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DECEMBER 2011 • Vol. 76 • No. 1271


The Nativity of Christ What shall we offer You, O Christ, Who for our sakes has appeared on earth as man?

(Vespers of the Feast)

To the Most Reverend Hierarchs, the Reverend Priests and Deacons, the Monks and Nuns, the Presidents and Members of the Parish Councils of the Greek Orthodox Communities, the Distinguished Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Day, Afternoon, and Church Schools, the Philoptochos Sisterhoods, the Youth, the Hellenic Organizations, and the entire Greek Orthodox Family in America Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ, When we hear and contemplate the beautiful story of our Lord’s Nativity, our hearts are filled with tremendous joy. In this marvelous event of God becoming man, He revealed His great love for us and the divine plan to restore our communion with Him. Through His Incarnation, Christ offered Himself for our total renewal and completed this gift of grace in the Cross and Resurrection. Through His birth, our Lord entered into our humanity, giving us a deeper understanding of our relationship with our Creator and offering us a greater experience of life and being. The Son of God who became human being for our sakes, the One in our midst who knows our pains and struggles, offers to each of us life and peace. The Feast of the Nativity is a celebration of all that Christ has offered and continues to offer to us. It is also a Feast that challenges us with the question, “What shall we offer Him?” In the Holy Gospel, this question was answered by those who participate by their presence in the glorious Nativity. The Virgin Mary offered herself in obedience to God’s will, conceiving and carrying Jesus in her womb and giving birth to Him (Luke 1:26-38). Joseph followed the commandment of the Lord and provided for the Theotokos and the Christ child (Matthew 1:24-25). In response to the announcement of the angels and upon seeing the infant, the shepherds offered a witness of the wonderful things they had seen and heard (Luke 2:8-20). Following the star in the East, the wise men came to Jesus offering Him their worship and their gifts (Matthew 2:1-12). These offerings to Christ show us how we should celebrate this great Feast and how we should offer to Him. In re-

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Deadline for submitting information, articles and photos for consideration in the January 2012 issue: Wed., Dec. 28. Photos should be sent as a large format .jpg attachment (300 dpi min.). E-mail to: Regular mail: Editor, Orthodox Observer, 8 E. 79th St., New York, NY 10075.

Fr. Skordallos Elected Bishop of Zela NEW YORK – The Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople on Dec. 2 unanimously elected the Very Rev. Archimandrite Sevastianos Skordallos, the chief secretary of the Archdiocese Holy Eparchial Synod, as Bishop of Zela. He was chosen from a list of three candidates the Holy Synod of the Archdiocese submitted to the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The newly elected bishop traveled to Constantinople on Dec. 6 for the official announcement and acceptance ceremony, known as “Mikro” and “Megalo Minima.” Bishop-elect Sevastianos was born in Ano-Zodia, Cyprus, the first of three children of Panayiota and Frixos Skordallos. He is a graduate of the Econonic High School, Morphou, Cyprus (1973) and the Theological School of the University of Athens, Greece (1978). He received a scholarship through the World Council of Churches to study in the United States at Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur Ga. (1982) where he received a Th.M. in pastoral psychology. He has received advanced certification in clinical pastoral education at Caraway Methodist Medical Center, Birmingham, Ala. (1980-1982), and furthered his studies in pastoral psychology at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn., and Middle Tennessee State University (1982-1984).

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He was ordained a deacon on Jan. 17, 1974, by the late Metropolitan of Morphou Chrysanthos, and a priest on March 4, 1978 in England by Bishop of Tropaiou Gregorios, the Archbishop of Thyateira and All England. He received the offikion of Archi-

mandrite from the late Archbishop of Thyateira Athenagoras. He has served several parishes both as a deacon and a priest in Cyprus, Greece and the U.S. As a deacon he served Metropolitan Chrysanthos (1974), St. George Church in Akadimia Platonos, Athens (1975), and St. Nicholas Church in Kato Patisia, Athens (1976-78). He served as a priest in Nottingham, England (1978-79), Holy Trinity-Holy Cross in Birmingham, (1980-82), Sts. Constantine and Helen-Holy Cross, Huntsville, Ala. (1982-84, and 1989-93), Panayia Catholike Cathedral, Limassol Cyprus (1984-88), Holy Transfiguration, Marietta, Ga. (1993-2004), and St. Nicholas Cathedral, Tarpon Springs, Fla. (2004-06). Archbishop Demetrios appointed him chief secretary of the Holy Eparchial Synod on June 1, 2006, a position he still holds. Bishop-elect Sevastianos, has been actively involved in Church administration. He has served as a council member at the Metropolis and Archdiocese levels; on the Archdiocesan Council Administration Committee, where he assisted in developing resources for training parish councils and on the Archdiocese Legal Committee. He also has served as president of the Atlanta Metropolis Clergy Syndesmos for several years and the Archdiocesan Presbyters Council.

Ionian Village Announces 2012 Summer Programs NEW YORK – Ionian Village, the summer camping ministry of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America announces the dates of its Summer 2012 Programs. Participants in the programs travel across Greece, venerate the relics of saints, walk in the footsteps of the Apostles, and visit significant sites of Greek history and culture. At the end of each program, the youth and young adults return home with strengthened faith and a greater appreciation for the Church and Greek culture. Summer Camping Programs The Ionian Village Summer Camps

are based in our beautiful campgrounds on the Ionian Sea. Campers visit religious, historical and cultural sites throughout Greece while actively exploring their Orthodox faith and heritage. Each 20-day session is open to young people who have completed grades 7 through 12. Summer Travel Camp (STC): June 29-July 18 Byzantine Venture (BV): July 25-Aug. 13 Ionian Village Spiritual Odyssey Pilgrimages In addition to the classic Summer

An Invitation to HCHC Alumni As part of the 75 th anniversary commemoration of Holy Cross School of Theology, the Orthodox Observer invites alumni of the School to submit a brief article (250500 words) of a memorable experience (anecdotal, poignant or other personal remembrance) of your years at the seminary. It may focus on a particular classroom experience,

religious or social experience or other topic of your choice. Articles will appear in each issue through the culmination of the anniversary in May 2013. Please include your name, year of graduation and current position. They may be submitted by email to the Observer (jim@goarch. org, or

Change of Address To submit a change of address: By phone contact Soula Podaras at 212.774.0235 – e-mail: – fax: 212.774.0239. Or regular mail to: Orthodox Observer, 8 E. 79th St., New York, NY 10075. Be sure to include old address, new address and name of parish. EDITOR IN CHIEF Jim Golding (Chryssoulis) GREEK SECTION EDITOR Eleftherios Pissalidis

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Camp programs, Ionian Village is excited to announce the expansion of its Spiritual Odyssey Program in response to the high level of participation in the Summer 2012 program. Each unique Spiritual Odyssey session is open to young adults ages 19-28. Spiritual Odyssey: Cyprus and Constantinople: May 30 – June 9 In Cyprus, participants will have the opportunity to walk in the steps of the Apostles and learn about the Cypriot struggle and division of the island while

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To Contact Us For questions about submitting information/news to the Orthodox Observer: Jim Golding, 212.570.3557, Advertising & Greek section, Lefteris Pissalidis, 212.570.3555, Photo Credit CorreCtion Photo credit to photographer Demetra Stamus, whose photo of the author, His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, appears on the inside jacket of his book, Encountering the Mystery: Understanding Orthodox Christianity Today. The 1st edition was incorrectly credited. For more info email

Articles and advertising do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America which are expressed in official statements so labeled.

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Vice President Biden Visits Archdiocese, Ecumenical Patriarchate

Photo: Nicholas Manginas

NEW YORK – Vice President Joe Biden made his first official visits to the Archdiocese and the Ecumenical Patriarchate in recent weeks. He was welcomed to the Archdiocese on Nov. 16 by Archbishop Demetrios. The two discussed religious freedom and the Ecumenical Patriarchate, his upcoming visit there on Dec. 3, and other issues including Cyprus, Turkey, the name issue of FYROM, and security and peace in the Balkans and the Eastern Mediterranean. Also present in the meeting were Metropolitans Methodios of Boston and Evangelos of New Jersey, Chancellor of the Archdiocese Bishop Andonios of Phasiane, Vice-Chairman of the Archdiocesan Council Michael Jaharis, Archons Dennis Mehiel and George Tsounis and Fr. Alex Karloutsos. At a subsequent reception, Vice President Biden greeted several key officers of the Archdiocese and its organizations including Aphrodite Skeadas, National Philoptochos President, Anthony Limberakis, Archon’s National Commander, Constantine Caras, Chairman of L-100, Peter Kikis, Chairman of Faith, an Endowment for Orthodoxy and Hellenism, Panicos Papanikolaou, President of the Cyprus Federation of America, Emanuel Demos, Legal Council of the Archdiocese and Jerry Dimitriou, Executive Director of the Archdiocese. On Dec. 3, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew welcomed Vice President Biden to the Ecumenical Patriarchate. It was the first visit of a sitting U.S. vice president to the Sacred See of St. Andrew, First-called of the Apostles which lasted approximately two hours. He was greeted at the entrance to the patriarchal compound by Archbishop Demetrios, together with the chancellor of the Ecumenical Patriarchate Metropolitan Stefanos of Kalioupolis and Madyta. His All-Holiness met with the Vice President in his personal office for a private conversation. Present in the meeting that followed were five of the Vice President’s top advisors and five from the Ecumenical Patriarchate

Photos: Dimitrios Panagos

Photo: Nicholas Manginas including Archbishop Demetrios, Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco and Fr. Karloutsos. Among the issues discussed were religious freedom in Turkey, the reopening of the Theological School of Halki, Turkey’s accession to the European Union, and the ecological initiatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Afterward, the Vice President was introduced to members of the Holy and Sacred Synod, clergy and laity of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and prominent members of the Greek Orthodox community in Turkey and abroad, including Archons of the Order of St. Andrew in the United States. Finally, Vice President Biden, together with His All Holiness, toured the Patriarchal Cathedral of St. George and venerated the relics of saints kept in the Cathedral. He especially stood with attention and reverence at the “column of flagellation” where Jesus Christ was tied and whipped during His Holy Passion.

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew welcomes Vice President Biden for his first visit to the Patriarchate (top) on Dec. 3. They discussed several issues during their two-hour meeting, toured the Cathedral of St. George, met with the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate and other leading members of the Greek Orthodox community. On his first visit to the Archdiocese on Nov. 16 (center), with Archbishop Demetrios and Bishop Andonios of Phasiane the vice president views relics from St. Nicholas Church at Ground Zero that are kept at the St. Paul Chapel at Archdiocese headquarters. (below) Several leaders of the Church in America met with the vice president for more than an hour during his visit.



Metropolitan Savas Enthroned in Pittsburgh by Jim Golding

PITTSBURGH – The Metropolis of Pittsburgh entered a new era on Dec. 8 with the enthronement of Metropolitan Savas, the sixth hierarch to head the diocese/metropolis and its first American-born bishop. He succeeds Metropolitan Maximos, who retired in September after 32 years as presiding hierarch. The enthronement service commenced with a large procession down the center aisle of St. Nicholas Cathedral of more than two dozen altar boys and more than 60 priests as hundreds of parishioners and visitors stood to observe the proceedings.. An especially poignant moment occurred as Metropolitan Maximos, walked down the aisle and was greeted by many parishioners and well-wishers. He was escorted by Metropolitan Nicholas of Detroit who had been serving as locum tenens the past three months, They and other visiting hierarchs in the procession, including Metropolitan Constantine of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos, chancellor of the Metropolis of Chicago, who represented Metropolitan Iakovos, sat on one side of the solea. Others attending included HCHC President Fr. Nicholas Triantafilou, Holy Cross Dean the Rev. Dr. Thomas Fitzgerald, Board Vice Chairman Dr. Thomas Lelon and 25 seminarians who chanted the hymns of the doxology, National President Aphrodite Skeadas, Leadership 100 Chairman Constantine Caras, Archons and members of the choir federation who formed part of the choir that sang several hymns. Lastly, Metropolitan Savas entered the cathedral and made his way to the solea where Archbishop Demetrios presented him with the bishop’s staff and declared his enthronement as the new metropolitan. Metropolitan Savas then took his place on the bishop’s throne, flanked by several clergy of the Metropolis. Newly elected Bishop Sevastianos of Zela read the “mega minima” of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew announcing the appointment of Metropolitan Savas to the See of Pittsburgh. The hour-long service included several prayers, hymns and a doxology. In his address, Archbishop Demetrios expressed the Ecumenical Patriarch’s “warmest wishes, deepest prayers and love” to the new metropolitan. The Archbishop praised Metropolitan

Photos: Dimitrios Panagos

Archbishop Demetrios installs Metropolitan Savas at St. Nicholas Cathedral as the presiding hierarch of the Metropolis of Pittsburgh and presents him with the staff with which to begin his archpastoral ministry. Maximos for his accomplishments over 32 years as head of the diocese/metropolis. He told Metropolitan Savas that his enthronement was “happening under the best circumstances” and that his life experiences prepared him for his new responsibilities. “You are called to offer love, the love which lifts us, which understands the troubles and visions of the people, the love which supports people in need of support, which heals the wounds,” the Archbishop said. He also called on the new metropolitan to “bring the truth of the Bible, the truth of God…to say the truth in love.” His Eminence also exhorted Metropolitan Savas to “give holiness and sanctity” to his flock and to “ultimately be a reflection of Christ for the people.” Citing the teachings of St. Ignatius, the Archbishop said the faithful should be “Christomorphi,” reflecting the face of Christ. “Help them to be ‘transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord,’ in the likeness and image of Christ, as St. Paul said” (2 Cor. 3:18), Archbishop Demetrios added. Metropolitan Savas expressed his gratitude to Archbishop Demetrios for his guidance and influence, going back to the days when he was His Eminence’s student

Metropolitan Nicholas of Detroit, who served as locum tenens of the Μetropolis of three months, escorts Metropolitan Maximos in the procession at the start of the service.

at Holy Cross School of Theology. “I cannot find words to express the debt of gratitude I owe to His Eminence,” he said. “His paternal love and unfailing kindness, his wise counsel, his enormous patience, his academic acumen, his expansive vision coupled with attention to detail, and his calming prayerful presence have been my inspiration and encouragement, “To the extent that I am prepared for the service of leadership that lies ahead, it is due to His Eminence. Whatever strengths I may have are a dim reflection of his strengths; my weaknesses remain my own,” said Metropolitan Savas. He also acknowledged his debt of gratitude to Metropolitan Maximos, who mentored him over the years and encouraged him to accept the position of chancellor of the Archdiocese in 1999. “I count it among the greatest of the gifts God is raining down on me today that I am able to address in the flesh my immediate predecessor on this throne. In your historic 32 years of service, beloved Geronta Maximos, you embodied the ideal of the bishop as the one who is “rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15) “The Metropolis of Pittsburgh in its presence form came into being during your

pastorate, Your Eminence, and you laid a firm foundation, of which the cornerstone is Jesus Christ Himself. I count on your prayers, therefore, that what I build on this foundation may be likewise firm and of ever-lasting value.” The Metropolitan said “new opportunities lie ahead for the Metropolis of Pittsburgh,” specifically through the use of technology to reach a greater number of people. “In technological terms, there is a wide open door for all of us to bring the love of Christ in new ways to new places and new people,” he said. “Technology, as an element of the material world, is in and of itself neutral, neither good nor evil in its own terms. It is always and only the use to which we put our inventions that gives them their moral value,” he continued. “The Internet, therefore, cannot be shunned or neglected as irrelevant to the Church’s mission. An Orthodox presence on the Internet is vital. There is in the electronic media a capacity to reach the unchurched and to draw them in…in fact, our Archdiocese has been among the first to recognize the incredible potential for outreach and evangelism made possible by the new technologies, and our Internet presence is second to none. The dissemination of information about our faith and activities has never been so wide–ranging. ”As your Metropolitan, I commit myself to exploring with you the possibilities for ‘doing a new thing’ for Christ through the emergent and ever-evolving electronic technologies. The World Wide Web constitutes the modern version of the ‘highways and byways’ of the Parable of the Great Banquet” (Luke 14:15-23). As if to underscore his point, the entire enthronement service, and his first divine liturgy the following day, were live-streamed over the Internet. But the Metropolitan also noted that, “Technology is a marvel, but in this first phase of my arch-pastoral ministry, there can be no substitute for the personal encounter. I want to meet as many of you as possible, and as fast as possible. It is my intention to visit every parish of the Metropolis within my first year, and to meet all the members of your communities in your spiritual homes.” Following the service, several hundred faithful gathered in the church hall for a reception and banquet. Metropolitan Savas celebrated his first Liturgy the following day, Dec. 9, the Feast Day of the Conception of the Virgin Mary.

The venerable Metropolitan Maximos offers his well-wishes to his successor.


A Tribute to Metropolitan Maximos by Fr. George Dimopoulos

It was the end of September and the beginning of October 1951 on the island of Halki, one of the four Prince Islands in Constantinople. I arrived at the theological school of Halki along with most of the students; students from many countries, including Egypt, Ethiopia, Australia, South Africa, Johannesburg, Cyprus, England, and others. After a few days a little dark young man came, tall with a crossed suit, bearing all of the marks as we did during the German occupation and after the civil war which Greece had for more than five years. He was a bashful, modest, and kind student. Nobody knew what he was hiding in his innermost self; the school is very impassive outside and inside, a holy place. We soon learned his name, Demetrios Agiorgousis, a son of a pious priest from the same island. His body did not show that he was hiding an excellent brain inside. If Demetrios were studying astrophysics or astronomy and the like, he maybe would have been one of the greatest scientists of NASA. We were classmates and the courses started. Agiorgousis, from his first days, demonstrated himself as the best of the best. He was excellent in French, ancient Greek, and Latin. He was humble with no trace of pride. He was lovable in class and popular. Demetrios was always the electrician of the school for small things. Very often we saw him climb up the ladder to repair some damages or to change the bulbs. We were the largest class in the history of the school, 26 students. Demetrios Agiorgousis was perfect in all of the courses. The school for us was our house. Our duty was to study and to attend the wealthy services of the Orthodox Church. It seems to me that during the Great Lent, Demetrios was ordained deacon, very young, by Metropolitan Maximos Rapaxellis and took his name. On July 7, 1957, we received our diplomas in a modest and beautiful celebration at the official synodial room of the school from Patriarch Athenagoras. We had indeed grief and pain that day because after seven years we were separated from our sweet mother school, and each one of us would go to the horizons of earth. We love Halki because we lived there during many events of our lives. On July 28, 1957, my wife and I were married in the Patriarchal Cathedral of St. George. Deacon Demetrios Agiorgousis and Deacon Eirinaios Athanasiadis, now Archbishop of the island of Crete, participated in the mystery, which was blessed by the holy Metropolitan, Iakovos of Iconium, our previous dean who died very young, just 50 years old.

Then we separated; Maximos went to Europe for further studies and to serve at new Greek parishes being established. My wife and I remained in Constantinople, and I was appointed as a priest in Peran, the best church of the Holy Trinity. I remained there serving at the church until Holy Thursday night in 1958. During the Holy Service at night while I was reading the sixth gospel when police from the office of security came and told me to go to police headquarters the first thing in the morning. Along with the great chancellor of the Patriarchate, Aimeliamos, I appeared there. They told me that I was unwelcome in the Turkish nation because I preached against its security. In 10 days, I was out of the country without appeal. I arrived in Thessaloniki with my wife. After a month, our son Athenagoras was born, and with this happy event a letter came from the Greek Archdiocese of North and South America, asking me if I wanted to come to Toronto. I accepted it with great joy. One day the telephone rang and the caller was Maximos Agiorgousis. He was as pure and innocent as he was before, very sweet, quiet, and kind. He was a professor at the theological school in Boston. After six years in Toronto, I was transferred to New York and, after nine months, to Scranton, Pa. There, besides the parish, I was appointed a professor at St. Tikhon’s Theological Seminary. I remained there teaching for almost 35 years. Then, we started frequent communication with Maximos. I invited him to come to lectures, retreats, and seminars. He was loved by the students, not only for his intellectuality and knowledge, but for his humility and kindness. One day the telephone rang: Maximos informed me he will become a bishop. “I want you to come to my ordination and to be my nymphagagos,” he said. The ordination was the Sunday of Pentecost. The entire feast of the ordination started in the morning and ended at the end of the day. Maximos was now an archpriest. He wanted to become one very much, without knowing what was waiting for him. He became Bishop of Pittsburgh and, afterward, Metropolitan, and he was my bishop. But thank God, as archpriest, he kept himself in his high office, far away from scandals and from mischievous actions. He lived an angelic life. Now he delivered his labor, his wills to another Metropolitan. I, as a brother in Christ, as an “omogalktos” brother, wish him that the last ones be more than the first. Fr. Dimopoulos is pastor of Annunciation Church, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

r u o y t r o p p Su The ORTHODOX OBSERVER has been offering Greek Orthodox faithful in America and around the world news from our Archdiocese, our Metropolises and our parishes for almost 40 years. Originally begun primarily as a theological magazine by Archbishop Athenagoras in the1930s, the ORTHODOXOBSERVER was transformed into its present format and role by Archbishop Iakovos in1971. Each member of the national Church continues to receive a complimentary copy of the ORTHODOXOBSERVER as part of their stewardship to their local parish. Over the years, mailing and printing costs have continued to rise and have outpaced increases in the ORTHODOX OBSERVER’S income resources. Advertising revenue and donations contribute to our revenue, but an increasing shortfall exists because of these rising costs. The ORTHODOX OBSERVER, which will print 10 issues in 2012, has initiated a campaign to raise additional fundsfortheserisingcosts.Weinviteyoutoparticipate as a Donor, Patron or Special Patron.

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Pittsburgh Metropolis faithful recently honored Metropolitan Maximos upon his retirement.

