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MAY 2011 • Vol. 76 • No. 1265

AHEPA, IOCC Aid Victims of Deadly Storms, Tornadoes WASHINGTON-BALTIMORE – The devastating storms that wreaked havoc across the South from Arkansas to North Carolina in late April and resulted in more than 300 people killed prompted immediate action by the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), and the International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC). AHEPA has made available its Emergency Relief Fund to help the victims of the deadly tornadoes and storms that devastated six states, Supreme President and Archon Nicholas A. Karacostas announced. “Our thoughts and prayers are with our fellow Americans during this most difficult time,” Karacostas said. “We hope to be able to help the communities that are in dire need of assistance. Philanthropy is an integral part of our mission, and we must work together to assist the victims of this terrible natural disaster.” AHEPA has a significant presence in the South, especially in Alabama where there are 17 U.S. Department of Housing Senior Housing Complexes under AHEPA management and Penelope House, a family violence center dedicated to helping victims of domestic violence. Donations may be sent to: AHEPA Emergency Relief Fund, Attn: Tornadoes Relief, 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 philanthropic donations and disaster relief to aid the greater community, including: Haitian Earthquake (2010), Greek Wildfires Relief (2007), September 11 Relief (2001-2002), and Athens Earthquake (1999). IOCC has been in contact with Orthodox Christian communities and partner organizations in several U.S. states to assess the needs of survivors. “While some areas of the United States have been unseasonably dry and experiencing widespread fires, there have been reports of more than 750 tornadoes already this year,” says IOCC Executive Director Constantine Triantafilou. “We have been contacting Orthodox hierarchs and parishes, ecumenical partners, and local authorities in communities across the South and Midwest to assess the needs and offer our support.” Orthodox faithful can help the victims of disasters around the world, like the natural disasters in the United States, by making a financial gift to the United States Emergency Response Fund, which will provide immediate relief as well as long-term support through the provision of emergency aid, recovery assistance and

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Archdiocesan Council Gives Total Support on Lynn Issue by Jim Golding

The Ascension And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. Now it came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted from them and carried up to heaven. And they worshipped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple praising and blessing God. (Luke 24:50-53).

Two TV Programs Offer a Rare Look at Orthodox Faith NEW YORK – Pascha weekend this year marked a first for the Orthodox faith and for American TV with the broadcast of programs on the Jesus Prayer and Mount Athos. “Mysteries of the Jesus Prayer,” a new book and documentary feature film presents an inner–view of Orthodox monasticism. It aired in an abbreviated public TV version on 218 PBS TV stations especially for Pascha. The national TV broadcasts were partially funded by the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The program was distributed by American Public Television. The program on Mount Athos aired

April 24 on “60 Minutes” and featured an inside look into the workings of the Holy Mountain and lives of its monks by Correspondent Bob Simon, who had previously interviewed Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on 60 Minutes in 2009, who facilitated the Mount Athos story.

BOSTON – Archdiocesan Council members at their spring meeting May 6 unanimously approved a resolution calling on the St. George parish in Lynn, Mass., to comply with the Uniform Regulations of the Archdiocese. Lynn leaders have refused to meet parish financial commitments as determined by the Clergy Laity Congress, in open defiance of the Metropolis of Boston and Archdiocese officials. The Archdiocesan Council resolution gives the parish 10 days to conform to the regulations of the Archdiocese or be considered in schism. (Full text of resolution on page 3). Being in schism would separate the parish from the body of the Church and its sacraments. The issue, festering for several months, initially was over the parish’s refusal to submit its full National Ministries commitment, but has since turned into an issue of blatant refusal to follow the Regulations of the Archdiocese and directives of Metropolitan Methodios of Boston, Archbishop Demetrios of America, and the Holy Eparchial Synod. A lengthy discussion of the situation took place during the report of the National Finance Committee whose chairman is George Vourvoulias. He, along with other committee members and Archdiocese and Metropolis officials, reported that they met with Lynn parish representatives in an attempt to resolve the issue. Vourvoulias told Archdiocesan Council members at the May 6 meeting that “the Lynn, Mass, situation is at a crossroads. The very policies we all agreed to and worked hard to put into effect, as a National Church, and which are being followed by every Parish in the Archdiocese, are being challenged because they are not acceptable to some people in the Lynn Parish.”

Background perspective

The Holy Mountain Athos, the more than 1,000-year-old sanctuary of Orthodox Christian monasticism, which is directly under the spiritual jurisdiction of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, aired “The Monks of Mount Athos” on Pascha Sunday,

In 2006, the Clergy-Laity Congress adopted the current National Ministries Allocation System that was designed to be equally fair to all parishes in the Archdiocese and also provide for accountability and responsibility at all levels of the Church. (The St. George Parish, however, did not send representatives to the Nashville Congress, or to subsequent Clergy-Laity Congresses.) According to an information packet from the Metropolis of Boston containing all correspondence between Metropolis

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‘60 Minutes’ Features Mount Athos



MAY 2011

Icon Presentation Commemorates First Greek Burials in New World ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – Orthodox and Roman Catholic Christians held a joint ceremony on April 15 at the chapel on the grounds to the Tolomato cemetery on Cordova Street, burial site of the first Greek Orthodox Christians in the continental United States. The event recalled the footsteps of Fr. Pedro Camps who saw all his parishioners as members of one Church, although they were both Orthodox and Roman Catholic. As Fr. George Ioannou (chaplain of St. Photios Chapel and priest of Holy Trinity Church in St. Augustine) mentioned during the service, “Following the example of Patriarch Bartholomew and Pope Benedict XVI, we are here to take a step toward the two Churches being in ecumenical union under our Lord Jesus Christ.” Polly Hillier, director of St. Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine, and Fr. George presented the icon “Christ the Teacher,” by iconographer Fernando Arango-Fernandez to Fr. Tom Willis of the Roman Catholic basilica in St. Augustine. He received the gift in the name of the Catholic community. The icon was hung in the chapel of the cemetery in honor of the Greeks buried there.

The beginning

Following the Treaty of Paris in 1763 that ended the Seven Years War (known in the U.S. as the French and Indian War), the Spanish, after 250 years of colonization, were forced to leave Florida after siding with the losing French. The indigenous population who had been baptized Catholic left with them. (Most went to Cuba where Timucuan bloodlines can still be traced). The British wanted to colonize Florida and Dr. Andrew Trumbull, a Scotsman, was granted 20,000 acres of land 75 miles south of St. Augustine in an area known as “the Mosquito Coast.” Unable to interest native British colonists because of the unsuitable climate and living conditions, he turned his attention to recruiting people from southern Europe, which had a climate more comparable to that of Florida. Trumbull recruited 1,255 people from the islands of Minorca and Corsica, and from Italy and Greece for what was the largest white migration to date–twice as many settlers as the Plymouth, Jamestown and Roanoke colonies combined, although 148 migrants died during the three–month trans–Atlantic crossing. He named his tract New Smyrna after the homeland of his Greek wife, Maria. With other backers and associates his plantation

To Contact Us For questions about submitting information/news to the Orthodox Observer: Jim Golding, 212.570.3557, Advertising & Greek sections, Lefteris Pissalidis, 212.570.3555,

grew to more than 100,000 acres. Fr. Camps and another Roman Catholic priest, Fr. Bartolome Casanovas, accompanied the settlers. They joined the expedition and ministered to the multiethnic group, who by now were intermarrying and procreating. No Greek Orthodox priests accompanied the group, although they were described in a book about the colony as “waving goodbye from the dock” at the expedition’s departure from a small port in the Peloponnesus. But the colony was doomed to failure from the outset because of bad planning and poor logistics on Dr. Trumbull’s part, and incompetent management by his choice of overseers, which led to suffering and mass starvation after their arrival in Florida–some 300 died within the first five months. By chance, one day two Cuban fishermen plying the coast saw the tower of the newly erected St. Peter Church at New Smyrna and spoke with Fr. Camps. As they left, privately he asked them to deliver a message to the Roman Catholic bishop in Santiago, Cuba, expressing his need for holy oil and liturgical supplies. In secret the bishop responded to Fr. Camps. When the British learned of the liaison between the Catholics in Florida and those in Cuba they labeled it “Spanish Intrigue” and blamed

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In 2011, published monthly except February - March and July - August by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Editorial and Business Office: 8 East 79th Street, New York, NY 10075 TEL.: (212) 570–3555 FAX (212) 774–0239

(Above) Archbishop Demetrios administered the oath of office April 7 to the new Board of Trustees of Holy Trinity Archdiocesan Cathedral at the Chapel of St. Paul at the Archdiocese (random order with Archbishop Demetrios and Bishop Andonios of Phasiane): Fr. Frank Marangos, dean; Stephen Cherpelis, president; Robert Shaw, 1st vice president; Herbert Butler, 2nd vice president; Andrew Yiannakos, treasurer; Richard Economou, assistant. Treasurer; Lilly Gerontis-Pritchard, secretary; Dorothy Poli, assistant secretary; Michael Beys, Peter Chrisanthopoulos, Charles Connant, Emanuel Demos, James Gianakis, Antoine Harovas, William Ioannides, Theodore Klingos, Nicholas Koutsomitis, Chris Neamonitis and Dean Poll.

Archon D. Panagos photo

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Heroes revisited

Joe McNally, former Life magazine staff photographer, took numerous photos of Archbishop Demetrios at the Archdiocesan Chapel of St. Paul on April 27 with relics from the St. Nicholas Church at Ground Zero that was destroyed during the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. A few months after that tragic event, he produced a series of life-size portraits of 272 people involved in heroic roles for a traveling exhibit and a Time-Life book. He currently is producing a follow-up volume to that book that will be released in September to mark the 10th anniversary of the attacks.

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other support to help those in need. To donate, visit, 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. Meanwhile, Metropolis of Atlanta officials said no storm-related problems were reported by the parishes.

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MAY 2011

Editor’s note: The following is the final approved text of the resolution unanimously passed by the Archdiocesan Council supporting the Holy Eparchial Synod and Metropolitan Methodios of Boston regarding the Lynn, Mass., parish. A matter of grave concern affecting the harmony of our Holy Archdiocese has arisen. As a result of this situation, on May 5 and 6, 2011, the Archdiocesan Council took an unprecedented action by discussing the unfortunate development at St. George Church of Lynn, Mass. As a direct consequence of the parish leadership’s open defiance of the Canonical order and ecclesiastical authority of our Holy Church, the Regulations of the Archdiocese and the decisions of the Clergy-Laity Congresses, the Archdiocesan Council adopts this statement affirming the decision of our Holy Eparchial Synod and the actions of His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios of Boston. The situation first arose out of the parish leadership’s categorical refusal to fulfill the community’s allocation under the Archdiocesan Regulations, despite the fact that the parish’s audited financial statements clearly demonstrate an ability to fully meet its commitments and even though the parish was given several years of partial financial relief. Parish leadership has ignored the clear and appropriate direction of its Metropolitan, the letter of His Eminence communicating the decision of the Holy Eparchial Synod and the communications of the Finance Committee of the Archdiocesan Council, which repeatedly urged the parish to conform to the Archdiocesan Regulations and Clergy-Laity Congress decisions. Parish leadership was given multiple opportunities to resolve this issue in a fair and pastoral manner. The priest and parish council met, over a three-year period, with representatives of the Metropolis and Finance Committee of the Archdiocesan Council. Last December, the priest and entire

Resolution Adopted by the Archdiocesan Council in Support of Metropolitan Methodios ARCHIEPISCOPAL ENCYCLICAL

AHEPA Sunday 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! Archon D. Panagos photo

Metropolitan of Boston addresses the Archdiocesan Council on the situation with the Lynn, Mass., parish. Also shown, from left, are Archbishop Demetrios, Archdiocesan Council Vice Chairman Michael Jaharis, Emanuel Demos and George Vourvoulias.

parish council met with Metropolitan Methodios, the Metropolis Finance Committee and the Chair of the national Finance Committee. Still, the parish has refused to meet the obligations required of every parish of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, as determined by the Clergy—Laity Congresses. Even more disturbing, the priest and parish council convened a general assembly which voted not to fulfill the parish’s allocation, in clear violation of the Archdiocesan Regulations. The parish’s actions have necessitated this statement by the Archdiocesan Council urging the community to conform

to the same standards that apply to all parishes of the Archdiocese. If, within ten days, the parish does not conform to these standards, restoring Christian peace within the community, the Archdiocesan Council fully supports the imposition of all necessary canonical and administrative sanctions. Failure to comply would lead it into schism, separating those involved from the body of the Church and the sacramental life of the Church. The Archdiocesan Council also fully supports all actions of His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios of Boston in enforcing the Archdiocesan Regulations and Clergy-Laity Congress decision.

President Invites Archbishop to Easter Prayer Breakfast WASHINGTON -- Archbishop Demetrios, at the personal invitation of President Barack Obama, attended an Easter Prayer Breakfast at the White House on April 19, joining 11 other Christian leaders from around the nation, members of Congress and the administration. It is the second consecutive year that the President has hosted an Easter

Prayer Breakfast in the East Room. The Christian leaders, mostly Roman Catholic, Evangelicals and other Protestants, joined the President for a time of prayer, reflection, and celebration of Easter. Following the 7:30 a.m. breakfast a briefing took place for the faith leaders on issues of concern to the religious community.

CLERGY UPDATE Ordinations to the Diaconate Correction

Demetrios (Walter) Belsito – Bishop Andonios of Phasiane – Holy Trinity Church, Waterbury, Conn. 10/03/10 Ordinations to the Priesthood

Dn. Athanasios DeMedeiros – Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago – Sts. Constantine & Helen Church, Palos Hills, IL 03/20/11 Assignments

Fr. Athanasios DeMedeiros – Sts. Constantine & Helen Church, Palos Hills, IL 03/20/11 Fr. Athanasios Nenes – Assumption Church, Manchester, NH 04/27/11 Fr. Constantine Christofis – St. George Cathedral, Philadelphia, PA 05/01/11

V. Rev. Fr. Nektarios Cottros – St. Demetrios Church, Upper Darby, PA 05/01/11 Fr. Peter Day – Holy Trinity Church, Roanoke, VA 05/01/11 Fr. Constantine Nastos – Holy Trinity Church, Wilmington, DE 05/01/11 Offikia

Fr. Michael Platanis – Office of Protopresbyter, bestowed by Metropolitan Alexios 03/20/11 Fr. Luke Melackrinos – Office of Economos, bestowed by Archbishop Demetrios of America 04/17/11 Fr. James Kordaris – Office of Economos, bestowed by Archbishop Demetrios of America 04/25/11 Receptions Fr. Athanasios Nenes / April 4, 2011 (from the Church of Greece)

The Associated Press, which provided the White House pool coverage, noted that the President said that “the agony of Jesus Christ through death and resurrection puts mere political struggle in perspective.” Obama said “critical national debates” are raging, and “my plate has been full as well. The in-box keeps accumulating. But then comes Holy Week” ...”As busy as we are, as many tasks as pile up, during this season, we are reminded that there is something about the resurrection ... of Our Savior Jesus Christ that puts everything else in perspective.” The President also said he started the Prayer Breakfast last year, in part “because it gave me a good excuse to bring together people who have been such extraordinary influences in my life and such great friends.”

On this fourth Sunday after the Great and Holy Feast of Pascha, we commemorate the healing of the paralytic by our Lord Jesus Christ. This Sunday has also been designated in 2011 as our annual recognition of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association. The connection of the Sunday of the Paralytic and AHEPA Sunday is very appropriate, as it offers to us a substantive and spiritual focus on the service that is offered in our communities and around the world by the AHEPA family. The healing of the paralytic is one of many beautiful witnesses we have of the compassion of Christ for those in need. In His abundant grace He offered physical healing, but He also encouraged spiritual renewal through the restoration of the relationship with God. In the spirit and grace of our Lord, the members of AHEPA continue to offer remarkable service through their philanthropic and civic programs and through their commitment to the intellectual and spiritual development of our youth. This work compliments the ministry of the Church and offers a witness of the faith of Greek Orthodox Christians who are members of this esteemed organization and faithful members of our parishes. Thus, it is fitting that on this AHEPA Sunday we honor the members of the AHEPA family and support their work in our communities. I encourage all of our parishes to give special recognition to AHEPA on this day, asking through our prayers for the continued blessings of God upon our calling of offering compassionate and sacrificial service to all humanity.

With paternal love in the Risen Lord,

† Archbishop DEMETRIOS of America

Archdiocesan Support on Lynn Issue   from page 1 officials and the parish(including its financial statements) the Lynn Parish Council has refused to pay in full its allocated amount for the National Ministries since 2006, even though their financial statements clearly show an ability to do so. At about the same time, the parish completed a $3.5 million construction project that in-

cluded renovations to the church’s facade and new mosaics. Stories have been circulated that the Archdiocese “demanded a $20,000 increase in the parish’s allocation.” This simply is not true. In fact, the allocation has not changed since 2007. (See table graphic below) From 2007-2009, St. George Church owed a total

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MAY 2011


Archbishop Demetrios of AmericA the first DecADe 1999-2009

60 Minutes team

(Photo courtesy of Aggelos Petropoulos for 60 Minutes).

At the Vatopedi monastery during their filming of Mount Athos, from left, correspondent Bob Simon, and producers Michael Karzis and Harry Radliffe. Karzis is the son of Greek immigrants, speaks Greek and was raised as a Greek Orthodox Christian.

TV Programs Present Orthodoxy   from page 1


his beautifully produced book presents a full spectrum of the activities in the life of the Greek Orthodox Church in America from the years 1999-2009, the first ten years of Archiepiscopal Ministry of Archbishop Demetrios of America. The 368-page hard cover book contains 537 photographs, all taken by the Official Photographer of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America Dimitrios Panagos, and masterfully compiled & edited by Revekka Papadopoulou. Chapters include: Biography, Enthronement, Archpastoral Ministry, Education & Youth, Ecumenical Patriarchate, Official trips, Welcoming Visitors, At the Nation’s Capital, Omogeneia & Cultural Events, September 11-2001, Ecumenical Relations & SCOBA, 40th Anniversary of Episcopacy, and Honors & Degrees.

“A must for every Greek Orthodox parish & home in America.” To order your copy of this book ($75 per copy + $10 S&H) please call 212-774-0244, or email, or complete this order form and mail it to GOTelecom, 8 East 79th Street, New York, NY 10075.

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It recounted 60 Minutes Correspondent Bob Simon’s journey to the remote peninsula in northern Greece that millions of Orthodox Christians consider the most sacred place on earth, Mouth Athos. On the recommendation and with the blessing of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who opened the doors for the “60 Minutes” team, and after two trips to the mountain and two years of dialogue with the Anthonite community, Simon and the “60 Minutes” team were given unprecedented access last fall to document monastic life on the Holy Mountain. The result is a portrait of a place rarely seen where prayer has been offered by holy men everyday, with no interruption, for more than a thousand years. Harry Radliffe and Michael Karzis were the producers of the segment. The program featured interviews with several monks, including Fr. Iakovos, of Winthrop, Mass., who discussed his attachment to the Holy Mountain and its way of life. The program may be viewed on YouTube and the 60 Minutes website.


The book and documentary film “Mysteries of the Jesus Prayer” by documentarian and professor by Norris J. Chumley, Ph.D., reveals the history, practices, and abiding wisdom of this mystical tradition to the rest

of the world. It is based on Chumley’s travels to some of the early Church’s holiest sites with the Very Rev. Dr. John A. McGuckin, a priest and professor. They visited St. Anthony’s Monastery in the Egyptian desert and St. Catherine’s Monastery on Mount Sinai, monasteries on Mt Athos, convents in Transylvania and monasteries in Russia and Ukraine—in search of Christianity’s first mystical tradition and its modern-day practitioners. The monks and nuns he met taught him how to move through the stages of the Jesus Prayer, and how it can foster an unceasing, and ever-deepening, conversation with God. Enriched with stunning color photographs of these holy sites, where photography is rarely allowed, Mysteries of the Jesus Prayer reveals the powerful theology packed into this prayer’s few words For a more information and to obtain the full-length film on DVD visit Churches who want to show the movie to their parishioners can contact the producers: The HarperOne book, by Dr. Norris J. Chumley with the foreword by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, is available in bookstores everywhere, or on Amazon. com at

Archon Behrakis Slated as First Recipient of Nicholas J. Bouras Award The Order of St. Andrew has announced that Archon Depoutatos George D. Behrakis has been named as the first recipient of the “Nicholas J. Bouras Award for Extraordinary Archon Stewardship.” A special tribute dinner dance will be held on June 5 at the Metropolitan Club in New York. Archon George Safiol, Award Committee chairman, said, “Archon Behrakis has exemplified tremendous stewardship of time, talent and resources in support of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the mission of the Order of St. Andrew. His stewardship has also extended into the Orthodox Christian Church throughout the United States. Our committee deemed it appropriate to recognize his efforts and name him as our first recipient of this prestigious award in recognition of the extraordinary service of Vice Commander Bouras.”

