His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia, accompanied by all the assistant Bishops, visited the Holy Monastery of Panagia Pantanassa in Mangrove Creek, New South Wales, on Wednesday, 24th November, at the invitation of the Abbot of the Monastery, the Very Reverend Archimandrite Elder Eusebius.
His Eminence and the Bishops of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia were received with immense joy and honour by the fathers and monks and at the monastery’s katholikon (main church), a short service was performed, during which the Abbot of the Holy Monastery officially addressed the Archbishop, expressing sacred sentiments and the spiritual joy and honour felt by all the members of the Monastic Brotherhood of Panagia Pantanassa.
“With your presence here, today, in our monastic community and at the holy places of our abode and life of repentance, we relive and breathe the same atmosphere of the Holy Spirit that we recently experienced during the successive ordinations of our bishops at the Parish of St Nicholas, Marrickville,” said the Very Rev. Elder Eusebius.
His Eminence, responding to the address of the Abbot, stressed that the visit of the recently ordained Bishops to the Holy Monastery is of great spiritual importance, as it is the first visit made by the newly ordained Bishops after their ordination.
After the short service, a tour ensued of the areas under construction at the Holy Monastery of Panagia Pantanassa and Abrahamic monastic hospitality.
The entire address of the Abbot of Pantanassa Monastery follows:
“Your Eminence, our Archbishop. You have come to our monastery, accompanied by the choir of the new God-loving assistant Bishops. The team of your coworkers. The glory and boast of our Church.
We recently experienced during the successive ordinations of our bishops the breath of the Holy Spirit, “bursting” and “fulfilling” at the Parish of St Nicholas, Marrickville.
With your presence here, today, in our monastic community and at the holy places of our abode and life of repentance, we relive and breathe the same atmosphere of the Holy Spirit.
We fervently thank you for this special blessing and honour.
The presence of the bishop “in the midst of church” is the authentic reflection of the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ Himself.
For the Holy Archdiocese of Australia, the events of the past two-three weeks were without precedent. Something unparalleled and captivating. Such a great blessing! So many bishops! Who are equivalent to “in the type and place” of the presence of Christ within the Orthodox faithful of our Archdiocese. The blessing of God! The joy of the people!
Your Eminence, we sincerely thank you for this surprise!
We always pray for your spiritual visions and sacred expectations for your whole flock to be fruitful and prosper.
If I interpret things correctly, you are now revealing to us your spiritual visions and sacred expectations for all of us, your flock.
The vast fifth continent finally acquires a Holy Spirit-filled structure. You have surrounded it with “shepherds” capable ofplowing the immense land of the “Lucky Country” and to make it “luckier”. Who will move “heaven and earth” in search of the lost sheep and return them to the rational fold of the children of God.
Glory to God! Your Eminence. Yes, the harvest is great. But what about the workers? Young, talented, “spiritual”.
The request is urgent: In our times, when not only the people, but also long-lived institutions are being tested and shaken, we believe that Orthodoxy projects forth as the “unique hope of the world”.
In her, works God who “wants all to be saved and come to the knowledge of truth”. And through the Holy Spirit, builds, maintains, works miracles, enlightens and saves.
And in this plan of God for our salvation lead: The Pantanassa Mother of our Lord as the pre-eminent Mediator.
All the Saints as intercessors for us all in the triumphant Church… and on earth, the Church militant… The Hierarchs and our Spiritual Fathers… for us in Australia, You, above all Your Eminence, with the multitude of your assistant Bishops. Pray for us, also, the least and humble monks, to remain strong and steadfast in our Orthodox tradition of the Fathers, for the glory of God and the glorification of His greatness, in our blessed Archdiocese.
Forgive my babbling. But it is obvious that we cannot hide our joy at your presence here.
Your Eminence, together with your holy and splendid companions, Welcome!”