“Welcome, white father”; This is how Patriarch Theodore of Alexandria was welcomed by the people in every village and town of the Patriarchate.
Children, young people, the elderly, were waiting to meet the Patriarch, to have his blessing, to talk to him, to share with him their problems and sorrow, to ask him for advice. The Patriarch shows his love at every opportunity. He loves children, cares about their future and, therefore, he does everything in his power to improve their lives. He is being informed on a daily basis about their studies, their works, but also about the operation of the institutions and the schools.
It has been thirty years since mid-June, the day the current Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa (then, he was Archimandrite Theodoros Choreftakis, also known as Nikolaos Choreftakis) was ordained Bishop of Cyrene by late Patriarch Parthenios.
In an interview with the Greek newspaper Orthodoxi Alitheia (Orthodox Truth), on the occasion of his 30 years-anniversary of pastoral service in Africa, he said that he had travelled everywhere, even in the most remote villages. He said that he remained optimistic and kneeled only before God to thank Him for what He has generously offered him. As he said during the interview, in the thirty years of the Archdiocese, nothing has ever saddened him or made him regret anything. He also pointed out that he missed his mother since he did not have any other relative by his side during his new ministry.
“I hope that the pandemic will soon come to an end and that airlines will get flying again so as to able to be by the side of my flock,” he said. In addition, he referred to recent claims about the spread of the new coronavirus and the controversy over the Divine Communion. He stated, “For so many years I have been receiving Holy Communion the same way with the others, drinking from the same chalice, and thank God, absolutely nothing has ever upset me. That is the great mystery of God’s love.”
Looking to the future, the Patriarch of Alexandria declared that he was doing everything in his power to invest in the education of the peoples: “We have printers and, therefore, our vision is to translate a lot of books into local languages. In addition, we are not going to be complacent about the rules of hygiene. We make a great effort to offer drinking water to the children,” he said.