As of October 17, 2003, the Patriarchate’s web-site (www.greekorthodox-alexandria.org) has been updated. The new link includes the following information in Greek:
PASTORAL VISIT OF HIS BEATITUDE PETROS VII, POPE & PATRIARCH OF ALEXANDRIA & ALL AFRICA TO JOHANNESBURG & PRETORIA
The Patriarch’s visit began with a working breakfast during which he discussed pastoral issues as well as issues affecting Greeks abroad, mission work, inter-Orthodox and inter-Faith dialogues and the upcoming General Assembly of Churches of the African Continent with the local Archbishop and his colleagues. He later presided over a meeting of all the local clergy in the presence of His Eminence Chrysostomos of Kition.. He gave the necessary encouragement to the clergy and after this meeting met with Dr Elias Stavrou, Head Cantor.
At noon, the Patriarch, accompanied by His Eminence Chrysostomos of Kition and His Eminence Seraphim of Johannesburg and Pretoria, Archimandrites Michael, Filaret and Markos, Deacon Nektarios and Mr A Papaevripiades, attended a working lunch given in his honour by the Ambassador of Greece. Present also at this lunch were the Ambassadors of Egypt, Russia, Yugoslavia, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Bielorus and of other Orthodox countries, the Catholic Nuncio, the Mayor of Pretoria, the President of the Federation of Hellenic Communities, Advocate George Bizos and other dignitaries of the Hellenic Community. The Patriarch addressed the gathering, stressing the importance of preserving religious freedom in Africa. He also stressed the role of mission work in dealing with social problems, AIDS, poverty and the destruction of the environment.
In the evening the Patriarch met with the Presidents of the Executive Committees of the Hellenic Communities of Johannesburg, Benoni, the parish of Pantanassa and the Hellenic Cyprus Brotherhood. Later that night, the Patriarch performed the official opening of the new Cultural and Educational centre of the Hellenic Cyprus Brotherhood – a centre for religious, national and cultural conferences. At the reception which followed, both the Patriarch and Archbishop Seraphim were declared Honorary Members of the Brotherhood.
The Patriarch later met with the Chairman and the Secretary of the Association of Hellenes from Egypt and Sudan, Messrs Georgiou and Ioannou, for discussions regarding various subjects including the 40th anniversary celebrations of the Association. These celebrations were dedicated to the memory of the great Alexandrian poet Constantinos Cavafy on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of his death.
The following day the Patriarch paid a pastoral visit to the Embassies of Egypt, Greece and Cyprus in Pretoria. He spoke at length with the Ambassadors, discussing various subjects of common interest. The Patriarch then visited the Hellenic Community of Pretoria where he inaugurated and blessed the new building of the “Scouting and Youth Centre”. He also attended the reception given in his honour in the hall.
The Patriarch then attended a reception hosted in his honour by His Excellency the Cypriot Ambassador, Mr Kostas Leontiou. Later in the day, the Patriarch had a short meeting with Mr Costa Revelas on matters concerning the Patriarchate and then visited the Furniture Showroom of Mr Marios Kollaros.
That evening the Patriarch held talks with the Archbishops of Kition His Eminence Chrysostomos, of the Cape of Good Hope His Eminence Sergios and of Johannesburg and Pretoria His Eminence Seraphim. He also met with Mr and Mrs S Zisimides regarding the preparations of the consecration of the Holy Patriarchal Church.
The Patriarch later met with the Executive Committee of the “New Panhellenic Voice” whom he thanked for their national and religious contribution. He also participated in an on-air discussion regarding the efforts of the Patriarchate for the preservation of Hellenes in Africa. He also discussed the mission effort of the Patriarchate.
The Patriarch then attended a dinner hosted in his honour By Mr Andrea Stavrou and family. Present at this dinner were the former First Councillor of the Embassy of Greece Mrs Tereza Angelatou and the Paraskevas, Carastavrakis, Zisimides and Englezakis families. The Patriarch discussed with them their anxieties regarding the future.
