The Clergy Syndesmos of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Canada celebrated the Feast of its Patron, St. Photios the Great, Patriarch of Constantinople and Equal-to-the-Apostles on February 6, 2020, at the Koimisis tis Theotokou Greek Orthodox Church in Hamilton, Ontario.
The celebrations began with the first Clergy Synaxis of the New Year under the chairmanship of Archbishop Sotirios of Canada. Twenty-five Priests from the GTA participated. The Synaxis began with a biblical reading and an introduction by the Dean of the Patriarchal Orthodox Theological Academy of Toronto, the Very Rev. Fr. Alexandros Salmas on the subject: “Do you understand what you are reading? (Acts 8:30). Do all priests understand their mission and why they became clergymen?” A lively discussion ensued on the topic.
Many topics were discussed at the Synaxis including 1) The re-organization of the Toronto Byzantine School of Music; 2) The celebrations for the 200th Anniversary of Greek Independence; 3) The clergy and the digital social media; 4) Liturgical comments on Holy Communion; 5) Biennial Clergy-Laity Assembly for the year 2021; 6) The Graduation Ceremony of the Patriarchal Orthodox Theological Academy of Toronto; 7) The Pilgrimage to Constantinople of the Archons in Canada and the Graduates of the Theological Academy.
Following the Synaxis, the Hierarchical Great Vespers for the Feast of St. Photios the Great was celebrated by Archbishop Sotirios of Canada, with the participation of all the Clergy and many pious Christians. During Great Vespers, Archbishop Sotirios elevated to Protopresbyter Fr. Elias Drossos and conferred on him a pectoral cross, as the many parishioners jubilantly proclaimed “AXIOS”! Archbishop Sotirios concluded with fatherly admonitions to Fr. Elias and to the assembled worshippers, who came from the surrounding communities to honour the Feast of St. Photios and the new Protopresbyter of the Church in Canada. Fr. Odysseas Drossos, brother of Fr. Elias and Fr. Panagiotis Avgeropoulos, president of the Archdiocesan Clergy Syndesmos were also present.
The Community Council, its president Mr George Carambelas and the Philoptochos Council invited everyone to a reception at the Community Hall, where the newly elevated Protopresbyter was presented with a new set of Priestly Vestments. AXIOS!