On Saturday, 11 November 2023, the feast day of the Holy Great Martyr Menas and the Holy Martyrs Victor and Vincent, His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia liturgised at the Church of Saint Sophia (Wisdom of God) in Adelaide. The faithful who reverently flocked to the Cathedral of the capital of South Australia, had the blessed opportunity to pray with their Shepherd, communicate with him and receive his blessing, as well as participate in the joy of two worthy children of the local Greek Orthodox community, who received, through the hands of their Archbishop, the first and the second degree of priesthood.
Specifically, during the Divine Liturgy, where Their Graces, Bishop Silouan of Sinope, Archiepiscopal Vicar of Adelaide and Bishop Bartholomew, Archiepiscopal Vicar of Canberra, co-celebrated the divine Liturgy with the Archbishop, His Eminence performed the ordination of Deacon Father John Saredakis to the Priesthood and the ordination of Subdeacon Mr. Armandos Manafis to the Diaconate. Among the large congregation were relatives and friends of the ordained, who watched the proceedings with great emotion.
In his spiritual address to the new Presbyter Father John, the Archbishop first underlined the greatest and unrepeatable gift bestowed upon him by the Church with his elevation to the second degree of the priesthood: “It calls you to become a partaker in the work of our Lord, that is, to dissolve and abolish the works, methods, devices and dynasty of the one who hates man and the one who hates all things beautiful, the devil, and all his pomp and followers. This is the work of the priest, my dear Father John, this will also be your work; to abolish and nullify the works of Satan”.
His Eminence stated that he is confident that the new Presbyter will respond excellently to his ministry, cultivating and increasing the gift he receives from the Church, as he has done with spiritual maturity until now with all the gifts the Lord has given him. “You cultivated the talent of having a beautiful voice and became an excellent chanter”, he said, “you put your hard work and philanthropy at the service of the Church and were elected a member of the Archdiocesan Council to offer more so from this position as well and, above all, you were an excellent cleric and deacon of the Sacraments of Christ. As a pedagogue and teacher, you excelled and by common confession you offer students not only academic knowledge, but also life lessons and experience, which will help our children when they enter society and begin to face the difficulties of life.”
To the new Deacon, who is a family man and at the same time a student of Saint Andrew’s Theological College, the Archbishop addressed a paternal exhortation to continue walking on the path of faith and patience, with absolute trust in God, as he did from a very young age and was thus led to the first step of the priesthood. “Many times you too will pronounce while performing the holy services: “let us commend ourselves and one other and our whole life to Christ our God””, His Eminence noted. “This exhortation of our Holy Church is not only addressed to the people of God”, he pointed out, “but primarily to us ministers, who must be an example and model for the faithful.
Our life must be simple and surrendered to God’s holy will, with patience, hope and prayer. The anxious and anguished effort of the clergy, but also of the Christian in general to coerce situations in order to achieve his will and his planning, is not blessed. Obviously, this does not mean resignation and inactivity, but at the same time it does not mean to put forward my own “want” stubbornly against the will of God”.