On the 25th March 2019 as is known, the former Archbishop of Australia, Stylianos slept in the Lord. The whole body of the Greek Orthodox Church of Australia mourned the passing of its Shepherd. For a short while, we all felt like we were lost, somewhat like orphans. The question naturally and inevitably came to our lips: Who would come now? Who would take the rudder? Who would guide the Church? Who would sanctify our collective pain? The prayers of all the faithful were united. They became “a sweet-smelling spiritual fragrance.”
And the Lord accepted those prayers and responded. Through the mouth of His All-Holiness, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, together with the Holy Synod of the Great Church of Christ, an answer was given.
The Bishop of Christoupolis, Makarios was elected unanimously, to be the new Archbishop of Australia, Most Honourable Exarch of All Oceania. He was unknown to most of us. We hurried to find more details, we searched the internet to learn about our new Archbishop. We found out, we learnt much about him, we marvelled at his gifts.
On 18th June 2019, an excited atmosphere arose at Sydney International Airport. Our new Shepherd was about to arrive! Hundreds of Orthodox faithful defy the winter cold. Clergy and laity together exclaim “AXIOS – He is Worthy!” In an atmosphere of delirious joy and enthusiasm, Church Hymns mingle with National Anthems. And there he was, in front of us, full of love, full of light and humility.
At his smile, the winter cold draws back. At his own emotional reaction, a sweet comfort touches our hearts. His fatherly words chase away any hesitation. We ceased feeling lost and orphaned. Our Spiritual Father was here. Ready to pilot the ship of the Church in the Antipodes. And we, his spiritual children, ready and willing to follow his journey. A journey towards Truth, Light and the Glory of Christ. The journey of our Orthodoxy through the Ages.
Your Eminence, Welcome!
Source: Lychnos July-August 2019