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Children’s Medical Fund Luncheon Draws Record Attendance

OLD GREENWICH, Conn. – The 13th Biennial National Philoptochos Children’s Medical Fund Luncheon held Dec. 3 awarded more than $204,000 to hospitals and health-related organizations and programs in the Direct Archdiocesan District hospitals and health-related programs. The CMF luncheons take place every two years on a rotational basis among the metropolises and over the years have raised more than $2.2 million during its existence. “The wish of well-being for the young is fundamental and universal,” said National Philoptochos President Aphrodite Skeadas in her message to the 650 women attending from chapters throughout the United States. “Illness, disease, hunger, pain and poverty, especially of children, must be addressed.” Luncheon chairman was Direct Archdiocesan Philoptochos President Maria Skiadas. The National Philoptochos president presented the 2011 grant donations to the following recipients: • Arts for Healing, New Canaan, Conn., $1,000; to provide music therapy for children with developmental disabilities such as autism, Down syndrome, and neurological disorders, given in office, public school, hospital and health care settings. • Children’s National Medical Center, Washington, $23,000; for the purchase of specialized respiratory equipment for the Infant Pulmonary Function Laboratory as part of the Division of Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine. This equipment is necessary for testing infants and children who have severe muscle weakness such as muscular dystrophy. • Children’s Tumor Foundation, New York, $15,000; to help fund Neurofibro-

Photos: Dimitrios Panagos Recipients of the Children’s Medical Fund grants with Bishop Andonios, National President Skeadas and Direct Archdiocesan District President Skiadas.

matosis Preclinical Consortium Phase II testing through a collaboration of six research centers with the common goal of rapidly advancing promising therapies to clinical trials. • Columbia University Medical Center, New York, $4,000; for pediatric dermatology procedures and iPad as a distraction tool to purchase five iPads, covers and applications. • Incurable Illness Foundation, Brooklyn, $15,000; to help provide Biomedical and Nutritional Treatments for children diagnosed with autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and food allergies through the Path Family Center on Staten Island. The goal is to improve


total body health, by creating a customized nutritional protocol with diet plans and integrative guides that begin the process of recovery, as well as offering educational guidance. • Kids In Crisis, Cos Cob, Conn., $12,500; to help fund the Tender Loving Care (TLC) Health Center with its critical shelter program, providing quickly and professionally desperately needed comprehensive medical and psychological services on-site to children who have been abused, abandoned, neglected, or who are in the throes of severe family crisis and are not safe in their homes. • Lea’s Foundation for Leukemia Research, Hartford, Conn., $7,500; a grant to help expand the direct financial assistance program to patients undergoing treatment for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s lymphoma and multiple myeloma. • Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital at Columbia University Medical Center, New York, $30,000; to help improve services and care for children with congenital diaphragmatic hernia birth defect, a lifethreatening structural anomaly, whereby there is an opening in the diaphragm muscle that separates the abdomen from the chest. Organs that are normally in the abdomen can be herniated or pushed through the opening into the chest. Those same organs also push the heart out of place increasing the possibility of heart issues in many of these babies. • New York-Presbyterian Hospital, $11,186; to help fund books and coordinator for “Heads Up!” Pediatric Literacy Program. • New York University Hospitals Center, $15,000; to help support a study

coordinator of Genetic Research on Children with Developmental Delays such as autism and mental retardation. • New York–Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell Medical College, $20,000; to fund the Healthier Living Program in Thalassemia which addresses the endocrine problems of the disease and helps improve the quality of life, as well as looks at growth, puberty, hormonal therapy, glucose abnormalities/diabetes, osteoporosis, calcium and vitamin D. Program objectives include increasing awareness of the medical and patient community about Thalassemia-related endocrine complications and their management. • Port Washington Special Education PTA (SEPTA), Port Washington, N.Y., $5,300; Book Buddies Program for Elementary School Children Classified with Disabilities to improve their reading skills by working with a children’s librarian and/ or special education teacher ($3,000), and Sibshops Program to help the siblings of special needs children through the services of a licensed professional ($2,300). • Queens Children’s Psychiatric Center, Bellerose, N.Y., $5,090; for a pool table for the Billiards Program ($1,250) and pre-vocational work incentive stipends for children doing bookkeeping, working in print shop, housekeeping, among other jobs ($3,840). • Rossco Stamford School Community Organization Inc., Stamford, Conn., $15,000; to help fund Family Wellness Program for those without traditional access to services. In addition to programs, they offer clinics, informational and well-

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attention all yiayias, Papous, Theas, Theos, Nounas, Nounos, Sunday School Teachers, moms & dads! is happy to announce that The Nameday Book is now available for purchase through GoTelecom! The Nameday Book written by Despina Manatos

& Illustrated by her Nouna Goldie DeLorenzo encourages all in the Orthodox faith to celebrate their given name every year and includes a comprehensive month by month list of the most prominent Saints and Feast Days in the Orthodox faith.

This is a great gift for Easter, birthdays, christenings, Christmas, and of course, Namedays! To order your own copy or copies of The Nameday Book ($11.95 each + $5 S&H)

please call 212-570-3588 or e-mail

Honoree Evangeline Mekras Scurtis, a national board member and chairman of the 2009 medical fund luncheon with Mrs. Skeadas, Bishop Andonios and Mrs. Skiadas.


The Voice of Philoptochos


Christmas 2011 To the National Board, Chapter Presidents and Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society Members:

The Metropolis Board is pictured with Metropolitan Alexios, Fr. Paul Kaplanis, spiritual advisor; and Metropolis Philoptochos President Laura Nixon.

Atlanta Metropolis Ladies Hold Fall Meeting, Awards Dinner The Metropolis of Atlanta Philoptochos Board held its fall meetings in Atlanta on Nov. 11-12 in conjunction with the Metropolis Archangel Michael Awards Banquet. The Philoptochos Board, under the spiritual leadership of Metropolitan Alexios, and the leadership of President Laura Nixon, is actively engaged in numerous projects that include “Agape Celebrations” to fund Metropolis youth initiatives; a major fundraiser to support the Philoptochos Center of Philanthropy on March 17; a special project requested by Metropolitan Alexios to build a church in Africa; the annual Metropolis-wide Women’s Spiritual Retreat at the Metropolis of Atlanta Diaconia Retreat Center as well as numerous other philanthropic activities. New officers for 2011-13 are: Laura Nixon, president; Jeannie Demas, first vice president; Rose Marie Connell, second vice president; Kiki Rothmann, secretary; Betty Lantz, corresponding secretary; Dee Nicolaou, treasurer; Marty Driscoll, assistant treasurer and Evangeline Scurtis, advisor. Board members are Tina Atkins, Helen Doulaveris, Presbytera Evi Kaplanis, Florence Lytle, Joan Marinos,

Effie Moraitakis, Irene Politis, Koula Poulos, Margaret Saragoglu, Joanna Snider, Irene Tracy, Cindy Xenick and Katherine Ziegler. Earlier this year, the Metropolis Philoptochos held their annual biennial conference in conjunction with the Metropolis of Atlanta Clergy-Laity Assembly in New Orleans, which was attended by 74 delegates and National Philoptochos President Aphrodite Skeadas. Theme of the conference, held in mid-June, focused on the protection and appreciation of the environment. To support the theme, the conference proceedings were made available to the attendees on a flash drive. Conference highlight was the Philoptochos luncheon, where Metropolitan Alexios praised Philoptochos for its outstanding Philanthropic work. National President Aphrodite Skeadas discussed the myriad national ministries and projects and the current drive to secure a permanent national Philoptochos home - the Philoptochos Center of Philanthropy. New Orleans Philoptochos President Helen Malachias presented a $2,000 donation for the Philoptochos Center of Philanthropy to President Skeadas. .

NJ Metropolis Philoptochos Plan ‘Open the Doors’ Fund-raiser The Metropolis of New Jersey Philoptochos will hold its AGAPE Luncheon honoring its Philoptochos 50 Year Members on Feb. 4 at the Pines Manor, Edison, N.J.

All proceeds will benefit the Philoptochos Center of Philanthropy For additional information contact Bessie Drogaris, 732.542.8570 or Evellyn Tsiadis, 908.512.6222.

Dallas Ladies Hold IOCC Baby Shower DALLAS – The Ladies Philoptochos of Holy Trinity Church hosted an IOCC ‘Baby Shower’ where each guest brought new items from the special IOCC ‘Baby Gift Registry’ including blankets, diapers, shirts, sleepers and

sweaters. The Maids of Athena were on hand to organize and wrap the kits in accordance with IOCC specifications. More than 156 baby kits valued at $5,000 in donated items were created and shipped to IOCC.

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:8-11) It is with a sense of joy and anticipation in the upcoming Feast of the Nativity that I greet and embrace you. I offer these few verses from the Gospel of Saint Luke because I believe they demonstrate from the very start of the life of Christ that the Good News of His love is for all people. On that first Christmas night we see the royal houses, the rulers of the people and those of privilege were not the ones who were chosen by God to hear the proclamation of the birth of Christ. In His divine wisdom, God chooses to proclaim the birth of His Son first to the shepherds. The shepherds were poor and accustomed to living a hard life. They lived for long periods with their sheep in the hills and fields being exposed to difficult and harsh conditions. It was to these shepherds, however, that the angels appeared and specifically proclaimed the birth of the Messiah. As soon as the proclamation was made by one angel, immediately the heavens opened with brilliant light and were filled with a multitude of angels that praised God singing the words that we pray to this day: “Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth, peace and good will to all people.” These verses are offered as reflection this Christmas because the Nativity provides reason and hope for our existence and because the Ladies Philoptochos Society understands for 80 years this message while serving those in need. You strive to make real this divine proclamation of the birth and love of Christ every time you feed the hungry, clothe the naked, comfort the brokenhearted, support the Church ministries and offer your time to raise-up those who have fallen. Beloved Sisters in Philoptochos, 2,000 years after the birth of Jesus, your acts of charity bring light into the darkness just as the voice of the angel brought light into the darkness to the shepherds that first Christmas night. Especially at this glorious time of year, let us beseech Him in our prayers to guide us wisely, to live our lives appropriately, to assume responsibility and as stewards of this Earth, to preserve our environment. I thank you for your workings of God’s providence and your genuine commitment to the Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society. May your families be blessed this Christmas and may your New Year 2012 be filled with grace and love of the Prince of Peace Jesus Christ. With love and admiration in the Newborn King, Aphrodite Skeadas National Philoptochos President

Los Angeles Chapter Announces ‘Evening with Friends’ Dinner by Christine Peratsakis

The St. Sophia Philoptochos is honoring Fr. Peter V. Lambert, executive director of PHILANTHROPIA Inc., at its upcoming “Evening with Friends Dinner’ on Jan. 28 at the Bel-Air Country Club. Fr. Lambert was ordained as a Greek Orthodox priest in 1960 and was a key contributor in the establishment of the Office of Economic Opportunity that included the War on Poverty, Head Start and the VISTA project. Fr. Lambert became the first deputy director in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Fr. Lambert first served as a priest in Iron Mountain, Mich., and subsequently served in Canton, Ohio; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Van Nuys, Calif., and St. Sophia Cathedral in Los Angeles as first assistant to the dean of the Cathedral. He began the mission parish in Camarillio, Calif., that formed St. Demetrios Church and later served in Bakersfield, Calif. Fr. Lambert assumed a part-time position in Lancaster, Calif., after serious eye surgery that was followed by a degenerative eye condition, but was forced

to retire in 1992. Following the death of his son Andrew in 1996, He also served on the organizing task force to establish an HIV/AIDs Ministry for the Diocese of San Francisco. For the past 12 years, as executive director of PHILANTHROPIA, a Consortium of Orthodox Christians dedicated to serving the sick and suffering, he has lectured at many church groups and hospitals on the prevention of AIDs and the AIDs pandemic. Fr. Lambert helped establish ‘The Wall Las Memorias’ Project with its founder Richard Zaldivar in the Los Angeles Lincoln Park neighborhood. This is the first government sponsored monument in memory of AIDs victims. The PHILANTHROPIA group also supports the ‘Get on the Bus’ program, transporting children to see their mothers in jail on Mother’s Day; the City of Hope for families who have lost a child to cancer, and the new ‘Agape Ministry’ at St. Nektarios Church in Covina, Calif. which assists patients’ families at the end of a patient’s life. For additional information about this special Evening with Friends dinner contact Marianna Politis at 310.275.4074.




Commentaries and Reflections

Keeping the ‘Mass’ in Christmas by Fr. Mark Sietsema

Don’t look now, but it’s coming soon to billboards and lawn signs near you: “Keep Christ in Christmas!” If memory serves, one first started seeing this slogan right around the time that the whole political correctness craze hit. Towns started removing manger scenes from their squares, and businesses stopped sending out Christmas cards and began to send “Holiday Greetings” instead. And so, at indignation for being wished a “Happy Holiday” one too many times, some folks came up with the rallying cry, “Keep Christ in Christmas.” The mentality seems to be: “We Christians staked our claim on the last week of December, and no ‘multi-culti’ claimjumpers can come and rename our season.” In fact, I once heard on the radio an evangelical Christian who proposed that we take it a step further and put a long I in the pronunciation of Christmas, i.e. “ChrIst”mas. There is a problem with this campaign: what exactly does one do to keep Christ in Christmas? Is it just a matter of putting manger scenes in public places? Does it boil down to defiantly wishing everyone (even your Jewish neighbors) a “Merry Christmas”? Is that honestly going to do anything to roll back the commercialization of the season? After all, the conversion of Christmas from a religious observance to a materialistic spending spree began long before

political correctness, long before anyone thought of leaving Christ out of Christmas. Experience teaches that people will gladly mention the name of Christ whenever there’s money to be made off of it. If the secularization of the season is the sickness, then emphatically calling it “Christmas” again isn’t the remedy. For that matter ... which Christ should we keep in Christmas? My fear is that the Christ that most people want in their Christmas is the little baby Jesus--cute and cuddly, “no crying he makes”--in other words, the Christ who asks nothing of anybody and makes us feel good about spending money at the store. As long as we keep that Christ in Christmas, I suppose everyone can still be happy and no one is offended. But what about the Christ who said, “Whoever does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:33)? Or the one who said, “Beware of all covetousness; for a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Luke 12:15). When you are opening gifts with your family, is that the Christ people want to keep in their Christmas? If you keep the Christ of the Gospels in your Christmas, you’re likely to wind up without a Christmas at all; or, at least, not the kind of Christmas celebration that the signs and billboards are trying to uphold, not the kind of Christmas that the malls and merchandizers want you to have. I have a suggestion to smooth over the problem inherent in Christian sloganeering. Instead of focusing on making everyone

else in America keep “Christ” in their Christmas, let each one of us here in our parishes focus on keeping something else. Let’s keep the “Mass” in Christmas. “Christmas” is from Old English Cristes Maesse, “Christ’s Mass” – Mass being the Old English word for the Divine Liturgy. Christmas is not first of all a day, but a doing: it is the Eucharistic worship that Christians offer in honor of the birth of their Savior. For those who have linguistic curiosity, Christmas is not the only –mas in the English language: there is also Marymas (August 15), Candlemas (February 2), Michaelmas (September 29), Martinmas (November 11), and Allhallowmas (November 1). But if we say “Keep the Mass in Christmas,” the point is this. Christmas isn’t really Christ-mas without the Mass, without the Divine Liturgy. Christmas isn’t Christmas if we don’t make a point of coming together on the appointed day, with all the people of God, to observe the commandment that He gave, “Do this in remembrance of Me.” Christmas isn’t Christmas if we don’t share the Eucharistic meal of His Body and Blood with one another in the Church. How is Christmas complete without receiving your most important gift? Christ came to earth, not simply to be born in a lowly stable in Palestine, but to be born into the humble stable of the

u u to page 30


The Nativity of Christ u u from page 1 sponse to His love we are called to give ourselves completely to Christ, our heart, mind, body and soul. With the words of the Theotokos we express our obedience and our complete faith in Him saying, Let it be to me according to Your word (Luke 1:38). In seeing the magnitude of what God has done for humankind, we come to Christ in haste, just as the shepherds, and we go out into the world glorifying and praising God for all that we hear and see. As the wise men came and offered in great joy, we never cease to worship Him and to offer our gifts for His glory and always in the service of His eternal kingdom. On this Feast of the Nativity of our Lord, may we seriously consider the question “What shall we offer Him?” In our worship and fellowship on this Feast, let us prayerfully examine our lives and seek the guidance of our Lord in our response to such a question. May you and your families have a blessed and joyful Nativity, filled with the love of God and the true life which He offers to us. And may the Incarnate God grant to all the dawning New Year 2012 filled with health and blessings. With paternal love in Christ,

† Archbishop DEMETRIOS of America

Wishing you a Merry Christmas & a Blessed New Year! The Jaharis Family Chicago, IL.



TALES FROM L.A. “Jesus and the Geese at Christmas” by Fr. John S. Bakas

I teach one class per semester at the Loyola Marymount University School of Theology. In the fall I teach a course on Orthodox Christian Spirituality. I start and end my class with prayer since prayer is the essence of Orthodox spirituality. I don’t insist that anyone pray along with me, but I do insist that all stand as a sign of respect. I have professed atheists in class as well as Christians of various denominations, Jews and Moslems. Moslems in particular have difficulty understanding not only the Holy Trinity, but the idea of Jesus Christ as the eternal uncreated Incarnate Son of God and the second person of the Holy Trinity. Jesus Christ came into the world as God-Man (Theantropos) to save humanity from death by He Himself suffering death and being resurrected from the dead. Because He became one of us, we too may conquer death through Him and be reconciled to God the Father. Jesus Christ, I tell them, assumed the whole of man; for what is not assumed cannot be saved, whereas what is united with God is saved. Unfortunately it is not only Moslems and Jews that have difficulty understanding the concept of the Incarnation and the birth of the Son of God, but many of our own fellow Christians struggle with this reality as well. For many, Santa Claus is an easier idea to deal with at Christmas. So, I shared the following story with my students to hopefully shed some light of understanding of God’s love for us by becoming man to save us from our confusion and alienation. There was once a man who didn’t believe in God, and he didn’t hesitate to let others know how he felt about religion and religious holidays. His wife, however, did believe, and she raised their children to also have faith in Jesus Christ the only begotten Son of God, despite his disparaging comments. One snowy and windy Christmas day, his wife was taking their children to church in the farm community in which they lived. They were to talk about Jesus’ birth. She asked him to come, but he refused. “That story is nonsense!” he said. “Why would God lower Himself to come to Earth as a man? That’s ridiculous!” So she and the children left, and he stayed home. A while later, the winds grew stronger and the snow turned into a blizzard. As the man looked out the window all he saw was a blinding snowstorm. Then he heard a loud thump. Something had hit the window. He looked out, but couldn’t see more than a few feet. When the snow let up a little, he ventured outside to see what could have been beating on his window. In the field near his house he saw a flock of wild geese. They were flying south for the winter when they got caught in the snowstorm. They were just lost and stranded on his farm with no food or shelter, just flap-

ping their wings and flying around in low circles, blindly and aimlessly. The man felt sorry for the geese and wanted to help them. The barn would be a great place for them to stay, he thought. It’s warm and safe; surely they could spend the day and wait out the storm. So he walked over to the barn and opened the doors wide, then watched and waited, hoping they would notice the open barn and go inside. But the geese just fluttered around aimlessly and didn’t seem to notice the barn or realize what it could mean for them. The man tried to get their attention, but that just seemed to scare them and they moved further away. He went into the house and came with some bread, broke it up, and made a bread crumb trail leading to the barn. They still didn’t catch on. He was getting frustrated. He got behind them and tried to shoo them toward the barn, but they only became more frightened and scattered in every direction except toward the barn. Nothing he did could get them to go into the barn where they would be warm and safe. “Why don’t they follow me?!” he exclaimed. “Can’t they see this is the only place where they can survive the storm?” He thought for a moment and realized that they just wouldn’t follow a human. “If only I were a goose, then I could save them,” he said out loud. Then he had an idea. He went into the barn, got one of his own geese, and carried it in his arms as he circled around behind the flock of wild geese. He then released it. His goose flew through the flock and straight into the barn—and one by one, the other geese followed it to safety. He stood silently for a moment as the words he has spoken a few minutes earlier replayed in his mind: “If only I were a goose, then I could save them!” Then he thought about what he had said to his wife earlier. “Why would God want to be like us? That’s ridiculous!” Suddenly it all made sense. That is what God had done. We were like the geese...blind, lost, perishing. God had His Son become like us so He could show us the way and save us from the storm of sin and self-destruction. As the winds and blinding snow died down, his soul became quiet as he pondered this wonderful thought. Suddenly he understood why Christ had come. He now understood Christmas. Years of doubt and disbelief vanished with the passing storm. He fell to his knees in the snow, and prayed his first prayer: “Thank you, God, for coming in human form to get me out of the storm!” Indeed nothing is voiceless in the world. God hears always in all created beings His echo and His Voice. Fr. Bakas is dean of Saint Sophia Cathedral, Los Angeles, and a faculty member of Loyola Marymount University School of Theology.


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Conference on the ‘Diaspora’ Held ATHENS, Greece – A conference on “The Diaspora” recently took place at the Inter-Orthodox Centre of the Church of Greece in Pendeli Monastery and drew a number of high-ranking church officials and scholars from around the world, including Holy Cross School of Theology. Sponsored by the Society for the Law of the Eastern Churches, it was organized under the auspices of the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece with participation of the theology faculty of Athens University. The Society for the Law of the Eastern Churches was established in 1969 and is composed of canonists from the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Eastern Churches in communion with Rome. In view of the similarities of their canonical traditions, international conferences are usually convened biannually and focus on issues of current interest. This year’s conference, the 20th in succession, was held Sept. 13-18 and focused on the diaspora as experienced by each of the member Eastern Churches. Dr. John Zizioulas, Metropolitan of Pergamon, representing Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, a founding member of the Society, gave the opening address. Other participants included Archbishop Dr. Cyril Vasil, secretary of the Vatican Congregation for the Eastern Churches, and Bishop Munib Younan, president of the Lutheran World Federation. Speakers included Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Assyrian Church, SyrianOrthodox Church, Armenian Apostolic Church, and Lutheran representatives, who addressed the diaspora issue from

their perspective. Metropolitan John highlighted the issue’s importance for the Orthodox in his keynote address: “The Actual Developments towards a Pan-Orthodox Solution of the So-called ‘Diaspora’ Question,” in which he identified diaspora issue as the most complex confronting a Great and Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church because the Orthodox lack a consensus as to how to resolve it. Consequently, there has been reluctance to set a date for this event. However, the promising results of the fourth Pre-Conciliar Pan-Orthodox Conference held in 2009 laid the foundation for collaboration among the “jurisdictions” in the Diaspora. Several Orthodox participants at the conference focused on this topic during the discussion of the recently instituted Episcopal Assemblies. In his presentation relating to the variety of approaches that various speakers presented, Professor Lewis Patsavos of Holy Cross School of Theology, representing the Church in America, stressed the uniqueness of the matter as experienced in that region. “The situation is so foreign to traditional solutions,” he said, “that it demands unusual initiative and an innovative spirit to be effectively solved.” Commenting on the goal of convening the Great and Holy Synod, Metropolitan John of Pergamon, concluding his address observed that, in the absence of a consensus on the pivotal issue of the diaspora, it is the growing sentiment that despite the unknown consequences, the Synod cannot be indefinitely postponed.


