Together with their Shepherd and Spiritual Father, Archbishop Makarios of Australia, the Greeks of the Gymea area of Sydney celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the foundation of their Parish, which is dedicated to Saint Stylianos.
Archbishop Makarios of Australia attended the Annual Parish Dance, which was held on Saturday evening, 18 February 2023. Archbishop Makarios was formally welcomed by the Parish Priest of Saint Stylianos, Father Constantine Varipatis, as well as by the President of the Parish, Paul Parris, while present also, among others, was the Greek State Member of Parliament, Helen Petinos.
In his speech, Archbishop Makarios praised the dynamics of St. Stylianos’ parish during the past 25 years, and referred to the parish members with gratitude, referring also to the important role of certain Clergy and lay people, who took over and implemented the sacred venture of its foundation in the late 1990s.
“That which you all managed to achieve It is worth praising, in close and creative cooperation between you and the Holy Archdiocese of Australia, to create an exemplary parish that not only serves the needs of the Greek Orthodox believers but, more generally, testifies here in the southern suburbs of Sydney, the wealth of our Greek Orthodox heritage and our spiritual treasure,“ Archbishop Makarios commented.
Special mention was made by Archbishop Makarios in the very brief erection of the Church of St. Stylianos, with whom he acknowledged his great personal honor to have officially consecrated himself, A few months after taking up his duties as Archbishop of Australia. “It was the first church I consecrated,” he noted, “and for this reason, it will remain in my heart forever.”
Archbishop Makarios then referred to the various activities implemented by the parish, the heart of which is focused on the many children and adolescents, families, the elderly, traditions and culture, as well as the charity, which is served by the implementation of a feeding program. The Archbishop expressed the belief that these activities would be further extended.
It is also noted that the Parish of St. Stylianos has obtained permission to build a kindergarten, with 60 placements, and Community Centre – projects that are estimated to cost around $ 6.5 million. Anyone who can and wishes to contribute to this initiative can communicate with the parish.
Archbishop Makarios then congratulated Father Constantine, who founded the parish and with his tireless struggle led him to the fruits of the progress and achievement of the parish to this day. Also, Archbishop Makarios acknowledged the contribution of Presvytera Eleni Varipatis and the members of the Parish Committee, present and past, while thanking the ladies of the Philoptochos, the countless other volunteers who have contributed to the work of the parish, and all those who have supported the parish over time, with love and warm faith towards their patron, Saint Stylianos.
Finally, Archbishop Makarios urged everyone to pray for the rest of the souls of the parishioners who have fallen asleep who pioneered the parish from the beginning, as well as those who continue their sacred work to have health and strength. Archbishop Makarios concluded with the paternal prayer for the parish to continue its blessed journey, with unity and harmony, in order to meet the many needs of the Greek community and the wider local community.