It was announced last month that Bishop Iakovos of Miletoupolis had been appointed by Australia’s Greek Orthodox Archbishop Makarios as the first ever resident Greek Orthodox Bishop in Queensland.
“I am very happy and humbled to be asked and entrusted by His Eminence Archbishop Makarios with this opportunity and responsibility,” Bishop Iakovos toldNeos Kosmos.
From 2002, Bishop Iakovos served as parish priest and college chaplain at Sts. Anargiri in Oakleigh, and in 2011 made history when he became the first ever Australian-born to be ordained as an Orthodox Bishop. Since then, he has been serving alongside His Grace Bishop Ezekiel of Dervis.
Over the past eight years, Bishop Iakovos said that aside from his work in Melbourne, he has visited and served throughout Queensland several times. So when news of his relocation was made public, he received a “warm reception” from the community in Brisbane.
Aside from being appointed to a new State, it had circulated that Bishop Iakovos was set to become the first with the title ‘Bishop of Brisbane’. Asked whether this was Archbishop Makarios’ first step in promoting a new administrative system, breaking down the Archdiocese into separate dioceses for every Australian state, Bishop Iakovos dismissed the suggestion.
“I have been appointed to Queensland, but I continue to serve the Church as an Assistant Bishop to His Eminence. So, I will serve in Queensland the same way I served in Melbourne,” he said.
“My title does not change from ‘Miletoupolis’ … and to my knowledge the structure of the administration of the Archdiocese has not changed at this present time.”
Bishop Iakovos will begin his service in the Fourth District of the Australian Archdiocese as of 1 November, 2019, marking the feast day of Sts Anargiri.
“I sincerely believe that his appointment is the direct result of the prayer of the people which, aligned with God’s Providence, was expressed through our most beloved Archbishop Makarios,” he said.
It will be a big change, namely for the community he has been serving here in Melbourne, who are sure to feel his absence. Despite the move however, Bishop Iakovos says he will be eternally connected with the faithful of Melbourne.
“I bare with me the prayer for those I served and came to love over the last 18 years. I remain with them and they with me in Christ Jesus.”
Asked what he hopes to achieve in his new appointment, Bishop Iakovos said “to love each person individually, as they are and where they are in their personal journey and, in turn, to be loved by those I serve. It is in this that God is made manifest”.