New Professor’s Background Brings Fresh Voice to Byzantine Music by Nayla Day

BROOKLINE, N.Y. – Entering the Holy Cross Chapel during a Vespers service creates an immediate emotion of religious inspiration. The chanters’ responses and hymns fill the chapel with dramatic sound that pierce the soul. Up to a dozen voices, echoing both sides of the chapel, fill the air with powerful sound that helps you feel the magnitude of the prayer they are chanting. The Byzantine hymnology is led by Dr. Grammenos Karanos, protopsaltis at the Holy Cross Chapel and director of the Holy Cross Byzantine Choir “Romanos the Melodist.” He is also the new assistant professor of Byzantine Liturgical Music at Hellenic College–Holy Cross. “Dr. Karanos is an internationally known expert in Byzantine music,” said Fr. Thomas FitzGerald, dean of Holy Cross School of Theology. “His appointment strengthens the Byzantine music program and brings a rich perspective.” Karanos, who was born and raised in Thessaloniki, has had a long history and love for Byzantine chanting. His first lessons began in his teenage years. He continued his interest in chant throughout his academic life, accomplishing a Ph.D. in Byzantine Musicology and Psaltic Art (the art of chanting) at the University of Athens, Greece. Karanos studied under world-renowned musicologist Gregory Stathis. He also studied under his predecessor at Holy Cross School of Theology, Archon Protopsaltis Photios Ketsetzis. His noted academic accomplishments and positions in chant have earned him an international reputation as an expert in Byzantine chant. Exploring the art of Byzantine chant wasn’t enough for Dr. Karanos. He completed his B.A. at Harvard University and M.B.A. at Boston University. During his studies, he was a member of the choir of Anatolia College in Thessaloniki and choral groups at Harvard University. “Dr. Karanos is a believing pilgrim, devoted husband and loving family man,” said the Rev. Nicholas C. Triantafilou, president of HCHC. “He has prepared himself for this position as assistant professor in Byzantine music with respect for the sacred mission of our school. He understands the multigenerational culture of our excellent student body. He possesses a keen ability to transmit knowledge and skill sets to every level of student capacity.” Currently, Karanos is teaching courses in Byzantine chant, the history of both Byzantine music and western music. He brings a different voice to Hellenic College Holy Cross’ Byzantine music program. His multi-faceted educational

and professional background and an application of modern didactic methods bring a fresh approach to HCHC’s music program. A combination of practical cantorial experience with musicological scholarship and a parallel background in western music enables him to fluidly relate to all students with different backgrounds. “I strive to make Byzantine music accessible to students that have had prior training in western music or have had little or no musical training at all by speaking in their own language without compromising the traditional and timeproven methods of transmitting Byzantine chant used in Greek conservatories,” said Dr. Karanos. His immediate and most urgent goal is the effective musical preparation of future priests. “I am working to revise the curriculum of Byzantine chant instruction, which currently reflects the philosophy and methodology of Greek conservatories. My goal is to strengthen the courses by making them more relevant to the needs of our students. I will encourage eager participation of all students in music-related activities.” He has accomplished getting his students’ attention by creating chant labs. The labs follow formal in-class instruction and are a setting where advanced students assist other students who seek to fine-tune their skill. “The chant labs have been very popular this year,” said Rassem El Massih, teaching assistant and second–year Master of Divinity student at HCHC. “These labs have revived the interest of students as they come to seek further learning in all elements of Byzantine chant. This year, you hear students practicing chanting in the halls, while walking to classes and all over campus.” Dr. Karanos aspires to create a program that is a comprehensive, in-depth training for students who seek to become cantors. He says “This includes HCHC students as well as musically inclined individuals from Orthodox and non-Orthodox backgrounds who are interested in learning Byzantine chant and obtaining certificates and diplomas, eliminating the need to travel and follow courses of studies in Greek conservatories.” Karanos’ passion for the psaltic art has led him to teach at HCHC. “I strive to promote the sacred art of chanting in the American academia. My desire to contribute to its study and dissemination in the United States has led me to Hellenic College/Holy Cross. This is the ideal setting for this type of work.” He is married to Panagoula DiamantiKaranou and has two sons, Vasileios, 5, and Georgios, 3.

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National Clergy Meet in Arizona to ‘Refresh, Renew and Recharge’ by Fr. John Touloumes

The Archdiocesan Presbyters Council (APC) hosted its Biennial National Clergy Retreat in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Nov. 1-4. The theme for the event was “Refresh. Renew. Recharge.” This was in fulfillment of the mission of the APC, which is to “support, enhance and promote the mission and brotherhood of our priests on all levels of their ministry and diakonia, spiritual growth and educational development, as well as their personal needs.” Presentations on the retreat theme were offered by Archbishop Demetrios and Fr. Christopher Metropulos of St. Demetrios Church in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and a special focus was also placed on health and wellness of the clergy. The event started with the Archbishop’s welcome reception, during which every participant had an opportunity to personally meet and receive the blessings of His Eminence. A southwest dinner followed, at which APC President Fr. Nicholas Anctil welcomed the brother clergy from around the country to the largest ever APC National Clergy Retreat, announcing that there were over 135 in attendance. On Wednesday morning His Eminence served Divine Liturgy at the newlyconsecrated Assumption Church in Scottsdale, then addressed the group at the Archbishop’s Forum, during which he answered question related to the pastoral ministries and personal and spiritual wellbeing of the clergy. Fr. Christopher Metropulos then offered the presentations on the “Refresh” and “Renew” portions of the theme,

IONIAN VILLAGE u u from page 2 visiting sites of historic and religious importance. They will then travel to Istanbul (Constantinople) where they will experience the city’s unique culture and explore the center of our Orthodox faith with visits to include Hagia Sophia and the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Spiritual Odyssey: The Greek Mainland: June 10 – June 20 Beginning with Thessaloniki, the second largest city in Greece, rich in Byzantine history, participants will explore Greece’s mainland. In Ouranopolis (the “city of the sky”) a boat tour will take them to view the monasteries of Mount Athos. They will also visit Athens, spend time at the beautiful Ionian Village campgrounds on the Ionian Sea, and experience the living monasteries

Participating priests with Archbishop Demetrios at the recent National Clergy Retreat in Scottsdale, Arizona.

sharing from his pastoral wisdom and personal experiences as a priest, husband and father. Workshop discussion groups allowed all the participants the opportunity to reflect, share and discuss their own experiences in an open and honest forum with their co-workers in Christ. Many retreat attendees expressed a great appreciation for the opportunity to do so and noted that those discussions were a highlight of the retreat. In keeping with the health and wellness theme, professional fitness trainers conducted sessions to teach the participants exercises and fitness techniques based on their level of activity. Meal selections were also based on healthy food choices throughout the event. Representatives from the Orthodox Health Plan of Meteora that are filled with relics of the saints. Spiritual Odyssey: The Greek Islands: July 15 – July 25 Participants will explore the exceptional beauty and tranquility of the Greek islands. The journey will start in Crete, home to the Minoan civilization and a very unique culture, continue on to Santorini, Patmos, Naxos, and Tinos, and ultimately end in Athens. On each island participants will experience a combination of religious, cultural and historical sites and truly have a taste of the Mediterranean lifestyle. For those who wish to serve on the Ionian Village Staff for the 2012 Summer Programs, applications can now be downloaded from Completed applications must be postmarked by Jan. 31. For more information about any of the programs or announcements listed above, visit or call 212.570.5536.


Ordinations to the Priesthood

Fr. Anthony Cook – Annunciation Church, Memphis, Tenn. 12/01/11 Fr. Theologos Pandelis – Sts. Constantine & Helen, Wauwasota, Wis. 12/01/11 Deacon Paul Truebenbach – Holy Trinity – St. Nicholas, Cincinnati 12/01/11 Fr. Andreas Vithoulkas – Holy Trinity Church, Bridgeport, Conn. 12/01/11


Fr. Evagoras Constantinides, as director of Ionian Village 11/01/11

Ordinations to the Diaconate

Paul Truebenbach – Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco – Holy Trinity Church, Spokane, Wash. 10/23/11 Peter Zougras – Bishop Andonios of Phasiane – Cathedral of St. Paul, Hempstead, N.Y. 11/13/11 Deacon Evagoras Constantinides – Archbishop Demetrios of America – St. Nicholas Church, Flushing, N.Y. 11/20/11 Fr. Soterios Rousakis – St. Basil Church, Stockton, Calif. 10/01/11 Deacon Peter Zougras – St. Paul Cathedral, Hempstead, N.Y. 11/14/11

Appointments Offikia

Fr. John Ketchum – Office of Economos, bestowed by Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago 10/30/11

offered health and wellness information, and the trainers also conducted personal fitness consultations to all who desired them. In keeping with the “retreat” model to vary the schedule and offer an alternative to just meetings and presentations, an afternoon of “adventures” was provided on Thursday, including options to travel to St. Anthony’s Monastery in Florence, hike nearby Camelback Mountain, golf or simply enjoy personal refreshment time. The group ended their final night with a visit to a local landmark, Pinnacle Peak Patio Steak House, where they enjoyed the genuine tastes and sounds of the west. As reflected in the comments of one participant, “This retreat was a milestone for me personally. I am hoping it marks a new beginning in some areas that have

been compressed and dormant for quite a few years. This retreat, as well as what it took to get me there, has begun a renewal process that I am feeling in multiple areas - physical, emotional, spiritual, and intellectual.” His Eminence, in expressing his thanks and support for these types of events, has challenged the APC to double its participation for the next event in two years. Thanks go to the communities of the Archdiocese who supported the attendance of their clergy, the Metropolitans who encouraged them to go and Leadership 100, which provided a grant to assist in the overall funding of the retreat. Fr. Touloumes is APC secretary and served as retreat chairman. He is pastor of Holy Trinity Church, Pittsburgh.



ΧΡΟΝΙΑ ΠΟΛΛΑ! “Χριστὸς γεννᾶται, δοξάσατε· Χριστὸς ἐξ οὐρανῶν, ἀπαντήσατε· Χριστὸς ἐπὶ γῆς, ὑψώθητε. ᾌσατε τῷ Κυρίῳ πᾶσα ἡ γῆ καί, ἵν᾿ ἀμφότερα συνελὼν εἴπω, Εὐφραινέσθωσαν οἱ οὐρανοί, καὶ ἀγαλλιάσθω ἡ γῆ, διὰ τὸν ἐπουράνιον, εἶτα ἐπίγειον”.


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Fr. George Papadeas DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – One of the most outstanding and accomplished clergymen of the Archdiocese, the first American-born and longest continuousserving priest over the past 70 years, Fr. George Papadeas, died Nov. 18 at age 93 from complications of congestive heart failure. His unique service to the Church ranged from the founding and nurturing of parishes, to writing and publishing several significant books, to serving in many administrative capacities with many organizations. He was born in Altoona, Pa., to Greek immigrants in 1918, and became a member of the charter class of the Holy Cross Theological Seminary in Pomfret, Conn., graduating as class valedictorian in 1942. He was assigned as the deacon, Sunday school director and Greek school teacher at Holy Trinity Cathedral in New York City, and also served as deacon to Archbishop Athenagoras while still fulfilling his duties at the Cathedral. He was ordained as a priest on March 18, 1945, and served as assistant priest under the late Fr. Basil Efthimiou until September 1, 1950. On Sept. 1, 1950, Archbishop Michael assigned Fr. George to organize the first Greek Orthodox Church on Long Island (Nassau and Suffolk Counties) in Hempstead. Throughout his career as a priest, Fr. Papadeas was instrumental to the growth of the Greek Orthodox Church in the United States. He broke new ground, initiating many firsts and created many programs still in use in parishes across the country. Fr. Papadeas was passionate and driven, truly a “jack-of-all-trades,” according to his son Timothy of Daytona Beach. He could perform services on a Sunday and afterward swing a hammer like a seasoned carpenter, something he actually did in constructing the altar of the new church in Long Island that became St. Paul’s. In the late 50’s, Fr. George generated the keyboard layout for Greek-language typewriters to make it easier for American typists. He gave it to the Smith-Corona Typewriter Company for use in the construction typewriters for the Greek speaking community worldwide. In 1957, Fr. George participated in presenting the first Orthodox Easter program on CBS-TV over a national hook-up. An “Easter Miracle,” written by the late Nicholas Andromidas, starred William Shatner, who later gained fame as Captain Kirk on “Star Trek.” Pastor of St Paul’s, Hempstead In 1960, as pastor of St. Paul’s parish, he presided over the manifestations of three Weeping Icons of the Theotokos, the first of which was on March 16, 1960. He brought the Weeping Icon of the Virgin Mary that began to tear in the middle of


the night at the house of his parishioner, Pagona Catsounis. Hundreds of thousands from all faiths witnessed that manifestation and in 1990 was named by New York Newsday as one of the most significant events of the last 50 years. Vice President Nixon summoned him to the White House to hear the firsthand account of what had transpired. In 1963, Fr. George was the first to translate the Orthodox Holy Week Easter Services from Greek into English and subsequently published the book Holy Week Easter that has been used in communities Worldwide and considered the “gold standard.” The Retired Greek Clergy of America stated in their newsletter recently that “this book saved Holy Week for our Orthodox Churches in America.” While serving at St Paul’s, the Sunday school had swelled to 1,200 students, with a staff of 125. With the cooperation of teachers at the school, Fr. George published a complete series of Sunday school books from Kindergarten through 12th grade. Until the Archdiocese published its own Sunday school books, these were used by communities throughout America. Fr. George went on to become the dean of the Holy Trinity Archdiocesan Cathedral in New York City, then continued his service in Greece and, finally, in Florida. Together with Fr. Leonidas Contos, Fr. George became the first Greek American priest to receive the Gold Cross of the Order of the Phoenix from King Constantine of Greece in 1964. Fr. George, together with Fr. Constantine Volaitis, was chosen by Archbishop Iakovos to visit the Orthodox Patriarchates of Constantinople, Antioch, Jerusalem, Alexandria, and the Church of Greece to procure icons and other religious historical items to exhibit at the 1966 New York World’s Fair. Also in 1966, he received the unique title of “Head Protopresbyter” by Archbishop Iakovos, an honor given to only one priest per lifetime. Archbishop Iakovos selected him in 1968 to organize the first Clergy-Laity Congress of the Archdiocese to take place in Athens, Greece, in July of that year. Upon the founding of Ionian Village, he managed of all aspects of the development and construction of the camp in Bartholomiou, Greece, and also served as chief liaison and representative of Archbishop Iakovos to the Church of Greece and the Greek government. In 1970, the Archbishop sent him on a nationwide tour to promote the opening of the Ionian Village. He also served as its director during its first two years of operation. Remaining in Greece, until 1975, he organized and served the first systematic Eastern Orthodox parish at the U.S. Air Base “Hellenicon” in Athens to serve the spiritual needs of the military. After moving to Florida in 1975 and assuming duties as pastor of St. Demetrios in Daytona Beach, Fr. George initiated the annual memorial service in New Smyrna Beach, site where 500 Greeks landed in 1768 at the ill-fated New Smyrna plantation. In 1982, he organized the Eastern Orthodox Clergy Fellowship of Central and East Florida in 1982, and was elected as its first president. He also established the Epiphany Day services in DeLeon Springs, attended by Orthodox clergy and faithful of East-Central Florida, and organized the first Greek Festival in Florida, held at St. Demetrios

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The Preparation of the Holy Gifts: Putting Last Things First in Our Lives by Rev. Dr. Stelyios Muksuris, Ph.D.

A danger all of us face as priests of God is to approach our liturgical ministry in our parishes with a lukewarm and dispassionate disposition. Working long hours and late nights in the service of God’s people, accompanied by the stresses these situations typically bring, may often incapacitate us spiritually, if not even physically, at times. This may lead to a mechanical, unconscious execution of the Divine Liturgy and our ecclesiastical services, the likes of which is not merely perceived by our flocks in attendance but, sadly, is also emulated by them and interpreted as the norm for Orthodox liturgical life. We clergy often urge our parishioners to participate meaningfully in the Holy Liturgy; however, the underlying question is: Do we do as much? Meaningful participation on both sides of the altar screen presupposes certain factors, chief of which is how we perceive the local Eucharistic community of the parish and what we understand that signifies the overall celebration of the Divine Liturgy. When the “going to church” becomes habitual, without a proper understanding of who we are as a community and what we hope to achieve in our worship, the liturgical experience can seem tiresome if not irrelevant. And like anything in life, one only reaps as much as he sows (2 Corinthians 9:6). Thankfully, the “reapers” in our communities are both plentiful and faithful; however, the question is what seeds do they have to sow and make their spiritual harvest an abundant one? A refreshingly new look at the liturgical commentaries of St. Symeon of Thessalonike may help. St. Symeon (died 1429 A.D.) is arguably the most underestimated of all patristic commentators on the Divine Liturgy. His important contribution, “On the Sacred Liturgy,” which appears as a chapter in his “Treatise on the Sacraments,” and his stand-alone “Interpretation of the Divine Temple and Liturgy,” have been translated into English by Fr. Steven Hawkes-Teeples, professor of Byzantine Liturgy at the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome. Nevertheless, to my knowledge, the former text presents the most unique vision ever recorded of the completed prothesis rite (the private service of preparation of the Holy Gifts prior to the Divine Liturgy), an image that answers who we are as the Church and what we should be accomplishing when we gather for worship. The hallowed Archbishop of Thessalonike is the only Byzantine liturgical commentator who engages in such a lengthy description of the rite because, by the 15th century, it became the familiar one we know today. What began as a simple Eucharistic offering of bread and wine has developed a profound theology that has elevated the completed prothesis into a vivid icon of the Lord flanked on all sides by His Holy Church. This is what Symeon has to say: “But let us also see how through this divine model and the work of the holy proskomide we perceive as one Jesus and His Church, in the middle Him the true light, from whom the Church requests life eternal, illumined by Him and ongoing. While He is in the middle through the bread, His mother [is present] through the particle on the right, the saints and the angels on the left, and below everyone who has believed in Him, the pious gathering. And this is the great mystery: God among men and God in the midst of gods, observed by Him who is God

by nature and who was truly incarnated for them. And this is the future kingdom and the commonwealth of eternal life: God with us, both seen and partaken of.” On the Sacred Liturgy St. Symeon presents a powerful cosmic image of the Kingdom of God, the united Church of heaven and earth. Christ’s centrality in history and in the Kingdom, manifested in the local parish, is clear. What is also vividly evident is the special place occupied by the faithful, who join the celestial orders in their worship of God. The characterization “God in the midst of gods” builds upon the Eastern theology of theosis, or deification, developed in the fourth century by St. Athanasios of Alexandria in his renowned treatise “On the Incarnation.” The local faith community, every time it gathers for celebration of the Eucharist, realizes itself to be what it already is in the eyes of God: the redeemed Kingdom (Luke 23:42-43), the banquet hall (Luke 14:23-24), the family reunited once again to its Father (Luke 15:32) and to one another. In this gathering, the walls of discord and separation are torn down indefinitely; there is complete transparency, total accessibility to God, and full comprehension of one’s place in the economia of salvation. Judgment and criticism are seized from man and redirected to the One who alone possesses this prerogative. In Symeon’s vision, equality is of paramount importance between the living and deceased, with the hierarchy of progression stemming from the Lamb to the orders of saints and angels, and through them to the members of the ecclesia militant and triumphant. Symeon’s vision of the ecclesia at prayer is predominantly eschatological. It is a miniaturization of the Holy Liturgy, which the solemn celebration of the eternal liturgy of God’s Kingdom. The continual partaking of the fullness of Christ through the consecrated elements mirrors the complete permeation of God in man and man’s full participation in the life of God at the eschaton. And it is this Kingdom to which all Orthodox Christians belong from holy baptism as they draw closer at each Eucharist, and throughout their lives. All these considerations help us servants of God’s holy altar in attaining an eschatological orientation not only in our celebration of the Divine Liturgy, but also in daily life. (Eschatology deals with the final destiny of the soul, of mankind in general and of the entire cosmos). The development of the prothesis into a private “clericalized” service has not helped matters as, over the centuries, our faithful have been excluded from such a wealth of mystical theology. Perhaps consideration may be given through to an occasional “public” execution of this once very public act, with the only difference being the exposure of our people to the heightened liturgical mystagogy that began developing by the first quarter of the seventh century. The contemplative value of the prothesis rite has always belonged to the clergy; perhaps it may be time for it to be shared by our laity as well. Symeon’s vision of the redeemed Kingdom can guide each of us, clergy and laity, to a deeper appreciation of what the Church at prayer is and does. We are the universal and local eschatological community, made up of eschatological beings, living the eschaton in the present and preparing for it at the end of history.



May Peace, Joy & Happiness be yours this Christmas Season & throughout the New Year

Mary & Michael Jaharis



In this Season of Faith, Hope & Love...

Metropolis of Pittsburgh

Welcomes Our Newly Enthroned METROPOLITAN SAVAS OF PITTSBURGH Enthroned on December 8, 2011

AXIOS!, AXIOS!, AXIOS! We also offer our prayer for a truly



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Χρισ τούγεν να 2011 Τί σοι προσενέγκωμεν Χριστέ, ὅτι ὤφθης ἐπί γῆς ὡς ἄνθρωπος δι’ ἡμᾶς; (Ἑσπερινός Χριστουγέννων) Πρός τούς Σεβασμιωτάτους καί Θεοφιλεστάτους Ἀρχιερεῖς, τούς Εὐλαβεστάτους Ἱερεῖς καί Διακόνους, τούς Μοναχούς καί Μοναχές, τούς Προέδρους καί Μέλη τῶν Κοινοτικῶν Συμβουλίων, τά Ἡμερήσια καί Ἀπογευματινά Σχολεῖα, τίς Φιλοπτώχους Ἀδελφότητες, τήν Νεολαία, τίς Ἑλληνορθόδοξες Ὀργανώσεις καί ὁλόκληρο τό Χριστεπώνυμον πλήρωμα τῆς Ἱερᾶς Ἀρχιεπισκοπῆς Ἀμερικῆς. Προσφιλεῖς Ἀδελφοί καί Ἀδελφές ἐν Χριστῷ, Ὅταν ἀκοῦμε καί σκεπτόμεθα τήν ὑπέροχη ἱστορία τῆς Γεννήσεως τοῦ Κυρίου μας, οἱ καρδιές μας γεμίζουν μέ τεράστια χαρά. Στό θαυμάσιο γεγονός τῆς ἐνανθρωπήσεώς Του ὁ Θεός ἀπεκάλυψε τήν μεγάλη ἀγάπη Του γιά μᾶς καί τό θεϊκό σχέδιό Του γιά τήν ἀποκατάσταση τῆς κοινωνίας μαζί Του. Μέσῳ τῆς Σαρκώσεώς Του, ὁ Χριστός προσέφερε Ἑαυτόν γιά τήν πλήρη ἀνακαίνισή μας καί ὁλοκλήρωσε τήν δωρεά αὐτή τῆς χάριτος ἐν τῷ Σταυρῷ καί ἐν τῇ Ἀναστάσει Του. Διά τῆς γεννήσεώς Του, ὁ Κύριός μας εἰσῆλθε στήν ἀνθρώπινη κατάστασή μας προσφέροντάς μας βαθύτερη κατανόηση τῆς σχέσεως μέ τό Δημιουργό μας καί μεγαλύτερη ἐμπειρία ζωῆς καί ὑπάρξεως. Ὁ Υἱός τοῦ Θεοῦ ὁ Ὁποῖος ἔγινε ἄνθρωπος χάριν ἡμῶν, Ἐκεῖνος ὁ Ὁποῖος εὑρίσκεται ἀνάμεσά μας καί γνωρίζει τούς πόνους καί τούς ἀγῶνες μας, χαρίζει σέ ὅλους μας ζωή καί εἰρήνη. Ἡ Ἑορτή τῶν Χριστουγέννων εἶναι ἑορτή πού συμπεριλαμβάνει ὅλα ὅσα προσέφερε καί συνεχίζει νά μᾶς προσφέρει ὁ Χριστός. Εἶναι ἐπίσης ἑορτή ἡ ὁποία θέτει ἐνώπιόν μας τήν ἐρώτηση: Τί πρέπει νά Τοῦ προσφέρουμε ἐμεῖς; Στό Ἱερό Εὐαγγέλιο, ἡ ἐρώτηση αὐτή ἀπαντήθηκε ἀπ’ αὐτούς πού συμμετεῖχαν μέ τήν παρουσία τους στήν ἔνδοξη Γέννηση. Ἡ Παρθένος Μαρία διέθεσε τόν ἑαυτόν της ὑπακούοντας στό θέλημα τοῦ Θεοῦ, κυοφορώντας καί γεννώντας τόν Σωτήρα Ἰησοῦν (Λουκᾶ 1:26-38). Ὁ Ἰωσήφ ἀκολούθησε τήν ἐντολή τοῦ Κυρίου καί φρόντισε τήν Θεοτόκο καί τόν νεογέννητο Χριστό (Ματθ. 1:24-25). Οἱ βοσκοί,

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Ο νέος Μητροπολίτης Πιττσβούργου Σάββας ευλογεί το πλήθος των πιστών.

