With the prayer and exhortation of his Shepherd to have as the purpose of his priestly ministry the orientation of people not towards himself, but towards Christ and the Church, Deacon Fr Kyriakos Tsapas received the second degree of priesthood on Saturday morning, August 13, 2022. The ordination of the new Presbyter was held at the Holy Church of Saint Haralambos, in Templestowe, Melbourne, where Fr. Kyriakos will continue to serve, together with his spiritual father and Proistamenos of the Parish, Fr. Ilias Kentrotis.
In addition to the paternal prayers and wishes of His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia, the new Priest accepted the heartfelt wishes of their Graces, Bishop Kyriakos of Sozopolis and Bishop Evmenios of Kerasounta, as well as of the clergy who were present and the many faithful who attended the church, as well as members of his family, among whom were his wife, Maria, and his son, Anastasios. Before his ordination, Father Kyriakos, standing before his Shepherd, The Archbishop, thanked all those who played a key role in his decision to devote himself to the ministry of the Church, expressing warm filial thanks to the His Eminence Archbishop Makarios for the love and encouragement he provided to him in their every meeting and communication, while finally he assured that he will perform his duties with faith, devotion and obedience.
During His Eminence’s speech of admonition, He addressed to the ordinand fatherly advice for his priestly ministry and journey, noting, first of all, the danger that lurks, for every clergyman, to lose the orientation of his mission, despite the enthusiasm, love and devotion he has at the beginning of his ministry. “And this happens because we priests forget that we are here not to preach ourselves, not to say things of our own, not to lead people to us and win people’s love, but to orientate people to Christ and the Church”, He emphasised among other things.
To avoid this danger, the Archbishop advised the new Presbyter to preserve three basic principles: Never identify himself with Christ, never identify himself with the Church and never identify him with the Holy Spirit. Analysing the three respective dangers, His Eminence observed among other things: “We have many cases of clerics who come out and speak in the name of the Holy Spirit and preach heresy. We have many cases of clergymen who come out and, instead of Christ, talk about their lives and their achievements, about the fine things they believe, or, even worse, bring up all the sidewalk issues at the pulpit, because they think that with that way they are up to date, forgetting that preaching is a sacred matter and not everyone can say what they want, what they think, what they believe and above all what they live”.
This attitude, moreover, is disapproved by the greatest preacher of our Church, as reminded by His Eminence Archbishop Makarios, referring to Saint John Chrysostom. Bishops and clergy, according to Saint Chrysostom, must preach the Gospel, that which Christ lived and that which the Fathers of the Church preach. “We do not preach and we do not present our lives, but our purpose is to preach and present Christ”, the Archbishop emphasised in conclusion, while expressing his firm belief that Father Kyriakos will become a proper and good cleric of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia, as he possesses prudence and humility, virtues that he wished him to preserve until the end of his life. In closing, His Eminence wished Father Kyriakos to have a loving collaboration with Father Elias in the Parish of Saint Harakambos, Templestowe, so that they can utilise the dynamics of the Parish and work with all their strength for the glory of Christ and the Church.
It is noted that at the end of the Divine Liturgy, His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia tonsured Father Panagiotis Nikolakos as a Spiritual Father – Confessor, who serves at St. Spyridon Parish in Clayton, and, during his short address, he encouraged him to give forgiveness with all his heart and thereby open the door of Paradise to people.