On Friday, May 5, 2023, the graduation ceremony was held for the three graduates, Fr. Evdokimos Mathioudakis, Mr. Chrysovalantis Mathioudakis, and Mr. Triantafyllos Tzitzikas, who was also the valedictorian of the year and spoke excellently in Greek and English.
More than 500 people attended the dinner held at the Cultural “Metropolitan Center” of the Holy Archdiocese. The master of ceremonies for the evening was Archon Grigoris Karakoulas. The event was excellently organized by the president of the Community of St. Nicholas Toronto and the Cultural Center, Mrs. Anastasia Sotiropoulos, and her distinguished partners. The Toronto and surrounding Communities and especially the priests contributed to the success.
Special mention and thanks go to the dean of the Theological Academy, Bishop Athenagoras of Patara, and to the professors-priests, who, as is well-known, teach completely free.
The official table was attended by many including the Consul General of Greece in Toronto, Mr. Panayiotis Antonatos, the Ukrainian Bishop Andriy, the President of the GCT, Mrs. Betty Skoutakis, and Archon Michael Christodoulou, whose father John bought the building of the Holy Archdiocese where the Academy is also housed and in addition offered our Holy Archdiocese several million dollars.
The invitees were welcomed by the dean of the Theological Academy, Bishop Athenagoras of Patara. Greetings were delivered by Archon Spyros Volonakis, Director of Greek Orthodox Education of the Holy Archdiocese of Canada, Mrs. Zoe Veroutis, President of the Archdiocesan Council of the Philoptochos of Canada, Fr. Panagiotis Avgeropoulos, President of the Clergy Syndesmos, Mr. Aris Babikian, Member of Provincial Parliament, who read a letter from the Premier of Ontario, the Hon. Doug Ford, and the Consul General of Greece in Toronto Mr. Panayiotis Antonatos.
The main speaker was V. Rev. Fr. Christodoulos Papadeas, former dean of the Theological Academy, who spoke humbly and spiritually.
A wonderful musical interlude followed with the students and priests. All who were present sang together and a beautiful atmosphere was created.
Archbishop Sotirios addressed fatherly admonitions to the graduates on the topic “Basic elements for the success of the clergy and the salvation of all.” He called the graduates to believe completely in Christ and His Resurrection and to live the things of the heavenly kingdom of God as realities, as Apostle Paul says, and he wished to meet them at the Altar, that is, the Holy Table, and in the Kingdom of Heaven.
At the prompting of Archbishop Sotirios, Consul General Antonatos presented the degree to Fr. Evdokimos Mathioudakis, Archon Michael Christodoulou to Mr. Chrysovalantis Mathioudakis and the Dean of the Academy, Bishop Athenagoras, to the valedictorian Mr. Triantafyllos Tzitzikas. Then the icons of St. John the Theologian, who is patron of our Theological Academy, which were created by Patrokosmas Monastery, were given to the graduates by Fr. Christodoulos Papadeas, Bishop Andriy and Gerontissa Alexia.
Archon George Mallis from Sudbury offered a brand-new Mercedes valued at $78,000 and we thank him very much. It was given through an organized raffle, which was very successful, and the Mercedes was won by Mr. Fotios Andrinopoulos from the Ottawa Community.