Ενθρόνιση Μητροπολίτη Πιττσβούργου Σάββα ΠΙΤΤΣΒΟΥΡΓΟ - Με βυζαντινή μεγαλοπρέπεια και τις δέουσες εκκλησιαστικές τιμές και λαμπρότητα τελέστηκε την Πέμπτη 8 Δεκεμβρίου στον Καθεδρικό Ναό του Αγίου Νικολάου, η ενθρόνιση του Μητροπολίτη Πιττσβούργου Σάββα, έκτο στη σειρά ιεράρχη επικεφαλής της Μητροπόλεως και πρώτου γεννημένου στην Αμερική επίσκόπου της. Ο Μητροπολίτης Σάββας διαδέχεται τον πρώην Μητροπολίτη Πιττσβούργου Μάξιμο, ο

οποίος συνταξιοδοτήθηκε το Σεπτέμβριο μετά από 32 χρόνια αδιαλλείπτου υπηρεσίας. Το επόμενο πρωί της ενθρονίσεως, ο νέος Μητροπολίτης Σάββας προεξήρχε Θείας Λειτουργίας. Η τελετή ξεκίνησε με μεγάλη πομπή περισσοτέρων από 24 ιεροπαίδων – ψαλτών και 60 ιερέων εν μέσω του διαδρόμου του

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Επίσημη Επίσκεψη Αντιπροέδρου Μπάιντεν στο Οικουμενικό Πατριαρχείο ôïõ Íéêüëáïõ Ìáããßíá

Η επίσκεψη του Αντιπροέδρου Τζότζεφ Μπάιντεν αποτέλεσε ένα ακόμη σημαντικό γεγονός στη ζωή του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου. Το εγκάρδιο κλίμα που επικράτησε και η οικειότητα μεταξύ είναι χαρακτηριστικό του σεβασμού και της αναγνώρισης της υψηλής θέσης και αποστολής του Ιερού Θεσμού του Πατριαρχείου. Ο Αντιπρόεδρος Μπάιντεν επισκέφθηκε το Οικουμενικό Πατριαρχείο, συνοδευόμενος από τον Πρέσβη των Η.Π.Α στην Άγκυρα Francis Riccardione, τον Γενικό Πρόξενο των Η.Π.Α. στην Πόλη Scott Kilner και άλλους συνεργάτες του. Στην κεντρική είσοδο των Πατριαρχείων τον υποδέχθηκαν ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής Δημήτριος, ο οποίος ήλθε για τον σκοπό αυτό από την Αμερική, και οι κληρικοί της Πατριαρχικής Αυλής με επικεφαλής τον Μητροπολίτη Καλλιουπόλεως και Μαδύτου Στέφανο, Πρωτοσυγκελλεύοντα. Εν συνεχεία, ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος, υποδέχθηκε τον υψηλό επισκέπτη του Πατριαρχείου στην Αίθουσα του Θρόνου, και από εκεί τον συνόδευσε στο Πατριαρχικό Γραφείο,


Ο Αντιπρόεδρος Τζο Μπάιντεν (κέντρο) συνομιλεί με τον Οικουμενικό Πατριάρχη Βαρθολομαίο και τον Αρχιεπίσκοπο Αμερικής Δημήτριο, στο Ναό του Αγίου Γεωργίου στο Φανάρι. όπου είχαν θερμή συνομιλία για πάνω από μία ώρα, παρουσία των συνεργατών του Αντιπροέδρου και των Ιεραρχών: Αμερικής Δημητρίου, Περγάμου Ιωάννη, Γαλλίας Εμ-

μανουήλ και Αγίου Φραγκίσκου Γερασίμου, του Πρωτοπρεσβυτέρου Αλεξάνδρου Καρλούτσου και του Διακόνου Νήφωνος Τσιμαλή.

Συζητήθηκαν οι θρησκευτικές ελευθερίες στην Τουρκία, το αίτημα για την επαναλειτουργία της Θεολογικής Σχολής της Χάλκης, η Ευρωπαϊκή προοπτική της χώρας, οι πρωτοβουλίες του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου για την προστασία του φυσικού περιβάλλοντος καθώς και η πορεία του διαχριστιανικού διαλόγου. Στο τέλος της συνάντησης έγινε και ανταλλαγή δώρων. Στη συνέχεια, ο κ. Μπάιντεν συναντήθηκε στην αίθουσα του Θρόνου με τα μέλη της Αγίας και Ιεράς Συνόδου, κληρικούς και λαϊκά στελέχη του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου και της Ομογένειας, και Άρχοντες του Τάγματος του Αγίου Ανδρέα από τις Η.Π.Α. Ο Άρχων Χαρτοφύλακας της Μ.τ.Χ.Ε. Λάκης Βίγκας, αιρετός εκπρόσωπος των Ευαγών Μειονοτικών Ιδρυμάτων στο δεκαπενταμελές Συμβούλιο της Γενικής Διεύθυνσης Βακουφίων (που εδρεύει στην Άγκυρα) ενημέρωσε τον Αντιπρόεδρο των ΗΠΑ για θέματα των μειονοτικών Βακουφίων. «Για πολλές δεκαετίες περάσαμε δύσκολες στιγμές, ταπεινώσεις και διακρίσεις», είπε ο Λάκης Βίγκας και επεσήμανε ότι «το νέο Σύνταγ-

uΣελίδα 19




Ενθρόνιση Μητροπολίτη Πιττσβούργου Σάββα

uΣελίδα 17 καθεδρικού ναού, ενώ εκατοντάδες ενορίτες και πλήθος πιστών και επισκεπτών παρακολουθούσαν την τελετή. Ιδιαίτερα συγκινητική ήταν η στιγμή της αφίξεως του πρώην Μητροπολίτη Πιττσβούργου Μάξιμου, συνοδευόμενου από το Μητροπολίτη Ντιτρόιτ Νικόλαο, τοποτηρητή της Ιεράς Μητροπόλεως Πιττσβούργου τους τελευταίους τρεις μήνες. Στην τελετή της ενθρονίσεως παρέστησαν μεταξύ άλλων ο Μητροπολίτης Κωνσταντίνος ως εκπρόσωπος της Ουκρανικής Αρχιεπισκοπής στην Αμερική, ο Επίσκοπος Θωμάς ως εκπρόσωπος της Αντιοχειανής Αρχιεπισκοπής και ο Επίσκοπος Μωκησσού Δημήτριος, εκ μέρους του Μητροπολίτη Σικάγου Ιακώβου και ο πρωτοσύγκελος τηςΚαρπαθο-Ρωσικής Επισκοπής, Φρανκ Μιλόρο, κληρικοί και πλήθος επισκεπτών. Ο νεοεκλεγείς Επίσκοπος Ζήλων Σεβαστιανός, ανέγνωσε το επίσημο μήνυμα του Οικουμενικού Πατριάρχου Βαρθολομαίου. ΑΡΧΙΕΠΙΣΚΟΠΟΣ ΔΗΜΗΤΡΙΟΣ Στην προσφώνησή του ο Σεβασμιώτατος Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριος εξέφρασε τις «θερμές ευχές, προσευχές και βαθύτατη αγάπη» του Οικουμενικού Πατριάρχου Βαρθολομαίου προς το νέο Μητροπολίτη Πιττσβούργου Σάββα. Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριος τόνισε πως «η διακονία στην οποία κληθήκατε να αναλάβετε να είναι διακονία πλήρης καρπών Χάριτος και Πνεύματος Αγίου», και ότι πρόκειται για «μια πάρα πολύ ευλογημένη ώρα και χρονική στιγμή», ενώ ταυτόχρονα έπλεξε το εγκώμιο του πρώην Μητροπολίτη Πιττσβούργου τον οποίο χαρακτήρισε «υπόδειγμα ποιμένος για τα τελευταία 32 χρόνια ως επικεφαλή της μητροπόλεώς του». Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριος, απευθυνόμενος στο νέο Μητροπολίτη Σάββα είπε μεταξύ άλλων ότι «έχετε τη μεγάλη ευλογία να διαθέτετε πολλά προσόντα τα οποία είναι απαραίτητα σ’ έναν ποιμένα στις μέρες μας. Εχετε παιδεία γιατί κάνατε σπουδές επί μακρόν στη Θεολογική Σχολή, αργότερα έξι χρόνια στο Πανεπιστήμιο της Οξφόρδης και δεν σταματήσατε ποτέ να είστε ο άνθρωπος ο οποίος, στην κυριολεξία, διαβάζει μέρα–νύχτα.» «Καλείσθε», συνέχισε ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριος, «να προσφέρετε Αγάπη και Αλήθεια, καλείσθε να προσφέρετε την παρουσία του Θεού», και πρόσθεσε ότι «όλοι αναμένουν ότι ο αμπελών αυτός του Κυρίου θα εξακολουθήσει να δίνει αυτούς τους καρπούς του πνεύματος – σε συνέχεια της λαμπράς διακονίας του Μητροπολίτη Μαξίμου – όπως τους περιέγραψε κι ο Απόστολος Παύλος ως αγάπη, χαρά, ειρήνη, μακροθυμία, αγαθοσύνη, πίστη, πραότητα και εγκράτεια- όλα εν αφθονία.» Ενθρονιστήριος Λόγος Σεβασμιωτάτου Μητροπολίτου Πιττσβούργου Σάββα Αμέσως μετά την τελετή της ενθρονήσεώς του στον Ιερό Καθεδρικό Ναό του Αγίου Νικολάου στο Πιττσβούργο της πολιτείας της Πεννσυλβανίας, ο νέος Μητροπολίτης ευχαριστώντας τον Αρχιεπίσκοπο Δημήτριο, τους Μητροπολίτες Ντιτρόιτ Νικόλαο και πρώην Πιττσβούργου Μάξιμο, τον εψηφισμένο Επίσκοπο Ζήλων Σεβαστιανό, τους λοιπούς ιεράρχες και το ποίμνιο, είπε μεταξύ άλλων: «Σὲ κάθε τέλεση τῆς Θείας Λειτουργίας, ἐπιβεβαιώνουμε τὴν


Ακολουθώντας την βυζαντινή παράδοση ο πρώην και ο νυν Μητροπολίτης Πιττσβούργου Μάξιμος και Σάββας, λίγα λεπτά πριν από την τελετή της ενθρονίσεως.


Ο Σεβασμιώτατος Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριος κατά τη διάρκεια της προσφώνησης προς το νέο Μητροπολίτη Πιττσβούργου Σάββα. προκήρυξη τοῦ ἁγίου καὶ ἐνδόξου Ἀποσ τόλου Ἰακώβου τοῦ Ἀδελφοθέου: ‘Πᾶσα δόσις ἀγαθὴ καὶ πᾶν δώρημα τέλειον ἄνωθέν ἐστι καταβαῖνον ἀπὸ τοῦ πατρὸς τῶν φώτων...’ ( Ἰακ. α΄,17). Βρίσκομαι ἐνώπιόν σας σήμερα, ἔχοντας ἀποδεχτεῖ ἕνα δῶρο, ἕνα δῶρο ποὺ ὄντως εἶναι «ἀγαθὸν καὶ τέλειον», ἕνα δώρημα ἐκ τοῦ Πατρὸς τῶν Φώτων: ἕνα δῶρο ποὺ εἶναι ἐντελῶς πλημμυρισμένο ἀπὸ φῶς – καὶ αὐτὸ τὸ δῶρο δὲν εἶναι τίποτα ἄλλο παρὰ αὐτὴ ἡ Ἁγία καὶ θεόσωστη Μητρόπολη τοῦ Πιττσβούργου. «Πάντες ὑμεῖς υἱοὶ φωτός ἐστε καί υἱοὶ ἡμέρας» (Α΄ Θεσ. ε΄,5). Μέσα σας λάμπει τὸ ἀνέσπερον φῶς τοῦ Χριστοῦ. Μέσα σας τὸ φῶς τοῦ Ὀρθοδόξου Χριστιανισμοῦ ἐκλάμπει καὶ διαφωτίζει ὁλόκληρη αὐτὴ τὴν Ἱερὰ Μητρόπολη ἀπὸ τὴν ἡμέρα τῆς ἱδρύσεώς της, ἕνα ἔργο ποὺ πραγματοποιεῖται ἀπὸ τὴν διακονία καὶ συνεργασία τῶν ἁγίων ἱεραρχῶν, τοῦ ἱεροῦ κλήρου, καὶ τοῦ εὐσεβοῦς λαοῦ, οἱ ὁποῖοι ὅλοι μαζὶ συνεργάζονται πιστὰ καὶ ὑπεύθυνα γιὰ τὴν δόξα τοῦ Τρισ υποστάτου Θεοῦ. Μέσα σας λειτουργεῖ ἡ θεία χάρις, « ἡ πάντοτε τὰ ἀσθενῆ θεραπεύουσα καὶ τὰ ἐλλείποντα ἀναπληροῦσα», ἡ θεία χάρις

ποὺ σᾶς μεταμορφώνει «ἀπὸ δόξης εἰς δόξαν ... καθάπερ ἀπὸ Κυρίου Πνεύματος» (Β΄ Κορ. γ’, 18), ἡ θεία χάρις ποὺ σᾶς κατακοσμεῖ ὡς μία ἁγία νύμφη τοῦ Χριστοῦ, «μὴ ἔχουσα σπίλον ἢ ῥυτίδα ἤ τι τῶν τοιούτων» ( Ἐφεσ. ε΄, 27). Αὐτὸ εἶναι τὸ δῶρο – ἐσεῖς εἶσθε τό δῶρο, οἱ ἀγαπ ητοί μου ἐν Χρισ τῷ ἀδελφοὶ καὶ ἀδελφὲς τῆς Μητροπόλεως τοῦ Πιττσβούργου. Μαζὶ μὲ τὸν Ἀπόστολο Παῦλο ἀνακράζω ἀπὸ τὰ βάθη τῆς ψυχῆς μου: «Καὶ πρὸς ταῦτα τίς ἱκανός;» (Β΄ Κορ. β΄,16). Τὸ δῶρο εἶναι τόσο μεγάλο, τόσο ἔνδοξο, καὶ τόσο πολύτιμο ποὺ δὲν συγκρίνεται μὲ τίποτα ἄλλο. Ἡ καρδιά μου πλημμυρίζει μὲ εὐγνωμοσύνη πρὸς τὸν Θεό, ποὺ τὸ ἔλεός Του με ἔχει ἀκολουθήσει κάθε μέρα τῆς ζωῆς μου, καὶ μέ ἔχει καθοδηγήσει μέχρι αὐτὴ τὴν στιγμή. Ἐν μέσῳ τοῦ λαοῦ Του τώρα, ἐπικαλοῦμαι τό ἅγιο Ὄνομά Του, ἐνῶ εἶμαι ἀνάξιός Του, νὰ μέ καταστήσει ἄξιο τῆς παρακαταθήκης τῆς Πίστεως ποὺ μοῦ ἔχει ἐμπιστευθεῖ. Εἴθε ὁ Θεὸς νὰ μοῦ χαρίζει τὴν δύναμη τῆς ἀγάπης Του καὶ τὴν χάρη τῆς σοφίας Του νὰ φυλάσσω καλῶς τὴν λογικὴν ποίμνην ποὺ τώρα παρατίθεται ὑπὸ τὴν αἰγίδα μου. Ὁ Κύριος Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς δίδαξε ὅτι ὅποιος θὰ ἤθελε νὰ εἶναι πρῶτος ἐν μέσῳ τῶν μαθητῶν Του θὰ ἔπρεπε νὰ εἶναι ἔσχατος και διάκονος ὅλων (Μάρκ. ι΄,44). Καθὼς ἀποδέχομαι τὴν ἡγεσία αὐτῆς τῆς Μητρο-


Ο Μητροπολίτης Πιττσβούργου Σάββας κατά τη διάρκεια της πρώτης Θείας Λειτουργίας.

πόλεως, ἀποδέχομαι ταυτόχρονα τὸν ζυγὸ τῆς καθολικῆς διακονίας. Συναισθανόμενος τὴν διακονία αὐτήν, ἀκολουθῶ τὸ φωτεινὸ παράδειγμα τοῦ Οἰκουμενικοῦ Πατριάρχου καὶ πνευματικοῦ πατέρα μας, τοῦ Παναγιωτάτου Πατριάρχου Βαρθολομαίου καὶ τῶν ἁγίων καὶ προσφιλῶν σὺν αὐτῷ ἱεραρχῶν τῆς Μεγάλης καὶ Ἱερᾶς Συνόδου τῆς Κωνσταντινουπόλεως. Ἔχω προσωπικὴ πεῖρα τῆς ἀφοσίωσης τοῦ Οἰκουμενικοῦ Πατριαρχείου στὸ ἔργο τῆς Ἐκκλησίας, πὼς δηλαδὴ συνεχῶς ὑπηρετεῖ τοὺς ἀπανταχοῦ τῆς γῆς Ὀρθοδόξους Χριστιανούς. Καὶ αὐτὴ τὴν ἡμέρα τῆς ἐνθρονίσεώς μου, εὐχαριστῶ τὴν Μεγάλη καὶ Ἱερὰ Σύνοδο ὄχι μόνο διὰ τὴν ὑπέρμετρη τιμὴ ποὺ μοῦ χάρισε μὲ τὴν ἐπικύρωση τῆς ἐκλογῆς μου, ἀλλὰ ἐξίσου διὰ τὸ ἀπαράμιλλο παράδειγμά τους τῆς αὐταπαρνητικῆς διακονίας ποὺ ἐκτελοῦν ἀνὰ πᾶσα ὥρα ἐν τῇ χαρᾷ τοῦ Κυρίου. Δὲν βρίσκω λόγια νὰ ἐκφράσω τὴν βαθιὰ εὐγνωμοσύνη μου πρὸς τὸν Σεβασμιώτατον Ἀρχιεπίσκοπον Ἀμερικῆς κ. Δημήτριον. Ἡ πατρική του ἀγάπη, ἡ ἀμέτρητη καλοσύνη του, καὶ ἡ σοφὴ συμβουλή του μέ ἔχουν ἐμπνεύσει καὶ στηρίξει, ἀπὸ τὸν καιρὸ τῆς φοιτήσεώς μου στὴ Θεολογικὴ Σχολή. Στὸν Σεβασμιώτατο ὀφείλω τὴν προετοιμασία μου διὰ τὴν ἐπικειμένη διακονία μου. Ὅ,τι προτερήματα ἔχω εἶναι ἀντανακλάσεις τῶν χαρισμάτων του, ἐνῶ ἐγὼ εἶμαι ἐξ’ ὁλοκλήρου ὑπεύθυνος γιὰ τὶς ἀδυναμίες μου. Εἶμαι εὐγνώμων ἐπίσης στὰ μέλη τῆς Ἱερᾶς Ἐπαρχιακῆς Συνόδου διὰ τὴν ψῆφο τῆς ἐμπιστοσύνης ποὺ ἔδωσαν στὸ πρόσωπό μου διὰ τὴν ἐκλογή μου ὡς Μητροπολίτου Πιττσβούργου. Τοὺς παρακαλῶ θερμὰ νὰ δέονται ὑπὲρ ἐμοῦ πρὸς τὸν Κύριον ἐν τῇ διακονίᾳ τους, καθὼς καὶ ἐγὼ συνδιακονεύω στὴν ἀρχιποιμαντικὴ ἐργασία τους ποὺ ἐκτελοῦν τόσο πιστὰ καὶ ἀκαταπόνητα. Εἶμαι ἰδιαίτερα εὐγνώμων στὸν Μητροπολίτη Ντητρόϊτ κ. Νικόλαο, ποὺ ἐχρημάτισε τοποτηρητὴς τῆς Μητροπόλεως Πιττσβούργου τοὺς τελευταίους τρεῖς μῆνες. Καθοδήγησε τὸ ποίμνιο τοῦ Χριστοῦ μὲ σοφία καὶ προθυμία, καὶ γι’ αὐτὸ τὸν λόγο ὅλη ἡ Ἐκκλησία εἶναι ὑπέρμετρα εὐγνώμων. Εἴθε ὁ Θεὸς νὰ τοῦ χαρίζει ἔτη πολλὰ ὑγείας εἰς τὴν ὑπηρεσίαν τοῦ Κυρίου! Εἶμαι ὑπερήφανος ποὺ ἀκολουθῶ τὰ βήματα τῶν ὄντως ἐξαίρετων ἱεραρχῶν, ποὺ ὑπηρέτησαν ὡς ἡγέτες τῆς ἐδῶ ἐπαρχίας: τῶν ἐπισκόπων Τροπαίου Ἀνθίμου, Ἀγκώνης Θεοδοσίου, Ἀβύδου Γερασίμου, Χριστουπόλεως Ἀνθίμου, καὶ προπάντων, τοῦ Μητροπολίτου Πιττσβούργου κ. Μαξίμου. Στὴν ἱστορικὴ ποιμαντική του διακονία τῶν τριάντα δύο χρόνων, ὁ Σεβασμιώτατος προσωποποιε ῖ τὸν ἰδανικὸ ἐπίσκοπο, τὸν «ὀρθοτομοῦντα τὸν λόγον τῆς ἀληθείας» (Β΄ Τιμ. β΄,15) – μέσῳ τῆς θεολογικῆ ς καὶ ἀκαδημαϊκῆς του καταρτίσεως, τῆς ὑποταγῆς του στοὺς κανόνες τῆς Ἐκκλησίας, τῆς ποιμαντικῆς του διακρίσεως, καὶ τῆς εὐγενικῆς του ἀγάπης γιά ὅλους. Ὁ Μητροπολίτης Μάξιμος τοποθέτησε σταθερὰ θεμέλια, μὲ ἀκρογωνιαῖο λίθο τὸν ἴδιο τὸν Χριστόν. Ἂς προσευχηθοῦμε λοιπὸν νὰ συνοικοδομήσουμε πιστῶς πάνω σὲ αὐτὰ τὰ θεμέλια», τόνισε ο νέος Μητροπολίτης Πιττσβούργου Σάββας. Μετά από την τελετή της ενθρονίσεως, εκατοντάδες πιστοί, φίλοι και συνεργάτες του Μητροπολίτη συγκεντρώθηκαν στην αίθουσα της εκκλησίας για την παραδοσιακή δεξίωση και επίσημο τιμητικό δείπνο. Την επομένη, 9 Δεκ., Εορτή της Συλλήψεως της Θεοτόκου, ο Μητροπολίτης Σάββας γιόρτασε την πρώτη Θεία Λειτουργία του.




