The Holy Church of the Wisdom of God in Adelaide was the last stop of the pastoral visit of His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia in the “city of churches”. Six months after the historic day of the official Opening of the Church (November 27, 2022), His Eminence returned, full of emotion, to the new Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Adelaide, to preside over the divine services for the feast of the Holy Spirit.
On the eve of the feast His Eminence officiated at the Service of the Great Vespers, while on the main day of the feast he officiated at the Matins and presided over the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, joined also by His Grace Bishop Silouan of Sinope and His Grace Bishop Evmenios of Kerasounta, the Chancellor of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia Archimandrite of the Ecumenical Throne Christophoros Krikelis, The Abbot of the Holy Monastery of Saint John, Perth, Archimandrite Makarios Souris, as well as the clergy of the Archdiocesan District of Adelaide.
The atmosphere of spiritual joy that prevailed during the Divine Liturgy, on the Monday of the Holy Spirit, was enhanced by the elevation of Fr. Ioannis Psalios to Protopresbyter. His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia awarded Fr. Ioannis the office of Protopresbyter, in recognition of his many years of service to the Holy Archdiocese of Australia and to the local community of Adelaide. In his short speech, he noted the many gifts and virtues possessed by the honoured cleric, mentioning, among other things, that he stands out for his ecclesiastical ethos and attitude, and for his great spiritual cultivation. Beseeching him, he paternally urged him to make use of the honour bestowed upon him, so that he might be renewed and strengthened spiritually, and work even more zealously for the glory of God and the salvation of His people.
Prior to this, the Divine Word was preached by His Grace Bishop Evmenios of Kerasounta, Archiepiscopal Vicar of Northcote, who by way of introduction referred to the great privilege enjoyed by the Greek Orthodox flock of Adelaide. “We very often say that Melbourne is preeminently Greek,” he noted addressing the congregation, “but Adelaide, thanks to the Archbishop, has the Church of the Wisdom of God. You have a Holy Church named after the historical Church of Constantinople, Hagia Sophia. Keep this church in your heart. Pray for our Patriarch and for all that this Holy Church symbolises. Rejoice for this Church, honour this Church, come and worship God in this Church, because it is a very great honour indeed for a church to bear the name of Hagia Sophia”
Afterwards, His Grace Bishop Evmenios spoke inspired about the feast of the Holy Spirit, initially recalling the words of Saint Nicodemus the Hagiorite, who had referred to the “spiritual intoxication of the grace of the Holy Spirit”. This blessed intoxication is experienced only in the sacramental life of the Church, pointed out Bishop Evmenios, likening the Church to a “workshop of holiness”. And at this point, he invoked Saint John Chrysostom who preached that we should weep for our brothers who are not in the Church and, therefore, unable to experience the spiritual life. Finally, His Grace Bishop Evmenios emphasised that the message of the festive days of Pentecost and the Holy Spirit is to seek unity within the Body of the Church.
Prior the Dismissal, Archbishop Makarios of Australia thanked the Archiepiscopal Vicar of Northcote for the offering of the Divine Word, expressing his satisfaction that his Archpriesthood has highlighted his leadership and spiritual gifts. Also, His Eminence thanked His Grace Bishop Silouan of Sinope, Archiepiscopal Vicar of Adelaide, for his tireless and self-sacrificing struggle in favour of the Church and the Christ-loving people of South Australia, while he congratulated him on his work, which he performs diligently and successfully, as he has discerned.
In his warm and moving response, Bishop Silouan conveyed to the Archbishop the feelings of filial love and respect of the clergy and faithful of the Archdiocesan District of Adelaide and the thanks of all for his unstinting paternal care. “You came here to unite us, to give us life and to raise us from the earthly to the heavenly”, noted, among others, His Grace Bishop Silouan, while concluding he wished “that we will always be worthy to respond to this vessel of the Holy Spirit that God has sent us, which is Your venerable Eminence”.
It is noted that the Consul General of Greece in Adelaide, Mr. Georgios Psiachas, attended the Vespers service on Sunday evening, while at the Divine Liturgy, on the Monday of the Holy Spirit, present among the congregation were the Greek-Australian State Minister of Transport and Infrastructure, Mr. Tom Koutsantonis, and the Greek-Australian Federal Member of Parliament, Mr. Steve Georganas.