Open Day was honoured by the presence of Their Graces, Bishop Kyriakos of Sozopolis and Bishop Evmenios of Kerasounta, and the Chancellor of the Archdiocese, Archimandrite of the Ecumenical Throne Christophoros Krikelis, all three being College alumni themselves. It was also honoured by the attendance of the Consul General for Greece in Melbourne, Mr. Emmanuel Kakavelakis, whom His Eminence called upon to give a greeting to the audience, which he obliged very warmly.
All in all, it was a very enjoyable and encouraging event.
The next Open Day event will be held via Zoom on Tuesday, 28 November 2023, starting 7:00pm Sydney time AEDT (6:30pm Adel; 6:00pm Bris; 5:30pm Darw; 4:00pm Perth). Register online using https://www.trybooking.com/CMWJH to receive a Zoom invite prior.