APRIL 2011 • Vol. 76 • No. 1264
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ENCYCLICAL The Crucifixion and the Resurrection: The Center of Our Faith cd
Holy Pascha The Feast of Feasts Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:4) To the Most Reverend Hierarchs, the Reverend Priests and Deacons, the Monks and Nuns, the Presidents and Members of the Parish Councils of the Greek Orthodox Communities, the Distinguished Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Day, Afternoon, and Church Schools, the Philoptochos Sisterhoods, the Youth, the Hellenic Organizations, and the entire Greek Orthodox Family in America Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Christ is Risen! Χριστός Ἀνέστη! On this great and glorious feast of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, our hearts are filled with unspeakable joy, our minds embrace the light of truth, and our souls are transformed by His presence in our midst and by His love for us. This is most certainly a day of celebration, a day above all other days, which proclaims the triumph of life over death and offers a beautiful witness of the power of grace and faith. This Feast of Holy Pascha is also a day The icon of the Resurrection by a 17th century iconographer, which was discovered on the island of Patmos in 2004. It depicts scenes from Christ’s Passion during Holy Week.
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St. Photios Foundation Installs New Oﬃcers
Paulette Poulos Named Executive Director of Leadership 100 by George Schira
At the request of Archbishop Demetrios, the Executive Committee of the Archbishop Iakovos Leadership 100 Endowment Fund unanimously approved the appointment of Paulette Poulos as its executive director on Feb. 23 at the organization’s annual conference. In September 2005, Paulette assumed the position of director of development of Leadership 100 after the passing of Archbishop Iakovos, whom she had served since his retirement in 1996. In June 2006, she was appointed as acting executive director. Associated with the Archdiocese throughout her working career, she began her responsibilities in 1965 in various capacities, including director of LOGOS (the League of Greek Orthodox Stewards) and associate director for Stewardship Ministry (1972-1984). She also served on various national commissions, including the National Youth Commission and the Governing Board of the National Council of Churches in Christ. From 1984 to 1996, she served as administrator for Archbishop Iakovos. Her
dedication and loyalty to His Eminence and the Church enabled him to remain actively involved in ecclesiastical life and service until his passing in April 2005. Constantine G. Caras, chairman of Leadership 100, said, “No one is more suited for the role of Executive Director of the Archbishop Iakovos Leadership 100 Endowment Fund, which draws its founding, vision and inspiration from Archbishop Iakovos, than Paulette Poulos. She has served an apprenticeship to true greatness and demonstrated in her own right, the leadership skills which will take us to ever higher levels of achievement.” The General Assembly of Leadership 100, meeting on Feb. 25 upon hearing the news, gave Ms. Poulos a heartfelt ovation. In response she said, “During the past 46 years, I have learned the importance of Christian service, the dynamism of our Orthodox Church and the richness of our Hellenic heritage, as well as the importance of visionary leadership from great Churchmen such as Archbishop Iakovos of blessed memory and our spiritual leader, Archbishop Demetrios, and from a long line of great lay leaders too numerous to name. I will continue to draw strength, as they do,
PAULETTE POULOS from the Lord, and to continue to serve.” In addition to her work for the Church, she is a steward of the parishes of Three Hierarchs in Brooklyn, N.Y.; Church of Our Savior in Rye, N.Y; St. Fanourios in Elizabeth, N.J; Annunciation in Manhattan and the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity. In addition, she is active in several philanthropic organizations that help children.
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Saint Basil Board
A doxology and affirmation ceremony took place at the Archdiocesan Chapel of St. Paul on March 3 for the new St. Basil Academy Board. To the left of Archbishop Demetrios are: Joanne Stavrakas (Chicago), Maria Stavropoulos (Detroit), Elaine Cladis, assistant treasurer, (Denver); Evan Mekras Scurtis (Atlanta), Christine Karavites, secretary, (Boston); Georgia Vlitas (Direct Archdiocesan District), Charlie Theokas (New Jersey), Vivienne Papadatos (New Jersey), V. Rev. Constantine Moralis, vice president, (New Jersey). Right of His Eminence: Fr. Constantine L. Sitaras, executive director; Evellyn Tsiadis, president, (New Jersey); Lea Zervoulias (Atlanta), Aphrodite Skeadas, National Philoptochos president, Aspasia Melis, (New Jersey); Fr. James C. Moulketis, (New Jersey), Peter Kakoyiannis, (New Jersey), and Panicos Papanicolaou (Direct Archdiocesan District).
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ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – The annual meeting of the St Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine Foundation on Feb. 5 included the installation of officers for 2011-12 Archon Dr. Manuel N. Tissura, of Atlanta, was installed as first vice president. Other officers are: Anthony N. Megas (second vice president), Maria Carantzas, (treasurer), and Leslye Alex Phillips (secretary). All are from St. John the Divine parish in Jacksonville, Fla. Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta, St Photios Foundation president, thanked both retiring trustees: First Vice President Archon Harry Thomas Cavalaris (Charlotte, N.C.) and Archon Andrew Athens (Chicago). The Foundation bestowed them both with the St Photios Award at the annual Pilgrimage luncheon on Feb. 6, citing their decades of dedication to this Archdiocese institution. They will serve as emeritus trustees.
Hellenic Caucus Urges Governors’ to Support Church Rebuilding Eﬀort WASHINGTON – U.S. Reps. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), co-chairs of the Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues, sent letters to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie urging the governors to help facilitate negotiations to rebuild the St. Nicholas Church in lower Manhattan. Negotiations between the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America have broken down in recent months, with the two sides unable to find agreement on a variety of rebuilding issues. “As a representative of New York and of many in the Hellenic community who wish to see this process move forward, it is my hope that both sides will find their way back to the negotiating table,” said Maloney. “My congressional colleagues and I are reaching out to Governors Cuomo and Christie to help facilitate that process.”
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The Cross: An Important Symbol of Hope and Victory
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Archbishop Named Carpatho-Russian Locum Tenens After Hierarch’s Passing
by Tony Vrame
Because there are differences between the remembrances on the Sundays of Great Lent and the readings for the day, we can identify layers to our Lenten journey. For example, on the first Sunday of Great Lent we celebrated the Sunday of Orthodoxy and the Triumph of icons in our church, but the Gospel reading for the Sunday was about becoming a follower of Christ. Since the Sunday of Orthodoxy only came to be celebrated after the events of 843 AD, we can assume that the Gospel reading for the first Sunday of Lent represents an older Tradition. This holds true for most of the weeks of Great Lent. Except the Third Sunday of Great Lent, when we will hear Christ talk about “picking up our Cross,” and we will process through our churches with a cross resting on a bed of flowers and sing, “We venerate your Cross and glorify your Resurrection.” Praising the Cross of Christ might seem strange, since the cross was an instrument of excruciating torture and execution. Any of us who sat through Mel Gibson’s “Passion of the Christ” had to have been sickened by the images of the crucifixion. While Gibson may have overdone the gruesomeness of crucifixion, its horrific nature was driven home to those of us in the theaters. It is not something we want to see. In fact, for the first four centuries of Christianity, images of the cross did not feature very prominently in church decoration. At a time when crucifixion was still being practiced as a means of execution (and thus all too real to Christians of the time), the Church preferred images of paradise. Not until after Emperor Theodosios stopped the practice did images of the cross begin to be made. For Christians, the Cross has now become an important symbol of hope and victory. In an image from the Synaxarion for the Third Sunday of Lent, placing the cross before us in this part of our Lenten journey is like sending the symbol of triumph in advance of the event, to raise our spirits and remind us that the goal of lent – celebrating the triumph of Christ over death – is almost upon us. The Synaxarion uses the following image. Before the arrival of the king, his royal standards, trophies, and emblems of victory come in procession and then the king himself appears in a triumphant parade, jubilant and rejoicing in his victory and filling those under him with joy, so does the Feast of the Cross precede the coming of our King, Jesus Christ. It warns us that He is about to proclaim His victory over death and appear to us in the glory of the Resurrection. His Life-Giving Cross is His royal scepter, and by venerating it we are filled with joy, rendering Him glory. Therefore, we become ready to welcome our King, who shall manifestly triumph over the powers of darkness (for more, see the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese’s website about Lent - lent. goarch.org).
Archbishop Demetrios addresses the gathering at the White House.
President Hosts March 25th Event WASHINGTON – As he has done in previous years, President Barack Obama hosted the annual celebration of Greek and American Democracy and the 190th anniversary of Greek independence on March 25 at the White House where he welcomed Archbishop Demetrios and a large number of Greek American leaders and guests. Prior to the official proclamation signing the President and Archbishop met privately to discuss important issues relating to the Church and the Greek American community. A reception took place afterward in the East Room where the President addressed the audience of about 200 persons that included representatives of AHEPA and the American Hellenic Institute. The President’s proclamation read, in part, “The relationship between the United States and Greece extends beyond our common values and is strengthened by the profound influence of Greek culture on our national life. From the architecture of our historic buildings to the lessons in philosophy and literature passed on in our classrooms, America has drawn on the deep intellectual traditions of the Greeks in our own establishment and growth as a nation. Reinforcing the steadfast bonds between our two countries, Americans of
RNC chairman visits
Greek descent have maintained the best of their heritage and immeasurably enriched our national character.” In commenting on the event, Archon and AHEPA Supreme President Nicholas A. Karacostas said, “We are deeply grateful to President Obama for issuing the Proclamation that affirms the friendship and ‘steadfast bonds’ between the United States and Greece. The Proclamation, while reflecting on the vast contributions of Greece to the world, foremost being democratic principles and ideals, also looks forward to a shared future between allies and friends.” AHI President Nick Larigakis, who also attended the ceremony, said, “We thank President Obama for demonstrating ‘philotimo’ toward the Greek American community by hosting this event to honor Greek Independence. The event served to reaffirm the strong bonds of friendship between Greece and the United States and to bring attention to the fact that this relationship is etched intrinsically by virtue of the noble democratic ideals and principles that guided our Founding Fathers in establishing our own country.” Earlier in the day, Archbishop Demetrios officiated at the hierarchical Divine Liturgy of the Annunciation at St. Sophia Cathedral.
Orthodox Observer photo
Reince Priebus, newly elected chairman of the Republican National Committee paid a visit to Archbishop Demetrios at Archdiocesan headquarters during a trip to New York on March 14. Chairman Priebus, 38, is a lifelong member of Kimisis tis Theotokou Church in Racine, Wis. He is the first Greek Orthodox Christian to serve as chairman of a national political party.
NEW YORK – Archbishop Demetrios noted with great sorrow the falling asleep in the Lord of Metropolitan Nicholas of Amissos, the bishop of the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the USA. Metropolitan Nicholas fell asleep in the Lord on Sunday, March 13, the Sunday of Orthodoxy and the 28th anniversary of his ordination to the episcopacy. (Obituary on page 11) The Archbishop, as exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, notified Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew about Metropolitan Nicholas’ death. His All Holiness then appointed His Eminence as locum tenens for the Carpatho-Russian Church until a successor is ordained and enthroned. Archbishop Demetrios presided at the funeral on March 18 at Christ the Savior Cathedral in Johnstown, Pa., and at the burial from St. John’s CarpathoRussian Orthodox Church in Perth Amboy, N.J. on March 21. Prior to the metropolitan’s death, Archbishop Demetrios traveled to Johnstown, the See of the Carpatho-Russian Church, on March 12 to visit the hierarch on his sickbed. After praying with the metropolitan and anointing him with holy oil, the Archbishop met with the Carpatho-Russian Church chancellor, Fr. Frank Miloro, to offer his advice and support. In his letter to the faithful of the Carpatho–Russian Church following the metropolitan’s passing, Archbishop Demetrios wrote: Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ, I convey to you my deepest and most heartfelt consolations, as well as those of the Holy Eparchial Synod and the Clergy and Faithful of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, on the passing of your ever-memorable and thrice-blessed spiritual father, the late Metropolitan Nicholas of Amissos. This loss, unbearable at any time, has come quickly upon us all, and we are all now in the midst of grief. But as the Apostle Paul reminds us, our present sorrow is not without hope (I Thessalonians 4: 13). Only a few weeks ago, the beloved and late Metropolitan celebrated his seventy-fifth birthday in the presence of his faithful clergy and flock, and it is certain that he passed from this vale of tears to everlasting joy in the certainty of the love, respect and goodwill of you, the faithful people of the Carpatho-Russian Church. We have all lost a dear brother, father and friend, and above all, a spiritual leader. I want all of the faithful to be sure that the integrity, character and spiritual traditions of the Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Church will be safeguarded with utmost respect and attention during the period that I will serve as your Locum Tenens, as per the decision of His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. All regular life of the Diocese will proceed as ever, through the office of the Chancellor. May the Lord give eternal rest with all the Saints and Righteous to the soul of our beloved Metropolitan Nicholas, and may He keep the blessed CarpathoRussian Orthodox flock of our Most Holy Ecumenical Patriarchate in peace and spiritual prosperity.
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IOCC, AHEPA Aid Earthquake Victims Baltimore-based International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), with support from an emergency grant of $25,000 from the National Philoptochos Society and contributions by private donors, and the Greek American organization AHEPA, have undertaken efforts to help an estimated 25,000 victims of the 8.9 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami that devastated a large part of northeastern Japan on March 11. IOCC has also contacted the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of New Zealand to offer assistance to residents of the city of Christchurch following a 6.3 magnitude quake that struck on Feb. 22.
Crisis in Japan
The IOCC has been in contact with Orthodox Christians in Japan and its ACT Alliance partners, a global coalition of churches and agencies engaged in development, humanitarian assistance and advocacy, to meet the needs of the earthquake and tsunami victims. IOCC also reached out to the Metropolis of Korea which is also the Exarchate for Japan under the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Reacting to the cataclysmic disaster, AHEPA Supreme President Nicholas A. Karacostas stated, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Japan during this most difficult time. We hope that the relief will help to meet the needs of the Japanese people. Philanthropy is an integral part of our mission, and we must work together to assist the victims of this terrible natural disaster.” The IOCC will provide humanitarian assistance such as medicines, food and other essential items to communities in the earthquake and tsunami-damaged Pacific coastal districts of Japan in the prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi, Fukushima and Ibaragi. The assistance is being distributed by the Orthodox Church in Japan in cooperation with regional authorities. The Church is also working to assess the needs of people displaced from the cities of Ishinomaki, Yamada and Kesennuma that remain largely inaccessible because of the damage and lack of fuel. All of the aid to be distributed is expected to be obtained locally in Japan. The Holy Resurrection Cathedral of Tokyo and the building of the Metropolitan Council were spared damage, according to Fr. Demitrios Tanaka, an Orthodox priest. Orthodox Christians in Sendai, the city hardest hit, have been assessing the needs of the survivors. “The outpouring of support from Orthodox Christians
Photo Credit CorreCtion Photo credit to photographer Demetra Stamus, whose photo of the author, His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, appears on the inside jacket of his book, Encountering the Mystery: Understanding Orthodox Christianity Today. The 1st edition was incorrectly credited. For more info email email@example.com.
© Demetra S. Stamus, 2007
who have expressed their desire to help through IOCC has been moving,” said IOCC Executive Director Constantine Triantafilou. “This is a complex disaster – two almost simultaneous catastrophic events – and the scope of the need is just beginning to emerge. IOCC will continue to work with its Orthodox Christian and ecumenical partners to determine the most effective aid that can be rendered to Japan in the days and weeks to come.” The human toll and damage to homes and infrastructure following the 8.9-magnitude earthquake are only beginning to be calculated. More than 10,000 people are now feared dead after the earthquaketriggered tsunami washed away several coastal cities, including Sendai, the Episcopal throne of the East Japan Diocese of the Orthodox Church in Japan. IOCC will coordinate its response with local Orthodox and ecumenical partners in Japan to identify unmet needs that will complement the assistance being rendered by the Japanese and other governments. IOCC has received numerous calls from individuals and groups offering to assemble health and baby kits. “The kits have been in great demand recently and are always welcome,” said Jamie Helfer, IOCC emergency response coordinator. “Kits that are received to the warehouse facility in western Maryland will be staged for shipment as they are requested by partners in response to disasters around the world and may also be shipped to Japan, if they are requested by our partners there.”
New Zealand effort
Authorities estimated the death toll in Christchurch at about 200. IOCC is working to support relief efforts personally led by Archbishop Amfilochios of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of New Zealand and Exarch of Oceania who visited Christchurch just days after the initial quake to assess the damage and the needs of the people. The IOCC response in New Zealand is being coordinated through the chancellor of the Archdiocese in New Zealand, Fr. Christodoulos Papadeas, who previously served at Brotherhood of St. George in Denver. Also providing support is Fr. Amphilochios Basiltiotellis of Dormition of the Virgin Mary parish in Christchurch. Fr. Paul Patitsas, who previously served parishes in Rocky River, Ohio and Albuquerque, N.M., is part of IOCC’s Emergency Response Network and is working with IOCC directly to manage the response. Christchurch is home to three Orthodox Christian churches. Fr. Patitsas reports that many suffered extensive damage to their homes and have lost their places of work.
Members of the Holy Synod discuss numerous issues at their March 16-17 meeting.
Announcement of the Holy Eparchial Synod NEW YORK – The Holy Eparchial Synod of the Holy Archdiocese of America convened its regular fall meeting on March 16-17 at the Synodal Room of the Holy Archdiocese in New York. Archbishop Demetrios presided with members of the Synod participating. Prior to the commencing Synod meeting, members participated in the meeting of the Executive Committee of the Archdiocesan Council on Tuesday March 15. During the meeting administrative and other matters were discussed. The Executive Committee affirmed the manner of administration of the parishes, which is based on the documents of the Holy Canons, the Charter and Regulations of the Holy Archdiocese. During the next two days the Synod discussed the following: Canonical Matters: Reviewed and finalized a specific draft for the Regulations for Spiritual Courts that will be submitted to the Ecumenical Patriarchate for approval. Liturgical Matters: Approved the text of Vespers and Orthros submitted by the Synodal Committee on Liturgical Matters, and will submit it to the Ecumenical Patriarchate for final approval. The Synod had also met in a special session with committee chairmen of the National Forum of
Greek Orthodox Church Musicians and discussed among other subjects: development of church choirs and recruitment of new members, the Liturgical Guide Book, cooperation between church choirs and chanters and youth choir development. Pastoral Matters: The Holy Eparchial Synod reviewed new samples of baptism certificates, and will proceed with printing for use by the parishes. The Synod discussed special matters for pastoral care for clergy, especially those with special needs. Administrative Matters: The Holy Eparchial Synod discussed current and urgent administrative matters related to the life and activity of the Church of the Holy Archdiocese. It was noted by all the members that the responsibility of shepherding the parishes in each metropolis belongs to the respective hierarch who shepherds them according to the order of the Church, her Canons, the Charter and the Regulations of the Holy Archdiocese. Inter-Orthodox Matters: There was a report and extensive discussion on the upcoming meeting of the Episcopal Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America, which will take place in Chicago in May. From the Office of the Holy Eparchial Synod
How to help
To help the victims of disasters, such as those in New Zealand, visit www. iocc.org, call toll free at 1-877-803-IOCC (4622), or mail a check or money order payable to: IOCC, P.O. Box 630225, Baltimore, Md. 21263-0225. To donate to the AHEPA Emergency Relief, send donations via mail to: AHEPA Emergency Relief Fund, Attn: Japanese Earthquake, 1909 Q Street, NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20009 The AHEPA Emergency Relief Fund is a 501 (c) 3 entity that helps AHEPA fulfill the philanthropic facet of its mission. Since its inception, the Emergency Relief Fund has provided disaster relief to aid the greater community, including: Haitian Earthquake (2010), Greek Wildfires Relief (2007), September 11 Relief (2001-2002), and Athens Earthquake (1999), among others.
Archbishop Demetrios ordained his deacon, Vasilios Louros, to the priesthood on March 19 at St. Demetrios Cathedral in Astoria, where he has been assigned as assistant priest. Fr. Louros served the Archbishop for about a year-and-a-half. The following day, His Eminence ordained a new deacon, Aristidis Garinis, a recent graduate of Holy Cross School of Theology at Holy Trinity Archdiocesan Cathedral.
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Church and Government The Value of the Annual White House Meeting An Insider’s View on the 25th Anniversary by Andy Manatos
One of the most difficult things in the world to accomplish is securing a meeting with the world’s most powerful person, the President of the United States. It is also extremely difficult to receive an invitation to the ceremonies that surround some meetings. Thousands of countries, companies and other organizations pay well over a million dollars a year trying to cultivate the relationships necessary to do so, yet are unsuccessful. The 24-hour-a-day job of the president leaves little room for such meetings. Presidents barely have time to meet with even large groupings of important people such as: governors, mayors; the energy industry, communications industry, high tech industry, healthcare industry, transportation industry and many other crucial industries; women’s groups, minority groups, ethnic groups, labor unions, religious leaders, disabled groups, university presidents and many more. Even more rarely will a president consider meeting with one member of a category of important people, such as one specific ethnic group. For IrishAmericans, who make up one out of every 10 Americans, Presidents make an exception and host an annual event on St. Patrick’s Day. How then is it possible to get five presidents to take the time from their busy schedules to meet every year for 25 years with an ethnic group that accounts for only one out of every 300 Americans and ranks 33rd among nationalities -- we Greek-Americans? Only the Irish-Americans and GreekAmericans get this honor. How is our
small group able to get unfiltered information about issues dear to our hearts to the ear of the world’s most important policymaker and his top advisors? The answer is: because of a lot of wonderful, self-sacrificing Hellenes across the country that have worked closely with us at the Coordinated Effort of Hellenes and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Over all the years, these Hellenes have contributed many millions of dollars, as well as millions of dollars worth of professional expertise and daily professional services to help build a base that enables this annual White House Presidential meeting. This base was also instrumental to Cyprus’ accession to the European Union and improvements in Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s religious freedom. Of the one million plus Hellenes in America, it is those Hellenes who have excelled in all parts of American society who join some of the self-sacrificing Hellenes mentioned above, and a few others, in enjoying the gift this country has afforded us through these White House meetings. However, the greatest reward is seeing how a citizen’s involvement with the Coordinated Effort and the Archdiocese translates into America benefiting from better policy toward Hellenic and Orthodox matters. We welcome the involvement of other self-sacrificing Hellenes who share our goals. Andrew Manatos is an Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, a member of the Archdiocesan Council and its Communications Committee and president of Manatos and Manatos consulting firm in Washington.
