Archbishop Makarios of Australia ordained Asterios Zouriakas, a graduate of the Saint Andrew’s Theological College, who has been serving as a psaltes and choirmaster of the Australian Byzantine Choir for many years.
The ordination took place on the morning of Saturday, December 26, during the Divine Liturgy for the feast of the Synaxis of the Virgin Mary at the Cathedral of the Annunciation in Sydney. Metropolitan Seraphim of Sebastia, Bishops Iakovos of Miletoupolis, Emilianos of Meloa and Elpidios of Kyanes, as well as many priests of Sydney were present.
The newly ordained deacon spoke of the fulfilment of a long-standing sacred desire, which was to serve the Church of Christ, especially in the Holy Altar of the Lord.
Addressing Archbishop Makarios, Father Asterios acknowledged his unceasing struggle for the spiritual progress of every human being and for the sanctification of every clergyman. “I confess with all my strength before God and men and I promise to serve the Church of Christ with all that I am and all that I have, until my last breath.”
“I am sure that the event of the Birth of Christ will accompany you throughout your ministry, along with all the spiritual meanings and teachings that come from it, especially with the basic message that Christ was emptied, humbled, reduced, becoming a man, to give man the opportunity to become God,” Archbishop Makarios underlined in his reply, linking the fact of the ordination of Fr. Asterios with the great celebration of Christmas.
“The spiritual life is a constant struggle for acceptance of neighbour to our lives,” he continued, “a fact that can only be achieved if we limit our own will and love for ourselves in general.”
Concluding his speech, the Archbishop advised Fr. Asterios to live a truly spiritual life, to let himself feel the freedom that love gives to man. “He who allows himself to accept love, can not but love”, he underlined, “This is the freedom of love. It is a freedom that loves and a love that liberates.”