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JUNE 2013 • Vol. 78 • No. 1286

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Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Receives HCHC Honor by Stavros Papagermanos

BOSTON – Archbishop Ieronymos II of Athens and All Greece came to the U.S. on May 15 for a historic first visit, at the invitation of Hellenic College Holy Cross School of Theology to accept an honorary doctorate from the school. His trip included visiting the Boston Marathon Bombing site, meeting with the mayor of Boston, and a brief visit to Harvard. Following the commencement activities on May 18, he traveled to New York to officiate at the Divine Liturgy at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of Holy trinity and take part in several other activities. (Related story page 5). Archbishop Demetrios and Metropolitan Methodios of Boston welcomed His Beatitude upon his arrival at Logan International Airport, along with other dignitaries that included Consul General of Greece in Boston Ifigeneia Kanaras; HCHC President Fr. Nicholas Triantafillou, vice-chairman of the School Trustees Dr. Thomas Lelon; Rev. Dr. Thomas FitzGerald, Holy Cross dean; Fr. Theodore Barbas, Metropolis of Boston chancellor; and other clergy, laity and youth of the area. Archbishop Ieronymos began his visit by touring the Museum of Fine Arts of Boston. He was accompanied by Archbishop Demetrios, the members of his entourage and Archon George Behrakis, who is a great benefactor and board member of the MFA. Nearly a month after the Boston Marathon terrorist attack, Archbishop Ieronymos visited the Boylston Street site of the bombing where an ad hoc memorial has been created by thousands of visitors. The presence of the Orthodox Hierarchs and clergymen attracted the attention of the hundreds of visitors and media present, as Archbishop Ieronymos laid a wreath next to the white wooden crosses bearing the names of those who tragically lost their lives that day. Together with Archbishop Demetrios, they said a prayer and chanted

Dimitris Panagos photo

Archbishop Ieronymos at the honorary Doctorate of Divinity degree presentation with Archbishop Demetrios and HCHC officials.

“May their memory be Eternal.” The Annunciation Cathedral of Boston, its dean Fr. Cleopas Strongylis and his parishioners welcomed Archbishop Ieronymos in the historic cathedral and Metropolitan Methodios later hosted a dinner for His Beatitude and his other guests. Meets Boston Mayor, Visits Harvard The second day of the visit included the meeting with the Mayor Thomas Menino at City Hall. The delegation, which included Archbishop Demetrios, Metropolitan Methodios and others, discussed the program sur-

rounding the Boston visit. Mayor Menino is known as a Philhellene and supporter of the Greek American community in Boston. In the afternoon, the delegation visited Harvard, where they were welcomed by the marshal and director of International Studies Jackie O’Neill, by the Center for European Studies Director Elaine Papoulias, and by Professor Elizabeth Prodromou. Later in the afternoon, administrators, staff and students of the only Hellenic university in America welcomed the Primate of the Church of Greece at the administration building. “It is a great blessing from God, and a pleasure and honor for us to be in your

presence today, as this is the first time an Archbishop of Athens and All Greece has visited this sacred place,” stated Archbishop Demetrios of America, chairman of the School trustees. as he welcomed Archbishop Ieronymos. His Beatitude expressed his appreciation and gratitude for the invitation and the honor, and he emphasized that “the responsibility of all of us is tremendous,” and stated that “our homeland has need of assistance from each one of us.” Following the welcome, Archbishop Ieronymos officiated at the Vespers service in the Chapel of the Holy Cross, and of-

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Archdiocesan Council Holds Spring Meeting in Boston BOSTON – Archdiocesan Council members, at their May 30-31 spring meeting, heard committee reports from various Church ministries and updates on several long-range projects. Following his opening prayer service and Bible readings, Archbishop Demetrios reported on several recent developments including the continuing humanitarian aid to Greece, the latest stage in the more than 10-year struggle with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to eventually build a new St. Nicholas Church in lower Manhattan to replace the one lost in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and the recently completed visit of Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece. His Eminence noted that Archbishop Ieronymos “is struggling in an amazing way

to feed 15,000 people a day, and only in Athens, for more than two years.” Archbishop Demetrios observed that, in contrast to Greece and many other Orthodox countries, “the laity plays a much more advanced and creative role in this country.” But he added that the “more challenging role” is to nurture the younger generation in the Church. Later in the meeting, Youth and Young Adult Committee representatives spoke of several new programs and efforts to minister to the younger members of the Church, including the awarding of a $230,000 grant from Leadership 100 for use in the growing camping ministries. At that point Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago spoke on the need for a greater

Orthodox Observer photo

Archbishop Demetrios opens the spring meeting of the Archdiocesan Council with a prayer and the Bible reading for the day. Others on the dais (from left) Metropolitans Savas of Pittsburgh and Iakovos of Detroit, Archdeacon Panteleimon, Boston Metropolis Chancellor Fr. Theodore Barbas, council Vice Chairman Michael Jaharis and legal counsel Katherine Walsh.

effort in ministering to the youth. Citing the decreasing number of baptisms and marriages in the Church, he attributed the trend to “the liberal spirit that permeates the entire community.

“People do not receive the blessings of marriage and they are very satisfied and don’t apologize at all for their cohabitation,

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To contact the National Ministries Archives 212.570.3517 Communications 212.774.0244 Greek Education 212.774.0233 Information Technologies 212.774.0240 Inter-Orthodox, Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations 212.570.3593 Marriage & Family 845.424.8175 Parish Development 847.825.1432 Philanthropy 212.774.0283 Public Affairs 212.774.0400 Registry 212.570.3558 Religious Education 617.850.1218 Stewardship, Outreach & Evangelism 646.519.6160 Youth and Young Adult Ministries 646.519.6180


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St. Photios trustees Members of the St. Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine with Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta at their recent meeting in St. Augustine, Fla. (seated) Connie Rizopoulos, Rev. Joseph Samaan (St. Demetrios, Daytona Beach), Archon Dr. John Grossomanides (AHEPA Supreme President), Polexeni Maouris Hillier, Archon Dr. Manuel N Tissura (1st VP), Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta, Bishop Dimitrios of Xanthos, Maria Carantzas (Treasurer), Rev. Dr. Nicholas Louh (St. John the Divine, Jacksonville). (Standing) Nick Stam (Endowment), C.M. Rizopoulos (Daytona), Harry Cavalaris (emeritus), Joanne Stavrakas (Chicago), George Parandes (Atlanta), Sophia Nichols (NJ), Peter Bouras (emeritus), Will Bisbikis (Detroit), Nancy Laskas (Daytona), Rose Papanickolas McGrath (Boston), Leslye Alex Phillips (secretary), Angelo Koukoulis (Pittsburgh), Gem Mann (Jacksonville), Harry Plomarity (Denver), Gary Peterson (St. Augustine), Anthony Megas (2nd VP), Archdeacon Ryan Gzikowski (Pittsburgh), Christos Daphnides (Direct Archdiocesan District), Archon Dr. Steve Poulos (emeritus) and Fr. George Ioannou (Holy Trinity, St. Augustine).

Report on Cyprus, Greece, Hurricane Sandy Relief Funding Efforts NEW YORK - The Archdiocese recently established the Relief Fund for the People of Cyprus to help provide economic assistance to the suffering people in Cyprus. Thousands of individuals have lost their jobs and people are in desperate need of critical assistance until they and the nation can recover. In his encyclical for the Support of the People of Cyprus, Archbishop Demetrios said: “Just as our hearts have been burdened by the struggles of the people of Greece, and you the faithful of the Church in America have responded in generosity and love, we now see the economic and physical hardships that recently emerged and plague Cyprus. From our shared heritage and faith, from the many familial and community ties among our community in America, from our love of these lands and their people, but most importantly, from our faith in our Lord and in response to His grace, we are called to offer from our abundance so that those in need may find relief, comfort, and renewed hope. With the people of Cyprus in our prayers, I ask our faithful to continue in the weeks and months ahead to offer assistance in this effort. Through this compassionate and dedicated response to the needs of these beloved people, light will shine in the

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In 2013, published monthly except February–March and July–August by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Editorial and Business Office: 8 East 79th Street, New York, NY 10075 TEL.: (212) 570–3555 FAX (212) 774–0239

Relief Fund for the People of Greece The Archdiocesan Relief Fund for the People of Greece has so far collected and distributed over $1 million to assist struggling families, currently hundreds of thousands of people a week throughout the country. It especially benefits the unemployed, elderly and children, who are being fed at the soup kitchens opened in the parishes and monasteries of the Church of Greece. The Archdiocese works with the Church of Greece to support these food programs as well as other relief projects that the Church has established to alleviate the suffering of the people. Also, this past winter, through a $200,000 grant from the Archdiocese of America, International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), in co-

How to Contact Archdiocesan Institutions, Metropolises and Related Agencies and Organizations Direct Archdiocesan District 212.570.3500; Metropolis of Chicago 312.337.4130; Metropolis of Boston 617.277.4742; Metropolis of Denver 303.333.7794; Metropolis of Atlanta 404.634.9345; Metropolis of Detroit 248.823.2400; Metropolis of Pittsburgh 412.621.5529; Metropolis of San Francisco 415.753.3075; Metropolis of New Jersey 908.301.0500; Archdiocesan Institutions Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity Tel. 212.288.3215; EDITOR IN CHIEF Jim Golding (Chryssoulis) GREEK SECTION EDITOR Eleftherios Pissalidis

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darkness and fear will be dispelled by the power of God’s grace.” Donations to this Fund will benefit families and individuals affected by the economic crisis, through the philanthropic programs of the Orthodox Church of Cyprus. Contributions may be sent via check to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, 8 East 79th St., New York, NY 10075 and earmarked for the Relief Fund for the People of Cyprus.


Nicholas Manginas

Hellenic College Holy Cross School of Theology 617.731.3500; Saint Basil Academy 845.424.3500; St. Michael’s Home 914.476.3374; St. Photios National Shrine 904.829.8205; Other key organizations and services National Philoptochos 212.977.7770; Internet Ministries: • Orthodox Jobs: • Orthodox Marketplace: • Online Store for Parishes: freebookstore • Orthodox Children’s Bible Reader Online:

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operation with Apostoli, the philanthropic organization of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Athens, provided the emergency distribution of heating fuel to 30 social institutions located in central and northern Greece. These institutions, which are home to more than 1,500 children and adults unable to care for themselves, received enough heating fuel to keep their facilities warm through the winter months. Through the Relief Fund for the People of Greece, the Archdiocese of America is able to continue to provide financial support for these efforts. Contributions to help the people of Greece may be sent via check, earmarked for the Relief Fund for the People of Greece, to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, 8 East 79th St., New York, NY 10075. For additional ways to donate, visit: Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund The coordinated Hurricane Sandy relief effort of the Archdiocese has been conducted by the Direct Archdiocesan District and the Metropolis of New Jersey through the tremendous work of the Philoptochos and the Committees established in the two regions. As of this month, the Archdiocesan Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund has raised and distributed $270,000. The Leadership 100 Endowment Fund contributed $100,000. Through this contribution as well as the support of Greek Orthodox individuals, parishes and organizations such as AHEPA, the Archdiocese has offered financial assistance to more than 170 applicants, bringing a sparkle of hope into the hearts of those going through some of the most challenging times of their lives. “In the weeks and months that followed this horrible storm something amazing and beautiful occurred, my town was no longer flooded by ocean water but filled with loved and support from people who wanted to help. This generosity gave us hope… My family and I thank you for your philanthropy,” wrote one of the grant beneficiaries from Island Park, NY.

