In a spirit of great festal joy, on Wednesday the 30th of November 2022, the feast day of St Andrew the First-Called Apostle was celebrated at the Greek Orthodox School of St Andrew’s Grammar in Perth WA.
With the blessing of Archbishop Makarios of Australia, the Divine Liturgy was conducted by Fr Terry Gerovasilis in the gymnasium of the school in the presence of Bishop Elpidios of Kyanea.
All of the staff and students of the school were in attendance, in particular, the Principal of the school, Dawn Clements, who thanked Bishop Elpidios for giving the staff and students the opportunity to experience the Divine liturgy held on the school grounds to celebrate their feast day.
In his sermon to the children during the liturgy, Bishop Elpidios explained that the feast of St Andrew is particularly important to us because St Andrew is the Patron Saint of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in which the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia has the honor and privilege to belong.
Furthermore, Bishop Elpidios highlighted for the staff and students about, “When Saint Andrew found Christ, he did not just keep Him for himself. But rather he went to his brother Peter and said, “Come and see, we have found the Desired One, the Messiah, the One we have all so anxiously been waiting for”. And the Church for the last 2000 years has continued calling out to people from all walks of like, “Come we have found the Desired One.” And once we meet the Desired One in our personal lives – the Messiah- then we start experiencing inner joy and peace and we don’t just keep this great joy for ourselves, because that would be selfish, but we (like the Apostle Andrew whom we celebrate today) share this joy, share the Good News with others around us; always keeping in mind off course the respect that we must have for each person’s own free will.”
Bishop Elpidios continued his address to the children by saying, “Beloved students of Saint Andrew’s Grammar, you are all currently disciples (students) of this blessed school. The day will come when you will all graduate and be sent out within society (ambassadors of Saint Andrew’s Grammar). Some will join the workforce others will go on to study further. It does not matter what you do as long as you do it with honesty, faith, love, and respect. As Archbishop Makarios of Australia mentions, ”the most important measure of success is how close we are to God. Without Him, all worldly accomplishments mean nothing. Only what lasts for eternity has substance and can make a difference and can transform our everyday lives and that of those around us. Keep God in the equation of your life and in your relationships. Be courageous and confident in the challenge that is set before you.”
Finally, Bishop Elpidios conveyed to all the staff and students the love and paternal blessings of Archbishop Makarios of Australia.
At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, the blessing of the Five Loaves was conducted, after which Bishop Elpidios distributed to each of the staff and students a piece of the blessed bread, wishing each of them a blessed Feast Day and blessed Feast of the Nativity.