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The Graduation Day of the Patriarchal Toronto Orthodox Theological Academy

The Patriarchal Toronto Orthodox Theological Academy is in its 26th year of operation. Sixty-three (63) young men have graduated. Thirty-seven (37) have been ordained and serve in our churches in Canada.

Four young men graduated from the Theological Academy this year. Two of them are already married and have been ordained priests. The graduation ceremony took place at the wonderful Metropolitan Centre of the Holy Archdiocese. Mr. Theodore Papadatos, a senior official of CIBC, was the Master of Ceremonies. There were more than five hundred attendees.

The event was rich in schedule; it began with chanting “Christ is Risen” and a prayer by Archbishop Sotirios of Canada, followed by the national anthems of Greece and Canada.

The Dean of the Theological Academy, His Grace Bishop Athenagoras of Patara, welcomed all the attendees. This was followed by a wonderful dinner prepared by the Metropolitan Centre and the Cathedral Church of St. Nicholas. Everything was overseen by the worthy president of the Cathedral, Mrs. Anastasia Sotiropoulos.

After dinner, speeches were given. This was followed by a musical program by the students and the priests, directed by His Grace Bishop Athenagoras of Patara.

The top graduates were Father Christian Vela and Mr. Djordje Gojkovic, who were also the valedictorians.

Following this, Archbishop Sotirios gave paternal admonitions to the graduates and students on the topic of “Calling and Mission.”

Immediately afterwards, the degrees were awarded to the four graduates, Father Christian Vela, Father Evangelos Anastasiadis, Deacon Michael Ghebrehwet, and Mr. Djordje Gojkovic.

Like every year, all graduates were given the icon of St. John the Theologian, the patron saint of the Theological Academy, prepared by the Monastery of the Virgin Mary the Consolatory.

Archbishop Sotirios congratulated the students. He thanked the Dean of the Patriarchal Toronto Orthodox Theological Academy, Bishop Athenagoras of Patara, the professors, and all the attendees. He conveyed the love, wishes, and blessings of our Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, whose “Polychronion” was chanted at the end of the ceremony.

The evening concluded with a prayer by Bishop Andriy of Toronto of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada.

Source: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Canada