Change of Address To submit a change of address: Contact Soula Podaras at 212.774.0235 e-mail: fax: 212.774.0239. Or regular mail to: Orthodox Observer, th 8 E. 79 St., New York, NY 10075-0192 Be sure to include old address, new address and name of parish.


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Jaharis Foundation Gives $2 Million for Greek Poverty and Hunger Relief NEW YORK – The Archdiocese has received a $2 million gift from Jaharis Family Foundation Inc., to target hunger and poverty relief efforts in Greece and help needy children and families there. The Foundation press release noted: “The gift announcement was made to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America in honor of Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece, and Archbishop Demetrios of America for their collaboration of efforts on providing humanitarian assistance to the people in Greece.” Archbishop Demetrios, expressing his feelings, stated: “This very significant gift by the Jaharis Family, comes to assist in alleviating hardships which school children face daily in Greece due to the economic crisis. It is a magnificent gesture of love,

which shows sensitivity, compassion and understanding.” The press release also said: “The gift will be primarily directed to the IOCC (International Orthodox Christian Charities) to help develop, sustain and support its hunger relief efforts and partnership with Apostoli, the humanitarian affiliate organization of the Archdiocese of Athens. As there is an alarming and growing need for hunger relief programs, specifically for children, this grant will help the IOCC dramatically expand its humanitarian aid programs and partnership with Apostoli such as providing food and meals to children and families in need while also supporting local agricultural industry and creating jobs through the distribution of

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Orthodox Observer photo

Archdiocesan Council meeting

Archdiocesan Council members stand for the prayer delivered by Archbishop Demetrios as he opened the council’s spring meeting in Boston on May 31.

Cyprus Relief Meeting Attendees Receive Letter on Aid Status NEW YORK – Archbishop Demetrios sent a letter June 6 to the 36 representatives of Greek–American and GreekCypriot organizations who participated in the April 3 meeting to discuss providing humanitarian support to the people of Cyprus. The text of the Archbishop’s letter is as follows: Dear Participants for the Cyprus Relief Fund, Christ is Risen! In our continuing effort for the good people of Cyprus since we gathered at the Archdiocese on April 3, we have explored possibilities of assistance to our brothers and sisters in the Republic of Cyprus who face daily hardships due to the financial crisis. After pertinent and careful examination and in cooperation and with the recommendation of the Government of Cyprus, we have concluded that there

are three worthwhile projects to which we can immediately channel our relief efforts through our Holy Archdiocese. These projects, in brief, are the following: • The establishment of Centers for the Protection and Care of Children (ages 6-12) in locations where there is high unemployment, so that the unemployed parents can find some relief in the daily care of their children. • The annual cost for each Center is 70,250 euros (approx. $91,000). • Depending on the amount of the collected funds, there is a possibility for establishing several such Centers throughout Cyprus. • The assistance to the existing Day Care Centers for people with autism. These centers, which are under the auspices of Elsie Christofias, former first lady of Cyprus, service approximately 120 adults and children daily in various cities. • Cost for running each program, by

location, is as follows: Lemessos 12,611 euros (about $16,394 U.S.); Lefkosia 10,588 euros (about $13,764); Paphos 3,884 euros (approx. $5,049) • The assistance to the Childrens’ Rehab Center which offers medical treatment to approximately 80 adults and children daily who have mobility issues. The Center is under the Cyprus Red Cross, whose president is Photeini Papadopoulou, former first lady of Cyprus. • Total operational cost for the center in 2012 was 328,025 euros (about $426,432). However, any amount of assistance would be welcomed. In reviewing these options and assessing our abilities, it is my firm belief that when we work together and in harmony towards a specific goal, the results of our accomplishments are better and more effective. Therefore, I kindly ask each one of you, as a representative of your organization, to decide which project

your organization would embrace, so that your efforts and kind contribution become more meaningful and offer the much needed assistance to each of these Centers. The funds that you raise for the benefit of the Center you select, will be used in their entirety for the designated project. The name of the specific donor organization will be recognized with a permanent record of this significant benevolent act. We pray that our God, the Lord of love and mercies, will assist all of us in the noble effort of contributing as much as possible towards the sacred cause of assisting our brothers and sisters in Cyprus, especially the children. With love and esteem in our Risen Lord, † DEMETRIOS Archbishop of America

Ionian Village Draws Record Number of Registrants “Find a way to step on Greek land, to swim in Greek waters, to enjoy the Greek sun. Find every way and possibility to come in touch with real Greece.” Following this inspirational encouragement from Archbishop Demetrios, over 430 Greek Americans will travel to Greece and Cyprus with Ionian Village this summer. Spiritual Odyssey, the Young Adult ministry of Ionian Village, just completed a 10–day trip which included five days in Cyprus and five days on the Greek island of Crete. While in Cyprus, the 15 participants had the opportunity to visit local churches and monasteries and understand in an intimate way the Cypriot Struggle and how Orthodoxy has been affected in the wake of the Turkish invasion. An especially moving moment came when the group visited the Church of the Holy Cross in Omodos and was able to venerate a piece of the true rope that was used to tie Christ to the Cross, brought to Cyprus by St. Helen on her way back to Constantinople. The group also visited the beautiful Kykkos Monastery in the Troodos Mountains that was established around a miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary created by St. Luke the Evangelist. In addition to many faith-based visits, participants also learned about Cyprus’ rich history, from ancient times up to and beyond the 1974 invasion. The visit to the “Green Line” of separation between the Turkish and Cypriot sides of the occupied country cemented in the participants’ minds the reality of the struggles of the Cypriot people.

Following Cyprus, the group visited Crete to continue their journey, visiting many churches and towns across the island. On Crete, the Spiritual Odyssey group explored several towns, villages, and beaches, and gained an appreciation for the unique Venetian influence that is present in the church architecture over much of the island. A memorable visit to the Arkadi Monastery in the mountains and a monk, Fr. Efmenios, allowed the group to re-live the Cretan struggle for independence from Turkish rule in the second half of the 19th century. In addition to Spiritual Odyssey, the Ionian Village Summer Camping Program will be operating with a record number of high school aged campers this summer, the largest combined group in over 20

years. Staff members from throughout the Archdiocese will leave in early June to begin preparing for the two large groups, who will follow the traditional and inspir-

ing program of excursions that includes Ancient Olympia, Patras, Kefallon ia, Kalavryta, Zakynthos and so much more. This summer’s program also includes several exciting additions that will further enhance campers’ experience, including our “Repower Greece Day” and a visit by the famous Greek-American comedian Basile. Since 1970, Ionian Village continues to be a beacon of Orthodoxy and Hellenism for the young people of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Follow our historic group this summer both at camp and on our excursions as we experience with our Orthodox Faith and “find every way and possibility to come in touch with real Greece.” For more information and to follow our daily blog and pictures, visit us at and on Facebook.

CLERGY UPDATE Ordination to the Diaconate Kouzelis, George, by Metropolitan Panteleimon of Koroneia, Church of Greece11/20/11 Ordination to Priesthood Deacon George Kouzelis, Metropolitan Methodios of Boston, St. Spyridon Cathedral, Worcester, Mass. 09/30/12 Assignments Deacon George Kouzelis, St. Spyridon Cathedral, Worcester, Mass. 09/01/13 Deacon Alexandros Petrides, St. Nicholas Cathedral, Bethlehem, Pa. 6/01/13

Offikia Fr. Theodore Poteres, Office of Protopresbyter, bestowed by Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago 5/19/13 Retired Priests Fr. Nicholas Manousakis 05/31/13 Receptions Fr. Michael Arbanas (from Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Diocese of the USA, Canada and Australia) 05/30/13 Suspensions V. Rev. Fr. Constantine Mersinas. 01/29/13.


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Archbishop Ieronymos’ Visit u u from page 1 fered words of love and paternal guidance to the graduating students of the School and Hellenic College. He also presented the pectoral cross of the School to each of the students graduating the next day from the School of Theology. The day concluded with a dinner given by the School in honor of His Beatitude at the nearby Cathedral Center.The delegation of His Beatitude included Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Messinia, Bishop Gavriel of Diavleia (Chief Secretary of the Holy Synod), Fr. Adamantios Avgoustidis, the Fr. Stefanos Avramidis, Deacon Epiphanios Arvanitis, and Demetrios Karanasos. Honorary Doctorate Holy Cross School of Theology conferred an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree to His Beatitude at the commencement ceremony, Saturday, May 18 (Graduation coverage on page 11) Archbishop Demetrios conferred the head of the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Greece following the citation by HCHC President Fr. Nicholas Triantafilou. In the citation, Fr. Triantafilou portrayed His Beatitude as a Hierarch, a Shepherd and a Leader and in recognition of his exceptional intellectual, pastoral and ecclesiastical achievements in general asked the recipient for “the singular privilege of honoring you and joining your name with that of our sacred institution.” Archbishop Ieronymos accepted the honor and delivered the commencement address to the graduates. (text in its entirety at Archbishop Demetrios spoke at the end of the ceremonies and summarized the key qualities of His Beatitude, noting “his uncompromising faith, his unconditional dedication to the Church and his high sensitivity to people who suffer.” The hierarchs traveled to New York following the graduation for the second leg of the trip with several activities and events in his honor. As he arrived at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Manhattan for a hierarchical concelebration of the Divine Liturgy he was presented flowers and was welcomed by the young people of the Cathedral. Archbishop Ieronymos presided over the Liturgy, which was broadcast live by satellite to Greece, the United States, Canada, Australia and other parts of Europe. In his comments after the Liturgy, Archbishop Demetrios highlighted His Beautitude’s long pastoral and philanthropic ministry, especially in the last few years, since Greece entered a harsh economic crisis. “You are heroically fighting an uphill

Dimitrios Panagos photos

At St. Demetrios School in Astoria, the archbishops attend a program in the auditorium which included a performance of Greek dances.