The Patriarch then held talks with the Chairman and the Secretary of the Association of Hellenes from Egypt and also with Mr Kosta Nicolaou regarding the 40-year celebrations of the Association.
The next day the Patriarch inaugurated the new Patriarchal Seminary, the “Alexandrian Catechetical School”. This seminary will teach a three-year study course aiming at the preparation of candidates for the priesthood, to assist with the needs of the local population. The Patriarch was visibly moved and spoke with joy on the necessity of the development of education for our youth. He hoped that the work done at the Seminary would not be limited to the Johannesburg area, but would spread out.
Later in the day the Patriarch met with the parish priest of the Holy Church of Pantanassa, the parish he had served as priest 23 years previously. He met also with the Chairman and members of the Parish Council and held discussions with them on the efforts of the parish. He then went on to visit the Greek Old Age Home, where he met with the Executive Committee and spiritually strengthened the elderly residents. The Patriarch continued his pastoral visit with a visit to the Coptic Church and then to the building bought by the Archbishopric for the needs of the Patriarchal Seminary.
That evening the Patriarch, together with the local Archbishop, met with a delegation from the Romanian community, followed by a representation from the English language parish of St Nicholas, discussing with both the various problems affecting them.
Later that night the Patriarch attended the celebrations for the 40th Anniversary of the Association of Hellenes from Egypt and Sudan. The function was attended by various dignitaries of the Embassies of Greece and Cyprus, the Egyptian Ambassador, as well as local government representatives. The choirs of EPNEK and Zakynthos provided entertainment and Dr Thecla Hendryckx spoke on Cavafy’s poetry. Mesdames Panayiotou, Formington and Hendryckx recited poems. In his address the Patriarch stressed that the dual celebration of the 40-year existence of the Association and the 70th anniversary of Cavafy’s death, bring to mind the age of the great presence of Hellenes in Alexandria.
The following morning the Patriarch had a working breakfast with the Archbishops of Kition, Good Hope and Johannesburg & Pretoria, Mr and Mrs Antoniades, Mr and Mrs Liontarides, Mr Papaevripiades and the members of the Ladies Committee of the Archbishopric, Mrs Formington and Mrs Panayiotou.
During the morning the Patriarch visited the recently-consecrated Parish of St Sergios of the Russian community where he was warmly welcomed by the Very Rev Father Filaret and the Parish Council. The Ambassadors of Greece, Yugoslavia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Ukraine and Bielorus were also present as was the Nuncio. In his address the Patriarch stressed his joy at the co-existence and co-operation of so many ethnic diversities within the Patriarchate. During the visit the Patriarch honoured the Very Rev Fr Filaret with the medal of St Mark for his contribution to the building of the church.
The Patriarch then went on to visit the Hellenic Community of the West Rand where he stressed the necessity of the co-operation of all for the progress of the community and the dealing with the social problems of the country. He attended the lunch hosted in his honour and visited the chapel, dedicated to St Anthony the Great, situated in the grounds of the home of Mr and Mrs Antonios Antoniades.
That same evening the Patriarch officiated and preached at the Great Hierarchal Vespers for the consecration of the Holy Patriarchal Church of Ss Cosmas and Damian the Unmercenaries. In closing his sermon the Patriarch expressed the hope that the newly-consecrated Church would become a centre of spiritual life and the starting point of salvation for all.
The following morning, the Patriarch, together with his concelebrants the Archbishops of Kition, Good Hope and Johannesburg & Pretoria, officiated at the consecration of the Holy Patriarchal Church. The service was attended by the Ambassadors of Greece and Cyprus Messrs Economides and Leontiou, the Consul General of Greece Mrs Aliferi, the Zakynthian Member of Parliament in Greece Mr Gouskos and various dignitaries of the community. Present also were the sponsors of the Patriarchal Church together with the Choir from Zakynthos. In his sermon, the Patriarchate referred to the Gospel extract of the day, notably to Luke 6:31 – “As you wish men to do to you, do you also to them likewise” – and stressed the importance of forgiveness. He thanked all who had contributed, especially the pioneers of the project, His Eminence Seraphim, the Very Rev Fr Ioannis the Parish Priest, His Eminence Paul of Memphis, His Eminence Proterios of Dar-es-Salam, His Grace Bishop Alexandros of Nigeria. He also especially thanked the sponsors without whose material and moral assistance the pastoral work of the Patriarchate would be limited.