North Dakota Adopts Religious Freedom Resolution in Support of the Ecumenical Patriarchate BISMARCK, N.D. – North Dakota recently became the 34th state to adopt a resolution in support of the religious freedom for the Ecumenical Patriarchate, following a vote by its Senate. The resolution, sponsored by Sen. Tim Mathern and Rep. Andrew Maragos, calls on the Turkish government to discontinue a number of discriminatory policies directed at the Ecumenical Patriarchate, threatening the existence of this almost 2,000 year old Holy See of Christianity. The resolution has the active support of the leadership of the two largest Christian denominations in the state: the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the North Dakota Catholic Conference of Bishops, and members of the Orthodox communities in North Dakota. The North Dakota resolution initia-
tive is part of the national State Religious Freedom Resolution project of the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in America. The goal of this project, which represents one component of the overall, multifaceted religious freedom initiative, is the adoption of religious freedom resolutions in support of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in every state legislature. This project is an ongoing effort of the Order of St. Andrew and represents an important part of the governmental and public affairs strategy of the Religious Freedom Initiative. For further information, contact Dr. Anthony J. Limberakis, MD, national commander of the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also visit archons.org/resolutions for resolution updates for each state
Correction Sts. Nicholas, Constantine & Helen Church in Orange, N.J. was identified incorrectly as Sts. Constantine & Helen Church in the listing of National Ministries Commitment Program parishes on page 14 of the Feb/March issue.
Wishing you a joyful Pascha, Mary & Michael Jaharis
The Voice of Philoptochos
Paschal Appeal: Donate to Center of Philanthropy Philoptochos needs your help to realize its goal and establish its Center of Philanthropy! The Center will be more than a home, it will be the center of our social welfare outreach, the center for resources to assist our membership and our Chapters nationwide, the center for young and old to gather to continue the tradition of providing care, support and aid throughout the nation and the world. During this time of the Blessed Holy Paschal Season, join us and take up the challenge to raise the funds to purchase a home for Philoptochos, to perpetuate the mission of philanthropy for the future. Our goal is to raise $50,000 in 50 days! Help us celebrate Pascha and Pentecost with your donation. Can we do it? With God’s blessing and your generous support we can. The Capital Campaign began at the national Clergy Laity Congress in Atlanta in July 2010 where the Philoptochos members resoundingly espoused and supported a permanent home – a Center of Philanthropy. The good news is that, to date, we have raised over $1,000,000. To reach our goal we need YOU! Please give. Donations large and small ($5,000, $500, $50, $5 or any amount) may be sent to Philoptochos Center of Philanthropy Campaign Fund, National Philoptochos, 7 West 55th Street, New York, NY 10017 or go online to www.philoptochos.org to donate.
National Philoptochos Donates $25,000 for Japan Earthquake Victims
Mettropolitan Iakovos of Chicago attended the Metropolis Agape Dinner to benefit the Philoptochos Center of Philanthropy, which raised about $20,000. National Philoptochos President Aphrodite Skeadas was main speaker. They are shown here with other Philoptochos members.
Boston Metropolis Philoptochos members at the retreat house.
Boston Philoptochos Holds Lenten Retreat The Metropolis of Boston Philoptochos held a two-day Lenten Retreat at the St. Methodios Retreat House on the grounds in Contoocook, NH on March 18-19. Philoptochos members arrived Friday evening to begin this Lenten journey of reflection, prayer, fellowship and enlightened discussion accompanied by excellent culinary fare. Metropolis Philoptochos President Philippa Condakes welcomed the members and presented the two retreat speakers. Dr. Philip Mamalakis, assistant professor of pastoral care and director of field education at Holy Cross School of Theology who spoke on “The Greek
American Family in Society” and Dr. Timothy Patitsas, adjunct assistant professor of Christian ethics at Hellenic College, who spoke on “The Philanthropia of Holy Week.” The presentations were well received and generated excellent discussion. Although the Metropolis Philoptochos has held one-day retreats at the Center, this was the first opportunity to spend extensive time together and enjoy the glorious new retreat house and the natural surroundings. Metropolitan Methodios greeted the Philoptochos members during their retreat.
Save the Date National Philoptochos Society Children’s Medical Fund Luncheon
Saturday, December 3, 2011 Hyatt Regency Greenwich 1800 East Putnam Avenue Old Greenwich, Connecticut Hosted by the Direct Archdiocesan District Philoptochos
National Philoptochos President Aphrodite Skeadas announced that the National Philoptochos Society was able to respond immediately to the major devastation witnessed in Japan due to the earthquake and subsequent tsunami because of the continuous fundraising efforts of the chapters nationwide. President Skeadas’ letter to the national membership is below: It is with great sadness we learned of the loss of human life and horrendous destruction following the greatest earthquake of magnitude 9.0 and deadly tsunami that devoured much of the east coast of Japan on March 11, 2011. Subsequent devastation has been widespread. Leaking nuclear radiation has created a radioactive plume that is enveloping the atmosphere. Some NY Times statistics as of the date of this writing include that more than 15,000 persons are dead or missing; 431,000 persons are homeless or displaced; and 1.64 million people are without water. The United States Embassy recommended an evacuation of all persons, estimated to be 1.9 million residents, within 50 miles from the Fukushima Daiichi Power Station. Archbishop Demetrios issued an encyclical calling upon the faithful of the Archdiocese to “offer their fervent prayers” for the people of Japan. The National Philoptochos Society was financially empowered to immediately respond with aid of $25,000 from the National Philoptochos Society’s National Emergency Fund to the IOCC. The IOCC is coordinating its response with local Orthodox and ecumenical partners in Japan to identify unmet needs that will complement the assistance being rendered by the Japanese and other governments. IOCC encourages the assemblage of health and baby kits. Information on assembling the kits and materials may be found at the IOCC website www.iocc.org. Much will be required in Japan. As this tragedy unfolds and we learn of the appropriate measures to assist, we will keep you, our Philoptochos Sisterhood, informed. The Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society is dedicated to assisting persons in need. It is our mission to offer kind acts and demonstrate our will to faithfully serve with a generous heart. Please offer to our Lord and Savior your most fervent prayers for our sisters and brothers in Japan and for all whose lives have been affected. In Christ, Aphrodite Skeadas
A RCHDIOCESE N E WS
Commentaries and Reflections
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s Message on the Earthquake Catastrophe in Japan It is with burdened and painful heart that the entire world is witnessing the drama of the tragic earthquake, which over the last days has afflicted Japan and cost numerous lives of our brothers and sisters. Moreover, it is with much anguish and sorrow that we behold the related devastation in the Land of the Rising Sun as well as in other nations of the Pacific. Every corner of the planet is offering prayers both for the repose of the departed souls and for the support of those who continue to be grieved and imperiled by the ensuing seismic tremors and ferocious tsunami. Lamentably, yet another calamitous consequence has struck the region with the explosion of the nuclear plant at Fukushima, rendering still
more frightening the recent nightmare in Japan. The disastrous ramifications of this event will become more evident over the next days. Of course, with regard to the earthquake, no human response is adequate. The causes and results eclipse human words. Nevertheless, with regard to the explosion of the nuclear reactor and the aftermath of a nuclear adversity, there is indeed a response that we are called to make. With all due respect to the science and technology of nuclear energy and for the sake of the survival of the human race, we counter-propose the safer green forms of energy, which both moderately preserve our natural resources and mindfully serve our human needs. Our Creator granted us the gifts of the sun, wind, water and ocean, all of which may safely and sufficiently provide energy. Ecologically-friendly science and technology has discovered ways and means of
producing sustainable forms of energy for our ecosystem. Therefore, we ask: Why do we persist in adopting such dangerous sources of energy? Are we so arrogant as to compete with and exploit nature? Yet, we know that nature invariably seeks revenge. From the Ecumenical Patriarchate, we raise fervent prayers for our beloved Japanese people for the trial and tribulation it currently faces, while at the same time passionately appeal to all those responsible for a reconsideration of the nuclear policy of nations throughout the world.
Your beloved brother in Christ and fervent supplicant before God í Bartholomew of Constantinople
Archbishop Urges Aid for Japanese Disaster Victims To the Most Reverend Hierarchs, the Reverend Priests and Deacons, the Monks and Nuns, the Presidents and Members of the Parish Councils of the Greek Orthodox Communities, the Distinguished Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Day, Afternoon, and Church Schools, the Philoptochos Sisterhoods, the Youth, the Hellenic Organizations, and the entire Greek Orthodox Family in America Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Our hearts are filled with sadness and compassion as we have seen the apocalyptic images of mass destruction and suffering following the earthquake and tsunami which struck Japan last Friday. In response to this historic tragedy, we may be rendered speechless, seeing the extent
of the devastation and the plight of so many. However, our faith in our gracious God leads us to respond to human need both in prayer and in action to sustain life and offer solace in a time of great loss. For the people of Japan, I ask first and foremost that the faithful of the Greek Orthodox Church in America offer their fervent prayers. May we join with so many throughout our world in asking God to grant them comfort in this hour of pain. May we pray for renewed strength and hope, so that livelihoods may be restored and families and friends be re-united. We also pray for the containment of the tremendous damage caused by the malfunction of the nuclear plants in the area. Mostly, we pray for the eternal repose of the countless lost in this disaster.
The restoration of life and community will require the effort of our global community. I encourage you to join IOCC (International Orthodox Christian Charities, www.iocc.org) or other local and national efforts, such as the Red Cross, as so many of you do in response to needs around the world. Please select the agency of your choice to contribute for the relief of this disaster. In love, you give generously, and through this offering we can offer a witness of the love of Christ as Orthodox Christians. With paternal love in the Risen Lord,
† Archbishop DEMETRIOS of America
Archdiocesan Council Executive Committee Meets NEW YORK – Archdiocesan Council Executive Committee members, meeting March 15 at Archdiocese headquarters, discussed several legal, financial and administrative issues facing the Church, and also met with the Holy Eparchial Synod. Archbishop Demetrios addressed the Committee and stressed that these are difficult times for the Church, the faith and the world and we must continue to pray and be vigilant. The Archbishop reviewed some of the major events around the world including those being dealt with by the Archdiocese. They included the recent Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan, the death of Metropolitan Nicholas of Amissos and the work of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America. Archbishop Demetrios also outlined some of the on-going work of the Holy Eparchial Synod and discussed the recent very successful meetings of Leadership 100 and FAITH Endowment. The members also heard reports on various issues, progress and activities from
the Legal, Administration, Finance and Monastery Review committees. The Legal Committee gave updates on several issues, including action against the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey regarding St. Nicholas parish at Ground Zero, an appeal from the Salt Lake City parish addressed by the Holy Eparchial Synod and other cases involving the Archdiocese. The Committee also heard a report from the Monastery Review Committee formed by the Executive Committee and Synod at its Fall 2010 meeting. This special committee was created to collect certain data from the monasteries around the country and provide a report to the Executive Committee as to how they work and interact with the life of our Church in America. The Administration Committee reported on a planning committee formed at the last Executive Committee meeting to deal with establishing a five-year strategic plan and special strategic planning session for the Synod and Executive Committee scheduled for Fall 2011.
The Finance Committee reported on progress of the National Ministries Commitment program and the successful 100 percent parish collection rate from five out of the nine Metropolises. This is a first time this many Metropolises achieved a 100 percent collection rate. The Executive Committee also received a summary of the Archdiocese 2010 finances and its current financial condition. The Finance Committee also reported on the special situation regarding St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Lynn, Mass. and its failure to comply with Archdiocese regulations. The Executive Committee unanimously endorsed a statement supporting the actions of Metropolitan Methodios of Boston. Subsequent to the Executive Committee, the full Finance Committee and Metropolis Finance committees met in Chicago on March 22 and issued a similar statement urging the Lynn parish to comply with the Regulations of the Archdiocese.
Holy Pascha The Feast of Feasts u u from page 1 of renewal. In praise and thanksgiving, we present before all people the new life that is offered to us because Christ is risen from the dead! Our commemoration of this great Feast through hymns, prayers, and the proclamation of the Gospel, leads us to consider the relationship of His Resurrection to all areas of our lives, to our innermost being, to our thoughts and actions, and to our aspirations and hopes for life now and for eternity. Just as we come with a candle and receive the light of Pascha, so too the light and power of our Lord’s Resurrection should be received into our entire being. Through His presence and grace, we are transfered from death to life, we are renewed in the image and likeness of God, and in newness of life we carry this light into all the world. Pascha is a feast for our hearts, a celebration for our souls. Today, repentance is embraced with grace and forgiveness. Hope overcomes despair. Heavenly joy replaces grief. Divine and assuring peace reigns over our inner struggles. Our hearts are renewed with the strength to continue the journey of liberation from sin and evil. Pascha is a feast for our minds. On this day, Truth is revealed as a superb light for all of humanity. Today, the light of Pascha illuminates our minds. We receive the gift of the divine wisdom that guides us through life. We are blessed with a vision of what is holy, pure, and just. In the light of Pascha, our minds contemplate all of the implications of our Lord’s glorious Resurrection. Today and in the days and weeks to come we will proclaim over and over again, “Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and to those in the tombs bestowing life!” After Christ’s Resurrection, the tombs are no longer places of death but of life, bestowed to us by Him as this most precious gift. On this blessed Pascha, I offer to you and your families my warmest wishes for a beautiful day of celebration and fellowship. May your souls, hearts, and minds be filled with peace and love, and may your joy in Christ and His Resurrection be a true witness of the new life we have in Him. With paternal love in the Risen Lord,
† Archbishop DEMETRIOS of America
The King's Speech “Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” Luke 23:46 by Fr. Frank Marangos
The 83 rd Academy Awards at the end of February showcased “The King’s Speech” as the 2011 Oscar recipient for Best Film. The movie also received Oscars for Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Original Screenplay. Colin Firth received the Oscar for Best Male Actor for his portrayal of the stammering King George VI, who, through the help of an eccentric therapist, was able to overcome his speech impediment and deliver a passionate historic address to the British nation during World War II. In receiving such global acclaim, The King’s Speech was able to provide an important and encouraging message to individuals who suffer from major speech problems. According to the National Stammering Association, over 3 million Americans suffer from some form of vocal “disfluency.” While children between the ages of 2 and 5 are the largest group affected, victims are often categorized into three primary groups: developmental, neurological, and psychological stutterers. Although most outgrow or repair physiological deficiencies, a substantial number enter adulthood suffering from serious psychological effects associated with the break in the free-flow of regular speech patterns. Apart from its physiological occurrence, Humanity may also be correctly diagnosed as suffering from acute forms of spiritual disfluency. In many ways, sin itself can be described as the very source of spiritual stuttering, a relational blocking – an obstacle that inhibits the free flow of intimate communication between God and his children. The result of such spiritual disfluency is humanity’s alienation from the Word and Will of God – from His Truth and Holy Purpose. Great Lent has been our opportunity to direct attention to the cause of spiritual stuttering and to focus on its remedy through the redemptive words and actions of God. The hymns and prayers of the Triodion, the liturgical book of our Lenten sojourn, center attention on the consequences of our Progenitors’ disobedience. This is why our heavenly Father sent His Only Begotten Son – the Word of God – to the Cross; to repair our self-imposed disfluency by providing a clear message from the pulpit of the Holy Cross – a speech of forgiveness and love. The Speech of the King of King’s includes seven statements vocalized by Jesus as he hung on the Holy Cross. Before the darkness descended, Jesus spoke three times. During the darkness, He spoke once. And after the darkness had passed, He uttered three more sentences of love. Of these, three are recorded in the Gospels of Luke and John. The additional statement is found in both Matthew and Mark’s account of the Passion. The seven statements include a prayer for his executioners, a promise to the penitent thief, provisional protection for his widowed mother, position of spiritual loneliness, acknowledgement of pain and suffering, perfection of his work, and the presentation of his Spirit into His Father’s hands. According to St. John Chrysostom, “We are able to see Christ’s inexpressible love for man not only from the cross itself but also from the words which He spoke whilst upon the cross.” The last words of Christ delivered during his Holy Passion help us more clearly see into the very core of God’s heart. His words impart important theological principles and practical spiritual lessons.
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This year’s Great Lenten journey began on the date of the actual discovery of the Holy Cross by St. Helen – March 6. It was on that day in 326 in Jerusalem that she found the Cross, along with the four nails used to crucify Christ. Consequently, the Orthodox Church asserts that four and not three nails (Triclavianism) were used to affix the Lord to His Cross - one in each hand, and one in each foot. According to detailed historical accounts, upon her return to Constantinople, St. Helen used two of the four nails to protect her son Constantine from spiritual and physical harm. One of the nails was hammered into her son’s helmet. The other was given to a blacksmith who fashioned it into a bridle for the king’s royal steed. It is believed that the Iron Crown of Lombardy, one of the most ancient royal insignia of Europe, currently kept in the Cathedral of Monza, is in fact crafted from the very nail used in Constantine’s diadem of combat. Unlike the Hollywood version the speech that society should truly acclaim is not the one given by a British king but, by the one delivered by THE King of Kings – Jesus Christ. It is not the broadcast message of cinematography but the clear stammer-less Voice of Salvation uttered from a bloodied crossbeam. “The Cross is the door to mysteries,” writes St. Isaac the Syrian, “through whose door the intellect makes entrance into the knowledge of heavenly mysteries.” Like St. Isaac, Chrysostom insists that the Cross of Christ “is a trophy over the tyranny of death . . . that utters a clear voice, shows forth His Victory, and proclaims His Kingdom.” Jesus declared, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27). The faithful are accordingly invited to become the mouthpieces of God’s Glory. We are called to proclaim His seven-fold message of peace and reconciliation throughout the world through holy word and deed. In the end, the Resurrected life begins when we so commend our minds, hearts, and spirits back into the loving hands of our Fashioner. This is the primary message of our Lord – a message that brings life and joy – a message that conveys the power to re-light the tapers of our darkened souls. This is the good news of Christ’s Glorious Resurrection. It is a speech of sacrifice and truth that influenced all that surrounded its adoration. It is a speech that does not require an Oscar, but rather sincere praise and worship. This indeed, is the true King’s Speech! The Rev. Dr. Frank Marangos is dean of the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New York. He is also an adjunct assistant professor at St. John’s University. Visit http://www.thecathedralnyc.org to view other on-line articles of interest.
May the Love, Peace and Joy of the Resurrection live in your hearts now and forever more.
Christos Anesti! Advancing Orthodoxy & Hellenism in America
Constantine G. Caras, Chairman Charles H. Cotros, Vice Chairman Kassandra L. Romas, Secretary George S. Tsandikos, Treasurer Paulette Poulos, Executive Director
Metropolitan Nicholas of Amissos, Head of the Carpatho-Russian Diocese JOHNSTOWN, Pa. – Metropolitan Nicholas of Amissos, 75, spiritual leader of the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese of the U.S.A., died March 13 after waging a courageous battle with cancer. Metropolitan Nicholas was born on Feb. 23, 1936 in Perth Amboy, N.J., son of the late Anna (Totin) and Andrew Smisko. After graduating from Perth Amboy High School, he entered Christ the Saviour Seminary in Johnstown to study for the priesthood. Upon graduation, he was ordained on Jan. 11, 1959 by Bishop Orestes in Perth Amboy. His first pastorate was at Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Windber, Pa., where he served until 1962. A new phase of his life began when he embarked on a year’s study at the Patriarchal Theological School at Halki, Constantinople. During his stay in the city, Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras assigned him to serve the spiritual needs of the large Slavic Orthodox community in the Galata section of Istanbul. He also traveled extensively throughout Europe and the Middle East, visiting the sacred sites of the Holy Land and living for a time on Mount Athos, the ancient monastic center of the Orthodox Church. Upon his return to the United States, he resumed his studies at the University of Youngstown, Ohio, and the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. He was then assigned as Prefect of Discipline at Christ
the Saviour Seminary in Johnstown, and served several parishes in the Johnstown area, before relocating in 1971 to New York City, where he served as pastor of St. Nicholas Church. He was elevated to the rank of Archimandrite in 1976, and was elected by the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople as auxiliary bishop for the Ukrainian Orthodox Diocese of America. He was consecrated on March 13, 1983 by Archbishop Iakovos. Following the death of Bishop John (Martin) in September of 1984, Bishop Nicholas was chosen as the third ruling hierarch of the Carpatho-Russian Diocese and was enthroned in Christ the Saviour Cathedral by Archbishop Iakovos on April 19, 1985. The diocese has about 10,000 members in 80 congregations nationwide. He was elevated to the rank of Metropolitan by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on Nov. 24, 1997. Over his many years of service to Christ and His Holy Church, Metropolitan Nicholas received many honors for his service, including the Sts. Cyril and Methodius Award from the Orthodox Church of Czechoslovakia, the St. Sava Award from Patriarch Pavel of the Serbian Orthodox Church and an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Holy Cross School of Theology. Metropolitan Nicholas had been noted for his love for his flock and the
Fr. John Asimacopoulos SAN JOSE, Calif. – Fr. John Asimacopoulos, 79, pastor of St. Nicholas Church, died March 17 following a brief illness. Fr. John served the Metropolis of San Francisco since his ordination in 1957. At the time of his passing, Fr. John was the proistamenos of the church, which he had been serving since 1987. He also served on the Metropolis Council and the Board of St. Nicholas Ranch and Retreat Center, as vicar of the Bay Area Vicariate, and as the Greek Education and Culture Committee chairman. “The passing of Father John Asimacopoulos leaves a tremendous void in the Metropolis of San Francisco. Father John was loved and respected by his brother clergy as a caring, compassionate and gentle leader. Throughout his distinguished ministry, Fr. John offered pastoral care and spiritual guidance to thousands of faithful,
always seeking to bring people closer to Christ,” stated Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco. “He was a personal friend and wise counselor to me in my ministry at the Metropolis. We especially extend our love and prayers to his beloved Presbytera Maria, their children and grandchildren who mourn his passing, asking that the Lord may grant them His peace and mercy during these difficult days.” He was born in Stylia, Greece on May 10, 1931, the oldest of six children of George and Antonia Asimacopoulos. In 1950, Fr. John joined the Greek army and received the rank of Axiomatikos. Having been honorably discharged, he enrolled at the University of Athens theological school where he completed his studies in 1957. During that time that he met his future presbytera, Maria Stavropoulos. They were
Monk Dr. Constantine Cavarnos by Fr. Asterios Gerostergios
FLORENCE, Ariz. – Former Holy Cross and Harvard University Professor Dr. Constantine Cavarnos died March 3 at the Monastery of St. Anthony the Great. He had entered the monastery where he spent his last years after losing his eyesight at an advanced age. He had been tonsured as a monk. Monk Cavarnos was born in Boston on Oct. 19, 1918, to Panagiotis and Irene (Maistrou) Cavarnos, natives of Trigonas, Lesbos. His parents returned to their native village and he completed his primary education there. Returning to America, he completed his studies at the Boston Continuation School, where he learned English. After completing the appropriate preparatory instruction, he enrolled in the prestigious English High School of Boston (the
first public high school in the U.S.), from which he graduated with honors. Immediately after graduating from high school, Cavarnos was admitted to Harvard University, where he majored in the biological sciences, studying botany, general zoology, comparative vertebrate anatomy, physical anthropology, and biochemistry, with a view to preparing himself for medical school. At the end of his sophomore year at Harvard, he decided to change his field of concentration to philosophy, subsequently receiving three degrees in that field: the A.B. magna cum laude in 1942, the A.M. in 1947, and his doctorate (Ph.D.) in 1948. He held numerous academic positions during his career at Harvard, Radcliffe College, Tufts University, Wellesley College, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Clark University, Boston University and
An overflow crowd estimated at more than 500 persons filled the Carpatho-Russian Cathedral in Johnstown at the funeral of Metropolitan Nicholas of Amissos, which was officiated by Archbishop Demetrios, assisted by several clergy.