Archbishop Ieronymos presents a cross to a student of the Sts. Constantine and Helen school in Brooklyn.

fight, offering a great ministry, feeding daily and unceasingly for almost three years now, thousands of people in need.” His Beatitude talking about the sanctity of the Church, said that “our future and continuation depends upon the preservation and continuation of this sacred space where the Divine Liturgy takes place and that if our faith diminishes, if our Greek Orthodox traditions fade then we should know that will loose everything, including our history and memory.” Archbishop Demetrios presented Archbishop Ieronymos with a $100,000 check for the social welfare work he does in support of children in need. In the evening, the Archdiocesan

At the Museum of Fine Arts, benefactor George Behrakis takes the hierarchs on a tour of the wing devoted to ancient Greek and Byzantine artifacts.

The two Archbishops visit Boston Mayor Thomas Menino at his office.

Cathedral became the venue for a concert in honor of the visiting hierarch, by the Archdiocesan Youth Choir and by the Archdiocesan Byzantine Choir. “This was music I did not expect to hear in New York,” he said about the concert. Visit to the Archdiocese and St. Demetrios–Astoria In his second day in New York, Archbishop Ieronymos visited Archdiocese headquarters and officiated at a Doxology in the Chapel of St. Paul. Present for the visit and service were diplomatic representatives of Greece and Cyprus, and clergy, leaders, and staff of the Archdiocese. He later visited the community of St. Demetrios in Astoria accompanied by Archbishop Demetrios and the Hierarchs and clergy of his delegation. The Proistamenos of the community Fr. Nektarios Papazafiropoulos, the clergy of the Church, the parish council, members of the school board, and teachers and students of the School of St. Demetrios welcomed him with flowers. “We have come to a community, to a school, and we are deeply moved and delighted. I will return to Greece, more Greek and a stronger Orthodox Christian, with greater optimism, greater hope, and with the assurance that all challenges will be overcome,” His Beatitude told reporters as he departed from the School. “As long as

there is the Church, and the Omogenia rallies around the Church, and stays as part of the Church, then we do not have to fear the future. Our ancestors, wherever they went, as they migrated since ancient times, they would first build their altar, their church and they would establish their lives around it. Therefore, I believe that as long as we are united and we are struggling within the community of the Church, the future will be better.” The Feast of Sts Constantine and Helen The community of Sts. Constantine and Helen in Brooklyn, observed three celebrations May 21. The Feast day of their community and Church, the 100th anniversary of its founding, and the opportunity to welcomed for the first time, the Primate of the Church of Greece who visited and cocelebrated an Archieratical Divine Liturgy. The Divine Liturgy was co–celebrated by Archbishop Demetrios of America and the Hierarchs of the delegation. Visit and Memorial Service at Ground Zero That afternoon, the two Archbishops and their entourage, traveled to Ground Zero to see the future site of St. Nicholas. Steven Plate, the director of the WTC Construction and his associates led a tour to the WTC-1 Tower.


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Hellenic College Holy Cross

71st Commencement Launches 63 Graduates into the World

BROOKLINE, Mass. – Sixty-three members of the class of 2013 received degrees at the 71st Hellenic College Holy Cross School of Theology Commencement on May 18. Twenty were Hellenic College graduates who received Bachelor of Arts degrees. The highlight of the event was the conferral of the honorary Doctor of Divinity degree upon Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece, who delivered the commencement address. Participants in the commencement program included National Philoptochos President Aphrodite Skeadas, who offered a gift to the school of $102,000 to be used for scholarships. HCHC Board Vice Chairman Dr. Thomas Lelon, Hellenic College Dean Dr. Demetrios S. Katos, Holy Cross Dean the Rev. Dr. Thomas Fitzgerald and Consul General of Greece in Boston Iphigenia Kanara offered their greetings and wellwishes to the graduates. Sophia Kon was the Hellenic College valedictorian. Christina Andresson, the Holy Cross valedictorian, delivered an emotional, tearful speech reflecting the appreciation of her Holy Cross experience. The following are graduates of the Class of 2013 Hellenic College Bachelor of Arts Stephanos Courey, John Dalber, Alexandra D’Entremont, Irene Drackley, Cassandra Garibaldi, Aaron Gilbert, Catherine Katinas, Sophia Kon, Ellia Kost, Karolina Makrioniti, Lauren Malouf, Adam Murphy, Antonios Na, Fotis Papiris, Michael Sergakis, Theodore Stephanides, Dean Tiggas, Sofia Trikali, Nicholai Turner, Marcella Xyloportas. Holy Cross Master of Theology Matthew Bemis, Rev. Elias Issa, Raja Khuri, Rev. Nichalas March, Adam Rajab Mwesigwa, and Joshua Sales. Master of Theological Studies Nichole Sarah Leann Boznos, Katherine Chaffee, Edward Chatelain, Bishop Anba David, Rev. Elias Koury, Tikhon Pino, Eric Roberson and Anders Walker.

Graduates of Holy Cross School of Theology with Archbishop Ieronymos, Archbishop Demetrios, Metropolitan Methodios, Rev. Dr. Thomas Fitzgerald, other clergy and school trustees. (below) graduates of Hellenic College. (bottom) Master of Divinity graduates who received the cross of the school.

Dimitrios Panagos photos

Marcus Geromes, Dn. Steven Klund, Constantine Kokanos, Peter Kostakis, Maria Koulianos, Nicholas Lionas, Mother Nectaria McLees, Andrew Meena, Chris Mihalopoulos, Ninos Oshaana, Andrew

Pavlakos, Dn. Alexandros Petrides, Rev. Leo Schefe, Christopher Shadid, Ryan Stingle, Matthew Swehla, George Tsongranis, Nicolaos Tzetzis, Walter S. Williams and Jordan Zenetis.

HC Divinity Student in Ethics Fellowship Study Program

opportunity to address the moral and ethical issues confronting us in a way that fosters interreligious dialogue and critical thinking.” He said he looks forward to exploring his “passion for service and interreligious solidarity” with other FASPE Fellows. A teaching assistant for Archbishop Iakovos Professor of Orthodox Theology Fr. Emmanuel Clapsis, Helalis’ studies focus on human rights, political theology and the Orthodox views of non–Christian religions. His coursework and research has strengthened his commitment to participating in movements of liberation and strengthening human solidarity that extends beyond the boundaries of the Church and the Christian community.

by Jason Cole

BROOKINE, Mass. – Christopher Helali, a U.S. Army officer and chaplain candidate at Holy Cross School of Theology, is one of 14 seminarians and divinity students chosen by FASPE (Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics) to participate in a two-week program in New York, Germany, and Poland during June. This trip is one of four FASPE programs, each with about 15 students that use the Holocaust as a way to engage students in an intensive study of contemporary ethics in their field. Mr. Helali and the other FASPE Seminary Fellows began their orientation June 16 at the Museum of Jewish Heritage-A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, in

Master of Divinity Christina Andressen, Lance Arthur, Panagiotis Boznos, Steven Christoforou, Anna Colis, Ryan Collins, Timothy Curren, Konstantinos Dimou, Jason Falcone,

New York. Orientation included visiting the museum exhibits, meeting with Holocaust survivors, and working with FASPE staff and guest scholars. The first leg of the European portion will be Poland, where Fellows will travel to Auschwitz Poland, where they will tour Auschwitz–Birkenau and work with the distinguished educational staff at the Auschwitz–Birkenau State Museum. Fellows will also travel to Krakow, where they will explore the city’s rich Jewish, Catholic, and Polish history. The final leg of the trip will be held in Berlin where they will have the opportunity to study the city’s historical and cultural sites. Educational workshops will take place at The Topography of Terror and the House of the Wannsee Conference,

the site where representatives of State and Nazi Party agencies convened in 1942 to discuss and coordinate plans for the “Final Solution.” The program is led by Kevin Spicer, C.S.C., James J. Kenneally distinguished professor of history at Stonehill College; LeRoy Walters, Joseph. P. Kennedy, Sr. professor of Christian Ethics at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics and emeritus professor of philosophy at Georgetown University; and Rabbi Nancy Wiener, clinical director of the Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Center for Pastoral Counseling at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion. Mr. Helali, now in his second year of the Master of Divinity program at Holy Cross, expects FASPE to provide “an

Josh Cole is manager of Marketing and Communication for HCHC.


JUNE 2013

Ecumenical Patriarchate Ecumenical Patriarchate Hosts Conference on Edict of Milan The Ecumenical Patriarchate honored the 1,700th anniversary of Emperor Constantine the Great’s “Edict of Milan,” which granted legal status to Christianity, by hosting an international and interfaith one-day seminar on May 17 in collaboration with the Council of European Episcopal Churches at the Conrad Hotel in Istanbul, Turkey. The seminar was sponsored by the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in America. The Order was represented by Archon Constantine G. Caras who offered remarks to the participants on behalf of the Order. The joint moderators were Metropolitan Emmanuel of France (Ecumenical Patriarchate) and Péter Cardinal Erde of the Council of European Episcopal Churches (CCEE). The seminar officially opened with a keynote address by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who also organized a pilgrimage with the seminar’s participants the following day to the site of St. Constantine’s death in Hereke, Turkey. On Sunday, Feast of the Myrrh–Bearing Women, His All-Holiness presided over a Pan-Orthodox Divine Liturgy at the Monastery of the Life-Giving Spring at Baloukli. Over the weekend, the Orthodox Churches were represented by Ilia II, Catholicos and Patriarch of all Georgia, and hierarchs from the Churches of Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, Russia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Georgia, Cyprus, Greece, Poland,

Nikolaos Manginas photo

and Albania. In addition to the delegates from the CCEE, other Roman Catholic representatives included Archbishop Antonio Lucibello, Apostolic Nuncio in Ankara, and Bishop Louis Peletre. Also in attendance among the delegates and dignitaries were distinguished professors and diplomatic personnel from many countries. Patriarch’s Address In his keynote address, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew said, in part: “The anniversary that we are celebrating and honoring provides occasion for us to ruminate

on these events, considering and reflecting on the development of the contemporary world 1,700 years after the divinely-inspired Emperor established in action and legislation the fundamental principles, on which modern Christian societies – and by extension and analogy, the entire world – are based to this day. “In our time, we observe various nations and countries mimicking one another, especially in this age of so-called “globalization,” when the velocity and quantity of information and misinformation, of truth and fabrication – to the point of distortion for some trivial or ephemeral “interest” in events as well as the relentless slander of people and circumstances – of justice and injustice, are broadcast “in a split second” throughout the world; we

observe a tendency for all things to be permeated by only a secular spirit. “We sadly ascertain as contemporary human beings, and particularly those of us ‘called to a sacred vocation,’ another reality, beyond the expected and surely desirable ‘good transformation.’ More specifically, traditions are increasingly abandoned; faith is regarded as an individual affair and people endeavor to marginalize it within society; ideals and values – namely, the forces which have constituted and conserved nations through the centuries – are scorned; education is assaulted and secularized; legislation is estranged from its religious basis, which always – and especially from the time of Constantine to this day – comprised the theoretical foundation of all law; sin is no longer conceived as ‘evil’ and adopts the garment of variation, that is to say merely of personal choice; immorality is accompanied and concealed by the scornful pretext or complex of fleshly weakness, while the morality of Christ is trivialized; in other words, people overlook the penitential cry: ‘Lord, have mercy,’ which is the very content of faith and life. “Despite this disappointing development in human affairs, which is all the more apparent in the secularized Western society and civilization, the same Western world retains – in its heart and mind, as well as in its fabric and structure, its governance and legislation, its arts and values – the ethos and spirit of the Church, of Constantine the Great, and of the Gospel. Whatever good and righteous remains in today’s secularized society in fact derives from the Gospel and the Church.”

