The Clergymen of Canada under the spiritual guidance of Archbishop Sotirios of Canada convened its first, post-pandemic, annual Spiritual Assembly in Kingston, Ontario from Tuesday, October 4 to Thursday, October 6, 2022.
On the first day, Archbishop Sotirios gave the opening address on the theme “I can do everything, but not everything is beneficial” (1 Cor. 6:12). In the last three (3) years during the pandemic, the Archdiocese had ten (10) new priests and the Archbishop introduced them to the Assembly.
Five (5) clergymen introduced the following themes:
- “The effect of the pandemic on the life of the Church, the clergy and the people”: Bishop Athenagoras of Patara.
- “The priest as confessor”: Fr. Panagiotis Avgeropoulos.
- “Youth ministry in the post-pandemic era”: Bishop Iakovos of Zinoupolis.
- “The ecclesiastical conscience of the priest and his duties”: Fr. Photios Tsamis.
- “Ministry in secular, pluralistic and multi-religious Canada”: Fr. Timoleon Prattas.
Each day began with the service of Matins and on Tuesday evening a Divine Liturgy was celebrated at the Koimisis tis Theotokou Church in Kingston. The Divine Liturgy was presided over by Archbishop Sotirios, with the participation of Bishop Athenagoras of Patara, Bishop Iakovos of Zinoupolis, and all of the priests. It was a historic Divine Liturgy; it will be unforgettable. After the Divine Liturgy, the Kingston Community led by Fr. Evdokimos Mathioudakis, provided dinner for all. Archbishop Sotirios introduced to the Community all the priests, from Vancouver in the Pacific Ocean to Halifax in the Atlantic Ocean.
The presenters gave a written presentation in Greek and English. Each topic was thoroughly discussed with the participation of all the priests and notable and prudent decisions were made, which will be implemented.
Archbishop Sotirios moderated the discussion throughout the days. All the priests participated in the discussion.
The annual Spiritual Assembly of Priests was a success and closed with Orthodox hymns and prayer. Finally, Archbishop Sotirios and all the clergymen chanted the “fame” of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
Archbishop Sotirios declared: “I am happy because in Canada we have good priests. Our Church is progressing. It is richly receiving the grace and blessing of God. All of us give thanks and praise to our Most Holy God. I pray and I hope we all work with God’s zeal this ecclesiastical year and healthy we will meet again at our Spiritual Annual Meeting in the year 2023.”