JULY – AUGUST 2011 • Vol. 76 • No. 1267
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The Transfiguration of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ At that time, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John his brother, and led him up a high mountain apart. And He was transfigured before them, and His face shone like the sun, and his garments became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is well that we are here; if you wish, I will make three booths here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” He was still speaking, when lo, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces, and were filled with awe. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and have no fear.” And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only. And as they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Tell no one the vision, until the Son of man is raised from the dead.” (See related article on the Challenge page, p. 25)
In Greek Section Archbishop Demetrios Meets with Cyprus President, Archbishop Chrysostomos and dignitaries – Archdiocesan Youth Choir trip to Constantinople – Cyprus: pages 13 – 14
Archdiocesan Youth Choir Honors Ecumenical Patriarch with Concert
His Eminence Meets with Cyprus Officials and Archbishop NICOSIA, Cyprus – In addition to attending the philanthropic concert the Metropolitan Youth Choir performed to benefit the Cyprus Children’s Fund, Archbishop Demetrios met privately with President Demetris Christofias and discussed the situation in Cyprus and the continuing negotiations taking place. After leaving the Presidential Palace, His Eminence visited the Memorial of Tymvos Makedonitissas in Nicosia, where he laid a wreath in memory of those killed in the 1974 Turkish invasion. Minister of Defense Costas Papacostas and Brigadier Andreas Hadjipavlou briefed him on the significance of Tymvos, an area where several battles were fought during the invasion. Archbishop Demetrios called Tymvos “a holy place” since the land has received the bodies of heroes who did not just sacrifice their lives but also prevented the enemy from advancing and taking Nicosia. The Archbishop also met with Archbishop Chrysostomos II of Cyprus. He noted that the Cypriot community in America plays a significant role in the promotion of Orthodoxy and “global Hellenism” in America. The two hierarchs also discussed issues regarding the Church. Archbishop Chrysostomos thanked Archbishop Demetrios and the Greek community of America for their interest in the Cyprus problem. by Stavros H. Papagermanos
CONSTANTINOPLE – The Archdiocesan Youth Choir of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America gave July 2, 2011 at 7 p.m, a concert in honor His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on the occasion of the 20th Anniversary of the election and enthronement of His All Holiness to the first throne of the Orthodox Church. The concert was held in the historic Church of St. Irene, which stands next to “Aghia Sophia” and was the site of the Second Ecumenical Synod in 381 A.D. The Archdiocesan Youth Choir is led by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America in a tour to Constantinople, Cyprus and Greece, which ended with a performance at Ionian Village (Bartholomio, Greece) on July 12. The Church of St. Irene, which is used as a venue for musical events and concerts, was an idyllic and meaningful location for a moving musical recital of angelic voices singing a rich and diversified
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A RCHDIOCESE N E WS
JULY – AUGUST 2011
Hartford Speakers Sweep 1st Place at Oratorical Festival
by Presbytera Margaret Orfanakos
Bouras Award Honoree
Archon Dimitrios Panagos photos
Order of St. Andrew National Commander Dr. Anthony Limberakis, with Archbishop Demetrios, Metropolitan Methodios of Boston and Archon board members Alex Pritsos, James Fountas and John Halecky Jr., presents the first Nicholas J. Bouras Award to Archon George D. Behrakis of Lowell, Mass., at a dinner in his honor June 5 in New York. 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 Archdiocesan Council; was vice chairman of Hellenic College/Holy Cross School of Theology; former chairman of Leadership 100, served as chairman of the Northeastern University Board of Trustees and is a member of the Tufts University Medical School Board and the Boston Symphony. The National Council of the Order of St. Andrew unanimously voted in 2010 to establish the award after National Vice Commander Nicholas J. Bouras, who himself has demonstrated remarkable leadership as a faithful supporter of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
HOUSTON – The 28th annual National St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival recently concluded at Annunciation Cathedral where the first place finishers in both the senior and junior divisions came from St. George Cathedral in Hartford, Conn. Cathedral Dean Fr. Michael Lambakis and Irene Cassis spearheaded the host committee who worked tirelessly to ensure a successful weekend. The weekend began on June 10 with the arrival of the 18 finalists and their families at the Renaissance Greenway Plaza hotel. Each finalist was welcomed by the host committee and presented with a duffle bag, specifically designed for the Oratorical Festival, filled with local snacks and memorabilia. Two coach buses were needed to transport everyone to the Annunciation Cathedral for a paraklesis service, and welcome by Fr. Lambakis. Dinner and a social provided an opportunity for everyone to socialize and to get to know each other better. Saturday began with an early morning wake up call, transfers to the Cathedral for breakfast and the official opening of the Oratorical Program with a prayer
offered by Archbishop Demetrios. Also in attendance were: Dr. Anton C. Vrame, director of the Department of Religious Education and the Fr. John and Presbytera Margaret Orfanakos, Oratorical Festival Archdiocese co-chairpersons. The congregation listened attentively as each participant gave his/her homily at the podium. Moved by their presentations Archbishop Demetrios presented each speaker with a sterling silver cross and spoke about how impressed he was with the caliber and quality of their speeches. Rankings of the finalists and their parishes are as follows:
First Place – Christopher Augustinos of St. George Cathedral in Hartford, Conn.; Second – Elena Bilotto from Kimisis Tis Theotokou Church in Aliquippa, Pa; Third – Mario Sokolic of St. George Church in Clifton, N.J. Honorable Mention recipients were: Elias Selimos, St. Demetrios Church in Fort. Lauderdale, Fla.; Athanasia Kourtis, St. Demetrios, Weston, Mass.; Katherine Ketchum, Kimisis Tis Theotokou Church, Racine, Wis.; Nicholas Bardossas, St. Catherine Church, Denver; Dora Turner,
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St. Photios National Shrine Commemorates Greek Landing Day by Polly Maouris Hillier
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – The 25th annual Greek Landing Day celebration at St. Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine on June 25-26 featured a memorial service in memory of the Greeks who arrived at the New Smyrna Colony in 1768. Bishop Dimitrios of Xanthos presided over the service. He was assisted by Shrine Chaplain Fr. George Ioannou, Fr. Demetri Leussis, Fr. Demetri Tsigas, Fr. Joseph Samaan, and acolytes Tom Kartsonis, Dylan Dililu and Matthew Kattu. Head chanters John Boyer and Alex Khalil, from California, led the chanters workshop program attendees during Saturday night’s Great Vespers and Blessing
In the June issue Parish Profile, a reference to the name of the Media, Pa., parish should have read St. George, not Holy Trinity.
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of Five Loaves at the Shrine. Margo Kelley led the chanters stand for Divine Liturgy on Sunday. The Founders and Colonists memorial was followed by a procession to the Tolomato Cemetery where, at the gates, Mayor Joseph Boles read the city proclamation declaring the 25th commemoration of Greek Landing Day in celebration of the 443rd anniversary of Greeks landing in America. An afternoon of fellowship, a bake sale and music followed. Three area parishes: St Demetrios in Daytona Beach, St John the Divine in Jacksonville, and Holy Trinity in St. Augustine support each year’s St. Photios Shrine event on a rotating basis. This year, the Koimisis Tis Theotokou Philoptochos of Holy Trinity organized the particulars while providing the breads, wheat and other necessary items for the services. Hellenic College sophomore Irene Drackley chaired the youth rally. She and the staff from the Colonial Spanish Quarter outfitted the children with clothing and props to reenact the 1777 St. Augustine experience. Posing as children refugees from New Smyrna Beach, the participants
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
left notes for their friends and family at the dock, played games and sang Greek children’s songs; enjoyed lunch at the Colonial Spanish Bakery and then rejoined the festivities on Sunday to participate in the procession to the cemetery. Flag bearers Demetri and Michael Lagoutaris led the parade. Greek Landing Day is made possible through the generosity of Friends of St Photios Shrine. Underwriters for Greek Landing Day include
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Participants in the St. Photios Landing Day Memorial Service in a procession near the Shrine.
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the National Ladies’ Philoptochos Society, the Metropolis of Atlanta Philoptochos, the Philoptochos of St. John the Divine in Jacksonville, St. Demetrios of Daytona Beach, Annunciation in Chicago and Leadership 100. Benefactors include Bishop Dimitrios of Xanthos, Eula Carlos, Helen Carlos, Harry Cavalaris, and Dean and Joanne Stavrakas.
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JULY – AUGUST 2011
Youth Choir Honors Ecumenical Patriarch with Concert
A RCHDIOCESE N E WS
FAITH Endowment Expands Scholarships
u u from page 1 repertoire of Orthodox ecclesiastical pieces, traditional and modern Greek compositions and international selections. The thirty-nine member Archdiocesan Youth Choir, under the very skilled direction of Conductor Maria Koleva and with the piano accompaniment of the accomplished pianist Vasilis Varvaressos performed superbly a program of 18 songs in Greek, English and Turkish. The evening began with the traditional version of the Hymn to the Most Holy Theotokos “Ti Ypermaho,” followed by a second version in an arrangement by composer Sophia Serghi. It included some well known and loved songs by renown Greek composers Manos Hatzidakis and Mikis Theodorakis, a song by Turkish composer Livanelli Zuelfue, and pieces by Mozart, George Gershwin and others. It concluded with the “Polychronion” of the Ecumenical Patriarch. Vasilis Varvaressos performed solo an excerpt from Franz Liszt’s Concert for Piano as an interlude in the program. The hundreds of guests, from the Omogeneia of Constantinople, Greece, Cyprus and the United States applauded enthusiastically and complimented the excellence of the offering. Upon the conclusion of the performance, His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios publicly expressed his gratitude to the Ecumenical Patriarch for having accepted the offering of the concert in His All Holiness’ honor and for his support in realizing the performance. The Archbishop particularly thanked the benefactors and sponsors of the Archdiocesan Youth Choir Dimitrios and Georgia Kaloidis and Panikos Papanikolaou, who is also the president of the choir board, for making the concert and tour possible. “Music is the vocabulary of love and is the way the heart communicates with the Creator,” said the Ecumenical Patriarch addressing the children of the choir, the delegation from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and the audience of the concert. His All Holiness praised the musical performance of the choir and said that he had the opportunity to receive many expressions of love from the Orthodox faithful of America in the past, manifestations and expressions of love which continue to this day with the presentation of this concert. “As in the past, these expressions of your love towards me personally and towards the Mother Church are supporting us and strengthen us and the Mother Church is truly appreciative of this love and support we receive,” said the Ecumenical Patriarch. Sunday, July 3, His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew presided at the Divine Liturgy in the Church of the Holy Trinity of the Monastery in the Theological School of Halki. Archbishop Demetrios, the Archdiocesan Choir and others from the United States attended the liturgy. (More coverage on pages 4–5).
Dimitris Panagos photos
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew address the audience (above) on their visit to Halki. (below) Members of the choir present a gift to His All Holiness on the ocassion of his anniversary. (bottom) The audience stands during the singing of “Ti Ypermaho.”
CLERGY UPDATE Ordinations to the Diaconate
Michael (Eric) Marcantoni, by Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta, Holy Cross Chapel, Brookline, Mass. 05/07/11 Athanasios Papagiannis, by Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago, St. John the Baptist Church, Des Plaines, Ill. 06/5/11 Allan Gabriel Boyd, by Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco, St. Sophia Cathedral, Los Angeles. 06/13/11 Ordinations to the Priesthood
Deacon Ion Coman, by Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco, St. Nicholas Church, San Jose, Calif. 06/19/11 Deacon David Hostetler, by Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos, All Saints, Joliet, Ill. 06/19/11 Assignments
Fr. Mark Leondis, St. Mark Church, Boca Raton, Fla. 06/01/11 Deacon Allan Gabriel Boyd, St. Sophia Cathedral, Los Angeles. 06/14/11 Fr. Sokratis Dimitriadis – St. Anthony Church, Vineland, N.J. 06/15/11 Fr. David Hostetler, Annunciation Church, Milwaukee. 06/15/11
Fr. Ion Coman, St. Nicholas Church, San Jose 07/01/11 Fr. Evangelos Evangelidis, Annunciation Church, Stamford, Conn. 07/01/11 V. Rev. George Nikas, Sts. Peter and Paul Church, Frederick, Md. 07/01/11 Deacon Athanasios Papagiannis, Assumption Church, Chicago. 07/01/11 Fr. Michael Stearns, Sts. Peter and Paul Church, Glenview, Ill. 07/01/11 Offikia
Fr. Demetrios Kounavis, Office of Confessor, bestowed by Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos 05/22/11 Fr. Constantine Mathews – Office of Protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Throne, bestowed by His All Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew 06/15/11 Fr. Vaselios Govits, Office of Economos, bestowed by Bishop Philotheos of Meloa 06/19/11 Leave of Absence Fr. Peter Pappademetriou 06/30/11 Fr. Constantine Mathews 07/01/11 Fr. John Karabatsos 07/31/11
“FAITH: An Endowment for Orthodoxy and Hellenism” announced that it has continued to underwrite a series of financial aid scholarships this summer through its “Birthright Hellas” program to students participating in Ionian Village. FAITH announced that it has awarded scholarships to 54 young people attending the Archdiocese summer camp. Based in Bartholomeio, Greece, the facility offers its participants an experience unavailable elsewhere. It includes a daily program of arts and crafts, Greek music and dance, athletics, aquatics, and chapel educates the participants about their Hellenic legacy and is complemented by excursions to ancient Olympia, Zakynthos, Kefalonia, Delphi, Aegina, Kalavrita, and Athens. At the end of the program, the staff and campers return to their homes with strengthened faith and with a greater appreciation for the Church and for Greek culture and heritage. “The generous support of FAITH makes it possible to offer financial assistance to 54 young people to attend Ionian Village this summer who otherwise would not have been able to afford to do so because their families face unfortunate financial difficulties. Given the economic slowdown of the last few years, we saw a sharp increase in applications and the generosity of the founders of FAITH will make it possible for young people to connect to their Hellenic roots and experience Greece,” said Ionian Village Director Fr. Jason Roll. “This means that one-sixth of the young people attending Ionian Village are FAITH scholarship recipients and we are extremely grateful for this.” Ms. Maria Allwin who is a FAITH Founder and chaired the Scholarship Committee added, “We (the founders of Faith) are proud to support young people wishing to participate in Ionian Village, which is a truly transformative experience –the intellectual and spiritual growth along with the friendships that take place as these young people connect to their Hellenic roots at Ionian Village are extraordinary. For over 40 years, Ionian Village has been and still is the premiere program for the young Greek Americans to understand their Hellenic heritage and identity.” FAITH also has underwritten meritbased academic scholarships From the beginning, its grants have funded many merit-based scholarships for academic excellence to high school students graduating from public, parochial and private high schools across the country. The program, originally limited to valedictorians and salutatorians, has expanded to include students who display extraordinary academic achievement and an acute need for financial support for their studies. In past years, several graduating seniors received Faith Scholarships for Academic Excellence through the Archdiocese toward their college tuition. The core mission of FAITH is to promote Hellenism and an understanding of the Greek Orthodox faith through a series of high quality educational programs and cultural initiatives through an endowment for the Archdiocese.
A RCHDIOCESE N E WS
JULY – AUGUST 2011
Youth Choir’s Concert in Cyprus Receives High Praise by Stavros H. Papagermanos
NIKOSIA, Cyprus – Songs for Cyprus, the land of love and the land of dreams, were performed with lyricism, emotion and artistic excellence by the Archdiocesan Youth Choir of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, the evening of July 8, 2011, in the gardens of the Presidential Palace in the capital Lefkosia and in the presence of the President of the Republic of Cyprus Dimitris Christofias, the First Lady Elsie Christofias and His Beatitude Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus. It was the second concert of the Archdiocesan Youth Choir in Cyprus (the first was in 2007) and it was also the second formal concert of the musical tour the Choir is taking these days under the leadership of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America to Constantinople, Cyprus and Greece, which concluded with a performance at Ionian Village (Bartholomio, Greece) on July 12. The concert was organized under the aegis of the First Lady Elsie Christofias to benefit the philanthropic work of the Committee for the Care and Assistance to Cyprus Children, which encompasses the work of the Cyprus Children Fund of America, the Cyprus Relief Fund – London, and the Fund for Cyprus Refugee Children of Athens. The committee had initially assisted and supported children of Cypriots missing in action, or those who were severely impacted by the Turkish invasion of 1974. This work continues to this day to assist children of displaced or enclaved families and children from dysfunctional families The thirty-seven member Archdiocesan Youth Choir, under the very skilled direction of Conductor Maria Koleva and with the piano accompaniment of the accomplished pianist Vassilis Varvaresos offered a moving musical journey to the approximately 500 people who had gathered in the open-air stage of the Presidential Palace. The audience included many ministers of the government, members of the parliament and high government officials and
diplomats. The 21-song program began with the traditional version of the Hymn to the Most Holy Theotokos “Ti Ypermaho,” followed by a second adaptation in an arrangement by Cypriot composer Sophia Serghi. It included some well known and loved melodies by renown Greek composers Manos Hatzidakis and Mikis Theodorakis, Marios Tokas and Stavros Kouyioumtzis and a selection of international and Broadway hits. The virtuoso pianist Vassilis Varvaresos performed solo an excerpt from Franz Liszt’s Concert for Piano as an interlude in the program, receiving the enthusiastic applause of the audience. The second half of the program was devoted to Songs for Cyprus, the land of love and dreams, the land of lemon trees and olive groves, the land of the heartbroken Panagia and the land of unjust loss. The Archdiocesan Youth Choir through their melodic songs and the poignant lyrics moved the audience to tears and affirmed the support of the Greek Orthodox Omogeneia in America for the struggle of the people of Cyprus for freedom and justice. At the onset of the Concert the First lady of Cyprus, Mrs. Elsie Christofias spoke briefly about the philanthropic work of the Committee for the Care and Assistance to Cyprus Children and thanked Archbishop Demetrios, the children of the Choir and its benefactors. “We thank you for all your efforts and labors to bring justice for the Cypriot people,” said President Dimitris Christofias addressing His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios. “We see you, and you are indeed partners in our fight, we feel you are by our side and we are grateful for it,” he said. He then presented an honorary plaque to the great benefactors of the Archdiocesan Youth Choir Dimitrios and Georgia Kaloidis “in appreciation of their generous offering to the Omogeneia and the people of Cyprus,” and said “Dimitrios and Georgia Kaloidis are an example to emulate because they have riches in their hearts.” The performance tour of the Archdi-
Dimitrios Panagos photos
Children of Saint Dometios Youth Center perform Greek dances for the visiting dignitaries.
ocesan Youth Choir is underwritten by the generous support of Mr. and Mrs. Kaloidis and other donors and supporters including Mary and Michael Jaharis and Nasia and Panikos Papanikolaou. Mr. Papanikolaou, the president of the Choir Board has been the heart and soul of the Choir from the very beginning and throughout its development in the last ten years. The third and final concert of the Archdiocesan Youth Choir took place the evening of July 12 in the amphitheater of Ionian Village, the site and facilities of the Summer Camp Program of the Archdiocese in Bartholomio, Greece (see following story). The concert was in celebration of the 40-year anniversary of Ionian Village and the many and invaluable contributions of the program as a “Golden Bridge” between the Greek-Orthodox Omogeneia in America and Greece.
Choir director and maestro Maria Koleva.
GOA 2011 Yearbook Available for Sale
Choir members, the Archbishop, Mr. and Mrs. Kaloidis and Archdeacon Panteleimon in the Church of Aghia Sophia, the crown jewel of the Byzantine Empire.
NEW YORK – Copies of the 2011 Yearbook of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America are still available for purchase by the Department of Communications. The 2011 Yearbook is designed as an easy-to-read, accurate, reference handbook of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. The 276-page new edition includes updated directories of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Archdiocesan departments and institutions, parishes, clergy, religious and secular media resources, a photo section plus additional information. Prepaid copies may be obtained by calling (212) 774-0244 or sending a check, money order or credit card information for $18 (plus $6.00 s & h) payable to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Attn: Yearbook – 8 East 79th Street, New York, NY 10075.
JULY – AUGUST 2011
Archbishop Demetrios of AmericA the first DecADe 1999-2009
The Metropolitan Youth Choir performs at Ionian Village.
Dimitrios Panagos photos
Archbishop Gives Final Gift for Fire Relief, Choir Ends Concert Tour by Stavros H. Papagermanos
ATHENS – The 10-day musical tour of the Archdiocesan Youth Choir to Constantinople, Cyprus and Greece under the leadership of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America, concluded on the evening of July 12, 2011 with the third formal concert held in the magical setting of the open-air amphitheater of Ionian Village. The facilities of Ionian Village, the summer camping program of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America are located in Vartholomeio Ileias, on the Ionian coast of Peloponnesus. Ionian Village is celebrating 40 years of life and invaluable contributions to the Youth as a “Golden Bridge” between the Greek-Orthodox Omogeneia in America and Greece and the Archdiocesan Youth Choir Concert was offered in honor and recognition of this long history and the almost 17,000 young people who have been part of it over the years. In the last couple of years an ambitious renovation plan has been put into effect and many infrastructure improvements and renovations have been already realized with many more needed and scheduled for the near future. The Ionian Village program is supported by “FAITH: An Endowment for Orthodoxy and Hellenism” through scholarships which this year reached $200,000. The National Hellenic Society has also sponsored scholarships this year in the amount of $25,000. The 40-Year Anniversary concert of the Archdiocesan Youth Choir was given under a clear moonlit summer sky in front of an audience of more than 500 people. Among the many guests and government officials were the alternate Minister of Education and Religious Affairs Mrs. Fofi Genimata, who made the long car trip from Athens just for the concert, His Eminence Metropolitan Germanos of Ileia, the regional governor of Western Greece Apostolos Katsifaras, the prefect of Ileia and lieutenant governor Haralambos Kafiras and the Mayor of the municipality of Peinios Alexios Kastrinos. Also in attendance were many members of the local clergy, members of the Parliament, and political representatives of Peloponnesus and ranking officers of the military and the local police authorities. The Ionian Village campers, counselors and staff, more than 200 people in total, were also in attendance and were instrumental in the organization, support and success of the event. Dr. Gregory Papadeas from Denver, Colorado, who was a counselor at Ionian Village some 30 years ago, who along with Dr. Jim Skedros from Salt Lake City, serve as the volunteer doctors of IV, was at hand to offer welcoming remarks at the concert in both Greek and English. The Director of Ionian Village Fr. Jason Roll also offered his welcome and spoke briefly about the enthusiasm of the
campers in anticipation of the concert. Minister of Education Genimatas, offered a warm greeting and congratulations to both the IV Program and the Archdiocesan Choir. She particularly outlined the role and the many offerings of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, crediting Archbishop Demetrios for his personal care for the Youth and the related ministries. The musical program was once again received with enthusiasm and applause and under the direction of Conductor Maria Koleva and with the piano accompaniment of the accomplished pianist Vassilis Varvaresos was the highlight of the evening. A reception followed in the great lawn and gardens of Ionian Village. The campers offered a program of Greek traditional dances, which they had learned and practiced during their stay in the camp. Other Events In the morning of July 12, the Mayor of the Municipality of Peinios Alexios Kastrinos and the local authorities organized a welcome ceremony in the city hall of Gastouni in honor of Archbishop Demetrios. During this event the Archbishop presented to the Mayor and the municipality of Peinios, which encompasses Vartholomeio and Ionian Village, a check in the amount of $108,000. These funds were the second installment of a grand to the municipality totaling $252,183 to help restore the environment around IV, and were the last disbursement from the Greek Fires Relief Fund which the Archdiocese established in 2007. At the same time, and in the presence of the local authorities and Press, Archbishop Demetrios presented a report on the Greek Fires Relief Fund detailing all disbursements since 2007. The amount collected and distributed totaled almost 4 million dollars. Most grants and assistance were distributed through International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) and were used in the Livelihood Recovery Program for livestock, animal feed, forage and seeds to support the agricultural infrastructure of the area, modernize small family farms, and for fire prevention and safety, firefighting shelters and equipment. The next day July 13, Archbishop Demetrios visited the Soil and Plant Laboratory “Earthanalysis of Ileia” in the Lasteika area near Pyrgos, which has been created by an Archdiocese grant of $500,000 dollars from the Greek Fires Relief Fund to study the effects of wildfires on the soil, water and environment and enable farmers to test their soil. The creation of the Lab was coordinated by IOCC in cooperation with local authorities and the University of Thessaloniki. The scientists of the laboratory presented a report to His Eminence and were at hand during his visit to explain the challenges and the solutions offered.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or complete this order form and mail it to GOTelecom, 8 East 79th Street, New York, NY 10075.
