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Orthodox Christian Missions

Axios! Bishop Savvas of Burundi and Rwanda

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Bishop Savvas Burundi RwandaNews release by the Patriarchate of Alexandria
On Sunday 11th October 2009, His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa ordained His Grace Savvas of Burundi and Rwanda in the Holy Patriarchal Church of St Savvas the Sanctified in Alexandria.

His Grace is the first Bishop of the newly established Diocese, which has two countries in its jurisdiction; two of the most suffering on the African continent and on the planet, as His Beatitude emphasized in his address saying that “this fact leads the steps of the Alexandrian Church to support the indigenous population even more and to offer its philanthropy through the establishment of this Diocese”. He went on to praise the service of the new hierarch to this day in the ancient Patriarchate in which he has held various successful positions.

In his reply. His Grace Savvas expressed his gratitude for the great honour bestowed on him by His Beatitude, thanked clergy and lay people who came to his assistance as a priest, and promised to give of himself in the “missionary spiritual field of this much-suffering African area”.

Participating in the Ordination of His Grace were His Eminence Kyrillos of Rhodes, His Eminence Nicholas of Ermopolis and His Eminence Dimitrios of Irinopolis, together with His Grace Gabriel of Mareotis, His Grace Spyridon of Kanopos and His Grace Gennadios of Nilopolis. Also present was His Eminence Emmanuel of Khartoum.

Present also were the Honourable Consul General of Greece in Alexandria, Mr. Ioannis Diakofotakis, the Archon Logothetis of the Patriarchate Mr. Spyridon Kamalakis, the Chairman of Brotherhood of Officers Professor Theodoros Panagopoulos, representatives of Greek societies, as well as a group of pilgrims from his birthplace of the new Bishop, the island of Halki, led by Mayor Eleni Panagi.

Biography
His Grace Savvas, Bishop of Burundi and Rwanda (born Vasilios Heimonettos) was born in Rhodes in 1971. He holds a degree from the Patmios Ecclesiastical Academy and from the Department of Social Theology of the Athens Theological Faculty. Apart from Greek he speaks English and Arabic. In 1990 he was tonsured a monk at the Holy Monastery of the Archangel Michael in Tharri, Rhodes by the then Hegumen of the Monastery and present Metropolitan Amphilochios of New Zealand. He was ordained to the Deaconate in 1991 and to the Priesthood in 1993 by the former Metropolitan, His Eminence Apostolos of Rhodes, at the same time being named as Archimandrite. During his eight years there he served as Hierarchal Vicar of Halki and as Parish Priest in parishes of the Holy Metropolis of Rhodes. Following an invitation by the late Patriarch Petros VII he was included amongst the clergy of the Patriarchate of Alexandria and appointed Parish Priest at the Patriarchal Church of St Savvas the Sanctified in Alexandria, taking over duties also at the Press Office and Public Relations of the Patriarchate. In 2001 he served as Custodian in Alexandria and as Financial Supervisor of the Patriarchate. Following the re-operation of the Patriarchal Academy “St Athanasios” of Alexandria, and with the personal care of His Beatitude Theodoros II, the Pope and Patriarch, he was appointed as its Dean as well as becoming a member of the Synod Council on Education. On 6th October 2009, following a proposal by His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa he was unanimously elected by the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Alexandria as Bishop of the newly-established Diocese of Burundi and Rwanda and was ordained on 11th October 2009 by His Beatitude.

The Diocese
The Holy Diocese of Burundi and Rwanda was established by Patriarchal and Synodal Decree on 6th October 2009. It includes in its jurisdiction the countries of Burundi and Rwanda as well as a great area of the eastern Congo.

Source: Patriarchate of Alexandria–News release and Bishop Savvas’ biography and diocese.

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Written by Stephen

October 30, 2009 at 6:27 pm

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