His Eminence Metropolitan Sotirios, along with Fr. Spyridon Vandoros, Fr. John Kaoukakis, the President of the Greek Orthodox Community of Regina and Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Mr. Chrysostomos Perentes, as well as the chanter, Mr. Athanasios Christodouloulis, visited the communities of Yorkton, Swift Current and Saskatoon, in Saskatchewan. The total area of Saskatchewan is five times larger than that of Greece.
An evening Divine Liturgy was celebrated in Yorkton, where the faithful attended with great reverence, including for Holy Communion. Approximately fifteen families maintain a church on their own and are devoted to both Orthodoxy and Hellenism. They are an exemplary community.
In Swift Current, the faithful attended the Divine Liturgy and partook of Holy Communion, also with great faith and reverence. Approximately twelve families there maintain a church on their own. They are worthy of our respect.
The community of Saskatoon was founded in the 1960s. Today there are more than on hundred families there and they are a progressive community with a beautiful church. They own a large property where, in the future, a new church and community center will be built. Furthermore, their resources surpass one million dollars. With great reverence they attended the Divine Liturgy and received Holy Communion. Our Metropolis congratulates their community.
The schedule in the Community of Regina was enriched with many activities. On Friday evening, His Eminence attended the dinner of the Philoptochos Society where there were more than thirty-five women. Following the dinner, the Metropolitan taught the women of the Philoptochos the song ‘Θάμπωσε το φως του ήλιου’. Also present were Fr. Spyridon and Archon Aktouarios and community president, Mr. Perentes.
On Saturday morning, His Eminence and Fr. Spyridon performed the blessing for the Greek school. A great number of children along with their parents participated. It was very beautiful to see the children so happy. At the end His Eminence blessed the children and the adults and spoke of the value of Greek school and catechism, the youth associations and the youth camp. He reminded everyone that the theme of our Holy Metropolis this year is “Let the little children come to Me”.
On Sunday the Divine Liturgy was celebrated and the church was full of faithful with most partaking of Holy Communion. The new chanter, Mr. Athanasios Christodouloulis, whom the community brought from Greece, chanted during the Matins and Divine Liturgy; the choir chanted alongside him during the Divine Liturgy. Following the Liturgy, all parishioners enjoyed a lovely meal that was prepared by the Philoptochos Society.
This ended the visit of His Eminence Metropolitan Sotirios to Saskatchewan. The Metropolitan visits all the communities across Canada at least once a year. Since January 1st, he has visited all the communities except those in Alberta, which he plans to visit soon.
The Metropolitan stated that “It was a visit blessed by God. I admire the Christians who in those small places manage to maintain their Hellenism and Christian faith. I specifically want to congratulate Fr. Vandoros and Fr. Kaoukakis, the presidents of the four Greek communities and all their associates. I thank the Archons of our Ecumenical Patriarchate, Dimitrios Kosmas and Chrysostomos Perentes. I praise and bless the thrice holy God that gave us good people and ask Him to keep them in good health and to sanctify them and that we may all live as a family here on Earth but also that we may all be together as a family in His Kingdom of Heaven.”