The students, as well as the teachers and the Administration of the Greek Orthodox College of Saint Spyridon, in Kingsford, Sydney, received the blessing of the Church in commemoration of the start of the new school year.
The Agiasmos Blessing Service was conducted on Friday, 10 February 2023, by the Chancellor of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia, Archimandrite of the Ecumenical Throne Christophoros Krikelis, who was also joined by the Parish Priest of Saint Spyridon’s, Fr. Steven Scoutas and Assistant Priest, Fr. Irenaeus Triantis.
Fr. Christophoros wholeheartedly wished the members of the school community well for the beginning of the new academic year, while conveying to the students warm paternal wishes, as well as words of spiritual edification from their Shepherd, His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia.
Specifically, The Archbishop expressed his expectation that the students of Saint Spyridon College excel in their studies and acquire knowledge and wisdom. “Our Orthodox Day Schools exist precisely to provide a safe and supportive environment where students can devote themselves to their studies and achieve their best so that their horizons are broadened as they prepare for life after school,” he emphasized in his message.
His Eminence pointed out that the most important goal is for them to excel not only in their academic studies and in the various sports activities offered at the school, but also to achieve spiritual progress in their lives. “To be flooded with the love and light of Christ, so that you radiate these virtues to everyone you meet in your life,” he noted. He encouraged the students to make use of what they will receive from their school in order to contribute positively to society and feel pride both in themselves and in the people around them.
In addition, the Archbishop, through the greeting read by the Chancellor, recalled a word of St. John the Evangelist, that Christ is the true light, which, as it comes into the world, illuminates every person. “There are many people in society who claim to be enlightened,” he pointed out, “and make promises that will seemingly make you feel happy in life and joyful.”
“But experience,” he countered, “shows us that these promises are hollow, unfounded, and ultimately false.” “Only Christ is the true light”, he underlined, who came to offer man “more life”, again according to the Evangelist John, that is, eternal life. Also noting that every human being has been created “in the image and likeness” of God, His Eminence called on the youth to respect themselves, but also those around them, recognizing the value and dignity of all people in this world.
The Archbishop’s address ended with words from the heart and with his paternal blessing to the students of Saint Spyridon College. “Do you dream of a better society? Work towards it. Arm yourself with strength and perseverance and live the love of Christ vigorously and fervently, always!”, he urged them among other things.