On 14th February 2017, His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa went by air to the city of Kolwezi, see of the Missionary Centre of the Holy Metropolis of Katanga, together with the local Hierarch His Eminence Meletios Metropolitan of Katanga, His Eminence Nicephorus Metropolitan of Kinshasa, His Grace Innocent Metropolitan of Burundi and Rwanda, the Very Reverend Archimandrite Daniel Biazis Chief Secretary of the Holy Synod and the Honorary Consul General of Greece Mr. Gerasimos Dounis.
Immediately following his arrival the Alexandrian Primate paid a courtesy visit to the headquarters of Government House in the city, where he was warmly welcomed.
He then went on to the central square in the city of Kolwezi, where he received a public welcome from all the clergy and thousands of Orthodox Christians. A procession was then formed towards the Holy Church of St George, where an official doxology was held for the arrival of His Beatitude the Patriarch. During his brief address His Eminence Meletios welcomed the Venerable Primate of the Church of Alexandria and expressed the joy, honour and dedication to Orthodoxy and the Throne of the Apostle and Evangelist Mark of the indigenous faithful people. In his reply, His Beatitude spoke of his emotion in his personal communication with the faithful and virtuous African brothers and sisters, highlighted his concern for the orphans and poor children in Africa, the problem of poverty and lack of basic commodities that they face. He stressed that the solution to the problem of poverty in countries that area suffering, will also bring the solution to the problem of conflict, migration and of refugees. He called on the International Community to coordinate its efforts to solve the problem of poverty together. Finally, he expressed his gratitude for the warm welcome and underlined the Patriarchate’s constant concern for their spiritual and general progress, with the tireless pastoral care of His Eminence Meletios of Katanga.
His Beatitude then went on to the Chambula region, where the large copper mines of Kolwezi are found, to visit the Holy Monastery of the Holy Apostles. After his welcome their by the Very Reverend Fr. Barnabas Gregoriatis and the Brotherhood of the Monastery, a Doxology was sung, at the end of which the Alexandrian Primate performed the enthronement of Fr. Barnabas as abbot of the Holy Monastery in an atmosphere of intense emotion. Note that Fr Barnabas has his origins in occupied Kerynia in Cyprus,and it is also the first Enthronement of an abbot in a Mission Monastery in Africa. His Beatitude spoke with warm words about Fr Barnabas, thanked him for his love for the Patriarchate, the significant spiritual life and strong spiritual basis which he has founded in the Monastery, which are due to their mutual late elder, Fr. George Kapsanis, who was the first to teach the opening of the Church to the nations and inspired their ministry in the Missions. The Very Reverend Abbot expressed his gratitude to the Patriarch for trusting him with the Leadership as Abbot of the Monastery, assured him of his dedication to the Primate of the Alexandrian Church and promised to give his all for the ministry of the monks in his care.