Επίσημη Επίσκεψη Μπάιντεν στο Φανάρι uΣελίδα 17 μα πρέπει να αποτελέσει εγγύηση της προστασίας των μειονοτήτων». «Οι μειονότητες επιζητούμε το μέλλον μας στην γενέτειρά μας», πρόσθεσε. Στο σύντομο χαιρετισμό του ο Αντιπρόεδρος Μπάιντεν εξέφρασε τη χαρά και τη συγκίνησή του για την παρουσία του στο Φανάρι, επανέλαβε την στήριξη των ΗΠΑ στον θεσμό του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου και εξήρε την προσωπικότητα του Οικουμενικού Πατριάρχη. Όπως είπε χαρακτηριστικά δύο σημαντικές προσωπικότητες έχει γνωρίσει στην ζωή του: τον Οικουμενικό Πατριάρχη Βαρθολομαίο και τον Πρόεδρο Νέλσον Μαντέλα. Αναφέρθηκε, επίσης, και στις πολιτικές και κοινωνικές αλλαγές στη χώρα και την ευρύτερη περιοχή. Ο κ. Μπάιντεν έδειξε ενδιαφέρον για τις σχέσεις του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου με τη Ρωμαιοκαθολική Εκκλησία, που βρίσκονται σε Διάλογο, καθώς και ο ίδιος είναι πιστός Καθολικός και μάλιστα ο πρώτος Καθολικός μετά τον Κένεντυ που ανέρχεται σε τόσο μεγάλη θέση της Αμερικανικής Διοίκησης. Ο κ. Μπάιντεν προσέφερε ένα βιβλίο οικολογικού ενδιαφέροντος στον Πατριάρχη γνωρίζοντας την ευαισθησία του στα θέματα αυτά. Ο τίτλος του βιβλίου είναι «Η ιδιοφυία του χώρου, η ζωή του Frederick Law Olmsted» και συγγραφέας είναι ο Justin Martin. Να σημειωθεί ότι ο Frederick είναι ο σχεδιαστής και δημιουργός πρασίνων χώρων σε πόλεις, όπως το Σέντραλ Πάρκ της Νέας Υόρκης, η Πράσινη Aλυσίδα στη Βοστώνη κ.α. Στην αφιέρωσή του προς τον Πατριάρχη ο Αντιπρόεδρος σημειώνει: «Ο Frederick Law Olmsted μου θυμίζει το πρόσωπό σας. Είστε αμφότεροι οραματιστές, οι οποίοι αναγνωρίζουν την ηθική υποχρέωση όλων των τέκνων του Θεού, να διατηρήσουν γιά τα παιδιά μας το μεγάλο δώρο που μας χάρισε ο Θεός, αυτόν τον πλανήτη Γη. Σας ευχαριστώ για την πνευματική ηγεσία σας, στο να υπενθυμίζετε στις κυβερνήσεις του κόσμου τις υποχρεώσεις τους. Με σεβασμό και αφοσίωση. J.B.» Ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης ευχαρίστησε και κατά την έλευση και κατά την αναχώρησή του τον Αντιπρόεδρο για την επίσκεψή του στο Φανάρι και για το ενδιαφέρον του σχετικά με τα θέματα που απασχολούν το Πατριαρχείο. Η αντίδραση του Αντιπροέδρου ήταν άμεση, απαντώντας με έμφαση: «Όχι, μή με ευχαριστείτε. Είναι τιμή και και ευλογία για μένα». Μετά την ιδιαίτερη συνάντηση στο Πατριαρχικό Γραφείο και στο τέλος της δεξίωσης στην Αίθουσα του Θρόνου με την παρουσία Ιεραρχών και Κοινοτικών παραγόντων της Ομογένειας της Πόλης η επίσκεψη ολοκληρώθηκε με προσκύνημα στον Πατριαρχικό Ναό του Αγίου Γεωργίου, όπου ο Αντιπρόεδρος των Η.Π.Α. ξεναγήθηκε από τον Αρχιεπίσκοπο Αμερικής Δημήτριο, και

έδειξε ιδιαίτερο ενδιαφέρον για την ιστορία του ναού, των ιερών λειψάνων και των κειμηλίων που φυλάσσονται σ’ αυτόν. Με ιδιαίτερη ευλάβεια προσκύνησε την στήλη της Φραγγελώσεως, στην οποία δέθηκε ο Ιησούς για να μαστιγωθεί. Η όλη επίσκεψη του Αμερικανού Αντιπροέδρου διήρκεσε δύο ώρες και καλύφθηκε ευρύτατα από τα Τουρκικά και διεθνή ΜΜΕ. Στο τέλος της προσκυνηματικής ξενάγησης στον Πατριαρχικό Ναό, ο Αντιπρόεδρος προσευχήθηκε και ασπάσθηκε τη στήλη της φραγγελώσεως, στην οποία δεθηκε και μαστιγώθηκε ο Χριστός και ενώ συζητούσε πάνω σε εκκλησιαστικά θέματα με τον Πατριάρχη και τον Αρχιεπίσκοπο Αμερικής εμφανώς εντυπωσιασμένος και βαθειά συγκινημένος από την ιερότητα του χώρου αυθόρμητα είπε «Μα δε θέλω να φύγω από εδώ!» Στις 16 Νοεμβρίου είχε προηγηθεί η επίσημη επίσκεψη Τζότζεφ Μπάιντεν στην έδρα της Ελληνορθόδοξης Αρχιεπισκοπής Αμερικής, στη Νέα Υόρκη, κατά τη διάρκεια της οποίας συζητήθηκαν οι θρησκευτικές ελευθερίες του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου, το αίτημα για επαναλειτουργία της Θεολογικής Σχολής της Χάλκης, το Κυπριακό και η ονομασία της πΓΔΜ. ΣΤΗΝ ΑΘΗΝΑ Τη Δευτέρα 5 Δεκεμβρίου η αμερικανική αποστολή έφτασε στην Αθήνα όπου και συναντήθηκε με τον πρόεδρο της Δημοκρατίας Κάρολο Παπούλια και τον πρωθυπουργό Λουκά Παπαδήμο. Την αλληλεγγύη των ΗΠΑ προς την Ελλάδα εξέφρασε ο αντιπρόεδρος των ΗΠΑ Τζόζεφ Μπάιντεν κατά την συνάντησή του, με τον Πρόεδρο της Δημοκρατίας Κάρολο Παπούλια. Στη συνάντηση, η οποία διήρκεσε περίπου μία ώρα, ο κ. Μπάιντεν, σύμφωνα με πληροφορίες, τόνισε ότι το οικονομικό πρόβλημα δεν είναι ελληνικό, αλλά και ευρωπαϊκό και αμερικανικό και παγκόσμιο, ενώ σημείωσε ότι για τις ΗΠΑ έχει μεγάλη σημασία να επανακτήσει η Ελλάδα τον κρίσιμο ρόλο της στα ευρωπαϊκά δρώμενα και στην Ευρωζώνη. Εξέφρασε δε την ετοιμότητα της Ουάσιγκτον να βοηθήσει αλλά και να ασκήσει πίεση προς την Ευρώπη ώστε να βρεθούν λύσεις, έστω και όχι εύκολες και χαρακτήρισε ευτύχημα το γεγονός ότι σε αυτή την κρίσιμη συγκυρία βρίσκεται ο κ. Παπούλιας στη θέση του Προέδρου της Δημοκρατίας. Από την πλευρά του ο κ. Παπούλιας, σύμφωνα με τις ίδιες πληροφορίες, αναφέρθηκε στις θυσίες του ελληνικού λαού και κυρίως των πιο ευαίσθητων ομάδων, όπως οι μισθωτοί και οι συνταξιούχοι, οι οποίοι πλήττονται περισσότερο από τα φορολογικά μέτρα. Ο κ. Μπάιντεν συνοδευόταν από τον πρέσβη των ΗΠΑ στην Αθήνα Ντάνιελ Μπένετ Σμιθ, τον σύμβουλο Εθνικής Ασφάλειας Άντονι Μπλίνκεν, τον βοηθό υφυπουργό Οικονομικών Κρίστοφερ Σμαρτ, τον ειδικό σύμβουλο του αντιπροέδρου για Ευρώπη και Ευρασία Λόρενς Σίλβερμαν και την χειρίστρια θεμάτων Αιγαίου, Μεσογείου και Καυκάσου στο Εθνικό Συμβούλιο Ασφαλείας Ράιαν Χάρις. Το μεσημέρι ο πρωθυπουργός, Λουκάς Παπαδήμος παρέθεσε γεύμα εργασίας στον αντιπρόεδρο των Ηνωμένων Πολιτειών Τζο Μπάιντεν. Κατά τη διάρκεια του γεύματος συζητήθηκαν διμερή θέματα, με ιδιαίτερη εστίαση στις οικονομικές σχέσεις των δύο χωρών, στην κρίση στην Ευρωζώνη, καθώς και στις διεθνείς εξελίξεις στην περιοχή.


Ο Εψηφισμένος Επίσκοπος Ζήλων Σεβαστιανός στο Ναό του Αγίου Γεωργίου στο Φανάρι.

Το Μέγα Μήνυμα του Εψηφισμένου Επισκόπου Ζήλων στο Φανάρι To Μέγα Μήνυµα επί τη εκλογή του ως Επισκόπου Ζήλων έδωσε ο Θεοφιλέστατος Εψηφισµένος κ. Σεβαστιανός στον Πάνσεπτο Πατριαρχικό Ναό του Αγίου Γεωργίου στο Φανάρι στις 6 ∆εκεµβρίου. Παρουσία Ιεραρχών του Οικουµενικού Θρόνου ο Μέγας Εκκλησιάρχης Αρχιµανδρίτης Βενιαµίν διάβασε το Μέγα Μήνυµα και ακολούθησε η αποδοχή και ευχαριστία του Εψηφισµένου Επισκόπου Ζήλων. Ο νέος Επίσκοπος έγινε δεκτός από τον Οικουµενικό Πατριάρχη Βαρθολοµαίο στο Πατριαρχικό Γραφείο. Εκεί πραγµατοποιήθηκε η τελετή του Μικρού Μηνύµατος µε προσφώνηση του Πατριάρχου και αντιφώνηση του Εψηφ. Ζήλων. Αξίζει να σηµειωθεί ότι ο Ζήλων Σεβαστιανός έχει ενεργή συµµετοχή στη διοίκηση της Εκκλησίας και της Ιεράς Αρχιεπισκοπής, υπηρέτησε στο Μητροπολιτικό και Αρχιεπισκοπικό Συµβούλιο, ως µέλος της Επιτροπής ∆ιοικητικών Θεµάτων του Αρχιεπισκοπικού Συµβουλίου µε αρµοδιότητα την εκπαίδευση των Ενοριακών Συµβουλίων και ως Μέλος της Επιτροπής Νοµικών Υποθέσεων. Υπηρέτησε ως πρόεδρος του Συνδέσµου Κληρικών της Ι. Μητροπόλεως Άτλαντας επί σειρά ετών και του Αρχιεπισκοπικού Συµβουλίου Πρεσβυτέρων. Να υπενθυµίσουµε ότι η Αγία και Ιερά Σύνοδος του Οικουµενικού Πατριαρχείου εξέλεξε παµψηφεί στις 2 ∆εκεµβρίου τον Αρχιγραµµατέα της Ιεράς Επαρχιακής Συνό-

δου της Ιεράς Αρχιεπισκοπής Αµερικής, Αρχιµανδρίτη Σεβαστιανό Σκορδαλλό Βοηθό Επίσκοπο του Αρχιεπισκόπου Αµερικής ∆ηµητρίου υπό τον ψιλόν τίτλο Ζήλων. Ο Εψηφισµένος Επίσκοπος Ζήλων κ. Σεβαστιανός θα χειροτονηθεί Επίσκοπος υπό του Σεβασµιωτάτου Αρχιεπισκόπου Αµερικής κ. ∆ηµητρίου το Σάββατο 17 ∆εκεµβρίου, στον Αρχιεπισκοπικό Καθεδρικό Ναό της Αγίας Τριάδος στο Μανχάταν, συλλειτουργούντων των Αρχιερέων της Ιεράς Αρχιεπισκοπής Αµερικής.


uΣελίδα 17 σέ ἀπάντηση στήν ἀναγγελία τῶν ἀγγέλων περί τῆς Γεννήσεως τοῦ Σωτῆρος, ἀντικρύζοντας τό βρέφος, προσέφεραν μαρτυρία τῶν ὑπερόχων γεγονότων τά ὁποῖα εἶχαν δεῖ καί ἀκούσει (Λουκᾶ 2:8-20). Τέλος, οἱ σοφοί Μάγοι ἀκολουθώντας τό Ἄστρο στήν Ἀνατολή, ἦλθαν στό Χριστό προσφέροντάς Του τήν προσκύνησή τους καί τά δῶρα τους (Ματθ. 2:1-12). Οἱ προσφορές αὐτές στό Χριστό μᾶς δείχνουν πῶς πρέπει νά ἑορτάζουμε αὐτή τή μεγάλη Ἑορτή καί πῶς νά προσφέρουμε σ’ Ἐκεῖνον. Σέ ἀνταπόδοση τῆς ἀγάπης Του, καλούμεθα νά προσφέρουμε ἀπόλυτα τόν ἑαυτό μας στό Χριστό, προσφέροντας τήν καρδιά, τό σῶμα, τό πνεῦμα καί τήν ψυχή μας. Μέ τούς λόγους τῆς Θεοτόκου, ἐκφράζουμε τήν ὑπακοή μας καί τήν πλήρη πίστη μας σ’ Ἐκεῖνον λέγοντας, Γένοιτό μοι κατά τό ῥῆμα Σου (Λουκᾶ 1:38). Ἀντιλαμβανόμενοι τό μέγεθος τῆς προσφορᾶς τοῦ Θεοῦ στήν ἀνθρωπότητα, ἐρχόμεθα στό Χριστό μέ σπουδή ἀκριβῶς

ὅπως οἱ βοσκοί καί ἐπιστρέφουμε στόν κόσμο δοξάζοντας καί ὑμνολογώντας τόν Θεό γιά ὅλα ὅσα βλέπουμε καί ἀκοῦμε. Ὅπως ἦλθαν οἱ σοφοί Μάγοι καί προσέφεραν μέ μεγάλη χαρά, ἔτσι καί ἐμεῖς δέν παύουμε νά Τόν προσκυνοῦμε καί νά προσφέρουμε τά δῶρα μας γιά τήν δόξα Του καί πάντοτε στήν ὑπηρεσία τῆς αἰωνίας βασιλείας Του. Ἐφέτος, στήν Ἑορτή τῆς Γεννήσεως τοῦ Κυρίου μας ἄς ἀναλογισθοῦμε σοβαρά τήν ἐρώτηση: Τί θά προσφέρουμε στόν Θεό; Μέ τήν λατρεία καί τήν ἱερή σύναξή μας κατά τήν Ἑορτή αὐτή, προσευχόμενοι ἄς ἐξετάσουμε τήν ζωή μας καί ἄς ζητήσουμε τήν καθοδήγηση τοῦ Κυρίου μας προκειμένου νά δώσουμε ἀπάντηση σ’ αὐτή τήν ἐρώτηση. Εἴθε ἐσεῖς καί οἱ οἰκογένειές σας νά ἔχετε εὐλογημένα καί χαρούμενα Χριστούγεννα, γεμάτα μέ τήν ἀγάπη τοῦ Θεοῦ καί τήν ἀληθινή ζωή τήν ὁποία Ἐκεῖνος μᾶς χαρίζει. Καί εἴθε νά χαρίζει σέ ὅλους ὁ Σαρκωθείς Θεός τό ἀνατέλλον Νέον Ἔτος 2012 πλῆρες ὑγείας καί εὐλογίας. Μετά πατρικῆς ἐν Χριστῷ ἀγάπης,

† ὁ Ἀρχιεπίσκοπος Ἀμερικῆς Δημήτριος




ΟΙΚΟΥΜΕΝΙΚΟΣ ΠΑΤΡΙΑΡΧΗΣ ΒΑΡΘΟΛΟΜΑΙΟΣ: «...η ανθρωπότης δεν ευρήκεν εισέτι τον Μεσσίαν, και αναζητεί αυτόν»

Την 30ή Νοεμβρίου, Ημέρα Μνήμης του Αγίου και Αποστόλου Αν δρέα του Πρωτοκλήτου, καθώς και Ημέρα της Θρονικής Εορτής του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου Κωνσταντινουπόλεως, ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος κατά τη διάρκεια προσφώνησής του, αφού καλωσόρισε την αντιπροσωπεία της Ἐκκλησίας της Ρώμης υπό του Καρδιναλίου Kurt Koch, που παρευρέθηκe στους εορτασμούς, τόνισε τα εξής: «Σεβασµιώτατε Καρδινάλιε κύριε Kurt Koch, µετά τῆς τιµίας ὑµῶν συνοδείας, οἱ ἐκπροσωποῦντες τήν Αὐτοῦ Ἁγιότητα τόν Ἐπίσκοπον τῆς πρεσβυτέρας Ρώµης καί ἀγαπητόν ἡµῖν ἐν Κυρίῳ ἀδελφόν Πάπαν κύριον Βενέδικτον καί τήν ἧς οὗτος προκάθηται Ἐκκλησίαν, Ὡς εὖ παρέστητε ἐν τῷ µέσῳ ἡµῶν! Ἀξιώνει καί πάλιν ἡµᾶς ὁ πανάγαθος Κύριος νά ἑορτάσωµεν τήν ἱεράν καί πανσέβαστον µνήµην τοῦ πρωτοκλήτου τῶν Ἀποστόλων Του Ἀνδρέου, ἱδρυτοῦ καί προστάτου τῆς καθ᾿ ἡµᾶς Ἁγιωτάτης Ἐκκλησίας τῆς τοῦ Κωνσταντίνου Πόλεως, καί ἡ χαρά ἡµῶν ἐπί τῇ πανηγύρει ταύτῃ καθίσταται ἔτι µεγαλυτέρα ὡς ἐκ τοῦ γεγονότος τῆς συµµετοχῆς εἰς αὐτήν, διά µίαν εἰσέτι φοράν, τῆς Ἁγιωτάτης καί προσφιλεστάτης ἡµῖν Ἐκκλησίας τῆς παλαιᾶς Ρώµης διά τῆς ὑµετέρας Ἀντιπροσωπείας. Θερµάς εὐχαριστίας ἐκφράζοµεν πρός τόν ἀποστείλαντα ὑµᾶς Ἁγιώτατον Πάπαν κύριον Βενέδικτον διά τήν ἐκδήλωσιν ταύτην τιµῆς καί ἀγάπης πρός τήν ἡµετέραν Ἐκκλησίαν. Θεωροῦµεν εὐλογίαν µεγίστην τοῦ Θεοῦ τήν καθιερωθεῖσαν ἀπό πολλῶν ἤδη δεκαετιῶν καί τηρου µένην πιστῶ ς παράδοσιν τῆ ς ἀνταλλαγῆς ἐπισκέψεων ἐπισήµων ἀντιπροσωπειῶν τῶν δύο ἡµῶν Ἐκκλησιῶν κατά τάς Θρονικάς Ἑορτάς ἑκατέρας, καθ᾿


Ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος και ο Καρδινάλιος Kurt Koch, αντιπρόσωπος της Εκκλησίας της Ρώμης, κατά την Ημέρα Μνήμης του Αγίου και Αποστόλου Ανδρέα και Θρονική Εορτή του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου στις 30 Νοεμβρίου στο Φανάρι. ὅτι δι᾿ αὐτῶν δηλοῦται συµβολικῶς καί ἐνισχύεται µεγάλως ὁ µεταξύ αὐτῶν ἀδελφικός δεσµός, ὡς καί ἡ ἐπιθυµία των ὅπως προωθηθῇ ἔτι µᾶλλον ἡ ἐν Χριστῷ ἑνότης αὐτῶν εἰς ἐκπλήρωσιν τῆς βουλῆς τοῦ Ἱδρυτοῦ τῆς Ἐκκλησίας καί µοναδικῆς Κεφαλῆς αὐτῆς Κυρίου ἡµῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ "ἵνα πάντες ἕν ὦσιν" (Ἰωάν. ιζ΄, 21). Εἰς τό εὐαγγελικόν ἀνάγνωσµα τῆς Θείας Λειτουργίας, τήν ὁποίαν µόλις ἐτελέσαµεν, ὁ σήµερον ἑορταζόµενος Ἀπόστολος Ἀνδρέας ἔµπλεως χαρᾶς καί ἐνθουσιασµοῦ µετά τήν γνωριµίαν του µέ


Θέµατα θρησκευτικών ελευθεριών και µειονοτικών δικαιωµάτων συζητήθηκαν κατά τη συνάντηση του Προέδρου του Ευρωπαϊκού Κοινοβουλίου Jerzy Buzek µε τον Οικουµενικό Πατριάρχη Βαρθολοµαίο που πραγµατοποιήθηκε κατά την επίσκεψή του την Παρασκευή 25 Νοεµβρίου στο Φανάρι. Ο πολωνικής καταγωγής Πρόεδρος εξέφρασε την ιδιαίτερη χαρά και τιµή του για τη συνάντησή του µε τον Πατριάρχη και τον συνεχάρη για τη εικοστή επέτειο της λαµπρής Πατριαρχίας του. Υπογράµµισε ότι στο Στρασβούργο και στις Βρυξέλλες διατηρούν ζωηρές τις αναµνήσεις από την δυναµική παρουσία και τις σηµαντικές οµιλίες του Πατριάρχη Βαρθολοµαίου ενώπιον της ολοµέλειας του Ευρωπαϊκού Κοινοβουλίου. Αναφέρθηκε στο ξεχωριστό ενδιαφέρον και µέριµνα που δείχνει η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση για τους χριστιανούς σε όλο τον κόσµο και εν προκειµένω για τους χριστιανούς που διαβιούν στην Τουρκία. Η συζήτηση περιστράφηκε γύρω από τα πατριαρχικά και µειονοτικά ζητήµατα όπως τα περιουσιακά, η συµπλήρωση 40 ετών από την αναστολή της λειτουργίας της Θεολογικής Σχολής της Χάλκης, το ακατανόητο φαινόµενο των 24 κατειληµµένων Ιδρυµάτων (βακουφίων) της Ρωµιοσύνης. Ο Πατριάρχης Βαρθολοµαίος σηµείωσε τα θετικά βήµατα βήµατα της Τουρκικής Κυβέρνησης αλλά δεν παρέλειψε να επιση-

µάνει το γεγονός ότι υπολείπονται πολλά ακόµη να υλοποιηθούν. Έγινε αναφορά στο ενδιαφέρον του Οικουµενικού Πατριαρχείου για την κατάσταση των Χριστιανών στη Μέση Ανατολή καθώς και για την πρόσφατη Σύναξη των Προκαθηµένων των Πρεσβυγενών Πατριαρχείων και της Εκκλησίας Κύπρου. Τη συνάντηση απασχόλησαν και οι διαθρησκειακοί διάλογοι και οι επισκέψεις και επαφές του Πατριάρχη σε µουσουλµανικές χώρες που συµβάλλουν στην καταλλαγή και στην αλληλοκατανόηση µεταξύ των λαών διαφορετικών θρησκευµάτων. Ο Πρόεδρος του Ευρωπαϊκού Κοινοβουλίου τόνισε ιδιαίτερα την προσφορά και τις πρωτοβουλίες του Πατριάρχη Βαρθολοµαίου στα οικολογικά και περιβαλλοντικά θέµατα χαρακτηρίζοντάς τον µε τον γνωστό πλέον τίτλο του Πράσινου Πατριάρχη. Στη συνάντηση παρίστατο ο πρέσβης της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης στην Άγκυρα Mark Perini και συνεργάτες του Προέδρου καθώς και ο εκπρόσωπος των Μειονοτικών Βακουφίων στην Άγκυρα Λάκης Βίγκας. Μετά τη συνάντηση ο Πρόεδρος Buzek δήλωσε τα εξής: «Είναι µια πολύ σηµαντική επίσκεψη, µόλις ένα µήνα πριν από τα Χριστούγεννα. Είναι µια πολύ συµβολική ηµέρα. Μια ανταλλαγή απόψεων αναφορικά µε την κατάσταση των Χριστιανών και την κατάσταση των µειονοτήτων. Θα έπρεπε να µεριµνήσουµε για τις µειονότητες µέσω της ∆ηµοκρατίας. Πολύ συµβολική επίσκεψη και πολύ σηµαντική για τους Χριστιανούς στην Ευρώπη».

