The new Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Australia, Makarios, arrived in Sydney on Tuesday evening, where he received a very warm welcome and reception by the Greek community, which included the Assistant Bishops of the Holy Archdiocese, the clergy, the monastic fraternities, parishioners and representatives of state and political authorities, who all welcomed the new Archbishop at Sydney airport.
Archbishop Makarios was overjoyed with the reception he received and thanked everyone for their good wishes.
“I arrived to the blessed land of Australia, I see you all for the first time, but I feel like I know you for years,” the new Archbishop said, adding, “I come from afar, I come from Crete, but I feel I came to my home!”
“From today to the end of my life I belong to Australia! I praise the God who has blessed my steps and has led me to this blessed state, and I bow my head in front of the Australian flag,” Archbishop Makarios highlighted.
Over a thousand people waited at Sydney Airport arrival gates to see the new Archbishop and chanted hymns of prayer and well wishes while awaiting his presence.
“I want to assure you that this day, this moment is precious and unique in my heart and my life,” Makarios said.
Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison sent out a statement of good wishes to Archbishop Makarios, praising his mission to unite the Greek Orthodox community of Australia.
“I join the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia in paying tribute to Archbishop Makarios on the occasion of his commencement as the new Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in Australia,” said Australia’s PM.
“As a young man, the Archbishop chose a life of dedication to God, a commitment that has seen him contribute immensely to Greek Orthodox communities in Europe through his love of scholarship and teaching.
“Thanks to his devotion and generosity, many adherents have been exposed to the richness and beauty of Orthodox culture, and been imbued with ideals and values that they will always treasure.
Archbishop Makarios’ mission now brings him across the world, ministering to a people who treasure their ancient faith in a new land. I am sure he will embrace his new role in service to the Australian Greek Orthodox community with the same force and fervour that has characterised his vocation so far,” he added.
“I warmly wish Archbishop Makarios many fulfilling years of priestly service here in Australia and express my gratitude to everyone who has gathered to share in the celebration of this wonderful moment. May God bless the Greek Orthodox Church in Australia and may God continue to bless Australia,” concluded the PM.
The enthronement of Archbishop Makarios of Austalia will take place on Saturday, June 29 at the Holy Cathedral of the Annunciation of Virgin Mary on Cleveland Street in Redfern, Sydney.
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*Images by Nick Bourdaniotis/ Bourdo Photography (Copyright)