liturgical services of the Church, and his devotion to the Mother Church, the Ecumenical Patriarchate. He was wellrespected in Orthodox and ecumenical circles as being a promoter of peace and mutual understanding amongst all Christ-loving people. True to his patron saint, St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, the Metropolitan was perhaps best known and respected for his pastoral sensitivity, generosity of spirit and compassion for the sick and suffering and the less fortunate. In an interview with Ann Rodgers,
religion writer for the Pittsburgh PostGazette, Fr. Mark Arey, ecumenical officer of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, noted that, because of Metropolitan Nicholas’ heritage and education, he “bridged the Slavic and Greek worlds of Orthodoxy. He was a very unifying figure.” In addition to conducting the funeral service on March 18 at Christ the Saviour Cathedral, Archbishop Demetrios also presided at the separate burial service at St. John’s Orthodox Church in Perth Amboy on March 21.
married on Dec. 27, 1956. Following graduation from the University of Athens, Fr. John and Presbytera Maria came to the United States. He was ordained to the diaconate on Oct. 26, 1957 and into the priesthood on Oct. 27, 1957 at St. Paul Cathedral in Hempstead, N.Y. by Archbishop Michael. Fr. John began his ministry as the assistant at St. Paul’s. He was assigned to Assumption Church in Price, Utah, in July 1958 and served for six years, then became pastor of Annunciation Church in Modesto, Calif., in 1964. While there, he earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and psychology. Fr. John also earned a teaching credential in primary and secondary education. Additional postgraduate study was done at the University of the Pacific and he also taught part-time in the Modesto Public School system. Fr. John developed ministries to serve the parish. During his tenure, the educational center and the fellowship hall addition
were completed. Elevated to protopresbyter in 1981, Fr. John was then assigned to St. Spyridon Church in San Diego and served there until 1987 when he moved to St. Nicholas Church in San Jose. Under his spiritual guidance, a new church complex was built. Houses in the neighborhood were acquired and two rectories for the clergy, and a multipurpose fellowship hall/ gymnasium was built. Fr. John was preceded in death by his first child, George, who died at age 7. Survivors include Presbytera Maria, their children, Dr. George and Antonia Lendaris, Nicholas and Stephanie Tziavaras, George Asimacopoulos, and grandchildren Nicholas and Maria Lendaris. Funeral services were held at St. Nicholas Church on March 23 with Metropolitan Gerasimos officiating. Memorial contributions may be made in his memory to the St. Nicholas Building Fund (mailing address: 986 Chapman Street, San Jose, CA, 95126).
Wheaton College. He was a Fulbright Scholar in Modern Greek Thought at the University of Athens (1957-59), and was associate professor of philosophy and Byzantine Art and adjunct professor in philosophy and Byzantine art and iconography on different occasions at Hellenic College-Holy Cross School of Theology. Cavarnos also served as president of the Institute for, Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies in Belmont, Mass. In the area of systematic philosophy, he taught aesthetics, ethics, logic, epistemology, metaphysics and the philosophy of religion. In the area of the history of philosophy, he taught the pre-Socratic philosophers, Plato and Aristotle, medieval philosophy (particularly the thought of Augustine and Thomas Aquinas), modern European philosophy, and American philosophy. He was also the recipient of many academic honors and awards during his long and distinguished academic career, includ-
ing The Francis Bowen Prize, conferred by the Philosophy Department at Harvard University “for the best essay upon a subject in moral or political philosophy.” He won this award twice, first in 1941 for his treatise “The Individual Life,” and again in 1945 for his treatise, “The Problem of the Destiny of Man in Plato.” (Both of these essays have been published in his book Plato’s View of Man.). He was a Fulbright Scholar in Modern Greek thought, conducting research at the University of Athens, first from 19571958 and again from 1958-1959. He was an Archon Depoutatos of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, an offikion conferred by Patriarch Demetrios in 1979. Cavarnos’ publications include 77 books and 10 monographs in English and 22 books and four monographs in Greek. In addition, there is a list of his books that have been translated and published in Albanian, Arabic, Finnish, French, Japanese, Russian, Serbian, and Swedish.
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Holy Cross seniors participated in the annual orientation visit to the Archdiocese March 29-31 where they heard presentations on the National Ministries and the various departments and offices of the Church’s headquarters, and met with Archbishop Demetrios.
HCHC Commencement Slated May 21 BROOKLINE, Mass. – The 69th Commencement of Hellenic College and Holy Cross School of Theology will take place on Saturday, May 21. This year Holy Cross will have 43 graduates, of which 27 are Greek Orthodox Archdiocese seminarians who will receive the M.Div. degree. Four are already ordained to the priesthood and five to the diaconate. Eight will receive the M.T.S. degree, five the Th.M. degree and two women will receive the M.Div. degree. Hellenic College will have 16 graduates receiving the Bachelor of Arts degree. Six are GOA seminarians who will continue at Holy Cross, and five are women. Commencement week festivities include alumni reunions for classes that graduated 50 and 25 years ago. This year the 15 members of the Holy Cross Class of 1961, the 24 members of the Holy Cross Class of 1986 and the 26 members of the Hellenic College Class of 1986 will be honored. The day begins, as usual, with a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy in Holy Cross Chapel at 7:30 a.m., followed by the commencement in the Pappas Gymnasium. Further information about the week’s festivities will be available soon at the news and events section of the HCHC website, www.hchc.edu. The public is cordially invited to attend. The following Holy Cross seniors (shown in the photo above) will be graduating in May (Home parish in parenthesis). Metropolis of Detroit: Demetrios Kazakis (St. Sophia, Syracuse, N.Y.)
Metropolis of Denver: Fr. Dimitrios Kyritsis (Sts. Constantine and Helen, Cheyenne, Wyo.), Deacon Haralambos Spaliatsos (St. John the Baptist, Omaha, Neb.), James A. Foreso and Gregory C. Kearns (St. Catherine, Greenwood Village, Colo.). Andonios Prayamis (Holy Trinity, Denver), Deacon John Haby (St. Demetrios, Fort Worth, Texas), Nicole Hillas (Prophet Elias, Salt Lake City). Metropolis of San Francisco: Deacon John E. Afendoulis (Prophet Elias, San Bernardino, Calif.), George Demas (Holy Trinity, Portland, Oregon), Deacon Ion Coman (St. Nicholas, San Jose, Calif.). Metropolis of Pittsburgh: George Athanasiou (Holy Trinity, Pittsburgh), Eleftherios Constantine (St. John the Forerunner, Boardman, Ohio), Michael A. Gavrilos (Holy Dormition, Oakmont, Pa.). Metropolis of Chicago: Jason Dickey (Annunciation, Milwaukee, Wis.), Nicholas Anton (Assumption, Orland Park, Ill.); Georgios Giavris (St. Demetrios, Elmhurst, Ill.), Jan–Henrik Ehrs (Three Hierarchs, Champaign, Ill.), Deacon David Hostetler (St. Athanasios, Aurora, Ill.), Thomas Alatzakis (St. Demetrios, Libertyville, Ill.) Metropolis of New Jersey: Andrew Horvath (Kimisis tis Theotokou, Holmdel, N.J.), Konstantine Pietronuto (Annunciation, Elkins Park, Pa.). Metropolis of Boston: Christopher Fahlbeck (St. Spyridon, Worcester, Mass); Jonathan Resmini (St. Demetrios, Weston, Mass.). Metropolis of Atlanta: Stella Hondros (Annunciation, Atlanta), Michael Markantoni (St. Paul, Savannah, Ga.).
Spiritual Odyssey Credit through Hellenic College Pilgrims on this year’s Spiritual Odyssey may opt to earn 1.5 credits through Hellenic College by registering for the “Introduction to Orthodox Christian Spirituality” course offered by Fr. Christopher Flesoras, Ph.D. Requirements for the course include: an introductory paper detailing the student’s understanding and experience of Orthodox spirituality, expectations for the Spiritual Odyssey
and thoughts on pre-departure readings; daily one–page reflections on travel and assigned readings; participation in discussions on assigned readings; and a final paper synthesizing aspects of Orthodox spirituality framed within the Spiritual Odyssey. The course option will be offered at an additional cost of $750. Interested students may contact Fr. Christopher at email@example.com, or 916-772-9372.
Faith is the substance of things hoped for, The evidence of things not seen.
Χριστός Ανέστη Αληθώς Ανέστη
ΕΤΟΣ 76 • ΑΡΙΘΜΟΣ 1264
Α Ρ Χ Ι Ε Π Ι Σ ΚΟ Π Ι Κ Η Ε Γ Κ Υ Κ Λ Ι ΟΣ Ἅγιον Πάσχα: Ἡ Ἑορτή τῶν Ἑορτῶν Συνετάφημεν οὖν αὐτῷ διά τοῦ βαπτίσματος εἰς τόν θάνατον, ἵνα ὥσπερ ἠγέρθη Χριστός ἐκ νεκρῶν διά τῆς δόξης τοῦ πατρός, οὕτω καί ἡμεῖς ἐν καινότητι ζωῆς περιπατήσωμεν. (πρός Ρωμαίους 6:4) Πρός τούς Σεβασμιωτάτους καί Θεοφιλεστάτους Ἀρχιερεῖς, τούς Εὐλαβεστάτους Ἱερεῖς καί Διακόνους, τούς Μοναχούς καί Μοναχές, τούς Προέδρους καί Μέλη τῶν Κοινοτικῶν Συμβουλίων, τά Ἡμερήσια καί Ἀπογευματινά Σχολεῖα, τίς Φιλοπτώχους Ἀδελφότητες, τήν Νεολαία, τίς Ἑλληνορθόδοξες Ὀργανώσεις καί ὁλόκληρο τό Χριστεπώνυμον πλήρωμα τῆς Ἱερᾶς Ἀρχιεπισκοπῆς Ἀμερικῆς. Προσφιλεῖς Ἀδελφοί καί Ἀδελφές ἐν Χριστῷ, Χριστός Ἀνέστη! Σ’αὐτή τήν μεγάλη καί ἔνδοξη ἑορτή τῆς Ἀναστάσεως τοῦ Κυρίου μας Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, οἱ καρδιές μας γεμίζουν μέ ἀνείπωτη χαρά, ὁ νοῦς μας ἀγκαλιάζει τό φῶς τῆς ἀληθείας καί οἱ ψυχές μας μεταμορφώνονται ἀπό τήν παρουσία Του ἀνάμεσά μας καί τήν ἀγάπη Του γιά μᾶς. Ἐδῶ πρόκειται ἀσφαλῶς γιά μιά ἡμέρα πανηγυρικοῦ ἑορτασμοῦ, γιά μιά ἡμέρα ἀνώτερη ὅλων τῶν ἄλλων ἡμερῶν ἡ ὁποία διακηρύσσει τόν θρίαμβο τῆς ζωῆς ἐπί τοῦ θανάτου καί προσφέρει μαρτυρία τῆς δυνάμεως τῆς χάριτος καί τῆς πίστεως. Ἡ Ἑορτή τοῦ Ἁγίου Πάσχα εἶναι ἐπίσης ἡμέρα ἀνακαινίσεως. Μέ δοξολογίες καί εὐχαριστίες παρουσιάζουμε σέ ὅλους τούς ἀνθρώπους τήν νέα ζωή ἡ ὁποία μᾶς προσφέρεται λόγῳ τῆς ἐκ νεκρῶν ἀναστάσεως τοῦ Χριστοῦ. Ὁ πανηγυρισμός τῆς μεγάλης αὐτῆς Ἑορτῆς μέ ὕμνους, προσευχές καί τήν διακήρυξη τοῦ Εὐαγγελίου, μᾶς ὁδηγεῖ νά ἀναλογισθοῦμε τήν σχέση τῆς Ἀναστάσεώς Του μέ ὅλα τά ἐπίπεδα τῆς ζωῆς μας, τό ἐσώτερο εἶναι μας, τίς σκέψεις καί ἐνέργειές μας, καί τίς φιλοδοξίες καί ἐλπίδες μας γιά ζωή στό παρόν καί στήν αἰωνιότητα. Ὅπως πλησιάζουμε μέ τήν λαμπάδα καί λαμβάνουμε τό φῶς τοῦ Πάσχα, ἔτσι θά πρέπει να λαμβάνει καί ὅλο τό εἶναι μας τό φῶς καί τή δύναμη τῆς Ἀνστάσεως τοῦ Κυρίου μας. Διά τῆς παρουσίας Του καί τῆς χάριτός Του μεταφερόμεθα ἀπό τόν θάνατο στή ζωή καί ἀνανεωνόμεθα κατ’ εἰκόνα καί καθ’ ὁμοίωση τοῦ Θεοῦ, καί ἐν καινότητι ζωῆς μεταφέρουμε αὐτό τό φῶς σ’ὁλόκληρο τόν κόσμο. Τό Πάσχα εἶναι γιορτή γιά τίς καρδιές μας, πανηγυρισμός γιά τίς ψυχές μας. Σήμερα ἡ μετάνοια ἀγκαλίζεται μέ τήν χάρη καί τήν συγχώρηση. Ἡ ἐλπίδα ὑπερνικᾶ τήν ἀπογοήτευση. Ἡ οὐράνια χαρά ἀντικαθιστᾶ τήν λύπη. Ἡ θεϊκή καί ἀσφαλής εἰρήνη βασιλεύει ἐπί τῶν ἐσωτερικῶν ἀγώνων μας. Οἱ καρδιές μας ἀνακαινίζονται μέ τήν δύναμη νά συνεχίσουν τήν πορεία τῆς ἀπελευθερώσεως ἀπό τήν ἁμαρτία καί τό κακό. Τό Πάσχα εἶναι γιορτή τῶν διανοιῶν μας. Τήν ἡμέρα αὐτή ἀποκαλύπτεται ἡ Ἀλήθεια ὡς ὑπέρτατο φῶς γιά ὅλη τήν ἀνθρωπότητα. Σήμερα, τό φῶς τοῦ Πάσχα φωτίζει τίς διάνοιές μας. Λαμβάνουμε τό δῶρο τῆς θεϊκῆς σοφίας ἡ ὁποία μᾶς ὁδηγεῖ μέσα στή ζωή. Ἔχουμε εὐλογηθῆ μέ τό ὅραμα τοῦ ἁγίου, τοῦ ἁγνοῦ καί τοῦ δικαίου. Μέσα στό φῶς τοῦ Πάσχα, οἱ διάνοιές μας μποροῦν νά μελετοῦν ὅλες τίς συνέπειες τῆς ἐνδόξου Ἀναστάσεως τοῦ Κυρίου μας. Σήμερα καί στίς ἑπόμενες ἡμέρες καί ἑβδομάδες θά διακηρύξουμε πάλιν καί πολλάκις, Χριστός ἀνέστη ἐκ νεκρῶν, θανάτῳ θάνατον πατήσας καί τοῖς ἐν τοῖς μνήμασιν ζωήν χαρισάμενος! Μετά ἀπό τήν Ἀνάσταση τοῦ Χριστοῦ, οἱ τάφοι δέν εἶναι πλέον χῶροι θανάτου ἀλλά ζωῆς, ἡ ὁποία μᾶς δίδεται ἀπό Ἐκεῖνον ὡς τό πολυτιμότερο δῶρο. Σ’αὐτή
τήν εὐλογημένη ἑορτή τοῦ Πάσχα, ἐκφράζω σέ σᾶς καί στίς οἰκογένειές σας τίς θερμότερες εὐχές μου γιά μία ὑπέροχη ἡμέρα πανηγυρισμοῦ καί ἀδελφοσύνης. Εἴθε οἱ ψυχές μας, οἱ καρδιές μας καί οἱ διάνοιές μας νά εἶναι πλήρεις εἰρήνης καί ἀγάπης, καί εἴθε ἡ χαρά μας ἐν Χριστῷ καί ἐν τῇ Ἀναστάσει Του νά ἀποτελέσῃ ἀληθινή μαρτυρία τῆς νέας ζωῆς μας ἐν Αὐτῷ. Μετά πατρικῆς ἐν Κυρίῳ Ἀναστάντι ἀγάπης,
ÿ ὁ Ἀρχιεπίσκοπος Ἀμερικῆς Δημήτριος
Εικοστός Πέμπτος Εορτασμός της Εθνικής Παλιγγενεσίας στο Λευκό Οίκο ôïõ Óôáýñïõ Ç. Ðáðáãåñìáíïý
ΟΥΑΣΙΓΚΤΟΝ – Ο Πρόεδρος Μπαράκ Ομπάμα υποδέχθηκε την Παρασκευή 25 Μαρτίου τον Σεβασμιώτατο Αρχιεπίσκοπο Αμερικής κ. Δημήτριο και την Ελληνοαμερικανική ομογένεια στον εικοστό–πέμπτο κατά σειρά εορτασμό της Εθνικής Παλιγγενεσίας στο Λευκό Οίκο. Ο πρόεδρος Μπαράκ Ομπάμα συναντήθηκε ιδιαιτέρως με τον Αρχιεπίσκοπο Δημήτριο για δέκα περίπου λεπτά στο Green Room λίγο πριν από την δημόσια τελετή, για την οποία εξήλθαν μαζί και ανέβηκαν στο βάθρο στις 4:40 μ.μ.
Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριος απευθυνόμενος στον Πρόεδρο Ομπάμα, αφού τον ευχαρίστησε για την πρόσκληση και την φιλοξενία αναφέρθηκε στο νόημα της επετείου της 25ης Μαρτίου σημειώνοντας ότι «οι Έλληνες αν και ευρίσκοντο σε κατάσταση σκληρής καταδυνάστευσης για τέσσερις αιώνες υπό τον οθωμανικό ζυγό και ζούσαν υπό συνθήκες φτώχειας και θρησκευτικής καταπιέσεως, αν και στερημένοι από την ανθρώπινη αξιοπρέπεια δεν έχασαν την πίστη τους στο Θεό, μια πίστη την οποία συνόδευε η γενναι-
Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής Δημήτριος και πρόεδρος Μπαράκ Ομπάμα κατά τη διάρκεια της τελετής για την 25η Μαρτίου στο Λευκό Οίκο.
