Bunbury resident John Sullivan went from Deacon to Father on Saturday when he was ordained into the priesthood by His Grace Bishop Elpidios of Kyaneon at the Evangelismos church in West Perth.
The clergy and faithful of Perth and Bunbury came together to witness a historic day where the first ever ordination service was conducted fully in English in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia.
I’ve had big moments in my life but this was something different,
“With all of the expectations I felt afraid and nervous but strangely calm.”
The service went for about five hours and included many traditions.
“After the great entrance and procession, I was escorted to the front of the royal steps and was blessed,” Fr John said.
“Bishop Elpidios conveyed the paternal blessings of His Eminence Archbishop Makarios, who was unable to attend, on me entering priesthood.
“The Bishop later lay his hands on me and read specific prayers.
“That laying of the hands can be traced back from each Bishop to the apostles, and that is our connection to the early church.”
Fr John will officially start his role as a priest at the Bunbury parish on Sunday, September 27.
“Another tradition is that we do 40 liturgies, one every day after you have been ordained,” Fr John said.
“I have to do that in Perth under the bishop’s guidance and then I can practice in Bunbury.
“Over the last six months I have been the Bishop’s Deacon which has been a big learning curve and blessing for me but I have missed Bunbury and am looking forward to being here every Sunday.”