Yesterday, Saturday 29 February, St Andrew’s Greek Orthodox Theological College commenced its thirty-fifth academic year with its annual Doxology Service in the Cathedral of the Annunciation, Redfern.
The liturgy was officiated by the Dean, Archbishop Makarios of Australia, among clergy, faculty members, staff, alumni, students and guests.
Distinguished hierarchs were present including Metropolitan Seraphim of Sebasteia, Metropolitan Basilios of the Antiochian Orthodox Church in Australia, Bishop Emilianos of Meloa, and Bishop Silouan of Sinope.
The Dean began the address after the Doxology by paying tribute to two of his predecessors, Archbishop Ezekiel Tsoukalas who conceived the idea of a Theological College, and the late Archbishop Stylianos who was the founding Dean of the College until his repose almost a year ago.
Archbishop Makarios’ address was on the theme of ‘Discerning your Calling (κλήση) and Inclination (κλίση) in Life,’ where he touched upon the students having arrived at the study of theology from various factors in their lives, but all ultimately by divine providence. This calling from above (κλήση) is related to their inclination (κλίση) in life, whether it is priesthood, teaching, social care; the students are invited to study at their new home, the College, to discern God’s calling for them in service of the holy Orthodox Church for theirs and the world’s salvation.
Twenty-seven new commencing students who came from various major cities across Australia and from New Zealand, and from various Orthodox jurisdictions were personally greeted and bestowed with a copy of the Book of Prayers, as a gift and token of welcome.
During the luncheon, a donation of $10,000 in support of the Theological College was presented to Archbishop Makarios by Mr Bill Skandalakis and the secretary Dr Peter Diamadis, on behalf of AHEPA NSW, with a pledge to make the same donation each year for ten years.
The customary group photograph was taken within the Cathedral of the Annunciation, and lunch was generously prepared by ladies from the Central Philoptohos Committee of the Archdiocese in Sydney.
For the current academic year, there are seventy-five students enrolled in undergraduate and postgraduate programs studying on campus and via distance education and Melbourne facilitation classes.