Εικοστός Πέμπτος Εορτασμός της Εθνικής Παλιγγενεσίας στο Λευκό Οίκο Σελίδα 15 ότητα και η αυτοθυσία». Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος αναφερόμενος στη διακήρυξη του Προέδρου για την Ημέρα της Ελληνικής Ανεξαρτησίας, τόνισε την ανάγκη να σταθούμε στο πλευρό των κατατρεγμένων και των καταπιεσμένων, να μοιραστούμε τις ευλογίες του Θεού με τους ενδεείς και τους μη-έχοντες και να αγωνιστούμε για την ελευθερία και την αξιοπρέπεια όσων υποφέρουν από τυραννικά καθεστώτα. Τέλος ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριος αναφέρθηκε στη στήριξη του Προέδρου των ΗΠΑ όσον αφορά στα θέματα των θρησκευτικών ελευθεριών του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου και της δίκαιης επίλυσης του Κυπριακού και της ονομασίας της π.Γ.Δ.Μ. Διαβεβαίωσε δε τον Πρόεδρο για την υποστήριξη της ελληνορθόδοξου κοινότητος στις προσπάθειές συνδρομής των θυμάτων καταστροφικών γεγονότων όπως του σεισμού και του τσουνάμι στην Ιαπωνία. ΠΡΟΕΔΡΟΣ ΟΜΠΑΜΑ Ο Πρόεδρος Ομπάμα ξεκίνησε τον χαιρετισμό του με τη λέξη «καλησπέρα» και καλωσορίζοντας τον Αρχιεπίσκοπο Αμερικής, είπε: «Αποτελεί πάντοτε τιμή να σας καλωσορίζουμε εδώ στο Λευκό Οίκο. Είμαστε φίλοι για αρκετό καιρό τώρα, και ο Σεβασμιώτατος επιδεικνύει πάντα λεπτότητα και καλή διάθεση και γενναιοδωρία. Είμαστε ευγνώμονες για την ηγεσία σας». Στη συνέχεια ο κ. Ομπάμα καλωσόρισε τους πολλούς φίλους και εκπροσώπους της Ελληνοαμερικανικής κοινότητος και σημείωσε την παρουσία των βουλευτών Michael Grimm και Carolyn Maloney από τη Νέα Υόρκη, του Τζον Σαρμπάνη από το Μέριλαντ και του πατέρα του και επί πολλές δεκαετίες γερουσιαστή Πολ Σαρμπάνη. Χαιρέτισε επί πλέον τον πρόεδρο της ΑΧΕΠΑ Νικόλαο Καρακώστα και τον υφυπουργό εξωτερικών της Ελλάδος Δημήτρη Ντόλλη, τονίζοντας ότι ο ίδιος είχε μιλήσει νωρίτερα τηλεφωνικώς με τον πρωθυπουργό της Ελλάδος κ. Γιώργο Παπανδρέου και του είχε ζητήσει να μεταφέρει το χαιρετισμό του για την εθνική εορτή σε όλους τους Ελληνες. Τέλος χαιρέτισε την παρουσία των
Χαιρετισμός Αρχιεπισκόπου Δημητρίου Επιμέλεια: Λ. Πισσσαλίδης
πρέσβεων της Ελλάδος και της Κύπρου Βασίλη Κασκαρέλη και Παύλου Αναστασιάδη. Ο κ. Ομπάμα τόνισε ότι η τελετή και ο εορτασμός στο Λευκό Οίκο επιβεβαιώνουν τους δεσμούς του Αμερικανικού και του Ελληνικού έθνους από της δημιουργίας της Αμερικανικής Δημοκρατίας. «Οι προγονοί μας υπήρξαν μαθητές της Ελληνικής φιλοσοφίας και της Ελληνικής Ιστορίας αντλώντας από τις ελληνικές αρχές για να καθοδηγήσουν το δικό μας Έθνος στα πρώτα του βήματα». Αναφέρθηκε δε και στη συνεργασία της Ελλάδος και των Η.Π.Α σε κρίσεις όπως στο Αφγανιστάν και τον αγώνα του λαού της Λιβύης για ελευθερία και δημοκρατία. ΘΕΙΑ ΛΕΙΤΟΥΡΓΙΑ ΚΑΙ ΔΟΞΟΛΟΓΙΑ Το πρωί της 25ης Μαρτίου ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριος προξήρχε της Αρχιερατικής Θείας Λειτουργίας του Ευαγγελισμού της Θεοτόκου στον Καθεδρικό Ναό της Αγίας Σοφίας στην Ουάσιγκτον και στη συνέχεια τέλεσε την πανηγυρική δοξολογία παρουσία των πολιτικών και διπλωματικών αρχών της Ελλάδος και της Κύπρου και πολλών εκπροσώπων της Ομογένειας. Ο Σεβασμιώτατος τόνισε το ιδιαίτερο περιεχόμενο χαράς, σωτηρίας και απελευθέρωσης που εμπεριέχει ο εορτασμός του Ευαγγελισμού. Εξάλλου το εσπέρας της ίδιας ημέρας ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος προέστη της ακολουθίας των Χαιρετισμών της Θεοτόκου στον Ιερό Ναό των Αγίων Κωνσταντίνου και Ελένης στην Ουάσιγκτον.
«Στο βράχο της υπομονής προσμένουμε το θαύμα» ôïõ Íéêüëáïõ Ìáããßíá
Σε συγκινητική ατμόσφαιρα πραγματοποιήθηκε την Κυριακή 20 Μαρτίου στον Πάνσεπτο Πατριαρχικό Ναό του Αγίου Γεωργίου στο Φανάρι η χειροτονία από τον Οικουμενικό Πατριάρχη Βαρθολομαίο του Μητροπολίτη Προύσης Ελπιδοφόρου. Στην Πατριαρχική Θεία Λειτουργία συμμετείχαν Ιεράρχες του Θρόνου και άλλων Εκκλησιών, ενώ συμπροσευχόμενος παρέστη και ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αθηνών και πάσης Ελλάδος Ιερώνυμος. «Εξελέγης και χειροτονείσαι σήμερον εν τω Πανσέπτω Πατριαρχικώ Ναώ, εν τω οποίω «συνήχθησαν πολλοί, ώστε μηκέτι χωρείν μηδέ τα προς την θύραν» (Μαρκ. 2, 2). Χειροτονείσαι Μητροπολίτης Προύσης, μιας των διακεκριμένων Επαρχιών του Οικουμενικού Θρόνου, όμως και αυτής αποτε-
λούσης σήμερον μέρος της «Δακρυσμένης Μικρασίας» που δεν έχει ψάλτη ουδέ παπά. Αλλ’ όχι δια πάντα, όχι εις το διηνεκές. Η ευρωπαϊκή προοπτική και πορεία της Τουρκίας, την οποίαν πλειστάκις ανεπιφυλάκτως υπεστηρίξαμεν εις διάφορα διεθνή φόρα, δίδει βασίμους ελπίδας ότι και ως προς τούτο αλλαγαί θα γίνουν. Και θα κτυπήσουν σήμαντρα που τώρα είναι σιωπηλά και συ θα ημπορής να μεταβαίνης εις τα «ήρεμα τοπία με τα ελαιόδενδρα της γης της Βιθυνίας», της οποίας Βιθυνίας υπέρτιμος και έξαρχος είσαι πλέον από της σήμερον – και ταύτα πάντα διότι «εξουσίαν έχει ο υιός του ανθρώπου επί της γης», όπως ηκούσαμεν εις το ευαγγελικόν ανάγνωσμα», είπε ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος απευθυνόμενος στο νέο Μητροπολίτη λίγο πριν να τον χει-
Κατά την έναρξη της επίσημης τελετής των εορτασμών στο Λευκό Οίκο για την ιστορική επέτειο της 25 η ς Μαρτίου, ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριο ς απευθυνό μ ενο ς στον Πρόεδρο των ΗΠα. Μπαράκ Ομπάμα ανέφερε μεταξύ άλλων: «Είναι χαρά και προνόμιο ότι είμαστε καλεσμένοι σας στο Λευκό Οίκο για μια ακόμη φορά, σημ ατοδοτώντα ς την 190 η επέτειο της Ελληνικής Επανάστασης του 1821 και την 25 η επέτειος του εορτασμού της Ημέρας της Ελληνικής Ανεξαρτησίας στο Λευκό Οίκο. Σας ευχαριστώ για την τιμή που εμπεριέχει η πρόσκλησή σας, όχι μόνο για εμάς που βρισκόμαστε εδώ σήμερα, αλλά για όλους τους Ελληνες Ορθόδοξους Αμερικανούς. «Η ημέρα της Ελληνικής Ανεξαρτησίας εορτάζεται σε όλη την Ελληνοαμερικανική κοινότητα με χαρούμενες συγκεντρώσεις και ιεροπρεπείς δηλώσεις ότι ο Θεός κατέριψε τους πανίσχυρους από τους θρόνους και εξύψωσε τους ταπεινούς, ακόμη όπως διαβάζουμε και στο Ευαγγέλιο (Λουκ. 1:52). Η παρουσία μας εδώ στην οικία του ηγέτου του ελεύθερου κόσμου είναι ταυτόχρονα μια εορτή αυτής της ιεράς λέξεως και της αληθινής πραγματοποίησής της. «Η διακήρυξη που υπογράψατε σήμερα αφηγείται την ιστορία μιας απίστευτης ανατροπής των πραγμάτων. Πριν από την 25η Μαρτίου του 1821, οι Έλληνες βρίσκονταν σε μια κατάσταση άθλιας καταπίεσης διάρκειας τεσσάρων αιώνων. Υπό το καθεστώς της Τουρκοκρατίας ζούσαν μέσα στη φτώχεια και την εξαθλίωση και με τη στέρηση των θρησκευτικών ελευθεριών τους, όπως και με τη στέρηση κάθε ανθρώπινης αξιοπρέπειας. Από αυτούς, κατ’ουσίαν, κάθε καλό πράγμα στη ζωή τους είχε αφαιρεθεί. «Τα πάντα, δηλαδή, εκτός όμως από την πίστη τους. Δεν έχασαν ποτέ την πίστη τους στο Θεό που εξυψώνει τον ταπεινό και αντιστέκεται στον αλαζόνα. «Με αυτήν την πίστη ήρθε το ηρωικό θάρρος. Με αυτήν την πίστη ήρθε ένα εκπληκτικό πνεύμα αυτοθυσίας. Με αυτήν την πίστη ήρθε η οραματική προνοητικότητα να ελπίζουν και να αγωνίζονται για την ημέρα που τα παιδιά, τα εγγόνια και τα δισέγγονά τους θα μπορούν να τραγουδούν τα τραγούδια της νίκης και της ελευθερίας χωρίς φόβο και να χαίρονται για την εξύψωση των ταπεινών και την ανατροπή των υπερόπτων και ισχυρών. «Κύριε Πρόεδρε, η διακήρυξή σας τιμά αυτούς, τους πιστούς πατριώτες του 1821. Αλλά ταυτόχρονα αποτελεί μια πρόκληση για μας, στον κόσμο μ ας σήμερα. Κάθε 25 του Μάρτη γιορτάζουμε την θαυματουργή ανατροπή των πραγμάτων, όχι μόνο για μία μόνο γενιά Ελλήνων, αλλά ως έκφραση Θείας δικαιοσύνης που θα προκύψει, με τη χάρη του Θεού, σε κάθε γενιά.
Δε μπορούμε να ολοκληρώσουμε και να προοδεύσουμε βασισμένοι σε αυτήν την ιδέα χωρίς να αναρωτηθούμε πού βρισκόμαστε αυτή τη συγκεκριμένη χρονική στιγμή. Στο βαθμό που εμείς δεν υψώσουμε τις φωνές μας για λογαριασμό όλων των κατατρεγμένων και καταπιεσμένων, στο βαθμό που εμείς δεν συμμεριζόμαστε τις ευλογίες και την καλή μας τύχη με τους ενδεείς και άπορους, στο βαθμό που δεν παρέχουμε ελευθερία και αξιοπρέπεια για τους σκλαβωμένους και εκμεταλλευόμενους από τυραννικά καθεστώτα, στον ίδιο βαθμό που εμείς οι ίδιοι καθόμαστε δίπλα στους αλαζόνες και ισχυρούς, με αποτέλεσμα να προσκαλούμε το ίδιο απώτερο μοιραίο πεπρωμένο των επάνω σε εμάς τους ίδιους. «Για το λόγο αυτό, κ. Πρόεδρε, σας γνωστοποιούμε ότι εσείς και η οικογένειά σα ς παραμένετε στις ένθερμες προσευχές μας, όπως καθοδηγήτε το μεγάλο έθνος μας. Είθε ο Θεός να σας χαρίζει σοφία και θάρρος όπως αντιμετωπίζετε καθημερινά τεράστιες προκλήσεις στη δική μας γη και σε όλο τον υπόλοιπο κόσμο. «Είθε η φωνή σας να είναι ισχυρή και σαφής στη μάχη υπέρ της δημοκρατίας και της ελευθερίας για όλους τους ανθρώπους, με βάση τις αρχές της αυτοδιάθεσης, της θρησκευτικής ελευθερίας και το κράτος δικαίου. «Εκμεταλλευόμενοι αυτή την ευκαιρία σήμερα σα ς ευχαριστώ προσωπικά για τη συνεχή και σταθερή θέση σας σε θέματα που σχετίζονται με τα δικαιώματα του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου μας στην Τουρκία, για την ασφάλεια και την ελευθερία των θρησκευτικών μειονοτήτων σε τόπους καταπίεσης, για τις ικανοποιητικές και δίκαιες πολιτικές λύσεις για την Κύπρο και την πΓΔΜ στα Βαλκάνια, καθώς και για την επιτυχία των δημοκρατικών κινημάτων σε όλα τα μέρη του κόσμου. «Όχι μόνο σας ευχαριστούμε, κύριε Πρόεδρε, αλλά σας προσφέρουμε επίσης την υποστήριξη της ελληνικής ορθόδοξης κοινότητας της Αμερικής στις προσπάθειές σας για την παροχή βοήθειας στα θύματα των μεγάλων καταστροφικών γεγονότων, όπως το τσουνάμι στην Ιαπωνία, για τη προσπάθεια σταθεροποίησης της οικονομίας μας και την περιβαλλοντική ευημερία στον πλανήτη μας, και τη βοήθεια στους λαούς της Βόρειας Αφρικής, Εγγύς, Μέσης και Άπω Ανατολής στους ευγενείς αγώνες τους για ελευθερία και δημοκρατία. Πράγματι, με κάθε τρόπο με τον οποίο εργάζεστε για την ανατροπή των πραγμάτων και υπέρ των καταπιεσμένων, ζητούμε την τιμή να είμμαστε συνεργάτες σας στον αγώνα αυτόν. Γι’αυτό είναι για μας η πιο αληθινή εορτή του πνεύματος της εικοστής– πέμπτης Μαρτίου και της Ημέρας της Ελληνικής Ανεξαρτησίας», τόνισε ο Σεβασμιώτατος Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής Δημήτριος.
ΟΡΘΟΔΟΞΟΣ ΠΑΡΑΤΗΡΗΤΗΣ ORTHODOX OBSERVER
Ζωντανό το μήνυμα των αγωνιστών της 25ης Μαρτίου 1821 στην 5η Λεωφόρο
Α Ρ Χ Ι Ε Π Ι Σ ΚΟΠ Ι Κ Η Ε Γ Κ Υ Κ Λ ΙΟΣ ΓΙΑ ΤΟΝ ΚΑΤΑΣΤΡΟΦΙΚΟ ΣΕΙΣΜΟ ΤΗΣ ΙΑΠΩΝΙΑΣ Πρός τούς Σεβασµιωτάτους καί Θεοφιλεστάτους Ἀρχιερεῖς, τούς Εὐλαβεστάτους Ἱερεῖς καί ∆ιακόνους, τούς Μοναχούς καί Μοναχές, τούς Προέδρους καί Μέλη τῶν Κοινοτικῶν Συµβουλίων, τά Ἡµερήσια καί Ἀπογευµατινά Σχολεῖα, τίς Φιλοπτώχους Ἀδελφότητες, τήν Νεολαία, τίς Ἑλληνορθόδοξες Ὀργανώσεις καί ὁλόκληρο τό Χριστεπώνυµον πλήρωµα τῆς Ἱερᾶς Ἀρχιεπισκοπῆς Ἀµερικῆς. Ἀγαπητοί μου ἀδελφοί και ἀδελφές ἐν Χριστῷ, Ἡ καρδιά μας εἶναι γεμάτη λύπη καί συμπόνοια καθώς παρακολουθοῦμε τίς εἰκόνες ἀποκαλύψεως τῆς μαζικῆς καταστροφῆς καί πόνου οἱ ὁποῖες ἀκολούθησαν τόν σεισμό καί το τσουνάμι πού ἔπληξε τήν Ἰαπωνία τήν περασμένη Παρασκευή. Προσπαθώντας νά ἀντιμετωπίσουμε αὐτή τήν ἱστορικοῦ μεγέθους τραγωδία, δέν μποροῦμε νά ἀρθρώσουμε λόγο βλέποντας τήν ἔκταση τῆς καταστροφῆς καί τήν δοκιμασία τόσων πολλῶν ἀνθρώπων. Ὅμως, ἡ πίστη μας στόν ἐλεήμονα Θεό μᾶς ὁδηγεῖ νά κινηθοῦμε πρός κάλυψη τῶν ἀνθρωπίνων ἀναγκῶν προσευχόμενοι καί ἐνεργώντας πρός τήν κατεύθυνση τῆς διατηρήσεως τῆς ζωῆς καί τῆς προσφορᾶς ἀνακουφίσεως σέ μία χρονική συγκυρία τεράστιας ἀπώλειας. Γιά τούς ἀνθρώπους τῆς Ἰαπωνίας παρακαλῶ τό θεοσεβές ποίμνιο τῆς Ἑλληνικῆς Ὀρθοδόξου Ἐκκλησίας τῆς Ἀμερικῆς πρωτίστως καί κυρίως, νά προσευχηθῇ. Ἄς ἑνώσουμε τίς προσευχές μας μέ τίς προσευχές τόσων ἄλλων ἀνθρώπων ἀνά τόν κόσμο ζητώντας ἀπό τόν Θεό νά τούς δίδῃ παρηγοριά σ’ αὐτές τίς ὧρες τοῦ πόνου. Ἄς προσευχηθοῦμε νά τούς δοθῇ νέα πηγή δυνάμεως καί ἐλπίδος, ὥστε νά ἀποκατασταθοῦν οἱ ζωές των καί νά μπορέσουν νά ἐπανενωθοῦν φίλοι καί οἰκογένειες. Προσευχόμεθα, ἐπίσης, καί γιά τόν περιορισμό τῆς τρομακτικῆς βλάβης ἡ ὁποία δημιουργήθηκε ἀπό τήν δυσλειτουργία τῶν πυρηνικῶν ἐργοστασίων τῆς περιοχῆς. Ἰδιαιτέρως προσευχόμεθα γιά τήν αἰωνία ἀνάπαυση τῶν ἀμέτρητων θυμάτων τῆς καταστροφῆς αὐτῆς. Ἡ ἀποκατάσταση τῆς ζωῆς καί τῶν κοινοτήτων θά ἀπαιτήσῃ τήν σύμπραξη ὁλόκληρης τῆς παγκόσμιας κοινότητας. Σᾶς παροτρύνω νά βοηθήσετε τήν ὀργάνωση Διεθνής Ὀρθόδοξος Χριστιανική Ὀργάνωση Φιλανθρωπίας (I.O.C.C., www.iocc.org) ἤ ἄλλες τοπικές ἤ ἐθνικές ὀργανώσεις ὅπως ὁ Ἐρυθρός Σταυρός, ὅπως τόσοι πολλοί ἀπό ἐσᾶς συνηθίζετε, ἀνταποκρινόμενοι σέ ἀνάγκες ἀνά τόν κόσμο. Σᾶς παρακαλῶ νά ἐπιλέξετε τόν ὀργανισμό τῆς ἀρεσκείας σας γιά νά προσφέρετε τή βοήθειά σας. Δώσετε γενναιόδωρα μέ ἀγάπη, διότι μέσα ἀπ’ αὐτή τήν δωρεά ἔχουμε τήν δυνατότητα νά προσφέρουμε μαρτυρία τῆς ἀγάπης τοῦ Χριστοῦ ὡς Ὀρθόδοξοι Χριστιανοί. Μέ πατρική ἀγάπη ἐν Αὐτῷ,
† ὁ Ἀρχιεπίσκοπος Ἀμερικῆς Δημήτριος ΑΝΑΚΟΙΝΩΘΕΝ ΙΕΡΑΣ ΕΠΑΡΧΙΑΚΗΣ ΣΥΝΟΔΟΥ Νέα Ὑόρκη, 17 Μαρτίου 2011 Ἡ Ἱερά Ἐπαρχιακή Σύνοδος τῆς Ἱερᾶς Ἀρχιεπισκοπῆς Ἀμερικῆς συνῆλθεν εἰς τήν τακτικήν συνεδρίαν αὐτῆς εἰς τήν αἲθουσαν τῆς Συνόδου τῆς Ἱ. Ἀρχιεπισκοπῆς ἐν Νέᾳ Ὑόρκῃ τήν 16ην καί 17ην Μαρτίου 2011 ὑπό τήν προεδρίαν τοῦ Σεβασμιωτάτου Ἀρχιεπισκόπου Ἀμερικῆς κ. Δημητρίου καί τήν συμμετοχήν τῶν Μελῶν αὐτῆς. Πρό τῆς ἐνάρξεως τῆς συνεδρίας τῆς Συνόδου, τά Μέλη αὐτῆς εἶχον τήν εὐκαιρίαν νά λάβουν μέρος εἰς τήν συνεδρίαν τῆς Ἐκτελεστικῆς Ἐπιτροπῆς τοῦ Ἀρχιεπισκοπικοῦ Συμβουλίου τήν Τρίτην 15ην Μαρτίου ἐ. ἒ. Κατ’ αὐτήν συνεζητήθησαν διοικητικά καί ἂλλα θέματα. Ἡ Ἐπιτροπή ἐπεβεβαίωσε τόν τρόπον διοικήσεως τῶν Ἐνοριῶν, ὁ ὁποῖος βασίζεται εἰς τά κείμενα τῶν Ἱερῶν Κανόνων, τοῦ Συντάγματος, καί τοῦ Καταστατικοῦ τῆς Ἱ. Ἀρχιεπισκοπῆς. Κατά τήν διάρκειαν τῶν δύο ἑπομένων ἡμερῶν ἡ Σύνοδος συνεζήτησε: 1. Κανονικά Θέματα: Ἀνεθεώρησε καί κατέληξεν εἰς τό ὁριστικόν σχέδιον τοῦ Κανονισμοῦ Πνευματικῶν Δικαστηρίων πρός ὑποβολήν εἰς τό Οἰκουμενικόν Πατριαρχεῖον πρός ἒγκρισιν. 2. Λειτουργικά Θέματα: Ἐνέκρινε τό ὑπό τῆς Συνοδικῆς Ἐπιτροπῆς ἐπί Λειτουργικῶν θεμάτων κείμενον Ἑσπερινοῦ καί Ὂρθρου, τό ὁποῖον θά ὑποβληθῇ εἰς τό Οἰκουμενικόν Πατριαρχεῖον πρός τελικήν ἒγκρισιν. Ἡ Σύνοδος εἶχε τήν εὐκαιρίαν νά συναντηθῇ εἰς εἰδικήν συνεδρίαν μετά τῶν ἐπί κεφαλῆς τῶν ἐπί μέρους Ἐπιτροπῶν τοῦ Συλλόγου Ἑλλήνων Ὀρθοδόξων Ἐκκλησιαστικῶν Μουσικῶν, καί συνεζήτησε μεταξύ ἂλλων: α) τήν ἀνάπτυξιν τῶν Ἐκκλησιαστικῶν Χορωδιῶν καί τήν προσπάθειαν ἐξευρέσεως νέων μελῶν, β) τό τεῦχος Λειτουργικῶν Ὁδηγιῶν, γ) τήν συνεργασίαν τῶν Ἐκκλησιαστικῶν Χορωδιῶν μετά τῶν Ἱεροψαλτῶν, καί δ) τήν ἀνάπτυξιν τῶν Παιδικῶν Χορωδιῶν. 3. Ποιμαντικά Θέματα: Ἐπίσης ἡ Ἱ. Ἐπαρχ. Σύνοδος ἒλαβεν γνῶσιν τοῦ τύπου τῶν νέων Πιστοποιητικῶν Βαπτίσεως, καί θά προβῇ εἰς ἐκτύπωσιν αὐτῶν προκειμένου νά τεθοῦν εἰς ἐφαρμογήν. Ἡ Σύνοδος συνεζήτησεν εἰδικά θέματα ποιμαντικῆς φροντίδος διά κληρικούς, ἰδιαιτέρως δέ ἀναξιοπαθοῦντες. 4. Διοικητικά Θέματα: Ἡ Ἱ. Ἐπαρχ. Σύνοδος συνεζήτησε τρέχοντα καί ἐπείγοντα θέματα διοικητικῆς φύσεως, ἀφορῶντα εἰς τήν ζωήν καί δρᾶσιν τῆς Ἐκκλησίας τῆς Ἱ. Ἀρχιεπισκοπῆς. Ὑπό τῆς ὁλομελείας τῶν μελῶν τῆς Ἱ. Συνόδου ἐτονίσθη ὃτι, τήν εὐθύνην διαποιμάνσεως τῶν ἐνοριῶν εἰς ἑκάστην Ἱ. Μητρόπολιν τῆς Ἱ. Ἀρχιεπισκοπῆς Ἀμερικῆς, ἒχουν οἱ οἰκεῖοι Ἀρχιερεῖς ποιμαίνοντες αὐτάς κατά τήν τάξιν τῆς Ἐκκκλησίας, τούς κανόνας αὐτῆς, τόν καταστατικόν χάρτην καί τούς κανονισμούς τῆς Ἱ. Ἀρχιεπισκοπῆς. 5. Διορθόδοξα Θέματα: Ἐγένετο ἀναφορά καί ἐκτενής συζήτησις διά τήν προσεχῆ Συνεδρίαν τῆς Ἐπισκοπικῆς Συνελεύσεως, τῶν Κανονικῶν Ὀρθοδόξων Ἐπισκόπων Βορείου καί Κεντρικῆς Ἀμερικῆς, ἡ ὁποία θά πραγματοποιηθῇ κατά τόν προσεχῆ μῆνα Μάϊον ἐν Σικάγῳ. Ἐκ τοῦ Γραφείου τῆς Ἱερᾶς Συνόδου
Βοήθεια από IOCC και ΑΧΕΠΑ
Θύματα Σεισμού Η Διεθνής Ορθόδοξος Χριστιανική Οργάνωση Φιλανθρωπίας (IOCC) με έδρα τη Βαλτιμόρη, με την έκτακτη χορήγηση βοήθειας ύψους $25,000 από την Εθνική Φιλόπτωχο Αδελφότητα και εισφορές από ιδιώτες δωρητές και τον Ελληνο-Αμερικανικό οργανισμό ΑΧΕΠΑ, ανέλαβε πρωτοβουλία προσφοράς βοήθειας προς τα υπολογιζόμενα 20.000 έως 25.000 θύματα του σεισμού της κλίμακας 8.9 Richter και του επακόλουθου καταστροφικού τσουνάμι το οποίο έπληξε την Ιαπωνία και αφάνισε μεγάλο τμήμα της βορειοανατολικής ακτής της χώρας αυτής στις 11 Μαρτίου. Η IOCC επικοινώνησε επίσης με την Ελληνορθόδοξη Αρχιεπισκοπή Νέας Ζηλανδίας για να προσφέρει βοήθεια στους κατοίκους της πόλης Christchurch η οποία επλήγη από σεισμό 6.3 Richter στις 22 Φεβρουαρίου. Η Κρίση στην Ιαπωνία Η IOCC είναι σε συνεχή επαφή με τους Ορθόδοξους Χριστιανούς της Ιαπωνίας και τους εταίρους του ACT Alliance, παγκόσμιου συνασπισμού εκκλησιών και υπηρεσιών, ο οποίος έχει σαν αντικείμενό του τη συγκέντρωση ανθρωπιστικής βοήθειας και την προσφορά υποστήριξης για την κάλυψη των αναγκών των θυμάτων της τεράστιας καταστροφής που έπληξε την βορειοανατολική Ιαπωνία. Η IOCC επικοινώνησε επίσης και με την Ιερά Μητρόπολη Κορέας στην Εξαρχία του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου της οποίας ανήκει η Ιαπωνία. Ανταποκρινόμενος στην κατακλυσμική καταστροφή, ο Ύπατος Πρόεδρος της ΑΧΕΠΑ κ. Νικόλαος Α. Καρακώστας δήλωσε: Η σκέψη και η προσευχή μας είναι με τους ανθρώπους της Ιαπωνίας σε αυτή την τόσο δύσκολη συγκυρία. Ελπίζουμε πως η προσφορά μας θα βοηθήσει στην κάλυψη των αναγκών των Ιαπώνων. Η φιλανθρωπία είναι αναπόσπαστο κομμάτι της αποστολής μας, και πρέπει να εργασθούμε όλοι μαζί για να βοηθήσουμε τα θύματα αυτής της τρομακτικής φυσικής καταστροφής. Η IOCC θα προσφέρει ανθρωπιστική βοήθεια όπως φάρμακα, τρόφιμα και άλλα ουσιώδη είδη σε κοινότητες των ακτών του Ειρηνικού των περιφερειών Iwate, Miyagi, Fukushima και Ibaragi οι οποίες επλήγησαν. Η βοήθεια θα διανεμηθεί από την Ορθόδοξη Εκκλησία της Ιαπωνίας σε συνδυασμό με τις εκεί περιφερειακές αρχές.