Archon Behrakis has distinguished himself as a pioneer in the pharmaceutical industry as a researcher and marketer of asthma and allergy products. He is a devout churchman who has served as a past president of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Lowell, Mass; serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees of the Archdiocesan Council; was vice chairman of Hellenic College/Holy Cross School of Theology; an Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate; and as chairman of Leadership 100. He is an alumnus and served as chairman of the Board of Trustees of Northeastern University. He is also a member of the Board of Overseers of Tufts University Medical School and the Boston Symphony. The National Council of the Order of St. Andrew unanimously voted in 2010 to establish the Nicholas J. Bouras Award.


MAY 2011

ARCHONS NY Legislators Support Ecumenical Patriarchate Religious Freedom Bill ALBANY, N.Y. – All 50 members of the New York State Senate and 144 members of the New York State Assembly recently signed letters calling for the Turkish government to cease its discrimination of the Holy See, to recognize the status of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, to respect its rights to property and to ecclesiastic succession, and to grant it the right to train its clergy-including by opening the Theological Seminary at Halki. The effort was led by Sens. Dean Skelos and Michael Gianaris and Assemblywomen Aravella Simotas and Nicole Malliotakis, each of whom diligently approached colleagues individually to educate them about the Turkish government’s harmful policies toward the Ecumenical Patriarchate and to encourage them to sign on to

the letter. Archbishop Demetrios noted the significance of the overwhelming support the letters received. “This is a great day for the State of New York and for the Greek Orthodox Church in America,” His Eminence stated.” He praised the efforts of the four legislators in getting unanimous support for the bill. The legislative religious freedom initiative for New York State was coordinated by Archons John Catsimatidis, Peter Skeadas, Nikiforos Mathews, Theodore Klingos and John Kassimatis. Fortythree legislative chambers in 37 states have now either passed resolutions or signed religious freedom letters in support of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. For more information about the Order of St. Andrew’s state legislative religious freedom project, visit

Fordham Professor, National Commander Speak at Symposium BROOMALL, Pa. – The Order of St. Andrew’s Philadelphia region hosted its third annual symposium titled “St. John Chrysostom on Fasting: What’s the Point?” and “The Ecumenical Patriarchate: What’s the Latest?” at St. Luke Church on May 7. Aristotle Papanikolaou, Ph.D., associate professor of theology at Fordham University in New York and co-founder of its Orthodox Christian Studies program, addressed the first part of the symposium on “Can fasting be strict or lax, mandatory or optional, carnal or spiritual? What is the purpose and goal of fasting?” Dr. Papanikolaou explored St. John Chrysostom’s homilies on fasting and an-

swered the question, “What’s the Point of Fasting?” Anthony J. Limberakis, M.D., national commander of the Order of St. Andrew, spoke at the second half of the symposium. Fresh off the International Archon Religious Freedom Conference in Brussels, Belgium and Turkey’s returning the confiscated patriarchal orphanage to the Ecumenical Patriarchate; the Order of St. Andrew continues to fight for religious freedom for the Holy See of Constantinople, the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey also offered his personal reflections on fasting and his perspective on the 21st century.

Admiral to Receive Athenagoras Award NEW YORK - The Order of St. AndrewArchons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate has announced that Admiral James G. Stavridis, the supreme allied commander of NATO and commander of the United States European Command, will be the recipient of this year’s Athenagoras Human Rights Award on Oct. 15. Admiral Stavridis will accept the award on behalf of the heroic members of the Armed Forces who place themselves daily in harm’s way to protect our freedom, liberties and American way of life. The Athenagoras Human Rights Award will be presented during the Grand Banquet of the Order of Saint Andrew, which will be

held as part of the Order’s annual three-day assembly, Oct. 14-16, at the Hilton hotel in New York. National Commander Anthony J. Limberakis, M.D., said, “With the presentation of the 2011 Athenagoras Human Rights Award to Admiral James G. Stavridis the Order is recognizing the extraordinary contributions of the 2.3 million members of our nation’s Armed Services who protect our inalienable freedoms bestowed to us by our Creator, but are only experienced by a minority of the world’s 7 billion inhabitants.” Adm. Stavridis is a 1976 distinguished graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and a native of South Florida.

National Lenten Retreat Held in NJ SOUTH BOUND BROOK, N.J. – Rev. Dr. John Chryssavgis, former professor at Holy Cross School of Theology and currently serving as advisor to the Ecumenical Patriarchate on environmental issues, led the 8th National Archon Lenten Retreat at the Ukrainian Center of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The theme of the retreat was “An Ancient Faith for a Modern World” and addressed fundamental principles of Orthodox Christian spirituality and in particular of Great Lent - such as fasting, prayer, forgiveness, silence, and love - interpreting these in light of Scripture and the early Desert Fathers and Mothers, but also in relation to contemporary challenges and reality. Over 50 Archons and their spouses were introduced to the world and thought of the early desert monastics of Egypt, Pales-

tine and Sinai, particularly with reference to “The Sayings of the Desert Fathers.” Archon Peter Skeadas, Spirituality Committee chairman, organized the retreat. Archons John Halecky Jr., and James C. Fountas coordinated the event with the Ukrainian Center. In gratitude to Fr. Chryssavgis, Archons National Commander Dr. Anthony J. Limberakis said, “Every year, we are blessed to have a speaker who deepens our understanding of our holy Orthodox Christian faith. This year at the Ukrainian Center, reflective of the ecumenicity of our Holy Mother Church, Father Chryssavgis a renown Orthodox theologian, eloquently and effectively referenced important teachings from the Desert Fathers that we should implement with the ultimate goal of becoming more Christ-like in our daily lives.”


MAY 2011

Reflections on a Missionary Journey to East Africa of the ritual and sacrifice in that sense. They invoke the spirit in times of illness and drought. by Jim Golding

From March 19 to April 1, Bishop Savas of Troas, director of the Office of Church and Society, led a mission team on his first-ever journey to a remote part of northwestern Kenya. The team consisted of Fr. Martin Ritsi, director of the Orthodox Christian Mission Center and seven students from Hellenic College-Holy Cross School of Theology. Their mission was to bring the Orthodox faith to people of the Turkana tribe, a group of mostly nomadic people who live in the semi-arid savannah, a region stretching south of the Sudan and the Sahara desert. For their livelihood, they rely on camel herding, cows, goats and some sheep grazing. The Turkana tribe numbers about 400,000 and relies on two rivers and a lake (formerly known as Lake Rudolf), for their survival. Except for the rainy season, the region is very dry. According to a website about the Turkana, their social structure is very loose and flexible, a necessity given the constant movement of families as they search for better grazing land and water. Each family is a self-contained social unit, with four or five families sometimes grazing together. Families can get quite large as married sons (and their wives and children) will stay with their father’s family. Initiation into adulthood is subdued with minor rituals marking the event for boys every four years. Girls are considered adults once they are married. The OCMC has had a relationship with theTurkana people for several years. After his return to the Archdiocese, Bishop Savas gave the following interview to the Observer on his missionary experience in Kenya. O.O: How did you become involved with the OCMC mission to Kenya? BISHOP SAVAS: I was appointed by Archbishop Demetrios as the OCMC liaison to the Assembly of Bishops. Because my knowledge of the OCMC was limited to what I read in their magazine, I thought, “What better way to learn about the Mission Center than by attending the board of trustees meeting in St. Augustine (in March) and by accompanying Fr. Martin Ritsi and an OCMC team to Africa.” The visit was in two parts; the first part was spent in Kenya, for a week. For the second part, Fr. Martin and I visited Tanzania. The team included seven HC-HC students who raised their own funds to pay their expenses. O.O: How was your “commute?” BISHOP: We went by way of Amsterdam to Nairobi; then by small plane to Lodwar in northwestern Kenya; then by land rover to the village of Loupwala, a 4-hour drive over unmarked roads. O.O: How would you describe a typical day? BISHOP: We rose with the sun and the roosters. We slept on the ground in individual tents and there were small huts for sponge baths. We ate one meal a day. The first day, we held a liturgy un-

Bishop Savas (above) distributes antidoron to these Turkana children following the Divine Liturgy. (below) Fr. Martin Ritsi assists Fr. Zecharias, the celebrant at the liturgy. (Photos by Stephanos Ritsi)

O.O: What is the current state of the Orthodox faith there? BISHOP: The Orthodox faith is, in a sense, thriving there. The OCMC helped build a church in Lodwar. St. John the Baptist. It’s the largest town in Turkana province, though it’s just a shanty town; nothing that we would call a city. There are unpaved roads and extreme poverty. Education is offered for children from kindergarten to fifth grade. Archbishop Makarios of Kenya is dean of the Orthodox seminary in Nairobi, which has 40 to 60 African students. Archbishop Makarios of Cyprus founded the seminary. The churches are rapidly growing, but the need is even greater. These churches quickly fill up. The need for priests and places of worship is great there. The Church has accepted the local customs and practices of each tribe. O.O: Is language a barrier to spreading the faith? BISHOP: About 80 languages are spoken in Kenya from five different language families. The main language is Swahili, the common language, and English also is spoken. The Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria has been rising to the challenge. They translated the liturgy into many local languages. The liturgy is done entirely in the Turkana language.Fr. Zecharias, the chief celebrant, celebrated with great ease. I commend the Patriarch of Alexandria in allowing people to express themselves in their own way. They occasionally break out in song; and jump and dance after communion. They sing locally composed songs about Jesus.

der a tree in the village. On the second day, we visited a village about three miles away, Nacabosan. Fr. Martin had been in conversations with the shaman, the spiritual head of the village to get his approval. His name was Selawe and he met Fr. Martin at the site where some baptisms were to be performed. He approved of the visit. We walked for three miles in 115-degree heat since we couldn’t use a car. We spent the day with the villagers, performing skits, illustrating Jesus’ teachings and parables; talking to them about Jesus as Lord, healer, conqueror of demons; the Lord of nature. The Liturgy was followed by the baptism of 129 people who had been prepared by the priests prior to their arrival. The region was in the eighth month of a drought and we had to walk more than a kilometer to find enough water in an otherwise dry riverbed for immersion to be possible. The baptism was followed by an afternoon of celebratory singing and dancing by the tribe. O.O: Is Orthodox Christianity gaining acceptance among the Turkana?

BISHOP: Kenya is about 80 percent Christian – half are Roman Catholic and the rest are mostly Lutheran, Anglican or Pentecostal. About 10 percent are Muslim and the remaining 10 percent are animists, worship nature and spirits. The Turkana are largely animist and we were going to a place where the gospel had not been preached before. It’s not a question of getting those who already are Christians to convert to ours, but we were going to where Jesus had not been preached before and giving them the good news Not all are new to gospel. Some villages have already embraced Orthodoxy. Two Turkana Orthodox priests laid the groundwork for the visit, working with Fr. Martin and one purpose of going was to strengthen their ministry by visiting their people. We spent a couple of days instructing 16 men to be catechists. Each of the seminarians prepared a presentation on various aspects of Christian faith, which the priests interpreted. Their (animist) theology is not terribly developed. They attribute occurrences to a “great spirit,” but they don’t appeal to that spirit on a regular basis. They don’t have a strong sense

O.O: What impressed you most about the people? BISHOP: Their participation in worship; daily orthros and vespers in Lodwar and in Tanzania. Every night there is a two-hour service and the people are there from beginning to end. The church is full and there is perfect silence. You could hear a pin drop. Everybody communed. There was simplicity and naturalness. This comes partly because the liturgy is entirely in their language. There is no language barrier. They listen carefully and sing along. The melodies are largely familiar Byzantine melodies, but they sing the words in their own language. Occasionally tribal melodies are adapted for Christian use. O.O: What experiences and observations have you come away with from your mission? BISHOP: Parts of the experience were among the most difficult things I have ever done because of the heat, the poverty, and my age. The memory of those difficulties is very vivid, but the joy I derived from the experience is such that I would go back in a heart beat. It was a soul-expanding, horizonexpanding experience; that as many Orthodox people as possible should take advantage of. Groups from Greece and Cyprus come regularly; teams that teach, do cooking, and whatever they can to advance the cause of the missions. Doctors from outside come and serve in the clinics. The Church has built clinics in remote areas, built schools and dug wells.

MAY 2011

The Voice of Philoptochos

The Importance of the Proposed Philanthropy Center

President Skeadas’ Easter Message

Editor’s note: The following is an abbreviated version of National Philoptochos President Aphrodite Skeadas’ address to the National Board Members at their April 2 meeting in Michigan. by Aphrodite Skeadas

TROY, Mich. -- This year the Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society celebrates a milestone 80th anniversary serving those in need with love, respect, caring and compassion. We, the members of Philoptochos, are privileged to be recipients of this great legacy from our grandmothers and earlier generations. We must continue what our pioneer heroes began in 1931 by serving with determination and agape, the less fortunate. Our philanthropic mission has no boundaries as our good works are unlimited. Through your concerted efforts and those of our entire chapter’s 27,000 membership, the National Philoptochos Society distributed in 2010 alone, an amount just under $1.4 million in financial assistance to our National Ministry Commitments, special projects and to the underprivileged. The National Society could not achieve this great giving without the support of this Holy Metropolis. Metropolitan Nicholas, I sincerely thank you for your spiritual guidance, for your blessed prayers and considerate support for every member of each of the chapters in this Holy Metropolis and for us all. Your generosity of faith and agape, as well as your devotion and commitment to the Philoptochos Society and its ideals are examples of action and intent which brings forth spectacular achievements so that aid is offered to the physically and emotionally wounded and by making better the lives of others. The Philoptochos Society continues for eight decades beginning in 1931 when Archbishop Athenagoras designated Philoptochos the official philanthropic auxiliary of the Archdiocese. Today, under the chairmanship of Archbishop Demetrios, the dedicated and faithful Orthodox women demonstrate that the Philoptochos is the exemplary sisterhood, truly the philanthropic heart and soul of our Church. It has been said that “necessity is the mother of invention.” What is factual is the imperative need to house our 80-year-old noble and blessed organization. Necessity has created urgency for the National Philoptochos Society to secure a stable and permanent home. We are the mothers of invention. We are not lingering to awake one morning to the next residence crisis... at which time... we would pose the “Where are we going to go?” question. We are not seeking to drift. We are seeking to anchor. We must establish a permanent Philoptochos Center of Philanthropy that will exist for all future generations. After being headquartered for more than 20 years at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Manhattan, the National Philoptochos has begun an initiative to purchase a permanent home. To preserve what has been established


Metropolitan Nicholas, National President Aphrodite Skeadas, honored guest Vefa Alexiadou and other dignitaries at the National Board meeting.

and to foster future development of the Philoptochos mission, the National Board unanimously voted and the 2010 National Philoptochos Convention delegates unanimously supported the founding of a permanent home for Philoptochos to be located in New York. Great efforts have been made by Philoptochos volunteers overcoming what many thought to be as insurmountable obstacles and even perhaps unlikely aspirations. To date, more than $1 million has been raised towards this goal. You as heroes are victorious, and together with your diligence and prayers, Philoptochos will expand the dimensions of its mission, calling to serve with compassion, dignity and respect. The Philoptochos Center of Philanthropy will provide hope and enlightenment for the battered, the suffering, the disabled and the hungry. Several potential properties for the Center are presently being researched. The Center also will provide a perma-

nent residence to expand our current social services assistance. Broader programs will include counseling for medical and mental health wellness, case management, and advocacy for women, children, families and seniors. In addition, educational workshops, forums, training sessions and seminars will be developed for our Society on a chapter, metropolis and national level. The Center will allow us the opportunity to better serve those most in need and our chapters nationwide. It will provide the space necessary to meet physically, face to face, and conduct workshops and a safe space for archives. Philoptochos is not now what it was 80 years ago and will not be in 80 years what it is today. The Center of Philanthropy will be the keystone to foster the evolution of the future Philoptochos. Sisters in Philoptochos and friends, with your support and with God’s grace and blessing we are well charted to our permanent home.

Metropolis Ladies Raise Funds for Center by Angie Bournias

TROY, Mich.-- In an exclusive personal appearance, internationally renowned authors Vefa Alexiadou, and her daughter, Alexia Alexiadou, traveled from Greece to present a major benefit luncheon for the National Philoptochos with all proceeds benefiting the Philoptochos Center of Philanthropy. The sell-out audience of 400 attendees enjoyed the colorful, imaginative and very informative culinary commentary at the Metropolis of Detroit Philoptochos Luncheon held on April 2. Maria Stavropoulos, served as luncheon chairman for this second major Metropolis fundraiser to benefit the Philoptochos Center of Philanthropy. The National Philoptochos Board held its spring meeting in conjunction with the benefit luncheon. Other activities included a visit to the women’s shelter, a cooking demonstration, press conference and participation at services at St. John’s Church in Sterling Heights, Mich. followed by a Lenten supper offered by the parish Philoptochos, under the chairmanship of Katherine Kotsis. The entire Metropolis Philoptochos, under President Eleni Zeferis, was apprecia-

tive of Kiria Vefa’s visit and the outstanding support and tremendous hospitality of the women of the communities the Detroit Metropolis serves. The program also included remarks by Metropolitan Nicholas, National Philoptochos President Aphrodite Skeadas, Luncheon Chairman Maria Stavropoulos and Metropolis President Eleni Zeferis. Christine Karavites, National Board member, served as master of ceremonies. In her remarks President Skedas stated, “To realize our mission to establish our Center of Philanthropy, we are reaching out to our chapters across the country. The Center will be more than a home but a 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.” The National Philoptochos urges all chapters, parishes, organizations and individuals to support the Philoptochos Center of Philanthropy especially at this time of its Paschal Appeal to reach its goal of $50,000 from Pascha to Pentecost. To donate visit:

CENTER OF PHILANTHROPY PASCHAL APPEAL Help us celebrate Pascha and Pentecost with your donation to the Paschal Appeal so that we reach our goal of $50,000 raised in 50 days. To reach our goal we need You. Please give! Donations large and small

($5. $50, $500, $5,000) may be sent to the Philoptochos Center of Philanthropy Capital Campaign, National Philoptochos, 7 West 55th Street, New York, NY 10017 or donate on line at www.

