The Induction of the Revd. Canon Leonard Wallace Doolan
About sixty-five people gathered in St. Paul’s on June 30th, a swelteringly hot evening, to witness the Induction of Father Leonard. Among the guests were representatives of the Greek Orthodox Church, including the Bishop of Nazianzou, Theodoritos, and Bishop Gabriel. Also in attendance was Embassy staff, members of the Salvation Army and Apostoli. The Greek Evangelical Church was also represented. Last but not least, our outgoing and much-loved Father Malcolm and his wife, Olga. The Archdeacon paid tribute to Father Malcolm and thanked him for his work during his ministry here.
The Service was conducted by the Venerable Colin Williams, Archdeacon of the East. As he spoke to welcome people, an atmosphere of peace was palpable.
After the Liturgy of the Word, the Archdeacon delivered an uplifting sermon. This was followed by the Liturgy of Institution where he agreed to license Canon Leonard. He urged us to pray for him and support him in his ministry. Then Leonard made his declaration of assent. This was followed by the Rededication of the Ministry of the People of God, where nine people were asked to approach him and address him. Each of the nine carried a significant gift.
The first offered Water for Baptism, so that Leonard can share with new Christians the Living Water, that is Jesus Christ Himself. The second offered the Oil of Healing, to show God’s forgiveness. The third, a Bible showing that Leonard studies the scriptures, proclaims the Word and explores the faith. A Stole was offered by the fourth, which was a symbol of Leonard offering the Church’s liturgy and interceding for God’s people. The fifth offered Bread and Wine, showing that Leonard will preside at the Eucharist, when we celebrate the Lord’s death and resurrection. The sixth offered a Symbol of Music, showing that Leonard will use the power of music to deepen our understanding of God’s Word. Olivia, the seventh offered herself as a young person, to show that Leonard will encourage the ministry of young people. Then the eighth, offered Honey and an Olive Branch, on behalf of the local community to show that Leonard would welcome all to the church. Finally, the ninth offered a Cross, a symbol of Ecumenism, to show that Leonard will work with local Christians. The new chaplain then pledged himself to do God’s will and to share the Word of God with the communities throughout Greece.
After the Liturgy of the Sacrament, the choir sang two Anthems, ‘Father God, We Worship You.’ And ‘You Raise Me Up.’ Christina Antoniadou, our organist, should be congratulated on the high standard of the music.
After this, Father Leonard briefly addressed the congregation. He said that we should be persistent in following in the steps of St. Paul, who, despite difficulties and disappointments was never discouraged. He urged us to be compassionate towards the poor and the strangers in our midst. He then asked us to pray for him. He expressed his gratitude to Olga for her invaluable help in dealing with the necessary formalities in settling in Greece.
At the end of this very moving service, the congregation was dismissed with a blessing. Everyone then left the church and gathered in the garden for refreshments provided and served by the owner of La Chocolatiere Mr. Tony Gabriel and his staff. Mrs. Anne Kokotou kindly supplied the wine. Many thanks should go to our wardens, Sue and Nigel, as well as Caroline and Lynn Stavrou who all worked hard to ensure the success of this service.
Altogether it was a lovely evening and we sincerely hope that Canon Leonard and his wife, Lynne, will feel welcome among us.
Text by Mrs Shirley Poulakis