Message of Archbishop Serafim
MESSAGE OF HIS EMINENCE ARCHBISHOP OF JOHANNESBURG AND PRETORIA KYR SERAPHIM KYKKOTIS ON CELEBRATION FOR 30 YEARS OF ST THOMAS SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH IN SOUTH AFRICA
On behalf of his Beatitude our Pope and Patriarch of
Alexandria and all Africa THEODOROS II, the clergy and the members of the local Orthodox Church, I take this opportunity of the special celebrations of the 30th
anniversary of the building of the Church of Saint Apostle Thomas in 1978, to welcome in South Africa his Eminence Bishop of Hvosno Kyr Atanasije as well as the very Rev. fr. Miodrag, parish priest of St. Savva's Church in Belgrade and Reverend Archdeacon Stevan.
It's a special blessing of God to have his Eminence Bishop Atanasije with us. By your presence your Eminence we have with us present the holy blessings of His Holinness Patriarch Pavle, the blessing of his Eminence Mitropolitan of Montengro Amfilohious, the blessings of the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Servia, the spiritual blessings of the holy Tradition of the Holy Servian Church.
The presence of his Excellency the Ambassador of Russia Mr. Anatoly Makarov and First Secretary in Serbian Embassy Mrs. Jasmina Stankovic and all the important members of the Servian Community in this country is an indication how unique and important is for all of us this special day in order to remember and to pray for all those who sacrificed so many things for the building of this great and beautiful Church.
Also it's a opportunity to thank and to say how grateful we are for all those carry on like saint Apostle Thomas to be close to the very Rev. fr. Panteleimon to help him and to support him for his holy ministry in this parish. The resolution of the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Servia to award him as Archmitride of the Church is a recognition of his full devotion of his ministry of the members of the parish here.
As for reasons beyond of my will I am not here present with you like last night as we could pray together and then attending the very interesting
lecture of his Eminence Bishop Atanasije about the Holy Tradition of the Servian Church and especially about the sufferings of our brothers and sisters in Kossovo, I pray with you for justice of our suffering people there. We pray for his holiness the Patriarch Pavle, for the Members of the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Servia, for the clergy and the Servia people and above all for the President of Servia and the members of his Government to do their best for their daily duties and especially for the suffering brothers and sisters in Kossovo, for the safe return of the homeless and the refugees in their mother land in Kossovo, which is the living heart of the body of the Servian Nation.
I am grateful to His Eminence Metropolitan of Montenegro Amfilohious for be here with us during his last pastoral visit in South Africa for the consecration of this Church as well as for the Members of the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Servia to award me with the special award of Saint Symeon. This special award as well as the award I received by His Holinness Patriarch Pavle when I was in Servia in 2003, are expression of the special respect and love to the Patriarchate of Alexandria and all Africa, as well to my Patriach his Beatitude Theodoros II and to the members of the Servian Community in South Africa for their love and their sacrifices to do their best for this parish as well as to protect their orthodox faith, their national identity, their language and their tradition, to make their children proud of them as they are proud of their parents. This is also the main objective of these special celebrations of the 30th anniversary of the building of the holy Church of saint Apostole Tomas.
May God bless you all of you
With my love in Christ
+Metropolitan of Johannesburg and Pretoria Seraphim Kykkotis