With the blessing of Archbishop Makarios of Australia, on Sunday, December 26, Bishop Bartholomew of Charioupolis went to Queanbeyan, near the Australian capital, and performed the Divine Liturgy at St. Dimitrios Church.
The Bishop was welcomed by the Hierarchical Head of the Parish, Fr. Iakovos Syriotis, who warmly wished him well for his new duties and presented him with a pastoral staff, as a gift from the Church Council and the Philoptochos Brotherhood.
The Bishop of Charioupolis thanked Fr. Iakovos for his kind words and for the gift he offered him, while he wished Archbishop Makarios a happy and prosperous new year.
Bishop Bartholomew then addressed the congregation, expressing the great emotion he felt for his presence in the Church of St. Dimitrios. Nine years ago, in 2012, he participated in his first Divine Liturgy as a Deacon in the specific church and now he was deemed worthy to officiate as a Bishop.
In addition, the Bishop asked the faithful to follow the true light, which is Christ, and, as the three Magi offered him Holy Gifts, respectively to offer him gifts, but not of a material nature. “We should offer our love to God,” he urged, “as we do to our fellow man.”
Afterwards, a lunch was hosted in the adjoining room of the Church, where the Ambassador of Greece to Canberra, Georgios Papakostas, the Deputy Head of the Diplomatic Mission of Greece, Theodoros Michalopoulos, and other distinguished guests attended.
Finally, the Bishop of Charioupolis conveyed the love and blessings of Archbishop Makarios and assured the faithful of the parish that their Church will be consecrated in the new year, as, due to the COVID-19 restrictive measures, it was not possible to perform this year.