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Opening of the Academic Year 2018

Opening of the Academic Year 2018

Today marked the official opening of the academic year at St Andrew’s Greek Orthodox Theological College in Sydney. A Doxology Service was celebrated in the College Chapel of St John the Evangelist and Theologian by the Dean, His Eminence Archbishop STYLIANOS of Australia, among faculty members, staff, alumni, students and guests.

After welcoming everyone His Eminence reflected briefly on the task of theology within the Church and the College, mentioning also the following:

“We are blessed to be able to gather and offer thanks to God for the beginning of the thirty-third year of our College’s mission here in Australia. We have almost sixty students with us this year, from various parts of Australia and a few from overseas, most of whom are studying part time and online. Some of them are here with us today for our residential program and I thank them for making the effort to be present. We have a small group of full time students too, who live within the campus residence, and this is a very encouraging sign for the daily life of our College.

Theology today, unfortunately, as we all know, seems to be somehow neglected or overlooked. It is not estimated as it should be. And yet, the need for theology was never so great, so deep, and so profound. Because the more critical the times become, the more theologically interesting they become. Danger is always a factor which can bring those who would like to serve the goals of the Church to come closer and to learn to speak a more convincing language about our Christian faith, because only out of need does the human being become sincere and properly pious.

I do not need to stress the importance of the mission which our small College has in this country. I repeat this every time when we commence a new academic year. And yet, we know that we are not capable enough to respond to so many needs which are to be found in our parishes and in society, but we persevere nonetheless, and we keep in mind the words of the Apostle Paul who instructed us to stand fast in one spirit, and to strive together with one mind for the faith of the gospel, and not in any way to be terrified by our opponents.

I thank all those who are working hard to make our presence here not merely visible, but also fruitful. But this is not up to us alone. It is up to the grace of God along with the dedication of each one of us personally, and all of us together collectively.”

His Eminence then presented a copy of the critical edition of the Greek New Testament to new seminarian students: Dionysios Bozikis (Syd), Terry Gerovasilis (Syd), Nicholas Haridemos (Canberra), Timothy Klintsaris (Syd), Stavros Kosmatos (Bris), Nickolas Krikelis (Melb), Melhem Makdessi (Syd), Adam Neou (Syd), Aristotle Papailiadis (Melb), and John Varipatis (Syd).

The customary group photograph in the courtyard of the College was followed by a lunch generously prepared by ladies from the Central Philoptohos Committee of the Archdiocese in Sydney.