Archdiocese of Canada (Greek)
|Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Canada|
|Current bishop||Abp. Sotirios|
|Liturgical language(s)||Greek, English, French|
|Musical tradition||Byzantine Chant|
The Holy Archdiocese of Canada and All the Arctic, also rendered Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Canada, headquartered in Toronto, is an eparchy of the Church of Constantinople. Its current primate is His Eminence Metropolitan Archbishop Sotirios (Athanassoulas) of Canada, Exarch of All the Arctic.
History and Organization
Αt the beginning of the 20th century there were approximately 300 Canadians of Greek descent. The first communities established were the Greek Community of the Annunciation in Montreal (1896), the Greek Community of St. George in Toronto (1909) and the Greek Community of Holy Trinity in Thunder Bay (1918). The first Bishop in Canada, Metropolitan Athenagoras of Elaia, was appointed by Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras in 1960 and was followed by Bishop Timotheos of Rodostolou 1963-1967 and Bishop Theodosios of Ancona 1967-1973.
The present Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Canada, Sotirios, was elected Bishop of Constantia on December 18, 1973, and ordained on January 27, 1974. Since then, he has served the Church in Canada. He was promoted to Bishop of Toronto in 1979, Metropolitan in 1996 and Archbishop in 2019.
The Archdiocese includes 76 parishes, two monastic communities established in 1993, Panagia Parigoritissa and St. Kosmas Aitolos, six homes for the homeless, four senior citizens' homes and a nursing home.
The Toronto Orthodox Theological Academy (Toronto, Ontario) is affiliated with St. Paul's University in Ottawa, Ontario, and offers a four-year course in Theological Studies. A Bachelor of Theology Degree is awarded from St. Paul’s University upon completion of course requirements. The V. Rev. Fr. Ignatios Delis is the Academy's current Dean.
The Department of Religious Education provides instruction, access to resources and networking to support the proclamation of the Gospel of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ throughout the Archdiocese in the Arctic. This Ministry hopes to encourage a greater communion with God by nurturing a deeper faith through the Orthodox Christian Church.
The Archdiocese Missions Board exists to: promote the domestic and foreign mission programs of the Archdiocese; encourage the establishment of mission committees in each parish, which would be responsible for promoting mission activities; communicate with other Orthodox jurisdictions and coordinate our mission programs; organize short-term mission teams; educate youth in the area of missions and evangelism; minister to inmates in Canadian prisons; and, perpetuate and promote the Greek Orthodox faith.
Orthodox Voice is a half-hour weekly religious television program in Greek and English, produced by the Metropolis, which airs each Sunday, between 7:30 and 8:00 PM (EST), on the Odyssey Television Network. On the air since March 1990, it has attained an audience of up to 75,000; episodes can also be viewed on the YouTube Channel of the Archdiocese. The Orthodox Voice is supported by the Greek Orthodox Order of Canada, established in 1975.
Orthodox Way is a monthly eight-page newspaper in Greek and English, in circulation since 1982. It contains substantial religious, catechetical and news articles.
Met Youth was founded in the 1990s. Its mandate is three fold: to connect Greek Orthodox youth in Canada; to communicate the Orthodox faith; and, to cultivate local youth groups and initiatives in cities across Canada.
The School of Byzantine Music was established in 1991 to train chanters for the churches of the Archdiocese. In addition to the school in Toronto, schools have also been established in Montreal and in Winnipeg.
The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Canada is a member of the Canadian Council of Churches. Through this means, the Archdiocese expresses its opinion on important social issues, and in general participates along with other bodies in Canadian society.
- Archbishop Sotirios (Athanassoulas) of Canada (1974-present)
- Bishop Christophoros (Rakintzakis) of Andida (1999-present)
- Bishop Theodosios (Sideris) of Ancona (1967-1973)
- Bishop Timotheos (Haloftis) of Rodostolou (1963-1967)
- Metropolitan Athenagoras (Kokkinakis) of Elaia (1960-1963)
- Archbishop Iakovos (1959-1996)