Beloved National Board Members, Chapter Presidents and Fellow Members of the Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society, Christos Anesti! I greet you during the Great and Holy Lent as we walk together in the sacred mystery of unconditional love found in the crucifixion and Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The anguishing events of the past months that have unfolded throughout the world, natural rippling catastrophes, man created wars and the dampening economic crises, make us pause ruefully and truly appreciate the delicate, yet perilous, nature of life. We are constantly reminded that the environment, humankind and our lives are fragile. The events that occur in nature directly affect us all and our own actions and decisions have powerful ramifications for ourselves and others. All this reflection, with spiritual solace, makes us more aware of how precious the gift of life is, how truly priceless each day is and the need to protect both the environment and humankind for universal redemption. During these past holy days, we were reminded there is one universal and timeless action that affected all of nature and humankind: the selfless sacrificial love of Christ, offered for all, through His crucifixion and Resurrection. This one act of immeasurable love redeemed all of nature and humankind. All things were transfigured; all things were made anew and recreated by the love of God that shined forth from the empty tomb that first Paschal morning. As we read in the Gospel according to Matthew (27:51) when the Lord Christ breathed His last on the Cross, “… the earth quaked, and the rocks were split.” The love of God for all of creation penetrated the deepest parts of the earth and to the farthest reaches of the heavens. It was the one act of love by the Savior that redeemed all. There is extensive suffering in our nation and throughout the world. We are exhorted by the Lord to express our faith through daily actions inspired by unbounded agape to help change lives of the disenfranchised just as His act of love has changed us. The faithful women of Philoptochos are blessed as they battle adversity and continually follow the example given to us by the Lord. Believe in the power of the Resurrection and believe that our actions make a difference. May we glorify the Lord Christ especially during this holy season by being charitable and offering hope to the physically and emotionally wounded, by participating individually and collectively in unity in the good works of the Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society and by glorifying His Resurrection by making better the lives of others. With sisterly love and hope in the Resurrected Christ, Aphrodite Skeadas



MAY 2011

Archdiocesan Council Gives Total Support on Lynn Issue u u from page 3 balance of $48,778, which was forgiven by the Archdiocese. The allocations for 2010 and 2011 should have been $90,576 and $97,017, according to national allocation formula used for all parishes in the Archdiocese; however the Metropolis of Boston lowered the Lynn Church’s commitment to $88,000 in order to give them more time to adjust to their fully allocated amount. In October 2010, Archdiocese Finance Committee Co-Chairman George Matthews met with leaders of the Lynn parish, who regrettably continued to refuse to pay their allocation. Then in December 2010, National Finance Chairman George Vourvoulias, at the invitation of Metropolitan Methodios and the Metropolis Finance Team, met in Brookline with the parish priest, Fr. George D. Tsoukalas, and the Parish Council to resolve the issue. The Parish Council President, John Meklis, admitted during the meeting that the Lynn community “has the ability to pay” but “refuses to do so.” He also said the church would “take any consequences the Metropolis or the Archdiocese gave them.” Thereafter, both the parish priest and council members abruptly walked out ending the meeting. In February of this year, the parish convened an unauthorized general assembly during which Parish Council leaders warned parishioners to support the Parish leadership’s stance or “risk closing the church.” They claimed that “the Archdiocese has demanded an assessment against our church that your Parish Council has determined is unreasonable, unfair, and unaffordable.” The letter announcing the assembly to parishioners signed byMr. Meklis and Fr. Tsoukalas, dated Jan. 31st, cites “difficult economic times and diminishing revenues” as presenting a hardship for the community in paying the additional allocation. It further states, “the community’s needs outweigh the needs of the Archdiocese.” It warned the members of the St. George community that if they agree to pay the full Archdiocesan allocation, the consequences would be “immediate across the board increase in all minimum Stewardship commitments to twice their current levels, elimination of certain church programs, failure to meet approved 2011 budget, possible temporary closure of church to save funds.” The end of the letter warns the members: “Your attendance is mandatory if you want to save our church.” Metropolis Chancellor Fr. Theodore Barbas advised the priest and Parish Council that the assembly’s agenda was “in violation of Archdiocese Regulations and out of order.” Metropolis documents also note that Lynn is the only parish of 63 in the Metropolis of Boston that did not contribute its full National Ministries Commitment. Metropolitan Methodios has stated that we

In his letter, the Archbishop cites biblical references in the Book of Acts that spell out the financial obligations Christians must undertake for the good of the entire Church. Likewise, Metropolitan Methodios’ correspondence reflects a tone of pastoral care. Also lending its voice encouraging a swift resolution of the issue, a letter was signed by the priests of the Metropolis of Boston expressing dismay with the language that has been used in reference to Metropolitan Methodios which has “embarrassed us all.” The letter encourages the Lynn leadership to “abide by the decisions that we all collectively make at our biennial Clergy-Laity Congresses that are ratified at the Ecumenical Patriarchate.”

Unequivocal support

Archon D. Panagos photos

Dr. Anthony Limberakis adds the full support of the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

are one united Archdiocese, and “if every Bishop, priest or layman, whether a Parish Council member, Archon or member of Leadership 100 (no matter how powerful and influential he may think he is) ignored the provisions of the Patriarchal Charter and Uniform Regulations, our church in America would be regulated to a state of chaos.”

Subsequent actions

Since December 20, 2010, the Metropolitan applied certain sanctions against the parish for its defiance, such as confining Fr. Tsoukalas to exercising his priestly ministry exclusively to Lynn and not permitting him to participate in church services in any other church in the Metropolis. Three months later the Metropolis was forced to add additional sanctions in order to encourage the Lynn parish leadership to return to canonical order. On March 24, Archbishop Demetrios sent a letter to the priest and Parish Council, expressing the decision of the Holy Eparchial Synod to support the “decision

and actions of Metropolitan Methodios” in enforcing the regulations of the Archdiocese as they apply to all parishes. Additionally, a joint meeting on March 22 in Chicago of the Archdiocesan Finance Committee consisting of representatives of all Metropolises of the Archdiocese unanimously approved a motion urging the Lynn Parish to comply with the decisions of the Clergy-Laity Congress and the Regulations of the Archdiocese. However, in a letter from the St. George Parish Council to parishioners dated April 6, the parish leaders declared that the community “will not succumb to the intimidation and bullying tactics of His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios…The entire St. George community remains united and committed to fulfilling its sacred spiritual mission as established by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” The tone of the correspondence from not only Metropolitan Methodios, but also the Chancellor of Boston, and Archbishop Demetrios is not one of “intimidation and bullying,” as alleged by the Parish Council.








Balance Due $15,448 FORGIVEN



$66,000 *

Balance Due $11,535 FORGIVEN




Balance Due $21,795 FORGIVEN


(Amount should have been $90,576)


Balance Due $20,000 NOT FORGIVEN


(Amount should have been $97,017)



Past Due of 2010: $20,000

*Does not include a $10,000 private donation to the Archdiocese on behalf of the Lynn Community.

A large turnout of Archdiocesan Council members, including Bishop Andonios of Phasiane and Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos, listen intently to a presentation.

Archdiocesan Council members also expressed strong support at the spring meeting. Mr. Vourvoulias added to his previous comments, “I’m appalled at the false and misleading stories I read in the (Greek) paper that completely insulted the position of every one of our Metropolitans,” he said. He added that several parishioners from St. George Church had offered to pay the balance of the Lynn commitment, to avoid further embarrassment for the parish, “but a certain individual warned them not to get involved.” “I’m saddened that we have come to a point where one person, or two, or the priest defies the authority of the Church, said Arthur Anton of Boston, a member of the Archdiocesan Council for more than 40 years. “I am disappointed we cannot reach out to a few people on the (Parish) Council.” He continued, “Metropolitan Methodios has shown patience to the Lynn church. I regret we have to resort to this.” Attorney Demitrios Moschos of Worcester, Mass., referring to the decision to put forth the resolution, stated, “We tried to reach out to that Parish Council.” He added, “The Metropolitan has been very patient, very understanding; he has suffered unfortunate attacks, regrettably.” “An attack on any Metropolitan is an attack on all,” declared Lou Kirkos of Detroit. “We tried to be politically correct and what did we achieve? Nothing,” said Savas Tsivicos of New Jersey. “They ignore the Metropolitan, ignore the Synod, ignore the Clergy-Laity Congress. We must take action that is clear and decisive. It’s not about the money; it’s about the disregard and disrespect of the Metropolitan, and the Regulations of the Archdiocese.” The legal counsel for the Archdiocese, Emanuel Demos, noted that the Lynn parish leadership had not followed estab-

u u to page 12

Members of the Archdiocese Finance Committee, led by co-Chairmen George Vourvoulias and George Matthews, meet in an all-day session on May 5 prior to the meeting of the full Council on the following day.


MAY 2011

TALES FROM L.A. Connected to Community by Fr. John S. Bakas

As you read this article, Pascha 2011 is becoming a pleasant and comforting memory. You’ve probably kept the palm cross you received in church on Palm Sunday and put it near your home icons. In your home icon corner you may have saved some holy oil from Holy Wednesday service and a flower from the Epitaphio. It’s possible that buried in your refrigerator are one or two red Easter eggs, left over memories of the first moments you wished a friend or relative Christos Anesti. These simple yet tangible connections to the most holy of days on our Orthodox Calendar have meaning, not only in themselves, but because they were received by you and your family in the context of our Orthodox Christian community. Community – our connections to God and to one another – is another way to define our ancient faith. It is in the context of community, the family of God that we worship, pray and participate in the sacraments. Together on an ongoing participating basis we can experience the sense of Church. Another word for Heaven is the word “connected.” Another word for Hell is the word “disconnected.” The Church connects us to God. St. Ignatius the Martyr says, “Where Christ is, there is His Church.” Sometimes our own apathy and ignorance disconnects us from God and isolates us from our fellowship in God’s family…the Church. So many disconnected Greek Orthodox people unfortunately treat the church the way they treat the Department of Motor Vehicles. Their focus is “how do I get what I need, pay for it and move on.” In other words, what does it cost to register my car, renew my driver’s license or transfer my car title. Once the transaction is completed we don’t think about the DMV until the next time we need them. In like manner, the Church becomes for many a “hatch, match, patch and dispatch operation” in our life. “How do I baptize my child and what does it cost?” “What’s the process of getting my daughter married and what does it cost?” “My marriage is falling apart – Father help!” or “My Aunt Mary passed away two days ago. How do I arrange a funeral for

her and what does it cost?” The question often is not only what does it cost but can I get a break on the price because Aunt Mary was a member of Philoptochos in the 80’s. From 40-day children’s blessings to home blessings, many people who are disconnected from the total life of the church see it as a religious retail store where we buy a religious commodity. This is a sad but real commentary. Even Holy Week and Pascha itself is treated by some as a visit to a charming religious Disneyland that is visited once a year. I got phone calls during Holy Week such as: • “What day is the Holy ‘lubrication’ service this year?” • “How long is the ‘Curcifi-cation’ service this year?” • “How long does it take to take the ‘Wooden flower box’ around the church on Friday night?” • “What time ‘exactly’ is communion at Easter Liturgy?” The people calling with their questions are not trying to be funny or strange. They just don’t know. They are disconnected from the daily life of the Orthodox family of God. They are on the outside, occasionally looking in. If Easter tells us anything, it is to call us to life in Christ, to life and involvement in His Church. When we say “Christos Anesti” and respond with “Alithos Anesti,” it is a witness to on-going faith in our truly risen Christ. Pascha calls us to community and communion with the death-defeating, life-giving God. He calls us to a new consciousness and awareness. As you visit and meet with disconnected Greek Orthodox Christians and exchange the greeting of Christos Anesti, invite them to be a part of the community of saints. Tell them what St. Cyprian says, “Do not think that you maintain the true Gospel of Christ, if you separate yourself from the flock of Christ.” Encourage their on-going participation in the Church which was purchased for them by the blood of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ. Christos Anesti! Fr. Bakas is dean of St. Sophia Cathedral, Los Angeles and a faculty member of Loyola Marymount University, School of Theology.

Icon Presentation Commemorates First Greek Burials in New World   from page 2 the clergy for instigating several revolts by the colonists, which led to Fr. Casanovas expulsion from the continent. After their final insurrection, the British governor, Patrick Tonyn, a political adversary of Dr. Turnbull, ceded a part of St. Augustine to the escaped laborers of the New Smyrna Colony and the area north of Hypolita Street to the City Gates and west of St. George Street to the Sebastian River became the “Greek Settlement.” Fr. Camps established a church in 1777 known as the “Greek Chapel” on the second floor of a

house on St. George Street where St. Photios Chapel stands today.

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Spain regained control of Florida in 1783 following the Treaty of Paris that ended the War for American Independence. This time they backed the winning side. It eventually ceded the territory to the United States in the 1820s. Dr. Turnbull lost his plantation and never returned to England, but relocated to Charleston, S.C., where he had relatives. He went on to become a founder of the Medical Society of South Carolina.

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MAY 2011

‘Real Break’ Offers a Real Break for College Students Wanting Fulfillment

by Arianna Ranahosseini

For most college students, working in a cemetery for a week wouldn’t be their ideal way to spend spring break. But for me, and the 14 other college students that participated in Orthodox Christian Fellowship’s (OCF) Real Break Program in Constantinople, there wasn’t anywhere else we would have rather been. From March 11-19, students from across the country traveled to Constantinople, present-day Istanbul, to refurbish a Greek cemetery that was in total disarray, destroyed in the 1950s during Turkish riots. The trip was led by Fr. Mark Leondis, national youth director, and executive director and board chairman of OCF. When we arrived at the cemetery in Bebek, the site was full of trash and covered with overgrown weeds. Tombstones had been broken into pieces and the cemetery’s pathways were virtually inexistent. We even found bones scattered throughout the cemetery, some human, which they collected and placed inside one of the tombs whose tops had cracked. But after three full days of very meaningful and labor-intensive work (the hardest work I’ve done in my life), the cemetery completely transformed. With the help of a few neighbors, we filled hundreds of bags with trash, weeds and leaves. We painted the outside of the chapel that was at the cemetery, washed the graves, planted flowers, cemented headstones and tombstones back together and repainted names on headstones. After we completed all our work, we had a Trisagion service and were joined by one of the neighbors, Olga, whom we discovered was Russian Orthodox when she began singing “Christos Vosgrese,” the Russian translation of “Christ is Risen,”

and tears filled most of our eyes. It was our common language. Along with the service project, we were blessed to attend Divine Liturgy on the Sunday of Orthodoxy with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew serving at the Church of St. George at the Patriarchate and where Metropolitan Stephanos of Kallioupoulis and Madytos was consecrated. Later that evening, we attended His All Holiness’ annual Sunday of Orthodoxy Concert Series, featuring Glykeria. On our last day, we had a private audience with His All Holiness, who spoke with us for more than an hour. After receiving his blessing, he presented each of us with a book on the Patriarchate, a beautiful gold cross and a delicious piece of chocolate. On another night, we had the opportunity to have dinner and socialize with the Constantinopolitain Young Adult League, who welcomed us and, though there was a slight language barrier and we had just met, we played games as if we had been friends for years. It was because of the connection of our faith and heritage that we were able to bond after just hours. The last days of our trip were spent sightseeing through Istanbul, visiting Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, the Church of Chora, which has the most magnificent mosaic icons and frescoes, took a boat cruise around the Bosporus and haggled at the Grand Bazaar and Spice Market. We also went to the church of Vlacherna, where the hymn Ti Ipermaho was first sung. Singing the beautiful hymn we were all so familiar with at its very origin, knowing and witnessing the history was absolutely incredible. Later we visited The Church of the Life-Giving Spring and received holy water from the actual Life-Giving Spring. Walking into Hagia Sophia, the Church of Holy Wisdom, was absolutely magnificent. Its beauty and grandeur is something very hard to understand until you have stepped foot inside. It’s said that Hagia Sophia employed more than 700 people and there would be 70 deacons serving at once. It is simply astounding and was such a blessing to have stood where thousands of faithful once worshiped, and to have hope that one day Hagia Sophia will be restored.

  to page 12

‘Real Break’ in Guatemala In addition to the Orthodox Christian Fellowship’s Real Break group that traveled to the Ecumenical Patriarchate, students from Hellenic College and Holy Cross spent their spring break in Guatemala and Kenya, volunteering and doing mission work, as part of two programs that annually send young Orthodox men and women to bear witness to their faith. This year Hellenic College senior Katerina Giovos, juniors Nicholas Savas and John Dalber, sophomores Hannah Pappas, Marcellas Xyloportas and Minas Gregoriades, and freshmen Anna Efthimiades, Erin Hunt, Sebastian Mot and Seraphim Ramos traveled to Guatemala City, Guatemala, to visit the Hogar Rafael Ayau orphanage that is under the auspices of the Antiochian Orthodox Church. The orphanage is run by nuns. Advisors to the group were Fr. Peter Chamberis, chaplain at HC-HC, and Alexia Chamberis. The week was spent gardening, painting and doing maintenance work but the most gratifying experience was their interaction with the children in play and in worship, said Nicholas Savas of Annunciation

Church in Ft. Myers, Fla. “The Orthros and Divine Liturgy Sunday morning was one of the most beautiful services I have ever seen and heard. The service was chanted by the girls of Hogar Rafael entirely in Spanish. The service truly sounded like a choir of angels was singing.” Prior to departing, the group collected $400 from HC-HC students to spend on the children. One day was spent at a petting zoo with the younger children. Said Nicholas, “We are all keeping our hearts and minds open to learn from the simplicity of life and from the children here. You hear people talking about how trips with OCF Real Break are life changing. Now I understand what they mean.” Sebastian Mot, of Annunciation Church in Muskegon, Mich., described his stay as “one of the greatest experiences of my life. I have no doubt in my mind that I will return there one day.” “I fell in love with 65 kids the moment I met them and although they made me realize how beautiful life is, I don’t know how

  to page 12

(Arianna Ranahosseini photo)

Fr. Mark Leondis (above) conducts a Trisagion service at the Greek Orthodox cemetery. (below) Participants in the Constantinople trip gather for dinner on the last night of their visit.

MAY 2011

Celebrating Holy Week Around the Archdiocese Hierarchs Celebrate Archbishop Demetrios (left) celebrates the midnight Service of the Resurrection at St. Nicholas Church in Flushing, N.Y. (right) Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco applies holy oil at the Wednesday Holy Unction Service at Nativity of Christ Church in Novato, Calif. (below l. to r.) Metropolitan Nicholas of Detroit prays during the Bridegroom Service at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Toledo, Ohio; Metropolitan Methodios at the Lamentations Service at the Boston Cathedral; Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver at the Holy Saturday Service at St. Catherine’s in Greenwood Village, Colo. (Photos from other metropolises not available by press time).



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Archdiocesan Council ...   from page 8 lished procedures to file an official appeal. Attorney Kathy Walsh of Hartford, Conn., stated “the parish had multiple opportunities and meetings with Metropolis officials. The Archbishop, Metropolis and Archdiocese did every possible thing to reach out to parish” however the Parish remained defiant and unwilling to follow the Regulations. Dr. Anthony Limberakis, national commander of the Order of St. AndrewArchons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, said his organization “lends its full support in defending the canonical order of Church in the United States.”

Metropolitan’s comments

Metropolitan Methodios expressed his appreciation for the Archdiocesan Council’s support. He noted “in 29 years as a bishop, I’ve never come across anything like this.” The Metropolitan said he is “deeply saddened at the complete absence of Orthodox Church phronema.” He spoke of misinformation, lies, character assignations, and gossip being spread through the press and e-mails that have totally distorted the truth.

Archbishop Demetrios’ statement

His Eminence, speaking at the end of

MAY 2011

the lengthy discussion of the issue, stated, “This is not at all a matter of money…. We have problems of disagreement. This case involves something exceedingly serious; schism, the threat of separating themselves from the rest of the church. Schism and heresy are two deadly things for the life of the Church.”The Archbishop cited the example in the Book of Acts for resolving conflicts, specifically the first Apostolic Synod’s resolving its conflicting issues objectively, fairly and lovingly, and the reference of two or three people being brought together to resolve an issue, but if the person in the wrong refuses to repent, to bring the matter to the entire Church” The Archbishop continued, “It’s a very serious issue…the consequences to the people involved are extremely grave. “There is an enormous amount of ignorance about what the Church and gospel is about. People think in terms of corporations and politics.” “They should not push things to this kind of extreme,” he added. “Schism means everyone (directly involved in the parish’s action) is out of communion with the Church.” Still the Archbishop expressed hope and prayer for a peaceful resolution to the problem, urging Council members to “communicate with people in the community in friendly way”…in an effort to “get people to come to their senses.”

A Real Break for College Students   from page 10 Reactions from other “Real Breakers”

From Andrew Kalina, freshman at Harvard University, from Edina, Minn. “Simply put, Constantinople was a lifechanging experience. I wouldn’t want to have spent my spring break any other way. My faith grew so much stronger over the course of just a couple of days. “When I signed up to go on Real Break Constantinople, I knew that I was going to have an unbelievable start to my Lenten journey. What I didn’t anticipate was how much more special the culmination of this Lenten journey would also be. St. John Chrysostom’s Paschal Homily is inspiring as it is, but having been able to venerate his relics and walk along the Hippodrome where he preached, I am going to be able to relate to it on a whole other level. “Unlike many of my other friends on the trip, I didn’t know a whole lot about the history of Hagia Sophia. “All I knew was that it used to be a spectacular church that was converted into a mosque and that it has withstood the test of time. So I had no idea what to expect when I walked in. As I entered the true wonder of Constantinople, I was overwhelmed. I couldn’t fathom how something this magnificent was built by hand over 15 centuries ago. “However, one part of the experience spoke to me the most - the mosaic icons. In a way, I felt like these mosaics were teaching

me how to live my faith. Despite centuries of earthquakes and attempts by the Ottomans to cover up and destroy the mosaics, they continue to emanate beauty. “As Orthodox Christians, this is what we are called to do – act as beacons of Christ’s light that shine constantly irregardless of the challenges we are faced with.” From Argyro Sourias, Rutgers University, New Jersey: “Real Break made me want to be a better Christian, it showed me that our religion has struggled to come into this modern world and I should not take that struggle for granted.” From Jenny Stasinopoulos, Northeastern State University, Tulsa, Okla: “While visiting the holy site of Vlacherna, where the Akathist Hymn was first sung, I remember feeling a particularity stirring emotion that is hard to describe. I guess I was just fiercely proud to be singing this ancient hymn to the Theotokos with young adults who have proved to be champion leaders of the Faith, themselves. I have never been so proud to say that I was a member of 15 souls that did seemingly little to change the world, but everything to change our worlds.” Other OCF Real Break trips that took place this spring were in Guatemala, Romania, Project Mexico and Toronto. Arianna Ranahosseini is special correspondent for the Observer from the Denver area and a senior journalism student at the University of Denver.