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JUNE 2013

The Voice of Philoptochos


Society Presents $102,000 for Scholarships at HCHC by Christine Karavites

The HCHC 2013 Commencement included many memorable and inspiring moments with the presence of Archbishop Demetrios, Metropolitan Methodios and Metropolitan Gerasimos and Ieronymos, Archbishop of Athens and all Greece who received the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity. It also included a presentation by National President Aphrodite Skeadas to school President Fr. Nicholas Triantafilou with checks totaling $102,600 from National Philoptochos for HCHC and for spring scholarships awarded to 29 seminarians, scholars and special merit recipients. She reinforced the commitment of the Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society to this most magnificent and sacred “Scholi” and to our beloved graduates, students and alumni. Women played a key role in the graduation with two young women Sophia Kon and Christina Andressen speaking as valedictorians of Hellenic College and Holy Cross respectively. Newly arrived Consul General of Greece Iphigenia Kanara was warmly welcomed to New England. She conveyed important reflections to the audience and particularly the graduates. President Skeadas also addressed the graduates and offered warm greetings to Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece on behalf of the Philoptochos Society and extended heartfelt congratulations as His Beatitude received the honorary Doctor of Divinity. President Skeadas stated, “The bestowing of this degree honors an individual of deep and profound faith, unwavering commitment and agape to the people of God. His Beatitude is a warrior of economic and social turmoil and an advocate of peace and love. The spirit and lifesaving social welfare offered by His Beatitude is critically significant today as financial crises in our homeland abound greater now than in any recent contemporary period. The humanitarian range of His Beatitude extends to the founding of schools and homes for children, clinics and shelters for the elderly, training centers for people with special needs. The Archbishop of Athens and All Greece embraces the most remote and poor communities throughout our Patrida and the results of his good works, including offering meals numbering 15,000 daily, are felt in all strata of society. The unparalleled actions of His Beatitude are inspirational especially in light of the dire fiscal climate engulfing our brothers and sisters in Greece. The Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society renews its pledge to assist with fervent prayers, caring agape and financial relief.”

Members of the Boston Metropolis Philoptochos Board with Metropolitan Methodios.

Boston Metropolis: True to the Philoptochos Mission by Philippa Condakes

The Metropolis of Boston Philoptochos continues expanding its outreach to serve those most in need. With the guidance and counseling of Metropolitan Methodios, the Metropolis Board partnered with the Veterans Administration to aid returning veterans and adopted the Veterans Administration Bedford, Mass., facility working to help meet the needs of veterans who are transitioning to independent living. Metropolitan Methodios and Board members visited the Bedford facility at Christmas 2012 delivering care packages for each resident. Subsequently, Veterans Administration representatives attended a Metropolis clergy meeting to articulate the needs of homeless veterans and also presented at the Metropolis Philoptochos Biennial Conference on June 1. Metropolis parish clergy and Philoptochos chapters will work together on “Operation Housewarming” to collect items for a housewarming basket for those homeless veterans transitioning to independent living. The project will begin with the Bedford and Brockton Mass. VA facilities with expansion planned with facilities throughout New England.

The Metropolis Board has initiated a new collaboration with the Antiochian Women of the Antiochian Orthodox Diocese of Worcester, Mass., and New England by participating in Operation Lace Up that is sponsored by Focus North America. The goal is to distribute over 3,000 pairs of shoes to homeless children in the Boston Public Schools. The Metropolis will raise funds for the cost of shipping the shoes and volunteers will sort and distribute the shoes twice a year. This year is the “Year of Honoring the National Philoptochos” in the Metropolis of Boston. In March 2013 chapters from Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and throughout Massachusetts joined over one hundred guests at the Women Leaders of the Church Lecture at Hellenic College Holy Cross in Brookline that honored National Philoptochos. National Philoptochos President Aphrodite Skeadas represented all Philoptochos women and delivered a powerful and inspiring message that women are strong, bold and decisive from the Myrrh–bearing women to today. Congratulatory remarks were offered by Dr. Ann Bezzerides, director of the Office of Vocation and Ministry, HCHC President

Chapter News Chapters Raise Funds for Academy Each year the Philoptochos chapters raise funds through Vasilopita events for National Philoptochos to distribute to the Academy through the year. This year support was once again given with compassion and dedication for the children who are sheltered in a loving Orthodox Christian environment where they are nurtured and cared for with the goal of raising these children to become highly functioning and independent with respect for God and country. The National Philoptochos Saint Basil Academy Chairman, Evangeline Mekras Scurtis extends gratitude to all chapters that donated so generously. Five chapters are acknowledged for their exceptionally high monetary donation: Annunciation Cathedral Houston, $33,434.50; Holy Trinity Dallas, $11,000; Annunciation, Atlanta, $10,300; St. Spyridon, Worcester, $6,113 and St. Nicholas, Troy Mich., $6,000.

Albany Chapter Teams Up with Goyans The Albany, NY Philoptochos has worked closely with its GOYA in community service projects and in preparing for the St. Sophia Greek Festival. The teens teamed up with the Philoptochos to provide meals to the homeless where they meet at the church on the third Saturday of the month to prepare 50 brown bag lunches which are picked up by the Homeless Action Committee. The twenty-five GOYA members are also helping homeless Albany residents through a partnership with the Homeless Action Committee in a sock drive to collect 1,000 pairs. In just three months, the group exceeded its goal, donating more than 1,000 pairs of socks, as well as hats and gloves. Philoptochos members hold a number of fundraising events throughout the year and are grateful for the collaboration with GOYA.

Fr. Nicholas Triantafilou, and trustee Christine Karavites who moderated the program offered through livestreaming. In April the Metropolis hosted the twoday National Philoptochos board neeting that included an informative discussion on human trafficking and a guest appearance by actress Nia Vardalos seen through livestreaming. In June National Philoptochos and the Metropolis of Boston Philoptochos were honored in Boston by the Alpha Omega Council, a New England area philanthropic organization, with its Lifetime Achievement Award. President Aphrodite Skeadas represented National Philoptochos to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award that recognizes an individual or organization of Hellenic Ancestry for the achievement of excellence in a chosen profession and for its contributions to the community. The Philoxenia House established by Metropolitan Methodios in 1986 on the HCHC grounds remains a premier ministry for the Metropolis and local chapters. The once modest four–bedroom home currently includes 11 bedrooms, seven bathrooms with a handicapped bathroom, a modern kitchen, large common living and dining areas. The Philoptochos chapters donated more than $30,000 the past three years to the Philoxenia House where countless volunteers and donors make it possible to sustain this important home for hundreds of families from around the world. Camp and Retreat Center St. Methodios Camp and Retreat Center is an ongoing Metropolis and Philoptochos chapter ministry. In the past three years chapters have donated about $19,000 and the Metropolis Board has supported the Center with donations of more than $17,000. These funds support the important programs at the Center, renovation and construction projects. The Metropolis holds its annual Lenten retreat at the St. Methodios Retreat House offering two inspiring days of pastoral reflection. The Metropolis of Boston Philoptochos and its chapters look forward to two years of continued and expanded service and outreach to fulfill the Philoptochos mission. Philippa Condakes is Metropolis Philoptochos president.


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A Sickness of the Soul by Fr. John S. Bakas

I had a dream last night about a Fr. Arsenios, a monk at Simonopetra Monastery on Mt. Athos. Perhaps seeing for the fourth time the wonderful CBS “60 Minutes” presentation about Mount Athos, and seeing once again on my TV screen the majestic and towering monastery awakened my subconscious memories of the week I spent at Simonopetra a few years ago. I met Fr. Arsenios in one of the monastery’s guest meeting rooms for an impromptu talk about the monastic path to encountering God. Unexpectedly he asked the fifteen or so pilgrims gathered there a dramatic question, “Who crucified Jesus Christ. Do you know?” There was a momentary silence; one man said it was the Jews, another said it was Pontius Pilate and the Roman soldiers. “No,” said Fr. Arsenios, “You are all wrong. It was envy and jealousy, those foul passions that sicken the human heart. That’s what crucified Christ and still crucifies Him today.” He continued, “There are many roads to hate, but envy is the shortest of them all.” He closed his eyes, stroked his long gray beard and again continued to speak. “My dear beloved, let me tell you a story from The Desert Fathers about this: Satan, cursed be his name, was training his demons on the art of attacking the Holy Fathers, sending them out with the intent of causing them to fall into sin. A cunning novice demon on assignment approached a monk on his way to the market place disguised as a beautiful and suggestively dressed woman trying to lure him into an immoral act. “The holy monk closed his eyes and turned his back on her and took another path. The frustrated demon didn’t give up. He laid another trap. He placed a bag full of gold coins on the side of the road. The monk nearly stumbled over it. He opened it. The shining coins glistened in the sunlight. He picked up the bag, took it into the town and gave it to the authorities saying that some unfortunate traveler must have lost it. It should be returned to him. “The demon was frantic with anger. He returned to the pit of hell to report to Satan and admit his failure. ‘I tried using lust and greed but nothing worked.’ The downcast demon said. Satan smiled and shook his head, ‘Some of these monks are very hard to crack. You are a beginner. Come, come with me and I’ll show you how it’s done!’ Satan and the demon disguised themselves as monks and en-

countered the holy monk on the road as he was returning to his hut. After the usual monastic greetings and exchange of pleasantries Satan told the monk, ‘Father, did you hear the wonderful news? Your brother, Fr. Thanasios, was just elected Patriarch of Alexandria.’ “Red faced and shaking, the monk spat on the ground and said: ‘Why that good for nothing and worthless brother of mine is not half as worthy or able as I am to hold that office.’ Satan laughed an eerie and soul-piercing laugh. ‘You see, my little demon, many a holy monk eventually will fall by the passions of envy and jealousy.’” Fr. Arsenios ended his story by reminding us that as iron is eaten by rust, so are the envious consumed by envy. Recalling this story made me reflect on what envy can do to rust out the good plans of parish ministry and goals. It divides the faithful and even infects us who are graced with the priesthood. It rusts out friendships, relationships in families and business partnerships. Envy is sadness at another’s good, as if that good were an affront to one’s own superiority. The envious person hates to see anyone else happy or successful. It is as though it is taken from them. Since the envious person cannot go up, he tries to achieve equality by pulling the other down. The soul sickened by envy begins its course by seeking to lower the reputation of another, either secretly or by gossip or overtly by detraction. It seeks to stir up conflicts, to arouse controversy and foster antagonism. In reality the only person worth envying is the person who doesn’t envy. I remember Fr. Arsenios saying that one of the most effective ways of counteracting jealousy and envy in ourselves is to say a prayer immediately for the person we resent. By referring our enemies to God and by spiritually wishing them well, we crush the impulse toward envy. The sunlight of love will kill all the germs of jealousy and envy. A second means is to try to emulate those who provoke our envy. The Church holds up the good example of the Saints, not to discourage us in our failings, but to encourage us to greater efforts. ‘Let us keep one another in mind, always ready with incitements to charity and to acts of piety.” (Heb. 10:24) Fr. Bakas is dean of St. Sophia Cathedral, Los Angeles and a faculty member of Loyola Marymount University, School of Theology.