Various addresses were then made, Greek dances presented by the parish youth group and hymns by the choir from Zakynthos followed. The celebrations ended with the awarding of Certificates of Honour and medals to the sponsors.
On the final day of his visit the Patriarch met with the President of SAE Africa-Asia Mr Basil Magdalinos and discussed with him the preparation of the next World General Assembly of SAE due to take place in Thessaloniki from 11- 14 December 2003. He also met with Professor and Dr Hendryckx of RAU University regarding the inclusion of the “Alexandrian Catechetical School” into this University, with the prospect of its becoming an Orthodox Theological Faculty. He discussed also certain publication matters and the existing Greek Studies programme at the University.
He then met with Mr Savva Englezakis, Mr Philippou, Mr Papaevripiades, the Ladies’ committee of the Archbishopric and the local Archbishop. He went on to visit the Greek School SAHETI, together with the Zakynthian member of Greek Parliament Mr Gouskos, the Consul General of Greece Mrs Aliferi, Advocate George Bizos, his own personal retinue and the Choir from Zakynthos. He held discussions with the Head of the School and at a special assembly greeted the pupils, giving them his blessing and encouraging them in their responsibility to their studies.
The Patriarch then attended a farewell lunch at Mr Papevripiades’ restaurant. In his farewell address the Patriarch congratulated the local Archbishop for all his efforts and extended his thanks to all who to this day have contributed to the entire effort of the Archdiocese.
In the afternoon he met with dignitaries who came to bid him farewell and left later that night to continue his pastoral visit to Zimbabwe.
PASTORAL VISIT TO MOZAMBIQUE
On Thursday, October 9, 2003, His Beatitude Petros VII, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa left Zimbabwe by car to visit Mozambique. On his way to Mozambique he visited various Greek factories and residences within Zimbabwe. His first stop was in the small town of Odzi. There he visited the Holy Church of the Annunciation and distributed sweets to the local children.
At noon he arrived in Mutare. There he visited the Holy Church of Theotokos, a Church that adorns the city center. Mr. John Tselentis, Honorary President of the Greek Community hosted a lunch to honor the Patriarch. Later on His Beatitude visited Mr. Panayiotis Kavalieratos who has offered his services to the Church for many years. In the evening he presided over the Paraklisis service (Supplication) to the Theotokos at the Church.
That evening the Greek Community hosted a dinner. Mrs. Haroula Boverou, President of the Community welcomed the Patriarch and expressed her joy and appreciation for having among in their midst the Spiritual Father of the Orthodox faithful of Africa.
On Friday, October 10, he arrived in the historic town of Beira, Mozambique, where he visited the Holy Church of the Holy Trinity. Present were Mr. Gerasimos Markettos, Honorary Consul of Greece; Mr. Spyros Vobos; Greek sailors and Russian Orthodox. His Beatitude distributed food and sweets to the local children. At noon Mr. Vovos hosted a lunch to honor the Patriarch.
On this pastoral visit His Beatitude was escorted by H.E. Chrysostomos, Metropolitan of Kition; H.E. Theodoros, Metropolitan of Zimbabwe; and others. During his pastoral visit to suburban Zimbabwe and Mozambique the Patriarch encouraged the Greeks, extended to them his blessing and urged them to have hope. He also looked at the possibility of establishing new mission centers there.