A Real Break in Guatemala   from page 10 I’m going to live mine without them.,” said Marcella Xyloportas of St. Barbara Church in Toms River, N.J. Erin Hunt of St. Demetrios Church in Ft. Walton Beach, Fla., described it as “The most beautiful experience, where the children of Hogar Rafael taught me more than I could ever teach them. Patience, silence and give love unconditionally.” “The experience we had at the orphanage was amazing. It was uplifting and gave me hope,” said Minas Gregoriades of the

Church of Our Savior in Rye, N.Y. Following in the footsteps of four students who went on a mission trip to Kenya last year, six seminarians and students went to Kenya on an Orthodox Christian Mission Center trip. This year, Holy Cross junior John Uhl and his wife, Genevieve, freshman Thomas Manuel, junior Stephanos Ritsi and his wife, Hellenic College junior Alexandria, and freshman Alexis Campbell, were accompanied by Bishop Savas of Troas, Fr. Martin Ritsi, executive director of the OCMC, and Sam Williams.

ΜΑΙΟΣ 2011

ΕΤΟΣ 76 • ΑΡΙΘΜΟΣ 1265

Δυο Τηλεοπτικά Προγράμματα Προσφέρουν Σπάνια Ματιά στην Ορθόδοξη Πίστη ΝΕΑ ΥΟΡΚΗ – Το Σαββατοκύριακο του Πάσχα φέτος έγινε κάτι πρωτοποριακό για την Ορθόδοξη πίστη και την Αμερικανική Τηλεόραση με την μετάδοση προγραμμ άτων με θέμ ατα την Προσευχή του Ιησού και το Άγιο Όρος. Το πρώτο με τίτλο Τα Μυστήρια της Προσευχής του Ιησού, ο οποίος είναι και τίτλος νέου βιβλίου, αποτελεί ταινία μεγάλου μήκους η οποία προσέφερε μια εσωτερική ματιά στον Ορθόδοξο μοναχισμό. Μεταδόθηκε σε συντετμημένη έκδοση από την Κρατική Τηλεόραση στο Κανάλι 218 PBS ειδικά για το Πάσχα. Οι εθνικές τηλεοπτικές μεταδόσεις ήταν μερικώς χορηγία του Τάγματος του Αγίου Αποστόλου Ανδρέα, των Αρχόντων του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου. Το πρόγραμμα διανεμήθηκε από την Αμερικανική Κρατική Τηλεόραση. Το δεύτερο πρόγραμμα σχετικά με το Άγιο Όρος μεταδόθηκε στις 24 Απριλίου από την εκπομπή «60 Minutes» και παρουσίασε μια εσωτερική όψη του έργου το οποίο επιτελείται στο Άγιο Όρος και του βίου των μοναχών. Το πρόγραμμα επιμελήθηκε ο ανταποκριτής Bob Simon, ο οποίος στο παρελθόν είχε πάρει συνέντευξη από

Εαρινό Συνέδριο του Αρχιεπισκοπικού Συμβουλίου στη Βοστώνη uΣελίδα 17

τον Οικουμενικό Πατριάρχη Βαρθολομαίο η οποία μεταδόθηκε από την ίδια εκπομπή το 2009. 60 «Λεπτά» Το πρόγραμμ α Οι Μοναχοί του Αγίου Όρους που μεταδόθηκε την Κυριακή του Πάσχα παρουσίασε το Άγιο Όρος το οποίο αποτελεί άδυτο του Ορθόδοξου Χριστιανικού μοναχισμού επί 1000 και πλέον χρόνια, και το οποίο ανήκει στην άμεση πνευματική δικαιοδοσία του Οικουμενικού Πατριάρχου Βαρθολομαίου. Το πρόγραμμα παρακολούθησε την περιήγηση του Ανταποκριτή Bob Simon της εκπομπής «60 Minutes» στην απομακρυσμένη χερσόνησο της βόρειας Ελλάδας, δηλαδή στο Άγιο Όρος, το οποίο εκατομμύρια Ορθόδοξοι Χριστιανοί θεωρούν ως τον πιο ιερό τόπο της γης. Κατόπιν προτάσεως και ευλογίας του Οικουμενικού Πατριάρχου Βαρθολομαίου, ο οποίος άνοιξε τις πόρτες για το τ η λ ε ο π τ ικ ό συ νε ρ γ ε ί ο το υ 60 Minutes, και μετά από δύο ταξίδια στο Όρος και δύο χρόνια διαλόγου με την Αθωνική κοινότητα, στον Simon και την εκπομπή του παραχωρήθηκε πρωτοφανής πρόσβαση στα ενδότερα του μοναχικού βίου επί του Αγίου Όρους. Το αποτέλεσμα είναι ένα πορτραίτο ενός τόπου ο οποίος σπανίως θεάται όπου άγιοι άνθρωποι προσφέρουν προσευχές καθημερινά, χωρίς διακοπή, για 1000 και πλέον χρόνια. Παραγωγοί του προγράμματος ήταν οι Harry Radcliffe και Michael Karzis. Στο πρόγραμμα προβλήθηκαν συνεντεύξεις με αρκετούς μοναχούς, συμπεριλαμβανομένου και του π. Ιακώβου από το Winthrop, Mass, ο οποίος αναφέρθηκε στο δεσμό του με το Άγιο Όρος και τον τρόπο διαβίωσης εκεί. Μπορείτε να παρακολουθήσετε το πρόγραμμα στο YouTube και στην ιστοσελίδα του «60 Minutes».


Κυριακή της AHEPA 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! Αὐτή τήν τέταρτη Κυριακή μετά ἀπό τήν Ἑορτή τοῦ Μεγάλου καί Ἁγίου Πάσχα, ἡ Ἐκκλησία μας μνημονεύει τήν θεραπεία τοῦ Παραλύτου ἀπό τόν Σωτήρα μας Ἰησοῦ Χριστό. Αὐτή ἡ ἴδια Κυριακή ἔχει ἀνακηρυχθεῖ γιά τό 2011 ὡς ἡμέρα ἐτήσιας ἀναγνωρίσεως τῆς Ἑλληνοαμερικανικῆς Ἐκπαιδευτικῆς Προοδευτικῆς Ἑνώσεως (AHEPA). Ὁ συσχετισμός τῆς Κυριακῆς τοῦ Παραλύτου μέ τήν Κυριακή τῆς AHEPA εἶναι σαφῶς κατάλληλος διότι μᾶς δίδει τήν δυνατότητα νά ἑστιάσουμε τήν προσοχή μας μέ οὐσιαστικό καί πνευματικό τρόπο στήν ὑπηρεσία ἡ ὁποία προσφέρεται στίς κοινότητές μας καί σ’ ὁλόκληρο τόν κόσμο ἀπό τήν οἰκογένεια τῆς AHEPA. Ἡ θεραπεία τοῦ Παραλύτου εἶναι μία ἐκ τῶν πολλῶν μαρτυριῶν τῆς εὐσπλαγχνίας τοῦ Χριστοῦ γιά τούς ἀνθρώπους πού χρειάζονται βοήθεια. Μέ τήν ἄφθονη χάρη Του προσέφερε σωματική θεραπεία ἀλλά ταυτοχρόνως ἐνεθάρρυνε τήν πνευματική ἀνακαίνιση διά τῆς ἀποκαταστάσεως τῆς σχέσεως τοῦ ἀνθρώπου μέ τόν Θεό. Στό πνεῦμα αὐτό τῆς χάριτος τοῦ Κυρίου μας, τά μέλη τῆς AHEPA ἐξακολουθοῦν νά uΣελίδα 15



ΜΑΙΟΣ 2011

Ημέρα Μνήμης του Μαρτυρικού Πατριάρχου Γρηγορίου του Ε’ ôïõ Íéêüëáïõ Ìáããßíá

Ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος, μετά το τέλος της πρωϊνής Θείας Λειτουργίας της 10 ης Απριλίου, απευθύνθηκε προς τους πολυπληθείς προσκυνητές από την Ελλάδα και το εξωτερικό, μεταξύ των οποίων ήταν και εκατοντάδες μαθητών ελληνικών Δημοτικών και Γυμνασίων, και αναφέρθηκε στη μνήμη του Οικουμενικού Πατριάρχου Γρηγορίου του Ε΄ λέγοντας τα εξής: «Σήμερα είναι ημέρα πένθους και πικρών αναμνήσεων, διότι σαν σήμερα, 10 Απριλίου, πριν από 190 χρόνια και ήταν Πάσχα εκείνη την ημέρα, το 1821, κρεμάστηκε, έξω στην αυλή του Πατριαρχείου, ο τότε Πατριάρχης Γρηγόριος ο Ε΄. Έκτοτε και κάθε χρόνο τον θυμούμαστε τέτοια μέρα. Πριν κατεβώ σήμερα στην Εκκλησία, πέρασα, καθ΄ ο είχα χρέος, και έβαλα λίγα λουλούδια στην έκτοτε Κλειστή Πύλη, στον τόπο του μαρτυρίου του Οικουμενικού Πατριάρχου και άναψα ένα κερί ζητώντας την ευχή και την προσευχή του για το Μεγάλο αυτό Μοναστήρι της Ορθοδοξίας που λέγεται Οικουμενικόν Πατριαρχείον και για όλους εμάς που έχουμε την ευλογία του Θεού να διακονούμε σ΄αυτό το Μεγάλο Μοναστήρι και ζήτησα ακόμη την ευχή του για όλους τους Ορθοδόξους ανά την Οικουμένη, διότι οι ευχές ενός τέτοιου Μαρτυρικού Πατριάρχου ασφαλώς εισακούονται από τον Θεόν. Ζήτησα την ευχή του για την ειρήνη του σύμπαντος κόσμου, για την ευστάθεια των Αγίων του Θεού Εκκλησιών και για την ένωση των πάντων, ανθρώπων, Εκκλησιών, λαών και εθνών της υφηλίου. Αυτή την ενότητα χρει αζόμ εθα σήμερα ιδιαιτέρως και γι΄αυτήν σας παρακαλώ να προσεύχεσθε και εσείς». ΗΜΕΡΑ ΜΝΗΜΗΣ ΠΑΤΡΙΑΡΧΟΥ ΓΡΗΓΟΡΙΟΥ ΤΟΥ Ε’ Τη δεκάτη Απριλίου τιμάται η μνήμη του Οικου μ ενικού Πατρι άρχου Γρηγορίου του Ε΄ ο οποίος απαγχονίσθηκε στην κεντρική πύλη του Πατριαρχείου στο Φανάρι, στις 10 Απριλίου 1821, ανήμερα του Πάσχα. Ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος κάθε χρόνο ανάβει ένα κερί μπροστά στην κλειστή πύλη, εναποθέτει λίγα λουλούδια και προσεύχεται τιμώντας με αυτόν τον τρόπο τη μνήμη του μαρτυρικού προκατόχου του. Δυστυχώς διάφοροι ξεναγοί, κυρίως Τούρκοι, διαδίδουν ψευδώς και παραπληροφορώντα ς χαρακτηρίζουν την κλειστή πύλη ως «Πύλη του μίσους» και ότι δήθεν αυτή θα ανοίξει όταν κρεμαστεί εκεί κάποιος Μουσουλμάνος. Πρόκειται για ένα μεγάλο ψέμα και παραμύθι, μία διαστρεβλωμένη και κακόβουλη διάδοση, την οποία δε διανοήθηκαν οι Ορθόδοξοι, ούτε καν φαντάσθηκαν και η οποία, φυσικά, αντίκειται στο Χριστιανικό πνεύμα. Έχει σκοπό μόνο την δημιουργία τεχνητής έντασης. Δεν είναι, όμως, ο Γρηγόριος Ε΄ ο μόνος Πατριάρχης Κωνσταντινουπόλεως που απαγχονίσθηκε. Μετά την Άλωση της Πόλης αρκετοί Οικουμενικοί Πατριάρχες που ανήλθαν στο θρόνο ήλθαν αντιμέτωποι με την Οθωμανική Διοίκηση, την «Υψηλή Πύλη». Ορισμ ένου ς του ς απαγχόνισαν, άλλους τους έπνιξαν στη θάλασσα, άλλους τους εξανάγκασαν σε παραίτηση,

Φωτογραφία: Ν. Μαγγίνας

Στις 10 Απριλίου 1821, Κυριακή του Πάσχα τότε, απαγχονίστηκε ο μαρτυρικός Πατριάρχης του Γένους Γρηγόριος ο Ε’ στην κεντρική Πύλη του Πατριαρχείου στο Φανάρι. Έκτοτε η Πύλη αυτή έμεινε κλειστή εις ένδειξιν τιμής και μνήμης. Κάθε χρόνο τη μέρα αυτή ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος ανάβει το κερί της μνήμης και της πίστης και καταθέτει λίγα λουλούδια μπροστά στην Πύλη του μαρτυρίου του Πατριάρχου Γρηγορίου. Αυτό έκανε και σήμερα το πρωί, εν σιωπή και περισυλλογή. άλλους τους έστειλαν σε εξορία, και ορισμένοι άλλοι άφησαν την τελευταία τους πνοή στις φυλακές. Και όλα αυτά με αποφάσεις της Οθωμανικής Διοίκησης. Στο σημείωμ α αυτό αναφέρουμε συνοπτικά περιπτώσεις των Πατριαρχών που απαγχονίσθηκαν ή θανατώθηκαν και δεν είναι και τόσο γνωστές στο ευρύ κοινό, χωρίς να γίνεται λόγος για το σημαντικό αριθμό ιεραρχών, ιερέων και μοναχών που απαγχονίσθηκαν ή θανατώθηκαν. Ο πρώτος Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης μετά την Άλωση Γεννάδιος Σχολάριος είναι και ο πρώτος που παραιτείται λόγω διαφωνιών του με την Οθωμανική Διοίκηση. Ο Ιωάσαφ Α΄ (1465-1466): Αφού τον ξύρισαν, εκθρονίσθηκε με εντολή του Σουλτάνου. Ο Ραφαήλ Α΄ (1475-1476): Μη δυνάμενος να πληρώσει τον καταναγκαστικό φόρο (πεσκέσι) εκθρονίσθηκε, φυλακίστηκε όπου και μετά ένα χρόνο απεβίωσε. Ο Ραφαήλ Β΄ (1603-1607): Με εντολή του Σουλτάνου Αχμέτ Ι΄ εκθρονίσθηκε και εξορίσθηκε και θανατώθηκε μετά από φρικτά βασανιστήρια. Κύριλλος Α΄ ο Λούκαρις (1620 – 1638): Πέντε φορές στο διάστημα αυτό ανήλθε και κατήλθε του Θρόνου έχοντας υπηρετήσει σε αυτόν και πρώτα, ήδη από το 1612 και για μικρό διάστημα, ως επιτηρητής του από τη θέση του Πατριάρχου Αλεξανδρείας. Στις 20 Ιουνίου 1638 με εντολή του Σαντραζάμη Μπαϊράμ Πασά συνελήφθη και φυλακίσθηκε σε πύργο του Βοσπόρου. Στις 27 Ιουνίου παραδίδεται σε γενίτσαρους και εκείνοι τον μεταφέρουν με πλοιάριο ανοιχτά της θάλασσας όπου και τον πνίγουν. Κύριλλος Β΄ ο Κονταρής (1633-1639): Λόγω των ενεργειών του εκθρονίζεται και κατόπιν συλλ αμβάνεται από τις Οθωμανικές Αρχές, φυλακίζεται και εξορίζεται στην Καρθαγένη. Ο εκει οθωμανός πασάς της Τύνιδος

του επέβαλε να ασπασθεί το Ισλάμ, αλλά ο Κύριλλος αντιστάθηκε και για τον λόγο αυτό τον απαγχόνησαν στις 24 Ιουνίου 1640. Και μία εντυπωσιακή λεπτομέρεια: κατά τον απαγχονισμό του το σχοινί της αγχόνης κόβεται δύο φορές και κατόπιν αυτού τον πνίγουν. Παρ θένιος Β΄ (164 4 -1646, 16481651): Με εντολή του Σουλτάνου Ιμπραίμ εκθρονίσθηκε και παραδόθηκε στους γενίτσαρους για να τον πνίξουν. Το σκήνωμά του βρέθηκε στη γύρω περιοχή της νήσου Πλάτης των Πριγκηπονήσων, από Χριστιανούς οι οποίοι και το ενταφίασαν στο νησί της Χάλκης. Παρθένιος ο Γ ΄ (1656-1657): Με εντολή του Σουλτάνου μετά από φρικτά βασανιστήρια απαγχονίσθηκε στην Καγκελωτή Πύλη (περιοχή Παρμα–καπί) της Πόλης την 1η Απριλίου (Σάββατο του Λαζάρου) και μετά απο τρείς ημέρες ρίχθηκε στη θάλασσα. Γαβριήλ Β΄ (23/4-5/5-1657): Στον Πατριαρχικό Θρόνο παρέμεινε μόνο δώδεκα μέρες.

Εκθρονίσθηκε και τοποθετήθηκε στη Μητρόπολη Προύσσης. Έγινε καταγγελία-συκοφαντία Εβραίων της περιοχής ότι εκχριστιάνισε ένα μουσουλμάνο, ενώ στην πραγματικότητα αυτός τον οποίον βάπτισε ήταν Εβραίος. Αποτέλεσμα της κατασυκοφάντησής του ήταν η φυλάκιση και στη συνέχεια ο απαγχονισμός του στις 3 Δεκεμβρίου 1659. Μελέτιος Β΄ (1768-1769): Μετά την παραίτησή του συλλαμβάνεται μαζί με άλλους τριάντα προκρίτους, κληρικούς και λαϊκούς και φυλακίζεται βασανιζόμενος φρικτά. Ενώ αθωώθηκε της κατηγορίας για συνεργασία κατά του Οθωμανικού κράτους εξορίσθηκε στη Μυτιλήνη. Εκεί υπέφερε περισσότερα από την Οθωμανική Διοίκηση εξαιτίας και του πυρπολισμού του Τσεσμέ από τους Ρώσους. Κ ατόπιν ζήτησε άδει α από τον Σουλτάνο να μεταβεί στην ιδιαίτερη πατρίδα του, την Τένεδο. Από εκεί αναχώρησε για την Κωνσταντινούπολη όπου του επιτράπηκε να μείνει μόνο 61 μέρες. Απεβίωσε στην Τένεδο στα μέσα του 1777 σε μεγάλη φτώχεια. Κύριλλος Στ΄ (1813-1818): Επειδή δεν κατέστη αρεστός στο Σουλτάνο Μαχμούτ του Β΄, εκθρονίσθηκε και εξορίσθηκε στο Άγιον Όρος. Αργότερα εγ κ ατα στάθηκε στην Ανδριανούπολη. Οκτώ μέρες μετά τον απαγχονισμό του Γρηγορίου Ε΄, στις 18 Απριλίου 1821, ο Σουλτάνος δίνει εντολή να κρεμασθεί και εκείνος στην πύλη του Μητροπολιτικού Μεγάρου. Μετά από 3 μέρες ρίχθηκε στον ποταμό Έβρο, και η αγία σωρός του βρέθηκε στις όχθες του ποταμού κοντά στο χωριό Πύθιο του Διδυμοτείχου όπου και με άκρα μυστικότητα, παρά την απαγόρευση που υπήρχε από τις Αρχές, και με ευλάβεια τάφηκε από τους κατοίκους του. Ευγένιος Β΄ (1821-1822): Διάδοχος του απαγχονισθέντος Γρηγορίου Ε΄. Παραδόθηκε σε διαδηλωτές και σύρθηκε στους δρόμους από τα γένεια και τα μαλλιά και πέθανε λίγον καιρό αργότερα από τις κακουχίες που υπέστη. Αυτά προς γνώση της ιστορίας και μόνο. Και όχι για να προκαλέσουν το δίκαιο αίσθημα. Αιωνία η μνήμη αυτών.


