On 2 March 2023, with the blessing of Archbishop Makarios of Australia and under the guidance of Bishop Kyriakos of Sozopolis, GO Youth Melbourne under the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia, held its first talk of 2023.
The special guests for the night were Gerontissa Kallistheni and Sister Gregoria from Panagia Gorgoepikoos Monastery in Geelong. Also present was Father Panteleimon from the Parish of Sts Constantine and Helen, South Yarra, where the event was held.
The talk was attended by forty youth and young adults between the ages of 18-29. The night began with a fasting meal of pizza, giving the youth an opportunity to catch up and socialize with new and familiar faces. The youth then eagerly took their seats to hear Gerontissa share her wisdom on the topic of forgiveness and humility.
As this talk took place during the first week of Lent, Gerontissa took the opportunity to explain in detail the hymns, ‘Idiomela from the Triodion’, chanted during the Triodion period (a three-week preparation for Lent) at the Sunday Matins Service. Gerontissa related the hymn, which centers on the theme of repentance, to our day-to-day lives. She encouraged the youth to have the courage to self-examination without despair and to glorify God for everything.
Gerontissa also answered questions from the audience, providing spiritually enlightening advice on topics ranging from being a proud Orthodox Christian to learning to forgive others.
Go Youth Melbourne thanked Gerontissa Kallistheni and Sister Gregoria for taking the time to drive to Melbourne and Gerontissa for sharing her experience and wisdom with the youth and young adults of Melbourne.