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JULY – AUGUST 2011
Archon Dimitrios Panagos photo
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Saint Basil Academy’s graduating students with Archbishop Demetrios, the Consuls General of Greece and Cyprus, Aglaia Balta and Koula Sophianou, National Philoptochos President Aphrodite Skeadas Fr. Sitaras, Direct Archdiocesan District Philoptochos President Maria Skiadas (far left), New Jersey Metropolis Philoptochos member Aspasia Melis (right) and other trustees.
Academy Holds 64 Commencement th
by Jim Golding
GARRISON, N.Y. – A large turnout of friends and supporters of Saint Basil Academy, some coming from as far as Ohio and Massachusetts, attended the 64th annual commencement ceremony that recognized the three students graduating from area educational institutions. Archbishop Demetrios praised the work of the Academy and its director, Fr. Constantine Sitaras, in nurturing the children. “The children here are in a system that helps them connect with their original families, while they are also in this family of the Academy,” he said. “Saint Basil is an area of God’s action and the achievement here of Fr. Sitaras is that the children can enter into the spirit of action of God and conform to everything that is that spirit… We see them as a promise by love and by learning.” Graduate Spiridon Mitches, who graduated from Baruch College with a degree in business administration and
is now employed with a major financial institution in New York, noted in his brief comments to the audience that “I would not be where I am if it wasn’t for the Academy. I thank everyone here for their love and support.” Also graduating was Kallithea Tetradi who came to the Academy from Greece at a young age and has completed high school and Alexia Andreopolous who arrived at Saint Basil’s from Tucson, Ariz., at age 4 and graduated from a local middle school. A 1969 graduate of the Academy, Katerina Ferentinou, who works in international banking, delivered the Alumni Address, reflecting on her memories during her stay at Saint Basil’s. Over the summer, Saint Basil Academy doesn’t remain idle, but functions in its role as a major retreat center. The last week of June and the third week in August, the Association for Children with Down’s Syndrome holds retreats involving about 80 campers and supervisors. The group has been coming to the Academy for about four years.
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Dimitrios Panagos photo
Greece’s Deputy Minister for Culture and Tourism George Nikitiadis presents Archbishop Demetrios with a team jersey on June 7 after an exhibition game between the Greek National Team and Ecuador at Citifield, home of the New York Mets. The jersey was signed by each player. The teams played to a 1-1 tie in front of nearly 40,000 soccer fans that included His Eminence and nearly 20,000 Greek Americans. Head coach of the Greek team is Fernando Santos, (third from left). It was the first professional soccer game ever played at Citifield.
JULY – AUGUST 2011
The Voice of Philoptochos
Celebrating 8O Years of Philanthropy: 1931–2011 The Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society, the philanthropic arm of the Archdiocese, for 80 years has undertaken myriad philanthropic programs to aid the poor, the sick, the elderly and those who need assistance. The Society was established in November 1931 by Archbishop Athenagoras and has grown to an organization of 485 chapters and 27,500 members nationwide. Milestones of Achievement • Accredited as a philanthropic organization of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America by the state of New York in 1940. • Purchased the 250-acre Ruppert Estate in Garrison, N.Y., for $55,000 in 1944 that became Saint Basil Academy. • Established campaign at 2010 Biennial Convention in Atlanta to raise $4 million to purchase a permanent headquarters, the Philoptochos Center of Philanthropy, in New York.
IOCC, special programs to meet the medical needs of children and their families nationwide and abroad through cardiac and cancer programs and the Children’s Medical Fund luncheons. Special programs provide assistance and education for literacy, including Dress for Success, The Wheelchair Project, Operation USO Packages, Adopt a Family, OCF Kits for college students, Autism Assistance, Afghan Project, Alzheimer’s Awareness, Go Red Campaign and the Nouna Project. Great Leadership National Philoptochos Presidents (year of appointment indicated at right) Agatha Vernicos - 1931 Hareklia Malamou - 1946 Sophia Hadjiyanis - 1964 Katherine Pappas - 1974 Beatrice Marks - 1982 Dionisia Ferraro - 1986 Dina Skouras Oldknow - 1990 Mimi Skandelakis - 1994 Evanthea Condakes - 1998 Georgia Skeadas - 2002 Aphrodite Skeadas - 2008-present Major Benefactor National Philoptochos Society donations to various philanthropic ministries, programs, projects and special appeals during the period of Jan. 1, 2002 through Dec. 31, 2010 totaled $12,738,613 The Children’s Medical Fund donations to children’s hospitals, medical centers and programs both nationally in each Metropolis of the Archdiocese and internationally generated from the Children’s Medical Fund luncheons for the period Jan. 1, 2002–Dec. 31, 2009 totaled $1,498,491.
Philanthropic Ministries and Commitments These include: Saint Basil Academy, Hellenic College-Holy Cross School of Theology, the Ecumenical Patriarchate, St. Michael’s Home, Orthodox Christian Mission Center, Orthodox Christian Fellowship, Retired Clergy & National Sisterhood of Presvyteres, St. Photios Shrine, International Orthodox Christian Charities, assistance to earthquake and hurricane victims throughout the world and in the United States, establishment and support of a clinic and school in Ethiopia to address HIV crisis in partnership with
Philoptochos Center of Philanthropy At this crossroads in its history and with the blessings of Archbishop Demetrios, the National Philoptochos has begun its campaign to establish a permanent home in New York City, the Philoptochos Center of Philanthropy, to serve as a national resource for individual members, chapters and the metropolises and to better serve the worthy and noble mission of this important philanthropic organization. Contact: Philosny@aol.com or visit www.philoptochos.org for information and to donate to the Philoptochos Center of Philanthropy.
Kids ‘n’ Cancer – Camp Agape The Metropolis of San Francisco Philoptochos Kids ‘n’ Cancer Ministry offers a complete experience for the entire family, rather than the cancer- afflicted child alone. Each Camp Agape hosts around 30 families that cannot afford a vacation on their own. The Metropolis Philoptochos is responsible for operational costs of five camps located at St. Nicholas Ranch and Retreat CenterDunlap, Calif.; Camp Angelos, Portland, Oregon; All Saints Camp, Seattle, Wash.; Camp Marston, Julian, Calif.; and Camp Wamatochick, Prescott, Ariz. A sixth camp will open soon in Northern California. The Philoptochos also provides funds to the Emilio Nares Foundation, “Ride with Emilio”, which provides oncology
transportation to children in chemotherapy treatment as well as rides to doctors’ offices. The Camp Agape experience is truly unique for both families and volunteers alike. Philoptochos members welcome the guests who have the opportunity to spend quality time with each other. They receive a day pack consisting of various toiletries for the entire family as well as sleeping bags and a special embroidered Camp Agape blanket for the patient. A local parish priest is present at the opening and closing ceremonies with an uplifting and healing message to those present. At the closing ceremonies, a tree is planted in memory or in honor of a loved one or flowers are strewn in the lake. Visit: www.kidsncancer.org.
Metropolitan Methodios, with Aphrodite Skeadas, Philippa Condakes, National and Metropolis Board members.
National Philoptochos Represented at Metropolis Biennial Conference BRAINTREE, Mass. – Metropolitan Methodios presided at the Metropolis of Boston Philoptochos Biennial Conference hosted by the St. Catherine chapter and under the leadership of Metropolis Philoptochos President Philippa Condakes, the Metropolis Board, chapter President Becky Pappas and the St. Catherine Board. Keynote speaker was National Philoptochos President Aphrodite Skeadas, who offered inspiring words, and was joined by National Board members including Chris-
tine Karavites (Boston) presenting on the Philoptochos Center of Philanthropy and Kathy Gabriel (San Francisco) and Diane Tseckares (New Jersey) who offered an informative and inspirational workshop on membership. Fr. Philip Mousis, proistamenos, welcomed the delegates and Fr. Theodore Barbas, chancellor, provided an update on the Metropolis Camp and Retreat Center. Board members delivered reports on the Metropolis ministries.
National Philoptochos Extends Gratitude for Successful Appeal NEW YORK – National Philoptochos President Aphrodite Skeadas reports that the Philoptochos Center of Philanthropy PASCHAL APPEAL generated $77,990 during the period of Pascha to Pentecost, far exceeding the target of $50,000 in 50 Days. Special thanks goes to all who generously responded on line or mailed their donations to support the center and assist the National Philoptochos to achieve its goal of raising $4 million to purchase a permanent headquarters and home for National Philoptochos in New York City. To date $1,250,000 has been raised for this initiative and the giving continues on an upward swing to a crescendo of giving. By Christmas 2011 the National Philoptochos must raise an additional
$750,000 to proceed with purchasing a permanent headquarters. The Time Is Now! Philoptochos chapters, friends and supporters are urged to give generously in this important appeal for funds to realize the dream of a permanent home. The Center of Philanthropy will better serve its members and chapters, expand its outreach and allow Philoptochos to remain a “First Responder” to those in need in times of crisis and hardship. Please donate now! Send your contributions to the Philoptochos Center of Philanthropy, 7 West 55th Street, New York, NY 10019 or visit the National Philoptochos website, www.philoptochos. org, to donate on line.
First Responders in Time of Crisis and Disaster National Philoptochos immediately distributed $25,000 in March for the earthquake that devastated lives in Japan for its National Emergency Fund. In May, the National Philoptochos again responded and donated $20,000 from its fund to reach victims in the southern United States suffering great loss from more than 750 tornadoes and massive floods. National Philoptochos President Aphrodite Skeadas issued these announce-
ments of aid on behalf of the 485 chapters nationwide who generously support the National Emergency Fund to assist those most in need. National Philoptochos partners with the International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) to distribute these funds earmarked for emergency relief. Philoptochos chapters also assembled hygiene kits and emergency clean-up buckets that are used for emergency relief in the damaged areas.
Denver Chapter Raises ‘Flavorful’ Funds The Denver Cathedral Philoptochos, under the leadership of President Klea Kappos, released its Festival of Greek Flavors cookbook in June and is receiving rave reviews with 1,600 copies sold to date. This huge two-year project has been
an overwhelming success with all funds supporting the Philoptochos ministries. For extensive information on the production process and this outstanding book, visit www.festivalofgreekflavors. com
A RCHDIOCESE N E WS
Commentaries and Reflections God is Love. We are created in God’s Image. We were created to Love. by Fr. Demetri Tsigas
Well, after two days of re-researching these first two synods on which our Nicaean-Constantinopolitan Creed was composed, I distilled it down to a 10–minute sermon. (Yes, of course, that’s a joke). Eusebius of Caesarea was a bishop and historian during the time of Constantine the Great. Every historian has his or her biases. Eusebius was Arianleaning and ingratiating. He provides the most detailed account of the First Ecumenical Council in Nicaea. He tells us that many of the bishops who came to the council were lame and blind from the tortures they had undergone during the time of persecution. The Emperor Constantine entered the great hall where all the bishops, priests, deacons and lay people sat, with a minimum of pomp, no guards and no entourage. Before taking his place at the throne, he told them to be seated. In his brief address he did no more than welcome the bishops, exhort them to peaceful conference, and admit that the spectacle of “sedition” (meaning division) within the Church caused him more anxiety than any battle. Though he called the council and provided for everyone’s travel expenses from across the empire, he did not vote or participate beyond this. Afterwards, we can see that though he understood and supported the Orthodox view which dominated the council, he was greatly influenced politically by those who supported Arius and until the Second Ecumenical Council in Constantinople, it often looked as though Arianism would win out over Orthodoxy as the dominant view in the Byzantine Empire. Arius, through his
lies and political connections, was able to have Orthodox bishops deposed by the emperor and even have the emperor himself reinstate him. He died on the way to his reinstatement, by some accounts in great pain, and Constantine himself died soon thereafter. His sons favored the Arian party and also continued the policy of deposing Orthodox bishops “who wouldn’t compromise.” Julian the Apostate went so far as to try to bring back paganism and persecuted Orthodox and Arian alike. For a time, all seemed lost for those who stood for the truth of Orthodoxy. The Second Ecumenical Council in 381, called by Emperor Theodosios, sealed and confirmed the proceedings of the First Council and added to them the rest of the Creed regarding the Holy Spirit, the Church, Baptism and Eternal Life. From this time on, Arianism began a steep decline. Other heresies popped up from time to time and were addressed at subsequent councils, both ecumenical and local. From this time forward however, the Creed as we know it became the statement of faith of all Christendom. Can you imagine being one of those who had suffered for your faith during the time of persecution, coming to that first gathering of the universal church, seeing the faith you were willing to die for be declared…only to then see it undermined by the state? “Why God? Why did I suffer for You only to have the heretic Arius and his followers win out?” Many of these faithful actually died thinking that Arius had won and that true believing Orthodox were again to be persecuted for their faith. This second persecution was worse, at least spiritually speaking, than the first. Aren’t there times like this in each of our lives? Aren’t there times when we take a stand for what we know to be right
and end up suffering for it? Should we give in? Imagine if Sts. Basil, Athanasios, Gregory, Chrysostom, etc., gave in, where we would be today? God wants us to stand for Him. Our marquis has this message on it, “Worship God Father Son and Holy Spirit, A Community of Love, Sunday Orthros 9 a.m., Divine Liturgy 10 a.m.” Many visitors see our sign, show up at either 9 or 10 a.m. and wonder where the congregation is. Nearly 2,000 years after Christ and more than 1,600 since these two councils of the Church, we are still standing on the same firm theological foundation. Wouldn’t it be great to see most of our people putting feet to that faith and actually showing up on time for our services? Will this faith still be here for the next generation, the one after that or in another thousand years? It will…if you take up your torch, illumine yourself, your children and others, and make sure that torch gets passed on. It is the Holy Spirit working in and through the Church, working in and through you and me that gives us the courage to stand for the truth of God. You need however to ask the Holy Spirit to come into your life, to illumine your mind and your soul, and to work the miracle of passing on the faith of Jesus Christ, of the Apostles, of our fathers and mothers to successive generations. We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses (note the icons of saints around the nave). Let us not disappoint them…and most especially, let us not disappoint those who suffered so much on our behalf and on behalf of our God. To God be the glory, now and forever, and to the ages of ages, Amen. Fr. Tsigas is pastor of St. Katherine Church in Melbourne, Fla.
Living Our Faith During the Summer by Phyllis Meshel Onest
Now that we are in the midst of summer and slowing down our schedules, relaxing more, traveling and vacationing, remember that we need to live out our faith in the summer, too. Attending liturgy regularly with our children, grandchildren, and godchildren is critical if we wish to have them in the Orthodox Church as adults. This is especially true for those attending parishes that insist on conducting Sunday school during the Divine Liturgy. If our children do not attend liturgy weekly during the school year and sporadically during the summer, the hidden message conveyed to them is that “Church is NOT important.” If they attend liturgy weekly from September to June and slow down during the summer months, the hidden message is “God is important when it is convenient.” The Church loses on both counts. Based on my many years’ experience in religious education, I believe that each one of us lives a “liturgical mosaic.” Our liturgical mosaic is likened to a stained glass window, but instead of pieces of various colors and sizes, it consists of our various worship experi-
ences and the customs and traditions that go along with them: liturgy, feast days, fast days, vespers, matins, memorial services, funerals, weddings, baptisms and chrismations, the Prayer of St. Ephraim, prostrations, Eucharist, confession, name days, lenten periods, incense, candles, vestments, icons, presanctified liturgies, salutations to the Theotokos, paraclesis services, ordinations, Holy Week, unction, processions, the Epitaphios, flowers, palms, the cross, koliva, Jordan almonds, koulourakia, cracking red eggs at Pascha, etc. The more pieces we have in our liturgical mosaic the better it is to see the whole picture of our relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church; the fuller our lives will be; the closer to God we will feel; the better we will live out our faith. How complete is your liturgical mosaic or that of your children? Make time this summer to enhance your liturgical mosaic. The summer has several feast day celebrations to help us: Sts. Peter and Paul (June 29), Sts. Cosmas and Damian (July 1), St. Markella (July 22), the Transfiguration of Our Lord (Aug. 6), the Dormition of the Theotokos (Aug. 15) and the Beheading of St. John the Baptist (Aug. 29).
There are even two lenten periods: the Sts. Peter and Paul fast in June and the Dormition fast, Aug. 1-15. The paraclesis service to the Theotokos celebrated during the latter period helps us prepare for this celebration and reminds us that even during the lazy summer days that God is always with us, that He blesses all that we do, that He hears our prayers, and that we are to praise and worship Him often. Think back to your childhood, to attending liturgy and other services, to the customs in your home. Do you see now how these pieces of liturgical memory fashioned who you are and what you believe? What do you want for yourself and your family? What we do today, this summer, this year plays a part in the decisions we will make, in the choices we choose, and in the consequences we receive. Phyllis Meshel Onest is the Metropolis of Pittsburgh director of Religious Education. She is a graduate of Holy Cross School of Theology, a former public school teacher and former church school director and teacher. © Phyllis Meshel Onest, M.Div. This article may not be further reproduced without permission from Phyllis Onest.
JULY – AUGUST 2011
Hidden Things to Light by Lia Lewis
“They search the sources of the rivers and bring hidden things to light. But where can wisdom be found? Where does understanding dwell? No mortal comprehends its worth; it cannot be found in the land of the living.” (Job 28:11-13) “It’s the rivers you cross/and the pain that you feel/could be the fuel that you use/and if you’re in need of direction/be it the path that you choose.” (from Old Man, originally a hit by Neil Young, performed by the group Redlight Kings). Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites are good tools for staying in touch with faraway relatives, old friends, and your favorite actor. But these sites can be the undoing of many people. Take for instance the current scandals surrounding certain politicians and their access to social media sites. In today’s world, nothing is hidden or private. We put ourselves in a precarious position when we post photos of ourselves; be they intimate or pictures of our summer vacation. No one is anonymous. When we apply for a job and gain an interview, you can be certain that our potential employer has “googled” us prior to inviting us for the interview. Sadly, we hide the light and bring the dark things out. We end up on our journey at a raging river. We wonder if we can cross the river, turn back or find a way around it. We feel lost and helpless. What do we do? The smart thing would be to turn back and hide from the danger–not take the risk. It is at this point that we need to look into ourselves and find the wisdom and the understanding to cross the raging river. How? One answer is to build a bridge. Why? Because on the other side of this raging river is the love and peace of God. It is only when we look into ourselves and pull out the good and the bad that we begin to find out who we are and get closer to the Source. Our imperfect souls are exposed to the light and hiding is no longer an option. We are no longer mortal but have eternal life with God and through Him. His love for us is a raging fire of flames. It burns hotter than the fire the three youths were put into. We must open up our hearts to Him. He knows us but what He wants most is for us to know Him and once we know Him, we know who we are. Life is hard and painful. So much that we are at times put off by it. We want to run away from the pain but the solace is only temporary. At some point, the truth must be confronted. This is the raging river that we need to cross. And once we cross it, the hidden things are brought to the Light. Let us search for the Eternal Source of the river “where understanding does dwell.” Let us turn our backs on exposition of the negative and post an iconic image of ourselves in God’s light because He is the fuel that we use and the path that we choose when we’re in need of direction (paraphrase from Old Man by the Redlight Kings). Lia Lewis is a graduate of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. She lives, works, writes and prays in New Jersey.
