Today, our Holy Archdiocese of Australia is overcome with joyfulness and jubilation as we pause not only to give fervent thanks, praise, and glory to our loving Lord—indeed, doing so with one heart, mind, and soul—but also to express our profound and heartfelt gratitude to the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which, under the presidency of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, unanimously elected, exactly four years ago, His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia, as Primate, Chief Shepherd and Spiritual Father of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia. On this day, the faithful were able to genuinely rejoice and be glad—and we continue to delight in the Lord—for such a consummate and tremendous gift of God’s grace upon us all.
The Church here in Australia honors this providential day on which it was announced that His Eminence Archbishop Makarios would be the one destined to assume the helm of the Church here in the Antipodes, giving witness to the unifying ministry of the Love of Christ; foreordained to labor tirelessly and endlessly in sharing the shining Light “of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2Cor 4:6) which unites and brings us into “fellowship with one another” (1Jn 1:7). In these four years, we have come to know our Archbishop as one acutely aware of his Archiepiscopal responsibilities; as one, who ‘leads by faith’ (cf. 2Cor 5:7), always trusting in our Lord Jesus Christ and knowing that beyond the manifold challenges “all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose” (Rom 8:28).
In such a short span of time, His Eminence has worked decisively and determinedly, drawing strength from his trust and faithfulness to the Gospel, to reunite the faithful into an unbreakable solidarity; to promulgate to all the message of [Christ’s] reconciliation” (2Cor 5:19); indeed, doing so with the meekness and gentleness of Christ, respectful of every person’s fundamental dignity, but above all knowing the infinite mercy of our Lord for all people created in the “image and according to the likeness of God (Gen 1:26). Coupled with a nobility of character, he is possessed by a profound love for the Church of God, and his far-reaching vision in this regard is already beginning to take shape.
Knowing that the Church is none other than the very presence of our Lord amongst his people, indeed “an awesome place… the gate to heaven” (Gen 28:17), our Archbishop has initiated works to refurbish the Cathedral, with a fervent prayer, on our behalf, that the Lord will “sanctify all those who love the beauty of [His] house”; this will be followed by a radical transformation of the Archdiocesan offices, which will see this sacred space not only admired by the Greek faithful, but open up to the broader Australian community, thus becoming a central hub and focal point of witness to the treasures of our Greek Orthodox faith and heritage.
For all this and so much, we express to His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia our heartfelt good wishes, praying that our loving Lord will continue to bless him with a long life here, in the Antipodes, with the love and consolation of our Loving Lord so that he may continue to give witness to the unity and coherence of all things in our crucified and resurrected Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
On the 9th May 2023
Fr Christophoros Krikelis