With the blessing of Archbishop Makarios of Australia, Bishop Bartholomew of Charioupolis presided over the services at the Church of St. Nicholas in Canberra, Australia, as the community celebrated the feast of its patron saint.
On the eve of the feast day, Tuesday afternoon, witnessed Bishop Bartholomew celebrated the Vespers service, followed by the Orthros (Matins) and the Divine Liturgy on Wednesday morning, honoring Saint Nicholas, the beloved protector of the Canberra parish community.
In his sermon following the Divine Liturgy, Bishop Bartholomew eloquently detailed the enduring virtues embodied by Saint Nicholas, urging contemporary Christians to adopt these virtues in fostering a closer connection with Christ. He emphasized three central virtues: Saint Nicholas’s profound faith, his commitment to an ascetic life centered on prayer and fasting, and his remarkable compassion and generosity toward the vulnerable in society, particularly orphans and widows.
Concluding his homily, Bishop Bartholomew extended warm regards and well-wishes, representing Archbishop Makarios, to Father Petros Kipouros, the Hierarchical Head, the Parish Community President, the Church Council, the devoted members of “Ladies Philoptochos,” and all those dedicated to serving the Saint Nicholas Parish in Canberra. Furthermore, he shared the joyful news that Archbishop Makarios will grace the Australian capital with his presence on Christmas Eve, inviting the Greek Orthodox faithful to join in prayer, receive the Archbishop’s blessing, and share in the joy of the upcoming grand feast of our Church.