Ύστερα από 86 χρόνια «επέστρεψε» στην Κωνσταντινούπολη ο απελαθείς Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης Κωνσταντίνος Στ΄. Ο Μητροπολίτης Περγάμου Ιωάννης, Ακαδημαϊκός και διευθυντής του Γραφείου του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου στην Αθήνα, μετέφερε στην Κωνσταντινούπολη τα λείψανα του μακαριστού Πατριάρχη που άφησε την τελευταία του πνοή στην Αθήνα πριν 81 χρόνια. «Εκοιμήθη εν εξορία και κατά τούτο υπήρξεν μαρτυρικός Πατριάρχης» είπε, μεταξύ άλλων, για τον προκάτοχό του, ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος, ο οποίος ανέμενε στο Νάρθηκα όπου υποδέχθηκε τα λείψανα του προκατόχου του. Ακολούθως τοποθετήθηκαν στο σολέα απέναντι στον πατριαρχικό θρόνο και καλύφθηκαν με ένα αρχιερατικό ωμοφόριο. Στη συνέχεια ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος τέλεσε τρισάγιο υπέρ αναπαύσεως

της ψυχής του αοιδίμου Πατριάρχου Κωνσταντίνου Στ΄. «Τα οστά του αοιδίμου Οικουμενικού Πατριάρχου Κωνσταντίνου Στ΄, ο οποίος εκοιμήθη εν εξορία και κατά τούτο υπήρξεν μαρτυρικός Πατριάρχης, όσο και αν η γη της Αττικής, του Κλεινού Άστεως, είναι φιλόξενος και ευλογημένη γη, είμεθα βέβαιοι ότι η ψυχή του μακαριστού προκατόχου ημών επιθυμούσε να επανέλθει εις τον θρόνον, εδώ όπου διηκόνησε, εδώ όπου εγεννήθη, ανετράφη εις τα πέριξ της Βιθυνίας, εις την Κωνσταντινούπολιν και να αναπαυθεί μέχρι της κοινής αναστάσεως πλησίον των προκατόχων και διαδόχων του εν τη ιστορική Μονή Ζωοδόχου Πηγής Μπαλουκλή». Υπενθυμίζεται ότι ο Πατριάρχης Κωνσταντίνος Στ΄ που έμεινε στο θρόνο του για πολύ μικρό διάστημα απελάθηκε από τις τουρκικές αρχές ως «ανταλλάξιμος», δηλαδή ως υπαγόμενος στην συμφωνία της Λωζάννης για την ανταλλαγή των πληθυσμών.




Καθηγητής του Fordham και ο Εθνικός Διοικητής των Αρχόντων μιλούν σε Συμπόσιο BROOMALL, PA. – Το Τάγμα του Αγ. Ανδρέα περιοχής Φιλαδελφείας διοργάνωσε το τρίτο ετήσιο συμπόσιό του στην Εκκλησία του Αγίου Λουκά στις 7 Μαΐου με δύο θέματα: Ο Άγιος Ιωάννης Χρυσόστομος περί Νηστείας:Ποιά είναι το Νόημα της Νηστείας; και Οικουμενικό Πατριαρχείο: Ποιες είναι οι τελευταίες εξελίξεις; Ο Αναπληρωτής Καθηγητής Θεολογίας στο Fordham University, Νέα Υόρκη, Δρ. Αριστοτέλης Παπανικολάου και συνιδρυτής του προγράμματος Ορθοδόξων Χριστιανικών Σπουδών μίλησε στο πρώτο μέρος του συμποσίου με θέμα: Μπορεί η νηστεία να είναι αυστηρή ή χαλαρή,υποχρεωτική ή προαιρετική, σωματική ή πνευματική; Ποιός είναι ο σκοπός και ο στόχος της νηστείας; Ο Δρ. Παπανικολάου εμβάθυνε τις ομιλίες του Αγ. Ιωάννου Χρυσοστόμου περί νηστείας και απάντησε στην ερώτηση, Ποιό είναι το Νόημα της Νηστείας; Ο Μητροπολίτης Νέας Ιερσέης κ.

Ευάγγελος προσέφερε τις προσωπικές του σκέψεις περί νηστείας και την άποψή του περί της προοπτικής του 21ου αιώνα. Ο ιατρός Αντώνιος Λυμπεράκης, Εθνικός Διοικητής του Τάγματος του Αγίου Ανδρέα μίλησε στο δεύτερο μέρος του συμποσίου. Με τις πρόσφατες επιτυχίες του όπως είναι η Παγκόσμια Σύσκεψη των Αρχόντων με θέμα τις Θρησκευτικές Ελευθερίες στις Βρυξέλλες, Βέλγιο, και η επιστροφή του κατασχεθέντος Πατριαρχικού Ορφανοτροφείου από την Τουρκία στο Οικουμενικό Πατριαρχείο, το Τάγμα του Αγίου Ανδρέα εξακολουθεί να μάχεται για την θρησκευτική ελευθερία της Αγίας Έδρας της Κωνσταντινούπολης. Ο κ. Λυμπεράκης ενημέρωσε σχετικά με τις τελευταίες εξελίξεις των συναντήσεων των Αρχόντων με κυβερνητικούς αξιωματούχους και θρησκευτικούς ηγέτες στη Βουδαπέστη, Άγκυρα και Ισταμπούλ κατά τη διάρκεια της πρόσφατης Αποστολής Θρησκευτικής Ελευθερίας στην Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση.

Ο Ναύαρχος Stavridis θα τιμηθεί με το Αθηναγόρειο Βραβείο Ανθρωπίνων Δικαιωμάτων 2011 ΝΕΑ ΥΟΡΚΗ – Το Τάγμα του Αγίου Ανδρέα – Αρχόντων του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου ανακοίνωσε ότι ο Ναύαρχος James G. Stavridis, ύπατος συμμαχικός διοικητής του ΝΑΤΟ και διοικητής του United States European Command θα είναι ο αποδέκτης του φετινού Αθηναγόρειου Βραβείου Ανθρωπίνων Δικαιωμάτων στις 15 Οκτωβρίου τ.έ. Ο Ναύαρχος θα δεχθεί το βραβείο εκ μέρους των ηρώων των Ενόπλων Δυνάμεων οι οποίοι βάζουν την ζωή τους σε κίνδυνο για να προστατεύσουν την ελευθερία, τα δικαιώματά μας και τον Αμερικανικό τρόπο ζωής μας. Το Αθηναγόρειο Βραβείο Ανθρωπίνων Δικαιωμάτων θα απονεμηθεί στη διάρκεια του Μεγάλου Συμποσίου του Τάγματος του Αγίου Ανδρέα το οποίο αποτελεί μέρος της ετήσιας τριήμερης συνέλευσης του Τάγματος η οποία φέτος θα πραγματοποιηθεί στις 14-16 Οκτωβρίου στο ξενοδοχείο Hilton της Νέας Υόρκης. Ο Εθνικός Διοικητής ιατρός Αντώ-

νιος Λυμπεράκης δήλωσε: Με την απονομή του Αθηναγορείου Βραβείου Ανθρωπίνων Δικαιωμάτων 2011 στο Ναύαρχο James G. Stavridis το Τάγμα αναγνωρίζει την εξαιρετική προσφορά των 2,3 εκατομμυρίων μελών των Ενόπλων Δυνάμεων του έθνους οι οποίοι προστατεύουν τις αναφαίρετες ελευθερίες που μάς χάρισε ο Δημιουργός μας, αλλά τις οποίες απολαμβάνει μόνο μία μικρή μειονότητα των 7 δισεκατομμυρίων ανθρώπων της γης. Ο Ναύαρχος Stavridis, γηγενής της Νότιας Φλόριδας, αποφοίτησε με διάκριση από την Ναυτική Ακαδημία των ΗΠΑ το 1976. Έχει επίσης λάβει διδακτορικό δίπλωμα και MALD (Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy) από το Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy στις Διεθνείς Σχέσεις το 1984, όπου και κέρδισε το Βραβείο Gullion για την εξαιρετική του επίδοση ως φοιτητής. Έχει επίσης λάβει διακρίσεις για την φοίτησή του στο Ναυτικό Κολλέγιο και στο Κολλέγιο Εθνικού Πολέμου.

Για ερωτήματα σχετικά με τον Κανονισμό για θέματα επιλήψιμης σεξουαλικής συμπεριφοράς κληρικών της Ιεράς Αρχιεπισκοπής Αμερικής ή για σχετικές καταγγελίες καλέστε χωρίς χρέωση τον ειδικό αριθμό (877) 554-3382 Όλες οι καταγγελίες θα ληφθούν σοβαρά υπ’ όψιν και θα διερευνηθούν πλήρως και με απόλυτη αμεροληψία. Μπορείτε να μιλήσετε Αγγλικά ή Ελληνικά σε εθελοντή ή εθελόντρια.

Α Ρ Χ Ι Ε Π Ι Σ ΚΟΠ Ι Κ Η Ε Γ Κ Υ Κ Λ ΙΟΣ uΣελίδα 13

Κυριακή της ΑΧΕΠΑ

προσφέρουν ἐξαιρετική ὑπηρεσία μέσα ἀπό φιλανθρωπικά καί κοινωνικά προγράμματα καί μέσα ἀπό τήν φροντίδα τους γιά τήν διανοητική καί πνευματική ἀνάπτυξη τῆς νεολαίας μας. Τό ἔργο αὐτό τῆς AHEPA εἶναι ἐπίκουρο τῆς διακονίας τῆς Ἐκκλησίας καί προσφέρει μαρτυρία πίστεως τῶν Ἑλλήνων Ὀρθοδόξων Χριστιανῶν οἱ ὁποῖοι εἶναι μέλη αὐτοῦ τοῦ διακεκριμένου ὀργανισμοῦ καί πιστά μέλη τῶν ἐνοριῶν μας. Ἁρμόζει, λοιπόν, αὐτή τήν Κυριακή τῆς AHEPA νά τιμήσουμε τά μέλη τῆς οἰκογενείας τῆς AHEPA καί νά στηρίξουμε τό ἔργο τους στίς κοινότητές μας. Προσκαλῶ ὅλες τίς ἐνορίες μας νά ἐκδηλώσουν τήν ἰδιαίτερη ἐκτίμησή τους στήν AHEPA αὐτή τήν ἡμέρα, παρακαλώντας μέ τίς προσευχές μας τόν Θεό νά συνεχίσει τίς εὐλογίες Του στήν κλήση πού μᾶς ἔκανε γιά νά προσφέρουμε εὐσπλαγχνική καί θυσιαστική ὑπηρεσία σ’ ὁλόκληρη τήν ἀνθρωπότητα. Μετά πατρικῶν εὐχῶν ἐν Χριστῷ Ἀναστάντι,

† ὁ Ἀρχιεπίσκοπος Ἀμερικῆς Δημήτριος

Παναμερικανική Σαρακοστιανή Σύναξη στη Νέα Ιερσέη SOUTH BOUND BROOK, N.J. – ο Αιδ. Δρ. Ιωάννης Χρυσσαυγής, πρώην καθηγητής στη Θεολογική Σχολή του Τιμίου Σταυρού και νυν σύμβουλος περιβάλλοντος του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου επί περιβαλλοντικών θεμάτων, ηγήθηκε της 8ης Εθνικής Σαρακοστιανής Σύναξης των Αρχόντων που πραγματοποιήθηκε στο Ουκρανικό Κέντρο της Ουκρανικής Ορθόδοξης Εκκλησίας. Το θέμα της σύναξης ήταν Μία Αρχαία Πίστη για έναν Μοντέρνο Κόσμο και ασχολήθηκε με τις βασικές αρχές της Ορθόδοξης Χριστιανικής πνευματικότητας και συγκεκριμένα της Μεγάλης Τεσσαρακοστής –όπως νηστεία, προσευχή, συγχώρηση, σιωπή και αγάπη – τις οποίες ερμήνευσε υπό το πρίσμα της Αγίας Γραφής και των έργων των αρχαίων Πατέρων και Μητέρων της Ερήμου, αλλά και σε σχέση με τις σύγχρονες προκλήσεις και την πραγματικότητα. Περισσότεροι από πενήντα Άρχοντες και οι σύζυγοί τους μυήθηκαν στον κόσμο και στη σκέψη των αρχαίων μοναχών της ερήμου της Αιγύπτου, της Παλαιστίνης και του Σινά, ειδικώτερα σε σχέση με τα έργα Αποφθέγματα των Πατέρων

της Ερήμου και Επιστολές των Αγίων Βαρσανουφίου και Ιωάννου, των οποίων η επίδραση και σχετικότητα με τη σύγχρονη πραγματικότητα τονίσθηκε με ιστορίες και ανέκδοτα. Ο Άρχων Peter Skeadas, πρόεδρος της Επιτροπής Πνευματικότητας, διοργάνωσε τη σύναξη. Οι Άρχοντες John Halecky, Jr. και James C. Fountas συντόνισαν την εκδήλωση με το Ουκρανικό Κέντρο. Σε έκφραση ευγνωμοσύνης προς τον π. Χρυσσαυγή, ο Εθνικός Διοικητής των Αρχόντων Δρ. Αντώνιος Λυμπεράκης δήλωσε: Κάθε χρόνο έχουμε την ευλογία της παρουσίας κάποιου ομιλητή ο οποίος μας προσφέρει βαθύτερη κατανόηση της ιερής Ορθόδοξης Χριστιανικής πίστης μας. Φέτος, στο Ουκρανιικό Κέντρο, χώρος ο οποίος αντανακλά την οικουμενικότητα της Αγίας Μητέρας Εκκλησίας μας, ο πατέρας Χρυσσαυγής, διακεκριμένος Ορθόδοξος θεολόγος, εύγλωττα και αποτελεσματικά ανέφερε σημαντικές διδασκαλίες των Πατέρων της Ερήμου τις οποίες πρέπει να εφαρμόσουμε με τον απώτατο σκοπό να ομοιάσουμε στο Χριστό στην καθημερινή ζωή μας.

Η ΑΧΕΠΑ διανέμει προμήθειες έκτακτης ανάγκης στις πληγείσες περιοχές ΜΠΕΡΜΙΓΚΧΑΜ, Αλαμπάμα.- Το Τμήμα 3 του Ελληνοαμερικανικού Εκπαιδευτικού Προοδευτικού Συνδέσμου (AHEPA) διέθεσε $2,500 στο Ταμείο της ΑΧΕΠΑ για την προσπάθεια αρωγής των περιοχών που επλήγησαν από τους καταστροφικούς ανεμοστρόβιλους στις 27 Απριλίου. Περισσότερα από τα 200 και πλέον θύματα στην Αλαμπάμα προήλθαν από την περιοχή της Τασκαλούσα και απομακρυσμένων περιοχών του Μπέρμιγχαμ. Από την ημέρα εκείνη τα μέλη του τμήματος 3, με επικεφαλής τον πρώην Ύπατο Πρόεδρο Αικ Γκούλα και τον πρώην Υπατο Πρόεδρο του Τμήματος 3 Στιβ Νίκολσον, προχώρησαν σε διανομή νερού και διαφόρων προμηθειών στις δο-

κιμαζόμενες οικογένειες, τους διασώστες και τους εργαζόμενους. Το Γραφείο του Ομοσπονδιακού Σερίφη της Κομητείας Τζέφερσον χορήγησε άδεια στην ΑΧΕΠΑ να διανείμει προμήθειες στις πιο σοβαρά πληγείσες περιοχές. Ο πρώην Ύπατος Πρόεδρος κ. Γκούλας ανακοίνωσε ότι το τμήμα 3 της ΑΧΕΠΑ έχει τη δυνατότητα να δεχθεί δωρεές εμφιαλωμένου νερού και προμήθειες. Οι δωρεές μπορούν να γίνουν άμεσα στη διεύθυνση: AHEPA #3 Tornado Relief Fund c/o The Ike Gulas Law Firm, PC 2031 2nd Avenue North Birmingham, AL 35203



ΜΑΙΟΣ 2011

Η εμπειρία των «Αληθινών Διακοπών» ΤΑ ΜΥΣΤΗΡΙΑ ΤΗΣ ΠΡΟΣΕΥΧΗΣ ΤΟΥ ΙΗΣΟΥ Το βιβλίο και το ντοκιμαντέρ με Εμπλουτισμένο με εξαίσιες έγχρωστην Κωνσταντινούπολη τίτλο Τα Μυστήρια της Προσευχής του μες φωτογραφίες από αυτούς τους ιερούς

της Arianna Ranahoseeini

Για τους περισσότερους φοιτητές κολεγίου, η εργασία σε κοιμητήριο για μια συνεχόμενη εβδομάδα δεν είναι ακριβώς ο ιδανικός τρόπος για να περάσουν τις διακοπές της Άνοιξης. Αλλά, αντίθετα, οι 15 φοιτητές που συμμετείχαν στο πρόγραμμα «Αληθινές Διακοπές» της Ορθοδόξου Χριστιανικής Αδελφότητας (OCF) στην Κωνσταντινούπολη δεν θα ήθελαν να ήταν πουθενά αλλού. Από τις 11 ως τις 19 Μαρτίου, φοιτητές από όλη την εθνική επικράτεια των ΗΠΑ ταξίδευσαν στην Κωνσταντινούπολη, σημερινή Ισταμπούλ, για να αναμορφώσουν ένα Ελληνικό κοιμητήριο το οποίο τελούσε υπό πλήρη διάλυση από τη δεκαετία του 1950, όταν καταστράφηκε κατά τη διάρκεια Τουρκικών εξεγέρσεων. Του ταξιδιού ηγήθηκε ο π. Μάρκος Λεοντής διευθυντής της παναμερικανικής νεολαίας και πρόεδρος της επιτροπής της OCF. Όταν έφθασαν οι φοιτητές στο κοιμητήριο στη Bebek, ο τόπος ήταν γεμάτος σκουπίδια και καλυμένος από ζιζάνια που με τον καιρό είχαν μεγαλώσει πολύ. Ταφόπλακες είχαν σπάσει σε κομμάτια και οι διάδρομοι του κοιμητηρίου δεν διακρίνονταν. Οι φοιτητές βρήκαν ακόμη και οστά διάσπαρτα στο κοιμητήριο, ορισμένα ανθρώπινα, τα οποία συγκέντρωσαν και τοποθέτησαν μέσα σ’ έναν τάφο του οποίου το πλάκα είχε σπάσει. Μετά από τρεις ημέρες ουσιαστικής και έντονης χειρονακτικής εργασίας, το κοιμητήριο είχε μεταμορφωθεί. Οι φοιτητές, με τη βοήθεια μερικών γειτόνων, γέμισαν εκατοντάδες σακκούλες με σκουπίδια, ζιζάνια και φύλλα. Έβαψαν το εξωτερικό του παρεκκλησίου που βρίσκεται στο κοιμητήριο, έπλυναν τους τάφους, φύτευσαν λουλούδια, επανακόλλησαν με τσιμέντο επιτύμβιες

στήλες και ταφόπετρες και έγραψαν πάλι τα ονόμ ατα των κεκοιμημένων στις στήλες. Αφού τελείωσαν την εργασία τους, τελ έσθ ηκε Τρισάγ ιο στο οποίο συμμετείχε και μία γειτόνισσα, η Όλγα, η οποία αποδείχθηκε ότι ήταν Ρωσίδα Ορθόδοξη. Η αποκάλυψη έγινε όταν άρχισε να ψέλνει το “Christos Vosgrese”, δηλαδή το “Χριστός Ανέστη” στα Ρώσικα. Δάκρυα συγκίνησης γέμισαν τα μάτια των περισσότερων φοιτητών. Κατά τη διάρκεια της παραμονής τους, οι φοιτητές παρακολούθησαν την Θεία Λειτουργία την Κυριακή της Ορθοδοξίας με τον Παναγιώτατο Οικουμενικό Πατριάρχη κ.κ. Βαρθολομαίο στην εκκλησία του Αγίου Γεωργίου στο Πατριαρχείο, όπου έγινε η χειροτονία του Μητροπολίτου Καλλιουπόλεως και Μαδύτου κ. Σεραφείμ. Αργότερα την ίδια ημέρα, παρακολούθησαν την ετήσια συναυλία που δίδεται στα πλαίσια του εορτασμού της Κυριακής της Ορθοδοξίας υπό την αιγίδα του Παναγιωτάτου Οικουμενικού Πατριάρχου. Στη συναυλία τραγούδησε η Ελληνίδα καλλιτέχνις Γλυκερία. Την τελευταία ημέρα του ταξιδιού, οι φοιτητές συναντήθηκαν προσωπικά με τον Οικουμενικό Πατριάρχη, ο οποίος συνομίλησε μαζί τους επί μία και πλέον ώρα. Αφού έλαβαν την ευλογία του, ο Παναγιώτατος δώρισε στον καθένα ένα βιβλίο που αναφέρεται στο Πατριαρχείο, έναν χρυσό σταυρό και ένα κομμάτι σοκολάτα. Κάποιο άλλο βράδυ της παραμονής τους, οι φοιτητές δείπνησαν και συναναστράφηκαν με μέλη της Ομάδας Νέων Ενηλίκων Κωνσταντινουπόλεως. Τις τελευταίες ημέρες του ταξιδιού, οι φοιτητές επισκέφθηκαν τουριστικά αξιοθέατα όπως την Αγία Σοφία, το Μπλε Τζαμί, τον Ιππόδρομο και την Εκκλησία της Χώρας, στην οποία μπορεί να θαυμάσει κανείς εξαιρετικά μωσαϊκά και τοιχογραφίες. Έκαναν κρουαζιέρα στο Βόσπορο με πλοίο και έκαναν αγορές στο μεγάλο παζάρι και στην αγορά μπαχαρικών. Επισκέφθηκαν, επίσης, την Εκκλησία των Βλαχερνών όπου εψάλη ο ύμνος «Τη Υπερμάχω» για πρώτη φορά. Άλλοι προορισμοί του Προγράμματος «Αληθινές Διακοπές» της Ορθοδόξου Χριστιανικής Αδελφότητας φέτος την Άνοιξη ήταν η Γουατεμάλα, η Ρουμανία, το Μεξικό και το Τορόντο, Καναδά. Η Arianna Ranahoseini είναι ειδική ανταποκρίτρια του Ορθόδοξου Παρατηρητή στην περιοχή του Ντένβερ. Είναι τελειόφοιτη Δημοσιογραφίας στο Πανεπιστήμιο του Ντένβερ και οικονόμος της Εκκλησίας της Αγίας Αικατερίνης στο Greenwood Village, Colorado.