PASTORAL VISIT TO ZIMBABWE
Monday, October 6, 2003, His Beatitude Petros VII, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa arrived in Harare for a pastoral visit. At the airport he was welcomed by H.E. Theodoros, Metropolitan of Zimbabwe; H.G. Ioakim, Bishop of Zambia; Mr. Vasilios Karantonis, Ambassador of Greece; Mr. Imbraim Haggak, Ambassador of Egypt; Mr. Nestor Nestoros, Consul of Cyprus; Mr. Antonios Anotniadis, Chairman of the Greek Communities; Mr. Stouyiannidis, President of the Greek Community of Harare; Mrs. Ariadni Psillos; clergy and a representative of the Coptic Church.
Members of his entourage were H.E. Chrysostomos, Metropolitan of Kition; the Very Revd. Markos Theodosi and the Deacon Nektarios Kontogiorgos.
On Tuesday, October 7, 2003, His Beatitude went to the Chapel of the Dormition of the Holy Theotokos at the residence of the Psillos family. There he presided over a memorial service for the blessed Efterpi Chiotelli. Following the memorial service her holy relics were exhumed.
On Wednesday, October 8, 2003, the Patriarch celebrated the Divine Liturgy at this Chapel of the Dormition of the Theotokos. A memorial service followed for Blessed Efterpi. That evening, Mrs. Psillos hosted a dinner at her residence. Present were the Ambassadors of Greece, Egypt, Russia, Romania, Bulgaria and many other distinguished guests.
On Thursday, October 9, 2003 he departed for a pastoral visit to Mozambique.
On Saturday, October 12, 2003, the Patriarch consecrated the Holy Church of St. Nektarios in the presence of many faithful including a great number local Orthodox. The choir chanted the liturgy in the local dialect. Later on the Patriarch together with the Greek Ambassador and Mrs. A. Psillos inaugurated the new medical center. They also visited the Spiritual Center and distributed sweets to the children. That evening the Cypriot Brotherhood hosted a dinner at the residence of Mr. N. Mestoros.
On Sunday, October 12, 2003, His Beatitude celebrated the Divine Liturgy at Holy Cathedral of Holy Trinity in the presence of many faithful from Harare, Bulawayo, Masvingo and Marondera who came to receive the blessing of the Patriarch. Also present were the Ambassadors of Greece, Russia, Bulgaria and Romania. During the service His Beatitude bestowed the rank of Protopresbyter upon the Revd. Fr. George Saganis for his dedicated service to the Church.
On Monday, October 13, 2003, the Patriarch visited the Greek School in Harare. There he had the chance to talk with the students and stressed the necessity of learning the Greek language. At noon, the Ambassador of Egypt hosted a lunch to honor the Patriarch. The Egyptian Ambassador expressed the love and respect of Egypt for the Patriarchate and its Head. His Beatitude asked that the Ambassador convey his appreciation to the President of Egypt for the good relationship that exists between Muslims and Christians in the land of Nile.
In the evening the Patriarch attended a meeting of the Greek Community dedicated to Hellenism in Zimbabwe.
On Tuesday, October 14, 2003, the Patriarch visited the Embassy of Spain, which was celebrating the National day of Spain.
At noon he attended a luncheon hosted by the Greek Ambassador. Also present were other European Ambassadors, the Nuncio and other distinguished guests. His Beatitude thanked the Ambassador of Greece for the support that the Patriarchate receives from the Greek Government.
That evening the Patriarch met with members of the Greek and African communities and discussed various issues. He also met with Mrs. Hariklis Papadopoulou, sister of Cyril, late Metropolitan of Zimbabwe. Later on he departed for Cairo.
OFFICIAL VISIT OF THE PRIMATE OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCH OF CZECH LANDS & SLOVAKIA TO THE PATRIARCHATE OF ALEXANDRIA & ALL AFRICA
(October 15 – 20, 2003)
His Beatitude Nikolaj, Metropolitan of the Czech Lands & Slovakia arrived in Cairo on Wednesday, October 2003 for an official visit at the invitation of H.B. Petros VII, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa. The members of his entourage were H.E. Krystof Pulec, Archbishop of Prague; the Rev. Fr. Vaclav Jezek; and the Deacon Vladimir Koevar.
