Five graduates of the Toronto Orthodox Theological Academy, accompanied by Metropolitan Sotirios, were received by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, on Friday, June 10, 2016.
His All-Holiness spoke very highly about our Holy Metropolis, our Theological Academy, and about Metropolitan Sotirios.
His All-Holiness bestowed theological degrees upon each graduate: Fr. Philotheos Allison; Fr. Andrew Allain; Mr. Nick Sirmalis; Mr. Jasper Bendici; and, Mr. Chris Koumarelas.
Present with the graduates was Mr. Koumarelas’ son, John, as well as Mr. John Papadopoulos from Saint John, New Brunswick.
Metropolitan Sotirios, in response to His All-Holiness, remarked: “All Greek Orthodox of Canada pray for you and our Mother Church. We love you, we respect and admire the way you manage various issues and challenges. We pray for the success of theHoly and Great Council. Our Theological Academy is progressing very well. In the upcoming academic year, there will be a total of 14 students. All students are taught Greek and Byzantine music. With your blessing, the graduates here would like to chant “Polychronos” to you.”
The Patriarch gave his blessing and the graduates, holding papers with the “Polychronos” in Byzantine music, perfectly chanted it to His All-Holiness.
Both His All-Holiness, together with Metropolitan Sotirios, were amazed and touched. The Patriarch then requested the graduates chant other hymns including the Apolytikion of Holy Pentecost, “Blessed art Thou, O Christ our God…”
The following day, the Name Day of His All-Holiness, Metropolitan Sotirios and the Academy’s graduates were present at the Divine Liturgy.
The graduates visited Hagia Sophia and other tourist attractions of the Polis(Constantinople).
Our Holy Metropolis, our Theological Academy, Metropolitan Sotirios, and the graduates sincerely thank His All-Holiness.