On Sunday, January 8, 2017, following the Divine Liturgy, the third annual Blessing of the Water and Cross Dive Celebrations took place by the Pacific Ocean, at Kits Beach in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Attending the service were: the Reverend Clergy (Fr. C. Economos, St. George G.O. Cathedral, Vancouver; Fr. K. Kaltsidis, Sts. Constantine and Helen G.O. Church, Surrey; Fr. T. Prattas, Sts. Nicholas and Dimitrios G.O. Church, East Vancouver; and, Fr. D. Partsafas); the Honourable Athanasios Ioannou, new Consul General of Greece in Vancouver; the Presidents of the Community Councils and Philoptochos Societies; Youth; Altar Servers; and many pious faithful from all the Greek Orthodox Communities of Metro Vancouver.
Three Cross Dives took place, by age. The three “winners” who got the cross were: Katerina Papoutsakis, Ioannis Angelopoulos, and Manos Grammatikogiannis. We congratulate them and all participants.
Afterwards, a luncheon was served at the Hellenic Centre of the Greek Community of Vancouver for all those who attended. During the luncheon, all of the winners were honoured with a wooden cross. During his speech, the Consul General congratulated the organizers, together with all of those who dove for the Cross at Kits Beach.
Finally, the clergy conveyed the fatherly love and blessings of His Eminence Metropolitan Sotirios; they also expressed their hope that this tradition — which was re-started three years ago — will continue for many years to come.