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JUNE 2013

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JUNE 2013

Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate Atlanta Archons Weekend Focuses on 1922 Smyrna Disaster ATLANTA - The Metropolis of Atlanta Archons reviewed the religious freedom issue of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the 90th anniversary of the destruction of Smyrna at their annual spring meeting April 6-7. Guest speaker Dr. Andrew Ekonomou, senior counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, reported on the work being done to eliminate restrictions on the Patriarchate and Greek Orthodox Christians in Turkey, and to achieve equality for all religious minorities there. Dr. Ekonomou, along with Dr. Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the ACLJ, will be speaking at the 2nd International Religious Freedom Conference in Berlin, Germany, Dec. 4-5. Dr. Manuel N. Tissura, the Archons’ regional commander, at the annual banquet discussed the religious freedom restrictions on Christian minorities in Turkey and the 1922 Armenian and Greek Orthodox genocide, considered the first holocaust of the 20th century, 20 years before the World War II Holocaust that resulted in the near-annihilation of the Jewish population in Europe. Guest speaker was Dr. Niki Karavasilis, author and retired professor of foreign languages and an expert on the Greek genocide in Asia Minor. She recounted a tragic and heart wrenching story titled, “The Greek Genocide and the Catastrophe of Smyrna.” The presentation included audio-visual testimony to the horrific atrocities perpetrated upon young and old alike in the total devastation inflicted upon Smyrna by the Turks in 1922. “These were not just crimes,” she emphasized, “but double crimes, first, the genocide of the Christians and second, the removal of the people from their ancestral lands of three millennia.” Dr. Karavasilis said 1922 was the year of Christian ethnic cleansing and

(Above) Metropolis of Atlanta Archons with Metropolitan Alexios. (Below left) Archons Dr. Manuel Tissura and Anthony Stefanis at the Divine Liturgy. (Below right) A light-hearted moment for Metropolitan Alexios and the Archons.

has written a well-researched book about the Greek genocide titled The Whispering Voices of Smyrna, along with her own DVD on the book. She has formed The Greek Genocide Organization (T.G.G.O) which seeks to

expose this tragic crime in history to everyone worldwide. The Archon weekend ended after the celebration of a hierarchical Divine Liturgy in Atlanta’s Annunciation Cathedral, led by Metropolitan Alexios.

The Liturgy was followed by a memorial service commemorating Greek and Armenian Christians who perished during the 1922 destruction of Smyrna and the Greek families who died before and after the catastrophe.

Illinois Senate Passes Resolution on Religious Freedom in Turkey CHICAGO - Illinois has become the 42nd state to adopt a resolution supporting the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople (modern Istanbul, Turkey). It calls on the Turkish government to respect the religious freedoms and rights of the minority Greek Orthodox in the predominantly Muslim nation following decades of legal disputes, confiscation of properties, and the closing of the only seminary serving Orthodox Christians in Turkey in 1974. Illinois Senate Resolution 70 passed May 31 and calls for a resolution of disputes, the opening of the seminary, and recognition and respect of the Patriarchate’s rights, freedoms and protection under the law. A similar measure passed the state House of Representatives in 2007, through the key leadership of state Rep. Sandra Pihos, but action had been delayed in the Senate. The initiative of the Order of St. Andrew (Archons), resolutions in support of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in light of its

presence in Turkey have been introduced nationwide. With the blessings of Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago, and under the guidance of Metropolis Chancellor Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos, the committee “Friends of the Ecumenical Patriarchate from Peoria” has worked the last four months to have the Senate measure passed through press conferences, informational meetings and by encouraging parishioners to contact their elected officials. The legislative effort was led by chief sponsor Sen. Bill Brady and chief co–sponsors Sens. Darin LaHood, Antonio Munoz, Michael Frerichs and Steven Landek, the committee’s efforts gained the support of 42 of 59 state senators. Committee members Frank and Katena Lagouros, John and Maria Ackerman, George Manias, and Emanuel Manias organized private meetings with individual state senators, visited parishes holding press

Promoted resolution

(from left) Katena Lagouros, Frank Lagouros, Bishop Demetrios, Illinois state Sen. Bill Brady, John Ackerman and George Vranas at the state Capitol.

conferences and presentations, conducted five lobbing trips to the state Capitol in Springfield, continually contacted and worked with all parishes in Illinois.

The resolution also gained the endorsement of Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, U.S.

u u to page 19


Jaharis Foundation Gives $2 Million for Greek Poverty and Hunger Relief


Cyprus and Hellenic Leadership Conference Honors Archbishop

u u from page 3 fresh produce, dairy products, and bulk nutrients such as grains.” Constantine M. Triantafillou, IOCC executive director, said, “We are grateful for the Jaharis Family Foundation’s generosity which will greatly assist us in capacity building and further developing our programs and partnerships with Apostoli to offer assistance to children who are experiencing the devastating effects of poverty and hunger. This lead gift will help offer immediate relief to hunger and help support programs that will create jobs and expand sustainable local agricultural initiatives. We will be able to greatly increase our efforts in offering assistance with dignity and respect.” On behalf of the Jaharis Family Foundation Inc., Michael Jaharis stated, “Mary Jaharis experienced the devastating childhood hunger and poverty that existed in Greece during and immediately after World War II, and we, along with our family, feel compelled to support organizations promoting the welfare of children in Greece during the current crisis. We are honored and humbled to support the IOCC’s great work responding to international humanitarian crises and, specifically, their response to the crisis in Greece. We hope that this gift will inspire other members throughout the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and the Hellenic American community to collectively respond by donating funds that will match this gift and therefore further positively impact children as well as other vulnerable populations such as the elderly in Greece. If each family and/or organization throughout the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America would consider offering a matching donation at whatever level is feasible and possible, we could, as a community, double the impact of this gift – bringing it up to $4 million or more of humanitarian aid to the people of Greece.” The donation will support efforts in Greece by two other international nongovernmental organizations: Doctors of the World and SOS Children’s Villages. Through an already established collaboration with Doctors of the World in Greece, the Jaharis gift will help expand vaccination programs for children and the elderly and establish more polyclinics to provide primary and urgent care to vulnerable populations such as children, expectant mothers (pre/postnatal care), and the elderly. The challenge gift will support the SOS Children’s Villages programs that help provide loving homes, education, health services, and psychological support for orphaned and abandoned children. SOS Children’s Villages has established social and youth centers, and outreach programs (family strengthening programs), to provide parent–training, job skills training, psychological/ family counseling, and micro-loans to families at risk of abandoning their children. For information on how to donate matching funds to assist Greece, visit:, www.doctorsoftheworld. org, and Where-we-help/Europe/Greece/Pages/ default.aspx

JUNE 2013

Dimitris Panagos photos

Award presentation participants (from left) Philip Christopher, Ambassador of Cyprus George Chacalli, U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Cyprus government spokesman Christos Stylianides, Archbishop Demetrios, Sen. Paul Sarbanes, Ambassador of Greece Christos Panagopoulos and Andrew Manatos. (Below) Senator Schumer and Dennis Mehiel also received awards at the event.

WASHINGTON – The 29 th annual Cyprus and Hellenic Leadership Conference awarded the George Paraskevaides Award to Archbishop Demetrios, at its banquet June 5 at the Madison hotel. Andrew Manatos, president of the Coordinated Effort of Hellenes, PSEKA President Philip Christopher and U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi presented the award to His Eminence. The George Paraskevaides Award is awarded annually to an individual who has used ancient Hellenic values to contribute to the nations and people of Cyprus and America, and to Hellenism in the modern world. Previous recipients of this award have included Vice President Joe Biden, Andrew A. Athens, former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Foreign Affairs Committee Chairmen U.S. Reps. Ileana Ros–Lehtinen and Ben Gilman, Sen. Olympia Snowe, Assistant Senate Majority Leader Richard Durbin, Sen. Ted Kennedy, U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy, and White House Chief of Staff John Podesta. The same evening, Sen. Charles Schumer, Senate Immigration Subcommittee chairman was honored with the “Soil” Award. Dennis Mehiel was the recipient of the Athens/Livanos Award and House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Democrat Eliot Engel received the Frizis Award. Others present included U.S. Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Gus Bilirakis and John Sarbanes, retired Sen. Paul Sarbanes, New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, Ambassadors Christos Panagopoulos of Greece and George Chacalli of Cyprus, and Cyprus government spokesman Christos Stylianides. More photos at

Leadership 100 Members Awarded Ellis Island Medals NEW YORK – Leadership 100 Vice Chairman George S. Tsandikos and Argyris “RJ” Vassiliou, treasurer, along with L-100 members William C. Anton and John Psaras, received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor at ceremonies conducted at Ellis Island on May 11. They join other outstanding members of Leadership 100 and of the Greek American Community who have been awarded the medal along with distinguished Americans from numerous ethnic backgrounds. The Ellis Island Medal of Honor acknowledges Americans who represent “the very essence of the American way of life” with their contributions to the national identity while preserving the values and heritage of their ancestors. In honoring the accomplishments of the recipients, the medal is also meant to honor “the spirit, hard work and values” of those ancestors. Recipients have been chosen and acknowledged since 1996 by The National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (NECO), which was created to recognize the diversity of the American people that make the nation great and to foster tolerance, respect and understanding among religious and ethnic groups. NECO is also committed to the restoration and maintenance of Ellis Island, the gateway for millions of immigrants to America that stands as a symbol for those who have made America a beacon of hope.