τόν Κύριον σπεύδει νά συναντήσῃ τόν αὐτάδελφον αὐτοῦ Σίµωνα καί νά τοῦ ἀναγγείλῃ τήν µεγάλην, τήν σπουδαιοτέραν εἰς ὅλην τήν ἱστορίαν τῆς ἀνθρωπότητος, εἴδησιν: "Εὑρήκαµεν τόν Μεσσίαν, ὅ ἐστι µεθερµηνευόµενον Χριστός" (Ἰωάν. α΄, 42). Τήν εἴδησιν αὐτήν ἀκολουθεῖ ἀµέσως καί χωρίς χρονοτριβήν ἡ συνάντησις τῶν δύο αὐταδέλφων µετά τοῦ Ἰησοῦ, κατά τήν ὁποίαν ὁ Κύριος ἐµβλέψας εἰς τόν Σίµωνα προσδίδει εἰς αὐτόν τήν προσωνυµίαν "Κηφᾶς, ὅ ἑρµηνεύεται Πέτρος" (Ἰωάν. 1, 43). Ἀπό τήν στιγµήν ἐκείνην ὁ Πέτρος καθίσταται ὁ Κορυφαῖος τῶν Ἀποστόλων καί ἐπί τήν πέτραν τῆς πίστεώς του οἰκοδοµεῖται ἡ Ἐκκλησία. Οὕτως, ἡ συνάντησις Ἀνδρέου καί Πέτρου µετά τοῦ Ἰησοῦ γίνεται ἀπαρχή τῆς ἱστορικῆς πραγµατώσεως τῆς Ἐκκλησίας. Τούς δύο ἀδελφούς δέν ἑνώνει πλέον µόνον ἡ ἐξ αἵµατος συγγένεια, ἀλλά κάτι πολύ σπουδαιότερον: ἡ κοινή ὁµολογία "εὑρήκαµεν τόν Μεσσίαν", δηλαδή τόν Χριστόν. Ἡ προσδοκία τοῦ Μεσσίου συνώψιζεν ὅλον τό νόηµα τῆς ἱστορίας τοῦ Ἰσραήλ. Μέ τήν προσδοκίαν αὐτήν ἐτρέφοντο ἡ µία µετά τήν ἄλλην αἱ γενεαί τῶν Ἰουδαίων καί ἀπό αὐτήν ἤντλουν ἐλπίδα καί πίστιν εἰς τό µέλλον. Τήν προσδοκίαν αὐτήν ἦλθε νά ἱκανοποιήσῃ ὁ Κύριος ὄχι µόνον διά τούς Ἰουδαίους, ἀλλά καί δι᾿ ὅλην τήν ἀνθρωπότητα ἱδρύων τήν Ἐκκλησίαν, εἰς τήν ὁποίαν κατά τόν Ἀπόστολον Παῦλον "οὐκ ἔνι Ἰουδαῖος οὐδέ Ἕλλην, οὐκ ἔνι δοῦλος οὐδέ ἐλεύθερος, οὐκ ἔνι ἄρσεν καί θῆλυ" (Γαλ. γ΄, 28). Ἡ κοινή ὁµολογία τῶν αὐταδέλφων Ἀνδρέου καί Πέτρου "εὑρήκαµεν τόν Μεσσίαν" ἀποτελεῖ ἀπάντησιν εἰς τάς προσδοκίας ὅλης τῆς ἀνθρωπότητος, παντός ἀνθρώπου, ἀνεξαρτήτως φυλῆς, χρώµατος, φύλου, ἐθνικότητος ἤ ἄλλης ἰδιότητος. Ἀποτελεῖ ὡσαύτως ἀπάντησιν καί εἰς τάς προσδοκίας τῶν σηµερινῶν ἀνθρώπων, οἱ ὁποῖοι δέν παύουν νά ἀναζητοῦν τόν Μεσσίαν των. Ἡ σύγχρονος ἱστορία τῆς ἀνθρωπότητος εἶναι πλήρης ψευδῶν "Μεσσίων", οἱ ὁποῖοι ἐπαγγέλλονται παραδείσους, χωρίς νά πραγµατοποιοῦν τάς ὑποσχέσεις των. Εἶναι πλέον ἐµφανής ἡ ἀπογοήτευσις τῶν συγχρόνων ἀνθρώπων ἀπό ὅσους ὑποσχόµενοι πολλά ἀναλαµβάνουν τήν διαχείρισιν τῶν προβληµάτων των. Τοῦτο µαρτυρεῖ κατ᾿ ἐξοχήν καί κατά τρόπον

δραµατικόν ἡ ραγδαίως καί εὐρέως ἐξαπλουµένη οἰκονοµική κρίσις, ἡ ὁποία ὀφείλεται κατά τό πλεῖστον εἰς τήν κακήν, ἄνισον καί ἄδικον διαχείρισιν τοῦ πλούτου, τόν ὁποῖον παράγει ὁ µόχθος τῶν ἀνθρώπων, εἰς τήν συγκέντρωσίν του εἰς χεῖρας τῶν ὀλίγων, εἰς ἐσφαλµένας καί ἰδιοτελεῖς µορφάς οἰκονοµικῆς καί κοινωνικῆς πολιτικῆς. Εἰς µίαν ἐποχήν, κατά τήν ὁποίαν οἱ πάσης φύσεως σύγχρονοι Μεσσίαι ἐπαγγέλλονται τήν ἀνύψωσιν τοῦ βιοτικοῦ ἐπιπέδου τῶν λαῶν, ὁ ἀριθµός τῶν ἀστέγων καί τῶν πτωχῶν αὐξάνει, καί µάλιστα εἰς τάς οἰκονοµικῶς ἀνεπτυγµένας κοινωνίας. Εἶναι πλέον περισσότερον ἀπό ἐµφανές ὅτι ἡ ἀνθρωπότης δέν εὑρῆκεν εἰσέτι τόν Μεσσίαν, καί ἀναζητεῖ αὐτόν. Τοῦτο καθιστᾷ τό χρέος τῆς Ἐκκλησίας ἄκρως ἐπιτακτικόν. Τό "εὑρήκαµεν τόν Μεσσίαν", τό ὁποῖον µετά τόσου ἐνθουσιασµοῦ ἀνήγγειλεν ὁ Ἀνδρέας πρός τόν Πέτρον, εἶναι ἀνάγκη νά ἀκουσθῇ καί πάλιν σήµερον. Τοῦτο ἀποτελεῖ ὑπέρτατον χρέος τῆς Ἐκκλησίας. Ἀλλά, διά νά ἐκπληρώσῃ τό χρέος τοῦτο ἡ Ἐκκλησία, εἶναι ἀνάγκη οἱ δύο Αὐτάδελφοι Ἀπόστολοι νά διακηρύξουν τήν ὁµολογίαν των καί πάλιν ἀπό κοινοῦ. Αἱ Ἐκκλησίαι Ρώµης καί Κωνσταντινουπόλεως ὀφείλουν νά ἐπανεύρουν τήν κοινήν φωνήν τῶν δύο Ἀποστόλων, τήν κοινήν ὁµολογίαν πίστεως καί τό ἐν τῷ σώµατι καί τῷ αἵµατι τοῦ Χριστοῦ "αὐτάδελφόν" των, ὥστε ὁ κόσµος νά δυνηθῇ νά πιστεύσῃ εἰς τόν Μεσσίαν, τόν Ὁποῖον "εὑρῆκαν" οἱ δύο θεµελιωταί τῶν Ἐκκλησιῶν αὐτῶν. Πρός τόν σκοπόν ἀκριβῶς αὐτόν αἱ δύο Ἐκκλησίαι, Ὀρθόδοξος καί Ρωµαιοκαθολική, διεξάγουν ἤδη ἀπό δεκαετιῶν τόν ἐπίσηµον Θεολογικόν ∆ιάλογον ἀγάπης καί ἀληθείας, τοῦ ὁποίου τήν εὐθύνην ἔχει ἐπωµισθῆ ἡ ὑπό τήν συµπροεδρίαν τῆς ὑµετέρας Σεβασµιότητος τελοῦσα Μικτή ∆ιεθνής Ἐπιτροπή. Τό ἔργον τῆς Ἐπιτροπῆς ταύτης δέν εἶναι εὔκολον, διότι τά συσσωρευθέντα ἐπί πολλούς αἰῶνας προβλήµατα ὡς ἐκ τῆς ἀπ᾿ ἀλλήλων ἀποξενώσεως, καί ἐνίοτε πολεµικῆς, τῶν δύο Ἐκκλησιῶν χρήζουν ἐπισταµένης µελέτης καί ἐξετάσεως. Ἀλλ᾿ ἡ ἀγαθή βούλησις ἑκατέρωθεν καί ἡ συναίσθησις τοῦ χρέους ἡµῶν ἔναντι τοῦ Κυρίου καί τῆς ἀνθρωπότητος, καθοδηγούµεναι ὑπό τοῦ Παρακλήτου, θά φέρουν τόν ἀναµενόµενον καρπόν, ὅταν ὁ Κύριος τοῦ ἀµπελῶνος κρίνῃ καί εὐδοκήσῃ. Τό καθ᾿ ἡµᾶς, παρακολουθοῦντες ἀνυστάκτως καί ἐν προσευχῇ τήν πορείαν τοῦ Θεολογικοῦ ∆ιαλόγου τούτου ἐκφράζοµεν ἀπό τοῦ Οἰκουµενικοῦ ἡµῶν Θρόνου τήν εὐαρέσκειαν καί τάς εὐχαριστίας ἡµῶν πρός τούς κοπιῶντας καί µοχθοῦντας διά τήν διεξαγωγήν αὐτοῦ, εὐχόµενοι τήν εὐλογίαν τοῦ Κυρίου ἐπί τήν ὅλην αὐτοῦ πορείαν εἰς ἐκπλήρωσιν τοῦ ἁγίου Αὐτοῦ θελήµατος. ∆ιά τῶν σκέψεων καί αἰσθηµάτων τούτων ὑποδεχόµενοι ὑµᾶς, Σεβασµιώτατε Καρδινάλιε µετά τῆς τιµίας ὑµῶν συνοδείας, εὐχαριστοῦµεν καί αὖθις θερµῶς τόν ἀποστείλαντα ὑµᾶς Ἁγιώτατον ἀδελφόν Ἐπίσκοπον τῆς πρεσβυτέρας Ρώµης διά τήν συµµετοχήν τῆς Ἐκκλησίας ὑµῶν εἰς τήν χαράν καί πανήγυριν τῆς Θρονικῆς ἡµῶν Ἑορτῆς, εὐχόµενοι πᾶσαν χάριν καί εὐλογίαν τοῦ Παναγάθου Θεοῦ ἐπί τάς Ἐκκλησίας ἡµῶν καί τόν δοκιµαζόµενον κόσµον Αὐτοῦ, πρεσβείαις τοῦ ἑορταζοµένου σήµερον Ἁγίου Ἀνδρέου τοῦ Πρωτοκλήτου, τοῦ αὐταδέλφου αὐτοῦ Ἀποστόλου Πέτρου, καί πάντων τῶν Ἁγίων. Ἀµήν».









People and Animals Feel Blessed at Suburban Chicago Church P A R I S H


Name: Sts. Peter and Paul Greek Orthodox Church Location: Glenview, Ill. Metropolis of Chicago Size: about 800 families Founded: 1959 Clergy: Fr. Angelo Artemas (St. Vladimir’s 1988), Fr. Michael Stearns (Holy Cross ‘97) assistant pastor; and Louis Pappas (Holy Cross ’96), pastoral assistant.

E-mail: Web: Noteworthy: Has great appeal to interfaith couples. STS PETER AND PAUL GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH GLENVIEW, Ill. – The founders of this suburban Chicago parish represent the generation of Greek Orthodox whose parents were among the first immigrants to settle in the inner city and open restaurants or other businesses, or to work as laborers. From its beginnings with a small group who met in private homes to organize a church in the late 1950s, the community has grown into one of the largest in the U.S. According to a parish history, in 1959, the community elected a board of trustees of nearly 30 members. They held several meetings at an Episcopal Church in the village of Glenview, about 15 miles northwest of Chicago, and petitioned the Diocese to establish a church. Sts. Peter and Paul Church received its state charter in November 1959. The names of the two saints were selected because no other Chicago-area parish had that designation. Archbishop Iakovos granted an ecclesiastical charter on March 25, 1960. A Men’s Club and a Women’s Club were started to begin fund-raising and annual membership dues were set at $25. Religious education a priority Before the community even received its charter, a Sunday school with an enrollment of 60 children was established and a public school in nearby Winnetka was selected for its location. Enrollment doubled by the next year and reached 500 by the mid-1960s. The rental contract with the school called from payments of $2 per room and $5 for the auditorium. Priests from nearby parishes, including Fr. Evagoras Constantinides and Fr. Hondros, along with clergy from St. David’s Episcopal Church and Our Lady of Perpetual Help Roman Catholic Church provided teacher materials and lessons. By February 1960, the Diocese of Chicago sent a retired priest, Fr. Kyrillos Petrovas, to celebrate the divine liturgy in

a temporary setting, the Wilmette Women’s Club. About 225 faithful attended the service. Meanwhile, parish leaders began looking for property and finally acquired a 4½acre lot from a family that owned a dairy farm across the road. In February 1962, Fr. Dennis Latto was assigned as the first permanent priest and a building program chaired by Tom Athens got underway. Parishioner built a Byzantine-style church modeled after St. Mary’s in Minneapolis. The 9,700-square-foot church was completed in 1964 and Fr. Latto celebrated the first divine liturgy on Nov. 15. Construction of the community center began in 1973. Fr. Latto died on July 24 of that year and he was succeeded by Fr. George Scoulas in February 1974. He became the parish’s longest-serving priest and completed the building program. The center was completed in October 1974 and was dedicated to the memory of Fr. Latto. Archbishop Iakovos consecrated the church on Nov. 19, 1978, assisted by Bishop Philotheos of Meloa and Fr. Scoulas. Fr. Scoulas died Oct. 18, 2000. He was succeeded by Fr. Artemas, a former director of the Archdiocese Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministry, in June 2001. Fr. Artemas described his ministry as “a continuation of what Fr. Latto and Fr. Scoulas established” including the areas of religious education, use of English, youth ministry and ministering to interchurch and young couples. Sts. Peter and Paul parish is highly diverse and about half the parishioners are under 50 years old and consist of many married families in interchurch marriages, Fr. Artemas noted. Sunday school enrollment through 12th grade is about 400, with 22 full-time and 15 substitute teachers.

Early Christian Art Exhibits Open in New York NEW YORK – The exhibit “Transition to Christianity, Art of Late Antiquity” (3rd to 7th centuries AD) has opened at the Onassis Cultural Center at 645 Fifth Avenue and 52nd St., and will be on view through May 14. Organized in collaboration with the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Byzantine and Christian Museum

of Athens, Greece, the exhibit features iconography, sculptures and numerous artifacts from the early centuries of the Christian faith. Admission is free and hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday. For more information, contact the Onassis Cultural Center, 212.486.4448, or visit

Greek school has an enrollment of 80 students. “Greek is taught as a second language since none of the parents speak it,” Fr. Artemas said. Unique ministries The parish has several unique ministries, such as the cancer support ministry begun by Georgia Fotopoulos, who died of the disease earlier this year. She was the wife of former ABC-TV sports correspondent Bud Fotopoulos, a current parishioner. Another is “Marriage Rebuilders/Re-

lationship Rebuilders” – a ministry to the divorced. Each spring, Fr. Angelo, with the participation of Metropolis Chancellor Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos, holds the annual motorcycle blessing ceremony, which attracts cyclists from throughout the area. With the presence of the dairy farm across the street, the only functioning farm in heavily urban Cook County, Fr. Angelo holds a blessing service for various farm animals and pets, including cows, chickens, pigs, sheep and two Belgian plowhorses. There is an extensive youth ministry, ranging from the very young to high school age. Many children participate in a church basketball league and in the Metropolis youth Olympics. A “Biddy League” consists of 3rd through 6th graders and offers intramural and coed basketball. Three youth group meetings take place weekly and two Bible studies are held each week. The Philoptochos chapter also is highly active, taking on several philanthropic projects. About half the parish council members are converts. Most parishioners now are professional, including attorneys, doctors and educators, and law enforcement. Stewardship is the major source of revenue and there is no Greek festival. In 2008, a three-year capital campaign was launched that raised more than $1.5 million for several major projects to rehabilitate and upgrade several church facilities. Fr. Angelo noted that his major challenge consists of “outreach to our own people, to lapsed families and interchurch couples.” — Compiled by Jim Golding

IS youR PARISh... Ready to expand parish participation? Seeking funds for a building project? Wishing to promote Planned Giving?

Assistance is Available! The office of Parish Development offers guidance to parishes through:

Strategic Planning Workshops: For greater involvement in your parish Capital Campaign Planning Studies: Assessing your project’s fundraising potential Capital Campaign Management: Planning and coaching from beginning to end

Stewardship Assistance: Inspiring greater giving in your parish Parish Planned Giving Programs: Guidance in cultivating planned gifts Grant Proposal Research & Writing: Help throughout the grant proposal process

Want More Information?

Contact us to discuss your Goals & Needs and allow us to explain how we might be of help. Greek orthodox Archdiocese of America office of Parish Development 3 South Prospect Avenue, Ste. II Park Ridge, IL 60068 Phone: (847) 825-1432 Email:



Faith: An Endowment for Orthodoxy and Hellenism supports the development of innovative educational, cultural, and scholarship programs that promote an understanding of the Orthodox faith, Hellenism, and the relationship of the two to Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s history and multicultural landscape for young people.

The Founding Members wish you

and a new year filled with peace and joy! Maria Allwin

Elaine Jaharis

Panikos Papanicolaou

Hon. Ambassador George L. Argyros

Michael Jaharis*

John Pappajohn

George D. Behrakis*

Steven Jaharis

John A. Payiavlas*

Nicholas J. Bouras*

Michael Johnson

Mr. & Mrs. George Sakellaris

John P. Calamos

Peter T. Kikis*

Alexander G. Spanos*

John A. Catsimatidis

Dean Spanos

George Coumantaros*

Hon. Ambassador. Eleni Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis

James S. Chanos

George M. Marcus

Chris Spyropoulos

Andre Dimitriadis

Dennis Mehiel

Kyriakos Tsakopoulos

Peter Georgiopoulos

C. Dean Metropoulos

George J. Tsunis

Constantine Iordanou

James Moshovitis*

P. Roy Vagelos

Michael Spanos

* Original Founding Member 499 Park Avenue, 23rd Floor New York, NY 10022

Tel: (212) 644-6960 Fax: (212) 779-7605




Thanksgiving for All

Photo: Dimitrios Panagos

In every parish, in cities and states across the Country, our Church and our communities stand by those in need, especially during the holidays. The events represented by the photos above are only a sample of such activity. On Thanksgiving Day and for the last 22 years, the Greek-American Homeowners Association holds an annual Thanksgiving Luncheon at their headquarters in Astoria, N.Y. for all those in need and delivers hot Thanksgiving meals to hundreds of families and people who are homebound. Archbishop Demetrios took part at the Association’s luncheon and blessed the volunteers and the food they were serving.

Theodore Germanakos (1979), Bishop Andonios (former pastor of Zoodohos Peghe), the Very Rev. Sylvester Berberis (current pastor), Sophia Kondos Zarvos (1967), Anthony Soukas (1961), Angie Hanzakos Avitabile (1952).