JULY – AUGUST 2011
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TALES FROM L.A. A ‘PC’ Version of Death by Fr. John S. Bakas
If you drive the major freeways in and around Los Angeles you will see large conspicuous billboards announcing in large, bold letters, “Celebrate a Life. Call us and we’ll tell you how.” It lists an 800 number. At the bottom in small letters almost hidden, it says: “Forest Lawn Mortuaries.” What the billboards don’t tell us is that in order to celebrate that life, someone has to be dead. I wonder how many people have called the 800 number to arrange a party celebration only to find erroneously that they are talking to a mortuary phone operator. We live in a “death denying” culture yet we hold fast to an Orthodox Christian faith which is “death defying.” In the first three months of this year I have conducted 17 funerals here at St. Sophia Cathedral. I have gotten to know the various funeral home people very well. Riding in the hearse with them in procession for burial, in one of at least a dozen Los Angeles cemeteries, I have been told by these somber mortician friends that my Orthodox eulogy references for the dead are not “politically correct.” “Educate me so I can get it right,” I told one halfheartedly. “Well,” he responded, “this is ideally what priests and ministers who conduct services for Forest Lawn should say: A coffin is a casket. A hearse is called a coach. There are no pallbearers. We refer to them as casket bearers. Never say dead person or dead body but the deceased or the loved one or just refer to them by name.” I started to take notes in the coach during the last funeral in May and found myself biting my lip as not to chuckle. “Oh, there’s more,” he said. “We don’t bury people. We inter them. The loved ones are not buried but interred.” “Are we getting close to the cemetery?” I asked. “No, no” he said. “We are a couple of miles away from the memorial park.” “Good. It’s getting a little warm in the hearse…oops, I mean the coach.” I responded. I remained silent as we entered the lush covered grounds of the Memorial Park. “Is the grave in the Greek Orthodox section of the Memorial Park?” I asked. “Yes, the internment space is in the older Greek section of our Memorial Park.” We drove through some lovely shaded areas of the park and came upon tomb stones written partially in Greek. “These tomb stones remind me of ones that are found in Greek villages.” I said. “Oh yes the memorial tablets are lovely aren’t they?” he replied. The coach and the procession of cars finally arrived at the designated internment space. “Our Trisagion service will take no longer than 10 minutes. I
hope the coach can take me back to the cathedral before the body is lowered into the internment space.” I told him. “Please Father, the family wishes to witness the lowering of the remains into the internment space.” As funny and ludicrous as the above account of a “politically correct” funeral seems, the essential facts involved in this story are true. This is the secular death–denying culture we live in. As T.S. Eliot observed, “Humankind cannot stand very much reality.” We fear death when we feel that we haven’t lived yet. We’re frightened that death will come like a thief in the night before we’ve really had a chance to live. We do everything we can to make death look like life. We use the art of cosmetics to make the body look living. With P.C. words we avoid the hard but descriptive words. We make our burial places look better than most city parks. But all this reality numbing vocabulary still seems to no avail for the matter is much deeper than that. For the more we fully live, the easier it is to let go… to die. Monastics are taught to have death at all times before their eyes. Remembering death does not mean being preoccupied with death. It means that you are preoccupied with life and experience all the gifts that God has given us in every moment. To acknowledge that each day comes to a close, and that each life comes to a close is to hear the challenge to rise to the occasion and make something of this day…this life. It is against the distortions of reality that our Orthodox Christian faith emerges with such maturity as reflected in the letter of St. Paul to the Romans: “I am persuaded that neither life nor death can separate us from the love of God.” That is faith which lifts us into a total affirmation. It requires no denial. It is not life as over against death, nor death as over against life, as though one were the enemy of the other. They both make up the human experience and must be understood together. As the God illumined St. John Chrysostom proclaimed in his Pascal sermon, “Let no one fear death, for the savior’s death has set us free; He that was held prisoner of it has annihilated it. O death, where is your sting? Christ is risen, and you are overthrown… Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in the grave. For Christ, being risen from the dead is become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. To Him be the glory and dormition unto the ages of ages.” Amen.
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Fr. Bakas is dean of St. Sophia Cathedral, Los Angeles and a faculty member of Loyola Marymount University, School of Theology.
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JULY – AUGUST 2011
2011 ORATORICAL FESTIVAL HELD IN HOUSTON u u from page 2 St. Nicholas Church, Jamestown, N.Y.; and Maria Silva, St. Basil Church, San Jose, Calif.
First Place – Eric Mantziaris, St. George Cathedral, Hartford; Second – Spyros Staikos, Annunciation Church, Lancaster. Pa.; Third – Daniel Laguros, St. Basil the Great Church, Houston. Honorable Mention – Emanuel Boutzoukas, Holy Trinity Church, Clearwater, Fla.; Elissa Bowling, St. Athanasius the Great Church, Arlington, Mass.; Rebecca Morris, St. Demetrios Church, Libertyville, Ill.; Andrea Tsatalis, Annunciation Church, Dayton, Ohio; Joseph Galiano, Sts. Constantine and Helen Church, Annapolis, Md; and Nicholas Barakos, Assumption Church, Scottsdale, Ariz. Along with a certificate and plaque for all participants, first place finishers received a $2,000 college scholarship; second place a $1,500 college scholarship and third place, a $1,000 college scholarship. Honorable Mention speakers received a $500 United States Savings Bond. Each finalist received an additional scholarship from FAITH: An Endowment for Orthodoxy and Hellenism. Another highlight was the visit to NASA’s Johnson Space Center. After a tour of the Space Center, Archbishop Demetrios, Fr. Michael and Deacon Aristides met the group, and all were escorted into the Starship Gallery for a star-light three-course dinner surrounded by artifacts from various space flights, a Skylab trainer and a replica of the Lunar Land Rover that remains on the moon’s surface from the Apollo program. Pentecost Sunday began with a Hierarchal Divine Liturgy celebrated by Archbishop Demetrios, followed by Vespers for Pentecost. A farewell reception in the cathedral’s Martel Hall concluded the event. The finalists from each Metropolis who assembled in Houston represented the thousands of participating teenagers in the 228 parishes that hosted oratorical festivals. What is significant and must be pointed out, is that the size of the parish is not the determining factor in whether or not it has an oratorical festival. As results from festivals were reported, it was evident that even very small parishes held one. One participant in the National Oratorical Finals, Dora Turner, represented the small parish of St. Nicholas in Jamestown, N.Y. The number of participating parishes in 2011 increased by 19 over last year. Next year’s goal will be to have more than 250 participating parishes.
Poppy Padley photos
Senior finalists (above) and Junior finalists in the National Oratorical Festival with Archbishop Demetrios, Co-chairs Fr. John and Presbytera Margaret Orfanakos, Fr. Lambakis and the Archdiocesan Department of Religious Education Director Dr. Anton Vrame.
How De We Address the Issue of Cyber Bullying? by Eric Mantziaris - Sr. Div.
In the past few years, the issue of bullying, including cyber bullying, has been in the news. How should a Christian respond to the problem, especially in light of Jesus’ teaching to turn the other cheek? When Jesus of Nazareth gathered his disciples on top of a mountainside, he said to them the following, “All things whatsoever that men should do to you, do you even so to them.” This quote taken from the Gospel of St. Matthew, Chapter 7, Verse 12, is also known to us as the Golden Rule. What then, did Jesus mean when he
preached these words? It was simply that we should treat others as we would like to be treated ourselves. With this thought in mind, I wish to speak about bullying, and what our role as Christians should be regarding this problem, which is so pervasive in our society today. Phoebe Prince was a freshman at South Hadley High School in Massachusetts, and had recently moved to America from Ireland with her family. And because she was new to the school, she became an easy target of bullying. Students abused her in the school library, lunchroom, and hallways, and threw drinks at her one day as she walked
home from school. That very same day, Phoebe’s sister found her hanging from a stairwell at their home. How could anyone torment and bully an individual to the point where a person would take his or her own life? How must the bullies who drove Phoebe to commit suicide feel knowing they had driven her to commit such a desperate act? Where was the compassion that Jesus instructed us to have toward one another? This is not what Jesus taught his disciples in His Sermon on the Mount. Christ did not judge people by their race, color,
u u to page 20
What Does It Mean to Be a ‘Peacemaker’? by Chistopher Augustinos - Jr. Div.
In the Sermon on the Mount, the Lord said, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” What did Jesus mean by “peacemaker” when he said this 2,000 years ago, and what does it mean to us as Orthodox Christians today? Many people, when asked what a peacemaker is, describe a pacifist.Yet, we know that throughout history, peacemakers have often had to take up arms for peace. In the Old Testament, we read of David, who famously slew Goliath in battle and saved the Israelites from the Philistine army and its fearsome giant.
In the New Testament, the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 22, Jesus instructed His disciples to bring a sword as they accompanied Him to the Mount of Olives after the Last Supper. After St. Peter used it to cut off the ear of a servant who was sent to seize Jesus, however, Jesus repaired the wound and admonished St. Peter not to use violence to prevent what was to happen. While we cannot know our Lord’s actual intentions, He did tell them to bring weapons, possibly to protect themselves rather than Him. The fact that peacemaker is not synonymous with pacifist was clear to me when I visited the monastery of Osios
Loukas near Delphi in Greece. The heavy wooden door to the monastery was riddled with bullet holes, and there were several cannons mounted throughout the area. The monks at the monastery were peacemakers, defending their holy place from attackers by fighting back. And, like many monks throughout Greece, they had fought valiantly during the Greek War of Independence. These men of God were peacemakers, fighting to free a people enslaved for four centuries, and to preserve the Greek Orthodox Church itself from oppression and annihilation. The people of Greece
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JULY – AUGUST 2011
Hellenic College Participates in Orthodox Higher Education Conference by John Papson
CRESTWOOD, N.Y. – Hellenic College administrators and faculty members participated in a conference on Orthodoxy and higher education June 8-10 at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary. The delegation included HC Dean Dr. Demetrios Katos, Cantonis Professor Dr. James Skedros, Office of Vocation and Ministry Director Dr. Ann Bezzerides and Dean of Students Deacon Nicholas Belcher. Participants explored a wide range of topics relating to Orthodoxy and higher education, including curriculum, pedagogy, student body and student life, faculty and administration, the broader Orthodox community and the global community. These were discussed at three plenary sessions: “Orthodox Intellectual Life and the Mission of an Orthodox College;” “What Would an Orthodox College Look Like?” and “Maintaining the Orthodox Character of the Orthodox College.” While participants strove to reach a consensus on the mission and identity of an Orthodox college, Hellenic College representatives provided a unique perspective based on the institution’s 40-year existence as an Orthodox college, given that they are leaders in academics, ministry and student life at the only accredited Orthodox four-year college in the Western Hemisphere. They provided vital information con-
cerning both successes and challenges. Participants were impressed and excited about recent developments at the college and the progress that is being made to realize school President Fr. Nicholas Triantafilou’s vision. Dr. Katos’ talk was titled “Starting from Scratch? Designing a Program in Theology or Religious Studies at an Orthodox College.” Dr. Bezzerides’ presentation was “Career, Calling and Vocation at the Orthodox College.” Dr. Skedros spoke on “The Church and the Orthodox College.” Deacon Belcher discussed “Challenges of Student Life at an Orthodox College” and Jennifer Nahas’ presentation was “Bringing Orthodoxy to the Non-Orthodox College: the Mission of OCF.” Dr. Katos, reflecting on his experience at the conference, stated that “It was very exciting to see a burgeoning interest in the role of Orthodox Christianity in higher education.” Deacon Belcher said that it gave him great pleasure to speak on the “balancing of judicial and pastoral approaches to discipline” as well as describing “what we have found to be the best practices for building a worshipping community on campus.” The conference was recorded by Ancient Faith Radio and is available at: http:/ancientfaith.com/specials/orthodoxy_and_higher_education
Summer Programs Abound on Campus by John Papson
BROOKLINE, Mass. – Although most students have left for the summer, Hellenic College–Holy Cross continues to be a hub of activity during June, July and August with academic, ministerial and vocational programs. Holy Cross offers courses in Hospital Ministry, Liturgical Greek, Preaching and Biblical Hebrew. Hellenic College once again will offer the Kallinikeion Intensive Greek Program from Aug. 8–Sept. 2, under the sponsorship of The Kallinikeion Foundation. It will consist of an average of five hours a day, five days a week of classroom instruction with a substantial amount of preparation work for the next day’s class. Students have the opportunity to explore Greek culture, music and literature, combining their academic studies with museum visits, traditional Greek music concerts, Greek poetry recitation and other educational events. The CrossRoad program, offered by the Office of Vocation and Ministry, brings Orthodox high school juniors and seniors to campus in two sessions, one in June and one in July. The program immerses students in an exploration of what it means to be Orthodox by experiencing daily a full liturgical life with matins at Holy Cross Chapel and vespers at different Orthodox churches in the Boston area, by studying their faith in an Orthodox academic setting with two mini-courses taught by seminary professors, by serving their neighbors through service projects at different
outreach ministries in the Boston area and by forming lasting friendships as they discern their life callings, matching their personal gifts with the needs of the world. The Special Program for the Diaconate, now in its fifth year, brings 35 men to campus for two weeks in August as part of an educational and formational process established by the Holy Eparchial Synod of the Archdiocese. Dr. James Skedros, Cantonis Professor at Hellenic College and Holy Cross, heads the program on campus where participants receive instruction from Holy Cross faculty in aspects of Church life, including theology and liturgics. Participants must also work with their parish priest and local metropolitan before requesting diaconal ordination. The program does not meet the requirements for ordination to the priesthood, which is accomplished through the Master of Divinity program at Holy Cross. The Summer Program in Patristics, sponsored by The Pappas Patristic Institute at Holy Cross, provides a unique opportunity to students, clergy and interested lay people to study and discuss classic texts of the early Church through small study groups and brief lectures. The program will run from July 18-23. All of these programs have become very popular and bring a wide cross section of Orthodox and non-Orthodox alike to the HC–HC campus. Anyone interested in any of the programs visit www.hchc.edu.
Holy Cross, Archdiocese Develop Marriage Program A collaboration between Dr. Philip Mamalakis, assistant professor of pastoral care at Holy Cross School of Theology and a licensed marriage and family therapist, and the Rev. Dr. Charles Joannides, a licensed marriage and family therapist and director of the Archdiocese Department of Interfaith Marriage, has resulted in a unique program for couples who will marry in the Archdiocese to better understand the sacrament and their roles and responsibilities as leaders of an Orthodox family. The program was developed in two steps. The first was the preparation of material, which has been completed. The second step is the training of clergy and appropriate laity to implement the program across the Archdiocese. The goal of the program is to support and enhance the priest’s role in preparing couples for marriage and their continuing journey together. The Metropolis of Boston has completely adopted this program and played a critical role in piloting the program in its developmental phase through the vision and support of Metropolitan Methodios. Dr. Mamalakis offers this program in Boston. The program presents an Orthodox understanding of marriage in
simple terms, using vivid examples of the daily struggles of married life encountered by couples today. Fr. Joannides and Dr. Mamalakis use the most current research in marriage to help couples understand and prepare for their life together. The program is divided into three parts: The couple first meets with the priest, then participates in a one-day seminar, then meets with the priest again. Feedback has been extremely positive from couples who have participated in the program and from priests who have used the materials. The program is already being used in other parts of the country besides New England. Dr. Mamalakis and Fr. Joannides are confident that the program will become an integral part of marriage preparation throughout the Archdiocese as clergy and trained laity become familiar with it. Information on training is available from the Archdiocese’s Center for Family Care or from Dr. Mamalakis directly. The manual for this program, The Journey of Marriage in the Orthodox Church, has been sent to every priest in the Archdiocese. It is available for purchase from the Archdiocesan Department of Religious Education or Holy Cross Bookstore.
JULY – AUGUST 2011
Hundreds of faithful, four hierarchs and about 40 priests gathered at the June 10 funeral for Fr. Magoulias at St. Paul Cathedral in Hempstead, N.Y.
Fr. Nicholas J. Magoulias GARDEN CITY, N.Y. – Fr. Nicholas J. Magoulias, 79, passed away peacefully at home on June 6 after a lengthy illness. He was the husband of Presbytera Marilyn C. Magoulias and the father of a son, Jonathan Peter Magoulias and a daughter, Carolyn Contas Magoulias. Fr. Magoulias was born in Oct. 11, 1934, in Cincinnati to the late Fr. John Magoulias and Presbytera Constantina Magoulias. Moving to Illinois at a young age, he attended elementary and high school in Decatur. He also attended Great Lakes College, and Wayne State University in Detroit. He enrolled at Holy Cross School of Theology and graduated with a B.A. degree in 1957. He and Presbytera Marilyn (nee Contas) married on Jan. 16, 1960. His ordination to the diaconate took place April 29, 1960, in Manchester, N.H., by Bishop Athenagoras Kokkinakis, who also ordained him to the priesthood on May 2, 1960, at the Cathedral of St. Paul in Hempstead, Long Island, where he was assigned as assistant pastor under Fr. George Papadeas. It was the same year that the icon of the Virgin Mary first began to weep. The icon wept again in 2008. Fr. Magoulias served as dean of the Cathedral until his retirement in 2006 without interruption. He had received many honors and offikia during his long ministry, including economos, bestowed by Bishop Silas of Amphipolis, and protopresbyter, sakellarios and prothierefs, all bestowed by Archbishop Iakovos. Fr. Magoulias also was responsible for decorating the interior of St. Paul Cathedral with mosaics, icons and stained glass windows. His life was exemplified by dedication, love of God and family, humble service, warmth and a renowned sense of humor and goodwill, Presbytera Marilyn wrote in a tribute. He was predeceased by three brothers and four sisters. In addition to his wife and children, Fr. Magoulias is survived by another brother, Harry J. Magoulias, Ph.D.; a sister, Bertha Magoulias; and several nieces and nephews. The funeral took place at St. Paul
Cathedral, which was filled to capacity, on June 10. Archbishop Demetrios presided, assisted by Metropolitan Methodios of Boston, Bishop Savas of Troas, and Bishop Andonios of Phasiane. Forty priests took part in the service, including the current dean, Fr. Luke Melackrinos; Fr. Magoulias’ nephews, Frs. Jon E. Magoulias of Modesto, Calif., Peter G. Salmas of Belmont, Calif., and Michael Prevas of Castro Valley, Calif.; and classmates Frs. Miltiades B. Efthimiou, Constantine Eliades, and Retired Clergy Association President Fr. Nicholas Soteropoulos. Direct Archdiocesan District Clergy Syndesmos President Fr. Nicholas G. Anctil also participated. Fr. Melackrinos, who served as the assistant priest at the Cathedral with Fr. Magoulias for 2½ years before becoming the dean, recalled that serving with Fr. Magoulias “was a blessing. “He was a very humble, patient man; Very loving and very self–sacrificial. He had a beautiful ministry focused on bringing people to Christ.” Fr. Luke also said that Fr. Magoulias had a good sense of humor. Memorial donations may be made in memory of Fr. Nicholas J. Magoulias to the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of St. Paul, 110 Cathedral Ave., Hempstead, N.Y. 11550; or to The Archbishop Iakovos Library and Learning Center, Hellenic College/Holy Cross Seminary, 50 Goddard Ave., Brookline, Mass. 02445.
ΕΤΟΣ 76 • ΑΡΙΘΜΟΣ 1267
Συναυλία Αρχιεπισκοπικής Χορωδίας Νέων σε Πόλη και Λευκωσία ôïõ Óôáýñïõ Ç. Ðáðáãåñìáíïý
ΚΩΝ/ΠΟΛΗ –Σε μια ατμόσφαιρα γεμάτη συγκίνηση πραγματοποιήθηκε στις 2 Ιουλίου, στις 7 μ.μ. στον ιστορικό ναό της Αγίας Ειρήνης στην Κωνσταντινούπολη, παρουσία του Παναγιωτάτου Οικουμενικού Πατριάρχου κ. Βαρθολομαίου, η πρώτη συναυλία της Αρχιεπισκοπικής Χορωδίας Νέων της Ιεράς Αρχιεπισκοπής Αμερικής στα πλαίσια περιοδείας της σε Κωνσταντινούπολη, Λευκωσία και τέλος στις εγκαταστάσεις της κατασκήνωσης του Ιονικού Χωριού στην Ελλάδα, υπό την πνευματική καθοδήγηση του Σεβασμιωτάτου Αρχιεπισκόπου Αμερικής κ. Δημητρίου.Η Αρχιεπισκοπική Χορωδία Νέων υπό τη διεύθυνση της μαέστρου Μαρίας Κολέβα και τη συνοδεία του πιανίστα Βασίλη Βαρβαρέσου παρουσίασε ένα ποικίλο πρόγραμμα και καταχειροκροτήθηκε από τους πολλούς και εκλεκτούς καλεσμένους από την Πόλη, την Ελλάδα, την Κύπρο και τις Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες. Ο ιστορικός ναός της Αγίας Ειρήνης, όπου το 381 μ.Χ. συγκροτήθηκε επί Θεοδοσίου του Μεγάλου η Β΄ Οικουμενική Σύνοδος, απετέλεσε ιδανικό χώρο για την καλλιτεχνική προσφορά της νεολαίας της Ομογένειας της Αμερικής προς τιμήν του Παναγιωτάτου Οικουμενικού Πατριάρχου κ. Βαρθολομαίου επί τη συμπληρώσει 20 ετών της Πατριαρχίας του. Τα 39 μέλη της Χορωδίας ερμήνευσαν με τελειότητα 18 συνολικά κομμάτια στην Ελληνική, Αγγλική και Τουρκική. Το πρόγραμμα άρχισε με την κλασική, γνωστή απόδοση του ύμνου προς την Παναγία «Τη Υπερμάχω», συνέχισε με μια δεύτερη απόδοση του ύμνου σε διασκευή της κυρίας Σοφίας Σέργη και περιέλαβε κομμάτια Θεοδωράκη, Χατζιδάκι, Μότσαρτ, Gershwin, Livanelli και άλλων, κατέληξε δε με το «Πολυχρόνιον» του Οικουμενικού Πατριάρχου. Στο τέλος της παραστάσεως ο Σεβασμιώτατος Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής κ. Δημήτριος ευχαρίστησε τον Οικουμενικό Πατριάρχη που απεδέχθει την πραγματοποίηση της Συναυλίας ως ελάχιστο φόρο τιμής για τα 20 χρόνια της Πατριαρχείας του και συνέβαλε ποικιλοτρόπως στην πραγματοποίησή της. Ευχαρίστησε ιδιαίτερα τους εξ Αμερικής ομογενείς χορηγούς της περιοδείας που συνόδευσαν τη χορωδία, κύριο Δημήτριο και κυρία Γεωργία Καλοειδή, καθώς και τον Πρόεδρο του Δ.Σ. της Χορωδίας κ. Πανίκο Παπανικολάου για τις άοκνες προσπάθειες του και την συνεχή ηθική και οικονομική στήριξη που προσφέρει από ιδρύσεως της εδώ και δέκα χρόνια. «Είχα και στο παρελθόν και τώρα πολλές εκδηλώσεις της αγάπης σας και οι εκδηλώσεις αυτές μας ενισχύουν και μας στηρίζουν και η Μητέρα Εκκλησία διά των εκδηλώσεων αυτών αισθάνεται την υποστήριξή σας και γι’ αυτό σας ευχαριστώ», είπε ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης κ. Βαρθολομαίος απευθυνόμενος προς τον Αρχιεπίσκοπο Δημήτριο, τα μέλη, τους συντελεστές της χορωδίας και τους άλλους εξ Αμερικής Ομογενείς. «Η μουσική είναι το λεξιλόγιο της αγάπης, είναι
Προς τιμήν του Οικουμενικού Πατριάρχου Βαρθολομαίου
Φωτογραφία: ΔΗΜΗΤΡΙΟΣ ΠΑΝΑΓΟΣ
Η Αρχιεπισκοπική Χορωδία Νέων με τη διευθύντρια–μαέστρο Μαρία Κολέβα, κατά τη διάρκεια συναυλίας στην Αγία Ειρήνη της Πόλης, προς τιμήν του Παναγιωτάτου Οικουμενικού Πατριάρχου Βαρθολομαίου. ο τρόπος με τον οποίο η καρδιά επικοινωνεί με το Δημιουργό» τόνισε ο Παναγιώτατος, ευχαρίστησε και επαίνεσε ιδιαίτερα τα παιδιά της χορωδίας δίνοντας τους τις Πατρικές και Πατριαρχικές του ευλογίες. ΣΤΗ ΛΕΥΚΩΣΙΑ Στη συνέχεια της περιοδείας της η Αρχιεπισκοπική Χορωδία Νέων επισκέφθηκε την Κύπρο της αγάπης και του ονείρου, όπου τραγούδησε με λυρισμό, συναίσθημα και καλλιτεχνική αρτιότητα το βράδυ της 8ης Ιουλίου στον κήπο του Προεδρικού Μέγαρου στη Λευκωσία, παρουσία του Προέδρου της Κυπριακής Δημοκρατίας κ. Δημήτρη Χριστόφια, της πρώτης κυρίας Έλσης Χριστόφια και του Μακαριωτάτου Αρχιεπισκόπου Κύπρου κ. Χρυσοστόμου.
