On Sunday 15 November, His Eminence Archbishop Sergios Metropolitan Bishop of Good Hope officiated at the Service of the Holy Eucharist. He was joined by Archimandrite Zacharias Van Wyk from the Orthodox Ysichatirion in Robertson, Father Nikolaos Giamouridis, parish priest of Cape Town, and Deacon father Michael Simos.
It was a very auspicious occasion for all Orthodox Christians in Cape Town as Nicholas Esterhuizen was ordained Deacon by His Eminence Archbishop Sergios and the congregants present were blessed to witness the Sacrament of the Ordination of a deacon which is the first order of the priesthood.
In his address after the Service, His Eminence said that today was an exceptional day for our parish and for all of Orthodoxy. And that for someone to be accepted into the priesthood he has to be deemed “worthy” because he takes on a big responsibility. It is also difficult for his family because a priest is called to serve the Church first and then his family. He explained that Nicholas grew up in this country and was first introduced to Orthodoxy while studying art overseas in Italy. He continued his studies at an art Academy in Russia where he met his wife to be Anastasia, a native of Saint Petersburg. He was catechized and also baptised there before marrying Anastasia and the couple decided to settle in South Africa. They now have a beautiful baby daughter named Elizabeth.
Nicholas served with Father Zacharias in Robertson for a number of years and also twice a month with him at the Metropolitan Church of Saint Raphael at the liturgies in Afrikaans every first Saturday of the month and in English every third Saturday. Nicholas has been serving in the altar at the Cathedral for the past year where he is being coached into the priesthood by Father Nikolaos. A deacon’s responsibilities include assisting the priest in his ministry. Deacon father Nicholas will now serve alongside Father Nikolaos and Deacon Father Michael, thus enriching the Services at the Cathedral. We are also very fortunate to have him teach at our Sunday-School with Carol Vikos and Timothy Crossley.
His Eminence quoted Saint Paul as saying that Christ came to preach peace thereby bringing hostility to an end so that we would no longer be sojourners or strangers but fellow citizens and members of the household of God built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, reconciling us both to God in one body through the cross and the Holy Trinity. He said that Christ agonised over the disunity amongst human beings and his prayer for us was one of unity and for us to follow the example of the Good Samaritan who stopped to help the man injured on the side of the road without judging who he was. His Eminence said that it pleased him to see so many people from other communities present at the Service and made reference to the awful tragedy that had just taken place in Paris – the evil forces are responsible for the conflict, wars and terrorist attacks on innocent lives everywhere in the world. He emphasised that Orthodox Christians are called to assist the impoverished in our midst and to preserve human life to the best of our ability regardless of who they are or their beliefs.
He then thanked Deacon Father Nicholas’s parents Daniel and Kim Esterhuizen and his wife, Anastasia Esterhuizen for all their support and everyone shouted “Axios” (he is worthy) once again. After the Service everyone enjoyed refreshments in the community hall adjacent to the church. Many thanks go to Mrs Kim Esterhuizen and the members of Welfare Committee under the auspices of His Eminence Archbishop Sergios for preparing the snacks served.