A joyous event happened at the Monastery of St John the Baptist in Perth on Friday of January 7, 2005. With the blessing of His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in Australia, His Grace Bishop Nikandros from Adelaide ordained Deacon Evagrios to the Priesthood. Fr Evagrios was a monk for about 14 years at the Holy Simonopetra Monastery on Agion Oros (Mount Athos). Simonopetra is dedicated to the birth of Christ, and its name comes from the founder of the monastery, Hosios Simon, who lived on Mount Athos during the 14th Century AD. Bishop Nikandros also blessed Angelo a Reader on the same day.
The clergy and parishioners filled the Church at the Monastery as Bishop Nikandros officiated at the Divine Liturgy, concelebrating with Fr George, Fr Theoklitos, Fr Sotirios, Fr Emmanuel, and Fr Ted (of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia and New Zealand).
Deacon Evagrios was elevated to the rank of Priest following the Great Entrance with the proclamation by Bishop Nikandros of "Axios!" (He is worthy). Everyone in the Church responded joyfully "Axios!" During the Ordination, Fr Evagrios was taken in front of the Altar, where his head was covered by the Omophorion, and he was led into the Altar through the Royal Doors, where the Bishop led him around the Altar table three times, while the clergy sang the accompanying prayers. Each time, Fr Evagrios kissed each of the four corners of the Holy Table and then the Bishop's Epigonation and hand.
After this, Bishop Nikandros read the prayers of Ordination, laying his hands upon the head of the kneeling Fr Evagrios. Following this was the vesting of the new Priest into his new Priestly garments. Each time he was donned with an item of the vestments, the Bishop declared "Axios", echoed three times by the clergymen in the Altar, then by the choir and the parishioners. Finally, His Grace Bishop Nikandros led the newly ordained Priest to the ambo and turned him to face the worshipers for the final singing of "Axios!" It was a joy to hear the people proclaiming "Axios!"
Fr Evagrios then distributed Holy Communion, and at the end of the Liturgy gave a brief homily to the Congregation. His Grace Bishop Nikandros then delighted everyone by blessing Angelo, who is a novice monk from Mount Athos, as a Reader and blessed his Rason (Cassock). After the Liturgy, the people approached Fr Evagrios to receive the Antidoron and his blessing.
We all pray Fr Evagrios receives God's blessing in his service for Christ in his work at the Monastery of St John the Baptist in Perth.