Ήταν η δεύτερη κατά σειρά συναυλία της Αρχιεπισκοπικής Χορωδίας Νέων στην Κύπρο (η πρώτη έγινε το 2007). Η συναυλία είχε φιλανθρωπικό χαρακτήρα και τελούσε υπό την αιγίδα της πρώτης κυρίας της Κύπρου κας Έλσης Χριστόφια ενώ τα έσοδα της προορίζονται για τη στήριξη του έργου της Επιτροπής Βοηθείας Παιδιών της Κύπρου, το οποίο αρχικά προσέφερε αρωγή και βοήθεια σε παιδιά αγνοουμένων και παθόντων και συνεχίζει να συνδράμει παιδιά εγκλωβισμένων ή εκτοπισμένων οικογενειών και παιδιά προβληματικών οικογενειών. Τα 37 μέλη της Αρχιεπισκοπικής Χορωδίας Νέων υπό τη διεύθυνση της μαέστρου Μαρίας Κολέβα και τη συνοδεία του πιανίστα Βασίλη Βαρβαρέσου συγκίνησαν
Επαφές Αρχιεπισκόπου Δημητρίου στην Κύπρο Λευκωσία (ΚΥΠΕ).- Υψηλού επιπέδου επαφές με τον πρόεδρο της Δημοκρατίας, Δημήτρη Χριστόφια, τον πρόεδρο της Βουλής Γιαννάκη Ομήρου, τον Αρχιεπίσκοπο Χρυσόστομο Β’ και τον υπουργό Παιδείας Ανδρέα Δημητρίου, είχε στη διάρκεια της επίσημης επίσκεψής του στην Κύπρο, ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής Δημήτριος. Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής, συνοδευόμενος από τον πρόεδρο της Κυπριακής Ομοσπονδίας, Πανίκο Παπανικολάου, το ζεύγος Δημητρίου και Γεωργίας Καλοειδή κ.α. επισκέφθηκαν την Κύπρο για τη συναυλία που έδωσε το βράδυ της Παρασκευής 8 Ιουλίου στο Προεδρικό Μέγαρο, η Μητροπολιτική Αρχιεπισκοπική Χορωδία Νέων. Μετά τη συνάντηση, ο Αρχεπίσκοπος Αμερικής δήλωσε στους δημοσιογράφους ότι «ο εκλεκτός και εξοχώτατος Πρόεδρος της Κυπριακής Δημοκρατίας κ. Χριστόφιας είχε την πολύ ευγενή καλωσύνη σήμερα να μας δεχθεί σήμερα στο Προεδρικό Μέγαρο, ένα Μέγαρο με πολύ μεγάλη ιστορία και πολύ έντονη ιστορία. Είχαμε τη δυνατότητα να βρεθούμε, όχι όλοι, μια μικρή ομάδα μαζί μου, για να συζητήσουμε και να ανταλλάξουμε απόψεις για τη πορεία του κυπριακού θέματος, έτσι ώστε και η δική μας συνεχής προσπάθεια και ο αγώνας που κάνουμε στην Αμερική για το θέμα της Κύπρου - δικαιώσεως και σωστής λύσεως - να στηρίζεται σε πραγματικά, ουσιαστικά και ακριβή δεδομένα τα οποία μόνο ο Πρόεδρος μπορεί να τα δώσει με τρόπο σωστό και πλήρη. Είμεθα ευγνώμονες για αυτή την επικοινωνία, η οποία ήταν σε επίπεδο ουσίας, αντικειμενικότητας και πάντοτε μονίμου προσανατολισμού στη σωστή λύση για το Κυπριακό», ανέφερε ο Σεβασμιώτατος. Το ίδιο βράδυ στον κήπο του Προεδρικού η νεανική χορωδία της Αρχιεπισκοπής της Αμερικής έδωσε συναυλία με διάφορα τραγούδια, συμπεριλαμβανομένων και κυπριακών τα οποία η χορωδία τραγούδησε στην κυπριακή διάλεκτο. Τέλος, ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής ευχαρίστησε τα ΜΜΕ για την ευκαιρία να χαιρετήσει μέσω αυτών «αυτό τον ευγενή, ηρωικό και μαρτυρικό αδελφό λαό που εδώ αγωνιά και αγωνίζεται με τη βεβαιότητα ότι δεν είναι δυνατόν να μην υπάρξει η δικαίωση» και πρόσθεσε ότι «ο Θεός θα τη δώσει και προσευχόμεθα να τη δώσει το ταχύτερο δυνατόν».
ΙΟΥΛΙΟΣ – ΑΥΓΟΥΣΤΟΣ 2011
ΕΓΚΑΡΔΙΑ ΣΥΝΑΝΤΗΣΗ ΣΤΗ ΛΕΥΚΩΣΙΑ Επαφές Αρχιεπισκόπου Δημητρίου στην Κύπρο ΑΡΧΙΕΠΙΣΚΟΠΩΝ ΔΗΜΗΤΡΙΟΥ–ΧΡΥΣΟΣΤΟΜΟΥ
ΛΕΥΚΩΣΙΑ (ΚΥΠΕ).- Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής Δημήτριος στα πλαίσια της επίσημης επίσκεψής του στη Λευκωσία, συνατήθηκε την Πέμπτη 7 Ιουλίου με τον Αρχιεπίσκοπο Κύπρου Χρυσόστομο, στην Ιερά Αρχιεπισκοπή Κύπρου. Μετά το πέρας της συζήτησης, ο Μακαριώτατος Αρχιεπίσκοπος Κύπρου Χρυσόστομος εξέφρασε τη χαρά του, για την επίσκεψη του Σεβασμιωτάτου Αρχιεπισκόπου Αμερικής Δημητρίου στην Ιερά Αρχιεπισκοπή Κύπρου και είπε ότι ανταλλάχθηκαν απόψεις κυρίως για εκκλησιαστικά θέματα. Ο Μακαριώτατος σημείωσε ότι «μας δόθηκε η ευκαιρία να ευχαριστήσουμε τον Αρχιεπίσκοπο Αμερικής και διά του Αρχιεπισκόπου την ομογένειά μας, η οποία πάντοτε επιδεικνύει ζωηρότατο ενδιαφέρον για το Εθνικό θέμα, προκειμένου να επιτευχθεί ό,τι καλύτερο, για το νησί και το λαό μας».Καταλήγοντας, ο Μακαριώτατος πρόσθεσε πως «ό,τι εμείς δεν μπορούμε να τους αντιπροσφέρουμε παρακαλούμε το Θεό να παρέχει πολλαπλαπλασίως, τόσο στην Ιερά Αρχιεπισκοπή της Αμερικής, όσο και στους ομογενείς, οι οποίοι συνεργάζονται με την Εκκλησία της Αμερικής, προσφέρουν
και αγωνίζονται αδιάκοπα». Τέλος, ο Μακαριώτατος διαβεβαίωσε τον Αρχιεπίσκοπο Αμερικής ότι «η Εκκλησία της Κύπρου θα βρίσκεται πάντοτε κοντά στους ομογενείς και στην Ορθόδοξη Εκκλησία της Αμερικής, με τους οποίους θα συνεργαζόμαστε για το καλό του λαού και της πατρίδας μας». Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής εξέφρασε ευγνωμοσύνη για την ευκαιρία που του δόθηκε να βρεθεί στη νήσο μας και να συναντηθεί με τον Μακαριώτατο Αρχιεπίσκοπο Κύπρου στην Ιερά Αρχιεπισκοπή. Αναφερόμενος στο πρόσωπο του Μακαριωτάτου, ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριος τον χαρακτήρισε εξαιρετικό ποιμενάρχη, με πολύ σημαντικό ρόλο στις διορθόδοξες σχέσεις και διεργασίες και στην πανορθόδοξη προσέγγιση. Ο Σεβασμιώτατος Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής αναφέρθηκε επίσης και στο ρόλο της κυπριακής παροικίας στην Αμερική, σε ό,τι αφορά την προβολή της Ορθο��οξίας, του Ελληνικού Πολιτισμού και φυσικά του Κυπριακού προβλήματος. Τόνισε ότι η Κυπριακή παροικία στην Αμερική είναι «δυναμική και πάντοτε παρούσα στο μεγάλο έργο, το οποίο προσπαθούμε να κάνουμε στην Αμερική προβάλλοντας την Ορθοδοξία και τον Παγκόσμιο Ελληνισμό». Η ομογένεια της Αμερικής, είπε, και ιδιαίτερα η Κυπριακή, «είναι σε μια συνεχή επαγρύπνηση και σε μια μάχη άνευ διακοπής, για την προώθηση σωστής λύσης στο Κυπριακό. Τα αποτελέσματα δεν είναι ανάλογα της τεράστιας προσφοράς, αλλά τα αποτελέσματα δεν εξαρτώνται από την προσπάθεια και την προσφορά την ανθρώπινη, διότι παρεμβαίνουν πολλές και ποικίλες δυνάμεις, για λύση σύνθετων προβλημάτων, όπως το Κυπριακό». Μετά τη συνάντηση ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Κύπρου παρέθεσε γεύμα προς τιμήν του Αρχιεπισκόπου Αμερικής και της συνοδείας του, στο οποίο παρακάθησαν επίσης ο Ελληνας Πρέσβης στην Κύπρο, Βασίλης Παπαϊωάννου και ο Αμερικανός Πρέσβης Frank C. Urbancic.
Συναυλία Αρχιεπισκοπικής Χορωδίας Νέων Σελίδα 13
και ταξίδεψαν με τη μουσική τους τα 500 περίπου άτομα που παρευρέθησαν μεταξύ των οποίων πολλοί υπουργοί, βουλευτές και ανώτατοι κυβερνητικοί παράγοντες της Κυπριακής Δημοκρατίας. Τα 21 τραγούδια του προγράμματος περιελάμβαναν το κοντάκιον «Τη Υπερμάχω» πρώτα στη γνωστή μουσική απόδοσή του και ακολούθως σε σύγχρονη διασκευή της Κυπρίας συνθέτριας Σοφίας Σέργη, ελληνικές συνθέσεις των Μίκη Θεοδωράκη, Μάνου Χατζηδάκι, Μάριου Τόκα και Σταύρου Κουγιουμτζή αλλά και διεθνείς επιτυχίες του Μπρόντγουέϊ. Ο νέος και βιρτουόζος πιανίστας Βασίλης Βαρβαρέσος απέσπασε το θαυμασμό και το παρατεταμένο χειροκρότημα ερμηνεύοντας σόλο απόσπασμα από το Κονσέρτο για Πιάνο του Franz Liszt. Το δεύτερο μέρος ήταν αφιερωμένο στην Κύπρο της αγάπης και του ονείρου, την γη της λεμονιάς και της ελιάς, της πικραμένης Παναγιάς και του άδικου χαμού. Η Αρχιεπισκοπική Χορωδία Νέων, εκπροσωπώντας την Ομογένεια της Αμερικής διατράνωσε με παλμό και με ψυχή όχι μόνο τον πόνο και την αγωνία για την Πατρίδα που ’χει μοιραστεί στα δυό αλλά και την πεποίθηση των στίχων των τραγουδιών για την Κύπρο ότι τούτη η γη δεν πουλιέται... η πατρίδα είναι μάνα έχει μνήμη θυμάται... χίλια χρόνια αν περάσουν δεν πεθαίνουμε σκλάβοι.
Πριν την έναρξη της συναυλίας η κυρία Ελση Χριστόφια μίλησε για το έργο και την προσφορά της Επιτροπής Βοηθείας Παιδιών της Κύπρου και ευχαρίστησε τον Αρχιεπίσκοπο Δημήτριο και τα παιδιά της Χορωδίας. «Σας ευχαριστούμε για τον αγώνα που διεξάγετε για τη δικαίωση του Κυπριακού Λαού», είπε ο Πρόεδρος Δημήτρης Χριστόφιας απευθυνόμενος προς τον Αρχιεπίσκοπο Αμερικής κ. Δημήτριο, «εμείς σας θεωρούμε, και είστε συναγωνιστές», τόνισε. Η τρίτη συναυλία της περιοδείας της Αρχιεπισκοπικής Χορωδίας Νέων πραγματοποιήθηκε στις 12 Ιουλίου, στις 8 μ.μ. στο Ιονικό Χωριό, στις εγκαταστάσεις του Κατασκηνωτικού Προγράμματος της Αρχιεπισκοπής Αμερικής που βρίσκονται στο Βαρθολομιό της Ηλείας επ’ ευκαιρία της συμπληρώσεως 40 ετών λειτουργίας και προσφοράς του ως «Χρυσής Γέφυρας» μεταξύ της Ελληνορθόξου Ομογένειας της Αμερικής και της Γενέτειρας. Με δήλωσή του στο ΑΠΕ-ΜΠΕ ο Προκαθήμενος της Ελληνορθόδοξης Εκκλησίας στην Αμερική κ. Δημήτριος ανέφερε ότι «η σημασία της χορωδίας έγκειται στο ότι κάνει μια προσφορά που είναι σε πολιτιστική και αισθητική βάση, ενώ συνδέεται με το μεγάλο ανθρώπινο κεφάλαιο που λέγεται τέχνη». Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής επισήμανε ότι «η Χορωδία μεταφέρει με το περιεχόμενο των τραγουδιών ισχυρότατα μηνύματα τα
Φωτογραφία: ΔΗΜΗΤΡΙΟΣ ΠΑΝΑΓΟΣ
Με τον Πρόεδρο της Κυπριακής Δημοκρατίας Δημήτρη Χριστόφια συναντήθηκε στη Λευκωσία ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής Δημήτριος.
Σελίδα 13 Πριν από τη συνάντηση, ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριος κατέθεσε στεφάνι στον ανδριάντα του Αρχιεπισκόπου Μακαρίου Γ’, στο προαύλιο του Προεδρικού Μεγάρου. Επίσης, ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής Δημήτριος, τέλεσε στον ιερό ναό Παναγίας Φανερωμένης στη Λευκωσία, το μνημόσυνο του αοιδίμου Αρχιεπισκόπου και Εθνομάρτυρα Κυπριανού και των άλλων Εθνομαρτύρων της 9 ης Ιουλίου 1821. Μετά το μνημόσυνο, στο οποίο μίλησε για τους Εθνομάρτυρες ο καθηγητής του Πανεπιστημίου Κύπρου Πέτρος Παπαπολυβίου, εψάλη τρισάγιο και έγινε κατάθεση στεφάνων στο μνημείο των Εθνομαρτύρων, που βρίσκεται στο προαύλιο του ιερού ναού Φανερωμένης. Μεταξύ άλλων παρέστησαν ο υπουργός Παιδείας και Πολιτισμού της Κύπρου Ανδρέας Δημητρίου και ο πρέσβης της Ελλάδος Βασίλης Παπακωνσταντίνου. Προηγήθηκε η Θεία Λειτουργία, στην οποία συλλειτούργησαν οι Αρχιεπίσκοποι Αμερικής και Κύπρου. Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής μετέφερε στο εκκλησίασμα τον χαιρετισμό και την ευλογία του Οικουμενικού Πατριάρχη Βαρθολομαίου.
από την πλευρά του ο κ. Ομήρου εξέφρασε την ευγνωμοσύνη του Κυπριακού λαού για τη δράση που αναλαμβάνει η Ελληνορθόδοξη Αρχιεπισκοπή στην Αμερική για την προώθηση του εθνικού μας θέματος, ιδιαίτερα σε μία χώρα, που διαδραματίζει σημαντικό ρόλο στη διεθνή πολιτική σκηνή. Στη συνέχεια ενημέρωσε τον Αρχιεπίσκοπο Αμερικής για τις τρέχουσες εξελίξεις στις συνομιλίες για την επίλυση του Κυπριακού, εκφράζοντας την απογοήτευσή του για την απουσία ουσιαστικής προόδου, εξαιτίας της πάγιας αδιάλλακτης Τουρκικής στάσης. Ο Πρόεδρος της Βουλής επανέλαβε τη βούληση της Ελληνοκυπριακής πλευράς για εξεύρεση λύσης, η οποία να είναι βιώσιμη και λειτουργική και να κατοχυρώνει τα ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα όλων των Κυπρίων και να τερματίζει την κατοχή, χωρίς αναχρονιστικές εγγυήσεις από ξένες δυνάμεις. Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής ανέφερε ότι αποτελεί για τον ίδιο τιμή να επισκέπτεται την Κύπρο και αναφέρθηκε στις πρόσφατες επαφές που είχε με πολιτικά πρόσωπα της Αμερικής, με τους οποίους συζήτησε, μεταξύ άλλων, τα θέματα του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου και το Κυπριακό. Τον Αρχιεπίσκοπο πλαισίωνε πολυμελής συνοδεία, με επικεφαλής τον Πρόεδρο της Ομοσπονδίας Κυπρίων Αμερικής Πανίκο Παπανικολάου.
ΜΕ ΠΡΟΕΔΡΟ ΒΟΥΛΗΣ Με τον Πρόεδρο της Βουλής της Κύπρου συναντήθηκε ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής Δημήτριος ο οποίος επισκέφθηκε επίσημα την μαρτυρική και κατεχόμενη νήσο. Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριος διαβεβαίωσε τον Πρόεδρο της Βουλής Γιαννάκη Ομήρου ότι τόσο η Αρχιεπισκοπή Αμερικής όσο και η ομογένεια στις ΗΠΑ θα συνεχίσουν ακούραστα τις προσπάθειες για ενίσχυση του αγώνα του Κυπριακού λαού, ευχόμενος να αποδοθεί σύντομα δικαιοσύνη στην Κύπρο. Σύμφωνα με επίσημη ανακοίνωση,
ΜΕ ΥΠΟΥΡΓΟ ΠΑΙΔΕΙΑΣ Την ευγνωμοσύνη του προς την Κυπριακή Πολιτεία για την ευκαιρία που δίνει εδώ και 4-5 χρόνια σε δάσκαλους από τα σχολεία της ομογένειας να έρχονται στην Κύπρο και να μετεκπαιδεύονται σε συστήματα διδασκαλίας της Ελληνικής Γλώσσας ως δεύτερης γλώσσας για παιδιά που μιλούν αγγλικά, εξέφρασε ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής Δημήτριος σε συνάντησή του με τον Υπουργό Παιδείας και Πολιτισμού Ανδρέα Δημητρίου. Σε δηλώσεις του μετά τη συνάντηση, ο Αμερικής Δημήτριος είπε ότι είναι μεγάλη τιμή να βρίσκεται με την αντιπροσωπεία του στην Κύπρο «σε ένα ιερό νησί, ένα μαρτυρικό νησί, έναν υπέροχο λαό ο οποίος περνά μια τόσο μεγάλη δοκιμασία και σε έναν χώρο που είναι χώρος πρωτοποριακής παιδείας». Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής ανέφερε ότι η Κύπρος αυτή τη στιγμή δίνει μαθήματα Παιδείας με πρωτοποριακά εκπαιδευτικά, πανεπιστημιακά προγράμματα και προγράμματα συνεχούς εκπαίδευσης. «Ο ερχομός μας στην Κύπρο είναι μια ευκαιρία να εκτεθούμε σε πάρα πολύ θετικές και ουσιαστικές επιδράσεις που έχουν επιπτώσεις στην εργασία Παιδείας την οποία κάνουμε και στην Αμερική», είπε. Ανέφερε ότι υπάρχει ένα μεγάλο σύστημα ελληνικής Παιδείας στην Αμερική, αφού η ομογένεια αριθμεί 2 εκ. πληθυσμό. Πρόσθεσε ότι γίνεται μια μεγάλη προσπάθεια, η οποία εκτός από το βασικό στοιχείο της εν γένει Παιδείας να προσπαθεί να καλλιεργεί και τη Γλώσσα. Οπως είπε, αυτό δεν είναι εύκολο για παιδιά τρίτης και τέταρτης γενιάς, αλλά γίνεται.
οποία ενισχύουν, στηρίζουν και βοηθούν τους ανθρώπους κάθε ηλικίας, κάθε τάξεως, κάθε έθνους και κάθε πολιτισμού». Ο κ. Δημήτριος επισήμανε το γεγονός ότι η Χορωδία εμφανίστηκε στην Κωνσταντινούπολη, στον ιστορικό ναό της Αγίας Ειρήνης, για να τιμήσει τα 20 χρόνια της Πατριαρχίας του Οικουμενικού Πατριάρχη Βαρθολομαίου, σημειώνοντας ότι «είναι 20 χρόνια προσφοράς του για την προστασία, για τη σωτηρία του φυσικού μας περιβάλλοντος, 20 χρόνια προσφοράς του με τη δημιουργία γεφυρών και διαλόγων που συνδέουν θρησκείες και πολιτισμούς, έθνη και γλώσ-
σες ανά την υφήλιο, 20 χρόνια προσφοράς του στο μεγάλο έργο της ενότητας της απανταχού της Γης Ορθοδοξίας με τη συμμετοχή και το συντονισμό εργασιών, δράσεως προσφοράς και μηνυμάτων απ’ όλες τις Αυτοκέφαλες Εκκλησίες και τους ανά τον κόσμο διασπαρμένους ορθοδόξους, των οποίων ένα μεγάλο μέρος είναι στην Αμερική και σε άλλες χώρες και ηπείρους, όπως είναι η Αυστραλία, η Δυτική Ευρώπη και η Άπω Ανατολή». Η Αρχιεπισκοπική Χορωδία Νέων ιδρύθηκε το 2001 από τον Αρχιεπίσκοπο Δημήτριο με την φροντίδα και την προεδρία του Πίτερ Παπανικολάου.
