Metropolitan Sotirios’ 10-Day Visit to British Columbia
His Eminence, Parish Priest Rev. Fr. E. Aravantinos and the Visiting Clergy, the Consul General of Greece Mr. Illias Kremmydas, and members of the newly-elected Board of the Ypapanti Greek Orthodox Community of Victoria
Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Toronto (Canada)
Under the Jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate
Metropolitan Sotirios’ 10-Day Visit to British Columbia
As in years past, His Eminence Metropolitan Sotirios spent the end of January and beginning of February visiting our Greek Orthodox Communities in British Columbia.
His Eminence’s trip began with the Feast Day of the Three Hierarchs which was celebrated at Saints Nicholas & Dimitrios Greek Orthodox Community in East Vancouver. On the evening of Friday, January 29th, His Eminence presided at Great Vespers, assisted by Rev. Fr. T. Prattas (Parish Priest) and the clergy of Metro Vancouver. After Great Vespers, the Community of East Vancouver hosted a Greek School Celebration of the Greek Letters, with students participating from all the Greek Schools of Metro Vancouver.
Από αριστερά ο π. Κ. Οικονόμου, Ιερ. Πρoϊστάμενος του Ι.Ν. Αγ. Γεωργίου Vancouver, ο Λιμενάρχης κ. Χ. Μουζάκης, ο πρόεδρος της Ελληνορθόδοξης Κοινότητας Αγ. Νικολάου και Δημητρίου, κ. Κ. Νικολάου, ο Εντιμ. Γεν. Πρόξενος της Ελλάδας κ. Η. Κρεμμύδας, ο Μητροπολίτης Σωτήριος, ο Ιερ. Προϊστάμενος του Ι.Ν. Αγ. Νικολάου και Δημητρίου π. Τ. Πράττας, και ο π. Δ. Τρυφωνόπουλος με τους μαθητές και τους συμμετέχοντες στη γιορτή των Τριών Ιεραρχών, στην Ελληνορθόδοξη Κοινότητα Αγ. Νικολάου και Δημητρίου στο Αν. Βανκούβερ.
On Saturday, January 30th, 2016 His Eminence served the Divine Liturgy for the Three Hierarchs. Following the Liturgy, the spiritual retreat of our Philoptochos Associations in B.C. took place. His Eminence spoke on the theme of our Metropolis, “Honour the Sabbath day,” while Fr. T. Prattas spoke onSt. Philotheias a Role Model for our Lives.
His Eminence, Fr. T. Prattas (Parish Priest), Fr. D. Tryphonopoulos, N. Kontogiannis and some of our Youth Choir members who chanted during the Divine Liturgy.
On Sunday, January 31st, His Eminence celebrated the Divine Liturgy at St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral, assisted by Parish Priest, Rev Fr. C. Economos, and retired Priest, Rev. Fr. Dorothos Tryfonopoulos. At the end of the Liturgy, His Eminence tonsured two young men as Subdeacons: Christian Vela and George Zelis. These two young men assist Fr. Constantinos in leading the over 30 altar boys that serve St. George, Vancouver.
His Eminence, Rev Frs. D. Tryfonopoulos and C. Economos, newly-tonsured subdeacons C. Vela and G. Zelis, and the Altar Servers who participated in the the Liturgy at St. George, Vancouver.
Following the Liturgy, His Eminence invited all past, present and future Camp Metamorphosis B.C. Campers to take a picture and be acknowledged for their participation and support of Camp Metamorphosis. The Liturgy was the premier event of the Camp Metamorphosis B.C. 2nd Annual Family Reunion, which had a fundraising luncheon after Church, and saw many of the youth participate in a Snow Tubing Day Camp on Mount Seymour.
His Eminence, accompanied by the Reverend Fathers, travelled to Vancouver Island to visit the Communities there. On Monday, February 1st, His Eminence met with the Board of the Ypapanti Greek Orthodox Community and served Great Vespers for the church’s feastday. On Tuesday, February 2nd, His Eminence celebrated the Divine Liturgy, assisted by Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. E. Aravantinos, and the visiting Clergy. At the conclusion of the Liturgy, His Eminence invited the new members of the Board of Directors to take the oath of office, in accordance with the Uniform Community Regulations.
After the Liturgy, the Community hosted a wonderful luncheon in the parish hall. This small Community is very successful and progressive, and His Eminence praised them for their continued efforts.
His Eminence pictured with the Clergy, Presidents and Board Members of the Greek Orthodox Communities in British Columbia.
On Wednesday, February 3rd, His Eminence celebrated an evening Liturgy for the Greek Orthodox Community in Nanaimo, assisted by Rev. Fr. E. Aravantinos (who serves the Community) and the Reverend Fathers of Metro Vancouver. After the Liturgy, the community organized a dinner, which gave the opportunity for all the faithful to meet and speak with His Eminence.
On the evening of Thursday, February 4th, the Hellenic Community of Vancouver hosted a dinner in honour of His Eminence on behalf of the Greek Orthodox Communities in B.C. Clergy, Presidents, and Board Members were all present representing our Greek Orthodox Communities in B.C. and His Eminence spoke on the progress of our Church on the West Coast. A highlight of the discussion was the new Greek School building project of the Greek Orthodox Community of East Vancouver.
On February 6th, the Orthodox Church honours the memory ofSt. Photios the Great, Patriarch of Constantinople. It is a special celebration for us in Canada, as St. Photios is the Patron Saint of the Clergy Syndesmos for our Metropolis. On the eve of the feastday, His Eminence Metropolitan Sotirios celebrated an evening Divine Liturgy at St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Vancouver, assisted by Rev. Fr. C. Economos and the other clergy of British Columbia. Youth leaders, Altar servers, Sunday School teachers and other volunteers from all communities in the Metro Vancouver area attended the Divine Liturgy and received Holy Communion. After the Divine Liturgy, His Eminence answered questions from the youth and other parishioners attending.
His Eminence answering the questions of the Youth Leaders in British Columbia.
On Sunday, February 7th, His Eminence celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Church of Sts. Constantine & Helen, Surrey, assisted by Rev. Fr. K. Kaltsdis (Parish Priest) and retired priests, Fr. D. Partsafas, and Fr. D. Tryfonopoulos. At the end of the Liturgy, His Eminence tonsured Mr. Antonis Andreou as an Archon of theEcumenical Patriarchate. Mr. Andreou has been a great supporter of the Greek Orthodox Community in Surrey, and has supported many of our Metropolis Programs in B.C.
With His Eminence’s pastoral visit concluded, we hope to continue to place special emphasis on: the importance of the divine services; investing in our youth through Religious Education, Camp Metamorphosis, Youth Group, Greek School, and other programs; and the need to enhance the already-existing programs our communities offer to parishioners for their spiritual edification – all for the glory of God, to whom belongs the dominion and the worship forevermore.