Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Toronto (Canada)
|Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Toronto|
|Current bishop||Metr. Abp. Sotirios|
|Liturgical language(s)||Greek, English, French|
|Musical tradition||Byzantine Chant|
The Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Toronto, headquartered in Toronto, is an eparchy of the Church of Constantinople. Its current primate is His Eminence Metropolitan Archbishop Sotirios (Athanassoulas) of Toronto, Exarch of All Canada.
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 in 1896, the Greek Community of St. George in Toronto in 1909 and the Greek Community of Holy Trinity in Thunder Bay in 1918. The first Bishop in Canada, Metropolitan Athenagoras of Elaia, was appointed by Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras in 1960 and was followed by Bishop Timothy of Rodostolon 1963-1967 and Bishop Theodosios of Ancona 1967-1973.
The present Metropolitan of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Toronto (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 and Metropolitan of Toronto in 1996.
The Metropolis 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 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 Toronto Orthodox Theological Academy exists to serve the Church in Canada in her sacred mission and witness to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, through the advancement of Orthodox thought and life. Since the priestly ministry is essential to the life of the Orthodox Church, the education of men who are called to be Priests is one of the primary objectives of the Academy. In the future, an equally important objective will be to provide specialized training for men or women who wish to serve the Church through the important lay ministries such as teachers, secretaries, youth directors and chanters or choir directors. In all areas of study, the Academy seeks to provide sound theological reflection on the vital issues facing the Church.
The V. Rev. Fr. Ignatios Delis is the Academy's current Dean.
Orthodox Voice is a half-hour weekly religious television program in Greek and English, produced by the Metropolis, and airing 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 Metropolis. 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. The Office of Greek Education coordinates the work of Greek education. Greek day schools are functioning in Québec, subsidized by the Government of Québec.
The School of Byzantine Music was established in 1991 to train chanters for the churches of the Metropolis. In addition to the School in Toronto, schools have been established in Montreal and Winnipeg.
The Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Toronto (Canada) is a member of the Canadian Council of Churches. Through this means, the Metropolis expresses its opinion on crucial current social issues, and in general participates along with other churches in Canadian society.
- Metropolitan Archbishop Sotirios (Athanassoulas) of Toronto (1974-present)
- Bishop Christophoros (Rakintzakis) of Andida (1999-present)
- Bishop Theodosios (Sideris) of Ancona (1967-1973)
- Bishop Timotheos of Rodostolou (1963-1967)
- Metropolitan Athenagoras (Kokkinakis) of Elaia (1960-1963)
- Archbishop Iakovos (1959-1996)