Enthronisi Arxiepiskopou Australias Makariou6

Five Years since the Enthronement of Archbishop Makarios of Australia

Enthronisi Arxiepiskopou Australias Makariou6

In an era of rapid changes and multiple trials, of spiritual confusion and thoughtless chatter, it is a blessing and a great privilege for the Christ-loving people of the fifth continent that the helm of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia is in wise, capable, and firm hands. Hands that guarantee the steady and safe navigation of the local Church’s ship through the seas of challenges in its second century.

We contemplate this blessing today, as we recall moments from that historic event of the enthronement of the sixth Shepherd of the Orthodox Church in Australia. It was on 29 June 2019, in the crowded Cathedral of the Annunciation of Our Lady in Sydney, when the newly elected Archbishop Makarios of Australia officially received the pastoral staff, along with the hopes, anxieties, and fervent wishes of the reverend clergy and the pious people of the local Church.

The five years that followed were years of total dedication by His Eminence to his multifaceted hierarchical duties, with a high sense of responsibility towards his flock, which entrusted him with its pious expectations, but also towards the Mother Church and His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who embraced him with their moving faith in him. He worked tirelessly, as he promised during his enthronement, “to sanctify the entire Australian land with the sound teaching of the Gospel.”

To achieve this sacred purpose, he “obliterated” distances and was by the side of his spiritual children even in remote corners of vast Australia; he ordained dozens of new clergy to better meet the needs of the flock of the Holy Archdiocese; supported and strengthened the monastic communities with the conviction that monasteries are spiritual “lungs” in every place; built “bridges” with Greek communities that were outside the “embrace” of the canonical Church; established new parishes, and approached youth in a practical and substantial way; he enhanced and upgraded the social, charitable, and educational work of the Holy Archdiocese; undertook the administrative reorganisation of the Archdiocese to better respond to contemporary conditions; and initiated the implementation of ambitious projects for the benefit of Hellenism and the further promotion of the Greek Orthodox witness in Australian society. The culmination of all this was his arduous work on preparing the new Constitution of the Holy Archdiocese, which was approved in principle by the Ecumenical Patriarchate and introduces the synodal system into the administration of the local Church.

However, above and beyond all the works and reforms that accompanied the five-year pastorate of His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia, the most valuable for the future of our local Church is that he has inspired us with his sacred zeal, ecclesiastical spirit, and determination, so that the challenge “to sanctify the Australian land with the teaching of the Gospel” becomes a personal matter for each and every one of us.

We wish from the depths of our hearts that he continues for many more years to inspire, encourage, and guide us, and that God may grant him abundant strength, both spiritual and physical, to fulfill all his noble visions for the Orthodox Church and the Christ-loving people of the fifth continent.

Many more blessed and fruitful years, Your Eminence!

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