Η Εκκλησία έχει στρέψει επίσης το ενδιαφέρον της στην εκτίμηση των αναγκών των ανθρώπων εκείνων οι οποίοι έχασαν τις εστίες τους στις πόλεις Ishinomaki, Yamada και Kesennuma οι οποίες παραμένουν μη προσβάσιμες λόγω της καταστροφής και της έλλειψης καυσίμων. Όλη η βοήθεια που θα διανεμηθεί προβλέπεται να αποκτηθεί τοπικά από την Ιαπωνία. Ο Καθεδρικός της Αγίας Ανάστασης στο Τόκυο και το κτίριο του Μητροπολιτικού Συμβουλίου δεν επλήγησαν σύμφωνα με τον Αιδ. Δημήτριο Τανάκα, Ορθόδοξο Ιερέα. Οι Ορθόδοξοι Χριστιανοί της πόλης Sendai, η οποία επλήγη βαρύτερα, καταγράφουν τις ανάγκες των επιζώντων. Τα περισσότερα κτίρια της ενορίας Tohoku κατά μήκος των ακτών του Ειρηνικού έχουν υποστεί σοβαρές ζημίες και αγνοείται ένας ιερέας, δήλωσε ο π. Δημήτριος. Παρά ταύτα, επιβεβαιώσαμε ότι οι κληρικοί της Ορθόδοξης Εκκλησίας στο Sendai μεταξύ αυτών και ο Επίσκοπος Σεραφείμ, είναι ασφαλείς. Η υπερβολικά μεγάλη ανταπόκριση εκ μέρους των Ορθοδόξων Χριστιανών οι οποίοι εξέφρασαν την επιθυμία να βοηθήσουν μέσω του IOCC είναι συγκινητική, δήλωσε ο Εκτελεστικός Διευθυντής της IOCC κ. Κωνσταντίνος Τριανταφύλλου. Πρόκειται περί σύνθετης καταστροφής – δύο σχεδόν ταυτόχρονα καταστροφικά γεγονότα – και το μέγεθος των αναγκών μόλις αρχίζει να διαφαίνεται. Η IOCC θα συνεχίσει τη συνεργασία της με τους Ορθοδόξους Χριστιανούς και οικουμενικούς εταίρους της προκειμένου να αποφασίσουμε ποιά θα είναι η πλέον αποτελεσματική βοήθεια προς τους Ιάπωνες μέσα στις επόμενες ημέρες και εβδομάδες. Οι ανθρώπινες απώλειες και καταστροφές σε σπίτια και υποδομές ως αποτέλεσμα του σεισμού των 8.9 της κλίμακας Richter μόλις αρχίζουν να υπολογίζονται. Περισσότεροι από 20.000 άνθρωποι πιθανολογείται ότι έχασαν τη ζωή τους από το τσουνάμι που προκάλεσε ο σεισμός το οποίο αφάνισε αρκετές παράκτιες πόλεις όπως και τη Sendai, τον Επισκοπικό θρόνο της Επισκοπής Ανατολικής Ιαπωνίας της Ορθόδοξης Εκκλησίας στην Ιαπωνία. Η τεράστια έκταση της διπλής καταστροφής ανάγκασε την Ιαπωνική κυβέρνηση να ζητήσει βοήθεια από την παγκόσμια κοινότητα. Η IOCC θα συντονίσει τις ενέργειές της
με τοπικούς Ορθόδοξους και οικουμενικούς εταίρους στην Ιαπωνία προκειμένου να προσδιορίσει τις ανάγκες οι οποίες δεν έχουν καλυφθεί. Η κάλυψη των αναγκών αυτών θα αποτελέσει συμπλήρωμα της βοήθειας η οποία παρέχεται από την Ιαπωνική και άλλες κυβερνήσεις. Η IOCC έχει λάβει πολλά τηλεφωνήματα από άτομα και ομάδες οι οποίες διατίθενται να συναρμολογήσουν τις συσκευασίες (κιτ) με φαρμακευτικό υλικό (health kit) και υλικό για μωρά (baby kit). Τα κιτς έχουν γίνει ανάρπαστα πρόσφατα και είναι πάντοτε καλοδεχούμενα, δήλωσε η Jamie Helfer, συντονίστρια αντιμετώπισης κατάστασης άμεσης ανάγκης. Τα κιτς τα οποία παραλαμβάνονται από τις αποθηκευτικές εγκαταστάσεις στο δυτικό Μέρυλαντ ετοιμάζονται προς αποστολή και αποστέλλονται στους εταίρους μας ανά τον κόσμο οι οποίοι τα παραγγέλλουν για την κάλυψη αναγκών σε περιπτώσεις καταστροφών, και φυσικά μπορούν να αποσταλούν και στην Ιαπωνία εάν οι εταίροι μας εκεί τα ζητήσουν. Οι οδηγίες συναρμολόγησης των κιτ είναι αναρτημένες στην ιστοσελίδα της IOCC στη διεύθυνση www.iocc.org/kits. Βοήθεια στη Νέα Ζηλανδία Οι αρχές υπολογίζουν ότι ο αριθμός των νεκρών του σεισμού της Νέας Ζηλανδίας ανέρχεται σε 200. Η IOCC εργάζεται για να στηρίξει τις προσπάθειες ανακούφισης των πληγέντων της χώρας αυτής. Των προσπαθειών αυτών ηγείται ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμφιλόχιος της Ιεράς Ελληνορθοδόξου Αρχιεπισκοπής Νέας Ζηλανδίας και Έξαρχος της Ωκεανίας ο οποίος επισκέφθηκε την πόλη Christchurch λίγες ημέρες μετά από τον αρχικό σεισμό για να εκτιμήσει τις ζημίες και τις ανάγκες των πληγέντων. Στις οικογένειες που επλήγησαν από τον σεισμό ήδη παρέχεται νερό, κουβέρτες, τρόφιμα και άλλα απαραίτητα εφόδια. Η ανταπόκριση της IOCC στη Νέα Ζηλανδία συντονίζεται από τον πρωτοσύγκελλο της Αρχιεπισκοπής Νέας Ζηλανδίας Αιδ. π. Χριστόδουλο Παπαδέα ο οποίος είχε πριν υπηρετήσει στην Αδελφότητα Αγίου Γεωργίου στο Ντένβερ. Ο π. Χριστόδουλος συνεπικουρείται από τον Αιδ. π. Αμφιλόχιο Βασιλιοτέλλη της ενορίας Κοίμηση της Θεοτόκου στην πόλη Christchurch. Ο Αιδ. π. Παύλος Πατίτσας, ο οποίος είχε υπηρετήσει σε ενορίες στις πόλεις Rocky
River, Ohio και Albuquerque, N.M., αποτελεί στέλεχος του Δικτύου Αντιμετώπισης Έκτακτων Αναγκών της IOCC και εργάζεται από κοινού και άμεσα με την IOCC για τον συντονισμό των προσπαθειών. Το δίκτυο επ’ ονόματι Μέτωπο αποτελείται από Ορθόδοξους κληρικούς και λαϊκούς εθελοντές οι οποίοι είναι εκπαιδευμένοι και έχουν εμπειρία σε περιπτώσεις έκτακτων αναγκών. Η πόλη Christchurch διαθέτει τρεις Ορθόδοξες Χριστιανικές εκκλησίες. Ανεπιβεβαίωτος παραμένει ο θάνατος μιας Σερβίδας η οποία είχε πρόσφατα μεταναστεύσει από τη Σερβία στη Νέα Ζηλανδία και φέρεται παγιδευμένη στα χαλάσματα. Ο π. Πατίτσας αναφέρει ότι πολλών ανθρώπων τα σπίτια έχουν υποστεί σοβαρές ζημίες και άλλων καταστράφηκαν τα κτίρια της εργασίας τους. Η προσφορά βοήθειας θα δοθεί σε Ορθόδοξους πληγέντες και μη οι οποίοι επλήγησαν από τον σεισμό. Για να βοηθήσετε θύματα καταστροφών ανά την υφήλιο, όπως τελευταίως τα θύματα στην Ιαπωνία και στη Νέα Ζηλανδία, μπορείτε να στείλετε την οικονομική βοήθειά σας στο Ταμείο IOCC International Emergency Response Fund. Το Ταμείο αυτό παρέχει υπηρεσίες άμεσης ανακούφισης καθώς και μακροπρόθεσμη στήριξη μέσω της παροχής έκτακτης ανάγκης, βοήθειας αποκατάστασης και άλλης βοήθειας όπως απαιτείται για την κάλυψη αναγκών. Μπορείτε να επισκεφθείτε την ιστοσελίδα www.iocc.org, να τηλεφωνήσετε χωρίς χρέωση στον αριθμό 1-877-803-IOCC (4622), ή να ταχυδρομήσετε την επιταγή σας πληρωτέα στην IOCC στη διεύθυνση P.O. Box 630225, Baltimore, Md. 21263-0225. Για να βοηθήσετε μέσω της AHEPA Emergency Relief, στείλτε τη δωρεά σας ταχυδρομικά στην ακόλουθη διεύθυνση: AHEPA Emergency Relief Fund, Attn: Japanese Earthquake, 1909 Q Street, NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20009. Το Ταμείο αυτό της ΑΧΕΠΑ αποτελεί μη-κερδοσκοπικό οργανισμό και βοηθά την ΑΧΕΠΑ στην πραγματοποίηση της φιλανθρωπικής δραστηριότητάς της. Από την ίδρυσή του, το Ταμείο Emergency Relief Fund έχει προσφέρει βοήθεια σε πολλές περιπτώσεις. Ενδεικτικά θα αναφέρεται ο καταστροφικός σεισμός στην Αϊτή (2010), οι Πυρκαϊές στην Ελλάδα (2007), η 11η Σεπτεμβρίου (2001-2002) και ο σεισμός της Αθήνας (1999).
ΟΙΚΟΥΜΕΝΙΚΟΣ ΠΑΤΡΙΑΡΧΗΣ ΒΑΡΘΟΛΟΜΑΙΟΣ: «Στο βράχο της υπομονής προσμένουμε το θαύμα» óåë. 16 ροτονήσει. «Ο συμπροσευχόμενος σήμερον Μακ. Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αθηνών και πάσης Ελλάδος και φίλτατος εν Χριστώ αδελφός κ. Ιερώνυμος γράφει εις πρόσφατον κείμενόν του ότι η πόλις αυτή, η Κωνσταντινούπολις, «δεν είναι μόνο παρελθόν, είναι και παρόν και κυρίως το μέλλον», είναι η πόλις του μέλλοντος από απόψεως κυρίως πνευματικής. Και συνεχίζει: «Η Κωνσταντινούπολη, χάρη στην παράδοση που διασώζει το Οικουμενικό Πατριαρχείο, έχει όλες τις προϋποθέσεις να δώσει το όραμα σε έναν κόσμο που καταρρέει». Σας ευχαριστούμεν, Μακαριώτατε, δι αὐτήν την προοπτικήν, δι αὐτήν την αισιοδοξίαν, δι αὐτό το όραμα («ω Πόλη, εφτάλοφο όραμα», θα έλεγεν ο Κωστής Παλαμάς). Και επειδή αυτά είναι τα πιστεύματα και τα βιώματα του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου, αυτό
συντηρεί και εκφράζει την καθολικότητα και οικουμενικότητα της Ορθοδόξου Εκκλησίας και κρατεί ζωντανήν την πίστιν και αδούλωτον το φρόνημα του Γένους, εν εσωτερική ελευθερία, ο,τι και αν συμβαίνει γύρω του. «Το Φανάρι σηκώνει το σταυρό της ιστορίας του και η θυσία του δεν έχει επί ματαίω συντελεσθή». «Στο βράχο της υπομονής προσμένουμε το θαύμα», λέγει ο ποιητής. Εμείς εδώ δεν προσμένουμε το θαύμα, το ζούμε καθημερινώς, δι αυτό και είμεθα «και επί τοις δεινοίς ευέλπιδες» (Θουκυδίδης). Και έρχεται ο Μακαριώτατος να ενισχύση με τους λόγους του που ηκούσαμεν, αλλά και με την αγάπην του, την ελπίδα μας αυτήν και το αγωνιστικόν φρόνημά μας, συμμεριζόμενος και ο ίδιος το θαύμα που βιώνομεν εδώ εις «την εκλαμπροτάτην και περίφημον ταύτην πόλιν και πατρίδα ημών και βασιλεύουσαν των πόλεων», όπως την περιγράφει ο
τελευταίος Χριστιανός αυτοκράτωρ της» σημείωσε ο Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος και πρόσθεσε: «Από αυτήν την πόλιν, λοιπόν, «το καύχημα πάσι τοις ούσιν υπό την του ηλίου ανατολήν», θα εκπορεύεται η διακονία σου, Θεοφιλέστατε Εψηφισμένε, προς τους εγγύς και τους μακράν, όπου θα ορίζη εκάστοτε η Μήτηρ Εκκλησία κατά τας ανάγκας αυτής και των τέκνων της. Και βεβαίως θα εκπληρώνης την διακονίαν σου με τα προσόντα και τα εφόδιά σου που ανεφέραμεν, αλλά, δια να είναι αύτη ευάρεστος τω Θεώ και ευπρόσδεκτος τοις ανθρώποις, να την επιτελής και με ιλαρότητα, με σεμνότητα, με ήθος, με ταπείνωσιν, με καρδιά, διότι «δεν βλέπουμε καλά παρά με την καρδιά. Το ουσιώδες είναι αόρατο για τα μάτια». Έτσι μας συμβουλεύει ο Μικρός Πρίγκηψ. Και είναι καλόν, είναι χρήσιμον, να ακούμε ενίοτε και τους μικρούς! Να έχης πρότυπόν σου τον σήμερον εορταζόμενον μέγαν βυζαντινόν θεολόγον, τον θεόσοφον
Παλαμάν, τον οποίον εχαρακτήριζε «το μεθ ὑπερβολῆς πράον και ταπεινόν, το προς τας επερχομένας εκάστοτε δυσχερείας καρτερικόν και μεγαλόψυχον, το πάσης ηδονής και κενοδοξίας ανώτερον, το της καρτερίας ήρεμόν τε και γαληνόν, και αεί χαρίεν», κατά τον ιερόν Συναξαριστήν». Στην ομιλία του ο νέος Μητροπολίτης Προύσης Ελπιδοφόρος αναφέρθηκε στην μαθητεία του στο Φανάρι και τον Πατριάρχη και κατέκλεισε ως εξής: Παναγιώτατε, επί τη «αποφοιτήσει» μου εκ της Σχολής του Φαναρίου, κατακλείων τους ευχαριστηρίους μου τούτους λόγους, επιθυμώ να εκφράσω την ολοκάρδιον ευχήν όπως συντόμως αξιωθώμεν να καθοσιώσωμεν νέους ευέλπιδας της Εκκλησίας αποφοίτους της Θεολογίας εις την Ιεράν ημών Θεολογικήν Χαλκίτιδα Σχολήν, της οποίας την επαναλειτουργίαν ελπίζομεν και αναμένομεν ως επιστέγασμα των αόκνων προσπαθειών της Υμετέρας Σεπτής Κορυφής.
