Shortly before the end of 2020, that is on Monday, the 28th of December, two new monks were welcomed to the monastic family of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia.
Archbishop Makarios of Australia performed the monastic tonsure service in an atmosphere charged of emotion and deep reverence at St. George’s Monastery in Yellow Rock, New South Wales. Monks Charalambos Hadjigeorgiou and Aaron Eastick were tonsured after having completed a period as novices. They were given the names “Paisios” and “Joseph” respectively in honour of two modern Saints of the Orthodox Church who both dwelled on Mount Athos: Saint Paisios the Athonite and Saint Joseph the Hesychast.
The Archbishop addressed the two monks and gave them some paternal advice. In particular, he asked them to be like the Saints whose names they bore reminding them that they both had a prophetic presence in the world, since “through their lives, they reminded people that the Church is not a part of this world.”
In his homily, the Archbishop referred extensively to the tradition of monasticism. He pointed out that it was a tradition born by the first monks who expressed their desire to give all their love to their fellow human beings and to dedicate their lives to Christ.
Moreover, he focused on the development of monasticism in Australia and, therefore, he mentioned his blessed predecessors. He acknowledged, among other things, that they had left behind five monasteries to the Holy Archdiocese of Australia.
Finally, the Archbishop thanked the Abbot of the Holy Monastery of Saint George, Archimandrite Ieronymos, because he accepted with great love and humility to help the brotherhood through the transformation of Australia and through education and prayer at the Monastery of St. George. “I receive spiritual strength when I see that the services are being performed through prayer,” he stressed. “This is something that relieves me and I believe that it is a great offer to our local Church,” the Archbishop of Australia added.