Oldest NY Parochial School to Celebrate Centennial

BRONX, N.Y. – The Greek American Institute, better known as G.A.I. to its students and alumni, is reaching a milestone in 2012. The school will celebrate 100 years of continued education of the Greek language, customs and culture, in conjunction with the New York state academic requirements for achievement. G.A.I. was chartered in May 1912 by the state as an elementary school and is the first Greek American school in the New York City area and the second in the country. The school was established by early Greek immigrants in order to educate their children in the Greek language and traditions, as well as in the Greek Orthodox faith. To accommodate student growth and academic needs, the school expanded and moved multiple times. The school is located on a small campus in the Pelham Bay section of the Bronx. The campus houses multiple buildings, including the school, athletic center and

Zoodohos Peghe Church. The school has evolved to welcome children from the surrounding neighborhood, whose parents wish their children to have an excellent and loving education, with high academic standards. In celebrating 100 years, the alumni and the school are planning multiple events in 2012, culminating in a 100th Anniversary Gala on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012, at the Greentree Country Club in New Rochelle, N.Y. The evening will include dining, dancing, reminiscing, fun and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reconnect with schoolmates from near and far. All proceeds will benefit the school. The school’s Alumni Association is reaching out to all G.A.I. alumni to participate in this celebration. The Association has opened a website ( and an email address ( for alumni to communicate to the Association and to provide current names and addresses.




From the hand of Fr. Luke Dingman.

May the joy and peace of the Infant Christ Child dwell in your hearts now and evermore!

A Blessed Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year Constantine G. Caras, Chairman Charles H. Cotros, Vice Chairman George S. Tsandikos, Treasurer Kassandra L. Romas, Secretary Paulette Poulos, Executive Director

Archbishop Iakovos Leadership 100 Endowment Fund, Incorporated Advancing Orthodoxy and Hellenism in America



CHRIST IS BORN! GLORIFY HIM! “Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever!”

Are you still looking for that perfect Christmas gift for your Orthodox Christian family and friends? For Christmas, why not give your family and friends something special that will also be a beautiful addition to their Orthodox Christian spiritual growth and prayer life? Here are a few gift-giving ideas and where to find them:

(Psalm 107:1)

Santa Claus... Black Friday... jingles... gift wrap...Christmas feasts... etc. We all anxiously anticipate the arrival of the Christmas holidays. Unfortunately, this time of year can get consumed by materialism and hidden by secular perspective. Instead of heralding the Christmas season with joy and thanksgiving, this year’s Black Friday chaos brought about violence, arrests, and even attacks with pepper spray. God gave us the most precious gift... His Only-Begotten Son. Jesus Christ was born so that we might inherit eternal life. With a gift so monumental, why do we so quickly forget that “Christ is Born” and that we should “Glorify Him” now and every day of the year? This Christmas, make a commitment to change your point of view... Make everything you do or say proclaim the birth of our Lord and Savior! Here are a few ways that we can keep that spirit alive in our hearts during this holiday and throughout the year: Christ is Born... Glorify Him with worship! Make an effort to go to worship during the Christmas holiday. Guess what? Your gifts will all still be there when you return home! Gather together as a family to receive

the most precious gift given to us all... Jesus Christ! Also, make it a point to glorify the Nativity of Christ by being present more at the Divine Liturgy and other services throughout the year! Christ is Born... Glorify Him with service! Jesus Christ, from His birth, was dedicated to a life of service and sacrifice. Even in 2011, there are those who need our assistance and who could benefit if we sacrificed OUR time and treasure. Why not glorify and celebrate Christ’s birth through your own service? Get together with your youth group or make it a family tradition to give of your time, talent and treasure for a homeless shelter, a soup kitchen, a food bank, or

any other philanthropic or charitable effort! Christ is Born... Glorify Him with fellowship! Jesus Christ did not just hang out by Himself. In fact, Jesus Christ went to the people. He spoke and preached and ate with all types of people. He ate with the sinners... He was even crucified between two robbers! So, how can we glorify Him this Christmas? Consider making a change in the way you treat others. Take the time to speak to someone who is not necessarily the “coolest” in school. Don’t be afraid to stand up for what is RIGHT, even if it means going against the grain. Be the one who always is an example of “loving your neighbor.” This can be accomplished during Christmas and every day of the year!

St. Nicholas the Wonderworker •A Role Model of Faith by Fr. Stephen Lawrence

Becoming Santa Claus, A.D. 351. As Orthodox Christians we don’t ever have to stop believing in Santa Claus. We don’t ever have to ‘get serious’ or ‘grow up’ or ‘stop believing in fairy tales.’ You see... we have the great blessing of knowing the real story, the True Story. We actually get to know the real St. Nicholas. We know that he didn’t wear a furry red outfit; instead he wore a Bishop’s robes. And we know that he didn’t live at the North Pole at all but in Myra, a city far away from here. But Myra wasn’t all that different from our city: it had houses and schools and markets. There were rich and there were poor. There were people who cared and people who didn’t. And St. Nicholas was one of the ones who cared. In fact, his life of caring made a difference which was so profound that over 1,500 years later we still tell stories about him in every country of the world. Imagine that...that’s like people telling stories about how huge our love is... but in the year 3511 Of course, St. Nicholas didn’t set out to be remembered. He wasn’t looking for his 15 minutes of fame, he didn’t have a music video or a line of shoes; he wasn’t on the cover of People magazine. He wasn’t good so that he would be noticed being good. As a matter of fact, he sneaked around in the middle of the night. You see, St. Nicholas cared for people – loved people – for one reason alone. He loved them because our Christ loved him. St. Nicholas followed the example of his Hero, the example of Christ.

Christmas Gifts for the Orthodox Christian

So when St. Nicholas heard Matthew 25:3146 he set out to care for the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick, and the imprisoned because that’s what Jesus asked him to do. He loved the poor and the afflicted because he wanted to be like Christ. That’s the importance of having a hero, of having a role model. We find someone that lives the way we hope to one day live. And then we follow their example. It’s like a train. The cars can’t move on their own. They just sit there. But when you hook them up to an engine, then the whole train starts moving. The train goes wherever the engine takes it. That’s why it’s important to choose good role models, to find worthy heroes, because you’re going to end up going wherever the train happens to be going. Now for us the engine is, of course, Christ Himself. But when you’re the caboose it’s hard to see yourself as the engine. Many of us suffer from this. We look at Christ and think, “There’s no way I can ever live like that. There’s no way I can ever be like Christ – I’m just not that good.” That’s why we have the saints. They’re the cars which follow the engine. If we follow their example then we are still following the engine. In time we learn to see the engine in front of all the cars but it’s easier to get started by imitating the saints. Now one of the secrets of Christianity that we don’t like to think about is that we’re never called to be the caboose. It would be a lot easier to just do what we can to be like Christ without ever having to worry about who’s watching us. It would be a lot easier to just have to know the right

thing to say in Sunday School without ever having to live out our faith at high school. But our Orthodox faith is challenging. It tells us that we can’t be cabooses. We have to be a train car somewhere in the middle; following the example of those before us but also setting the example for those coming after us. How many of you know that on Dec. 6 we celebrate not only St. Nicholas, Archbishop of Myra, but also his uncle, St. Nicholas, Bishop of Patara? St. Nicholas of Patara was the younger St. Nicholas’ mentor and teacher. He was the train car just in front of St. Nicholas, which ultimately led him to follow Christ... the engine. The uncle set the example for St. Nicholas, who sets the example for us. So who do we set the example for? How do we live our lives as an example to others? The Church gives us the answer in the hymn we sing to St. Nicholas on his feast day, which is celebrated Dec. 6: “O father and Bishop Nicholas, the holiness of your life has set you before your flock as a rule of faith, an example of meekness, and a teacher of temperance. Therefore, you acquired greatness through humility and spiritual wealth through poverty. Pray to Christ God that He may save our souls.” So we just endeavor to do the same. We live as a rule of faith – we practice what we preach so that our actions mirror our words; as an example of meekness – we control our emotions so that we don’t get angry or prideful, or humiliate and abuse anyone; as a teacher of temperance – we control our appetites so that we do everything in moderation and avoid addictions.

ICONS and ICON GIFTS Icons are a fantastic item to give to your family and friends. Pick an icon that is special to you or pick an icon that will mean something special to the other person. For example, give the icon of St. Romanos the Melodist to the musicians in your family. For those of your friends and family in the military, give St. George or St. Demetrios... two saints who were in the military. You could give St. Euphrosynos the Cook to your favorite cooks to be placed in their kitchens! Check with your local Church bookstore. Check with online bookstores such as Orthodox Marketplace ( or Light and Life Publishing (

u u to page 30 And, by God’s grace, as we live our lives like this we will acquire greatness through humility – the greatness of being a car in the great Train of Christ; and spiritual wealth through poverty – the spiritual wealth of being an example of love in a world hungering for kindness. So, then...Let us live as examples of the faith by following the example of St. Nicholas and all the saints before us: growing ever closer to Christ while drawing others close to Him with us. Fr. Stephen Lawrence is a graduate of Holy Cross School of Theology and is married to Presbytera Kelley, a family physician. They have two boys, Alec (6) and Zac (2). Fr. Stephen currently serves at the Holy Transfiguration Church in Lowell, Mass.

For youth workers and parents There is still time to sign up for the 2012 Inter–Orthodox Christian Camp & Youth Worker Conference from Jan. 25–28. All youth workers (parish and Diocese Youth Directors, Camp Directors and Staff, and OCF Chaplains) are invited to attend the annual Orthodox Christian Youth Worker Conference. This conference is being hosted by the Department of Camping Ministry and Department of Youth Ministry of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America and will be held at Antiochian Village Conference Center in Ligonier, Pa. For more details and to register, visit:



Children’s Medical Fund Luncheon Awards

Archdiocese Represented at NGO Conference

u u from page 6

The 64th annual United Nations Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations was held in Bonn, Germany, from Sept. 3-5 under the theme “Sustainable Societies, Responsive Citizens.” Its aim was to highlight effective ways in which citizens and civil society can contribute to creating and maintaining a sustainable environment. This conference will serve as a bridge to the UN Conference on Environment and Development that will take place in Rio de Janeiro in 2012. The international community has

by Lila Prounis

ness fairs, family nutrition workshops, and physical activities and exercise. • St. Mary’s Hospital for Children, Bayside, N.Y., $25,000; to help support St. Mary’s Vehicular Access to Neighborhoods Program in Queens which provides successful treatment services to children and families across a continuum of care to underserved communities. Guest speaker Dr. George Coukos, a gynecological oncologist, and professor at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, informed the audience about recent breakthroughs being made at UPenn Children’s Hospital in the treatment and cure of children’s leukemia involving molecular engineering. He expressed hope that the technology can also be applied to ovarian cancer. In 2007, he established the Ovarian Cancer Research Center at the UPenn School of Medicine and serves as its director. This year, he was appointed director of the Jordan Center for Gynecological Cancer. Award presentations The luncheon program at the Hyatt Regency also included the first-time presentation of the National Philoptochos’ “Arista Award,” which recognizes philanthropic excellence and unique and outstanding giving. It was bestowed posthumously to Mardene Marykwas of Winston-Salem, N.C., and presented to her aunt, Dr. Angeline Pappas of Rye, N.Y. The luncheon honoree was Evangeline Mekras Scurtis, a member of the national board since 2003 who concluded her fourth year as Metropolis of Atlanta

Photo: Dimitrios Panagos Guest speaker Dr. George Coukos.

Philoptochos President in June and who chaired the 2009 Children’s Medical Fund Luncheon. The program, which was emceed by Andrea Tantaros, co-host of “The Five” on Fox News Channel and a political columnist for the New York Daily News, featured the Metropolitan Youth Choir, directed by Maria Koleva. The children performed Greek Christmas songs. Two parents of children who have been the beneficiaries of the medical programs supported by the Philoptochos Children’s Medical Fund gave testimonials about their experiences. Bishop Andonios of Phasiane, spiritual advisor to the National Philoptochos for the past 10 years, offered closing remarks and congratulations from Archbishop Demetrios, who traveled to the Ecumenical Patriarchate for a meeting with Patriarch Bartholomew and Vice President Joe Biden.

recognized that development can only be sustainable if all the planet’s natural resources: water, land, biodiversity, energy sources, the atmosphere and climate system should be used in such a way that present and future generations have an equal opportunity to live and prosper. Sustainable development is about empowering people to get involved. It’s the people through their organizations who can create change on the grass-roots level. Lila Prounis is the Archdiocese representatives to the UN Non-Governmental Organizations.

Lowell Parish Honors the Behrakises LOWELL, Mass. – Holy Trinity Church honored lifelong parishioners George and Margo Behrakis for their educational, civic and religious philanthropic work around the world at its parish celebration, The Delian Interlude, on Oct. 8. Among those attending were Metropolitan Methodios, Holy Trinity pastor Fr. Nikolaos Pelekoudas and state Sen. Steven Panagiotakos, the master of ceremonies.

Metropolitan Methodios and Fr. Nikolaos spoke about the attributes of the honorees and what they have done for Hellenism, Orthodoxy, and their community. Co-chairs of the event were George and Donna Christopulos, and Mr. and Mrs. William Alexis, who presented a $155,000 donation from the Delian Interlude sponsorships to the parish for its restoration and renovation.

First Koraes Alumni Network Event Slated PALOS HILLS, Ill. – On Nov. 14 the first-ever Koraes Alumni Network (KAN) meeting took place at Sts. Constantine and Helen Church. Koraes Elementary School was formed in 1910 and has thousands of alumni living all over the world. After 101 years, the KAN was born. The KAN was established with the support of Fr. Nicholas Jonas, pastor, and under the direction and guidance of Fr. Byron Papanikolaou. Its purpose is to con-

nect as many Koraes alumni as possible; to re-engage alumni and attendees of Koraes day and evening school to the school and church; and to establish events so that Koraes graduates can gather. On Jan. 29 all Koraes graduates and their families are invited to Sts. Constantine and Helen Church to receive Holy Communion with their classes. More information, call Bob Lattas at 312 850 2622 and/or e-mail: alumni@



Sacred Image, Sacred Marriage by Presbytera Kerry Pappas, LMFT

Our culture bombards us with images of marriage. Pictures and news of celebrity and royal marriages and breakups crowd the pages of magazines and internet sites and capture the attention of millions of people, influencing everything from the newest trends in bridal gown design to values concerning intimacy and relationships. Does the Church hold up any paradigms for marriage to provide the framework for a Christ-centered marriage? Indeed it does. The Church offers three icons from which we can learn how to live the married life: Christ the Bridegroom, Sts. Joachim and Anna, and the Wedding at Cana. These icons represent the three dimensions of marriage, the personal, the intimate, and the communal, respectively. Collectively they give us an Orthodox model for marriage. Living these three dimensions daily is part of the grace and challenge of married life. We have a “personal” life, that is, who we are and who we are becoming in Christ. Yes, we become “one flesh” in marriage, but we do not become “one person.” Husband and wife remain distinct persons in the marriage relationship. Secondly, husband and wife share an exclusive personal and intimate relationship. Finally, the couple lives the married life in relationship with others, not in isolation. Christ the Bridegroom: The Personal Dimension First and most important, is the icon of Christ the Bridegroom, who married us, His bride, the Church, supremely through His suffering and death in the ultimate act of love. He offers Himself to us as the perfect model of the perfect spouse. Our initial response to being challenged to love our spouse as Christ loves us might be, “He was God; I am human.” However, to be fully human, in fact, means to be like Christ, by grace, through faith. Let us pause and reflect on Jesus’ humanity. During the three years of His public ministry, He regularly took time to be alone or with His Father in prayer. We also know that He had an inner circle of fellow workers/friends, which began with Peter, James and John and extended to the twelve disciples and a larger group of followers. Additionally, Jesus had other dear friends, most notably, Lazarus, Martha and Mary. Finally, following the natural rhythm of life in His day, we can deduce that Jesus ate a healthy Mediterranean diet and walked a lot. He lived, what we call in contemporary terms, an active, healthy lifestyle. This may seem like a stretch, but we can conclude that Jesus exemplified “healthy, holy self care” in His daily life. He was a healthy, holy person. When He ministered to others through miracles, teaching, and preaching, Jesus acted in love from a place of fullness. He was secure in His relationship with His Father and others (even though many opposed Him), and He knew His purpose in life. Then, in His final act of love for His bride, His suffering and

death, Jesus was able to give everything He had, Himself. How can we become a better husband or wife? By living and growing in Christ and allowing His grace to grow in us, so that His love works through us in loving our spouse. None of us is capable of loving our spouse with the perfect love of our Bridegroom. However, by God’s grace and faithfully looking to Jesus as the model spouse, we can intentionally enter into the process of holy, healthy self–care through prayer, solitude, worship, learning, healthful eating, physical activity, appropriate rest and leisure, fellowship with others, and attending to any unhealthy habits or addictions we may have. Thus, we will become healthy, holy persons, who, by God’s grace and our cooperation, grow to love our spouses from a place of fullness. Sts. Joachim and Anna: The Intimate Dimension The second dimension of marriage, the intimate relationship of husband and wife, is beautifully depicted in the icon of Sts. Joachim and Anna, portrayed as an older couple, tenderly embracing each other. This is the private domain of the couple, which involves how husband and wife communicate with one another, resolve conflict, manage finances, navigate personality differences, parent their children, share responsibilities, make decisions, enjoy leisure, show affection, and share physical intimacy. Sometimes we take these areas for granted and do not seek to grow them. At other times we struggle with them. When these difficulties arise, what do we do? Do we attend to them, avoid dealing with them, or allow them to grow and fester? The tenderness and love depicted in the icon of Sts. Joachim and Anna can only come through a lifetime of a dynamic, maturing marriage. The seed of love we begin with in marriage has the awesome potential, by God’s grace and our cooperation, to become a most magnificent flower. If not nurtured, it will wither and possibly die. The Wedding at Cana: The Communal Dimension Finally, each couple lives in relationship to “community,” pictured in the icon of the Wedding at Cana, with Christ and the Theotokos as the honored guests. The sacrament of marriage and the celebration that follows are always in the context of a

community, showing that we do not live our married lives in isolation but as part of a larger body, which includes extended family, koumbari, fellow parishioners, neighbors, colleagues and friends. If and when we are blessed with children, they become part of the community of the home, the fruit of the love of the husband and wife in Christ. Furthermore, as we live out marriage in the context of “community,” we may be challenged to put other relationships ahead of our marriages. Once we are married, we would do well, however, to remember that after Christ, the most important relationship we have is with our spouse. Conclusion Collectively, the icons of Christ the Bridegroom, Sts. Joachim and Anna, and the Wedding at Cana encapsulate the meaning of a wholesome and meaningful marriage. In the icon of Christ the Bridegroom, we are given the image of the perfect spouse who unconditionally and sacrificially loves His beloved from a place of fullness and wholeness, grounded in His relationship with the Father and emulating, in his humanity, personal and relational self-care. This icon holds up for us both who we are and who we are becoming. In the icon of Sts. Joachim and Anna, we are given the image of the tender, loving, affectionate, embrace of the couple, signifying the exclusive intimate relationship of husband and wife. Finally, in the icon of the Wedding at Cana, we see the married couple in the context of all of those who constitute the communities in which they live, reminding us that in marriage we do not live in isolation and that we are responsible to hold up marriage as the primary human relationship in our lives while maintaining and growing loving relationships with others. “In marriage, the festive joy of the first day should last for the whole of life: every day should be a feast day; every day husband and wife should appear to each other as new, extraordinary beings. The only way of achieving this: let both deepen their spiritual life and strive hard in the task of self-development.” – Father Alexander Elchaninov Presbytera Kerry Pappas is the coordinator of Clergy Couple Care of the Department of Marriage and Family. She is a licensed marriage and family therapist

with a passion for pre-marital preparation and working with seminarian and clergy couples. Presbytera Kerry is a graduate of Gettysburg College (BA), Holy Cross School of Theology and Adler Graduate School. She has been married to Fr. Harry Pappas for 30 years and they have three children, Rebecca, Joshua and Hannah, and one grandchild, Joseph.

PRAYER OF MARRIED COUPLES Lord Jesus Christ, by Your presence You blessed the wedding in Cana and showed us that You are the true priest of mystical and pure marriage. We thank You for the day on which by Your heavenly benediction You joined us in the sacrament of marriage. Lord, continue to bless and enrich our marriage in love, companionship, mutual support, oneness of heart and progress in faith and life. Protect our holy wedlock from sin, evil and danger. Foster between us the spirit of understanding, the spirit of forgiveness and the spirit of peace, that no resentment, quarrel or other problem cause us to stumble and fall. Grant us to see our own faults and not to judge each other. Keep our bond of love always new. Gladden our lives with the joys of marriage, that with one heart we may praise and glorify You. Amen. – From My Orthodox Prayer Book by the Department of Religious Education.



Leadership 100 Conference Features Varied Program The 21st annual Leadership 100 Conference, slated for Feb. 9–12 in Manalapan, Fla., will include an address by FOX Business Network anchor Nicole Petallides, a concert by internationally–acclaimed Greek tenor, Mario Frangoulis, and a business forum conducted by Andrew N. Liveris, chairman and CEO of The Dow Chemical Company. Ms. Petallides also serves as FBN’s main NYSE correspondent, reporting live daily from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

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Keeping the ‘Mass’ in Christmas u u from page 8 soul of each one of us. Through the sacraments He enters into our persons so that, as the Apostle Paul says, Christ is formed in you; and with Christ in you, you have the hope of glory. Keep the Mass in your Christmas! Of course you should get together with family and friends. Of course you should open your presents around the tree. Of course you should enjoy your eggnog and mulled wine and ham and turkey and roast beast. But don’t forget the Mass! Don’t skip

the Liturgy! Don’t leave out Holy Communion. If you do so, you are missing the real Christmas altogether. Come to church and worship the newborn King in the way that He Himself commands, by eating His Body and drinking His Blood. Keep the “Mass” in Christmas, and you will never lose “Christ” from your Christmas either. God bless you and grant to you and your loved ones a most blessed celebration of the Nativity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Kala Christougenna! Merry Christmas!

Christmas Gifts for the Orthodox Christian u u from page 27 BOOKS Whether they are e-Readers or they love their books in-hand and on their bookshelf, books are a wonderful gift for anyone. For your e-Reader friends, maybe consider getting them a gift certificate for one of the online bookstores to get a digital copy of these books. Otherwise, check out your parish bookstore or your favorite Orthodox Christian online bookstore for different publications on anything from church history, tradition, stories of the saints, and much more. For example, you can find many books and publications for all ages at the Archdiocese Department of Religious Education. Visit their link and download their resource catalog (http:// PHILANTHROPIC DONATIONS Sometimes we are at a loss... What do we get the person who has just about everything? Give the gift of kindness, generosity, love, mercy, and compassion. Instead of buying an impractical or

Metropolitan Isaiah and the Clergy and Laity of the Metropolis of Denver extend to all the clergy and laity of our Holy Archdiocese and to all people of good will our best wishes for a blessed Christmas and a peaceful and joyous New Year!