Ιησού του Δόκτορα Norris J. Chumley, αποκαλύπτει την ιστορία, τις πρακτικές και την διαρκή σοφία αυτής της μυστικιστικής παράδοσης στον υπόλοιπο κόσμο. Βασίζεται στα ταξίδια του Δρ. Chumley σε τοποθεσίες αρχαίων ιερών Εκκλησιών με τη συνοδεία του Αιδ. Δρ. John A. McGuckin, ιερέα και καθηγητή. Οι δύο άνδρες επισκέφθηκαν τη Μονή του Αγίου Αντωνίου στην Αιγυπτιακή έρημο, τη Μονή της Αγίας Αικατερίνης στο Όρος Σινά, μονές στο Άγιο Όρος, γυναικείες μονές στην Τρανσυλβανία και μονές στη Ρωσία και Ουκρανία σε αναζήτηση της πρώτης μυστικιστικής παράδοσης του Χριστιανισμού και αυτών που την εφαρμόζουν στη σύγχρονη εποχή. Οι μοναχοί και μοναχές που συνάντησε τον δίδαξαν πώς να κινείται μέσα στα στάδια της Προσευχής του Ιησού και πως η Προσευχή αυτή μπορεί να καλλιεργήσει μια ατέρμονη και συνεχώς εμβαθούμενη συζήτηση με τον Θεό.

τόπους, όπου η φωτογράφιση σπάνια επιτρέπεται, το βιβλίο και το ντοκιμαντέρ «Τα Μυστήρια της Προσευχής του Ιησού» αποκαλύπτει την δυναμική θεολογία η οποία εμπεριέχεται στις λιγοστές λέξεις της προσευχής αυτής. Για περισσότερες πληροφορίες και για την απόκτηση ολόκληρου του έργου σε μορφή DVD επισκεφθείτε την σελίδα Οι Εκκλησίες που επιθυμούν να προβάλουν το ντοκιμαντέρ στους ενορίτες τους, μπορούν να επικοινωνήσουν με τους παραγωγούς αυτού στην ηλεκτρονική διεύθυνση friends@Jesusprayermovie. com. Το βιβλίο του Δρ. Norris J. Chumley το οποίο εκδίδει ο εκδοτικός οίκος the HarperOne book, το οποίο προλογίζει ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος διατίθεται από όλα τα βιβλιοπωλεία ή την ιστοσελίδα στη διεύθυνση

Πρόγευμα Πασχαλινής Προσευχής στο Λευκό Οίκο WASHINGTON - Μετά από προσωπική πρόσκληση του Προέδρου Μπαράκ Ομπάμα, ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριος παρεκάθησε σε πρόγευμα πασχαλινής προσευχής στο Λευκό Οίκο στις 19 Απριλίου, μαζί με άλλους 11 Χριστιανούς ηγέτες απ’ όλη την επικράτεια, μέλη του Κογκρέσου και της διοίκησης. Είναι η δεύτερη συνεχής χρονιά κατά την οποία ο πρόεδρος Ομπάμα παραχωρεί πρόγευμα πασχαλινής προσευχής στην ανατολική αίθουσα του Λευκού Οίκου. Οι Χριστιανοί ηγέτες στην πλειονότητά τους Ρωμαιοκαθολικοί, Ευαγγελιστές και Διαμαρτυρόμενοι προσευχήθηκαν, διαλογίσθηκαν και γιόρτασαν το Πάσχα μαζί με τον Πρόεδρο. Μετά από το πρωινό το οποίο προσφέρθηκε στις 7:30 π.μ., οι θρησκευτικοί ηγέτες ενημερώθηκαν για θέματα που αφορούν στη θρησκευτική κοινότητα. Το ειδησεογραφικό πρακτορείο Associated Press (AP) το οποίο παρείχε την κάλυψη στον Λευκό Οίκο, σημείωσε τα λόγια του Προέδρου ο οποίος είπε ότι η αγωνία του Ιησού Χριστού μέσα στο

θάνατο και την Ανάσταση καθιστά τα απλά πολιτικά προβλήματα δευτερευόντως σημασίας. Ο Ομπάμα είπε: «κρίσιμες εθνικές συζητήσεις μαίνονται και υπάρχουν πολλά θέματα προς επίλυση. Τα θέματα στοιβάζονται, αλλά μετά έρχεται η Μεγάλη Εβδομάδα... Όσο απασχολημένοι και αν είμαστε, όσα θέματα και αν στοιβάζονται τις ημέρες αυτές, θυμόμαστε ότι υπάρχει κάτι σχετικά με την Ανάσταση ...του Σωτήρα μας Ιησού Χριστού το οποίο τοποθετεί όλα τα άλλα προβλήματα στη σωστή βάση τους». Ο Πρόεδρος είπε επίσης: «το πρόγευμα προσευχής που ξεκινήσαμε την προηγούμενη χρονιά μου έδωσε εν μέρει μια καλή δικαιολογία να συγκεντρώσω κάποιους ανθρώπους οι οποίοι άσκησαν τεράστια επιρροή στη ζωή μου και είναι υπέροχοι φίλοι». Ο Ομπάμα χρησιμοποίησε τα προηγούμενα πρωινά γεύματα προσευχής για να υπογραμμίσει το βάθος της Χριστιανικής πίστης εν όψει δημοσκοπήσεων που δείχνουν ότι οι Αμερικανοί αναρωτιούνται σχετικά με τις θρησκευτικές πεποιθήσεις του, σύμφωνα με το AP.

Νομοθέτες της Νέας Υόρκης στηρίζουν τo Nομοσχέδιο περί Θρησκευτικής Ελευθερίας του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου ΑLBANY, N.Y. – Όλα τα 50 μέλη της Πολιτειακής Γερουσίας και τα 144 μέλη της Πολιτειακής Συνέλευσης της Νέας Υόρκης υπέγραψαν πρόσφατα επιστολή η οποία καλεί την Τουρκική Κυβέρνηση να σταματήσει να χειρίζεται την Αγία Έδρα με προκατάληψη, να αναγνωρίσει το καθεστώς του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου, να σεβασθεί το δικαίωμα ιδιοκτησίας και εκκλησιαστικής διαδοχής, και να χορηγήσει το δικαίωμα εκπαίδευσης του κλήρου αυτού – συμπεριλαμβανομένης της επαναλειτουργίας της Θεολογικής Σχολής της Χάλκης. Της προσπάθειας ηγήθηκαν οι Γερουσιαστές Dean Skelos και Michael Gianaris καθώς και τα μέλη της Συνέλευσης Aravella Simotas και Nicole Malliotakis, οι οποίοι επιμελώς πλησίασαν και ενημέρωσαν συναδέλφους τους προσωπικά σχετικά με τις επιζήμιες πρακτικές της Τουρκικής Κυβέρνησης εναντίον του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου και τους ενθάρρυναν να συνυπογράψουν την επιστολή. Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δη-

μήτριος μιλώντας για τη σημασία της τεράστιας υποστήριξης την οποία έλαβε η επιστολή είπε: «Αυτή είναι μία μεγάλη ημέρα για την Πολιτεία της Νέας Υόρκης και την Ελληνική Ορθόδοξη Εκκλησία στην Αμερική». Ο Σεβασμιώτατος εξήρε τις προσπάθειες των τεσσάρων νομοθετών στην επίτευξη ομόφωνης στήριξης του νομοσχεδίου. Η νομοθετική πρωτοβουλία περί θρησκευτικής ελευθερίας στη Νέα Υόρκη συντονίσθηκε από τους Άρχοντες Ιωάννη Κατσιματίδη, Πήτερ Σκιαδά, Νικηφόρο Μάθιους, Θεόδωρο Κλίγκο και Ιωάννη Κασσιμάτη. Μέχρι στιγμής σαράντα-δύο νομοθετικά τμήματα σε 36 πολιτείες έχουν ψηφίσει δημοψηφίσματα ή υπογράψει επιστολές υπέρ της θρησκευτικής ελευθερίας του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου. Για πληροφορίες σχετικά με τις δραστηριότητες του Τάγματος του Αγ. Ανδρέα προς υποστήριξη των θρησκευτικών ελευθεριών του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου, επισκεφθείτε:



MAY 2011

Ομόφωνo Ψήφισμα Αρχιεπισκοπικού Συμβουλίου για την κοινότητα Αγ. Γεωργίου Lynn της Μασαχουσέτης ΒΟΣΤΩΝΗ - Το Αρχιεπισκοπικό Συμβούλιο της Ιεράς Αρχιεπισκοπής Αμερικής, κατά τη διάρκεια της τακτικής εαρινής συνεδρίας του, επιβεβαίωσε την ενιαία εφαρμογή των Ομοιόμορφων Ενοριακών Κανονισμών και τις αποφάσεις των Κληρικολαϊκών Συνελεύσεων για όλες τις ενορίες, συμπεριλαμβανομένης και της ενορίας του Αγίου Γεωργίου στο Lynn της Μασαχουσέτης και ενέκρινε ομόφωνα και με ονομαστική ψηφοφορία το ακόλουθο ψήφισμα: Έχει προκύψει ένα πολύ ανησυχητικό ζήτημα το οποίο επηρεάζει την αρμονική λειτουργία της Ιεράς Αρχιεπισκοπής. Ως αποτέλεσμα της καταστάσεως αυτής, στις 5 και 6 Μαΐου, 2011, το Αρχιεπισκοπικό Συμβούλιο προέβη σε μια άνευ προηγουμένου συζήτηση για τις ατυχείς εξελίξεις στον Ελληνορθόδοξο Ναό του Αγίου Γεωργίου στο Lynn της Μασαχουσέτης. Ως άμεση συνέπεια της ανοικτής αμφισβητήσεως από την ηγεσία της προαναφερθείσης ενορίας της κανονικής τάξης, της εκκλησιαστικής αρχής, των κανονισμών της Ι. Αρχιεπισκοπής και των αποφάσεων των Κληρικολαϊκών Συνελεύσεων,

το Αρχιεπισκοπικό Συμβούλιο υιοθετεί το παρόν ψήφισμα, το οποίο στηρίζει τις αποφάσεις της Ιεράς Επαρχιακής Συνόδου και τις ενέργειες του Σεβασμιωτάτου Μητροπολίτου Βοστώνης κ. Μεθόδιου. Η κατάσταση αυτή προέκυψε για πρώτη φορά λόγω της κατηγορηματικής άρνησης της ηγεσίας της ενορίας να εκπληρώσει την οικονομική υποχρέωση της κοινότητας σύμφωνα με τους Αρχιεπισκοπικούς κανονισμούς παρά το γεγονός ότι οι ελεγμένες οικονομικές αναφορές της ενορίας αποδεικνύουν σαφώς την δυνατότητα της να ανταποκριθεί πλήρως στις δεσμεύσεις της και παρόλο που η ενορία έτυχε μερικής οικονομικής ανακούφισης για ένα διάστημα αρκετών ετών. Η ηγεσία της ενορίας αγνόησε τις σαφείς και αρμόζουσες οδηγίες του Μητροπολίτη της, καθώς και την επιστολή του Σεβασμιωτάτου Αρχιεπισκόπου Αμερικής κ. Δημητρίου διά της οποίας ανεκοινώθη η απόφαση της Ιεράς Επαρχιακής Συνόδου, καθώς αγνόησε και τις επαφές της Επιτροπής Οικονομικών του Αρχιεπισκοπικού Συμβουλίου, διά των οποίων έγινε επανειλημμένα η σύσταση προς την


ενορία να συμμορφωθεί με τους Κανονισμούς της Ιεράς Αρχιεπισκοπής και τις αποφάσεις των Κληρικολαϊκών Συνελεύσεων. Έχουν δοθεί πολλές ευκαιρίες στην ηγεσία της κοινότητος να διευθετήσει αυτό το ζήτημα κατά τρόπο δίκαιο και ποιμαντικό. Ο ιερέας και ο πρόεδρος του ενοριακού συμβουλίου συναντήθηκαν αρκετές φορές σε διάστημα τριών ετών, με εκπροσώπους της Μητροπόλεως και της Επιτροπής Οικονομικών του Αρχιεπισκοπικού Συμβουλίου. Τον περασμένο Δεκέμβριο, ο ιερέας και ολόκληρο το ενοριακό συμβούλιο συναντήθηκε με τον Σεβ. Μητροπολίτη κ. Μεθόδιο, την Επιτροπή Οικονομικών της Μητροπόλεως και τον πρόεδρο της Επιτροπής Οικονομικών του Αρχιεπισκοπικού Συμβουλίου. Παρ’ όλα αυτά, η ενορία έχει αρνηθεί να ανταποκριθεί στις υποχρεώσεις στις οποίες ανταποκρίνονται όλες οι άλλες ενορίες της Ελληνικής Ορθοδόξου Αρχιεπισκοπής Αμερικής, υποχρεώσεις οι οποίες καθορίζονται από τις ανά διετία Κληρικολαϊκές Συνελεύσεις. Είναι δε ακόμα πιο ανησυχητικό το γεγονός ότι ο ιερέας και το ενοριακό συμβούλιο του Lynn

συγκάλεσαν γενική συνέλευση στην οποία εγκρίθηκε η μη καταβολή των υποχρεώσεων της ενορίας, κατά σαφή παραβίαση των Κανονισμών της Ιεράς Αρχιεπισκοπής Αμερικής. Οι ενέργειες της ενορίας οδήγησαν στην παρούσα δήλωση του Αρχιεπισκοπικού Συμβουλίου η οποία προτρέπει την κοινότητα να συμμορφωθεί με τα κριτήρια που ισχύουν για όλες τις ενορίες της Αρχιεπισκοπής. Εάν, εντός δέκα ημερών, η ενορία δε συμμορφωθεί με τις προβλέψεις που ορίζουν οι κανονισμοί, αποκαθιστώντας τη χριστιανική ειρήνη εντός της κοινότητας, το Αρχιεπισκοπικό Συμβούλιο υποστηρίζει πλήρως την επιβολή όλων των αναγκαίων κανονικών και διοικητικών κυρώσεων. Η μη συμμόρφωση της κοινότητας θα την οδηγήσει σε σχίσμα, διαχωρίζοντας όσους ευθύνονται από το σώμα της Εκκλησίας και της μυστηριακής ζωής της Εκκλησίας. Το Αρχιεπισκοπικό Συμβούλιο στηρίζει πλήρως όλες τις ενέργειες του Σεβασμιωτάτου Μητροπολίτου Βοστώνης κ. Μεθόδιου για την εφαρμογή των Κανονισμών της Ιεράς Αρχιεπισκοπής Αμερικής και την εκτέλεση των αποφάσεων των Κληρικολαϊκών Συνελεύσεων.

χρόνια ελληνική τηλεόραση Παραμένουμε κοντά στον ελληνισμό και με συνέπεια και επαγγελματισμό σας προσφέρουμε τα καλύτερα της ελληνικής τηλεόρασης.

Μόνο στο DISH Network. Επιλέξτε DISH Network. Επιλέξτε Ελληνικά. Greek Elite Pack.


Απαιτείται συνδρομή στο International Basic package των $10 ανά μήνα ή στο America’s Top package. Η προσφορά του Digital Home Advantage προϋποθέτει 24μηνη δέσμευση και ικανοποίηση πιστωτικών προϋποθέσεων. Αν η υπηρεσία ακυρωθεί πριν από τη λήξη της δέσμευσης, θα χρεωθεί το ποσό των $17.50 ανά μήνα μέχρι το τέλος της σχετικής δέσμευσης. Η προσφορά του Showtime (αξίας $39) προϋποθέτει υπηρεσίες AutoPay και Paperless Billing και μετά το πέρας 3 μηνών οι τρέχουσες τιμές θα ισχύσουν εκτός αν ο πελάτης υποβαθμίσει την σύνδεση του. Χωρίς χρέωση μόνο βασική επαγγελματική εγκατάσταση. Όλες οι συσκευές είναι ενοικιαζόμενες και θα πρέπει να επιστραφούν στο DISH Network μετά την ακύρωση της συμφωνίας αλλιώς θα υπάρξει ανάλογη χρέωση για τις συσκευές που δεν έχουν επιστραφεί . Ισχύει το όριο των 6 συχνοτήτων σήματος (tuners) ανά λογαριασμό. Προκαταβολικές και μηνιαίες χρεώσεις μπορεί να ισχύουν ανάλογα με το τύπο και αριθμό δεκτών (receivers) Όλες οι τιμές και τα πακέτα προγραμμάτων μπορεί να αλλάξουν χωρίς προειδοποίηση. Για καινούργιους και πρώην πελάτες της DISH Network που πληρούν συγκεκριμένες προϋποθέσεις μόνο και η προσφορά υπόκεινται στους όρους του Promotional and Residential Customer Agreement. Επιπρόσθετοι περιορισμοί μπορεί να ισχύσουν. Η προσφορά λήγει 05/17/11. All rights reserved. Το SHOWTIME και τα συγγενή σήματα και λογότυπα είναι ιδιοκτησία του Showtime Networks Inc., της εταιρείας CBS.


MAY 2011


Diane Primis photo

Major Gift Helps Build Alaska Church by Diane Primis

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – In less than two years the shell of the new Byzantine– style Greek Orthodox church in Alaska is nearly complete thanks to the large gift from primary benefactor Nikolaos Theodore Kollias. He was born Feb. 10, 1928 in Thisvi, Thebes, Greece to Theodore and Panagiota Kollias. He had two sisters, Helen and Garifalia, and one brother, Harry. After finishing grade school Kollias went to work with his father in the family fields. He joined the Greek army in 1949. Upon returning from the army, he continued to help his father with the family business caring for 300 horses. Kollias immigrated to the United States in 1956 and settled in Elyria, Ohio where he worked for General Electric. He later moved to New York, where he worked in various restaurants before moving to Alaska in 1959. He worked in several Anchorage restaurants before taking a job on the North Slope as a caterer. He was a quiet, hard–working and kind-hearted person who loved his family,

Loving baskets

his friends and his church. He sent money to Thisvi to replace the church bell tower that had been burned by the Germans during WWII. He also installed a clock in the church tower, and a chandelier in the nave. Before his death, Kollias anonymously donated $500,000 to the church building project in Alaska. He lived to see the dome installed on his beloved church Dec. 1, and then died on Dec. 20. He left the remainder of his estate to the building project. Without his generous donation the new church building in Alaska would not have become a reality. Nick was blessed to have so many friends who loved him and he in turn blessed all of the parishioners of Holy Transfiguration by his love and generosity. The capital campaign for the Alaska church construction continues with an immediate goal of $150,000, which is still needed to complete the bell tower and the exterior finish of the building before winter. For further information about the church in Alaska, visit

Eleven years and 5,000-plus Easter baskets ago, Fr. Dean Hountalas, priest of the 150-family Holy Cross Church in Farmington Hills, Mich., had a vision for the parish Philotopchos’ first Lenten project. His idea was to create 260 baskets for patients of Children’s Hospital of Michigan. It multiplied beyond Philoptochos, to include GOYA, Sunday school, choir and most faithful, and the community Girl and Boy Scouts programs, Brownie and Daisy troops resulting in more than 5,000 baskets. Also benefiting are the community’s underprivileged children, and some special needs adults. Fr. Hountalas named the Holy Cross outeach project, “With Agape.”

