Archbishop Makarios was greeted by throngs of people at Perth Airport on Thursday. The Byzantine choir of Saint John of Damascus travelled with His Eminence Archbishop Makarios and sang hymns upon his arrival.
Priests, school representatives, dozens of faithful greeted the primate with the words ‘Axios, Axios’.
The decision to choose Perth as his first visit outside Sydney came following the Archbishop’s request to be present at the first liturgy at the newly-built church of Saint Paisios on his name day.
He addressed the congregation at the new church with a call-to-action for all Orthodox Christians. He said he had a dream for the church to move forward with Australian society, and for the people in the Church to not just open their doors but also their hearts. “There is at this moment, at this time, a great tendency for people to look for spirituality in Australian society,” he said. “Don’t keep it only for yourselves. Our Church is not just for immigrants, our Church is for every person who wants to learn the truth.”
He told the people that he appreciated their zeal and enthusiasm. “I feel your love. And believe me, I have the same feelings for all of you, personally, for each one of you,” he said.
The Australian archbishop will visit Melbourne on 3 August as part of his tour to communities across Australia. He will visit the Parish and Communities of South-East Queensland from 24-28 August.