“The youth are not just our future, but also our present…”

These powerful words encapsulated the vision of His Eminence Metropolitan Basilios at the official opening ceremony of the new Antiochian Youth Centre (AYC) at Punchbowl, on Saturday 27th June, 2020.

Joined by reverend clergy, parish councils and ACOY representatives and distinguished guests: Hon. John Ajaka MP, President of the Legislative Council of NSW, Ms. Tania Mihailuk MP, member for Bankstown and Councillor George Zakhia from Bankstown City Council, His Eminence launched the ceremony with the Service of Sanctification of the Water, followed by speeches and a tour of the new establishment.

“From the first day after my enthronement as Metropolitan, my first concern and aspiration was our young people and to build a new and modern Youth Centre for them; not because the youth are more important than the rest of the age groups, but because the youth are the most vulnerable to today’s challenges, and they need us, more so than others, to support, embrace and stand by them”. His Eminence went on to thank all who donated and contributed to the project, particularly Mr. Fouad Deiri and Deicorp who took his vision and made it a reality.

Special Guests, Hon. John Ajaka and Ms. Tania Mihailuk, congratulated His Eminence for his vision and great leadership since his appointment as Metropolitan, expressing their sincere gratitude to the Antiochian Orthodox Church for its significant contribution to its people and the wider community in general.

The establishment holds great promise and opportunities for our Archdiocese. It will serve as a centre for education, conferences, and various gatherings. His Eminence joyfully announced the launch of the SPOCE Program (Saint Paul’s Orthodox Christian Education Program) in September 2020, with a focus on the educational upbringing of our faithful in various disciplines of our rich Orthodox faith.

Congratulations to His Eminence, to the Archdiocese as a whole and to the Antiochian Orthodox community for such an important achievement, all of which is ultimately for the Glory of God.