ΙΟΥΛΙΟΣ – ΑΥΓΟΥΣΤΟΣ 2011
Ο Ι ΚΟΥ Μ Ε Ν Ι ΚΟ Π ΑΤ Ρ Ι Α Ρ Χ Ε Ι Ο
Συνάντηση Οικουμενικού Πατριάρχου με μέλη της ελληνικής κυβερνήσεως στην Αθήνα
ΑΘΗΝΑ.- Σε θερμό κλίμα πραγματοποιήθηκε το πρωί της 27ης Ιουνίου η συνάντηση του Οικουμενικού Πατ��ιάρχη Βαρθολομαίου με τον Πρωθυπουργό Γιώργο Παπανδρέου στην Βουλή. Υποδεχόμενος ο κ. Παπανδρέου τον Προκαθήμενο της Ορθοδοξίας αναφέρθηκε στο δύσκολο αγώνα του Πατριαρχείου, ο οποίος αποτελεί πηγή έμπνευσης σε μια περίοδο που η Ελλάδα δίνει το δικό της αγώνα. «Μας εμπνέει και ο δικός σας αγώνας, δύσκολος, παντοτινός. Ένας αγώνας που δεν είναι μόνο για το Οικουμενικό Πατριαρχείο αλλά για ολόκληρη την Ορθοδοξία. Ένας αγώνας για τα δίκαια της Ορθοδοξίας. Αλλά βεβαίως και ένας αγώνας που κάνετε για την συνεργασία των πολιτισμών, των λαών, όπως βεβαίως και για τη μεγάλη υπόθεση της κλιματικής αλλαγής. Μας εμπνέετε με τους δικούς σας αγώνες και τις προσπάθειες σας», είπε ο Πρωθυπουργός και συνέχισε: «Είμαστε πάντα κοντά σας. Και αυτές τις στιγμές η παρουσία σας εδώ στην Ελλάδα δίνει σε όλους μας τη δύναμη που χρειαζόμαστε να κάνουμε και εμείς ένα πολύ δύσκολο αγώνα, να φύγει η Ελλάδα από την κρίση στην οποία βρίσκεται για να μπορέσει να ευημερήσει ο Ελληνικός λαός». Απαντώντας ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης ευχαρίστησε τον Πρωθυπουργό για τη θερμή υποδοχή που επεφύλαξε στον ίδιο και την συνοδεία του, τους Μητροπολίτες Περγάμου Ιωάννη και Ίμβρου και Τενέδου Κύριλλο. «Ήρθαμε μαζί με τους εν Χριστώ αδελφούς για τους Special Olympics εδώ αλλά όχι μόνο. Ήταν μια ευκαιρία να επικοινωνήσουμε και πάλι με την προσφιλή εξοχώτητά σας και τον Ελληνικό λαό ευρύτερα, με τους καλούς συνεργάτες σας και να φέρουμε την ευλογία και την στοργή της Μητρός Εκκλησίας της Κωνσταντινουπόλεως προς τον Ελληνικό λαό, ο οποίος όπως είπατε ήδη διέρχεται δύσκολες ημέρες. Η ευχή και η προσευχή μας είναι κοντά σας. Είπα και χθες στο Δημαρχείο του Αμαρουσίου ότι περάσαμε ως Γένος δυσκολότερες ημέρες κάτω από δυσκολότερες συνθήκες και όμως ανταπεξήλθαμε, τα βγάλαμε πέρα. Εύχομαι και αυτή την φορά ο Ελληνικός λαός με εθνική ομοψυχία κάτω από την ηγεσία της Κυβερνήσεως του, υπό την Προεδρία της Εξοχώτητός σας, να μπορέσει - όπως λέμε στην λαϊκή γλώσσα - να περάσει το ποτάμι. Εμείς θα είμαστε πάντοτε κοντά σας με την προσευχή μας» είπε ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης και συνέχισε: «Και από την άλλη πλευρά εμείς ευχαριστούμε ως Οικουμενικό Πατριαρχείο την Ελληνική Κυβέρνηση για τη διαρκή μέριμνα και στοργή της για τα προβλήματα του Πατριαρχείου, για τα προβλήματα της εν Τουρκία Ομογενείας, για την εκπλήρωση της Οικουμενικής αποστολής του Πατριαρχείου μας προς πάσα κατεύθυνση. Και στο θέμα των διαθρησκειακών διαλόγων και στο θέμα των περιβαλλοντικών προσπαθειών μας αισθανόμεθα ότι έχουμε πάντοτε την υποστήριξη και την βοήθειά σας και είμαστε ευγνώ-
ΟΡΘΟ∆ΟΞΟΣ ΠΑΡΑΤΗΡΗΤΗΣ ORTHODOX OBSERVER
μονες γι’ αυτό». Παρόντες στη συνάντηση του Οικουμενικού Πατριάρχη με τον Πρωθυπουργό ήταν και ο υπουργός Εξωτερικών Σταύρος Λαμπρινίδης, ο υφυπουργός Εξωτερικών Δημήτρης Δόλλης και η υφυπουργός Παιδείας Εύη Χριστοφιλοπούλου. Νωρίτερα, ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης έγινε δεκτός από τον Πρόεδρο της Βουλής των Ελλήνων κ. Φίλιππο Πετσάλνικο στο Κοινοβούλιο. Ο Πρόεδρος της Βουλής υποδεχόμενος τον Παναγιώτατο Οικουμενικό Πατριάρχη τόνισε: «Παναγιώτατε, χαιρόμαστε ιδιαίτερα που υποδεχόμαστε εσάς και όσους σας συνοδεύουν στη Βουλή των Ελλήνων. Στο πρόσωπό σας βλέπουμε τον εκπρόσωπο της Οικουμενικότητας της Ορθοδοξίας και θέλω να σας διαβεβαιώσω, εκ μέρους όλων των πτερύγων, ότι η Βουλή των Ελλήνων είναι δίπλα σας. Συμπαραστέκεται στον αγώνα και στις προσπάθειες που καταβάλλετε για την Ορθοδοξία, για την Οικουμενικότητα, καθώς επίσης και για την αναγκαιότητα επίλυσης μιας σειράς θεμάτων που απασχολούν το Οικουμενικό Πατριαρχείο». Ο Πρόεδρος της Βουλής κ. Πετσάλνικος εξέφρασε την ευχή «πολύ γρήγορα να εξευρεθεί λύση για την επαναλειτουργία της Σχολής της Χάλκης. Επαναλαμβάνω ότι είμαστε δίπλα σας σύσσωμος ο πολιτικός κόσμος της χώρας μας και ολόκληρη η Βουλή των Ελλήνων. Κάναμε άσκηση υπομονής σαράντα χρόνια». Από την πλευρά του, ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος ευχαρίστησε για τη θερμή και εγκάρδια υποδοχή και σημείωσε: «Θεωρώ ιδιαίτερη τιμή μου για την ευκαιρία να απευθυνθώ στα μέλη των Special Olympics από το Βήμα της Βουλής των Ελλήνων. Με συγκίνηση άκουσα τις ενέργειες και τις προσπάθειές σας. Είστε πάντοτε αρωγός στο Οικουμενικό Πατριαρχείο. Γνώριζα πάντοτε τα καλά σας αισθήματα έναντι της Μητρός Εκκλησίας, από τότε που σας επισκέφθηκα στη Θεσσαλονίκη ως υπουργό Μακεδονίας–Θράκης και παρακολουθώ την πορεία, την εξέλιξή σας. Προέρχεστε από μια μητρόπολη των νέων χωρών, επομένως του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου και τα αισθήματά σας αυτά έναντι της Μητέρας Εκκλησίας τα θεωρώ δεδομένα και αυτονόητα. Είμαι ευγνώμων και εγώ και το Πατριαρχείο γιατί πάντοτε μας στηρίζετε». Μιλώντας για τα προβλήματα του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου ο κ. Βαρθολομαίος τόνισε: «Αναφέρατε την περίπτωση της Χάλκης, για την οποία υπάρχει η υπόσχεση του πρωθυπουργού της Τουρκίας, ότι είναι υπό μελέτη η επαναλειτουργία της. Πρόσφατα που είχα επικοινωνία και με τον ίδιο και με διαφόρους υπουργούς της Τουρκικής κυβέρνησης, του υπενθύμισα ότι φέτος συμπληρώνονται 40 χρόνια ακριβώς από την αναστολή λειτουργίας της Σχολής και θα ήταν μια καλή ευκαιρία να επαναλειτουργήσει φέτος. Δεν μπορούμε να περιμένουμε περισσότερο από σαράντα χρόνια. Κάναμε μεγάλη άσκηση στην υπομονή όλα αυτά τα χρόνια. Όσον αφορά στα περιουσιακά στοιχεία των κοινοτήτων και των ιδρυμάτων μας γενικά, επιστρέφονται με το νέο βακουφικό νόμο. Σε όσα υπάρχουν δυσκολίες έχουμε προσφύγει στην τοπική τουρκική δικαιοσύνη και όταν εξαντλούνται αρνητικά για μας τα τοπικά ένδικα μέσα δεν διστάζουμε να προσφύγουμε και στο Ευρωπαϊκό Δικαστήριο Δικαιωμάτων του Ανθρώπου για να διεκδικήσουμε αυτά που μας ανήκουν, τα οποία κληρονομήσαμε από τους πατέρες μας και θεωρούμε ότι έχουμε χρέος να τα διατηρήσουμε και να τα παραδώσουμε στις επόμενες γενιές».
ΓΕΓΟΝΟΤΑ & ΝΕΑ ΑΠΟ ΤΟΝ ΚΟΣΜΟ
Φωτογραφία: ΝΙΚΟΛΑΟΥ ΜΑΓΓΙΝΑ
Η Αγία και Ιερά Σύνοδος του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου, υπό την προεδρία του Οικουμενικού Πατριάρχου Βαρθολομαίου, συνεδρίασε για τον μήνα Ιούλιο στο Φανάρι, αλλά και στην Θεολογική Σχολή της Χάλκης.
Ναι στον τίτλο «Οικουμενικό» από το ΣτΕ ΑΘΗΝΑ (Α.Π.Ε.).- Υπέρ του δικαιώματος του Πατριαρχείου Κωνσταντινουπόλεως να χρησιμοποιεί τον τίτλο “Οικουμενικό” τάσσεται, με πόρισμά της, η “Επιτροπή Βενετίας” του Συμβουλίου της Ευρώπης, ενώ σημειώνει, για την Τουρκία, ότι θα πρέπει να ελαχιστοποιήσει τους περιορισμούς στην ελευθερία της θρησκείας. Η “Επιτροπή της Βενετίας” του Συμβουλίου της Ευρώπης, το μοναδικό πανευρωπαϊκό όργανο που προωθεί την ενίσχυση της Δημοκρατίας δια του Νόμου, ανταποκρινόμενο σε σχετικό αίτημα του τουρκικού υπουργείου Δικαιοσύνης, συνέταξε και δημοσιοποίησε σήμερα, πόρισμα, σχετικά με το αν στην Τουρκία εφαρμόζονται τα ευρωπαϊκά “στάνταρντς”, στον τομέα των θρησκευτικών ελευθεριών. Στο πόρισμα της η Επιτροπή επικρίνει εμμέσως την Τουρκία, υπογραμμίζοντας ότι εμποδίζει τα μη μουσουλμανικά θρησκευτικά ιδρύματα να αποκτήσουν νομική οντότητα, ενώ η απόκτηση νομικής προσωπικότητας από τα εν λόγω ιδρύματα προβλέπεται ρητά
από την Σύμβαση Προστασίας Ανθρωπίνων Δικαιωμάτων. Η απόκτηση νομικής οντότητας από τα μη μουσουλμανικά θρησκευτικά ιδρύματα στην Τουρκία είναι ιδιαίτερα σημαντική, δεδομένου ότι τους επιτρέπει να εξασφαλίσουν την πρόσβασή τους στην δικαιοσύνη και στην προστασία των ιδιοκτησιών τους, τονίζει η Επιτροπή της Βενετίας. Σ’ ό,τι αφορά στο δικαίωμα του Πατριαρχείου Κωνσταντινουπόλεως, να χρησιμοποιεί τον όρο “Οικουμενικό”, η Επιτροπή κρίνει ότι η οποιαδήποτε παρέμβαση των τουρκικών αρχών για την μη αναγνώριση και χρησιμοποίηση του όρου “Οικουμενικό” από το Πατριαρχείο, θα συνιστούσε παραβίαση της αυτονομίας της Ορθόδοξης Εκκλησίας στην Τουρκία, σύμφωνα με το άρθρο 9 της Σύμβασης Ανθρωπίνων Δικαιωμάτων. Η «Επιτροπή της Βενετίας» σημειώνει ότι δεν βλέπει κανένα λόγο, πραγματικό ή νομικό, να εμποδίζουν οι τουρκικές αρχές το Πατριαρχείο να χρησιμοποιεί τον γενικά και ιστορικά αναγνωρισμένο όρο «Οικουμενικό».
«Αθώα η Ελλάδα για το θάνατο του Πατριάρχη Αλεξανδρείας Πέτρου» ΑΘΗΝΑ.- Με απόφασή του την Τρίτη 12 Ιουλίου, το Δικαστήριο Ανθρωπίνων Δικαιωμάτων απάλλαξε την Ελλάδα από την κατηγορία ότι, στην περίπτωση της πτώσης του ελικοπτέρου στο Αιγαίο, στις 11 Σεπτεμβρίου 2004, που είχε ως αποτέλεσμα το θάνατο του Πατριάρχη Αλεξανδρείας και των 16 μελών της συνοδείας του, δεν είχε πραγματοποιηθεί διεξοδική έρευνα για τα αίτια της συντριβής του ελικοπτέρου και, κατά συνέπεια, είχε παραβιαστεί το δικαίωμα στη ζωή των επιβαινόντων.
Εξετάζοντας την προσφυγή που είχαν καταθέσει επτά Κύπριοι και τρεις Ελληνες συγγενείς των θυμάτων, το Δικαστήριο, αφού εξέτασε όλα τα πραγματικά γεγονότα εκείνης της εποχής, τα πορίσματα των ερευνών που διεξήχθησαν, αποφάνθηκε ότι η όλη έρευνα που διεξήχθη από τις ελληνικές στρατιωτικές αρχές, με τη συνδρομή επιτροπών από τις ΗΠΑ, υπήρξε αποτελεσματική και συμπέρανε ότι δεν υπήρξε καμία παραβίαση στο δικαίωμα της ζωής από την πλευρά της Ελλάδας.
Αναμένεται κοσμοσυρροή στην Παναγία Σουμελά ΑΘΗΝΑ (Α.Π.Ε.) .- Κοσμοσυρροή προσκυνητών αναμένεται για δεύτερη συνεχόμενη χρονιά στην ιστορική Μονή της Παναγίας Σουμελά στον Πόντο, ανήμερα τον Δεκαπενταύγουστο. Παρά την οικονομική κρίση, μητροπόλεις και ταξιδιωτικά γραφεία τονίζουν πως ο αριθμός όσων έχουν δηλώσει συμμετοχή για
το ταξίδι στον Πόντο είναι αρκετά ικανοποιητικός, ενώ αναμένεται ότι θα αυξηθεί κι άλλο. Για τους περισσότερους, βασική αιτία του ταξιδιού είναι ότι για δεύτερη χρονιά μετά το 1923 θα τελεστεί θεία λειτουργία και μάλιστα προεξάρχοντος του Οικουμενικού Πατριάρχη Βαρθολομαίου.
Ο ΙΚΟΥΜΕΝΙΚΟ Π ΑΤ ΡΙΑΡΧ ΕΙΟ
ΙΟΥΛΙΟΣ – ΑΥΓΟΥΣΤΟΣ 2011
ΑΡΧΙΕΠΙΣΚΟΠΙΚΗ ΕΓΚΥΚΛΙΟΣ 4 Ἰουλίου: Ἡμέρα Ἀνεξαρτησίας Ὑμεῖς γάρ ἐπ’ ἐλευθερίᾳ ἐκλήθητε ἀδελφοί∙ μόνον μή τήν ἐλευθερίαν εἰς ἀφορμήν τῇ σαρκί, ἀλλά διά τῆς ἀγάπης δουλεύετε ἀλλήλοις. (Πρός Γαλάτας 5:13)
Φωτογραφία: ΝΙΚΟΛΑΟΥ ΜΑΓΓΙΝΑ
Ο Σεβασμιώτατος Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής Δημήτριος χαιρετίζει κι ευχαριστεί τον Οικουμενικό Πατριάρχη Βαρθολομαίο για τη φιλοξενία, κατά τη διάρκεια της επίσκεψης της Αρχιεπισκοπικής Χορωδίας Νέων στη Χάλκη.
Ο Οικουµενικός Πατριάρχης στη Χάλκη για τα 50 χρόνια από την αποφοίτησή του ôïõ Íéêüëáïõ Ìáããßíá
ΧΑΛΚΗ.- Μέσα σε μια νοσταλγική ατμόσφαιρα και με την συγκίνηση να διαγράφεται στα πρόσωπα τους, πέντε συνταξιώτες που αποφοίτησαν από την Θεολογική Σχολή της Χάλκης τέτοιες ημέρες του 1961, επέστρεψαν και συναντήθηκαν στην ίδια αίθουσα τελετών που έλαβαν το πτυχίο τους. Ανάμεσά τους και ο επιφανέστερος των αποφοίτων, ο Προκαθήμενος της Ορθοδοξίας Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος. «Εν βαθυτάτη συγκινήσει ανήλθομεν σήμερον μετά των επιζώντων συνταξιωτών ημών τον Λόφον της Ελπίδος, επί τη 50η επετείω της αποφοιτήσεως ημών εκ της Τροφού Σχολής, και ανενεώσαμεν την ελπίδα και την προσευχήν μας διά την επαναλειτουργίαν της – διά την άρσιν της γενομένης μεγάλης εις βάρος αυτής και της Μητρός Εκκλησίας αδικίας, η οποία είναι εν τελευταία αναλύσει αδικία εις βάρος της πεπολιτισμένης ανθρωπότητος» έγραψε ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης, «Ο Ίμβριος, ο Χαλκίτης», στο βιβλίο των επισκεπτών της Σχολής σε ανάμνηση αυτής της ξεχωριστής επισκέψεως του. ΘΕΙΑ ΛΕΙΤΟΥΡΓΙΑ Το πρωί της Κυριακής 3 Ιουλίου τελέστηκε Θεία Λειτουργία στο Καθολικό της Ιεράς Μονής Αγίας Τριάδος, όπου βρίσκεται και το ιστορικό κτίριο της Θεολογικής Σχολής. Στη Θεία Λειτουργία χοροστάτησε ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής Δημήτριος και παρέστησαν συμπροσευχόμενοι ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος, ο Μητροπολίτης Πέργης Ευάγγελος, ο Μητροπολίτης Ιταλίας Γεννάδιος, ο Μητροπολίτης Μοσχονησίων Απόστολος, ηγουμενεύων της Ιεράς Μονής καθώς και πλήθος πιστών από τις ΗΠΑ, την Ελλάδα και αλλού. Ανάμεσα στους πιστούς και οι συμμαθητές του Πατριάρχη και μέλη της χορωδίας νέων της Αρχιεπισκοπής Αμερικής. Αμέσως μετά ο Πατριάρχης Βαρθολο-
μαίος τέλεσε τρισάγιο στη μνήμη των Σχολαρχών, Καθηγητών και συμμαθητών του που έφυγαν από την ζωή. Στη συνέχεια στην Αίθουσα Τελετών της Σχολής, όπου 50 χρόνια πριν έλαβε το δίπλωμά του, ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης μίλησε για την Σχολή και ευχαρίστησε τις ΗΠΑ και τις χώρες της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης για το μεγάλο ενδιαφέρον τους ώστε «να επαναλειτουργήσει η Σχολή, η οποία χαρακτηρίσθηκε ως η Σιωπηλή Σχολή». Αναφέρθηκε μάλιστα στην επίσκεψη που πραγματοποίησε το Σάββατο 2 Ιουλίου, στην Θεολογική Σχολή, ο υπουργός Εξωτερικών της Γερμανίας Γκίντο Βεστερβέλε (ρεπορτάζ στη σελίδα 17) και σημείωσε ότι «το γεγονός αυτό είναι μια επιπλέον απόδειξη του γενικότερου ενδιαφέροντος που υπάρχει για την Σχολή μας. Και υπάρχει αυτό το ενδιαφέρον διότι το κλείσιμο της Σχολής και η ανάγκη επαναλειτουργίας της είναι πράγματα που συνδέονται άμεσα με τις θρησκευτικές ελευθερίες με τα μειονοτικά δικαιώματα, με τα ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα για τα οποία σήμερα ενδιαφέρεται όλος ο κόσμος και ιδιαιτέρως η Αμερική και η Ε.Ε. Το ότι ήρθε ο εκπρόσωπος μιας μεγάλης ευρωπαϊκής χώρας όπως είναι η Γερμανία, μίλησε ανοικτά και ξεκάθαρα για την ανάγκη επαναλειτουργίας της Σχολής, είναι για εμάς ιδιαιτέρως ενθαρρυντικό». Και ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης ευχαρίστησε και πάλι «όλους όσοι σ’ αυτά τα 40 χρόνια της υπομονής μας και της αναγκαστικής σιωπής της Σχολής, μας συμπαραστάθηκαν, μας εβοήθησαν και υπεστήριξαν παντοιοτρόπως το δίκαιο αίτημά μας». Σύντομες ομιλίες έκαναν και ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής Δημήτριος καθώς και ο Μητροπολίτης Μοσχονησίων Απόστολος, ηγουμενεύων της Ιεράς Μονής Αγίας Τριάδος. Να σημειωθεί ότι στην συνάντηση της Κυριακής στην Θεολογική Σχολή παρέστησαν πέντε από τους έξι συνταξιώτες που είναι εν ζωή, από τους δεκατρείς που αποφοίτησαν το 1961.
