“From the voting of the members of the Sacred and Holy Synod, which took place in the Patriarchal Church, after screening three candidates, Bishop Makarios of Christoupolis was elected by unanimous vote.” These are the first lines of a new page that began to be written exactly four years ago in the history of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia.
It was on 9 May 2019, when the Mother Church, our Ecumenical Patriarchate, entrusted the shepherding of the Greek Orthodox flock of the fifth continent to a young but already experienced Hierarch, distinguished for his rich qualifications and gifts, for his broad education and at the same time for his testimony of devotion to the principles and values of the Orthodox faith. When “God enlightened us and we sent Archbishop Makarios” to Australia, as characteristically stated recently by the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, whose proposal had been unanimously approved by the Holy and Sacred Synod.
On that blessed day, Archbishop Makarios turned his steps, but also the compass of his heart towards distant Australia, accepting to devote himself to the ministry of the people of God, in this great ecclesiastical eparchy of the Ecumenical Throne.
“I do not belong to myself, but to Christ and to my flock. I am here to share with you all that I am and all that I have.” These were some of His Eminence’s first words after his enthronement, a few weeks later, in Sydney. Since then, he has been going around the country, traveling whilst keeping that promise as a sacred amulet! Traveling throughout vast Australia to regularly be near his spiritual children, making lead-ways that portend a better future for the local Church and spending day and night, with genuine paternal anguish, to cover the needs and the spiritual progress of his flock in Christ.
With God’s help, the page that began to be written on May 9, 2019, will indeed be a bright one for the Holy Archdiocese of Australia and for Hellenism as a whole on the fifth continent.
May the Lord grant health and strength to our Shepherd, so that he may continue to carry out with the same fervent zeal the work entrusted to him by the Mother Church four years ago.