Dimitris Panagos photo

Ellis Island event honorees and participants: George S. Tsandikos, William C. Anton, Leadership 100 Executive Director Paulette Poulos, John Psaras and Argyris Vassiliou.

Tsandikos is managing director of Rockefeller & Company and a member of Holy Trinity Archdiocesan Cathedral, both in New York where he resides. A graduate of Brown University and the Boston College Law School, he is an Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Vassiliou is president of Acme Pallet Company Inc., an industrial engineering concern. A member of Church of the Archangels in Stamford, Conn. He is a graduate of The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art and

Princeton University, and is an Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Anton is founder and chairman of Anton Enterprises Inc., and Anton Venture Capital Fund. He launched Anton Airfood Inc., in 1989, serving as chairman. He resides in Henderson, Nevada. John Psaras is president of John Psaras Realty Inc. He is a member of Holy Cross Church in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he resides and is also an Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.


JUNE 2013

Metropolis News

Fire Destroys Tucson Church Complex by Kristen Bruskas

* With supplemental information from Tucson News Now website.

St. Demetrios Church photos

(Top) Metropolitan Gerasimos (right) walks through St. Demetrios Church to view the devastation caused by the fire. He is accompanied by Fr. Cantos, Parish Council President Chrys Lynn Kotzambasis, and parishioner Jonathan Kinkade. (Above) The Kouvouklion used on Good Friday and its remaining flowers was charred by the intense heat caused by the flames.

TUCSON, Ariz. – A devastating fire in the early hours of Wednesday, May 29, caused widespread damage to St. Demetrios Church, and adjacent administrative, educational and social facilities incurred substantial damage. Tucson Fire Department investigators later identified the source of the fire as a candle left unattended near the altar. Tucson Fire received a call about a fire at the church on Ft. Lowell and Mountain sometime around midnight. When crews arrived there was heavy smoke coming from the church, so much that TFD said they cut two holes in the roof to vent the smoke from inside. The inspectors condemned the church and surrounding buildings, even those not damaged from the fire. Officials said damages may top $1 million. The following Sunday, June 2, the Divine Liturgy was held in the back of the church property under a ramada (a simple structure built to provide shelter from the sun), with the desert temperatures reaching over 106 degrees. Regardless of the heat, more than 250 faithful were in attendance and demonstrated tremendous courage and love despite the challenges being faced by their community. “Having toured their church facilities, it brought great sadness to my heart to see the extensive damage suffered to their property. However, the spirit of resilience and unity amongst the faithful at St. Demetrios was truly uplifting,” stated Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco, who made a pastoral visit to the parish and celebrated the liturgy.

“The church structure carries memories for so many generations, which they will carry in their hearts forever. I am confident this community will come together to rebuild and create new memories for the future generations so that our faith may continue to flourish in southern Arizona.” Following the Divine Liturgy, Metropolitan Gerasimos met with the faithful to offer words of encouragement and to thank the congregation for the many ways they have worked together in recent days to protect what remains of their beloved church. A luncheon for the parish council and ministry leadership was held at a nearby restaurant with discussions beginning with regard to the development of new church facilities in the foreseeable future. The only facility not damaged was the Charles and Rose Drake Youth Center which sits in the back of the property at some distance from the damaged complex. This will become a temporary church until plans for rebuilding can be properly developed. The parish is grateful for the outpouring of love, support and generosity which has been extended to them from across the Archdiocese during this time of great need. Donations to assist the church should be directed to: Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco, MEMO: Tucson Fire Fund, 245 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94103. Established in 1947, St. Demetrios is the only Greek Orthodox church in southern Arizona. It is a community of more than 300 faithful families under the leadership of Fr. Demetrios–Earl Cantos. In recent years, the parish has purchased property and has developed plans to build new and expanded facilities to meet the growing needs of the congregation.

Orthodox Respond to Assist Victims of Oklahoma Tornados have been trained in crisis management. Members of the IOCC Emergency Response Network, or Frontline, were dispatched together with IOCC U.S Country Representative Dan Christopulos to central Oklahoma on May 22 to ascertain how IOCC might most appropriately respond on behalf of Orthodox Christians to the needs of those affected by the recent tornado. IOCC delivered emergency clean-up buckets, personal hygiene kits and blankets that will be distributed through the University of Oklahoma and Holy Ascension Antiochian Orthodox Church in Norman. IOCC Frontline members together with Fr. Justin McFeeters of Ascension Antiochian

Orthodox Church also were on campus to provide emotional and spiritual care for the hundreds of adults and children staying there. Presbytera Leondis arrived May 25 and witnessed the first of the extensive devastation that had hit Moore and Norman, Oklahoma. “My first days were spent at an elementary school that had been set up as a multi-agency resource center,” she said. “The Red Cross coordinated with local agencies and churches, as well as with FEMA, Legal Aid, AmeriCorps, and many others to provide a “one stop” opportunity for the people affected by the tornados to receive the help and resources that they

needed. While I have not worked directly with them, I am aware of IOCC’s presence in the region and thank God for the strong Orthodox presence. “My role was to offer care and support to anyone who feels stressed, distraught or who is suffering (including mental illness). This includes local families who have lost their homes and all possessions,” she said. “It has really been an amazing experience being able to help people first hand. It’s so sad, but the feeling you get from helping is great. It puts things into perspective, and shows how truly important family and friends are and how unimportant the ‘stuff’ is.”

National Choir Forum to Meet in Charlotte

in church music, chanter development, and assistance to parishes in developing church music as a ministry will take place at the upcoming meeting. Participants will also develop broader knowledge of church music ideas, activities, and resources available through the Archdiocese. All church musicians are invited to participate in the Forum’s meetings. They serve as opportunities to be with church musicians from throughout the nation and to take part in discussions about Forum initiatives in choir director training, youth, use of English, Byzantine chant, and other topics.


OKLAHOMA CITY – The mile–wide tornados that devastated Oklahoma City suburbs in late May, killing 24 and injuring more than 175, and destroying numerous homes did not directly affect St. George Church, Fr. John Tsaras, pastor, told the Orthodox Observer, but one parish family did lose their home in the May 20 tornado and another parishioner had about 11 inches of water in his apartment from the May 31 twister. Among the first responders to assist victims of the deadly May 20 storm was the International Orthodox Christian Charities, and Presbytera Anastasia Leondis, a Red Cross mental health disaster worker and

The 2013 annual meeting of the National Forum of Greek Orthodox Church Musicians will be held in Charlotte, N.C., July 11–13. Each year, the National Forum holds an annual meeting of its coordinating committee, consisting of representatives from each of the eight Metropolis Church Music Federations. In a clergy–laity year, the annual meeting is held in conjunction with the congress wherever it is held. In other years, the annual meeting is held in one of the metropolises.

Each Metropolis Church Music Federation designates five of its members as its delegation to attend and vote. Other National Forum stewards are always welcome to attend the annual meeting and participate in the discussions and activities. The 2012 annual meeting was held in Phoenix, July 1–5 in conjunction with the Archdiocese’s 41st Biennial Clergy–Laity Congress. Discussions and planning about contemporary church music topics, including choir improvement, involving youth

In the May 2013 Metropolis of Pittsburgh page, the correct title for Dr. Nicholas Loutsion is Metropolis Council vice president.


JUNE 2013

Outreach and Evangelism On Being an Inclusive Congregation by Vicki Pappas

An “inclusive” parish – what is that? One of the growing and encouraging developments for religious communities is to move towards becoming more inclusive and accessible so that all members of the parish community can participate. Attention to the needs of individuals with disabilities, elderly people, and others with chronic health conditions or mobility difficulties has moved beyond the “dark ages,” where ideas of stigma and shame permeated our thinking and our responses to encountering individuals different from us. Instead, the trends and attitudes of today are not to separate, not to label as “special,” but rather, to include people with disabilities and other mobility and health issues into the regular, ongoing fabric of any community. Fellow parishioners want to be included, to be participants, to be a valued part of parish worship and life. The perspective of “inclusion” champions that the parish is for all and that whatever we do to welcome and include one person with a disability, welcomes and includes all persons! In its fullness, creating an inclusive community means attending to the needs and desires for inclusion of all the community of God: its young, its elders, its people with permanent, temporary, or invisible disabilities: all its people in all their diversity. Our faith challenges us to move beyond “doing good” for people with disabilities by providing “special” services and places for them, and instead to find ways to welcome, support, and celebrate them in our midst. The principles that undergird the focus of including all people in regular worship and in regular activities of the parish are the very same ones that would be offered to everyone else – Invite, Include, and Involve! Invite and Welcome The first level of creating an inclusive ministry is to assure that people with disabilities feel invited and welcomed. In a sense, when you welcome a child or a person with a disability, this is evangelism, for word of inclusiveness spreads to others, to families and extended families, that all are welcome! Physical access is likely the most prominent action that communicates invitation and welcome. While installing ramps and curb cuts, and cutting out spaces for wheelchairs among the pews are excellent first steps in creating access, they are not enough – accessibility is a much broader term and there is more to disability than thinking only about physical access! Some beginning suggestions: • If the main entry into your temple or church hall is not accessible, place signs indicating where the accessible entrance is. Similarly, for restrooms – often the unisex or family restroom can be the accessible restroom, with appropriate signage. • Use your welcoming committee to greet individuals and families. This is the first “message” the individual and/or the family receives about the parish. Target these individuals for support and introductions during the fellowship hour. • Use “People First” language, referring to a “person with a disability” rather than a “disabled or handicapped person.” Avoid the terms “handicap,” “confined to,” “suffers from,” and “special child.” • Assist as needed – don’t be afraid to ask if assistance is wished and especially, how best to provide it. • Talk directly to the person with a disability, not to a family member or companion. Use eye contact! • Treat and speak to adults with disabilities as adults, not as children. • In your bulletin and printed program

materials, indicate that accommodations are available and how to request them. Some simple-to-implement accommodations are assisted listening devices, large print bulletins, and making materials available on a CD. Include and Support Beyond being inviting and welcoming, attention should be focused on ways to help people with disabilities feel included and identifying what supports might be necessary to enable that inclusion. • Volunteer to drive a person or the family to an event, or make arrangements to meet them there. • Discover the person’s interests and suggest parish activities and events that they might enjoy. • Set up a “buddy system” for children with disabilities to help them participate. For adults and families, identify an agepeer to get to know them and assist where needed. • Integrate students with disabilities into the regular classes whenever possible. Seek the help of other family members or other professionals in the parish, especially if you encounter behavioral issues or other problems. • Think about room arrangements for fellowship hours, meetings, and other gatherings. Is there enough clearance in halls and between tables to accommodate people who use wheelchairs, walkers, or crutches? Is there enough space for families to easily sit together? Involve and Contribute Beyond inviting and including, the parish should also look for ways to celebrate the gifts of its people with disabilities and work to find places where they can be active contributors to parish life. This is the ultimate to being an inclusive parish. It not only communicates that the parish community values all its people, but it also enriches the parish in the ways things are accomplished and further builds the self-esteem and feelings of acceptance in the individual. The key to success in this level is to look for ways to open up “space” for the person with a disability to make a contribution, and then to identify the support(s) necessary to help the person be successful. Involving people with disabilities will likely entail the possibility that procedures might need to be modified and expectations altered to accommodate all contributors, but the challenge will be worth it, for the individual as well as for the parish! Conclusion Becoming an inclusive congregation means embracing everyone - inviting all, including all, and involving all. It means keeping an eye on particular gifts each person can offer and finding ways to support their inclusion in worship and parish activities. Not all parishes will see the same types and numbers of disabilities; each will have to forge a path that meets their own particular needs. But what is most important is to develop the attitude that people with disabilities can be active, contributing members of the parish community, and that the entire parish will benefit from championing their true involvement. As a parish works towards becoming inclusive, its members will need to brainstorm, seek assistance from those experiencing disabilities, and be creative in opening up their spaces of worship and stewardship to all its members. Vicki Pappas is the former director of the Center for Planning and Policy Studies of the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community, and a member of Holy Trinity Church of Indianapolis. She is a member of the Archdiocesan Council Committee on Outreach & Evangelism.