MAY 2011

Birmingham AHEPA Helps Storm Victims BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Birmingham Chapter 3 of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA) allocated $2,500 for AHEPA’s Tornado Relief Effort for those areas affected by the April 27 devastating tornadoes. Many of the 200-plus casualties in Alabama came from the Tuscaloosa and outlying Birmingham areas. As of this morning members of Chapter 3, spearheaded by Past Supreme President Ike Gulas and Past Chapter 3 President Steve Nickolson, started distributing water and supplies to families, rescue and utility workers The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department granted AHEPA access to distribute supplies to the most severely affected areas. Past Supreme President Gulas announced AHEPA Chapter 3 is able to receive donations of bottled water and supplies.



Boston OCF Participants in the Orthodox Christian Fellowship group representing several Boston-area colleges and universities recently attended a retreat at the Annunciation Cathedral of New England. Metropolitan Methodios of Boston addressed the gathering.

‘Bears from the Heart’ GOYA Service Project a Great Success NEW YORK – GOYA chapters of the Direct Archdiocesan District recently completed their third annual “Bears from the Heart” service project in which 135 Build-a-Bears were delivered to the Ronald McDonald House of New York for all the children residents and their siblings for Valentine’s Day. “Bears from the Heart” came to fruition three years ago with an idea from Christiana Vissas of Holy Trinity Church in New Rochelle, that she and her fellow GOYA members planned as a service project. Her idea was to visit a Build–a–Bear workshop and make a few bears for some of the children in the Ronald McDonald

House for Christmas. Athena Zapantis, Holy Trinity youth director and GOYA advisor, loved Christiana’s idea but knew that gifts needed to be distributed equally to all the children in the Ronald McDonald House (RMDH). To make enough bears for the entire RMDH more people needed to be involved, so Zapantis expanded the idea to a district–wide service project for the Direct Archdiocesan District in 2009. Since the children of RMDH receive many gifts and donations during the Christmas season, she felt Valentine’s Day would be a better time to give the bears to them. It would be a time when they would

not be expecting any gifts but also a perfect time for showing them that someone cares for them during a day of love. Each participating parish decided to go with their GOYA members to a store location to make the bears before the set delivery date. After each group had completed their bears, the advisor(s) took a picture of the Goyans with the bears they made. The group also made Valentine’s Day cards. A card and picture of the group were included in the bear gift to each child.


Participating GOYA chapters from 14 parishes of the Greater New York area

included: Holy Trinity Church, New Rochelle; Kimisis tis Theotokou, Poughkeepsie; Sts. Constantine and Helen Church, West Nyack; Holy Cross Church, Middletown; Church of Our Savior, Rye; St. Paraskevi Church, Greenlawn; Holy Cross Church, Brooklyn; Kimisis tis Theotokou, Brooklyn; Church of the Holy Resurrection, Brookville; Holy Trinity Church, Staten Island; St. Nicholas Church, Flushing; and the Connecticut parishes of Church of the Archangels, Stamford; Holy Trinity Church, Bridgeport; and St. Barbara Church, Orange Past years’ participants, in addition to the above, have included: St. George’s Church, Norwalk, Conn.; St. Demetrios Church, Jamaica Hills, N.Y; Assumption Church, Danbury, Conn.; and Assumption Church, Port Jefferson, N.Y. Carnivale of Love Foundation.

Patristic Institute Conferences Set at HC/HC

Thousands Celebrate Resurrection


An estimated 5,000 faithful fill the street and sidewalk areas in front of St. Nicholas Church in Flushing, N.Y. for the Resurrection service on Pascha Sunday. Archbishop Demetrios officiated at the service, which was televised.

BROOKLINE, Mass. -- The Pappas Patristic Institute each year holds three conferences at Holy Cross School of Theology. The spring event is the Archbishop Iakovos Graduate Student Conference that brings together graduate students from many parts of this country and abroad who present papers on areas in patristic studies of interest to them. The recent conference in March drew more than 70 students to the campus from 34 colleges, universities and institutes in the United States and Canada and several countries in Europe, including Greece. The Summer Program in Patristic Studies will take place July 18-23. Students can attend intensive classes in patristics. The annual fall conference is thematic in nature. This year the theme is “Family and Children in the Patristic Tradition,” slated Oct. 13-15. More information about the activities of the Pappas Patristic Institute is available at


MAY 2011










From From



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First Graduates Ordained in Special Diaconate Program by Marilyn Rouvelas

Over lunch at a restaurant in spring 2009, Harry Chelpon excitedly told me about his inspiring experience at the new Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Special Program for the Diaconate which he had attended the summer before at Holy Cross School of Theology. He was headed back again for another two weeks that August to study such subjects as liturgics, chanting, and scripture. God-willing, after another two weeks in 2010 and the completion of three years of mentoring by his parish priest, Fr. Konstantinos Pavlakos, his call to become a deacon might happen. God’s will was manifest on Jan. 9, 201l, with Harry’s ordination to the diaconate by Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey at St. Katherine Church in Falls Church, Va. Father (the correct form of address for a deacon) John Mamangakis, one of Harry’s program mates from New Rochelle, N.Y., assisted with the ordination. Exclaiming “Axios” with the rest of the congregation were four other program mates (not yet ordained): George Kaloroumakis of St. George, Ocean City, Md; Gary Kent of St. George, Bethesda, Md; Nick Pappas, Nativity of the Theotokos, Fredericksburg, Va; and Louis Zagami, Annunciation Cathedral, Baltimore. That day Harry joined a small, but growing group of laity that has been called to serve our communities as deacons. Recognizing both a sincere desire of the laity to serve in this special capacity and the needs of churches and priests for assistance, the Holy Eparchial Synod of the GOA started the Special Program for the Diaconate in 2007. Already this grassroots movement is putting down deep roots; and Dr. Jim Skedros, Special Program coordinator, is pleased and surprised at its growth. When the program began in August 2007, only four students attended; but by August 2010, there were 49 students enrolled, 12 of whom were from the Metropolis of Atlanta. Now some of the graduates of those early classes have been ordained to the diaconate: Fr. Sal Fazio in December 2009, by Metropolitan Methodios of Boston at Sts. Constantine and Helen in Andover, Mass; Fr. John Mamangakis in May 2010, by Bishop

Andonios of Phasiane at Holy Trinity, New Rochelle; and Fr. Dimitri Belsito in October 2010, also by Bishop Andonios of Phasiane, at Holy Trinity at Waterbury, Conn. At the ordination reception for Fr. Chelpon, Fr. Mamangakis, clearly inspired by his participation in the ordination service, explained that his experience so far as a deacon was everything he had hoped it would be: He is helping with church services, visiting the sick; and, thanks to his understanding priest, Fr. Nicholas Anctil, he is still able to balance his family life and work as a hospital administrator. For Fr. Fazio, an electrical engineer, working with the youth ministry, especially the younger Goyans and JOY group, has been especially meaningful. The service that these men are now providing reflects the original purpose of the ordained diaconate, a misunderstood ministry as many people wrongly assume that it is simply a stepping stone to the priesthood. However, the diaconate is a distinct ministry in itself rooted in service (diakonia), following Christ’s example: “For the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve...“ (Mark 10:45). Thus, since the Apostles chose the first seven deacons (Acts 6:1-6) to help with their work, the ordained ministry in the Orthodox Church has been comprised of three distinct orders: deacon (male and female), priest and bishop. For the ordained ministry of the Church to be fully expressed in all of its potential, all three offices should be vigorous. Laity who are interested in exploring the GOA Special Program for the diaconate may go to holycross/academics, and then prayerfully discuss the possibility with their priest and, if so advised, their Metropolitan. For in–depth history about the diaconate, read the following seminal books: John Chryssavgis,“Remembering and Reclaiming Diakonia: The Diaconate Yesterday and Today “(Brookline, MA: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 2009) and Kyriaki Karidoyanes FitzGerald, “Women Deacons in the Orthodox Church: Called to Holiness and Ministry” (Brookline, MA, Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 1998). Marilyn Rouvelas is the author of A Guide to Greek Traditions and Customs in America.

Spiritual Formation Teacher Training Course Slated at Hellenic College BROOKLINE, Mass. – Catherine Varkas, founder and director of the nationally accredited Palm Harbor Montessori Teacher Education Center in Palm Harbor, Fla., will offer a two-week course in teacher training, exploring the religious nature and vital needs of the 3- to 6-year-old child. The program will take place June 6-17 at Hellenic College. Classes will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday on the campus both weeks. The course will immerse participants in instruction and materials linked to the

Gospel and the liturgical experience of the Orthodox Church. Material presented will be sequenced for a three-year curriculum.Tuition is $700. The course is recommended for pre–school teachers, Sunday school teachers, home school teachers and parents. Catherine Varkas is a graduate of Holy Cross School of Theology. Anyone interested in attending is urged to contact her at or 508-367-7254.


MAY 2011

When the Parish Moved, They Took Their Church With Them P A R I S H


Name: St. Haralambos Greek Orthodox Church Location: Canton, Ohio Metropolis of Pittsburgh Size: about 556 families, another 200 on mailing list Founded: 1913 Clergy: Fr. Nicholas V. Gamvas (M.Div. Holy Cross ’79; D.Min, Andover Newton Theological School ’89 in psychology; Ph.D. in clinical psychology, Boston College ‘95) E-mail: Web: Noteworthy: Mother Church of the Canton area Greek Orthodox Parishes. ST. HARALAMBOS GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH In Matthew 17:20, Jesus told His disciples “…if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.” In 1958, the members of St. Haralambos parish put their faith into practice by successfully moving their existing church, which was built in 1919, from one part of Canton to another in the face of skeptics and naysayers who thought the building would collapse or sustain severe damage. Damage to city streets totaled about $100. But the story of St. Haralambos, now a very active parish with many successful ministries, begins around 1898. At the time, Canton native William McKinley (born in nearby Niles) was president of the United States. According to a parish history by historians George P. Michalos and Evelyn W. Eustathios, St. Haralambos Church and Community, a tailor named George Loukas settled in Canton. In 1903, Christina Michalokopoulos from Stemnitsa, Greece, became the first Greek women to arrive when she came to join her husband. By 1910, more than 350 Greeks had settled here, many from Chios and Crete In another parish history, Greeks of Stark County, William H. Samonides and Regine Johnson Samonides, the current parish historians, note that many Greeks came to Ohio in that era as it was then the industrial center of the nation. Canton was the fastest-growing city in Ohio, home to alloy steel manufacturing, brick making for street pavement, tinplate, Timken Roller Bearing (still in business), vacuum cleaners (Hoover was a major employer until moving its manufacturing operation to China several years ago), and other labor-intensive industries. In addition to the above-mentioned locations, a very large number of immigrants came from Asia Minor, especially the Pontos region. Greeks clustered in the southeast part of the city and eventually opened their own businesses, or made “katsarolas” at the Canton Stamping and Enameling Company. After World War I, a large influx of Greeks from Asia Minor arrived in the area and efforts got underway to estab-

lish a Greek Orthodox church. The first priest to serve the Greek Orthodox faithful was Fr. Leonidas Athanakos, who arrived in 1913. He was a founder of what became Holy Trinity Cathedral of New York. Services took place for several years in rented halls and other facilities. The church became incorporated in 1915 and property for a church was purchased the following year. Construction began in 1917 and the church (the one they moved across town 40 years later) was completed in 1919 at a cost of $60,000. The cornerstone was laid by Archbishop Germanos of Brooklyn, the acting head of the Syrian Orthodox Church in North America (this was five years before the creation of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America), The dedication of the church in February 1919 drew 10,000 participants and was officiated by Archbishop Meletios of Athens. The church received the name St. Haralambos as a result of a drawing from a hat. The Great Depression created hardship for the parish, which nearly lost its building. But parishioners managed to pay off the mortgage. Also during the 1930s, Archbishop Athenagoras was a frequent visitor. Following World War II, the community experienced increasing growth and purchased a 10–acre site for a new church in 1951. Several building committees had formed, but the cost of building a new church was prohibitive. Parishioners also were reluctant to leave their old house of worship.

A moving experience

The priest at the time, Fr. Theophilos Theophilos, while on a trip to Cleveland, witnessed a hospital building being moved and he presented the idea of physically moving the entire church building to the community’s new property. Ninety two percent of the parish’s 250 voting members approved of the plan. In the meantime, Fr. Theophilos was assigned to a parish in Montreal and his successor, Fr. Leon Pachis, oversaw the move. An engineering firm was hired and a cost estimate of $200,000 was deter-

mined for the relocation project, at least half the cost of building a new church. The building was split into two parts. A 16-foot middle section had to be destroyed, but was later replaced after the move was complete. There were hurdles to overcome in making the move. The City of Canton would not issue a moving permit until everyone involved was in agreement and, because it was the biggest move ever attempted in Canton, the contractor couldn’t get an insurance policy to cover the moving of the church. Considerable coordination was required among the building committee, contractor, city officials and utility companies. The stained glass windows, the very heavy slate roof, and a 16-foot section of the church were removed before the move. Each exposed side was covered with wood and tar paper. Any piece of furniture that was secured to the floor stayed in the two halves through the move. Skepticism ran high that the building would not stand the strain. Over two months in the summer of 1958, the two sections weighing about 300 tones were jacked up off the ground, mounted on six dollies that contained 60 solid-rubber wheels and they were moved separately, with each move taking 18 days from the southeast part of the city over four miles to the northwestern quadrant. More than 5,000 spectators witnessed the beginning preparations, with estimates of up to 50,000 watching the event on one Sunday afternoon. The sections were placed on a new foundation without significant damage. They were connected with a 32-foot addition that helped to double the seating capacity of the church to 500.

Many youth ministries

During the 1960s and ‘70s the parish was served by Fr. Nichols Manikas, who helped establish the senior citizens group and the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts in the parish. The contemporary parish offers numerous ministries especially

for young people, beginning with the younger children in JOY, with 35. There are 56 Goyans, 20 in the Hellenic Dancers Youth Program, and 45 in the YAL. Athletics play a large part in the community life of the young people, with boys and girls JOY basketball teams, GOYA boys and girls basketball teams and volleyball for girls and boys. Sunday school has about 120 students and Greek school has 35, plus a Greek class with 20 adults. Adult and teen Bible classes meet monthly and draw up to 50 people. There is a 25-member junior choir, a 55-member senior choir and five chanters. The Philoptochos chapter has more than 100 members and the men’s club and a senior citizens group, the Silver Liners, each with more than 100 members. An “Over 80” group has about 120 members. There also is a sacred art icon and book store, and a food pantry for the needy. A community and cultural center added in the 1960s includes meeting rooms, offices, a gymnasium, and an event center with two stages. St. Haralambos supports itself through stewardship. A yearly Greek festival is another major revenue source. The current priest, Protopresbyter Nicholas V. Gamvas, a native of Fitchburg, Mass., began his career as a marine biologist from 1973-76 after graduating from the University of New Hampshire. He enrolled at Holy Cross and received his M.Div. in 1979. Since then he has served the parishes of Sts. Constantine and Helen Cathedral in Richmond, Va; Assumption Church in Manchester, N.H; St. Demetrios Church, Fort Worth, Texas; Sts. Constantine and Helen Church in Honolulu and the Maui Misssion before coming to Canton in 2007 as the parish’s 15th priest. — Compiled by Jim Golding

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MAY 2011

‘hellenicare’ Coordinates Humanitarian Outreach in Republic of Georgia

Clergy retreat

Archon D. Panagos photo

Priests of the Direct Archdiocesan District attended a Lenten retreat in April in Greenlawn, N.Y., led by Archbishop Demetrios. The retreat theme was “Providing Relevant Ministry in Historic Times.”

Koraes School Competes in the Illinois Junior Academy of Science Regional Science Fair PALOS HILLS, Ill. – Students from Koraes Elementary School, affiliated with Sts Constantine and Helen Church, participated in the Illinois Junior Academy of Science Regional Science Fair in March. The students all presented projects and were among more than 600 students from the southern Cook County and DuPage County area. The top 199 projects qualified to go to the State Science Fair competition. Seventh grade students Michael Marx’s project, “Can You Tire Your

Muscles?” and Alexandra Lenz’s project “The Effects of Friction on Objects in Motion!” both received an outstanding score qualifying them to attend the State Science Fair competition. Seventh grade student John Kladis received a first-place ribbon. Seventh grade students Georgia Hiotis, Antonia Pappas, Eleni Iglesis, and Grace Davenport received second–place ribbons. Eighth grade students Evan Vouris, Athanasios Makris, and Paul Davenport also received a second-place ribbon.

CHICAGO – ‘hellenicare’s’ Greek Medical Fund of Georgia recently was asked by government and humanitarian organizations in that country to provide health care services through its medical mobile unit to the residents of the St. George Mtatsmindeli Rehabilitation Center. The center began as a homeless shelter for street children after the Georgian civil war ended in 1995. Over the years, it expanded its mission to include homeless elderly. “This is a very poor village and the center receives little money to provide medical care and medicines,” says Alina Papanidi, regional coordinator of hellenicare. When the administrator of the regional council heard about our medical mobile unit he asked us if we would visit the village.” We thought it would be a perfect opportunity for our fellow Department of State (DOS) grantees to join us and sponsor a humanitarian outreach program,” continued Ms. Papanidi. The small village of Dzegvi, Georgia is located in the historic old capital of the Republic of Georgia called Mtskheta. The city dates back to the year 1000 B.C. and is home to the sixth century monastery of Jvari and an 11th century Orthodox cathedral. Prior to the 19th century, the kings and queens of Georgia were buried in Mtskheta. Dzegvi is one of several small villages perched along the banks of where the Aragvi and Kura rivers converge in the MtskhetaMtianeti region which has a population of

approximately 20,000 people. hellenicare’s medical mobile unit (MMU) consisting of a general physician, pediatrician and cardiologist, examined residents at St. George Rehabilitation Center and the Catharsis Nursing Home as well as local residents. As hellenicare’s MMU is equipped with a mini laboratory, portable ultrasound and EKG unit, diagnostic tests were also able to be performed in addition to physician examinations. Joining hellenicare was the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) who provided the children of the Rehabilitation Center with school kits, Counterpart International who distributed winter boots as well as LDS-Charities who supplemented medicines and medical supplies donated by hellenicare. The outreach was also televised on the three major news stations in Tbilisi as well as local news media in the MtskhetaMtianeti region. “This outreach effort is just one of the many ways hellenicare actualizes its mission to restore health and hope,” says Cynthia A. Yannias, program director. “Our cooperative working relationship with other DOS grantees and humanitarian organizations strengthens our efforts to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable children and the elderly. We thank our fellow NGOs for making this outreach possible,” added Mrs. Yannias. For more information about hellenicare’s program visit or call 312-775-9000.

Parish leaders and dignitaries break ground for the new St. Sophia-Sts. Faith, Hope and Agape Church.

Pennsylvania Parish Holds Groundbreaking Event JEFFERSONVILLE, Pa. –St SophiaSts Faith, Hope and Agape parish broke ground for a new church on March 6 in West Norriton Township near historic Valley Forge. Bishop Andonios of Phasiane, the Archdiocese chancellor, represented Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey at the ceremony that followed the Divine Liturgy. The event ushered in the initial phase of a masterplan that features a dramatic domed Byzantine-style church seating over 425 and future support facilities for parish ministries. The groundbreaking service was attended by more than 400 faithful and distinguished guests, including Congressman

Patrick Meehan, U.S. Sen. John Rafferty, Pennsylvania state Representative Warren Kampf and Montgomery County Commissioner Bruce Castor. Architect Christ Kamages and his firm CJK Design Group of San Francisco are designing the Byzantine-style church. The parish received its charter in 1981, but the parish’s history goes back to a handful of faithful Greek Orthodox immigrants who founded the community in the 1920’s. It is a growing community of more than 200 families, led by Fr. Peter Thornberg. For information on St Sophia & Ss. Faith Hope & Agape Greek Orthodox Church, visit

MAY 2011



San Francisco Cultural Parade Features 30 Participating Groups by Kristen Bruskas

SAN FRANCISCO – The annual Greek Cultural Parade took place April 10 for the 10th consecutive year. An annual parade was held in the 1950’s for about 20 years and then there was a hiatus until the late 1990’s. The parade route began at 7th Street and Mission and continued for about one mile down McAllister to City Hall. There were 30 participating groups, including 5 floats: Ascension Cathedral – Oakland, Annunciation – Sacramento, Nativity of Christ – Novato, Pan-Arcadians, Navarino-Messenian Society, United Greek Cypriots of Northern California, Pan-Cretan

Association, Hellenic Heritage Institute and Museum, Hellenic Law Society, OCF – Berkeley (from the Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute), AHEPA, Macedonian Society, Lakonikos Syllogos, Zakynthian Brotherhood. Various marching bands, drill teams, and drum corps from local schools. A reception immediately followed at the San Francisco Civic Auditorium. The number of participants and attendees/viewers was estimated at 2,000. The parade was coordinated by Ted Laliotis, president, Hellenic Federation of Northern California, in cooperation with the Metropolis of San Francisco and the Consulate General of Greece in San Francisco.

