Archbishop Makarios of Australia’s multi-day pastoral visit to Tasmania was a success.
The Archbishop, accompanied by Bishop Kyiakos of Sozopol, Archdiocesan Commissioner of Melbourne, Archimandrite Amfilochios Papantoniou, Chief of Staff to the Archbishop, Deacon Timotheos Mavrommatis and Deacon Irenaeus Koikas, arrived at Hobart Airport on Friday, June 10, where he was received by Bishop Bartholomew of Charioupolis, Holy Trinity Parish Leader Elder Demetrios Katsis, Greek Welfare Center President Stylianos Magdalopoulos, Tasmanian Greek Community President Nikolaos Theodoropoulos and a large number of loyal expatriates.
During his visit, the Archbishop had the pleasure of officiating on Saturday June 11 at the Holy Church of the Holy Trinity for the rest of the souls of the owners of the Church and all immigrant Orthodox Christians who have arrived in Tasmania, since 1878. .
At the same time, the name day of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew was duly celebrated at the specially organized reception, during which Bishop Bartholomew of Charioupolis, Mr. Antonios Papastamatis, youth representative of Tasmania, and finally Archbishop Makarios took the floor. All the speakers referred to the spiritual character of Patriarch Bartholomew and praised his invaluable contribution to the Church and to the world.
On Sunday June 12, the feast of Pentecost, the Archbishop of Australia presided over the Orthros, the Divine Liturgy and then the Service of genuflection, accompanied by Bishops Kyriakos of Sozopol and Bartholomew of Charioupolis, at Saint George’s Church in Hobart, the capital of Tasmania. At the end of the services, the Archbishop presented the message of the feast and underlined that the day of Pentecost is a call to unity and love for all.
A reception followed in the “Greek Room” of the Greek Community, during which the President, Mr. Nikolaos Theodoropoulos, welcomed the Archbishop and his entourage, while underlining the contribution of the Archbishop to Australia during his three years of ministry. The reception ended with a program of traditional dances by the young people of Tasmania who make up the Cretan clubs.
On June 13, the Feast of the Holy Spirit, the Archbishop officiated at Holy Trinity Church and during the High Priesthood Divine Liturgy, he ordained Deacon Irenaeus Koikas, the new Superior of St. George’s Hobart, as an elder. In addition to the ordination of Fr. Irénée, Archbishop Makarios ordained the parish priest of the Holy Trinity, Fr. Demetrios Katsis, as pastor, and Mr. Stephanos Papastamatis as lector. To the two newly ordained men, he addresses words of warning and advice on their new ministry in the Church.
The Divine Liturgy was followed by a Greek feast in the parish courtyard, which was a great success and was well attended not only by Greek Orthodox Christians, but also by many non-Greek Australians.
A divine liturgy was also held at the Holy Dormition of Virgin Mary Church in Launceston, northern Tasmania, on Saturday June 18, the last day of the Archbishop’s tour of the island state of Australia. It should be noted that this is the first time that an Archbishop has officiated in this Holy Church, and that is why the Greek Orthodox congregation welcomed Archbishop Makarios there with great enthusiasm and feelings of deep respect.
The Archbishop, along with his entourage, arrived in Launceston on Friday June 17 and immediately held a special meeting with the city’s Greek Community Board. During Saturday’s Divine Liturgy, the Archbishop stressed the need for the Greek community to preserve the language, faith, customs and traditions of the homeland, in order to pass them on as a precious heritage to future generations.
At the same time, he honored Mrs. Ioanna Amerikanou with the Medal of the Order of the Philochristians for her long-standing contribution to the Church and the Greek community of Launceston. The Divine Liturgy was followed by a banquet in honor of the Archbishop of Australia, during which the members of the board of directors, the bishops Kyriakos of Sozopol and Bartholomew of Charioupolis and finally the honorable bishop expressed with sincere words.
It should be noted that during his stay in Tasmania, Archbishop Makarios of Australia:
He visited the Tasmanian State Parliament, where he had a private meeting with the local Premier, Mr. Jeremy Rockliff, in the presence of the Minister for National Heritage, Ms. Madeleine Ogilvie. During the meeting, the agenda included improving the renovation work at Holy Trinity Church, enriching Greek language and Greek traditions curricula, and welcoming Ukrainian immigrants to Tasmania.
Invited by the Mayor of Hobart, Mrs. Anna Reynolds, he paid a visit to the Town Hall, where a reception was held in his honour, attended by prominent expatriates and other state officials. During the reception, the Mayor welcomed the Archbishop of Australia and his entourage and spoke about the presence of Greeks in Tasmania and the contribution of the Orthodox Church to Australian society in general. The Archbishop thanked the Mayor for the welcome and reception, and conveyed the gratitude of the Greeks of Hobart for his contribution to the Greek community.
He visited Archbishop Julian Porteous of the Roman Catholic Church at the Roman Catholic Archdiocesan Palace, where they discussed issues related to religious freedom and Christian unity in the state of Tasmania. Archbishop Makarios and the Roman Catholic Archbishop pledged to cooperate on matters of legislation and on relations between religion and the authorities, which will be carried out through the local commissioner, Bishop Bartholomew of Charioupolis.
He had a meeting, at Holy Trinity Church, with the Bishop of the Anglican Church of Tasmania, Mr Richard Condie, during which matters of common interest in the relations between the Church and the State in Tasmania were discussed.
He also had a special meeting with the President of the Hellenic Welfare Center of the Archdiocese of Australia, Mr. Stylianos Magdalopoulos, and his associates, during which they discussed the extension of welfare programs in Tasmania. .
In addition, he had a special meeting with the President and members of the Hellenic Community of Tasmania, Mr. Nikolaos Theodoropoulos, during which they discussed issues concerning Hellenism and expatriate relations with the Church and local authorities.
He attended the dinner given in his honor by the Cretan Association of Tasmania, during which the President of the Association, Mr. Ioannis Chiotakis, addressed the Archbishop and of course the Archbishop duly responded.
He visited Coles Bay and Wineglass Bay, where he toured the Tasmanian region and ocean.
He visited Cornelian Bay Cemetery, where he performed a Trisagion for the late father. Christos Pamias, Tasmania’s first clergyman, Gregory Kasimatis, who had donated the land for the construction of the Holy Church of St. George, and the other expatriates, with many Orthodox Christians who arrived there to pray for rest of the souls of their ancestors.
He visited Port Arthur, Tasmania’s historic port, home to Britain’s first convict prisons, Australia’s first immigrants, and the site of the murder of 35 innocent victims on April 28, 1996.
Finally, Bishop Makarios had the opportunity to meet many expatriates living in Tasmania, who shared with him their concerns and thoughts on the future of Hellenism and Orthodoxy in the island state of Tasmania. Australia.