On Sunday, September 20, 2020, Metropolitan Athenagoras of Belgium and Exarch of the Netherlands and Luxembourg, officiated at the Parish of Saints Silouan the Athonite and Martin of Tours in the Municipality of St Gilles, Brussels. On the occasion of the Feast of Saint Silouan the Athonite, Metropolitan Athenagoras performed the ordination as a deacon of the parish choirmaster Laurent Van Damme.
The ordained, architect by profession, is married, father of four children, Belgian in origin and an excellent graduate of the Theological Institute of the Holy Metropolis of Belgium “Apostle Paul”.
The Metropolitan in his speech to the ordained stated that “by what grace you can live your ordination as a deacon on the day when we celebrate the patron saint of our Parish, Saint Silouan the Athonite. A saint whom we Orthodox living in the West love very much. Among thousands of monks who lived ascetically on Mount Athos, this monk marked our time and the one who for more than forty years did not leave the Orchard of the Virgin, became known throughout the world… because he had a deep human dimension, full of love for the neighbor and compassion for all people, which seems more accessible to modern people who are lost in indifference and infidelity”.
While, at the end of his speech he said that it is always a joy for a Metropolitan to receive a new member in the clergy of his Diocese who dedicates his life to the Church and who is faithful to our Mother Church, the Ecumenical Patriarchate.