With reverence and according to Mount Athos tradition, the new new school year was commenced at the Athonias Ecclesiastical Academy.
The Divine Liturgy marking the feast day of the worldwide Exaltation of the Holy Cross was celebrated in the academy's chapel. The Liturgy was lead by Hieromonk Timothy of Vatopediou Monastery, the curator of the Academy. Co-celebrants were Hieromonk Ierotheos of Simonopetra Monastery, Archimandrite Efraim, Abbot of St. Andrews Skete (Sarai), Archimandrite Ierotheos the Dean of the academy, Hieromonks Filotheos and Antonios also from St. Andrews Skete (Sarai) and Hieromonk Artemios, the geronta of the Holy Cell of St. Nicholas.(Dionysiou) The chanting during the Divine Liturgy was done by students of the Academy.
Many monks from the surrounding area, many pilgrims as well as the entire brotherhood of St. Andrews Skete, were present for the duration of the Divine Liturgy.
After the Liturgy, the Dean of the Academy along with the teachers and students welcomed the secular Governor of Mount Athos, Mr. Aristos Kasmiroglou and a little after the Protos of Mount Athos, Geron Paul of Great Lavra. In addition, the representative of the Holy Monastery of Iveron, Hieromonk Antonios, Holy Monastery of Pantokratoros Hieromonk Epifanios, Holy Monastery Panteleimonos (Rossikon) Hieromonk Kirion, also attended.
After the formal welcoming, all entered the chapel of the Acadmey where the Sanctification was conducted for the opening of the new school year by Hieromonk Gabriel, lead by the Protos Of Agion Oros.
In his speech, Protos Paul of Great Lavra, mentioned the spiritual crisis which exists in todays society, the contributions that Athonias Ecclesiaistical Academy has made to the Church and to the Nation and the role that the Saints who taught and learned at the Academy played in shaping the history of the nation.
He also mentioned that all of the teachers and students were most welcome to approach him personally with any problem they may have and that he would use all of his efforts to maintain the continuance of the Academy.
Archimandrite Ierotheos, Dean of Athonias Ecclesiastical Academy & The Protos of Agion Oros Geron Paul of Great Lavra.