Hundreds celebrate St Spyridon feast day with paniyiri in Sydney

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Hundreds turned up to St Spyridon Greek Orthodox Parish in Kingsford over the weekend to attend celebrations in honour of the patron saint’s feast day.

Celebrations began on Saturday night with a vespers service presided over by His Eminence Metropolitan Seraphim of Sevasteia, and a number of other clergy from across Sydney.

The vespers service. Photos: St Spyridon Parish / Facebook.

This was followed by a celebratory dinner at the hall on parish grounds, during which the recipients of the ‘St Spyridon Scholarships’ and ‘Donations to Community Causes’ were announced.

According to a post by the Parish:

  • the ‘Venedictos Livissianis Prize’ for the highest ATAR at the 2020 HSC exams went to Peter Ganis of St Spyridon College;
  • the ‘Harry Kapsalis Prize’ for the best result in Modern Greek at last year’s HSC exams went to Michael Dovellos of St Spyridon College; and
  • Paris Mousamas of St Spyridon College also gained a St Spyridon Scholarship for her excellent ATAR score.

The next day, a Divine Liturgy service was presided over by His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia, along with His Grace Bishops Iakovos of Miletoupolis and Kyriakos of Sozopolis, among many others.

During the service, Archbishop Makarios ordained St Spyridon Parish’s new assistant priest, Dr Chris Baghos, to the Diaconate in the presence of his wife, Elleni Baghos, parents, siblings and relatives.

Parish priest, Father Steven Scoutas, was also conferred the title ‘Protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Throne,’ which is the highest distinction a married priest can receive in the Orthodox Church.

In a small address, Father Scoutas dedicated the distinction to his late parents, Savvas and Maria, for nurturing him in the Orthodox faith and for teaching him obedience to the church.

Father Scoutas also thanked the St Spyridon parishioners for their love and collaboration over the many years of his service, and acknowledged the great support of his Presvitera Patricia and their children.

Father Steven Scoutas was conferred the title ‘Protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Throne.’

At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, Archbishop Makarios led the procession of St Spyridon’s icon around the church, followed by the clergy and parishioners.

Later, a Greek-style paniyiri was held on the shared grounds of the church and St Spyridon College. Everyone who attended was entertained by Iho Nyx band, whilst they enjoyed lunch and visited the various stalls set up on the grounds, including the Philoptochos Ladies’ Auxiliary annual Sweets Stall.

Students from St Spyridon College also sang a Christmas song in Greek, then started a Greek kalamatiano dance.

The joy on the children’s faces was so irresistible that everyone began to join in, including the Head of College, Amelia Katsogiannis, Junior School Principal, Aristea Synesios, other teachers, parents, grandparents and siblings.

“It was a very moving day and it was wonderful to see everyone together as it was an event celebrated by cross-generations of our Parish, from the young to the elderly,” Elia Economou, who is the President of the Parish Council, told The Greek Herald after the event.

“It was really good to have some personal interactions as well.”

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