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Metropolitan Dionysios of New Zealand
Biography of Metropolitan Dionysios of New Zealand
The Metropolitan (Archbishop) of New Zealand, and Exarch of Korea and Japan, Mgr Dionysios (Psiachas) was born in Halkidona of Asia Minor in 1916. He was firstly educated in the region where he was born and then he studied at the Great Patriarchal Clergy School in Fanari. In 1934 he entered the Holy Theological School of Halki and he graduated in 1941. As soon as he graduated he was ordained Deacon and served the Tataouli Community of Constantinopole. In October 1945 he was ordained Presbyter, and in November the same year he received the title of Archimandrite, serving as Vicar and Chief Education Officer of Halki's Holy Theological School. In October 1947 he was appointed as Vicar of God's Wisdom Cathedral in London and maintained the position until he was ordained Bishop. For twelve years he was the Secretary of the Ecclesiastical Court of Theatera's Archdiocese. In the year of 1956 he was appointed Assistant Bishop of Australia's Archdiocese and he received the title Metropolitan (bishop) of Nanzianzos. Because of health reasons the then Archbishop of Australia and New Zealand Iezekeel had to resign and the late Holy Ecumenical Patriarch Mgr Athinagoras appointed the Bishop Dionysios as Patriarchal Representative. Since October 1969, he was re appointed again as Assistant Bishop. On 8th January 1970 he was elected Archbishop (Metropolitan) of the newly established Metropolis of New Zealand. Archbishop Dionysios has been honoured many times for his national and religious services. For that and celebrating the 25th year since the establishment of New Zealand's Metropolis (Archdiocese), he was honoured with the Queens Service Order (Q.S.O.).
Archbishop Dionysios of New Zealand was the founder of the Orthodox Church in the Philippines, by receiving and chrismating the first local Orthodox Christians in Philippines and ordaining the first local priests.
In 2003 he resigned for health reasons and the Ecumenical Patriarchate offered him the honorary title of Metropolitan of Proussa. He died in New Zealand, in Wellington Hospital on Sunday 06 January 2008 after a short illness, aged 91.
Greek church farewells a tireless leader
"The Dominion Post" - Thursday, 10 January 2008
from the site: http://www.stuff.co.nz/4350214a10.html
SOLEMN TIME: His Eminence Dionysios Psiahas is farewelled in the Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Wellington's Mt Victoria yesterday (9 January 2008).
By PAUL EASTON.
With solemn prayer and gentle song Wellington's Greek community has laid to rest a giant of the Greek Orthodox Church, a man who helped spread the religion across Asia.
His Eminence Metropolitan (Archbishop) Dionysios Psiachas headed the Greek Orthodox Church in New Zealand and Oceania for 33 years from 1970 till 2003.
He died in Wellington Hospital on Sunday after a short illness, aged 91.
The Dominion Post was invited to his traditional funeral service at the ornate Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Mt Victoria, where hundreds arrived to bid farewell.
The open casket service was a first for the church, a sign of respect for Metropolitan Dionysios.
He was laid out with a ceremonial staff, and wearing the Queen's Service Medal he received in 1995. Both were removed before his burial at Makara cemetery.
He was described as a simple man who worked tirelessly to stretch his church to countries where the Greek Orthodox religion was unknown.
During 42 overseas trips he travelled widely in Korea, India, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Singapore and Indonesia, where he started churches and ordained local priests.
Mourners heard these journeys never drew a word of complaint or hint of tiredness.
Father Costantinos Tsourapas said Metropolitan Dionysios was a simple man, totally devoted to his church.
Father Daniel, of the Orthodox Church in Korea, said Metropolitan Dionysios' body was resting but his spirit was alive.
"I have come from Korea to express our profound thanks."
As the funeral ended, mourners pressed quietly forward to kiss the hands that had blessed so many.
Some photos from our archives
19 January 1994 : (+)Metropolitan Dionysios of NZ, assisted by Bishop Sotirios of Zela, received by Holy Chrismation several members of the "Congregation of Holy Cross Missionaries" led by Roberto V. Castro in Makati City. In the photo, on the previous day, January 18, R. Castro, Fr. Vincentius, (+)Met. Dionysios of NZ, and Bp. Sotirios at the Greek Consular House, Makati. (Hist-2-01)
1994 : Mother Theodoti and the Nuns of Thetokos Monastery received a school service van for Theotokos Kindergarten from (+)Met. Dionysios and Bp. Sotirios, witnessed by Fr. Vincentius of Theotokos Orthodox Church, in Masbate island. (Hist-2-02)
2 April 1995 : Ordination of Roberto V. Castro to the sacred priesthood as Rev. Fr. PHILEMON by His Eminence (+)Metropolitan Dionysios of the Orthodox Archdiocese of New Zealand, at the St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral, Seoul, Korea. Rev. Fr. Philemon started his pastoral care of the flock in Manila and Hong Kong.
In the photo, (+)Metropolitan Dionysios of New Zealand and Bishop Sotirios of Zela in Seoul, Korea, with Fr Philemon and a deacon, soon after the ordination. (#p27)
"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you and lo, I am with you always even to the end of the age."|
Metropolitan Dionysios of New Zealand fulfilled this Lord's teaching with all his heart !|
Memory Eternal of him !
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