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. Ἀγαπητοί Ἀδελφοί καί Ἀδελφές ἐν Χριστῷ, Μέ τήν ὡραία εὐκαιρία τοῦ ἐτήσιου ἑορτασμοῦ τῆς ἐλευθερίας καί τῆς ἐπετείου ἱδρύσεως τοῦ Ἀμερικανικοῦ ἔθνους, σᾶς χαιρετῶ μέ τήν ἀγάπη τοῦ Κυρίου μας ὁ Ὁποῖος μᾶς προσφέρει διαρκῆ ἐλευθερία ἡ ὁποία ὁδηγεῖ σέ δημιουργική ζωή ἐπί τῆς γῆς καί τελικά στήν αἰώνια ζωή. Ἡ ἐλευθερία μας ἐν Χριστῷ μᾶς ἀπελευθερώνει ἀπό τά δεσμά τῆς ἁμαρτίας καί τοῦ θανάτου διά τῆς δυνάμεως τῆς Ἀναστάσεως καί τῆς παρουσίας τοῦ Ἁγίου Πνεύματος. Ὅπως λέγει ὁ Ἀπόστολος Παῦλος στήν Ἐπιστολή του πρός Γαλάτας, αὐτή ἡ ἐλευθερία πρέπει νά καθοδηγῆται ἀπό τό Ἅγιο Πνεῦμα καί δέν θά ἔπρεπε νά ἀποτελῇ εὐκαιρία ἱκανοποιήσεως τῆς σαρκός καί τῶν σαρκικῶν ἐπιθυμιῶν. Ἀντιθέτως, αὐτή ἡ ἐλευθερία θά πρέπει νά παράγῃ καί νά καλλιεργῇ τόν καρπό τοῦ Πνεύματος, ὁδηγώντας κάθε ἄνθρωπο στήν ἀγάπη καί σέ πράξεις διακονίας πρός τούς ἄλλους (πρός Γαλάτας 5:22). Ἡ ἀγάπη καί ἡ διακονία μας πρός τούς ἄλλους καί ἡ οἰκοδόμηση τῆς κοινότητος πίστεως ἀποτελοῦν ἐπίσης γιά ἐμᾶς ὡς Ὀρθοδόξους Χριστιανούς βάση γιά τή σχέση μας μέ τήν εὑρύτερη κοινότητα στήν ὁποία ζοῦμε. Ἡ ἐνασχόληση μέ τά κοινά ἀποτελεῖ σημαντικό παράγοντα τῆς ζωῆς μας, καθώς δείχνουμε τό ἐνδιαφέρον μας γιά τό κοινωνικό περιβάλλον στό ὁποῖο ζοῦμε καί γιά ἐκείνους μέ τούς ὁποίους τό μοιραζόμεθα. Αὐτή ἡ ἀρχή ἀναγνωρίσθηκε ἀπό τούς θεμελιωτές τῆς χώρας μας. Ἡ δημοκρατική διακυβέρνηση καί ἡ ἐλεύθερη κοινωνία προϋποθέτουν τήν ἐνεργό συμμετοχή στήν πολιτική καί κοινωνική ζωή τοῦ Ἔθνους. Οἱ θεμελιωτές θεώρησαν ὅτι ἡ συμμετοχή αὐτή δέν πρέπει νά ἐπιβάλλεται μέ ἐξαναγκασμό. Ταυτοχρόνως ὅμως ἐτόνισαν ὅτι ἡ εὐημερία τοῦ Ἔθνους ἐξαρτᾶται ἀπό τήν ρωμαλέα καί ὑπεύθυνη συμμετοχή τῶν πολιτῶν. Παραδόξως, τό γεγονός τῆς ἐλευθερίας τήν ὁποία ἑορτάζουμε τήν 4η Ἰουλίου ἑκάστου ἔτους μπορεῖ νά ἀποτελέσῃ καί ἀρνητική περίπτωση μέ τήν ἐκτροφή τοῦ ἐγωϊσμοῦ, τῆς πλεονεξίας καί τῆς ἀπαθείας, δηλαδή στοιχείων τά ὁποῖα ὁδηγοῦν σέ μείωση τῆς συμμετοχῆς στά κοινά καί σέ ἔλλειψη ἐνδιαφέροντος γιά τούς ἄλλους στίς κοινότητές μας. Γι’ αὐτόν ἀκριβῶς τόν λόγο ἡ Ὀρθόδοξος Πίστη ἔχει τόσα πολλά νά προσφέρῃ. Ἡ ἐνασχόλησή μας μέ τά κοινά ἀποτελεῖ τρόπο ἐκφράσεως τῆς ἀγάπης πρός τόν Θεό. Εἶναι ἡ κλήση μας ὡς ἀνθρώπων τοῦ Θεοῦ νά ἐργασθοῦμε γιά ἕνα περιβάλλον ὅπου οἱ ἄνθρωποι θά ἔχουν τήν δυνατότητα νά ζοῦν μέ ἀσφάλεια, ἐλευθερία καί πρόοδο. Ἐπιπροσθέτως, προσφέρουμε μαρτυρία τοῦ εἴδους καί τῆς δυνάμεως τῆς ἀληθινῆς ἐλευθερίας, καθώς συνδέουμε τίς ἐλευθερίες τίς ὁποῖες ἀπολαμβάνουμε σ’ αὐτή τήν χώρα μέ τόν ἐν Χριστῷ τρόπο ζωῆς μας. Εἴθε αὐτή τήν Ἡμέρα τῆς Ἀνεξαρτησίας νά ἑορτάσουμε τίς πολλές εὐλογίες τῆς ἐλευθερίας καί τῆς ζωῆς τίς ὁποῖες ἀπολαμβάνουμε σ’ αὐτή τήν χώρα. Ἄς ἀναλογισθοῦμε ἐπίσης ὅτι ἡ ἐνασχόλησή μας μέ τά κοινά στίς κοινότητές μας ἀποτελεῖ καί τόν τρόπο μέ τόν ὁποῖο μοιραζόμεθα τήν πίστη καί τήν ἀγάπη γιά τόν Θεό διά τῆς διακονίας μας στούς συνανθρώπους μας. Γιά ὅλους καί γιά τόν καθένα ἀπό μᾶς ἄς εὐχηθοῦμε ὅ,τι εἶναι καλό, δίκαιο καί ὅ,τι ὁδηγεῖ στήν εὐλογημένη ἐν Θεῷ ζωή, ἡ ὁποία ἐγγυᾶται τήν ἀληθινή ἐλευθερία. Μέ πατρική ἐν Χριστῷ ἀγάπη,
† ὁ Ἀρχιεπίσκοπος Ἀμερικῆς Δημήτριος
JULY – AUGUST 2011 2011 ΙΟΥΛΙΟΣ – ΑΥΓΟΥΣΤΟΣ
ΝΑΙ ΣΤΗΝ ΕΠΑΝΑΛΕΙΤΟΥΡΓΙΑ ΤΗΣ ΧΑΛΚΗΣ ΑΠΟ ΤΟΝ ΓΕΡΜΑΝΟ ΥΠΟΥΡΓΟ ΕΞΩΤΕΡΙΚΩΝ ôïõ Íéêüëáïõ Ìáããßíá
«Είναι για εμένα μεγάλη μου τιμή να βρίσκομαι σε αυτή την Σχολή». Με τα λόγια αυτά και κυρίως με την φυσική παρουσία του στη Θεολογική Σχολή της Χάλκης ο Υπουργός Εξωτερικών της Ομοσπονδιακής Δημοκρατίας της Γερμανίας Γκίντο Βεστερβέλε έστειλε ένα ακόμα ηχηρό μήνυμα στην Άγκυρα πως ήρθε η στιγμή, ύστερα από 40 χρόνια σιωπής, να επαναλειτουργήσει το ορθόδοξο πνευματικό και εκπαιδευτικό καθίδρυμα. Ο Γερμανός Υπουργός Εξωτερικών έφτασε στην Χάλκη στις δέκα και μισή το πρωί συνοδευόμενος από περίπου 40 άτομα, συνεργάτες του, διπλωμάτες και στελέχη του Γερμανικού Υπουργείου Εξωτερικών, γερμανούς και τούρκους δημοσιογράφους. Τον υποδέχθηκαν ο Μητροπολίτης Μοσχονησίων Απόστολος, ηγουμενεύων της Ιεράς Μονής της Αγίας Τριάδος και ο γερμανομαθής Πρεσβύτερος π. Δοσίθεος Αναγνωστόπουλος, καθώς και κληρικοί που διακονούν την Ιερά Μονή που βρίσκεται στον ίδιο χώρο με την Θεολογική Σχολή. Ο κ. Βεστερβέλε ξεναγήθηκε στις αίθουσες διδασκαλίας της Σχολής και φάνηκε εντυπωσιασμένος από την μεγάλη αίθουσα τελετών όπου στους τοίχους της είναι ανηρτημένα τα πορτραίτα Σχολαρχών, καθηγητών και ευεργετών της Σχολής καθώς και Οικουμενικών Πατριαρχών. Εκεί όμως που εκδήλωσε τον ενθουσιασμό του ήταν στην βιβλιοθήκη της Σχολής, όπου ο κάθε επισκέπτης διατρέχοντας τα ερμάρια με τα θεολογικά, ιστορικά, γεωγραφικά βιβλία, σπάνιες και σπουδαίες εκδόσεις, διατρέχει κατά κάποιο τρόπο και την ιστορία της Σχολής. «Είναι μοναδικός θησαυρός η βιβλιοθήκη αυτή», είπε
ο Γερμανός Υπουργός κρατώντας στα χέρια του παλαιά βιβλία και ξεφυλλίζοντας τα με μεγάλο ενδιαφέρον. Σε δηλώσεις του στα Μέσα Μαζικής Ενημέρωσης που έδειξαν μεγάλο ενδιαφέρον για την επίσκεψη, ο Γερμανός Υπουργός Εξωτερικών είπε: «Η επίσκεψή μου στον χώρο αυτό υπήρξε για μένα πολύ σημαντική. Η Σχολή της Χάλκης είναι χώρος πολιτισμού, αποτελεί αναπόσπαστο τμήμα του Ευρωπαϊκού Πολιτισμού. Επιθυμώ με την εδώ παρουσία μου να δώσω θάρρος και ελπίδα και να εκφράσω την υποστήριξή μου στην προοπτική της επαναλειτουργίας της Σχολής. Επιθυμώ, ακόμη, να σημειώσω ότι η Σχολή διαθέτει μια υπέροχη βιβλιοθήκη. Εκφράζω την ευχή σύντομα η Βιβλιοθήκη να εξυπηρετεί τις επιστημονικές ανάγκες των φοιτητών της Σχολής». Υπενθυμίζεται ότι ο Υπουργός Εξωτερικών της Γερμανίας είχε εκφράσει την επιθυμία να επισκεφθεί την Σχολή πριν ένα χρόνο όταν επισκέφθηκε τον Οικουμενικό Πατριάρχη Βαρθολομαίο στο Φανάρι. Τότε είχε πει πως την επόμενη φορά που θα ταξιδεύσει στην Τουρκία θα πάει στην Χάλκη και θα ανέβει στην Σχολή. Και τελικά έκανε την επιθυμία του πράξη.
Happy BirtHday aHEpa July 26, 1922 89 yEars of ExcEllEncE! The Order of AHEPA celebrates its 89th birthday this month. For 89 years AHEPA has been in the forefront promoting Hellenism, advancing education through scholarships, preserving our heritage and protecting our sacred history. Our reach and assistance knows no bounds. Join AHEPA today, as we prepare to embark on yet another productive year!
SF Greek Village Immersion Camp Gains Popularity by Kristen Bruskas
DUNLAP, Calif. – Over 50 campers were immersed in the Greek language and culture during the second annual “Elliniko Horio” (Greek Village Camp) June 18–25 at St. Nicholas Ranch and Retreat Center. Children ages 7–14 participated in daily activities led by trained professional instructors who offered a creative and stimulating learning environment that emphasized the use of the Greek language during all facets of instruction. The Greek Village Immersion Camp has quickly become a signature program in the Metropolis of San Francisco. “Children have expressed great interest in this camp, and are eager to learn about their faith and culture in this setting,” stated Metropolitan Gerasimos. “This is a unique educational opportunity that blends creativity with academic instruction to encourage a positive
Asia Minor Holocaust Tribute Sept. 18 BROOKLYN, N.Y. – A memorial service to commemorate the 89th anniversary of the 1922 Asia Minor Holocaust will take place Sept. 18 at Three Hierarchs Church after the Divine Liturgy. The event is sponsored by the Holocaust Memorial Observance Committee, chaired by Basilios Theodosakis of Brooklyn. An estimated 3.5 million people in Asia Minor, Thrace and Pontos were killed by the Turks. For more information, contact Mr. Theodosakis as: 1104 E. 17th St., Brooklyn, NY 11230; (718) 377-4656.
Campers and staﬀ with Metropolitan Gerasimos at the Elliniko Horio-Greek Village Camp at St. Nicholas Ranch and Retreat Center. (photo by Kristen Bruskas)
learning environment, and we look forward to its continuation and expansion.” Initially offered in 2010, this year’s camp grew in popularity and numbers, with a 60 percent increase in enrollment. Parents expressed great interest following last year’s camp. This year’s successful program reaffirmed the campers’ positive experiences. Program highlights included classes in theater, music, mythology, cooking, art, Greek language, and a daily pentathlon. Every evening included roasting marshmallows, singing Greek folk songs and Greek dancing around the campfire. A special highlight included frequent visits to the Monastery of the Theotokos the Life-Giving Spring adjacent to St. Nicholas Ranch. Children assisted in the garden, collected eggs from the hen house, and learned to milk the goats. Every evening, camp staff sent an e– mail to all the parents with an update on the day’s activities to keep them informed of their child’s progress.
Functioning under the guidance and direction of the Metropolis Committee on Greek Education and Culture, the Greek Village was led by a team of highly-qualified instructors, selected from various Metropolis Greek language schools and teachers from other parts of the Archdiocese and Greece. The planning committee consisted of Chairman Theodora Kounalakis, Kleon Skourtis, Ioanna Lekakou, Christina Brati, Evangelia Koutsou, George and Bettina Kallins, David and Barbara Matty, Kostas Amberiadis, George Maroutsos, Marina Moustakas, George Vassilakis, Rula Eliopulos, and Despina Vassiliadou. The ranch and retreat center is nestled in the foothills of Sequoia National Park. Its 230 acres includes a historic barn, hiking trails, apple orchards and a lake. The camp exists through the generous support of Dr. James and Virginia Kallins, Dr. George and Bettina Kallins, and David and Barbara Kallins Matty. For pictures and video of the Greek Village Camp, visit: www.ourgreekvillage.com
JULY – AUGUST 2011
Greek America Foundation Bestows ‘Gabby’ Awards NEW YORK -- Saturday, June 4 marked the second biennial Gabby Awards, honoring “Greek America’s Best and Brightest of the Year.” The event was conceptualized by Greg Pappas, founder of the Greek America Foundation and an Archdiocesan Council member, and created by him and his team of Greek American community members, volunteers, celebrities and sponsors. The Gabby Awards, inspired by the idea of “Greek America’s Best and Brightest Stars,” are the top achievement awards for Greek Americans. They recognize the best and brightest individuals who have excelled in their respective fields and strive for excellence in all they do. Founded in 2009 to also celebrate the 15th anniversary of the launching of Greek America magazine, the Gabby Awards are decided by popular vote, thus serving as the true voice of the people. Because of the special circumstances of the 2011 Gabby Awards taking place at Ellis Island, the committee awarded two Lifetime Achievement Awards to outstanding individuals who have each left their impact on society and each of whom has a connection to the sacred location of Ellis Island: former Massachusetts governor and U.S. presidential candidate Michael Dukakis, whose mother entered Ellis Island, and internationally acclaimed artist
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JULY – AUGUST 2011
Movie Night Brings Retreat Center Closer CHICAGO -- The St. Iakovos Retreat Center continues to get closer to breaking ground for its new 35-room residence hall that will accommodate 140 guests, and serve as the home for Fanari Camp and many other programs of the Metropolis, parishes, Hellenic and other groups. Spearheaded by Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos, the Metropolis chancellor, a Midwest premier viewing of the movie The Mysteries of the Jesus Prayer drew more than 1,000 attendees at the Pickwick Theatre. The facility was donated for the event by the owners, Dino Vlahakis and David Loomos. Many viewers had the same reaction to the movie, referring to it as a “life-changing” event. The filmmaker, Dr. Norris Chumley, was present to answer questions after the movie, relating how this experience led him to embrace Orthodoxy. The event raised more than $25,000 for the retreat center. Since the Metropolitans dinner last fall, when seven $100K donors were honored, two more have stepped forward with a $100K gift towards the building of the residence hall. Harold Anagnos of Ascension of Our Lord parish in Lincolnshire, Ill., observed: “Our Greek Orthodox community is in dire need of programs and facilities that will bring our people together across our Metropolis. “The programs and opportunities to meet will explode once we have our own permanent facilities to go away for a day or a week and focus our time in true Orthodox fellowship and expand our spiritual awareness. It is another way to bring us closer to
the Lord and to each other as a community. These relationships will last a lifetime.” The second such $100K donor is the extraordinary AHEPA Chapter No. 78 in Merrillville, Ind., named AHEPA Chapter of the Year and recognized on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. In addition to financial assistance, members dedicate many volunteer hours. Organizations they have partnered with include: The Salvation Army, St. Jude House, Meals on Wheels, the American Red Cross, Veterans Life Changing Services, Boys & Girls Clubs, and rebuilding South Lake County “rehabbing” homes for needy seniors and disabled. In addition to these new $100K donors, the Novak Foundation, which has already given $130,000, voted to give the residence hall project another $70,000, bringing their total commitment to $200,000. The Novak Foundation, founded by the late Gus Novak of Sts. Constantine and Helen Church in Merrilville, continues to donate to worthy ministries. The retreat center board hopes to attract 35 $100K donors, one for each of the rooms. Donors will have naming honors for the room. At present, nine donors have stepped forward. These two new donors join the previous seven – an anonymous donor, the Sts. Peter and Paul Foundation, Glenview; Arlene Siavelis, Dr. Jeff and Stella Winternheimer, Arthur Labros, the Novak Foundation and the Spell Family Foundation, Minneapolis. More information at (312) 337-4130, 507-358-6521, email@example.com and www.metropolisretreat.org
New Greek Airline Begins Athens to New York Service by Jim Golding
NEW YORK -- A new airline has begun regular non-stop service from Athens to New York, which has been without direct service to Greece by a Greek airline since September 2010 when Olympic Airways ended flights to the U.S. Hellenic Imperial Airways has begun four-day a week service from Athens to Terminal One at Kennedy Airport and plans to add Toronto flights in the near future. The announcement was made at a June 27 press conference at the Greek Press and Communications Office of the Consulate General of Greece. Costas Mavridis, director of the airline’s Athens office, said the company will fly international routes including London, Dubai and Kuwait, but the emphasis will be on serving the U.S. market. Other locations it has been authorized to serve include Johannesburg, Beirut, Bahrain, Manila, Syria (Damascus), Romania (Bucharest), Morocco (Casablanca), Saudi Arabia (Jeddah), Switzerland (Geneva), Canada (Toronto- Montreal) and France (Lyon, Marseille).
He said the airline flies “routes not served by other Greek airlines,” and plans include adding service to China and Melbourne, Australia, by next year. Mr. Mavridis acknowledged that the airline was “starting up during difficult times in Greece,” but that he hopes to “fill the void left by Olympic in New York.” The goal is to provide daily service if there is sufficient demand. The company is privately owned. The company will fly two Airbus 340 airliners on its New York route with four 747s previously flown by Olympic as backups. Most of the pilots and crew members are former Olympic employees. Among its amenities, Hellenic Imperial will not charge for a second piece of luggage up to 45 kilos (about 50 pounds), the director said. The company began as a charter airline service in 2006 and was named “The Best European Charter Airline” in 2010. The airline plans to reach out to the Greek Orthodox communities in the U.S. with special offerings, said Fr. Nicholas Alexandris, the public relations manager, who is also a priest in the Metropolis of Toronto. For more information, visit www.hellenicairways.com
Foundation Bestows‘Gabby’Awards u u from page 18 Stephen Antonakos, who arrived on Ellis Island in 1930. There were three nominees in each category, and these include such Greek notables as Dr. Andreas Tzakis, George Behrakis, Tina Fey, Louie Psihoyos, Sen. Olympic Snowe, Arianna Huffington, Harry Markopoulos, Jamie Dimon and Ted Leonsis, and organizations such as the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and the
American Hellenic Institute. Presenters included Oscar-winning actress Olympia Dukakis, past president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Sid Ganis, and “True Blood” star Theo Alexander. Nominees are divided into nine categories: Arts, Culture & Media, Performing Arts, Science & Medicine, Business & Entrepreneurism, Politics & Public Service, Promotion of Hellenism, Philanthropy, Athletics and Education.
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Ways of the Lord
The latest book by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America includes his Keynote Addresses from his first Clergy-Laity Congress in Philadelphia in July 2000 through his address in Washington, DC in July 2008. Also included are addresses given in Athens, Greece, Cyprus, Fordham University and Brookline, MA plus others. In compiling this book Archbishop Demetrios writes in the Prologue of Ways of the Lord, “ Sharing the Gospel with those who do not know it can be at times an uncomplicated task as we know from the long history of Christianity. Frequently, however, and especially in our days, the very same task seems to require more elaborate, methodical and sophisticated approaches. The texts presented in this book constitute an humble effort to contribute to such a task, which is the sacred but also demanding work of sharing the Gospel with the people of today; hence, the subtitle of the book ‘Perspectives on Sharing the Gospel of Christ.’” To purchase your copy of “Ways of the Lord” ($24.95 per + $6 S&H)* please call 212-774-0244, or email firstname.lastname@example.org, or comple the order form below and mail it to GOTelecom, 8 East 79th Street, New York, NY 10075.