JUNE 2013

Metropolis News

Detroit Holds Museum Dedication, Greek Parade DETROIT – The annual parade honoring Greek independence took place recently in the heart of Detroit’s historic Greektown. Metropolitan Nicholas led the parade, along with George Reganis, the Detroit Greek Parade president and grand marshal, and the 2013 Hellenic Heritage Award recipients. “Each year the Greek Community awaits this annual parade with great anticipation, excitement and pride. It is a demonstration of the legacy of Hellenism and the preservation of the Greek culture,” said Metropolitan Nicholas. Dignitaries including representatives of local, state and federal government will also join these officials. Prior to the parade, a hierarchal Divine Liturgy took place at Annunciation Cathedral. The weekend festivities included the grand opening and dedication of the Hellenic Museum of Michigan (www. Exhibits of the history of Greektown and the immigration story of the Greek- American are featured. A reception followed at the Detroit Institute of Arts with strolling dinner, tours of Greek Gallery, entertainment and presentation of the Hellenic Heritage Awards. The 6 th annual Hellenic Heritage Awards recognized those individuals who are contributing members of the community and have achieved exemplary distinction in strengthening the foundation of their faith and culture. They included special Hellenic Heritage honoree George Reganis along with this year’s Hellenic Heritage recipients: George Dimopoulos, Diane Edgecomb, Phillip Frangos, Dr. Steve Tsangalias and Dr. Tsiatalas and acknowledgment of Kyria Anna Diamantaras. Greektown Merchants Association honored business owners Ted Gatzaros and Zoe and Gus Anton posthumously and founding members and trustees of the Hellenic Museum were recognized: Metropolitan Nicholas, Jim Papas, Paul Massaron, Dr. Kenneth Walters, Dr. Jim Jacobs and Effie Weinberg. The Hellenic Museum, the former Scherer House and Children’s Museum, is located at the Midtown Cultural Center, 67 E. Kirby. The museum preserves the heritage and the legacy of extraordinary Greek Americans who immigrated to Michigan and presents the Hellenic history, culture, art and traditions to the entire community. Also participating in the parade were more than 40 marching units representing Greek Orthodox churches, cultural organizations, dance groups in colorful ethnic dress and area college student organizations from metropolitan Detroit and nearby com-

munities including Windsor, Toledo, Flint, Saginaw, Ann Arbor and Lansing. After the parade, a short program was held near the end of the parade route. The American, Greek and Canadian national anthems were sung symbolizing the strong unity of the three countries. Metropolitan Nicholas will offer prayers and remarks on Greek Independence and local youth dance groups performed a variety of Greek dances over the two-day celebration representing various regions of Greece. Performing groups represented Assumption Church, Grand Blanc; Aristotle Hellenic Academy, Holy Cross Church, Farmington Hills; Hellenic Dance Company, Holy Trinity Church, Toledo; Hellenic Society for the Performing Arts, Kyklos Hellenic Society Dancers, Nativity of the Virgin Mary, Plymouth; Nisiotes Dancers, Omega Dancers, St. Nicholas Church, Troy; Pseloretes Cretan Dancers of Detroit, REVMA Dancers, St. Nicholas Church, Ann Arbor; Terpsichore Dancers, Windsor, Ontario and the Yassoo Dancers. Greek musical ensembles performed melodic music of Greece. The Detroit Greek Independence Day Parade was revived in 2001, after an absence of over 30 years. It is managed by the Detroit Greek Independence Day Committee which is a non-profit corporation. Committee members work year long in preparation for the parade and represent Hellenic organizations and churches throughout this region. Visit, for related material and information including link for more photos.


JUNE JUNE2013 2013

Speaking to God Released as e-Book

NEW YORK – Speaking to God, a collection of over 70 prayers written by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America is now available as an e-book through all major online resellers including Amazon. com and Barnes and Noble as well as the Archdiocese’s Orthodox Marketplace. This edition offers ease of access and reading using the latest features of Kindle, iPad, Nook, and Sony e–Book Reader. The Speaking to God e–Book is available at as a download for iPad or Kindle. The e–Book edition is also now available free of charge with the purchase of the print edition through the Orthodox Marketplace. The Kindle version of the book is available at; the e–Books edition for the iPad and iPhone is available through iTunes or the iBooks app; and the Nook version at Speaking to God is a helpful resource for daily prayer. It offers strength and inspiration through prayers that guide conversation with God and find in Him the love, wisdom, and peace needed in all of life’s experiences. The e–Book edition enhances the use of the prayers by making them accessible through tablets and smart phones. Also, each prayer is linked to

the table of contents so that readers can go to a specific prayer, or use other e–Book features such as searching for topics, adding notes or prayer lists, or highlighting special passages. The book was originally written in Greek in the 1960s. In its third edition, Speaking to God was translated into English and released by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America last fall. It has five sections or cycles, which include prayers on general themes and specific topics: (1) asking God to teach us how to pray; (2) talking to God about ourselves and our problems; (3) singing the praises of His glory and majesty; (4) entreating Him on behalf of our brothers and sisters; and (5) addressing the need for a real understanding of the Gospel. This resource is also available in print through Orthodox Marketplace at www.orthodoxmarketplace. com. Discounts and bulk ordering information of the print edition for parish and religious bookstores are available through the Department of Communications at 212-774-0244. The Greek edition is also available through Orthodox Marketplace. The proceeds, as with all other publications authored by Archbishop Demetrios, support the Archbishop Demetrios Benevolent Fund.

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,


ΕΤΟΣ 78 • ΑΡΙΘΜΟΣ 1286

Πατριαρχικό Συλλείτουργο στο Φανάρι ôïõ ΝΙΚΟΛΑΟΥ ΜΑΓΓΙΝΑ

Κωνσταντινούπολη – Ιστορική η φετινή Κυριακή της Σαμαρείτιδος για το Οικουμενικό Πατριαρχείο καθώς τις ημέρες αυτές επισκέφθηκε την Κωνσταντινούπολη ο νέος Πατριάρχης Αντιοχείας Ιωάννης. Με την ευκαιρία της επίσκεψης αυτής, της πρώτης Ειρηνικής Επίσκεψης του Προκαθημένου της Εκκλησίας της Αντιοχείας προς την Πρωτόθρονη Μεγάλη Εκκλησία και επι τη μνήμη των Αγίων Πατριαρχών Κωνσταντινουπόλεως που τελείται κάθε χρόνο της Σαμαρείτιδος, συλλειτούργησαν το πρωί της Κυριακής, στο Φανάρι, ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος και ο Πατριάρχης Ιωάννης. Στη Θεία Λειτουργία συλλειτούργησαν Αρχιερείς και από τις δύο Εκκλησίες. Από την πλευρά του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου συμμετείχαν οι Μητροπολίτες Νέας Ιερσέης Ευάγγελος, Ρόδου Κύριλλος και Κυδωνίας και Αποκορώνου Δαμασκηνός ενώ από την Εκκλησία Αντιοχείας οι Μητροπολίτες Τύρου και Σιδώνος Ηλίας και Βόστρων Σάββας καθώς και ο Επίσκοπος Σελευκείας Εφραίμ. Στο τέλος της Θείας Λειτουργίας,

Έκκληση Οικουμενικού Πατριάρχου Βαρθολομαίου και Πατριάρχου Αντιοχείας Ιωάννου για την απελευθέρωση των απαχθέντων Ιεραρχών κατά την οποία εκτέθηκαν σε προσκύνηση τεμάχια Ιερών Λειψάνων Αγίων Πατριαρχών Κωνσταντινουπόλεως, αντηλλάγησαν προσφωνήσεις μεταξύ των δύο Προκαθημένων. Στον λόγο του ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης υπογράμμισε τη σημασία του συλλείτουργου αυτού. «Η συνάντησις ημών και η συνιερουργία εν τη τελέσει της Θείας Λειτουργίας, “υπέρ της του κόσμου ζωής και σωτηρίας” ενισχύει τούς παραδοσιακούς δεσμούς των δύο Εκκλησιών ημών, αλλά και υπομιμνήσκει αμφοτέροις ημίν, ως προκαθημένοις Μιας και Ενιαίας Εκκλησίας, αφ ἑνός μεν το χρεος να αρθώμεν εις το ύψος των περιστάσεων και να διατηρήσωμεν την μεταξύ ημών ενότητα ως κόρην οφθαλμού, διότι άνευ ταύτης είναι αδύνατον να εργασθή ο Θεός εις τον λαόν μας· αφ ἑτέρου δε την αναγκαιότητα της πραγματικής θεας, όχι του κενού μνημείου, αλλά του πάσχοντος και ταλαιπωρουμένου συνανθρώπου, του συσχεθέντος τελευταίως “πολλοίς πειρασμοίς”».

