Moscow, February 27, 2017
On February 17, Patriarch Theodoros II’s name’s day, when the Church celebrates the memory of Great Martyr Theodore of Tyre, the primate of the Alexandrian Patriarchate consecrated the first deaconess in the Alexandrian Church, reports the patriarchate’s official site.
As previously reported, the Holy Synod of the Alexandrian Church decided at its November 16 session to restore the ancient institution of deaconess, forming a committee to thoroughly study the issue.
His Beatitude first celebrated the Divine Liturgy in the Church of St. Nicholas within the Missionary Center of Kolwezi, Congo, accompanied by several other hierarchs. During the Liturgy, Patriarch Theodoros ordained Archdeacon Ioannis of the Holy Metropolis of Katanga to the priesthood.
Following the Liturgy, His Beatitude celebrated the consecration of the abbot of the Holy Monastery of the Holy Apostles in Kolwezi, Fr. Barnabas Gregoriatis to Archimandrite of the Patriarchal Throne and of the Hierarchal Vicar General of the Holy Metropolis of Katanga Fr. Theophilos to Protopresbyter of the Patriarchal Throne.
Next he also consecrated the catechist Theano, one Kolwezi’s missionary staff’s first members to “Deaconess of the Missions” of the Holy Metropolis of Katanga, and further read the prayer for entering “ecclesiastical ministry” for three nuns and two catechists to assist in the metropolis’ missionary efforts, especially in the Baptisms of adults and marriages, as well as with catechism.
This is the first time that such blesses have occurred in the history of the African mission.