His Eminence Archbishop Sotirios (Athanassoulas) was born to George and Anastasia in Lepiana, Arta, in Epirus, Greece in 1936. He graduated from the University of Athens School of Theology and obtained a Master’s Degree in Theology from the Universite de Montreal. He speaks Greek, English, and French. Still a layman, he served as Dean of Students at the School of Theology in Boston. He was ordained Deacon on July 17, 1962 and Priest on July 18, 1962. Since then he has served as a clergyman in Canada. He was elected Bishop on December 18, 1973 and ordained on January 27, 1974. On September 24, 1996 he was elevated to the rank of Metropolitan Archbishop of Toronto and Exarch of all Canada. He served as Vice President of the Christian Pavilion Expo ’67 in Montreal. He served as a member of the Archdiocesan Council of the Archdiocese of North & South America (1968-1996) and as administrator of the same Archdiocese (1996). He served as a Member of the Governing Board of the University of Toronto (1975-1978). He visited China (1981) with The Canadian Council of Churches and Australia with the World Council of Churches (1982). When he assumed his duties as Bishop in Canada, there were twenty-two Parishes which have now reached seventy-five. During his Archieratical service, the Diocese and now Metropolis has established the annual Youth Assemblies (1980) the monthly newspaper Orthodox Way (1982); The Social Services (1984); Metahomes (1984), providing transitional housing for the homeless; The Greek Orthodox Order of Canada (1987); The weekly television program Orthodox Voice (1990), which is broadcast across all of Canada; The School of Byzantine Music (1991); The Convents of St. Kosmas of Aitolos in Ontario and the Virgin Mary of Consolation in Quebec (1993); The Greek Orthodox Education of Ontario (Day Schools) (1996); The Toronto Orthodox Theological Academy (1998). He has composed and published: Catechism of the Greek Orthodox Faith in English and in Greek verse and prose. He has been honoured with the Centennial Medal of Canada; the “125 Canada” Medal; the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal (2002); the medal of the city of Athens; and, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012). His Eminence has also been named Grand Commander of the Order of Phoenix of Greece.
- Consecrated as Bishop (Χειροτονία είς Επίσκοπο) January 27, 1974
- Nameday (Ονομαστήρια) August 6