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JULY – AUGUST 2011
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O r a t o r i c a l Fe s t i v a l SENIOR DIVISION u u from page 10 or gender. Rather, he loved everyone equally as we should do as well. We should ask ourselves, how as Christians we might live our lives as our Lord taught us to do?, for in the Gospel of St. Luke, Chapter 6, Versus 27-31, Jesus tells us to love our enemies: He said, “But I say to you who hear me, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” In the past few years, bullying has become a major concern in our society, and in many cases, has gotten out of control, resulting in serious absenteeism from school, low self–esteem, depression and even suicide among students, as you have just heard me say. Phoebe Prince did not ask to be tormented or abused, nor did she retaliate; instead, she succumbed to her abusers. This story is similar to the way that Jesus was tormented and bullied on the way to His crucifixion. But our Lord demonstrated his teaching to us as He was whipped and mocked when He proclaimed to God, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” In Chapter 23, verse 34 of his Gospel, St. Luke tells us that Christ did not deserve His treatment at the hands of the Roman soldiers, yet he continued to pray for those who persecuted Him. Today, there is so much pressure among kids to be accepted by the right crowd. We ask ourselves, what should I say to be cool? How should I dress to fit in? Will anyone make fun of me or ridicule me? Recently, a good friend of mine lost his father in an unfortunate accident. Over time, his feelings of sadness turned into anger because he felt that life had been unfair to him. He began to take his frustrations out on another student by teasing him about
his physical appearance to the point that, one day, I saw tears in my classmate’s eyes. I asked my friend, “How would you like it if someone tormented you? For what reason are you trying to hurt him?” He never gave me an answer when I told him that what he was doing was wrong and, in time, not only did he stop the taunting, but now they are also friends. We must think about Christ’s crucifixion not only when Lent is upon us, but every day of our lives, for God watches over us constantly. He knows how we live our lives and how we treat others, especially the least among us. One day we will be rewarded for the good that we do on this earth. And the greatest reward, I believe, would be to have an eternal relationship with our Heavenly Father. Therefore, we must strive to be like Him- merciful, compassionate, loving and acting with kindness. Yes, living by the Golden Rule is how I want to live my life. It is what our faith teaches us. It is what our Lord has commanded us to do. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.
JUNIOR DIVISION u u from page 10 and their Church could not have been liberated without a call to arms. Many of the Saints we venerate had a military background at one point in their lives, including St. George, St. Demetrius of Thessaloniki, and others. Who among us does not know of St. Constantine the Great, who saw a cross in the sky as a sign on the way to victory? They were peacemakers by fighting evil and defending what is holy. The meaning of “peacemaker” hasn’t changed in 2,000 years. While all violent conflict is regrettable, steadfast pacifism and the refusal to resist evil can result in the oppression and death of innocent people. Many conflicts we are involved in are peacekeeping missions, and some that come to mind are the First Gulf War, and, as we speak, the conflict in Libya, where an alliance of countries is fighting to protect the innocent from the tyranny of Moammar Gadaffi. Can we hold ourselves up as peacemakers, in places like Darfur, on the basis that we have not engaged in violence, or would a true peacemaker have gotten involved to protect the weak? In our daily lives, Jesus wants us all to be peacemakers. He wants me to be an example for others to follow by being an instrument of peace among my friends at school, and at home. He calls on all of us to protect and de-
fend the rights of those in our midst who are abused and threatened, for a peacemaker’s goal must be a peace of love, a peace of the heart as our Lord instructs, and not the peace imposed by a ruthless dictator or bully. It must be the peace achieved by the protection of the weak and in the defense of the Faith. When Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers,” given the state of the world both 2,000 years ago and today, He must have meant to bless those who pursue a virtuous peace; those who resist despotism, oppression and evil, and those who protect the weak. A peacemaker needs not only inner strength and discipline, but also physical strength to pursue the righteous peace that God intends for his Creation.
PA R ISH PROFIL E
JULY – AUGUST 2011
Maine Community Rises Twice from the Ashes P A R I S H
Name: Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church Location: Portland, Maine Metropolis of Boston Size: about 250 families, Founded: 1916 (state charter received in December 1925) Clergy: Fr. Konstantinos Sarantidis (M.Div. St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Seminary ‘83) Ph.D. in clinical psychology, Boston College ‘95) E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.holytrinityportland.org Noteworthy: Many ethnic groups comprise the membership. PORTLAND, Maine – Like the Phoenix, the mythical bird that rises from its own ashes after becoming consumed by flames, this parish in Maine’s largest city has suffered two devastating fires in its history only to rejuvenate itself at the same downtown location each time. In April 1935, and again in 1957, fire destroyed a substantial part of the interior of the building, including the iconostasion. Yet the parishioners would not consider relocating, being very attached to the site because of its historic significance and location. “This community is very reluctant to leave this building, said Fr. Sarantidis, who has served the parish since 1988 and is its longest-serving priest. “It is actually a very, very fine building.” The brick edifice, built by the Methodists in 1828, is the second-oldest church in Portland. Its architecture is Federal style, a form popular in the early 19th century. From 1889-1923, the Presbyterians occupied it until they merged with another congregation. A denomination known as “The Original Church of God” then used the building for revival meetings until Holy Trinity acquired the building from the First Presbyterian Society of Portland for $20,000 in March 1926. The first service took place on Palm Sunday of that year. Along with the building came a historic tie to Paul Revere. The church then had a spire with a 1,896-pound bell of mostly copper (with some lead, zinc, silver and nickel) at the top. The bell was cast in 1827 by Revere Boston, a successful foundry (which also produced cannons) established by Paul Revere (also a noted silversmith) and then operated by his sons. The bell originally sold for $663.60 and fewer than 150 remain. The steeple was torn down in the 1970s due to disrepair, but the bell is still on display in the vestibule. First immigrants While there was no single region of Greece from where most of the founders originated, some came from Arcadia in the Peloponnesos and others from Dadi, a village in the foothills of Mount Parnassos in Central Greece. Unlike their fellow immigrants who came to New England in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to work in the textile mills, shoe factories and other
A second trial by fire Under Fr. George Venetos, the second-longest serving priest (195771), the parish recovered from its second fire and also commemorated its 40th anniversary with Archbishop Iakovos participating.The second fire was caused by faulty wiring and was described in the parish history as “like a bad dream that repeats itself.” The interior features again were ruined, but within a year, the church was again restored. Fr. Sarantides noted that, for many parishioners from that era, “Fr. Venetos is the most loved and best remembered. He made a huge impact on this community.” Fr. James Rousakis arrived at Holy Trinity in 1973 and the first indoor bazaar was established, which HOLY TRINITY GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH evolved into the manufacturing plants, Greeks settling outdoor “Greek Heritage Festival” that in Portland established small businesses is one of the most well-attended events including candy stores, fruit stores and in the city. Fr. Rousakis also made the Christmas variety stores. “Portland was not a milltown,” said concerts into “colorful productions,” the Fr. Sarantidis. The city’s status as a port parish history noted, and he established and shipbuilding area may also have amateur stage productions and a Junior GOYA chapter. Presbytera Rousakis orgaserved as an attraction. nized the youth choir. The parish’s 50th anniversary celCommunity beginnings According to a parish history, several ebration also took place, again with ArchGreeks had settled in Portland by 1916 bishop Iakovos in attendance. Fr. Maximos Moses arrived in 1997 and arranged for visiting priests to hold services in a public hall and, later, in a and became known for his active nursing chapel and hall provided by St. Luke’s home and hospital visitation ministry. In 1980, Fr. Prokopios Nikas, the next Episcopal Church. The first permanent priest, Archiman- priest, began a new phase of a renovation drite Modestos Stavrides, held regular project involving major interior improvements.Fr. Petros Kopsahilis was assigned services beginning in 1922. The church’s original iconostasion to Holy Trinity in 1985. Under his tenure, was built in Greece with monks on Mount the parish adopted the stewardship proAthos producing the icons. All the iconog- gram and he initiated religious education raphy and other interior features were classes. destroyed in the 1935 blaze that started The contemporary community from oily rags in the basement. The parish Fr. Sarantides was assigned to the again worshiped at the Episcopal church chapel until Holy Trinity was restored by Portland parish in 1998 after serving as assistant priest at St. Andrew Church in the end of the year. Also during this period, the AHEPA Chicago. Born in Greece, he was raised chapter and church choir were organized. in Canada from a young age. The community’s character has transOver the years, a succession of priests from Greece and Constantinople served formed over the decades from that of a Greek immigrant church to one that is the parish. One priest was from Mytilene and, multi-ethnic Orthodox. “In addition to the core Greek-Amerironically, though there is no connection to him, Mytilene is one of Portland’s four ican population, our largest populations sister cities resulting from the efforts of a are from Ethiopia and Eritrea in Africa, University of South Maine faculty member and Albania; with smaller populations from other East European countries, such of non-Greek background. In 1944, Fr. Emmanuel Bouyoukas, as Rumania, Bulgaria, Ukraine and Russia; one of the early graduates of Holy Cross as well as people with Middle Eastern Seminary, then located in Pomfret, Conn., backgrounds, including Armenia,” Fr. was assigned to Holy Trinity and served Sarantides said. He characterizes his service to the five years. At the same time the parish purchased a house next to the church and parish as “a very good ministry. My own converted the first floor into office space emphasis has been on teaching, preaching and a meeting hall. The second floor was and improving the liturgical and sacramental life of church. It is very progresthe priest’s residence. A few years later, classrooms, a library sive liturgically.” Catechism classes are held periodically for people who wish to and reception room were added.
embrace the Orthodox faith. “We’re doing our best to help the faithful understand what it means to be Orthodox Christian in today’s world,” he continued. “Attendance is very good on Sunday for a parish our size and, generally, the community is doing very, very well. It’s full of life. We’re definitely not a dying parish. Since coming to Portland, he has instituted a lending library, a vacation Bible camp and the parish website, among other programs. Emphasis on youth The Sunday school and Greek school each have about 40 students. “There is a strong spirit of outreach, not only among the adults but increasingly among the youth of our parish,” Fr. Sarantides said. He has placed a renewed focus on youth ministry and is in the process of forming an active youth choir. “They are learning the liturgy and participating in the liturgy,” he said. “Teens are becoming more involved in church because of the choir and new emphasis.” The priest holds a discussion class every Tuesday night that considers topics from the Bible, theology, and other interests, along with lectures and retreats. “Our Philoptochos is very active and has received a new burst of energy and increased membership under its new leadership,” he noted. As part of its outreach the church hosts visiting groups from schools, nonOrthodox churches and other organizations throughout the year. “Because we are located at the heart of Portland’s historic district, we are part of many walking tours of the city,” Fr. Sarantidis said. “Visitors are amazed to find such a jewel of ancient Christianity inside one of Portland’s oldest public buildings.” Though the church is in the heart of the downtown area, it serves a wide area. Fr. Sarantidis estimates that many members live within a 50-mile radius west and north of Portland, which has a population approaching 70,000. As noted earlier, parishioners are content with their location. “There’s very little interest in moving,” said the priest. “Portland is a very nice city and we enjoy being in the downtown area,” he said. The possibility of building a new church in a new location had been discussed a number of times over the years, he explained, “But each time the overwhelming decision has been to stay where we are. We stubbornly wish to remain part of Portland’s lively downtown and historic district. Escape to the suburbs is not something the members of Holy Trinity have been tempted by. They prefer to experience their faith, traditions and increasing diversity in an urban environment where Christianity has always flourished.” On the downside, parking is limited and the church is hemmed in by large apartment buildings and tall trees. Parishioners work in a diverse range of businesses and occupations. They include the owners of the local daily newspaper, the Portland Press-Herald, a recently retired U.S. Navy captain, attorneys, educators, physicians and business people. Most of the parish’s revenue is derived from stewardship, with the heritage festival also contributing substantially to the community’s income.A new renovation program was initiated in 2000, with the installation of new iconography and many other improvements. —Compiled by Jim Golding
Goyans from 17 New Jersey parishes attend the opening ceremonies of the Metropolis Olympics.
JULY – AUGUST 2011
Photos by Kostas Lymperopoulos
Metropolis of New Jersey Holds Successful 42nd GOYA Olympics by George Tomczewski
WESTFIELD, N.J. – The Metropolis of New Jersey’s 42nd annual GOYA Olympics took place May 28-29, under the auspices of Metropolitan Evangelos on the campus of Monmouth University in West Long Branch. More than 460 GOYA athletes
Winning gold – Magdalini Kostidakis of St. George Church in Asbury Park heads for a first–place finish enabling her girls relay team to win a gold medal.
from 17 parishes gathered together under perfect skies for fellowship and friendly athletic competition. The GOYA Olympics began on Saturday morning, May 28. After checking into the dorms, the athletes, coaches, advisors and parents gathered on Kessler Field for the invocation to officially begin the 2011 Olympics. Throughout the day on Saturday the young athletes competed in various track and field events, swimming, and a co–ed volleyball tournament. After the events had ended for the day the athletes gathered together for a dinner dance, where the Goyans participated in a fun night of fellowship with one another. On Sunday, May 29, the participants and parishioners from St. George Church in Asbury Park, attended the Divine Liturgy in Pollack Theater on the Monmouth University campus. The Liturgy was celebrated by the Rev. Andrew Eugenis, proistamenos of St. George Church in Asbury Park. After the Divine Liturgy, the Olympiad then moved back to Kessler Field, where the day continued with the traditional opening ceremonies, which included the Parade of Churches, the Olympic Torch Run, the American and Greek National Anthems and the greetings from Mr. and Miss GOYA.
The GOYA team from St. Athanasius parish in Paramus.
Parents and relatives of the athletes enjoyed the finals of the running events as well as all of the field events, including long jump, and the 5k race throughout the beautiful campus of Monmouth. The 6th annual Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey Joy Run attracted over 60 young athletes ages 10 and 11 running a 100–meter dash. This event gave our JOY-aged children a taste of the excitement that awaits them upon entering GOYA and participating fully in the Olympics and other GOYA events. Each of the JOY children were presented with a gold medal, wishing them the best as they grow in their faith and
friendship with their peers, encouraging them to be athletes for Christ. The 2011 GOMNJ GOYA Olympics concluded with the Father Dean Martin Memorial Award ceremony in which gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded to individuals as well as teams. The athletes departed from the field with fond memories of the event and friendships that will continue on throughout the years to come. GOMNJ 2011 GOYA Olympics Participating New Jersey parishes: St. George, Asbury Park; St. George, Clifton; St. Thomas, Cherry Hill; Ascension, Fairview; St. Anna, Flemington; Kimisis Tis Theotokou, Holmdel; Sts. Nicholas, Constantine and Helen; Orange; St.. Athanasios, Paramus; St. Demetrios, Perth Amboy; St. George, Piscataway; St. Andrew, Randolph; St. John the Theologian, Tenafly; St. Barbara, Toms River; St. George, Trenton; St. Demetrios, Union; Holy Trinity, (Above) Constantine Kazameas of St. Andrew parish in Randolph displays his Westfield; and powerful butterfly stroke during the swimming competition. (Left) Members of St. Nicholas, St. George Church’s GOYA of Piscataway. Wyckoff.
JULY – AUGUST 2011
Memories of a Pilgrimage to ‘Byzantium’ by Marika Pappas
In late 2009, I, along with 12 million other Americans watched Ecumenical Bartholomew speak on 60 Minutes about the religious persecution of Christians in Turkey. He spoke of the recent sufferings the Church has endured, including the closure of the Halki Seminary and the government’s refusal to allow nonTurkish citizens to become candidates for Ecumenical Patriarch. There began my intrigue with this land of Christian persecution, felt today, nearly two thousand years after Christianity first spread to the region. From May 27 to June 5, 21 Greek Orthodox faithful went on the National Young Adult Pilgrimage to Constantinople, Cappadocia, and Smyrna, led by Bishop Savas of Troas and Fr. Bill Gikas. We were quickly immersed in our Turkish surroundings, landing in Constantinople early Saturday morning and driving to the Yedikule Fortress to orient ourselves with the immense city. All around us were layers of history, with each piece of architecture and each layer of the city telling a story of those that conquered, lived, and perhaps perished on the land we were standing on. At our next stop, the Zoodochos Pigi Church at the Balukli Monastery, we honored the graves of the fallen patriarchs in a peaceful cemetery. As I look back at our group singing “Christos Anesti” in the church, I realize that Turkey would not be remembered solely as a place of suffering, but more importantly as a place of the resurrection, of miracles, and of hope. The next day, on the anniversary of the Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire nearly 560 years ago, we attended liturgy at the Holy Trinity Church in Taksim Square. The foreign city was still bustling on a Sunday, but once inside of the security gates at the church, I was home. It never ceases to amaze me that I could be 6,000 miles from home but still feel the comfort of Christ inside of the church. We made our way to the Church of Chora, named for its location just outside of the old city walls where those from the countryside would come to worship in the early 5th century. The most moving piece of iconography was the depiction of Christ with the words “The Land of the Living,” where once again we would feel the grace of the resurrection and life in Christ, even in what is today considered a museum. Our next stop for the day took us to Aghia Sophia, the Church of the Holy Wisdom, the highlight of the Constantinople skyline and the largest cathedral in the world for a thousand years. Visiting on the day that the city fell to the Ottoman empire and imagining the horrors that took place for three days as Sultan Mehmet’s troops pillaged the city was a difficult experience. The beauty of God’s house and knowing that the priests continued to perform the liturgy until they were stopped by the invaders gave us hope that while the church was taken and we were unable to do our cross or say a prayer while inside, our faith was not. “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” (Matthew 18:20) We ended our day with a brief visit to the Blue Mosque and the remaining pieces of the Hippodrome, both located a short walk from Aghia Sophia. On Monday, we were able to visit the famed Grand Bazaar, a whirling maze of trinkets, tea, and trading. Afterwards, we were blessed to have an audience with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at
The young adult group with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Bishop Savas and Fr. Gikas.
the Phanar. It was a surreal experience to walk in from the poor streets of Constantinople with the sounds of daily prayer ringing out and into the serene area of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. During our visit, Deacon Nephon Tsimalis gave us a tour of the Church of St. George, including the recently returned relics of St. John Chrysostom and St. Gregory the Theologian. Bishop Savas took the time to learn each of our occupations and an interesting fact to introduce each of us to the Ecumenical Patriarch. In turn, we heard about the struggles of the Church in Constantinople and around the world, and were given words of wisdom around “being the present and the future” of the Church and being ambassadors of Orthodox Christianity wherever we are. Our final visit for the day was at the Church of Vlaherna, which venerates the Virgin Mary. While a simple church, this was the site where the emperor’s son in 629 A.D. sang “Ti Epermaho” with the other parishioners in an all-night vigil as the city was invaded by the Avars. Needless to say, Constantinople was saved. Our group felt it would be moving to also sing the hymn while we were there, to pray for the city of Constantinople today and her challenges. That evening we took a one-hour flight to Kayseri, the main city in the Cappadocia region of the country where we would spend the next two days visiting the ancient cities of the first Christians in this region, and Greek villages abandoned since the early 20th century. On Tuesday, we spent the day exploring the Göreme National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where the earliest Christians built nearly 30 churches from the 9th century in hidden caves. Most amazing to me was the pristine condition most of the icons were still in today and how consistent they were with the iconography from the parishes I’ve attended. I was completely moved by the consistency and tradition that the Orthodox Church has upheld for over 2,000 years. Not only was my faith reaffirmed, but my desire to ensure that future generations could experience the faith increased as well. Some of the group finished the day by attending a “Whirling Dervish Ceremony.” This was an interesting opportunity to watch the Mevlevi Order (an order of Sufi Muslims) perform a symbolic routine known as the Sema. During this whirling dance, the dervishes enter a trance-like meditation in order to reach religious fervor. On our final day in Cappadocia, we
tested our enclosed spaces’ tolerance by visiting the one of the famous underground cities of Kaymakli. Amazingly, the entire group was able to make it through the seven levels of this intricate ancient city, where communities hid from conquering groups. We also visited several old Greek villages that have since been abandoned during the removal of the Greek population in the early 20th century. It was particularly close to heart for me as my paternal grandmother’s family hailed from this region. I could imagine what a beautiful life they may have had prior to escaping to the United States. Our final destination, Smyrna, was just an hour–long flight westward toward the Mediterranean Sea. We arrived early Thursday morning and briefly toured the city before having some time to ourselves. The city was surprisingly new, with most of the buildings constructed in the 1950s and 1960s. It lacked a certain sense of character and soul, as Bishop Savas remarked, most likely due to the unfortunate fires and destruction of the city by the Turks in 1922, as the Greek population was forced to leave the country. Many of us explored the city, caught up on our journals, and enjoyed chatting over dinner at the hotel. Friday brought a road trip to the ancient city of Ephesus, originally built in the 10th century B.C. as an Ionian colony,
and was transformed into a Christian settlement in 395 A.D. As one who has been to numerous Greek ruins, this area was awe-inspiring! From air conditioning, to public restrooms, to a massive library, Ephesus was clearly a powerful and well-planned city beyond its time. We also visited the home of the Virgin Mary, where she was brought for protective reasons after Christ’s death and resurrection. Her simple home was just a short distance from the bustling city of Ephesus, but clearly a tranquil retreat for the Theotokos. Our final day in Turkey was a day of rest. A 90–minute bus ride brought us to the beach city of Cesme. It was enjoyable to spend our final day in such beautiful scenery with our new life–long friends. While Turkey may not be the most hospitable place for Orthodox Christians, this pilgrimage induced a sense of hope and strength for our faith in the future. The situation our faithful and the Ecumenical Patriarchate must endure today is just another layer of history in this holy area that will hopefully be restored to its rightful position in God’s glory in the near future. As humble as the Church has been made by Ottoman and Turkish authorities over the past 600 years, faith still exists and thrives among these weeds. I began my journey fearing for the continuation of the Church in its birthplace of Constantinople, but left believing in the words Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew said in his response to Charlie Rose’s question about him worrying for the future of the Church, “Not really. We’ve survived. We do believe in miracles. We prefer to stay here, crucified sometimes because in the Gospel it was written and that was given to us, not only to believe in Christ, but also to suffer for Christ.” Suffering, unfortunately, is something that the Church here in Constantinople knows all too well. But, with suffering and crucifixion comes the resurrection. And with that, the group sang our final “Xristos Anesti–Christ is Risen.” Marika Pappas lives in Chicago where she works as a treasury manager for an independent consulting firm. A native of Littleton, Colo., Marika graduated with her BSBA and International MBA from the University of Denver in 2008.
Visiting the ruins of ancient Ephesus.
