With the Blessings of Archbishop Makarios of Australia, Bishop Bartholomew of Charioupolis visited the regional town of Goulburn and celebrated Vespers and the Divine Liturgy for the feast day of St Panteleimon.
Present at the services were Very Reverend Iakovos Siriotis from the church St Dimitrios Queanbeyan, Very Reverend Petros Kipouros from the church of St Nicholas in Canberra, Reverend Asterios Zouriakas from the church of Sts Raphael, Nicholas and Irene Liverpool Sydney and Reverend Kyriakos Theologou from the church of St Panteleimon Goulburn.
Furthermore the High Commissioner of Cyprus, Mrs Martha Mavrommatis, attended the Divine Liturgy.
In his sermon the Bishop emphasised that St Panteleimon received the Crown of Glory because of the following reasons: “Firstly, he loved Christ with all his heart, placing Christ at the centre of his life. Secondly, he loved his fellow human person. As a doctor his goal was to serve the other. Thirdly, he was not afraid to proclaim his faith, he was jailed and received his martyrdom. His Grace mentioned that we must love God, we must serve our fellow brethren and we must defend our faith, fighting our passions that lead us to sin.”
In addition, Bishop Bartholomew spoke about the importance of freedom. He emphasised that St Panteleimon had a choice to either follow his father who was an idolatrous or to follow his mother who processed a strong faith in Christ. “With the Grace of God he made the decision to follow Christ. Today our children need to decide for themselves without force and persistence if they are to live a life of a Christian. We must not push our children”, he stressed.
On both days Bishop Bartholomew conveyed the love and blessings of Archbishop Makarios and wished on behalf of him the best wishes to the Parish Priest Reverend Kyriako, the President and Parish Council.