Prior to joining FBN, she was an anchor at Bloomberg Television where she reported from the New York Stock Exchange for the nationally syndicated Bloomberg Business Report and Bloomberg Market Update. Along with the traditionally popular Bible study and lecture by Archbishop Demetrios, the conference will also highlight an Interfaith Marriage Forum conducted by Fr. Charles Joanides of the Archdiocese Office of Interfaith Marriage. Registration for the conference closes Dec. 30.

trendy gift, make a donation to a charity or organization in your relative’s name or friend’s name. You could make a donation to the OCMC (Orthodox Christian Mission Center) or IOCC (International Orthodox Christian Charities). You could also look to other organizations like the American Cancer Society, the Leukemia Foundation, or Habitat for Humanity. Check the website for these organizations and others to find out how you can donate. PRAYER ROPE/ICON BRACELET Think about some of the accessories people do not leave home without... watch, necklace, and earrings to name a few. Usually, the accessories we wear for the day do not remind us about our faith or growing closer to God. It does not seem like a huge flashy gift, but giving a prayer rope or an icon bracelet is a huge gift! Here’s a fun tip: If you get a prayer rope or an icon bracelet for someone, get one for yourself. Then, make a promise to sit together and pray or to discuss the icons. Then, your gift will become more than just a Christmas gift. It will become a tool for prayer and Christian fellowship!

Photo: Dimitrios Panagos

GOYA project Every year on the day before Thanksgiving, GOYA youth of St. Nicholas parish in Flushing, N.Y., organize a Thanksgiving food delivery. About 150 young people gathered this year under the guidance of their priests, Frs. Paul Palesty and Theofanis Papantonis and prepared 115 boxes with a turkey in each box, groceries and everything necessary for a Thanksgiving dinner loaded them to vans and delivered them to 115 homes of families in need in several Queens neighborhoods.


u u from page 12 Parish Center in Daytona Beach. Fr. George also was a co-founder, president and secretary of The Greek Orthodox Retired Clergy Association. Beginning in 1980 and during his “technical” retirement, he founded St. Michael the Archangel parish in Inverness, Fla., now located in Lecanto, where he would serve until his next “technical” retirement in 1998, though he never really retired. In 2004, at age 86. he became the founding pastor of The Greek Orthodox Mission of Ocala, Fla., driving there weekly from Daytona Beach. Other career highlights Among his other numerous achievements, at various times he served as: • President of the National Clergy Benevolent Association, the forerunner of the present Archdiocese Pension Fund. • President of the Clergy Fellowship of the First Archdiocesan District. • Secretary of the Executive Board, Metropolitan Council of Churches. • Secretary of the Board of Trustees of Hellenic College. • Member of Orthodox-Anglican consultations. • Secretary of the Board of Trustees of Saint Basil’s Academy. • Secretary of the Mixed Council of the Archdiocese. • Vice President and founding member of St. Michael’s Greek Orthodox Home for the Aged in Yonkers, N.Y. • Co-Founder of the Cathedral Parochial School in New York in 1949. • Leader of The Summer Cultural Tour to Greece in 1961; the pilot program to establish Ionian Village as a permanent camp in Greece. • Founder and first Orthodox chaplain (1958-1971) of “St. Paul’s Society” a brotherhood for Orthodox members of the New

Obituaries York City Police Department. • First Orthodox chaplain of the Honor Legion of the NYPD. • First Orthodox chaplain of the New York Metropolitan Newspaper Reporters Association; now the NY Press Club. • Founder and first president of the Holy Cross Alumni Association. Author of books In 1968, he compiled, translated into English, and published The Greek-English edition of The Divine Liturgy of St. John the Chrysostom widely used in the pews of Orthodox churches worldwide. For close to 40 years, it was the only book of its kind in the Orthodox world. He compiled, translated into English, and published The Akathist Hymn, with The Brief Compline (used during the first five Fridays in Lent.) In 2000, for the 40th anniversary of The Weeping Madonna at St. Paul’s, he wrote Why Did She Cry, an in-depth, first-hand account of The Miraculous Manifestations. On the 50th anniversary of St. Paul’s Cathedral in Hempstead, he wrote a concise history of the parish’s origins. Fr. Papadeas also is survived by sons Elias, Dean and Paul Papadeas, all of Daytona Beach; nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Funeral Services took place Nov. 28 at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Daytona Beach.

Presbytera Susan Maheras PITTSFIELD, Mass. – Susan Joan Thomas Maheras, wife, mother, grand-

mother, fell asleep in the Lord at home, on Nov. 8 surrounded by her family, after a long, brave, spirited battle with cancer. She was born on May 16, 1942, in Syracuse, N.Y., and raised in a loving family. Susan was a remarkable woman who had a gift for making friends of whomever she met and kept them as friends for many years. She exuded warmth and love and seemed to hug you with her smile. Together with her deep faith and sense of humor she navigated through life and was the heart of her family. Devoted to the Church, she was active in GOYA and became a pillar of the youth organization in Upstate New York and parts of Canada. In her 20s she traveled widely, becoming district chairman of the youth organization and establishing it in many parishes in her district. She met and married Fr. John G. Maheras through her activities. They recently celebrated 45 years of marriage. As a priest’s wife, she continued her mission and created a program for young adults that was implemented 35 years ago and is still used today. In addition to her dedication to her Church, she was widely involved in local politics in Rockland County, N.Y. Active in the PTA in the school district she was president for many years and encouraged parents to be active in the education of their children. Eventually, her family moved to Scituate, Mass., where she resided for more than 26 years. She brought her love of her faith and Church, her political acumen and then tried her hand at business. She owned and operated Clipper Travel for 22 years. A fledgling agency, she


developed it into one with clients from around the country and New England. Her work at Clipper Travel will continue through her children. Along with her love for her Orthodox faith, her avid interest in politics and her business acumen, she enjoyed cooking. Her passions, along with cooking, included crocheting, and playing with her grandchildren. She leaves her husband, Fr. John, and five daughters: Despina, Aspasia, Georgia, Stefania, Paige and their husbands; her mother Aspasija Thomas; a brother, John; several grandchildren and many other relatives. The funeral service took place at St. Catherine Church on Nov. 12. Memorial donations may made to the St. George Church, 73 Bradford Street, Pittsfield, MA 01201.

Fr. Michael Kamaritis Fr. Michael Kamaritis, 71, a retired priest, died June 15, 2011. He was born July 18, 1939 in Axos, Mylopotamou, Crete and attended ecclesiastical school in Patmos, Greece. He was ordained a deacon March 25, 1963 and a priest on March 31, 1963. He was married to Eleftheria Koutando, also of Axos, in 1962. They had three children: George, Elizabeth and JoAnn. After serving a parish in Anogia, Crete, from April 1964 to October 1969, Fr. Kamaritis immigrated to the United States in 1971. He briefly served the parishes of Holy Trinity in Nashville, and Koimisis in Bayard, Neb., from 1971 to 1978. He returned to Crete in 1978 on a leave of absence. Returning to the United States, he served the parish of St. George in Hollywood, Fla., from Feb. 1, 1997 until his retirement.



PAOI Honors Two Long–time Supporters LOS ANGELES – The Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute (PAOI), the Orthodox branch of the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, held a fundraising dinner Nov. 5 at the University of Southern California’s “Town and Gown.” Organized by the Southern California Auxiliary of the PAOI, the event honored the accomplishments of the Institute, the 20th anniversary of the Southern California Auxiliary, and philanthropists and PAOI supporters Chris and Joan Caras, and Harry and Agopie Pappas. They are past trustees of the PAOI, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate Order of St. Andrew, and members of Leadership 100, of which Mr. Caras is presently a board member. Aside from many civic contributions and donations, Mr. Caras served on the St. Sophia Cathedral parish council and is currently serving as vice-president of the St. Katherine Foundation. He and his wife, Joan, are stewards of St. Katherine Church in Redondo Beach and St George Church in Palm Desert and have supported projects at the parishes of St. Barbara in Santa Barbara and St. Nicholas in Northridge. Harry and Agopie Pappas have do-

nated to countless charitable events and activities of St. Sophia Cathedral, including St. Sophia Camp. As life members of St. Sophia, they continue a lifetime of support for the Cathedral. They are also stewards of St. George parish in Palm Desert and St. George’s in Downey. A co-founder of the Telly Savalas Hellenic Golf Classic, he and Agopie continue to be active in organizing this event. Following a reception featuring the premiere exhibit of 28 rare icons from the PAOI’s extensive collection, Master of Ceremonies Nick Halikis, M.D. welcomed the more than 300 guests. The Very Fr. Spencer J. Kezios and the Very Rev. Thomas J. Paris then presented special awards to Auxiliary founder Helen Lambros and first President Sophie Mastors for their 20 years of dedication to the Auxiliary and the PAOI. In his opening address, PAOI Director Metropolitan Nikitas of the Dardanelles reminded the audience of the great honor bestowed on the PAOI by the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate when the PAOI was designated a Patriarchal Institution, the only center of learning in the United States with this designation.

The Order of AHEPA wishes everyone a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

SUPREME LODGE 2011-2012 Supreme President - Dr. John Grossomanides Supreme Vice-President- Anthony Kouzounis Canadian President - George N. Vassilas Supreme Secretary - Phillip T. Frangos Supreme Treasurer - Andrew C. Zachariades Supreme Counselor - George E. Loucas, R.Ph. J.D. Supreme Athletic Director - Spiro Siaggas Sons National Advisor -Chris Economides, Jr. SUPREME GOVERNORS Region 1: Sandy J. Papadopoulos Region 2: Dr. Pete N. Nickolas, DDS Region 3: Jimmy Kokotas Region 4: Nicholas A. Nikas Region 5: Dr. Mark Zigoris Region 6: Louis G. Atsaves Region 7: Nickolas C. Dixie Region 8: Alexander Christy, Esq.

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Save the Date July 1 - 5, 2012

The Real Old Team from Annunciation Cathedral in San Francisco took first place in the Adult Division.

West Coast Volleyball Tournament Draws 300 Participants by Kristen Bruskas

SAN JOSE, Calif. – The 7th annual St. Nicholas Volleyball Tournament took place on Nov. 4-6. The tournament was a great success with more than 300 participants representing eight Greek Orthodox parishes in northern California. This year’s tournament was expanded to include teams from four different age categories: Jr. GOYA (11-13 years old); GOYA (14-18 years old); Young Adults (18-35); and Adults (35 and older). This event provided a wonderful opportunity for fellowship amongst Greek Orthodox youth and young adults, and encouraged sportsmanship, Christian fellowship and physical fitness. The tournament began on Friday evening with registration and dinner at St. Nicholas Church in San Jose. The first round of games was played at the church facilities following dinner, kicking off an enthusiastic evening. The tournament continued all day on Saturday with games being played at San Jose City College from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. The players weren’t too exhausted after a full day of games to enjoy a wonderful dinner and glendi at the St. Nicholas Church Fellowship Hall to complete the evening. Participants attended the Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning at St. Nicholas

Church, following which the championship games were played in front of supportive parishioners, friends and family. The parishes that were represented at the tournament were: Holy Cross, Belmont; Nativity of Christ, Novato; Ascension Cathedral, Oakland; Annunciation Cathedral, Sacramento; St. Nicholas, San Jose; St. Basil, Stockton; Annunciation Cathedral, San Francisco; and Holy Trinity, San Francisco. There were 33 teams in all. The tournament chairman was George Spilios, a long-time parishioner from St. Nicholas Church in San Jose. The teams that took home top honors were: Jr. GOYA – Bumblers, Annunciation, Sacramento; GOYA – Bumblers 1, Annunciation, Sacramento; Young Adult – Purple Penguins, Holy Trinity, San Francisco; Adult – Real Old, Annunciation Cathedral, San Francisco. Four people also received Most Valuable Player awards in their respective divisions: Jr. Goya - Katina Vail, Bumblers, Annunciation, Sacramento; GOYA – Peter Margaris, Bumblers 1, Annunciation, Sacramento; Young Adult – Athan Haigh, Purple Penguins, Holy Trinity, San Francisco; and Adult – Ari Stratakis, Real Old, Annunciation Cathedral, San Francisco. Additional photos of the tournament can be found at

Phoenix Desert riDge

PHOENIX, A Z More information to come in future issues of the Orthodox Observer! The Bumblers 1 Team from Annunciation Church in Sacramento placed first in the GOYA Division.



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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, Sep. 11-2001, Ecumenical Relations & SCOBA, 40th Anniversary of Episcopacy, and Honors & Degrees.

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

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Archbishop Demetrios, Metropolitan Gerasimos Consecrate Church by Fr. Andrew Barakos

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Assumption Church, a parish with 275 stewards, was consecrated on Oct. 30, 10 years after Metropolitan Anthony of blessed memory opened the doors. Archbishop Demetrios, presided over the consecration, assisted by Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco. Since the “thyranoixia” (door-opening service), the community retired its $800,000 mortgage, remedied major construction defects and adorned the church with 81 icons and various church furnishings. The Consecration service for the Byzantine-style church began with vespers on Saturday, Oct. 29, with the Procession of the Relics and Great Vespers. Archbishop Demetrios brought with him relics from three martyrs to be sealed in the altar table: St. Panteleimon the Healer and Great Martyr (July 27), St. Kyrikos a child martyr (July 15) and the Holy Fathers martyred in the monastery of St. Savas in Jerusalem (March 20). The Archbishop was accompanied by Archdeacon Panteleimon Papadopoulos and Deacon Aristidis Garinis. Also participating were nine priests, three additional deacons, 20 acolytes, 20 myrrh-bearers and three retired priests. Visiting clergy who participated included Deacon Dr. Paul Kalina, the first parishioner from Assumption to be ordained; and Fr. Gabriel Boyd, the first Assumption parishioner to graduate from Hellenic College/Holy Cross School of Theology. On Sunday, Oct. 30, services began with Orthros at 7:30 a.m., followed by the Consecration and Archieratical Divine Liturgy. Archbishop Demetrios and Metropolitan Gerasimos explained many details of the service as they were happening. Video cameras in the altar allowed for parishioners to see on screens in the Nave and in an overflow tent what was taking place inside the altar during the consecration. More than 650 parishioners attended. After the service, Archbishop Demetrios honored two outstanding stewards and parish leaders with the Medal of St. Paul: Parish Council President Rocky Sisson, and Philoptochos President Michele Genetos. Both of these individuals have demonstrated tremendous leadership and were intricately involved the planning many of the details for the event. While the focus of the weekend was on prayer, there were also several opportunities for the faithful to enjoy fel-

lowship with Archbishop Demetrios and Metropolitan Gerasimos. Following Great Vespers on Saturday evening, a grand banquet celebrated the parish’s blessings and accomplishments. A family style celebratory luncheon followed the next day’s liturgy, attended by more than 600 persons. Over 70 children from the parish’s Greek folk dance groups performed for family and friends. The Assumption community has had many non-Greek Orthodox spouses join the church because the services are conducted predominately in English. Worship is led by a 25-member choir along with congregational singing. Children’s sermons, youth activities, philanthropy, adult religious education, evangelism and outreach are all part of Church life. There is a wide variety of converts including former Catholics, Lutherans, Episcopalians, Hindu, and Muslims, and a substantial number of Greek Orthodox parishioners, from immigrants to second through fourth generation. Future plans for Assumption include the “building out” of the campus so that a community center, proper Sunday School

Byzantine Music School Begins in Oregon by Kristen Bruskas

PORTLAND, Oregon --The Byzantine Music School, under the direction of Fr. Dimosthenis Paraskevaidis, assistant priest at Holy Trinity Cathedral, is currently offering its first full year of intensive instruction in Byzantine chant. The school began operating last spring with an abbreviated introductory course and an enrollment of 12 students. The current session began in October and continues through May with 18 students from the Cathedral and surrounding parishes. Students meet weekly and also receive extensive online resources including audio

files to assist them in their practice. Following class, some students remain at the Cathedral to participate in Great Vespers while others return to their home parishes and share their chanting skills within their communities. During their study, students participate in Orthros, Vespers and other services at the Analogion of their respective parishes to further enhance their skills and confidence. The eight-month class includes instruction in reading Greek, learning Byzantine notation, the modes, study of the Typikon, and the proper behavior and appearance of chanters during the services. Fr. Dimosthenis has been serving as

Allison Bess Photography

Youth and dancers from the community with Archbishop Demetrios at the conclusion of the Consecration weekend. (below) Metropolitan Gerasimos and Archbishop Demetrios seal the relics into the Holy Altar, assisted by Archdeacon Panteleimon Papadopoulos.

classrooms, and updated office space will be available to the community in coming years.

Fr. Barakos has led Assumption Church since March 1995. He is currently assisted by Deacon Drew Maxwell.

the assistant priest in Portland since November 2009. Prior to coming to the United States, he served at the Holy Forerunner Cathedral in Kavala, Greece. He holds a Master of Divinity degree in pastoral theology from the University of Thessaloniki, and a degree in Byzantine chant. Plans for expansion of this program are currently in progress, with regional workshops being developed that will be offered throughout the Metropolis of San Francisco, and a one-week intensive program of Byzantine music instruction at St. Nicholas Ranch and Retreat Center. For more information on the Byzantine Music School, visit or contact Fr. Dimosthenis at 503.234.0468.

School Fund Named for Priest PALOS HILL, Ill. --The student assistance fund of Koraes School of Sts. Constantine and Helen Church recently was renamed the Fr. Byron Papanikolaou Koraes Student Assistance Fund in honor the church’s former pastor of 52 years. Fr. Byron has overseen the school for over half of its entire life and has dedicated his life’s ministry to its preservation and well being. Koraes School has served the families in the Greek Orthodox community for 101 years. It is a parochial day school that includes pre-kindergarten through the eighth grade. In the last 10 years, this assistance fund has provided over $750,000 in tuition aide for students attending Koraes. This year, the fund distributed over $100,000.



The Metropolis of Boston at a Glance Editor’s note: The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, consists of more than 500 parishes in the United States and the Bahamas, apportioned within eight metropolises and the Direct Archdiocesan District. Each metropolis is headed by a Μetropolitan, while Archbishop Demetrios of America also administers the Direct Archdiocesan District. Beginning with this issue, in geographical order, the Observer will feature an “at-a-glance” presentation of each Metropolis and the Direct Archdiocesan District to broaden the understanding of all Greek Orthodox faithful of the Archdiocese of America.

General Information

The Metropolis of Boston comprises the New England states (with the exception of western Connecticut)

Number of parishes: 63

(Note: The 56 locator dots and numbers below indicate cities and towns with parishes. Three cities – Boston, Lowell, Mass., and Manchester, N.H. - each have three parishes, of which seven have no individual numbers, accounting for the 63 total).

Metropolitan Methodios of Boston

Number of states: 5½ (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, the eastern half of Connecticut) Approx. area: 60,400 sq. miles

List of Parishes

Largest parish: St. Vasilios, Peabody, Mass. Chancellor: Fr. Theodore J. Barbas

Major Ministries

(source: Metropolis Website)

Note: Boston-area community locator dots and numbers are smaller for ease of legibility.

PHILANTHROPIC MINISTRIES: Philoptochos, Philoxenia House, Nursing Ministry YOUTH & YOUNG ADULT MINISTRIES: Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries, Oratorical Festival, MBC, Special Needs Ministry, MBC Staff Training, Golf Outing FAMILY MINISTRIES: Family Ministry, Marriage Preparation Seminar, Young Professionals Committee, St. Methodios Faith and Heritage Center and St. Methodios Faith and Heritage Center - Capital Improvements, Ministry Awards Dinner. LEADERSHIP MINISTRIES: Stewardship Team, Legacy Giving, Parish Council Training Seminars, District Parish Leadership, Seminars, Finance Committee, Metropolis Clergy Laity Conference, Parish Management Software Initiative, Communications Committee, FOS, Parish Bylaw Committee, DOXA, Greek Education. SPIRITUAL/LITURGICAL MINISTRIES: Clergy Brotherhood, Sisterhood of Presvyteres, Retired Clergy, Registry Statistics, Radio Ministry, Special Services, Ecumenical Relations, Federation of Greek Orthodox Church Musicians, Metropolis Internship Reflection, Fr. Metaxas Memoriam.

Contact information Address: 162 Goddard Ave., Brookline, Mass. 02445 Tel. (617) 277-4742 e-mail: website:


1. Bangor (St. George), 2. Lewiston (Holy Trinity), 3. Portland (Holy Trinity), 4. Biddeford (St. Demetrios)

New Hampshire

5. Somersworth (Assumption), 6. Dover (Annunciation), 7. Portsmouth (St. Nicholas), 8. Nashua (St. Philip), 9. Manchester (Assumption, St. George and St. Nicholas parishes) 10. Concord (Holy Trinity), 11. Franklin ((Transfiguration) 12. Laconia (Taxiarchai), 13. Newport (St. Vasilios), 14. Keene (St. George).


15. Burlington (Dormition), 16. Rutland (St. Nicholas)


17. Newburyport (Annunciation), 18 Haverhill (Holy Apostles-Sts. Peter & Paul) 19. Ipswich (Assumption), 20. Peabody (St. Vasilios), 21. Lynn (St. George), 22. Somerville (Dormition) 23. Cambridge (Sts. Constantine & Helen), 24, Watertown (Taxiarchae), 25. Arlington (St. Athanasius), 26. Lexington (St. Nicholas), 27. Woburn (Annunciation), 28. Andover (Sts. Constantine & Helen), 29. Dracut (Annunciation), 30 Lowell (Holy Trinity, St. George, Transfiguration), 31. Marlboro (Sts. Anargyroi), 32. Weston (St. Demetrios) 33. Clinton (St. Nicholas), 34. Fitchburg (Holy Trinity), 35. Worcester (St. Spyridon), 36. Southbridge (St. George), 37. Holyoke (Holy Trinity), 38. Chicopee Falls (Sts. Constantine & Helen), 39.Springfield (St. George), 40. East Longmeadow (St. Luke), 41. Pittsfield (St. George), 42. Braintree (St. Catherine), 43. Cohasset (Nativity-Assumption), 44. Brockton (Annunciation), 45. Mansfield (St. Gregory the Theologian), 46. Fall River (St. Demetrios), 47. Dartmouth (St. George), 48. Centerville/Hyannis (St. George), 49. Webster (Sts Constantine and Helen). *Boston (with the suburb of Brookline) includes the parishes of Annunciation Cathedral, St. John the Baptist and St. Nectarios (Roslindale), and is home to Holy Cross School of Theology-Hellenic College.

Rhode Island

50. Pawtucket (Assumption), 51. Cranston (Annunciation), 52. Newport (St. Spyridon).


53. Danielson (Holy Trinity), 54 Enfield (St. Nicholas), 55. Norwich (Holy Trinity), 56. New London (St. Sophia).

(source: Archdiocese Yearbook)

Orthodox Observer - Dec 2011 - Issue 1271  

The Orthodox Observer is the official News Publication of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

Orthodox Observer - Dec 2011 - Issue 1271  

The Orthodox Observer is the official News Publication of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.