JULY – AUGUST 2011
‘hellenicare’ Programs in Armenia Celebrate 10th Anniversary CHICAGO – “hellenicare,” the international medical and humanitarian relief organization founded by Andrew A. Athens during his tenure as President of the World Council of Hellenes (SAE), celebrated the 10th Anniversary of its medical and humanitarian programs in Alaverdi, Armenia with the opening of the newly renovated, medical center on May 4, 2011. In 2001, hellenicare expanded its mission of alleviating poverty and oppression by establishing a medical clinic in Alaverdi. Nurses’ and medical mobile unit programs were created in 2002 to serve residents of rural, remote villages. hellenicare also provides humanitarian assistance in the form of medicines, medical supplies and other aid. With the support of the U.S. Department of State – Office of Humanitarian Assistance and the City Council of Alaverdi, hellenicare was able to renovate and have free use of a building in the center of town. “This is an important milestone in hellenicare’s history,” said Andrew A. Athens, president and founder. “Today, we realize the dream of having our own building in which to expand the medical care we offer the residents of Alaverdi. We express our heartfelt gratitude to Gerald J. Oberndorfer for his tremendous efforts to make this dream a reality for hellenicare. His commitment, dedication and leadership as director of the Office of Humanitarian Assistance of the U. S. Department
of State are commendable and will leave a lasting impression of America’s goodwill,” continued Mr. Athens. The May celebration was also attended by Armenian government and local community officials, including the governor of the Lori Marz region where hellenicare’s mobile medical unit serves 15 villages, consisting of more than 5,000 people. Alaverdi’s mayor, A. L. Nalbandyan, presented Mr. Athens with the key to the city making him an “Honorary Citizens of Alaverdi.” Mayor Nalbandyan also expressed his appreciation to Dr. Simon Zakharov and the medical staff of hellenicare for helping the citizens of Alaverdi. The celebration continued with the children from the schools in Ahktala and Ayrum, Armenia reciting words of thanks. hellenicare has conducted small reconstruction programs at each of the schools. Mayors of all the local villages expressed appreciation for hellenicare’s programs and for the help they give their residents. The President of the Hellenic Federation expressed his gratitude that hellenicare began this clinic in 2001, saying that it is “an organization that represents the best of Hellenism in Armenia.” For more information on supporting hellenicare, contact Cynthia A. Yannias, program director at 312-775-9000 or visit our web site at www.hellenicare.org
IOCC Director Encourages Young Greek Farmers BALTIMORE -- Almost four years since wildfires devastated much of southern Greece, young Greek farmers committed to restoring their land received words of encouragement last week from visiting International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) Executive Director, Constantine Triantafilou. More than 200 Greek farmers and family members from the Prefecture of Ileia gathered in the courtyard of the local farming resource center to hear Triantafilou praise their ongoing efforts to restore farms and revive agricultural activity following the 2007 wildfires that devastated Greece. The IOCC director also delivered welcome financial support for the 193 young Greek farming families as part of a long-term recovery program generously funded by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
Illinois School Holds Graduation PALOS HILLS, Ill. – On Thursday, June 9th, Commencement Exercises took place for the 95th Class of graduates from Koraes Elementary School. Koraes is the day school operated by the Greek Orthodox Parish of Saints Constantine and Helen in Palos Hills. This celebration included the presence of Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago, parish priests Frs. Nicholas Jonas, Byron Papanikolaou and Tom De Medeiros. Speeches were heard from the Valedictorian Nikolaos Atkinson and the Salutatorian Paul Davenport. The Keynote address was given by recent Koraes Graduate Dr. Lee Koliopoulos inspiring the bright future that the graduates seek ahead. Graduating students were: Nikolaos Atkinson, Evan Baniewicz, Paul Davenport, James Karitsiotis, Jacqueline Loupakos, Athanasios Makris, Dimitrios Pettas, Andonia Marie Subsits and Evangelos Vouris.
Farmers up to age 40 received direct financial assistance in order to purchase seed and equipment, invest in modern facilities and techniques, and to sustain their families while they toiled to make their farms fertile again. IOCC program consultant, Despina Katsivelaki, says the boost of support could not have come at a better time as Greece struggles to save its economy. “It has been proven again and again that a helping hand not only provides temporary relief but, most importantly, raises the morale of those who are ready to quit trying.” The massive wildfires that swept through southern Greece in 2007 left more than 667,000 acres of farmland, homes and protected forests in ashes. The Prefecture of Ileia was hardest hit, with 44 people killed and large numbers of animals and farms destroyed. The wildfires made already difficult agricultural conditions even worse. Coupled with the economic crisis in Greece, many people, especially young farmers with families, were forced to leave the area to find alternative sources of income. Through the support of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and the Pancretan Association of America, IOCC also constructed the Peloponnese’s first soil laboratory to help farmers analyze the condition of their soil and water in order to determine what crops to cultivate and what kinds of fertilizers to use. Katsivelaki says these measures over the past three years have helped preserve the future of family farms in Greece. “It is critical to keep young people involved in agriculture and livestock farming,” stated Katsivelaki. “The aid to the neediest young farmers came at the right time, allowing them to catch their breath and giving them a boost for continuing their farm business. It will help them to cover the basic and most urgent needs of their families while the free soil tests enable them determine best cultivation practices.”
Members of the Metropolis Church Music Federation with Metropolitan Gerasimos at the Annunciation Cathedral in San Francisco, CA.
West Coast Church Musicians Gather for Educational Weekend SAN FRANCISCO – The Metropolis of San Francisco Church Music Federation met at the Annunciation Cathedral for its “Summer Church Music Forum by the Bay,” June 17-18. This year’s gathering took a different approach and created a more interactive and educational format for the conference instead of focusing on learning a large choral arrangement of the Divine Liturgy. Metropolitan Gerasimos challenged the Federation earlier this year to embrace a broader focus and vision for this important ministry, and encouraged a stronger educational component. The weekend began with a business meeting of delegates from parishes throughout the Metropolis. Among the items discussed at the meeting were: the establishment of a youth music director position for the Metropolis, upcoming regional Church Music Institutes being held in the fall of 2011, and the recently launched Federation website: http:// sanfran.churchmusic.goarch.org. The Federation re-elected their current slate of officers for another two-year term beginning in August: Kathy Meck, president; Liz Levy, vice president, Daralyne Baddour, treasurer and Athena Anastos, secretary. Saturday was a full day of presenta-
tions and workshops including: “Orthodox Cultural Literacy – It’s not just for breakfast anymore,” led by Fr. Aris Metrakos (Holy Trinity, San Francisco), and “The Role of Fine Arts in Orthodox Church Worship and The Development of Byzantine Music Across the Centuries,” presented by Dr. Theodore Bogdanos. A special session presenting new music was led by Dr. Tikey Zes assisted by various choir directors from throughout the Metropolis. Following lunch, Laura Kakis Serper, choir director at Ascension Cathedral in Oakland, gave a presentation on getting children involved in church music. She brought along several members of her professional youth choir, “Kairos,” who are preparing for an overseas tour, to demonstrate various techniques for working with young children and their developing voices. The final presentation for the day was offered by Raganr Bohlin, the San Francisco Symphony Chorus director. Using music by Bach, Rachmaninoff, Bogdanos and Zes, Mr. Bohlin brought forth a richer and more resonant sound, emphasized musical phrasing and dynamics, as well as proper vocal production, breath support, and attentiveness as singers.
Feeding the hungry St. George Cathedral Goyans in Hartford, Conn., recently volunteered at the FoodShare warehouse in Hartford’s Regional Market sorting and bagging over 4100 tons of oranges. FoodShare serves as a food bank receiving donated produce from wholesalers and farmers that would otherwise go to waste. Volunteers sort and pack the fruits and vegetables which are then delivered by FoodShare to community programs throughout Connecticut. One in seven families in greater Hartford battles hunger and FoodShare helps by distributing 16 tons of food each day, about two meals per day for each hungry person. GOYA volunteers included Ianni Mantziaris, Jamie O’Flarity, Elias Kapetanopoulos, Theone Kardos, Jordan Augustinos, Nefeli Makris, Eﬃe Makris, Maria Zugravu, George Zugravu, and Alex Andrews.
JULY – AUGUST 2011
The Bible: Our Basic Instructions before Leaving Earth by Eva Kokinos
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” – Psalm 118:105 If we want to do something right and in the most efficient way, it is so very important to make sure we have the best instructions. Think of all the things that come with instructions. Before you assemble a bookshelf, you have to read the instructions to understand the parts and tools. When you are traveling to a new destination, you will follow directions or your GPS so you can avoid getting lost and delaying your travel. So when we are navigating our path in life, are we using the most valuable instructions at our fingertips? Burlap to Cashmere, a contemporary Christian musical group, wrote a song titled “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth.” This is a fitting title for the Holy Scriptures. We understand that the Bible gives us the Word of God, the Good News of the Gospel, and much more. But the Holy Scriptures also offer us the best “directions” on how to build a strong Christian life and character. It is the ideal road map so that we can arrive at the ultimate destination… salvation. Here are some of the instructions you can find in the Holy Bible about loving God, loving each other, and much more: ON THE VALUE OF HONESTY: Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment. – Proverbs 12:19 ON USING YOUR TALENTS: “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to
THE PLANNER 2011-2012 Is Now Available Use The Planner to keep track of all your schedules. Keep a daily focus on Christ with Scriptural readings, fast days, prayers, saints of the day, and inspiration from the Fathers. The Planner follows the ecclesiastical (Church) year beginning in September and ending in August. Spiral-bound planners are currently available. Copies may be ordered through the Orthodox Marketplace (www.orthodoxmarketplace.com). A digital version of The Planner will be available in August. Visit www.goarch.org/archdiocese/departments/youth/planner for more information and to check about availability of the digital version.
everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” – Matthew 5:14-17 ON AVOIDING TEMPTATION: “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” – Galatians 5:16 ON FORGIVENESS: Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” – Matthew 18:21-22 ON SERVING OTHERS: “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” – 1 Peter 4:10 ON HAVING COMPASSION: “Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.” Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, “Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?” And the King will answer and say to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.” – Matthew 25:34-41 ON HAVING PATIENCE: The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride. – Ecclesiastes 7:8
ON PURITY: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” – Matthew 5:8 ON FRIENDSHIP: “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.” – John 15:12-14 Eva Kokinos serves as the director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries for the Metropolis of Detroit. She received her Masters of Theological Studies from Holy Cross School of Theology in 2003. To contact Eva, e-mail her at youth@detroit. goarch.org.
The Feast of the Transfiguration Anthony Coniaris, in the book Daily Vitamins for Spiritual Growth, wrote the following about the Feast of the Transfiguration: Jesus was transfigured before Peter, James and John as the glory of His divinity flashed through His body and His clothing. This glory was always with Jesus. The wonder of it was that it was repressed. Jesus did not add anything to his nature at the Transfiguration that He did not always possess. He merely revealed Who He already was. He was always divine and at the Transfiguration His divine glory was revealed. It flashed through His physical body. Jesus Christ was transfigured and it revealed that which He already possessed… the glory that was within Him. When God created man, He took special care to create mankind in His image. We might feel pressure to conform and be like the crowd. But truly living a Christ–centered life can free us from those pressures and help us transform into the best Christians we can be. Our own personal transfiguration will simply reveal what God bestowed upon us from the beginning. Here are some questions to ponder: • Is the image I portray to others who I really am? • Is the image I portray to others who God really wants me to be? • In what ways can I transform to show that I am created in the image of God? • What things make it difficult for me to really transform into a strong Christian? • If I change in positive ways, how will that change or affect the people around me? To learn more about the Transfiguration, visit www.goarch.org/special/ listen_learn_share/transfiguration
FYI • Kids Helping Kids
FOR YOUTH WORKERS AND PARENTS
also gave birth to an idea for cultivating youth leadership. Thus, the non-profit organization “Kids Helping Kids” was founded. Through fundraising for causes around the world, the Kids Helping Kids Leadership Academy teaches young people about the importance of kindness, helping others, and commitment. No matter how small you think your efforts are, they might mean the world to those who you can help. You might decide to offer some of your allowance to a local food bank. You might choose a toy to donate to Toys for Tots instead of choosing something for yourself. Youth groups can also make a big difference. Instead of raising money for a trip to an amusement park or bowling, think about raising money for a local charity or for a needy family. For more information about Kids Helping Kids, visit: www.kidzhelpingkids.org/.
• Sign up for the YOUTH WORKER PULSE! This is the weekly listserv of the Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries. Subscribers will receive valuable tips, tools, and resources for creating a successful and transformative youth ministry experience. Sign up at www.youth.goarch.org. • Are you on FACEBOOK? If you are a member of Facebook, you can visit us on our GOYA and Young Adult Ministries fan pages. These fan pages have information about GOYA and Young Adult Ministries events from throughout the Archdiocese. Also, fans are connecting and talking about different issues regarding faith and life! Just search for GOYA – Greek Orthodox Youth of America or Greek Orthodox National Young Adult Ministries and become a fan. • THE LADDER is the official blog of the Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries. You can find helpful short articles and reflections about a variety of topics. You can also enjoy special features, such as our “Into the Desert 40–Lenten Challenge” and the “Young Adult Pilgrimage travel blog.”
“Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” – 1 Timothy 4:12 Sometimes, the smallest act of kindness can inspire the masses to accomplish the extraordinary. That is true for one young man and his idea to help other young people in need. In 2007, 10-year-old Tyler Page was inspired to try to help young people in Ghana who were victims of child trafficking by their own parents. He decided to try to raise $240, which was enough to save one child for a year from this tragic reality. That one act of kindness began a worthwhile mission and a non-profit organization. By simply organizing car washes and setting up lemonade stands, Tyler’s fundraising efforts quickly grew from his original $240. Instead, he ended up raising $50,000 in 17 months. This success
JULY – AUGUST 2011
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JULY – AUGUST 2011
Planting Seeds of Stillness by Christiana Dorrance
The priest raises the gifts, asking the Holy Spirit to descend and consecrate the bread and wine into Christ’s own Body and Blood; the melodic voice of the chanter sings. The importance and sacredness of this moment in the Divine Liturgy fills the church. Suddenly, a little voice shrieks, “Mommy, when is this going to be OVER? How much LONGER until Communion?” The child’s mother is mortified as heads turn and disapproving eyes direct their gaze on the little girl. The mother’s face turns crimson, and she swiftly grabs her child’s hand, her infant, and the diaper bag, and, muttering excuses, she squeezes her way out of the pew, into the aisle, and dashes for the narthex. My poor mother! This scene was repeated again and again, Sunday after Sunday, child after child, but she never gave up on bringing her children to church. People often asked her, “Presbytera, why bring the children to church? It’s so long, and they’re so little. They don’t even understand what’s going on.” Yet my mom continued to bring us–not just on Sundays, but also for Vespers and other weekday services.
RESOURCES FOR FAMILIES “Mission Possible: Orthodox Parenting Today” – An Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) podcast by Ginny Nieuwsma. Her prayer is that this podcast will bring hope, spiritual wisdom, and practical help, to moms and dads dealing with the same pressures and concerns she too faces, every day. Visit www.myocn.net Close to Home: One Orthodox Mother’s Quest for Patience, Peace, and Perseverance – by Molly Sabourin. This is a book for every young mother who’s ever wished children came with an instruction manual, and wondered why “happily ever after” takes so much work. With courage, humor, and unflinching honesty, Molly Sabourin offers not answers or solutions, but a new perspective, a pat on the shoulder, a reassuring “I’ve been there too, and there is hope.” Published by Conciliar Press. The Bible for Young People – by Zoe Kanavas. This beautifully illustrated volume contains 162 pages of stories for young readers from both the Old and the New Testaments. The stories, theologically Orthodox, are written in a unique style that will capture your child’s interest. For grades Kindergarten and up. Available from the Department of Religious Education.
To many outside of the Church, Orthodox worship is foreign. It does not compliment popular culture, but rather endeavors to participate in the unchanging heavenly worship. In fact, the Orthodox Church cannot fundamentally change its worship without fundamentally changing what it believes. We live in a society that devalues quiet and discipline, and goes against the path of salvation; however, Orthodox Christian worship can become for us a safe haven of stability and sanity in a turbulent and confused world. When children are brought to church, they learn to cultivate inner stillness and self-control, and are given the tools necessary for salvation. We live in an age of sensory overload. Children in today’s society are frequently bombarded by noises and images. As more technology becomes available to children at a continually younger age, their minds and hearts become less filled with innocence and purity, and more filled with worldly distractions. It is in church that we are challenged to practice stillness, prayer, and attentiveness to the things of God. Even the pace and rhythm of Orthodox worship require us to slow down; such worship stands in stark contrast to the harried pace of our everyday lives. This quietness must be acquired and cultivated, taught and experienced. In church, I was taught that only by being still could I hear the voice of God; I learned that I was not going to be entertained just because I was bored. In a world where we are afraid to be without some measure of stimulus, and where boredom is avoided at all costs, attending Orthodox worship helps children and adults alike to empty their hearts and minds of all unnecessary noise by being present in the moment and accepting the Church’s invitation to participate in the good news of salvation. Self-control is often frowned upon in today’s society. Exercising the ability to be or do whatever a person wants is seen as the way to live. It is in church that children are taught not only how to exercise discipline, but also why it is important. In the first few years of life, children are testing how far they can push not only their parents, but also the society in which they live. Therefore, children will push to the left to see where the boundary is on that side, and also to the right, the top, and the bottom, until they have come to an understanding of what their limits are. As children, pre-teens, and teenagers, they will continue pushing those boundaries, seeing if they can push just a little farther. These boundaries need to be maintained through the guidance of parents. The world tells us that self-control stifles a person, and yet the Church tells us that it is only in the implementation of self-control that a person can truly be free. In church, children are taught to make the sign of the cross in a certain way, to sit, stand, kneel, and bow at the appropriate times, and to use their bodies and voices in a way that pleases Christ. It is the parents’ role to put Christ first and to model Christ-pleasing behavior in all that they do,
stillness, self-control, and knowledge of the path to salvation have been planted in our hearts, and as we grow and mature more fully with the guidance of the Church, I pray that those seeds begin to bear fruit.
including consistently taking their children to attend worship. If a parent models this, a child will, in almost all cases, grow to take ownership of his or her own faith, and to use the Church as a means of salvation. Satan tries, with all his might, to keep us distracted and overly busy, but Christ teaches that the only way to have communion with Him is to practice stillness, watchfulness over our thoughts, and self-control. It is in the Church, through participation in the sacraments and through worship, that we fully experience Christ. The world will not lead us to salvation, but to separation from God. It is in the Church that everything necessary for salvation is found. Through heavenly worship we partake of Christ’s own Body and Blood, and therefore most tangibly receive God’s grace. We do not give children the option to go to school, because it is in school that they learn valuable lessons in order to be members of this temporal society. It is imperative, therefore, for them to attend divine services, which instruct them in the ways of salvation, so that they can become members of the eternal kingdom of heaven. Imagine someone who has poor health but for years and years resists getting help from a doctor. One day, the person’s health gets so bad that he or she finally realizes his or her need to see a doctor. The doctor, in turn, prescribes painful therapy, a strict diet, and bitter-tasting medicine, while telling the patient that it is going to take a great deal of perseverance before he or she is healed. What a difficult road for the person who put off going to the physician! But children raised in the Church are like persons who check in with the doctor regularly. Their road is not so difficult, and if a problem arises, the doctor catches it early, and the patient is restored to health. There is no doubt that my mom struggled greatly in bringing her children to church. There were tears and frustrations, and probably moments when she questioned the importance of her effort. Yet all four of her children are thankful for her perseverance. I cannot imagine my life outside of the Church. I have many struggles and temptations, and my greatest sense of comfort and reality is found within the Church. I am convinced that it is only through my mom’s strength in bringing us to Church, and through the prayers of both of my parents, that my siblings and I are able to more easily navigate our way in a society that has seemingly forgotten God. Through my mom’s insistence that we attend liturgical services, little seeds of
Christiana Dorrance is a resident of Portland, Oregon, where she lives with her parents, Fr. Theodore and Presbytera Stacy Dorrance, and three younger siblings. She attends St. John the Baptist Church where her father serves as the head priest. She is a senior at Portland State University, studying communication and history and also teaches Latin at Agia Sophia Academy – an Orthodox school for pre–school and elementary students.
A PRAYER FOR FAMILIES O God, our heavenly Father, Who loves mankind and is merciful and compassionate, have mercy upon us Your servants [names] and our family for whom we humbly pray and who we commend to Your gracious care and protection. O Lord, be our guide and guardian in all our endeavors. Lead us in the path of Your truth, and draw us nearer to You, that we may lead godly and righteous lives in Your love and fear, doing Your will in all things. Give us grace that we may be temperate, industrious, diligent, devout, and charitable. Defend us against the assaults of the enemy, and grant us wisdom and strength to resist all temptations and corruption of this life. Direct us in the way of salvation, through the mercy of Your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, and the intercessions of His holy Mother and Your blessed saints. AMEN. This prayer has been adapted from the Table Top Prayer Guide: Volume I published by the Center for Family Care. The guide provides a collection of Orthodox prayers and meditations for daily use, for both personal and family prayer time. It can be ordered at www.OrthodoxMarketplace.com
JULY – AUGUST 2011
GOADO Held at Suffolk Community College, Long Island
No score – This unidentified goalie for one of the GOYA girls teams successfully deflects the ball. (Panagos photos)
Members of the St. Demetrios-Astoria GOYA boys soccer team are shown with Archbishop Demetrios and their priest, Fr. Apostolos Koufallakis, at the annual Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan District Olympics (GOADO) held over Memorial Day weekend. The team went on to win the gold medal. (below) His Eminence bestows a gold medal upon Maria Kalliagas of St. Nicholas, Flushing, for winning the JOY girls 50-meter dash event.
ORTHODOX OBSERVER Photos
Demetra Tsetsekos of the Sts. Constantine and Helen JOY in W. Nyack, N.Y., prepares to shoot in the basketball throw event. Matthew Pericli of St. Paraskevi in Greenlawn, N.Y., connects with the ball on a pitch from his parish priest-pitcher Fr. Dimitrios Moraitis during the GOYA softball competition.
Constantinos Moukas of Holy Trinity, Hicksville, N.Y., clears the bar during the GOYA boys high jump event.
Kristen Giannuzzi of St. Demetrios, Merrick, N.Y., leaps forward during the JOY standing broad jump event. GOYA volleyball teams from St. Demetrios, Astoria, and Church of Our Savior in Rye, N.Y., play a highly competitive game.
Elli Emmanouil of St. Barbara Church in Orange, Conn., competes in the GOYA tennis event, along with fellow Goyan Maria Bakoussis (not shown).
Orthodox Observer Photos
The GOYA boys volleyball team from St. Paraskevi, Greenlawn, shown with Fr. Louis Nicholas, assistant priest, won the gold medal after a long day of matches involving more than a dozen teams.
Winning effort – Eleni Efstatihiadis takes the baton from Jackie Lolis, both of the GOYA girls relay team from Archangel Michael Church in Port Washington, N.Y., for the final lap in the event. The girls won the gold medal.
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