Πατριαρχικη αΠοδειξισ εΠι
α γιω Πασχα
Τέκνα ἐν Κυρίῳ ἀγαπητά, Καὶ πάλιν μετὰ χαρᾶς καὶ εἰρήνης ἀπευθύνομεν πρὸς ὑμᾶς τὸν χαρμόσυνον καὶ πλήρη ἐλπίδων χαιρετισμὸν “Χριστός Ἀνέστη”! Αἱ σ υγ κ υρίαι καὶ τὰ γεγονότα τῆς συγχρόνου ἐποχῆς φαίνονται μὴ δικαιολογοῦντα τὸ χαρμόσυνον τοῦ χαιρετισμοῦ μας. Αἱ συντελεσθεῖσαι ἤδη φυσικαὶ καταστροφαὶ ἐκ τῶν σεισμικῶν δονήσεων καὶ τῶν θαλασσίων ὑπερκυμάτων καὶ αἱ ἐπαπειλούμεναι τοιαῦται ἐκ τῆς πιθανολογουμένης ἐκρήξεως τῶν πυρηνικῶν ἐργοστασίων, ἀλλὰ καὶ αἱ ἀνθρωποθυσίαι ἐκ τῶν πολεμικῶν συρράξεων κ α ὶ τ ῶ ν τρ ο μ ο κρ ατ ι κ ῶ ν ἐνεργειῶν, ἐμφανίζουν τὸν κόσμον μας δεινῶς πληγωμένον καὶ σφαδάζοντα ὑπὸ τὴν πίεσιν φυσικῶν καὶ πνευματικῶν κακῶν δυνάμεων. Ἐν τούτοις, ἡ Ἀνάστασις τοῦ Χριστοῦ εἶναι γεγονὸς ἀληθινὸν καὶ παρέχει εἰς τοὺς πιστοὺς χριστιανοὺς τὴν βεβαιότητα καὶ εἰς ὅλους τοὺς ἀνθρώπους τὴν δυνατότητα τῆς ὑπερβάσεως τῶν δυσμενῶν ἐπακολούθων τῶν φυσικῶν καταστροφῶν καὶ τῶν ψυχικῶν ἐκτροπῶν. Ἡ φύσις ἐπαναστατεῖ ὅταν ἡ ὑπερφίαλος ἀνθρωπίνη διάνοια ἀποπειρᾶται νὰ τιθασεύσῃ τὰς ἀπειρομεγέθεις δυνάμεις τὰς ὁποίας ἔχει ἐμπερικλείσει ὁ Δημιουργὸς εἰς τὰ φαινομενικῶς ἀσήμαντα
ΕΛΕΩ ΘΕΟΥ ΑΡΧΙΕΠΙΣΚΟΠΟΣ ΚΩΝΣΤΑΝΤΙΝΟΥΠΟΛΕΩΣ, ΝΕΑΣ ΡΩΜΗΣ ΚΑΙ ΟΙΚΟΥΜΕΝΙΚΟΣ ΠΑΤΡΙΑΡΧΗΣ ΠΑΝΤΙ Τῼ ΠΛΗΡΩΜΑΤΙ ΤΗΣ ΕΚΚΛΗΣΙΑΣ ΧΑΡΙΝ, ΕΙΡΗΝΗΝ ΚΑΙ ΕΛΕΟΣ ΠΑΡΑ ΤΟΥ ΕΝΔΟΞΩΣ ΑΝΑΣΤΑΝΤΟΣ ΣΩΤΗΡΟΣ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΥ εἰς ὄγκον καὶ ἀδρανῆ στοιχεῖα της. Θεωροῦντες πνευματικῶς τὰ δυσμενῆ φυσικὰ φαινόμενα, τὰ ὁποῖα πλήττουν τὸν πλανήτην μας ἐπανειλημμένως καὶ διαδοχικῶς κατὰ τοὺς ἐσχάτους τούτους καιρούς, πλησιάζομεν εἰς τὴν ἀποδοχὴν τῆς ἀπόψεως ὅτι ταῦτα δὲν εἶναι ἀνεξάρτητα τῆς πνευματικῆς ἐκτροπῆς τοῦ ἀνθρωπίνου γένους. Τὰ σημεῖα τῆς ἐκτροπῆς, ὅπως ἡ πλεονεξία, ἡ ἀπληστία, ἡ ἀκόρεστος ἐπιθυμία τοῦ πλούτου ἐν συνδυασμῷ πρὸς τὴν ἀδιαφορίαν διὰ τὴν πτωχείαν τῶν πολλῶν τὴν ὁποίαν συνεπιφέρει ὁ ὑπέρμετρος πλουτισμὸς τῶν ὀλίγων, δὲν φαίνονται διὰ τοὺς φυσικοὺς ἐπιστήμονας νὰ ἔχουν σχέσιν πρὸς τὰ φυσικὰ γεγονότα. Ἐν τούτοις, διὰ τὸν πνευματικῶς ἐρευνῶντα τὸ θέμα, ἡ ἁμαρτία διαταράσσει ὄχι μόνον τὴν ἁρμονίαν τῶν πνευματικῶν σχέσεων ἀλλὰ καὶ τῶν φυσικῶν. Ὑπάρχει μυστικὴ σχέσις μεταξὺ τοῦ ἠθικοῦ κακοῦ καὶ τοῦ φυσικοῦ κακοῦ καὶ ἐάν θέλωμεν νὰ ἀπαλλαγῶμεν ἀπὸ τὸ δεύτερον, πρέπει ὁπωσδήποτε νὰ ἀρνηθῶμεν τὸ πρῶτον. Ὁ Ἀναστὰς Κύριος ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦς Χριστός, ὁ νέος ἄνθρωπος καὶ Θεός, ἀποτελεῖ τὸ πρότυπον τῆς εὐεργετικῆς ἐπιρροῆς τοῦ ἁγίου εἰς τὸν φυσικὸν κόσμον. Ἐθεράπευε τὰς φυσικὰς καὶ πνευματικὰς νόσους καὶ διῆλθεν εὐεργετῶν καὶ ἰώμενος τοὺς ἀνθρώπους, ἀλλὰ ταυτοχρόνως ἐγαλήνευσε καὶ τὴν τεταραγμένην θάλασσαν καὶ ἐπολλαπλασίασε τοὺς πέντε ἄρτους εἰς χορτασμὸν πεντάκις χιλίων ἀνδρῶν, συνδυάζων οὕτω τὴν ἀποκατάστασιν τῆς πνευματικῆς καὶ τῆς φυσικῆς ἁρμονίας. Ἐὰν θέλωμεν εἰς τὰς
παρούσας δυσμενεῖς φυσικῶς καὶ πολιτικῶς καταστάσεις νὰ ἐπιδράσωμεν εὐμενῶς, δὲν ἔχομεν ἄλλην ὁδὸν ἀπὸ τὴν πίστιν εἰς τὸν Ἀναστάντα Χριστὸν καὶ ἀπὸ τὴν τήρησιν τῶν σωτηριωδῶν διὰ τὸν ἄνθρωπον ἐντολῶν Του. Ὁ Χριστὸς ἀνέστη καὶ συνανέστησε τὸ τέλειον ἦθος τοῦ ἀμαυρώσαντος αὐτὸ ἀνθρώπου, γενόμενος πρωτότοκος καὶ πρωτοπόρος εἰς τὴν ἀναγέννησιν τοῦ κόσμου, τῶν ἀνθρώπων καὶ τῆς φύσεως. Τὸ μήνυμα τῆς Ἀναστάσεως δὲν εἶναι κενὸν οὐσιαστικῆς ἐπιρροῆς εἰς τὴν ποιότητα τῆς ἀνθρωπίνης ζωῆς καὶ τῆς εὐρύθμου λειτουργίας τῆς φύσεως. Ὅσον πληρέστερον καὶ βαθύτερον θὰ βιώσωμεν τὴν Ἀνάστασιν τοῦ Χριστοῦ εἰς τὰ βάθη τῶν καρδιῶν μας, τόσον εὐεργετικωτέρα θὰ εἶναι ἡ ἐπιρροὴ τῆς ὑπάρξεώς μας εἰς τὴν ὅλην ἀνθρωπότητα καὶ εἰς τὸν φυσικὸν κόσμον. Αἱ φυσικαὶ ἐπιστῆμαι ἴσως δὲν ἔχουν ἀκόμη ἐπισημάνει τὴν σχέσιν αὐτὴν μεταξὺ ἀναγεννήσεως τοῦ ἀνθρώπου καὶ ἀνακαινίσεως τῆς φύσεως, ἀλλὰ ἡ πεῖρα τῶν ἁγίων, ἡ ὁποία εἴθε νὰ εἶναι καὶ ἰδική μας πεῖρα, διαβεβαιοῖ ὅτι εἶναι ἐμπειρικῶς διαπιστωμένον ὅτι ὄντως ὁ ἀναγεννημένος ἐν Χριστῷ ἄνθρωπος ἀποκαθιστᾷ τὴν διατεταραγμένην ἐκ τῆς ἁμαρτίας ἁρμονίαν τῶν φυσικῶν φαινομένων. Ὁ ἅγιος ἐν Χριστῷ μετακινεῖ ὄρη ἐπ’ ἀγαθῷ καὶ ὁ κακὸς καὶ ἀντίθεος ἄνθρωπος μετακινεῖ ἐδάφη καὶ ὑψώνει κύματα ὑπερμεγέθη ἐπὶ κακῷ. Εἴθε νὰ προσεγγίσωμεν πρὸς τὴν ἁγιότητα τοῦ Ἀναστάντος Χριστοῦ ἵνα διὰ τῆς χάριτος Αὐτοῦ γαληνεύσωμεν τὰ φυσικὰ καὶ ἠθικὰ κύματα τὰ ὁποῖα πλήττουν τὸν σύγχρονον
κόσμον μας. Ἡ χάρις τοῦ Ἀναστάντος Κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ εἴη μετὰ πάντων ὑμῶν, τέκνα ἐν Κυρίῳ ἀγαπητά. Γένοιτο. Ἅγιον Πάσχα 2011
Ὁ Κωνσταντινουπόλεως διάπυρος πρὸς Χριστὸν Ἀναστάντα εὐχέτης πάντων ὑμῶν í Ὁ Κωνσταντινουπόλεως Βαρθολομαίος
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Obituary Dino Anagnost
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Dino Anagnost, dean of music at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New York and music director and conductor of The Little Orchestra Society of New York, a mid-size classical ensemble offering a broad repertoire of interactive music experience that captivated audiences of all ages, died Wednesday, March 30. Anagnost was born Aug. 16, 1943, in Manchester, N.H., the elder son of Stella and Zissis Anagnost. He continued his education at Boston University , The Juilliard School, Harvard University, Tanglewood, New England Conservatory, where he did advanced music studies; Teachers College and Columbia University where he earned his Doctorate in music. Dr. Anagnost held the position of adjunct professor of music at the university, Anagnost has conducted concerts and opera throughout the world, from Washington’s Capitol Rotunda and the White House, to Greece and South Korea. As dean of music at the Cathedral, he
received medals from the Patriarchs of Constantinople, Alexandria, Russia and Romania. For his contributions to Greek music and the Church, he was selected as an Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of the Order of St. Andrew and conferred Archon of the Holy and Great Church of Constantinople. Anagnost is survived by his business partner of 45 years, John Kordel Juliano, of New York City and Livingston, N.Y.; a brother, Dick Anagnost; a sister, Debra Anagnost; a sister-in-law, Demetria, and three nephews, Alexander, Stavros, and Dimitri, all of Bedford, N.H.. Funeral services took place April 4 at Holy Trinity Cathedral with Archbishop Demetrios officiating.
A RCHDIOCESE N E WS Houston Cathedral Prepares for National Oratorical Festival HOUSTON – The host committee for the 28th Archdiocese St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival Annunciation Cathedral is making final preparations for the June 10-12 event. Co–chairmen are Fr. Michael Lambakis and Irene Cassis. The Oratorical Festival encourages teenagers in junior and senior age divisions to research a faith topic selected by the Archdiocese Department of Religious Education and present a four– or five– minute speech to a panel of judges. Finalists for the national level are selected from the respective Metropolislevel events held in April and May, which are open to the faithful. Attending the weekend events, that will begin with a Paraklesis service at the
Annunciation Cathedral. Include Archbishop Demetrios, Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver, Dr. Anton C. Vrame, director of the Department of Religious Education and Fr. John and Presbytera Margaret Orfanakos, Archdiocese Oratorical Festival co-chairpersons. The junior and senior division participants will present their speeches on June 11. An awards luncheon will follow at the cathedral hall, where the results will be announced. That evening, the group will be treated to a tour of the Johnson Space Center, followed by a dinner. On Sunday, after the hierarchical Divine Liturgy celebrating Pentecost, a farewell luncheon will be held.
Ordinations to the Diaconate
Garinis, Aristidis – Archbishop Demetrios – Holy Trinity Cathedral, New York 03/20/11 Correction Demetrios (Walter) Belsito – Bishop Andonios of Phasiane – Holy Trinity Church, Waterbury, Conn. Ordinations to the Priesthood
Deacon Vasilios Louros – Archbishop Demetrios – St. Demetrios Cathedral, Astoria, NY 03/19/11 Assignments
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Fr. John Kariotakis – St. John the Baptist Church, Anaheim, Calif. 01/01/11 Fr. George Pyle – Prophet Elias Church, Dubuque, Iowa 02/13/11 Fr. Christ Margellos – St. George Church, Rock Island, Ill. 03/01/11 Fr. Nicholas Pastrikos – St. George Church, Piscataway, N.J. 03/01/11 Fr. Dimitrios Pappas – St. Elias the Prophet Church, Santa Fe, N.M. 03/04/11 Fr. Eudokimos-Martin Harding – Sts. Constantine & Helen Church, Monroe, La. 03/15/11 Fr. Vasilios Louros – St. Demetrios Cathedral, Astoria, N.Y. 03/21/11 V. Rev. Fr. Alexander Kile – St. Deme-
trios Church, Union, N.J. 04/01/11 Appointments
Deacon. Aristidis Garinis – deacon to Archbishop Demetrios 03/20/11 Offikia
Fr. Peter J. Pappas – Office of Economos, bestowed by Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver 01/30/11 Fr. George Anastasiou – Office of Economos, bestowed by Archbishop Demetrios 02/13/11 Fr. Nicholas Samaras – Office of Economos, bestowed by Archbishop Demetrios 02/20/11 Retired Priests
Fr. James S. Diavatis 12/31/10 V. Rev. Fr. Philip Koufos 01/01/11 Fr. George Matsis 04/01/11 Receptions Fr. Konstantinos Manetas, March 4, 2011 (from the Church of Greece) Suspensions Lifted Fr. Spiro Kehayes 02/23/11 Medical Leave Fr. Demetrios Demopulos 10/17/10 Leaves of Absence Fr. Demetrios Recachinas 03/07/11 Fr. R. Nicholas Rafael II 03/01/11
PEOPLE Northern Arizona Church Looks for a Home on the Range
uArkansan of the Year The Easter Seals organization of Arkansas has named Gus Vratsinas of Little Rock, an Archdiocesan Council member and an Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, as its Arkansan of the Year in honor of his contributions to the state through his business, economic development and philanthropic activities. Mr. Vratsinas was honored March 10 at a dinner at the Statehouse Convention Center. The Easter Seals Arkansas chapter said in a statement that it “especially wants to recognize his extraordinary vision for the future of the children and adults with disabilities served by Easter Seals and for his 16 years of dedicated board service. Arkansas, Easter Seals and hundreds of families and children have been blessed because of Vratsinas and his dedication.” When the chapter asked why he is motivated to give back to the community, he said, “I guess your genes are part of it. Both my mother and father taught me the Golden Rule. I probably took it one step further, because of them and my religious upbringing, than even I ever thought I would.” Mr. Vratsinas also noted that he is an American of Greek heritage and is not only grounded in his parent’s heritage, but also in his family and the Greek Orthodox Church. He is the owner of Vratsinas Construction Co. in Little Rock and also serves on several boards and committees.
uLuminaries at HTSF Workshops The Hellenic Times Scholarship Fund will honor actor Gilles Marini, star of the hit ABC drama, “Brothers & Sisters” and the reality show “Dancing With The Stars,” and business leader Spiros Milonas, chairman/CEO of Ionian Transport, at its 20th anniversary gala and concert at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel on Saturday, May 14. HTSF will also sponsor several workshops to inspire students with their various career dreams. Among those conducting workshops will be John Catsimatidis (chairman & CEO of the Red Apple Group), Spiros Milonas, John Pappajohn, Olympia Dukakis, Ernie Anastos (Fox-5 news anchor), Nick Gregory (Fox–5 meteorologist), Congressman Gus Bilirakis, N.Y. state Sen. Mike Gianaris, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and state Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas (a 1996 Hellenic Times Scholarship recipient), and others. For 20 years the HTSF has awarded scholarships to more than 750 students totaling nearly $2 million. Dinner chairman and HTSF president is New York attorney Nick Katsoris, general counsel of the Red Apple Groupm and author of the Loukoumi children’s book series.General chairmen are Margo & John Catsimatidis.
uNew Sales Manager George Tasigianis, has recently been appointed sales manager for USA of Mill-Run Tours, one of the largest travel organizations in the United States, with 12 branches across the country and specializing in low-cost wholesale fares mainly for travel agencies. Tasigianis has previously served as the regional sales manager of Olympic Airways until Olympic suspended its flights to the US in late 2009. Tasigianis is currently working on a program which would make air-fares to Greece more affordable and directly available to the traveling public.
P A R I S H
Name: Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church Location: Flagstaff, Ariz. Metropolis of San Francisco Size: about 50 to 60 families Founded: 1950s (originated as an Antiochian Orthodox mission parish) Clergy: Fr. Nicholas Andruchow (D.Min., St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Seminary ’02) E-mail: email@example.com Web: www.holycrossflagstaff.org Noteworthy: Parish plans to establish a permanent spiritual home. Northern Arizona is a rugged part of the country, drawing hearty, hard-working individuals who can overcome hardship. It lies at the southwestern edge of the Colorado plateau, on the western side of the largest Ponderosa pine forest in the United States. The highest mountains in the state are situated here. The area has served as a location for many Western movies and also where the running scenes in “Forrest Gump” were filmed. The region’s largest city, Flagstaff (population over 60,000), which lies near the base of a 13,000-foot mountain, is home to a tiny Greek Orthodox community whose origins can be traced to the difficult days of World War II in the Peloponnesus, which along with the rest of Greece, suffered enormous hardship. Flagstaff, named after a flagpole made by a scouting party from Boston on July 4, 1876 to celebrate the U.S. Centennial, had its early economy based on lumber, railroads and ranching, which drew the first Greeks. According to a parish history on the Holy Cross website, a family in the town of Poulithra, Arcadia, lost its wealth as a result of the devastation brought about by the war. Konstantina Krestedemas, who was widowed during the war, lived in the town with her four young sons. They emigrated to the U.S. to escape the harsh conditions and settled in Winslow, Ariz. in 1955. The closest Greek Orthodox Church was nearly 150 miles south, in Phoenix, of which they became members. Several times a year they traveled over the mountain roads for five hours to attend services. (Interstate 17 has cut the time in half). The other cornerstone family, the parish history notes, was that of Stamatia P. Kyparissakou (aka Toula Howington), who was born in the port city of Evdilos, Icarias. In 1962 she met and married James
Howington Sr., a non-Orthodox American serving in the U.S Coast Guard and stationed in Rhodes. In 1963 they moved to America and eventually settled in Flagstaff. These families formed the nucleus of the Greek Orthodox community. Others soon moved here. Over the next several decades, Orthodox priests from Holy Trinity in Phoenix, and from the Antiochian Archdiocese, held services at various locations in Flagstaff, including a strip mall store front and a private home. A full-time Antiochian priest was assigned in 1996 but, because of conflicts with the community, he left. The community then came under the spiritual guidance of Metropolitan Anthony of San Francisco and the authority of the Archdiocese in 1998. He assigned the assistant priest of the Phoenix cathedral at the time, Fr. Timothy Pavlatos, to serve the mission parish twice a month. In 2002, Metropolitan Anthony assigned Fr. Andruchow as the first full-time Greek Orthodox Archdiocese clergyman. The 24 families then comprising the community tithed a total of $18,000 a year. To cover the budget of $85,000 to afford a full-time priest, they increased their stewardship giving 240 percent over a three-year period. The parish has since more than doubled in size. Fr. Andruchow, a native or Worcester, Mass., was raised in the Albanian and Russian Orthodox churches. His mother converted from Catholicism and was chrismated at St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Worcester. His presbytera, Merilynn (Kouris), is of Cretan descent and was raised in the Salt Lake City community. (Her grandfather emigrated from the Chania area to the U.S. before WWII). She went to Holy Cross School of Theology and later worked as a pastoral assistant. The church transitioned from mission status in November 2008 when the community received the name Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church of Flagstaff, Arizona. Previously it was the Greek Orthodox Mission of Northern Arizona. The parish’s major goal for the past several years has been to get a permanent home. Currently, it rents a semi-vacant Roman Catholic church building for $9,600 a year where it holds weekly Sunday services. (There is no conflict with the Catholic Church congregation in that it uses the building only once a month). Over the past few years, the community has saved about $250,000 towards the purchase of property, possibly with an
Anne and Theodore Phillips Pastoral Lecture Series: The Ancient Christian Faith Speaks to Modern American Society
Saturday, May 7, 2011, 2-4 p. m. S. J. Gregory Auditorium St. Andrew Greek Orthodox Church 5649 N. Sheridan Rd Chicago, IL 60660 773-334-4515
Speaker: Rev. Stanley Harakas Archbishop Iakovos Chair of Orthodox Theology, Emeritus, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology Topic: Orthodoxy and Bioethics: Abortion, Stem-Cell Research and Euthanasia
existing building. “We’re in the process of buying two properties and are working on financing,” said Fr. Andruchow. He noted that the economy is very shaky and real estate prices have dropped considerably, making such a purchase very feasible. Although it doesn’t have its own facilities, the church pursues its ministries unimpeded. Orthros and Divine Liturgies take place on Sundays. The Sunday school has about two dozen children and the priest holds weekly Bible studies. Parishioners support a strong community outreach, aiding the Orthodox orphanage in Tijuana, Mexico, and feeding the homeless. There is no Greek school, but some children take lessons from a parishioner. Other than the stewardship program, another revenue source is the annual glendi held at a local school gymnasium. “It is very well received,” said Fr. Andruchow. The parish also is in process of organizing a women’s auxiliary, he noted. Eventually it is to become a Philoptochos chapter. As previously mentioned, ranching was one of the early staples of the local economy and a woman parishioner is married to a “mostly retired” rancher. “Being in his late 60’s he still works on the ranch herding cattle and roping,” said the priest. “He brings me hunting every autumn. I have learned to appreciate what it takes to bring home good quality meat for the family. Buying my steaks from the grocery store is much easier but not as satisfying.” Some parishioners are employed at a large medical supply manufacturing company. Others are affiliated with Northern Arizona University and others are business owners. The parish, which is the only Greek Orthodox church in the region, receives many visitors during the summer, mostly tourists off to visit the Grand Canyon, about an hour away. Fr. Andruchow described his ministry as “definitely a challenge,” with opportunities for great accomplishments. — Compiled by Jim Golding
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Determining the Dates of Passover and Pascha by Anastasios M. Ioannides, Ph.D.