At the international airport of Cairo he was received by H.B. Petros; H.E. Nicholaos, Metropolitan of Tanta; H.G. Alexios, Bishop of Nitria; H.G. Theophylaktos, Bishop of Babylon; the clergy of Cairo; Mr. G. Hatzimichelakis, Charge d’ affaires of the Embassy of Greece; Mr. Ph. Anastasiou, Ambassador of Cyprus; Mr. Her. Asteriadis, Consul General of Greece in Cairo; Mr. Robert Hosni, President of the Arab speaking Orthodox
Community in Cairo; and Mr. Vas. Sarantinos, Deputy President of the Greek Community in Cairo.
That evening the welcome Doxology service was sung at the Holy Church of Sts. Constantine and Helen. Later on H.B. Petros hosted and official dinner at the floating restaurant ‘LE PACHA.’
On Thursday, October 16, the two Primates met with H.H. Shenouda, Patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church. After the meeting the two Orthodox Primates visited the Giza Pyramids and the Sphinx. At noon they arrived at the Holy Patriarchal Monastery of St. George in Old Cairo. There, they were received by the Bishop in charge, H.G. Theophylaktos. A lunch followed at the premises of the monastery.
That evening they visited the Holy Patriarchal Church of St. Nicholas and the Patriarchal Vicarage (both under reconstruction); the Holy Church of St. Nicholas in Heliopolis; the Nursery Home of the Arab speaking Orthodox Community; the Holy Church of Theotokos in Heliopolis; the Greek School in Heliopolis; The Greek Hostel and the Greek Cultural Center. H.B. Nikolaj was given a guided tour by Mr. Gavalis, President of the Greek Community in Cairo. After that Mr. Gavalis hosted an official dinner in honor of H.B. Nikoaj. Among the distinguished guests were Mrs. Magda Sahin, Ambassador of Egypt in Athens.
On Friday, October 17, H.B. Petros met at the Holy Patriarchal Monastery of St. George with Mr.Pavlos Geroulanos, new General Secretary for the Hellenes Abroad, in the presence of Mr. Hatzimichelakis and Mr. Asteriadis. After the meeting the two Primates visited the Metochion of the Holy Monastery of St. Catherine of Sinai and the Holy Church of the Archangels in Daher. At noon Mr. Robert Hosni hosted a luncheon in honor of H.B. Nikoaj. After the lunch the two Primates visited the Museum of Cairo. The same evening they embarked on a private yacht and cruised the Nile river. A Dinner was hosted on the yacht.
On Saturday, October 18, the two Primates and their entourage moved to Alexandria. At noon, Mr. Har. Katsibris, President of the Greek Community in Alexandria hosted an official lunch. After the lunch they visited the Patriarchal Palace and the Holy Church of the Annunciation (both under reconstruction). The same evening they visited the Alexandrian Library and the Holy Patriarchal Monastery of St. Savvas. A dinner was hosted on the premises of the Monastery.
On Sunday, October 19, the two Primates concelebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Holy Patriarchal Monastery of St. Savvas. Concelebrants were H.E. Krystof; H.E. Irineos, Metropolitan Pelousion; H.E. Nicholaos; and H.G. Georgios, Bishop of Nilopolis. During the Liturgy the two Primates exchanged gifts and gave speeches. At noon H.B. Petros hosted an official lunch at the Alexandria Hilton Green Plaza. That evening the two Primates visited the Palace in Montazha and the Greek Yacht Club where the President Mr. Edmondos Kasimatis hosted an official dinner.
On Monday, October 20, H.B. Nikolaj completed his official visit. Early in the morning the two Primates had breakfast at the Alexandria Hilton Green Plaza hotel. Later on H.B. Nikolaj and his entourage departed for Cairo with H.G. George. At Cairo international Airport H.B. Nikolaj was accompanied by H.E. Nichoalos; H.G. Alexios; H.G. Theophylaktos; H.G. George and clergy. Before his departure a luncheon was hosted at the Movenpick hotel.