In memory of my beloved spiritual father, teacher and mentor Fr. Chrysostomos

By fr. Prochoros Manuk Allo, priest in Jakarta, Indonesia

The first time I met him was in 2007 when I was an altar boy after becoming Orthodox in 2004. That first meeting in Jakarta gave me the impression that he was a person disciplined at times and a firm and strong personality as regards leadership.

As time went by, we only met twice, once when he came with His Eminence Bishop Nikitas Lulias (inaugural Grand Bishop of Hong Kong ) and another when His Eminence Bishop Konstantinos was in service in Singapore. Fr. Chrysostomos helped the Diocese translate the Greek texts into Indonesian so that those coming to listen to his sermon could understand what the Diocese addressed the congregation in the church. His excellent ability to speak Greek inspired me to learn how to speak Greek myself. (However, to this day, I cannot really speak Greek as well as he did because I am rather lazy! God have mercy on me).

In 2016, I was asked by the Diocese to go to Medan to learn about the activities of the Orthodox mission in Sumatra, and Fr. Chrysostomos asked me to continue my education at St. Paul’s School of Theology, Medan, with a Master of Theology program. For 2 years I attended the training and gained a lot of experience with him in the church.

In 2017 I had the opportunity to go to the city of Athens in Greece, and in the meantime, Father Chrysostomos went to Thessaloniki. Then we met in the city of Thessaloniki with my father Nostis Psarras and went to Mount Athos for a spiritual journey. It is truly an unforgettable soul experience to visit the Orchard of the Mother of God.

Fr. Chrysostomos was truly a man who integrated himself into Orthodox life in Greece, where everyone loved him and warmly welcomed him. I felt truly blessed to be with him and I was greatly amazed at the warmth of such a reception. The Greek Orthodox community loved and respected Fr. Chrysostomos and would always support him.

Our second trip to Greece with him at the invitation of the Orthodox Missionary Society in Thessaloniki through Mr. Charalambos Metallidis in 2002, gave me a new experience regarding the mission of Orthodoxy. There, the meetings with several people who aspire to establish missions out of Greece filled us with enthusiasm to work in various areas of the orthodox mission in Indonesia.

Unfortunately, Father Chrysostomos’ health deteriorated after returning from Greece. He was going through a lot of pain and discomfort due to the various diseases from which he suffered. In addition, the condition of his disabled feet meant that he was unable to walk normally and had to use crutches. Subsequently, this situation resulted in the failure of our grand plan to open a new service in Borneo. Some time later, I tried to travel alone to Borneo (the new capital of the archipelago) in East Kalimantan, which though did not bear any fruit due to insufficient funding.

Day by day, Fr. Chrysostomos’ state of health, although he was given medical care, showed no signs of improvement until he finally closed his eyes on Sunday, February 18, 2024. May his memory be eternal.

Father Chrysostomos’ death devastated us. A departure for Upper Jerusalem which was so unexpected, while the missionary work though not yet completed, was crowned with success. It is unthinkable that we will have to walk this long, endless road without him again. Despite this great loss, we believe that the Church belongs to Christ and Christ Himself will perfect and complete this great work in our beloved Indonesian archipelago.

The figure of Father Chrysostomos is an excellent role model for missionary work in Indonesia. He is the “apostle” of Orthodoxy for us. There are countless projects and efforts to help many people both in the fields of education and material life of the people of the Church. We really missed him when he left for his heavenly journey. However, the life of the Church and the work of the Orthodox Mission in Indonesia must continue doing the work that Fr. Chrysostomos started and carried out from the very beginning.

We will try to continue to be enthusiastic even though we have lost a man who gave us strength in so many ways. We will be confronted with various challenges and obstacles in the future, but in the spirit of brotherhood that characterizes the Orthodox faith, we will face them with courage and joy, as Father Chrysostom had professed for generations, to the descendants of the heirs of True Faith. Orthodoxy in Indonesia. We hope that the example and the missionary work of Fr.Chrysostomos will find worthy followers who will continue ministering to the needs of the people in Archipelago and Asia in general.

We miss you so much, Fr. Chrysostomos! See you in Heaven with our Most Holy Mother.

May Your Memory Be Eternal!

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