Orthodox Christians many times ask why the celebration of Pascha does not always fall on the same date along with that of other Christians, like the Catholics or Protestants. Many wonder why in 2010 and in 2011 the great feast does coincide throughout the world, more often Orthodox Pascha tarries sometimes one, sometimes four or even five weeks in relation to the Pascha of the Latins, which has been established in the West. Equally often, there are efforts by well-intentioned clerics, but also lay people, to provide an answer to the inquirers repeating, in most cases, very well known formulae, which, regrettably, do not appear to satisfy the audience. And so it is that the following year we have the same questions, the same answers, yet the common Pascha continues to remain a fleeting dream.
The date determinant
The usual answers provided every year to inquiries concerning the date are essentially two. First, that Orthodox celebrate Pascha on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox; and secondly, the Orthodox celebrate always after the Jewish Passover. These are indeed the correct answers; they are, that is, the definitions of the Holy Fathers on this issue. Yet, they are also the very same definitions that the heterodox in the West observe annually. Then why do the two celebrations not coincide? Orthodox might immediately reply that Western Christians ignore the Passover, as for example, in 2008, for which the Latin pascha was on March 23, whereas Jews worldwide celebrated the first day of their own passover on April 20, a week before the Orthodox Pascha of April 27. Yet, this is an inadequate answer. For example, in 2006, contemporary Jews celebrated on April 13, Latin Christians on April 16 and the Orthodox tarried once again, until April 23. Moreover, the corresponding dates for 2013 will be March 26 for Jews, 31 March for Latins, yet May 5 for the Orthodox. Why?
For a general solution to the problem that will cover all years, one must comprehend not only the verbal formulation, but also the significance of the patristic definitions. When the Holy Fathers refer to the Passover, they have in mind not contemporary rabbinic Jews (whose calculations have undergone significant changes after the First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D.) but the Biblical Hebrews in
Christ’s age. The Holy Fathers named this biblical Passover as the Nomicon Faska (Faseh, or passover of the Mosaic Law) and understand (or even specify) its celebration to begin at sunset before the day of the full moon following the spring equinox. Consequently, the second explanation offered today by some well–intentioned Orthodox (after the Passover), is entirely synonymous to the first (“after the first full moon”), and therefore, it is unnecessary and superfluous. For the sake of history, we mention that this second explanation was never offered by itself, by the Holy Fathers, since the first one was adequate. This explanation was mentioned for the first time as independent and additional to the first one by the canonist Ioannis Zonaras in the 12th century. In contrast, until then, it had been considered adequate (as indeed was the case in the united Church before the schism of 1054 A.D.) to provide the first explanation alone. Therefore, it is within this first explanation and not in the date of the contemporary Passover, which we should look to find the causes of the difference of the Orthodox from the Latin Pascha. Having found these causes, one will be able to understand at the same time, the role of the paschal computation for the biblical Nomicon Faska, and of contemporary rabbinic Passover. For this reason, let us repeat the first (and only) explanation of the determination of the date of Pascha. All Christians, in the East and in the West, celebrate Pascha on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox. Thus, essential poles for this ecclesiastical computation are two astronomical events, the spring equinox and the full moon that follows it. Yet, how is it possible that two astronomical phenomena cause differences in the festal practices of the Eastern and the Western Churches? To make these differences understandable, one must study carefully astronomical data. Anastasios (Tasos) M. Ioannides, Ph.D., P.E., is associate professor of civil engineering at the University of Cincinnati, Ohio. A native of Cyprus, he studied civil engineering at University College, London, England, and earned M.S. and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Illinois, Urbana. He has authored more than 50 technical papers in engineering journals, and has consulted for private firms, and government agencies. He holds a diploma in Byzantine music from the Archdiocesan School in Nicosia, Cyprus, and a Master’s degree in pastoral theology, awarded under the Antiochian House of Studies Program in collaboration with the St. John of Damascus School of Theology of the University of Balamand, Lebanon. firstname.lastname@example.org
Long Island Parish Oﬀers Liturgy for People with Special Needs by Linda Dimyan
PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. – As Fr. Dennis Strouzas prayed the Holy Anaphora and presented the offering, a loud clamor that sounded like a toddler seeking attention thudded in the back of the church. But no one looked. That’s because the sound wasn’t a toddler. Or really, wasn’t under anyone’s control. The sound had come from a teenage girl who suffers from a physical disability. But she was comfortable in her own skin at Archangel Michael Church. Everyone around her understood her challenge–and suffered from similar ones. The liturgy, that wasn’t disturbed by anyone or anything, is referred to as “The Challenge Liturgy” or “The Special Needs Liturgy.” The service, that has been taking place the third Saturday of every month for the past 21 years, intends to “facilitate coming to church for all physically or developmentally challenged Orthodox Christians.” Those are the words of Manny Katsoulis, the man who began “The Challenge Liturgy Program” in May 1990 after he felt like he and his wife, Marina, were closeted for being parents of Connie, a beautiful young lady who has Down’s Syndrome. The compassionate couple found it difficult to attend Sunday Liturgy with mainstream families; some people just didn’t understand. The family wanted “normalcy” – and realized they couldn’t have been the only ones. So they initiated the program. Manny was eager to let people of all Orthodox faiths know that “If you can’t get the proper support, we’re here for you.” Along with the program, the Katsoulis’ successfully enrich the lives of those with special needs with a group home. The Hellenos House, in Wantagh, N.Y., is a group residence for adult Orthodox Christians with developmental disabilities. Every third Saturday of every month, big yellow buses provide service to adults from the home, and other Orthodox Christians who want to attend the liturgy from Queens, N.Y. Some people come on their own– whether it’s with their friends, their families, or fellow–parishioners. On Saturday, March 19, over 70 people filled up the pews of the church. Some were there a half-hour early, eager and ready to worship. Those who were able to stand, stood. Those who had to remain sitting, kept their attention focused on the altar as the aroma of incense wafted over the church. During the liturgy, Athena Marangoudakis guided her son’s hand as he gestured the cross. Nicholas, who has been avidly attending the services since 1996, “loves church.” His mother explains that when “he sees priests–oh my God, he gets so ecstatic. There’s just something very Godly about him.” That is indeed true; Nicholas smiles not just with his lips–but also with his eyes. Athena, as tears fill up her eyes, continues to say, “Thank God (this program) is here. We’re very lucky to have this liturgy. Why can’t they have this at every district?” That question is an ongoing battle Manny and Marina struggle with. Manny says they can’t publicize the program because it deals with very vulnerable people, who don’t want to be exploited. “If we are the largest Orthodox congregation and people don’t know about this, I can’t imagine what it’s like for other Orthodox faiths,” Manny lovingly questions as he continues to think of others. Though this particular program serves more than 70 families, Manny is sure there
are hundreds more who need this service. The service has spread to Holmdel, N.J., Bethesda, Md., and a town in southern Massachusetts. Nevertheless, the success isn’t measured in numbers. “I love coming because it’s so friendly,” Aspasia, who is also challenged by a developmental disability says. Aspasia heard about the program from an institute for the handicapped three years ago. She comes to see her best friend, James, and also to make new friends because she knows she’s not looked at as an outsider. Her mom says “they find each other here. We come and we cry on each other’s shoulders because it’s, you know, ...hard.” Aspasia’s mom also agrees that she wishes these liturgies would increase: “I hope they make it every Saturday.” During the fellowship hour after liturgy, everyone agreed that they have become a family. While eating the spinach quiches or the powdered donuts, the families say “everyone cares for one another”–which is exactly what the Gospel proclaims. Fr. Dennis explains that he does this because it’s “where the message of Christ hits the road. We are showing love, care, and concern for people who most need it...it’s what it’s all about.” Dimitri and Katrina probably couldn’t agree more. The two siblings experienced the recent deaths of their parents and attended Saturday’s memorial service. The two aren’t from the parish, but are part of the people. The entire congregation shared in the grief, while also sharing in the joy and celebration of birthdays and name days of the entire month. Frankie Manikas, turns 27 this month and has been attending these services the majority of his life. His father, Nick, says “it’s good for him.” It is undoubtedly good for many reasons. Besides the opportunity to pray, and besides the fellowship formed, the kids are learning how to conduct themselves in a church setting. Nothing–whether it be the spring picnic, or the Christmas party–is done without the liturgy. And the liturgy isn’t as formal as it usually is; the congregation can and does interact with Fr. Dennis as he gives the sermon. While Father Dennis emphasized the importance of forgiveness, kindness, and fasting during the Lenten Season, one of the members kept chiming in–welcomed and appreciated. Fr. Dennis continued to encourage that “when we do good to our neighbor, we first and foremost do good by God.” The ongoing growth and prosperity of the program has been blessed by Archbishop Demetrios, who has attended Lazarus Saturday with the group for the past few years. He is expected to visit on April 16. “This is a miracle,” Manny humbly states. “I don’t take any claim…there’s a divine hand above all of this, and I’m just an instrument.” Linda Dimyan of Flushing, N.Y., is a new special correspondent for the Observer. She graduated from New York University in September with a dual major in Journalism and Pre-Health Sciences. A Coptic Orthodox Christian, she has served as an intern for NBC and MSNBC, edited and published NYU newsletters and was an election reporter for the Associated Press. She also has worked with the Coptic Youth Channel as an interviewer and script manager. She is fluent in Arabic and is a member of St. Mary & St. Antonious Coptic Orthodox Church in Ridgewood, Queens and became interested in the Observer last fall while on a visit with her church to Saint Basil Academy.
40 Annual Sights & Sounds Held in Westfield, NJ th
by Marissa P. Costidis
WESTFIELD, N.J. – The Annual Sights and Sounds Festival, organized by the community of Holy Trinity, invites the state’s GOYA members to participate in a day filled with competition in Sounds (instrument and singing solos, Greek, American and religious singing, choral speaking, Greek and English monologues, band and folk dancing) and Sights (literature, artwork, handicrafts and photography). The Sights entries are submitted earlier in the month and the Goyans enter the community center anxious to see if their hand-made submission has received a blue, red or yellow Ribbon. “My favorite part of the day is when the kids file in first thing in the morning. They’re tired from months of practicing and most likely from a week long marathon of rehearsals, but they are still so excited!” said Alyssa Gentile, a Westfield volunteer and daughter of co-chairs Pamela and Gino Gentile. A past participant, she has been volunteering for a number of years. “I enjoy seeing what other churches do and recognizing how they practice.” “Watching the young people perform is inspiring,” said Gino Gentile, co-chair. “The level of competition increases each year and more and more churches and Goyans participate. We have seen an increase of 8 percent in the Sounds participants this year, and we are excited that St. George in Clifton is participating in Greek Folk Dance after a few years without a dance group. It is also interesting that we have seen an increase in the number of Greek singers and Greek monologue participants.” “Sixteen churches and about 550 Goyans competed in more than 239 performances in the 40th year competition.” Pamela Gentile reported. In her remarks at the awards ceremony she commented on the fact that those who first attended Sights & Sounds in the 1970s are now advisors and instructors. She also spoke about the importance of fellowship among communities, their youth and their advisors.
Using a tree and its branches and leaves to describe the inspiring growth of the Festival, she said that all of us are bound together by the Greek Orthodox Church and our Faith. As the day’s events were winding down and young people filled the halls and performance rooms, I spoke with a group of young women, from Kimisis Tis Theotokou in Holmdel, who were breathless with excitement. Speaking about their favorite part of the day, Mia Kandaloft, and her sister Lana, enjoy the fact that everyone comes together to support each other and to share happy times. Tina Hiras said, “My favorite part is performing Greek Dance. The adrenaline rush you get when you are on stage is amazing.” Eleni Sourlis admires her dance instructor, Presbytera Eleni Chakalos, who has been attending Sights & Sounds for 39 years. Eleni said, “Mrs. C is amazing… I love her. There are high and low moments but everyone is supporting each other.” Mariel Dritsas also loves the dance competition and the spirited awards ceremony. “The best part is that you get to spend it with your friends,” she said. Katie Decristofaro especially likes “getting called up to accept your trophy and having everyone cheer for you.” To encourage teamwork, in addition to individual trophies in all categories, a trophy is awarded to the GOYA receiving the most overall points. This year’s 1st place winning GOYA is from St. George in Asbury Park, 2nd place from St. George in Piscataway, and 3rd place from Kimisis Tis Theotokou in Holmdel. GOYA chapters from the following churches participated: St. George, Asbury Park; St. George, Clifton; Ascension, Fairview; St. Anna, Flemington; Kimisis Tis Theotokou, Holmdel’ Sts. Nicholas, Constantine & Helen, Orange; St. Athanasios, Paramus; St. Demetrios, Perth Amboy; St. George, Piscataway; St. Andrew, Randolph; St. John the Theologian Cathedral, Tenafly; St. Barbara, Toms River; St. George, Trenton; St. Demetrios, Union; Holy Trinity, Westfield; and St. Nicholas, Wyckoff. For a complete list of awards log on to www.goarch.org/special/sightssounds2011
St. George, Asbury Park, celebrates their 1st place overall win.
Marissa P. Costidis photos
St. Demetrios, Perth Amboy captured 1st place for their English Play performance.
St. George, Clifton, was well represented by their Greek Folk Dance group.
Holy Trinity Church pastor Fr. Peter Delvizis gathers with Chairmen Eugene and Pamela Gentile and host committee members.
St. George, Trenton, placed 3rd in the Greek Folk Dance category.
St. George, Piscataway, received 1st place in the Greek Dance category.
Metropolitan Alexios Consecrates Fla. Church
Olympic Champion Speaks at Florida Church
NAPLES, Fla. – Consecration services for St. Katherine Church took place Feb. 25-26 with Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta as the celebrant. Clergy and dignitaries from throughout the Metropolis attended the weekend events. The ceremonies began on Feb 25 with the preparation of the relics of three holy martyrs that were deposited into the altar the next day. At the consecration on Feb. 26, Metropolitan Alexios placed the relics in the altar table, anointed the icons and walls of the church with holy oil and celebrated the Divine Liturgy. The Consecration Committee included parish priest Archimandrite Constantine Mersinas, and Co-chairmen Dr. John Klemes and Richard Pappas.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – St. John the Divine parish hosted a presentation on March 6 by Shannon Miller, the most decorated American gymnast in sports history with seven Olympic medals and nine world championships. She spoke of overcoming many challenges in her life, including her latest experience with the discovery of a tumor in an ovary, which was removed. She is undergoing chemotherapy as a preventative measure. Ms. Miller, 34, an Episcopalian, credited her renewed Christian faith in overcoming this latest adversity. She told her audience to “Take a step back and let God into your lives.”
Chicago Metropolis Chancellor Attends Signing SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Metropolis of Chicago Chancellor Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos, attended the signing of legislation by Gov. Pat Quinn on March 9 bringing an end to the death penalty in Illinois. Bishop Demetrios had met with Gov. Quinn on Feb. 18 to advocate the signing of the bill to end capital punishment in the state. There he discussed his church’s regard for the sanctity of all life, and his own personal involvement in the movement for abolition. Bishop Demetrios was spiritual advisor to Andrew Kokaraleis, the last man executed in 1999, after receiving a letter from Kokaraleis from death-row. Following Kokaraleis’ execution, Bishop Demetrios became more active in the movement to end the death penalty.
OCMC Board Holds Spring Meeting by Alex Goodwin
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – Strategic Planning Committee members of the Orthodox Christian Mission Center, led by board President Fr. George Liacopulos, held this year’s OCMC annual spring board meeting on Feb. 23 at the Archbishop Anastasios and Archbishop Demetrios Missionary Training and Administration Building. Bishop Savas of Troas, liaison to the OCMC from the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America, attended the all-day strategic planning session where topics including the aim of missions and the goal of making disciples were discussed. The committee will gather information through surveys and interviews of OCMC supporters, missionaries, North American clergy, and hierarchs at home and abroad to shape OCMC’s next strategic plan. After an executive committee meeting, the board met to hear a presentation by Bishop Savas about the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America and of his plans to travel with an OCMC Mission Team to serve the Turkana in northern Kenya in mid-March. The 2011 annual fall board meeting will be held in October at St. Vladimir Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in Parma, Ohio.
Guatemala Orphanage Head Visits Illinois School PALOS HILLS, Ill. – Koraes Elementary School of Sts. Constantine and Helen Church, received a visit on March 3 from Madre Ines Ayau, abbess of the Holy Trinity Orthodox Monastery in Guatemala and director of Hogar Rafael Ayau Orthodox Orphanage in Guatemala City. Madre Ines spoke to the students describing the daily life of the children at the orphanage and how they are very similar to the students at Koraes. The students also welcomed her to their classrooms.
Greek Village Camp Set at St. Nicholas Ranch by Kristen Bruskas
DUNLAP, Calif. – The Metropolis of San Francisco will continue its successful Greek Village Immersion Camp with its second annual “Elliniko Horio” June 18-25 at St. Nicholas Ranch and Retreat Center. Last year’s successful camp involved children participating in a fun program that bonded them to their ancestral heritage. With the guidance of skilled instructors, they connected themselves with their language, customs, traditions and faith. Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco said of the program, “The Greek Village Camp has become a signature program for the Metropolis of San Francisco and I am grateful to the families of Dr. James and Virginia Kallins, Dr. George and Bettina Kallins and Dr. David and Barbara Kallins Matty for their continued support of this initiative. “The Elliniko Horio is a creative and unique way to immerse children in the Greek language and culture, providing a memorable learning experience while forming deep friendships with other youth with whom they share their religious and cultural heritage,” he added. For more information and registration forms go to www.ourgreekvillage. com or www.stnicholasranch.org.
Project Generation BROOKVILLE, N.Y. – On Saturday, Feb. 5, youth from across the Direct Archdiocesan District joined together for the inaugural Project Generation environ-
mental symposium where presentations informed the attendees about the plight of the polar bear, the impact of deforestation, the benefits and complexities of instituting a parish recycling program, and the highlights of His All Holiness’s RSE Symposium on the Arctic. Founded by Chris Gabriel, Project Generation was inspired by the environmental work of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. Mr. Gabriel and his co-chair, Valerie Sakellaridis, spent the latter half of 2010 and early 2011 spreading the word about the project through Facebook, by visiting area parishes for Liturgy and GOYA meetings, and by networking with their peers at GOYA events. The Direct Archdiocese District Youth Office also provided assistance through the youth director, Deacon Evagoras Constantinides, and Fr. John Vlahos, project advisor and parish priest of Resurrection Church. With guidance from Bishop Savas of Troas, the agenda developed from one resembling a science fair, to a multi-faceted program including a round table discussion about religion and the environment. By the day of the event six parishes were participating from as far away as Hartford, Conn. Due to inclement weather, the Holy Trinity, Bridgeport, participants connected via video link.
NH GOYA, Family Winter Camps Well-Attended CONTOCOOK, N.H. – The St. Methodios Faith & Heritage Center of the Metropolis of Boston attracted more than 40 families, including 135 campers and parents from throughout the metropolis at its Winter Camp over the weekends of Feb. 18-21 and 25-27. With 40 staff members, they took part in skiing, snowboarding, tubing and various instructional spiritual and enlightening sessions. Metropolitan Methodios talked with the Goyans and said he was “very pleased by the large number attending.” The campers participated in many sessions and activities designed and supervised by an enthusiastic staff at the snow covered Faith & Heritage Center. Dr. Ary Christofidis, founder of the Orthodox Christian Counseling Institute in Park Ridge, Ill. was the guest speaker.
District Choir Federation Holds 27th Conference DANBURY, Conn. – The Direct Archdiocesan District Federation of Greek Orthodox Church Musicians held its 27th annual conference on March 5-6 at Assumption Church with about 60 members attending. Fr. Peter Karloutsos welcomed the group and Federation President Anna Dounelis presented past President Spyro Kalas with a certificate in recognition of his 40 years’ service to the District choirs. Two workshops took place: An Introduction to Byzantine Chant conducted by Angelo Lampousis, chanter liaison on the Federation executive board, founder and president of the Axion Estin Foundation and a chanter and choir member at Holy Trinity Church in New Rochelle, N.Y. The second workshop was SightSinging, Part II conducted by Spyro Kalas of St. John the Baptist Church, Blue Point,
N.Y., where he has been choir director and organist. Keynote speaker was John Michael Boyer, a Holy Cross seminarian. He has served as the Metropolis of San Francisco protopsalti and is founder of the John Koukouzelis Institute of Liturgical Arts. He holds a BA in music from UC-Berkeley. After the Sunday Divine Liturgy, Archbishop Demetrios presented Patriarch Athenagoras I Medallions to Federation President Anna Dounelis of St. Paul Cathedral in Hempstead, N.Y. and to Harry Pappas, past Federation president and former choir director at St. Barbara Greek Church in Orange, Conn. Nikodora Bochinis, chanter and choir member at Assumption Church received the Choir Member of the Year medal.
Astoria Church Holds Camp St. Paul Fundraiser ASTORIA, N.Y. – More than 500 Goyans from parishes in the five New York City boroughs recently held their first party to raise funds for Camp St. Paul, the Direct Archdiocese District youth camp. The event, coordinated by Ted Germanakos, raised more than $10,000 for the district’s summer camping ministry. During the summer, more than 295 campers attended Camp St. Paul, focusing on the theme “Champions of the Faith.” For more information about Camp St. Paul, contact the Direct Archdiocesan District Youth Office at (212) 774-0267 or email@example.com.
