Anastas Bendo was ordained to priesthood on June 13th, 2013 in Tirana, Albania. Axios!
Anastas Bendo was ordained Thursday, June 13, 2013, in Tirana, Albania, during the Liturgy for the feast of the Ascension by His Beatitude Archbishop Anastasios. Fr. Anastas was ordained to the diaconate in April 2009 and spent a little over 4 years as a deacon. During this time he helped serve and travel with His Beatitude. In November 2012 he was raised to the position of Archdeacon. He says that this was an important time of learning for him. His wife and long-term Missionary with OCMC in Albania, Presbytera Georgia Gilman-Bendo, says, “We were aware that he would be ordained only for 2 weeks before the event and we were so excited and full of joy about it!” She continues, “We both feel so thankful for this big blessing in our life and pray that God will make us worthy to serve Him in this capacity. Since he had been a deacon for several years we were looking forward to this new step.”
Fr. Anastas can now serve the Divine Liturgy and other services, but in general he will carry on with his usual duties including translation for His Beatitude, translating books and texts, and editing the academic journal. As soon as the Divine Liturgy during which Fr. Anastas was ordained came to a close, he immediately took on his role as a translator as the Archbishop encouraged the many young people in attendance to consider dedicating their lives in like manner to serve God and the Church.
A married priest's calling and service to the Church includes his whole family. Presbytera Georgia says, “Above all, each one of us must be making efforts in our spiritual life to become closer to Christ and more obedient to the Church.” Recently she was appointed director of Protagonist, the elementary school where she’s been working for the past 9 years. Of this appointment she says, “I'm glad that it coincides with becoming a Presbytera ["Prifteresha" in Albanian] because I hope to be able to witness to the large group of students, staff, and parents with which I'll be connected through my work.”
These are exciting times for the Bendo family in Albania as Presbytera Georgia takes on her new role at the school and Fr. Anastas takes on his new role as a priest. Please keep them in your prayers as they do the good work of spreading Christ’s love every day to the people of Albania. Please also consider supporting this missionary family with a gift by visiting https://www.ocmc.org/donate/donation_info.aspx?DonationType=Missionary&FundId=5.