Τρίτη, 7 Φεβρουαρίου 2017

One Week with Metropolitan Sotirios

Χειροθεσία Άρχοντος Χαρτοφύλακος, Ευαγγέλου Πάππα. Ι. Ν. Αγ. Γεωργίου Βανκούβερ. The Investiture of Archon Hartophylax, Evangelos Pappas at St. George Greek Orthodox Community in Vancouver.
On January 26, 2017, following a 5 ½-hour flight from Toronto, Metropolitan Sotirios arrived at Vancouver International Airport and was greeted by the Greek Orthodox clergy of the area. That evening, His Eminence presided over the Trisagion prayers for the late P. Tsakumis, former President of the Hellenic Community of Vancouver, at St. George Cathedral. The following morning, the Metropolitan presided over the funeral service, assisted by all the local clergy.

On Saturday, January 28th, the Metropolitan celebrated the Divine Liturgy by himself at Sts. Constantine and Helen (Surrey), while the priests and cantors chanted. After Holy Communion, the Spiritual Philoptochos Retreat of British Columbia took place. Metropolitan Sotirios spoke on the theme “Let the little children come to me,” while Fr. K. Kaltsidis spoke about “The Holiness of the body.”

That afternoon, the Metropolitan and the priests visited Archon Depoutatos Β. Tsakumis at the hospital. Two days later, Mr. Tsakumis was released and returned home.

In the evening, the Metropolitan and clergy had a dinner with the ladies of the three Philoptochos Societies of the area; Mrs. S. Rassias, President of the National Philoptochos; and Mrs. E. West, former National Philoptochos President.

On Sunday, January 29th, His Eminence celebrated the Divine Liturgy at St. George Cathedral, assisted by Fr. D. Partsafas, Fr. D. Tryphonopoulos, and Fr. C. Economos, Parish Priest.

At the end of the Divine Liturgy, the Metropolitan tonsured as Archon HartophylaxMr. Evangelos Pappas, former President of the Community, Chanter and Choir Master.

Thereafter, the annual luncheon of the Theological Academy took place. The luncheon was organized by the three communities of Metro Vancouver and Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in British Columbia.

Γιορτή Ελληνικών Γραμμάτων. Τα παιδιά που απήγγειλαν ποιήματα με τους ιερείς, τους Προξένους Κύπρου και Ελλάδας και τον Μητροπολίτη Σωτήριο. Βανκούβερ. Celebration of Greek Education; pictured are the children who recited poems along with their priests, the Consuls General of Cyprus and Greece and Metropolitan Sotirios in Vancouver.
The luncheon was also attended by: Mrs. T. Berggren, Consul of Cyprus in B.C.; Mr. A. Ioannou, Consul General of Greece in Vancouver; and kids from Camp Metamorphosis B.C.

That evening, Metropolitan Sotirios presided at the Great Vespers for the Feast of the Three Hierarchs at St. Nicholas Church, where all the priests of the area assisted. Following Vespers, the Greek Education Celebration was held, where students from all four schools of Metro Vancouver participated.

In his speech, Metropolitan Sotirios congratulated the students and thanked the parents, teachers, the Community Councils and all of the priests.

He characteristically noted the great improvement of the students over the years, as he has been attending this event for many years now. He encouraged the Community Councils and all the attendees to establish a Greek Orthodox Day School.

On Monday, January 30th, Divine Liturgies were celebrated in all of the Vancouver-area parishes. Afterwards, the clergy and Metropolitan Sotirios were invited to lunch by the Hon. A. Ioannou, Consul General of Greece in Vancouver.

The Very Rev. Fr. Photios Pentikis fell asleep in the Lord at 94 years of age. He served many communities in both the United States and Canada during his ministry. Together with the clergy, Metropolitan Sotirios went to Bellingham, Washington, USA and prayed the Trisagion service for the repose of his soul; many priests from the United States were also present.

Μέρος του εκκλησιάσματος στη γιορτή της Υπαπαντής. Victoria. Some of the parishioners present for the Great Feast of the Presentation of our Lord in the Temple, in Victoria.
After the Trisagion, Metropolitan Sotirios spoke about the virtues of Fr. Photios – the humility, prudence and dedication which he served the Church. His Eminence also spoke about what every person should do in order to inherit the eternal Kingdom of God.

His Eminence and the clergy had a meeting on the Ferry Boat on route to Victoria, the capital city of British Columbia, where they later participated in the Great Vespers and Divine Liturgy of the celebrating church of Ypapanti.

Great Vespers was held in the evening; the following morning, the Divine Liturgy was celebrated by His Eminence, assisted by all the clergy: Fr. D. Partsafas; Fr. E. Aravantinos, Parish Priest; Fr. K. Kaltsidis; Fr. C. Economos; Fr. T. Prattas; and Dn. D. Vickery. (Fr. D. Tryphonopoulos was absent from this pastoral visit.) Many pious faithful arrived from Vancouver, Surrey, Nanaimo, and from the United States as well.

At the end of the Divine Liturgy, Metropolitan Sotirios bestowed the office ofEconomos to Fr. E. Aravantinos, Parish Priest of Ypapanti Church.

The annual luncheon followed; while the clergy departed for Vancouver, Metropolitan Sotirios remained in Victoria to have a dinner and a meeting with the Community Council of Victoria. The next day, at 6AM, His Eminence boarded a plane and returned to the Metropolis in Toronto.

The clergy of British Columbia lived a week with our Metropolitan as one true family, seeing his paternal love and his tranquility.

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