In an atmosphere of contrition but also with double joy, the great feast of Pentecost was celebrated on Sunday 7 June at the Parish of the Resurrection of Christ in Kogarah, Sydney.
Scores of faithful gathered in church, in accordance with the current regulations regarding the Coronavirus pandemic, in order to celebrate the great feast of our Lord with Archbishop Makarios of Australia but also to welcome with much enthusiasm their new parish priest, Father Kyriakos Stavronikitianos.
Archbishop Makarios, with the Chancellor of the Holy Archdiocese, Bishop Emilianos of Meloa, the Fr Kyriakos, the Fr Christodoulos as well as other priests who were present, officiated during Matins and presided at the festal Divine Liturgy before continuing with Vespers for the Holy Spirit where the set prayers for the kneeling service were recited.
At the end of the service, Archbishop spoke appropriately on the great feast of Pentecost and urged the faithful, “Put the Holy Trinity in our life. Today’s feast is a challenge for us,” he stressed and explained that the challenge has to do with “learning to pray to the Holy Trinity. “We must pray to the saints, and pray to Panagia”, he continued, “but, above all, we must pray to the Holy Trinity because the Holy Trinity is our God.”
Following this, he welcomed Fr Kyriakos with warm sentiments and spoke about a most praise-worthy clergyman who is a spiritually cultivated person. He declared that he is certain Fr Kyriakos will commendably continue the work of the previous parish priest, Fr Sophrony Konidaris whom, he said, worked with a great deal of zeal. “Fr Kyriakos will continue this and increase it and he will give his own witness,” Archbishop Makarios pointed out while inviting the faithful to embrace him, to support him, to show him their love, their dedication, and their obedience so that united they may move forward and progress.
Finally, Archbishop Makarios referred to the worthy people who contributed over time to the progress of the parish, making personal references to the pioneer and the parish priest for many years, Fr John Varvaris, and to the president of the Parish – Community, Mr Nicholas Varvaris who both were present in the church. At the end of the Kneeling Service, Archbishop Makarios received bouquets of flowers from young men and women of the parish wearing traditional costumes and stood smiling beside them for photos.
It must be pointed out that the Church of the Resurrection of Christ in Sydney is the largest parish of the Archdiocese of Australia and Archbishop Makarios celebrated the Divine Liturgy for the first time since his arrival on Sunday of Pentecost.