Traditional Evzones lead the Greek Cultural Parade in downtown San Francisco.

Minoan Dancers – The award-winning Minoan Dancers from the Nativity of Christ parish in Novato perform in front of City Hall. Parade Dignitaries – Watching from the main stage were: (L-R) Dr. Alexandros Kokkinides (retired – Rear Admiral, Greek Navy), Metropolitan Nikitas of Dardanelles, Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco, Ioannis Andreades, consul general of Greece in San Francisco; Nicolaos Theophanous, honorary consul general of Cyprus. KRISTEN BRUSKAS photos

SF Parade Sacramento – The Greek School from the Annunciation Church in Sacramento participate in the parade.

Ascension Cathedral dancers, Greek School students and their families enthusiastically participate in the parade.


MAY 2011

Ionian Village

Reflections of a Camp Counselor by Jaclyn Limberakis

There is nothing quite like the feeling of pulling up to Ionian Village in a bus full of campers and counselors who have been traveling for hours in anticipation of that moment. I was a 12-year-old camper the first time I laid eyes on the big white Ionian Village sign that marks the entrance to the camp grounds. It is an image that has been permanently etched in my memory. Fastforward 12 years to the summer of 2010 when I saw the big white Ionian Village sign again, returning as a counselor for the second time. My journey from Philadelphia to Greece was full of excitement, nervousness, and countless recollections of past IV summers, but when I saw that sign, there was only one overwhelming feeling: “I’m home.” Needless to say, the Ionian Village program has left a lasting and treasured impression on me. If I could spend every summer of my young adult life as an IV counselor, I would do it in a heartbeat. What is it that makes being an IV counselor so great? Obviously, spending two months in Greece at a summer camp is a pretty amazing deal. But it only takes one day working with an IV staff to realize that you are part of something incredibly special; something so much bigger than just a summer in Greece. It is impossible to pinpoint

Photo credit: Ted Davantzis

Ionian Village reunion

Young men and women from Minnesota, California, Virginia, New York and other states arrived in Boston Friday April 29, for a three–day Ionian Village reunion for campers of both sessions of the 2010 season. The 178 campers who participated under the direction of Ionian Village director, Fr. Jason Roll, had the opportunity to renew their ties, share their experiences and faith, take part in some fun activities and worship together on Sunday at the St. Nectarios Greek Orthodox Church in Roslindale, Mass, where this photo with Metropolitan Methodios of Boston was taken following the Divine Liturgy.

one defining moment that captures the joy of serving on the IV staff. However, the following list of memories is my attempt to illustrate what the job meant to me. These are snapshots from my summers, moments that I hope will convey what a unique blessing it is to be an IV counselor. Watching pride and confidence spread across campers’ faces when they master a new Greek dance...and then teach it to a friend. Shedding tears of appreciation and reverence after venerating the incorrupt body of a saint. The food. Viewing landscapes of Greece that take my breath away. Sharing stories in the pivotal Orthodox Life session or evening devotional that transforms a cabin of strangers into a family. Seeing a camper’s eyes widen with awe as the Parthenon comes into view. The hymns

we sing each day during chapel, made so much more beautiful by the unified voices of the entire camp. Walking through the camp grounds, surrounded by flowers, feeling nothing but pure and unbridled happiness. Junkyard wars, sandcastle contests, and music nights that evoke fierce cabin unity. Learning the symbolism of a holy icon. Dancing until our faces glisten with sweat. Late-night heart-to-hearts with new best friends. Did I mention the food? Being completely at peace on the Ionian Sea during ferry rides to the islands. The simplicity and beauty of the IV chapel sitting at the heart of the campus. Cheering until we lose our voices when the winner of the IV Olympics is announced. The smiles. The laughter. The IV agape. With God as the center of our lives,

each step we take closer to Him through our work at Ionian Village also brings us a step closer to each other. The relationships we form are unbreakable because they are rooted in our faith. In just two months, the staff has become a family. Together, we are teachers, mentors, and friends to the campers we serve. It is a responsibility not to be taken lightly, but when carried out with love in our hearts, it is one of the most rewarding and precious experiences. When we leave, we have gained far more than any sum of money that any other summer job could have paid. In our spiritual journey as young Orthodox Christians, the Ionian Village program is unrivaled. To those who are blessed with the opportunity to serve on the IV staff, seize it!


MAY 2011

Orthodox Christian Summer Camps In just a short amount of time, school will be out for the summer. Most students are already daydreaming about what they would like to do for their summer vacation. There are a ton of things that teens can do over the summer. Did you know that there is an Orthodox Christian summer camp in most every area of the U.S? Summer camp can truly be a transformative experience in a young person’s life. At camp, people learn and grow in their relationship with Christ. They gather to see all their old friends and make new ones. It is also a unique opportunity for young people to live in an Orthodox Christian community of their peers. Why choose to go to an Orthodox Christian summer camp? Here are four great reasons:


“Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand.” Psalm 95:6-7 Outside of Divine Liturgy and the services of Holy Week, many young people do not get to experience worship on a daily basis. At an Orthodox Christian summer camp, youth get to worship among their peers. In addition to Divine Liturgy, most camps offer morning and evening prayers. Most importantly, campers truly experience God by taking part in the Sacramental life of the Church through the Holy Eucharist and Holy Confession. Worship becomes a teaching tool as well. Campers can ask the priests and leaders about different aspects of the Divine by Eva Kokinos

Just a month ago, the movie “Soul Surfer” was released in movie theaters across the country. The movie is based on the true story of Bethany Hamilton, who is played by Anna Sophia Robb. She plays the 13-year-old surfer whose life changed in 2003 when a shark attacked her in Hawaii. The movie’s cast includes many well-known actors and celebrities, such as Helen Hunt, Dennis Quaid, Craig T. Nelson, and Carrie Underwood. Soul Surfer, a PG-rated family movie, had been highly anticipated by many Christian communities because it presents a message of faith and hope which you cannot easily find in many movies today. The movie illustrates how faith and the support of family and friends can help one through the overwhelming and unexpected challenges of life. It also is a beautiful tribute to the spirit that does not give up or lose hope. Bethany and her friend, Alana, are young and promising surfers. In preparation for a major competition, the girls head out one morning to practice. Unbeknownst to Bethany and Alana, a shark swimming below noticed them. In one swift attack, the shark comes up and takes Bethany’s whole arm. Thankfully, she is taken to the hospital and survives the attack.

Liturgy, the theology of the hymns, and iconography of the Church. Orthodox Christian camps offer young people an opportunity to learn more about how we offer worship and how to become active in the Liturgical life of the Church.


“For you will be His witness to all men of what you have seen and heard.” Acts 22:15 One of the most difficult aspects of an Orthodox Christian’s life is being able to express, or witness, one’s faith to others. The world is full of people who are Orthodox and non-Orthodox, Christians and non-Christians, believers and non-believers. There are so many conflicting messages about belief and faith. It is easy for anyone to get confused and lose sight of Christ’s path. Orthodox Christian summer camps provide young people a chance to learn about the Orthodoxy so they can witness their faith in word and in deed. With Orthodox Christian educational classes and wonderful group discussions, campers learn how to live and express their faith every day and how to share it with others.


“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve ...” Mark 10:45 We live in a “Me” society. Many of the messages we are given in the media talk about focusing inward. What can I get for myself? What do I want? What can others do for ME? But in Orthodox Christian summer camps, the focus is outward. Through service, campers learn more about giving their

time, talents, and treasure for the good of others. A significant part of Christ’s ministry is rooted in service, from washing the disciples’ feet to giving His own life for all of us. Many camps provide service projects throughout the day as part of their camp programming. Some projects focus on the camp community (helping serve meals, helping clean the tables or camp sites). Other projects might focus on the community outside of camp (making food for a local shelter or soup kitchen, making icons to send to a mission). Young people learn how to be leaders through sacrifice, love, unselfishness for their neighbor.


“Behold how good and pleasing it is when brothers dwell in unity.” Psalm 133:1 Who doesn’t want to have fun over the summer? Orthodox Christian summer camps are definitely filled with fun activities like swimming, canoeing, dances, Olympics, and much more. But the most important part of the fun is the fellowship that is shared among campers. Through these activities, campers build Christ-centered friendships which last a lifetime. Ultimately, camping ministries lights a fire in the hearts of young people to love Christ and to be an active Sacramental members of the Church. It is at camp where young people can be in a safe environment to learn about themselves, about others, and about God. For a list of Orthodox Christian summer camps in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese or more information about camping ministries, visit

Movie Review: Soul Surfer A Message of Faith, Family, and Hope

She now has to face grueling physical therapy, and emotional recovery from such a traumatic event, and the reality that she might never surf again. It was a powerful and difficult process, yet Bethany was able to recover physically and emotionally through the power of faith, family, and hope. Bethany’s had the support and love of her family and friends. The movie also depicts the important role that faith in her recovery. Bethany reflects on her experience, using her Christian belief to put things into perspective. She also is supported by her church community, especially a youth leader who helps her through some especially difficult times. Bethany is able to pull from the tragedy with a renewed sense of strength and spirit. Eventually, that renewed spirit, strength and faith helps Bethany overcome her obvious physical challenge and inspires her to surf again. So what can we take from Soul Surfer? We each have our own struggles and obstacles, whether they are physical, emotional, or spiritual. Many people today are dealing things like addiction, depression, financial woes,

or a physical illness or disability. Yet even when those challenges seem insurmountable and we feel defeated, we must remember that we are never alone. Overcoming obstacles is possible in and through Christ. We also have our family, friends, and our brothers and sisters in Christ who give us strength and help through even the lowest times. Soul Surfer delivers a story that can resonate with all Orthodox Christians, especially as we still bask in the celebration of Christ’s Resurrection. Christ broke the bonds of death by His own death, bestowing life to those in the tombs and giving us hope for eternal life. The triumph of Bethany Hamilton over death, hopelessness, and adversity, in real-life and as it is depicted in Soul Surfer, is an inspiration to keep hope alive against all odds. Eva Kokinos is a 2003 graduate of Holy Cross School of the Theology and serves as the director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries for the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Detroit. Email her at

5 Must–Haves for Orthodox Christian Graduates Commencement ceremonies are just around the corner for high school and college seniors. Instead of scrambling to the local gift card store for a sentimental or inspirational gift, consider getting an item that will keep them connected to the Church and connected to Christ! 1) Orthodox Study Bible – Graduates are done studying math or chemistry, but it doesn’t mean they should stop studying the Word of God! The Orthodox Study Bible is available in paperback and hardback versions. Plus, the Orthodox Study Bibles provides beautiful commentary and helpful information about the Holy Scriptures and the Faith. 2) An Icon – This is an important item for any student to have in their dorm room or new apartment. Select an icon of their patron saint. Of course, an icon of Christ or the Theotokos is always appropriate. Icons are not only a significant part of the Orthodox tradition, but they are a witness to our faith and Orthodox Christian history. 3) An Orthodox Prayer Book – Prayer is one of the most basic, yet essential, aspects of an Orthodox Christian’s life. All graduates should have an Orthodox Prayer Book so they can pray wherever they are and for any reason. 4) An OCF “Connect Kit” – OCF (Orthodox Christian Fellowship) is the official campus ministry of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese. Give your high school graduate a “Connect Kit” to keep them connected to their own personal spiritual life, as well as the Church as a whole. Visit for more information. 5) “The Orthodox Way” by Metropolitan Kallistos Ware – Metropolitan Kallistos Ware, world-renowned Orthodox Christian scholar and author, offers the reader a beautiful understanding of what it means to following the Orthodox Christian way of life. This is a great read for graduates who are learning about making their way in the world and keeping focused on the Orthodox Christian path. Check with your parish bookstore or to find these items and even more gift ideas for graduates this year.

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MAY 2011

Good Intentions Gone Bad: Our Overextended Families by Ary Christofidis, Ph.D.

Over the past 18 years I have asked every family I’ve seen in therapy how often they eat together. One father replied, “We’re all very busy, but we try our hardest to eat together at least once a week, on Sunday.” More probing questions about the family’s weekly schedule revealed that there were other times during the week that everyone was home at the same time. For a moment, I sat there puzzled. “What’s happening those other times?” I asked. “Well... I grab my food and go to my room, my brother goes into the basement to eat and play video games, and mom and dad sometimes sit at the table by themselves,” one of the teenagers replied. After all these years of listening to families describe their “crazy” schedules, I see a growing trend that appears to be pushing Orthodox Christian families further away from each other and from God—a trend that is hurting our relationships with our family members and our relationship with God.

God’s Commandments

“You shall have no other gods before me.” “You shall not make for yourself an idol ... you shall not bow down to them nor serve them.” God’s first and second commandments

QUOTES FOR FAMILIES “For generally the children acquire the character of their parents, are formed in the mold of their parents’ temperament, love the same things their parents love, talk in the same fashion, and work for the same ends.” —St. John Chrysostom, On Marriage and Family Life If we pray, and learn little by little to live in the spirit of prayer, we create an atmosphere in which children taste prayer and God’s presence. If we dwell in this spirit, even without words, even before children can speak, they can acquire a natural taste for prayer, and the desire to know God. —Sister Magdalen, Children in the Church Today Do you want your children to be obedient? Show them your love. Not a love that weakens them, that gives way to all their demands, but a wise and heartfelt love that looks to their true benefit. When a child sees such love, he will obey not from fear but from reverence. Finally, never forget to invoke the blessing of God on your work in bringing up your children. Only then will your labor, struggles and concern be crowned with success. With God’s help, your children will learn obedience. —Bishop Irenaius, On the Upbringing of Children

challenge us to look more deeply at distinguishing how we fail in our attempt to love God and how we might fall into the trap of idol worship. In Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives: Life and Teachings of Elder Thaddeus, the elder says: When we see an object that attracts us, we easily become attached to it... If this lasts for a length of time, then this object becomes our idol... which takes the place in our heart that belongs to God. Though we might replace God with idols, God does not change His love for us or His desire for us to come closer to Him. Remember how the lawyer answered Christ’s question on the means of acquiring salvation? “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’” Christ’s response was simple and clear, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live” (Luke 10:27-28).

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.”

As Christians, our day of rest and devotion to God is Sunday. However, over the last decade, more and more activities have been scheduled on this important day, even in the mornings. This makes it very difficult for parents to say “no” to their child and teach them the importance of attending church. (An even more sad and difficult situation is when a parent has to work on Sundays.) I remember when the only things open on Sunday were church and a few restaurants. You couldn’t even get gasoline for your car! Boy, how times have changed— but who changed and why? Have we forgotten the importance of worshiping God as a family? One of my favorite examples of the significance of family worship comes from the Book of Acts: “Cornelius, ... a devout man who feared God with all his household, gave alms liberally to the people, and prayed constantly to God ...he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, ‘Cornelius... Your prayers and your alms have ascended as a memorial before God.’” Here, the angel of God is confirming Cornelius and his family’s commitment to God by being obedient, prayerful and charitable. But how can we commit our lives to God if we are too busy? How can we become devout like Cornelius when there is not a free moment in our daily lives? In an intriguing story called “Satan’s Convention,” an unknown author tells how Satan directs his dark angels to lure Christians away from God. Satan says, “Distract them from gaining hold of their Savior and maintaining that vital connection throughout their day!” “How shall we do this?” shouted his angels. “Keep them busy in the nonessentials of life and invent innumerable schemes to occupy their minds,” he answered. We must be vigilant and recognize that the devil is relentless in his pursuit to pull us away from God.

Righting the Wrong

For many cultures, including the Greek culture, well-rounded education and life experiences (activities) seem reasonable for future success – until they (rather their schedules) begin to choke the life (time) out of families and their worship of God. Providing our children with all the material comforts surely helps them enjoy this life more. But in order to provide our children with all of those comforts, we work even harder and spend more time away from our loved ones and God. We convince ourselves, or should I say, deceive ourselves, into believing that our efforts have good intentions. Let’s stop for a moment and ask, why? Why do we let getting into college become more important than getting into heaven? Why do we let making money take priority over making time for God? We’re feeding their minds and bodies, but are we feeding their souls? Over the years many parents have told me they were surprised their children did not resist attending family therapy. I have found that children welcome the time the whole family spends together in the office without any interruptions.

Children and parents begin to value true “family time,” even in small amounts, and to resist the distractions that surround them. When families seek therapy, their “good intentions” are to remedy the conflict they are experiencing in their homes. Their struggle is to right the “wrong” – the busy lifestyle that is pulling them apart. If we put God first, for ourselves and for our family, we too can receive the blessings from above. However, this does require change and faith. My challenge to all families is to consider a few adjustments at home: • Spend quality family time with cell phones, televisions, and games turned off. • Carve out time for family devotions, spiritual reading and preparing for church. • Break bread together. As much as possible, make it a point to gather around the family table and share a meal and, by doing that, you will surely come a little closer to each other and to God. To that end, St. John Chrysostom is very clear about what the bottom line is and how to make sure that our good intentions do not go bad. We are so concerned with our children’s schooling [and worldly success]; if only we were equally zealous in bringing them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord... This, then, is our task: to educate both ourselves and our children in godliness; otherwise what answer will we have before Christ’s judgment seat? Ary Christofidis, Ph.D, is a licensed clinical psychologist and the founder and director of the Orthodox Christian Counseling Institute ( in Chicago. Dr. Christofidis attended Hellenic College–Holy Cross School of Theology where he received his Bachelor’s degree before completing his Master’s and Doctorate at the University of Pittsburgh.

Preparing for the Sunday Gospel Parenting is a joy, but not one that comes without great effort. From the moment our children enter this world, we work hard to give them what they need to develop into healthy, happy, and productive members of society. We must ask: we feed their bodies but do we feed their souls? Our children need us to help them develop into active members of the Body of Christ. We need to teach them to pray. We need to teach them to read the Bible and follow its lessons. But most importantly, we need to teach them to love the Lord with all their heart, mind, and soul. How do we, as parents, do this? How do we teach our children to learn something that we ourselves are still learning? We offer Family Gospel Lessons as an aid and inspiration to your family and especially to help direct your children’s hearts and minds toward God. This resource is meant to guide your family through the church year according to the Sunday Gospels. It is our hope that through this resource, families will make reading the

Gospel a priority in their preparation for the Divine Liturgy. Condensed from the introduction to the Family Gospel Lessons. These lessons and full introduction can be accessed at


MAY 2011


Boston Parade Draws Many New England Parishes

Scott Brown, Congressman Stephen Lynch and the Consul General of Greece Ilias Fotopoulos. Boylston Avenue between Massachusetts Avenue and Charles Street served as the parade route. A celebration took place on the Boston Common after the parade featuring live Greek music, traditional Greek dance performances and Greek food. Events leading up to the parade began on Friday, April 8 at noon with the Greek Independence Day Commemoration hosted by Gov. Deval Patrick and the Massachusetts Legislature at the State House.

Boston – The 17th annual Greek Independence Day Parade took place April 10 with 59 units, including 21 parishes from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine and Rhode Island, student groups from 13 colleges and universities and police drill team, honor guard and mounted units. The parade is organized by the Federation of Hellenic-American Societies of New England (FHASNE), in cooperation with the Metropolis of Boston and the Consul General of Greece in Boston. The parade also featured Greek organizations, marching bands and floats. Serving as grand marshals were Metropolitan Methodios, Mayor Thomas Menino of Boston and Ambassador of Greece in Washington Vasileios Kaskarelis. Joining them were honorary Grand Marshals U.S. Sen. from Massachusetts

The parade was grouped in four divisions. Leading Division A, which followed the headquarters division were students from the following institutions of higher learning: Boston University, Hellenic College-Holy Cross School of Theology, Suolk University, MIT, Boston College, Northeastern University, Mass College of Pharmacy, Harvard, University of Massachusetts-Boston, UMass-Lowell, Bentley College, Emerson College, Wentworth Institute of Technology and Tufts University.

A large number of parishes and youth groups march in the parade, which was led by Metropolitan Methodios of Boston. In photo at upper left, marching next to the Metropolitan is U.S. Sen. and Mrs. Scott Brown


Areti Bratsis and

Chryssa Golding

Orthodox Observer - May 2011 - Issue 1265  
Orthodox Observer - May 2011 - Issue 1265  

The Orthodox Observer is the official news publication of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.