Kaloidis School in Top 5 at Science Olympiad BROOKLYN, N.Y. – For the third consecutive year, students from The Dimitrios and Georgia Kaloidis Parochial School of Holy Cross Church placed in the top five at the annual New York City Regional Science Olympiad held March 5. Under guidance of the science teacher, Lourdie Castillo and technology teacher, James Panagakos, Team D.G.K. earned a 4th place overall finish in the city-wide science competition. Only a single point separated 3rd from 4th place. The Science Olympiad included a total of 22 events. Team D.G.K. was represented by the following students: George Angelakis, Stella Angelakis, Maria Anthoulis, Costa Banagos, Paris Banagos, James Bantis, Luke Bantis, Mathew Bantis, Jacqueline Kontopirakis, Kally Kordistos, Othon Kordistos, Alexandra Mollo, Kyra Petalas, Manoli Theodorakis, and Venessa Weber. In addition to Team D.G.K.’s fourth place finish, students earned 4 gold medals, 2 silver medals, and 2 bronze medals.
New England Cathedral Welcomes Students BOSTON – Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral of New England welcomed area college students to a compline service and Lenten dinner on April 11 as part of its Campus Ministry outreach. Metropolitan Methodios of Boston presided at the service and addressed the students. The Campus Ministry, under the direction of the Very Rev. Cleopas Strongylis, promotes interest in the Orthodox Faith, Hellenism, education, and other interest topics for all Orthodox university students of the area.
28 by Fr. Charles Joanides, Ph.D., LMFT
When I conduct premarital preparation workshops and marital enhancement workshops, at some point during the day, I may ask participants some questions to determine how many couples pray together. Here’s the approach I use. First Question - Let’s see a show of hands. How many of you have ever tried praying? In response to this question, usually everyone raises their hands. Second Question - How many pray when you’re experiencing challenges and problems? Please respond by a show of hands. A response to this question is also usually unanimous. Third Question - How many pray when you aren’t experiencing challenges? Please respond with a show of hands. The response rate is also usually almost unanimous. Fourth Question - How many pray together as couples on Sundays? Let’s have a show of hands. Once again, the response rate is generally high. Final Question - So, if you’re all familiar with the benefits of prayer, then here’s my last question. How many couples pray together at home? Without fail, this question usually creates some discomfort and elicits the fewest number of responses. Sometimes I can count the number of couples on one hand.
Benefits of Praying Together
Judging from the responses I’ve received during this exercise, I suspect that many couples fail to pray together at home. I’m not certain why, and in many ways this is not important. From my perspective, what’s more important is that you’re aware that research indicates that couples who pray together, have a greater probability of reporting higher levels of marital satisfaction and staying together. The following results from a research study I reviewed recently validate this point. Partners who pray together are more willing to forgive their partner for a transgression. Prayer protects marriage partners from risk factors like drinking to excess, viewing pornography and excessive buying habits. Prayer decreases infidelity.
M a r r i a g e a n d Fa m i l y Praying Together Helps Couples Stay Together Prayer helps couples count their blessings. Couples who pray together are more likely to have common goals. Couples who pray together are more likely to regulate their emotions or not get angry. Couples who pray together report feeling as though they have a 24/7 social support system.
The Life Blood of our Spiritual Lives
Of course, this information should come as no surprise to those who have engaged in this blessed activity. Prayer is the life blood of any Christian lifestyle. It serves to feed and nurture our spirits and souls. I’m convinced that this is the reason why Saint Paul would counsel us to “…pray constantly…” (I Thess. 5:17). Coming from the same perspective, Saint Basil of Caesarea, would write the following about prayer. “Without it [prayer], our spirits wither and die.” I could easily fill a number of pages with similar quotes from other Christ-centered people. Bottom line, prayer is to our souls what water and food is to our bodies. Through our efforts to pray, the transcendent becomes accessible. More than any other spiritual discipline, prayer functions to keep God at the center of our lives. It nourishes and strengthens us with increased faith through God’s hope, love, increased faith, mercy and forgiveness. Just as prayer is important to our personal spiritual well-being, it is as important to our well-being as couples. The act of
standing before our Creator with the closest person in our lives, while disclosing our innermost needs, or lamenting our worst failings, can be a humbling restorative experience. Couple prayer can repair severed connections, strengthen our mutual efforts, enhance understanding and provide time for forgiveness. So, don’t underestimate this strategy in your efforts to either reclaim the love that has been lost or protect the love you hold in common with one another.
Tips for Praying Together
If you’re interested in introducing couple prayer into your lives, here are some guidelines that should prove helpful. Make an appointment to discuss this topic. During your discussion, talk about some of the benefits and challenges you might encounter respectfully and prayerfully. Should you both decide it’s not time to begin developing a prayer life together, then don’t dismiss this strategy outright. Instead, try and leave some room for you to revisit this subject in the near future. Incidentally, this might be a good time to consider meeting with your priest. He may be able to provide some helpful insights. If you decide to try praying together, my recommendation is that you begin praying together at dinner and on special occasions such as birthdays, name days and Thanksgiving. Beyond these suggestions,
APRIL 2011 you might also consider prayer in the evening before bedtime. In this case, a prayer book might help facilitate this process. Prayer can also prove most beneficial when you are struggling with a seemingly irreconcilable couple issue or some outside challenge. In these cases, find some private space, come together and stand before God and speak to Him about the issue as you might speak to Him alone. For instance, let’s suppose you’re having problems deciding how to handle an issue related to your children. Here’s an example of a prayer one of you might offer. “Dear Father, help us to gain a deeper understanding of this issue. We do not understand what is keeping us from coming to some resolution. However, it may have something to do with what I’ve said or done. (At this point, mention what you’ve said or did that may have contributed to this issue.) I also want to gain a better understanding of my partner’s view of this challenge. Please help me obtain this understanding. I also want to ask you to forgive me, and help me avoid repeating these sins. I also want (mention spouses’ first name) to know that I love him, and I shall try to make some changes in Your Holy Name. Amen.” Once the first person has completed their prayer, if the other spouse is comfortable, they should then proceed with their prayer. As you get better at this, you might want to introduce some common prayers from your religious background at the beginning and end of this process.
In a world that undermines marital oneness and separates couples, praying together is yet another powerful way to help you protect oneness. So, if you’re not praying together at home, make it a point today to ask God to help you both incorporate couple prayer into your lives. Like the personal benefits that you derive from your personal prayer, praying together can be equally helpful.
by Jennifer Hock
As we are filled with the radiant light of the Resurrection we look forward and also look back. By looking back on our Lenten journey, we realize our family has grown in strength and endurance through the struggles we overcame together. As we look forward to the future, we strive to continue using the tools that Lent has given us to grow in spiritual maturity, together as a family, in our continued journey ahead. Prayer is one of the tools we labored to sharpen during Lent. Regardless of whether your family prays together often or yearns to begin, a little extra attention to prayer time can revitalize any family’s busy life. Prayer is a relationship with God, nurtured and developed first at home within the family. St. John Chrysostom instructs us that, “The primary goal in the education of children is to teach, and to give the example of a virtuous life.” Parents lead through example when children witness their parents gathering everyone for prayer before meals, at bedtime, and for church services. Our children are learning about their faith every day as they participate in the spiritual rituals of the home. Our emphasis on particular activities reveals to our children what we find important—and what we don’t. At times, we need to pause and reevaluate our priorities. Are we incorporating prayer into our daily life? If not, we can make a commitment to say at least one prayer a day with our spouse and children.
RESOURCES FOR FAMILIES A Lamp to My Feet: An Introduction to the Bible by the Department of Religious Education—This ‘zine explores general motivations for and goals of Bible study. It then suggests study habits and methods, and explains various formats and translations of the Bible. The zine introduces the Old and New Testaments, the kinds of books they contain, and how the books came to be there. (Grade 6+) Published by the DRE. Almsgiving to an Orthodox Orphanage in Kolkata, India – View Lucky Girls, a 15-minute film, which was made with the purpose of raising funds and awareness for the Greek Orthodox Orphanage in Kolkata, India. It explores the plight of the young Indian girl-child and quilts the remarkable stories and dreams of the girls from the orphanage. Visit www. theluckygirlsmovie.com An Orthodox Kitchen – A place on the internet for Orthodox Christians to exchange recipes for fasts and feasts. You can browse recipes by fasting rule, which makes it easier for you to find what you need, including the ability to rate the recipes that you try and contribute your own. Visit www.orthodoxkitchen.com
incense rising to heaven with our prayers, and the flowers decorating the church. Lent was a time for us to repair and do some upkeep on our spiritual tools so we can go forth with renewed vigor and shine the light of Christ in our lives. We nurture our children in the Orthodox faith by doing all these things with them at home and at church, all while teaching them about the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
A Family’s Spiritual Toolbox I find that at meals the entire family can easily say a prayer together because we are already gathered in one spot. If prayer is already part of your daily routine, try to increase it. Include another prayer time in your day, whether during your car ride to and from school or before tucking the kids in bed. St. Paul tells us to “pray without ceasing” in 1 Thessalonians 5:17. Our goal then as parents is to try to increase our prayer time as a family each year. Fasting is another important tool—not just a temporary change in food choices but a means for learning self-discipline. Talk with your children about the importance of fasting. Let them know that if we can learn to refrain from indulging in food cravings when the urge arises then we can also learn to refrain from other behaviors. We can learn restraint when faced with difficult choices that could inhibit our spiritual growth—such as the choices we make at a party with friends or when on a date, or showing good sportsmanship when playing a game. Fasting prepares us for both a strong prayer life and a giving wallet. Without self-discipline, we can easily say we are too tired at the end of the day to pray with our children, telling ourselves we’ll just do it “tomorrow.” Without eating simpler meals, we decrease the money we have available to help those who have little to no food at all on their table. For all our struggles and efforts while fasting, St. John Chrysostom reassures us in his Paschal homily, “Whoever may be spent from fasting, enjoy now your reward. Whoever has toiled from the first hour, receive today your just settlement.” As you’re spring cleaning your spiritual toolbox, don’t forget to wipe off any cobwebs you find around your coin purse. Almsgiving as a family is a great way to encourage your children to develop a closer relationship with God. You can make this as creative or as simple an activity as you wish. We are called to help those less fortunate than ourselves by sharing some of our blessings with them. One way you can involve your children is to let them help you choose fasting foods at the grocery store. Explain to them that when you buy fasting foods you try to buy as simply and cheaply as possible so you can give the rest of the money to the poor.
Tell them your budget, and let them keep track of how much money is being spent. Allow them to trade out foods to save as much money as possible. (Also let them know they need to eat what they pick out.) When you get home from the store, your children can add the leftover grocery money to a jar in the middle of the kitchen table and later give the money to those in need. I remember one particular Christmastime when I was a teenager and my family received an anonymous care package of food and gifts because of our financial situation. While I was unpacking the food from the box and putting it in our cupboards, one of the things that stayed with me through the years is that the items donated seemed to be the food people wouldn’t miss from their cupboards. The food items also seemed random in that they were not really items you could use to put together a meal. I put them away and didn’t really think much about it beyond that for several years. We simply appreciated having food in the cupboard. Now, as an adult, I tell my kids to pick their favorite food from our pantry when we are bringing donations to church. I look through their selections and then pick out complementary items to help make a complete meal. I tell my kids that we are providing our favorite meals to families who for one reason or another cannot buy their own food. We have now spent the past forty days walking on a spiritual journey side by side as a family. We have grown closer to each other as we battled temptations for our favorite foods, persevered in our personal goals of longer prayer times, and learned about our faith through our senses. Our children have listened to us pray to God and our talks to them about Lent and Pascha. They have watched us as we gathered the family together for prayers before our home altar, a meal around the table, and church services. They have tasted the simpler meals and approached the chalice together as a family for Holy Communion. They have touched the money collected by our family to give to the needy, made the sign of the cross for prayers, kneeled in church, brought food for those who hunger, and held their candles on Holy Friday and during the Resurrection Liturgy. They have smelled the food cooking in their home, the
Jennifer Hock is the creator of Illumination Learning. (www.illumination-learning. com) It is a website that strives to be a hub for finding Orthodox Christian education resources. Her background is in elementary education and she has taught in the public school system as well as home schooled her four children ages 16, 8, 7, and 5. She has worked closely with summer camps, oratorical festivals, church schools, vacation church school, retreats, and conferences. Jennifer and her husband were foster parents for 3 years until adopting three of their foster children and continue to support organizations helping children in need.
MORNING THANKSGIVING PRAYER I praise, bless and thank You almighty God, the Father of light, that You have again shown to me the light of this day. I entreat You: Forgive my sins and accept my prayer in Your great mercy, for I seek refuge in You, the merciful and almighty God. Shine in my heart the light of Christ, the Sun of Righteousness. Enlighten my mind and my whole being that I may live according to Your commandments and serve You in all that I do and say. For You are the source of life and light, and to You I give praise and thanksgiving, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever, and to the ages of ages. Amen. These reflections are taken from the Table Top Prayer Guide: Volume II, published by the Center for Family Care. The guide provides a collection of Orthodox prayers and meditations for daily use, for both personal and family prayer time. It can be ordered at www.OrthodoxMarketplace.com
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Making A Paschal Promise Pascha is a source of inspiration and motivation for all Orthodox Christians. It is only natural since we are celebrating the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. When we sing “Christ is Risen” together, it sets a renewed spirit of commitment and enthusiasm within us to connect to Christ and a life in the Church. But after the candles are blown out and the Paschal eggs have all been distributed, does the light of the Resurrection continue to stay lit within us? Where does that enthusiasm go once Pentecost arrives and the Resurrectional hymn is no longer on the tip of our tongue? Unfortunately, our feelings of joy, unity, community, and celebration are diminished by our everyday lives. We become overpowered by work, school, stress, peer pressure, and so much more. In celebration of Christ’s Resurrection, let us make a Paschal Promise to God, to ourselves, and to each other. We can make significant efforts and changes in our spiritual lives to keep the light of the Resurrection ablaze in our hearts and minds. So what kinds of things can we do in our everyday to fulfill this promise? “Where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20) Don’t forget that we celebrate the reality of Christ’s Resurrection at each Divine Liturgy. From the candle we light as we enter the Church to the joyful singing of “We have seen the Light, the True Light,” everything about the Divine Liturgy keeps Pascha at the forefront of our minds and hearts. The Divine Liturgy takes us back to the Mystical Supper, where we can share in blessed Eucharist at the table with Christ. If we want to carry the reality of Christ’s Resurrection with us, we can make the promise to remember the Resurrection at EVERY Divine Liturgy by our Sacramen-
tal participation, following the readings and petitions of the service, and singing along to the hymns. “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45) Serving our neighbor honors the way Christ sacrificed for us. Remember... it is Christ who humbled Himself to wash the feet of the disciples. In fact, He took
on flesh and was crucified so that we might inherit eternal life. An excellent way for us to honor Christ’s sacrifice is to serve others with the same sense of selflessness and love for our neighbor. Make a promise to volunteer your time at a soup kitchen, homeless shelter, or at other local charitable organizations. Serving others can be as simple as helping set the dinner table, taking an active role in our chores at home, and to be there for people when they are having a difficult day. “Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12) We should try to live our lives as a walking Gospel. But witnessing what we believe can be a very difficult thing, especially when people do not believe or worship the same way we do. There are simple ways that we can witness our belief in the Resurrection. We can make the sign of the Cross before and after eating. We can forgive others, even if others do not forgive in return. We can be patient with others, even when they test our nerves. Make a promise to study the lessons that Jesus Christ shares with us in the Holy Scriptures. Then, consider how you can live those lessons in today’s society.
Tragedy in Japan – Ways That Teens Can Help “Lord of the Powers, be with us. For in times of distress, we have no other help but You. Lord of the Powers, have mercy on us.” In early March, the whole world watched as the nation of Japan grappled with a devastating earthquake and subsequent tsunami. As a result of these two natural disasters, lives have been lost and the country faces a nuclear crisis. Many Orthodox Christians have witnessed these events unfold and have felt called to assist in some substantial way. Archbishop Demetrios has encouraged all churches of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese to support the philanthropic organization or charity of their choice to contribute to rescue efforts in Japan. Youth groups can do their part to help their brothers and sisters in Japan, answering the call to “love thy neighbor.” But how can youth groups be a part
of these efforts in a practical way?
Organize a Fundraiser
A simple way to offer your support to the efforts in Japan is to collect funds. Brainstorm ways that your youth group can fundraise. If you already have fundraisers planned for your youth group, commit to designating a portion of the proceeds to the efforts in Japan. Also, contact other ministry groups in your church (Ladies’ Philoptochos, Young Adult Ministries, etc.) to encourage fellowship and teamwork for this worthy cause.
There are thousands of people who have lost absolutely everything due to the tsunami and flooding. Contact organizations like IOCC (International Orthodox Christian Charities) or Red Cross to ask about supplies that can be sent. Youth groups can collect medical supplies, clothing, and other essential items for those who are without basic items that we sometimes take for granted.
Organize a Prayer Service
As Orthodox Christians, we fully believe in the importance and strength of prayer. Talk to your parish priest about offering a small prayer service for all those affected by the earthquake and tsunami. In fact, this can be done in conjunction with a drive to collect supplies or after offering a fundraiser.
Best Things About Bright Week 1) Every Orthodox Christian you meet will say “Christ is Risen” to you. 2) The Church is still decorated so beautifully. 3) It’s a fast-free week. 4) We will be sharing Paschal traditions with family and friends all week long. 5) Our faith is reinvigorated by the joy of the Feast of the Resurrection.
Is Facebook Making You Depressed? Isn’t Facebook supposed to be that cool website which connects us with friends and family? Apparently, for some, Facebook is causing more harm than good. In a recently-released study, researchers have observed some teenagers who display signs of depression because of Facebook. Yes, that’s right... It is causing depression. But why is it causing young people to be depressed? And how can keep Facebook in the right focus? You probably can name four or five people who spend more time on Facebook than on their homework or even texting. But for some, Facebook has become the only source of social interaction and communication. In essence, social networking websites have become the primary community in their life. And because it is the center of their social lives, the pressures of popularity, attention, and self-esteem are extending to the digital realm. How would you feel if you were being mocked, bullied, and harassed by the very people that you “friended?” Some teens are feeling pressure to have a certain amount of “friends” or to get a certain amount of comments or attention. According to this new study, these communities can become additional sources of anxiety, negativity, and depression. As Orthodox Christians, we believe in the importance of fellowship and community. Regardless of the medium or environment, we should treat every person with love, kindness, patience, and respect. In any fellowship or community, we should place Christ at the center of how we act, interact, and react. Here are some suggestions on how to keep Facebook interactions as positive experiences: Keep Facebook as an extension of your social network, not the ONLY social network. Facebook can be a great way to keep connected to quality friends from all over the U.S. But try not to make it the only way you communicate or the only place you seek out friendships. Spending time hanging out with friends or attending youth group events are ways that you can strengthen your current friendships and make new ones. Don’t be afraid to “defriend” if someone is NOT being a good friend. If you find out someone is saying mean things about you or they are harassing you, do not be afraid to remove them from your friend list. You deserve to have friends that are positive and kind. Don’t worry about your friend count compared to others. Focus on having quality friends versus a certain quantity of friends. Remember that Facebook is not a moral-free or consequence-free zone. Sometimes people post things or say things online that they would not post or say in person. So remember that the things you say and do have consequences just like they do in person. Mean words can hurt people’s feelings. Inappropriate pictures can ruin someone’s reputation. Bullying can be so dangerous that it lead to depression or something worse. We should live by the “Golden Rule” in person and online. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Greek Americans in NY, Pa, Mich, Fla, March in March New York Event Draws Thousands
The nation’s oldest and largest Greek Independence Day Parade attracted thousands of spectators and marchers on a sunny, but very cold and windy March 27. More than 100 parishes and organizations from, not only New York, but New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia participated, along with a unit of Evzones from Greece. Also featured were 42 colorful floats from societies representing many regions of Greece. Marchers followed the traditional route of more than a mile up Fifth Avenue, culminating at 79th Street in front of Archdiocese headquarters.
Another group of college students traveled from Maryland.
Archbishop Demetrios, joined by Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey and other dignitaries, steps oﬀ at the head of the annual parade. (below) Among the honored guests were actor Michael Constantine, star of by Big Fat Greek Wedding, and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The Olympic Dancers of the Metropolis of Pittsburgh . Several societies representing the diﬀerent regions of Greece included participants from Euboea (above) and Chios (below).
Children of Saint Basil Academy in Garrison, N.Y.
Greek school students of Sts. Constantine and Helen Cathedral in Richmond, Va., traveled more than 300 miles to march.
After the start of the parade, Metropolitan Evangelos marches at the head of a large delegation of New Jersey parishes and associations. Joining him was the Consul General of Cyprus in New York, Koula Sophianou.
The Carnival of Love Foundation float draws attention to the cause of autism.
Hundreds of college and university students from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, including this Columbia U. group, turned out in force to show their enthusiasm.
Detroit Parade Includes Greek ‘Martha Stewart’ Metropolitan Nicholas of Detroit led the 10th annual parade through downtown Detroit to the heart of historic ‘Greektown.’ Events celebrating Greek Independence Day began on March 25 with a preview of the Hellenic Museum of Michigan, scheduled to open later this year. The Hellenic Heritage Awards Dinner on March 26 recognized individuals who are contributing members of the community and have achieved exemplary distinction in laying the foundation of their faith and culture. This year’s honorees were Tula Georgeson, Dr. Harry Kotsis, George Raptis, Dr. Mike Syropoulos and Ernest Zachary. The parade on March 27 included more than 40 marching units, a group of visiting leaders from the Messenia region of Greece and internationally renowned author and “Grande Dame” of Greek Cuisine, Vefa Alexiadou, came from Athens, Greece. She is known as the Martha Stewart of Greece. Among the communities represented were Windsor, Ontario; Toledo, Ohio; and Flint, Ann Arbor and Lansing, Mich.
Macedonians, take note. Metropolitan Nicholas of Detroit leads the annual event though Greektown.
A group of marchers parade through downtown Philadelphia.
Florida Event Draws Over 100 Groups TARPON SPRINGS, Fla. – Tampa Bay area Greek Community members commemorated Greek Independence Day with events held March 25-27. Their parade took place on March 27, originating at St. Nicholas Cathedral and continuing to the sponge docks on Dodecanese Blvd. Participants included U.S. Congressman Gus Bilirakis, the mayor of Tarpons Springs, other political leaders, representatives of the Greek consulate in Tampa and about 120 groups from throughout Florida, including a Scotish bagpipe band and many floats.