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Ιστορική πρώτη επίσκεψη του Αρχιεπισκόπου Αθηνών και Πάσης Ελλάδος ôïõ Óôáýñïõ Ç. Ðáðáãåñìáíïý

ΒΟΣΤΩΝΗ – Ο Μακαριώτατος Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αθηνών και Πάσης Ελλάδος κ. Ιερώνυμος πραγματοποίησε επταήμερη ιστορική επίσκεψη στην Ιερά Αρχιεπισκοπή Αμερικής επ’ ευκαιρία της αναγορεύσεως του εις Επίτιμο Διδάκτορα της Θεολογικής Σχολής του Τιμίου Σταυρού της Βοστώνης. Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Ιερώνυμος έτυχε θερμής υποδοχής κατά την άφιξή του στο Διεθνές Αεροδρόμιο Λόγκαν της Βοστώνης, την Τετάρτη 15 Μαΐου 2013. Η παραμονή του Αρχιεπισκόπου στη Βοστώνη συμπεριέλαβε επαφές και επισκέψεις στον Δήμαρχο Βοστώνης, στο Πανεπιστήμιο Χάρβαρντ, στο Μουσείο Καλών Τεχνών και κατάθεση στεφάνου στην οδό Boylston. Η συνοδεία του Μακαριωτάτου απαρτίζετο από το Σεβασμιώτατο Μητροπολίτη Μεσσηνίας κ. Χρυσόστομο, το Θεοφιλέστατο Επίσκοπο Διαυλείας κ. Γαβριήλ (Αρχιγράμματέα της Ι. Συνόδου), τον Αιδεσιμολογιώτατο Πρωτοπρεσβύτερο Αδαμάντιο Αυγουστίδη, τον Αιδεσιμολογιώτατο Πρωτοπρεσβύτερο Στέφανο Αβραμίδη, τον Ιερολογιώτατο Ιεροδιάκονο Επιφάνιο Αρβανίτη και τον υπαστυνόμο κ. Δημήτριο Καρανάσο, υπεύθυνο ασφαλείας του Αρχιεπισκόπου. Κατάθεση στεφάνου Στις 16 Μαΐου 2013, ένα μήνα μετά την τρομοκρατική βομβιστική επίθεση στο σημείο του τερματισμού του Μαραθωνίου της Βοστώνης, ο Μακαριώτατος Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αθηνών και Πάσης Ελλάδος κ. Ιερώνυμος


Β΄ συνοδευόμενος από τον Αρχιεπίσκοπο Αμερικής κ. Δημήτριο, τον τοπικό ιεράρχη Μητροπολίτη Βοστώνης κ. Μεθόδιο και την εξ Ελλάδος συνοδεία του, επισκέφθηκαν το σημείο αυτό, όπου είχε δημιουργηθεί ένα αυτοσχέδιο μνημείο για τα θύματα. Η παρουσία των Ορθοδόξων Ιεραρχών και κληρικών ήταν φυσικό να προκαλέσει το ενδιαφέρον των εκατοντάδων επισκεπτών που βρίσκονταν στη περιοχή αλλά και των Μέσων Ενημέρωσης που βρίσκονται σχεδόν

σε καθημερινή βάση στο σημείο αυτό. Ήταν μια συγκινητική στιγμή καθώς ο κ. Ιερώνυμος τοποθέτησε το στεφάνι δίπλα στους αυτοσχέδιους ξύλινους σταυρούς με τα ονόματα των θυμάτων. Στη συνέχεια μαζί με τον Αρχιεπίσκοπο Δημήτριο, τον Μητροπολίτη Μεθόδιο και τους άλλους ιεράρχες έψαλλαν μια σύντομη επιμνημόσυνη δέηση καταλήγοντας με το Αιωνία τους η Μνήμη στα Ελληνικά και στα

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Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης: «Τα μηνύματα που εκπέμπονται από τον λαό, πρέπει να συλλαμβάνονται από τους ιθύνοντας κάθε χώρας» ôïõ ΝΙΚΟΛΑΟΥ ΜΑΓΓΙΝΑ

Κωνσταντινούπολη – Μήνυμα προς κάθε κατεύθυνση και με πολλούς αποδέκτες έστειλε την Κυριακή 16 Ιουνίου, ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος, στην ομιλία του, μετά την θεία λειτουργία στον Ιερό Ναό Αγίου Γεωργίου Εδιρνέκαπού. Αναφερόμενος στα γεγονότα που συγκλονίζουν την Τουρκία ο Προκαθήμενος της Ορθοδοξίας τόνισε χαρακτηριστικά ότι «τα μηνύματα που εκπέμπονται από τα πλήθη, από τον λαό, πρέπει να συλλαμβάνονται από τους ιθύνοντας κάθε χώρας και από τους ιθύνοντας της Εκκλησίας». Ο Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος δεν παρέλειψε να αναφερθεί και στο γεγονός ότι το Βακούφι του Ιερού Ναού του Αγίου Γεωργίου έχει χαρακτηριστεί από τις Αρχές ως «κατειλημμένο», δηλαδή η διοίκησή του έχει περάσει στο Τουρκικό Κράτος, και κάλεσε τους αρμοδίους να επιλύσουν το ζήτημα σύμφωνα με τις αρχές του κράτους δικαίου. Τα γεγονότα στην Τουρκία και ένα μήνυμα με πολλούς αποδέκτες «Τι σημαίνουν αυτά τα γεγονότα;», διερωτήθηκε ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης απευθυνόμενους στους πιστούς και συνέχισε: «Εγώ δεν θα εισέλθω εις την ουσίαν αυτών, θα επισημάνω μόνον ότι υπάρχει μέσα στην κοι-


νωνία μας εδώ αλλά και σε πολλά άλλα μέρη του κόσμου, όπως παρακολουθούμε από την καθημερινή επικαιρότητα, ένας μετασχηματισμός, υπάρχουν αλλαγές, υπάρχουν αιτήματα των πολιτών, αιτήματα τα οποία δεν ημπορεί να παραβλέψει χωρίς ζημίαν και χωρίς φθοράν η εκάστοτε διοίκησις, οι εκάστοτε και εκασταχού κυβερνήσεις. Αυτά τα μηνύματα που εκπέμπονται από τα πλήθη, από τον λαό, πρέπει να συλλαμβάνονται από τους ιθύνοντας κάθε χώρας και, θα προσέθετα, και από τους ιθύνοντας της Εκκλησίας. Η Εκκλησία βεβαίως του Χριστού είναι η ίδια, διά μέσου των αιώνων, διότι “Ιησούς Χριστός χθες και σήμερον ο αυτός και εις τους αιώνας” και κανείς μας δεν ημπορεί και δεν δικαιούται να

τροποποιήσει ή να μεταθέσει τα θεμέλια της Χριστιανικής πίστεως και παραδόσεως. Όμως υπάρχουν και εξωτερικά πράγματα, εξωτερικά στοιχεία τα οποία αλλάζουν με το πέρασμα των χρόνων και των αιώνων.ΝΙΚΟΣ Και όχι μόνον Φωτογραφία ΜΑΓΓΙΝΑΣ αλλάζουν αλλά και πρέπει να αλλάζουν, ώστε η Εκκλησία να συλλαμβάνει τα μηνύματα των καιρών, να έχει αναπεπταμένες τις κεραίες της και να συλλαμβάνει και να προσαρμόζει το κήρυγμά της εις τας εκασταχού και εκάστοτε περιστάσεις και απαιτήσεις της συνειδήσεως του πληρώματος, χωρίς, επαναλαμβάνω, να θυσιάζει τίποτε από την ουσία της πίστεως και των παραδεδεγμένων, των παραδόσεών μας». Ο Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος επισήμανε

uΣελίδα 17




Έκκληση Οικουμενικού Πατριάρχου και Πατριάρχου Αντιοχείας για την απελευθέρωση των απαχθέντων Ιεραρχών Σελίδα 15 Αναφέρθηκε με ευγενείς και εγκωμιαστικούς λόγους στο πρόσωπο του νέου Πατριάρχου Ιωάννου εκθιάζοντας τα πνευματικά και άλλα χαρίσματά και το ήθος του. «Το Οικουμενικόν Πατριαρχείον και η ημετέρα Μετριότης προσωπικώς, βαθέως τιμώντες την χριστοειδή μορφήν και την προσωπικότητα, την ανεπιτήδευτον ευλάβειαν, την εκκλησιαστικότητα του φρονήματος, το ασκητικόν του βίου, το παραδοσιακόν ήθος και το έθος, την εμμονήν εις τα πάτρια και εις τον “κόσμον της ασκήσεως”, την μαθητείαν εις το εργαστήριον της αρετής, τον Αγιώνυμον Άθω, την ειλικρίνειαν και την συνέπειαν των λόγων, των ενεργειών και των πράξεων της Υμετέρας Μακαριότητος, αλλά κυρίως την “ομολογίαν ενότητος” προς πάντας, αποβλέπομεν προς Αυτήν ως πολύτιμον αδελφόν, φίλον και συνεργόν εις το έργον εν τω γεωργίω Κυρίου. Διαβεβαιούμεθα δε Υμάς, ότι εις το ιδιαιτέρως δυσχερές “εν κινδύνοις και θλίψεσι” Πατριαρχικόν Υμών λειτούργημα, και μάλιστα κατά την παρούσαν συγκυρίαν, θα έχητε πάντοτε την εν Κωνσταντινουπόλει παροικούσαν Μεγάλην Εκκλησίαν συμπορευτήν και συνοδίτην, ως άλλωστε και η μακραίων παράδοσις αδελφικών σχέσεων, αλληλεγγύης και αλληλοϋποστηρίξεως των δύο Εκκλησιών επιβάλλει και παραδειγματίζει». Δεν παρέλειψε να αναφερθεί στο πολύ δυσάρεστο για την Εκκλησία Αντιοχείας, για τον Πατριάρχη της προσωπικά αλλά και για όλη την Ορθοδοξία γεγονός της απαγωγής του Μητροπολίτου Χαλεπίου Παύλου, κατά σάρκα αδελφού του Πατριάρχου Ιωάννου, ο οποίος έχει πέσει θύμα απαγωγής μαζί με τον Συροϊακωβίτη Ιεράρχη Ιωάννη. «Ιδιαιτέρως επί μήνα και πλέον εν εκτενεί προσευχή μιμνησκόμεθα των δεσμών και της φυλακής του Υμετέρου αυταδέλφου κατά σάρκα και λίαν και ημίν αγαπητού αδελφού και συλλειτουργού Ιερωτάτου Μητροπολίτου Χαλεπίου κυρίου Παύλου, του υφισταμένου τον αδόκητον


πειρασμόν της αιχμαλωσίας. Δεόμεθα ολοκαρδίως, ο “θανάτω τον θάνατον θανατώσας” Κυριος να φυλάττη την αυτού Ιερότητα σώαν, υγιά και αβλαβή από πάσης επιβουλής, ελαφρύνη τον ζυγόν αυτής και αποδώση αυτήν ταχέως ασινή και αλώβητον εις το εναγωνίως προσκαρτερούν ποίμνιον αυτής, το οποίον στερείται τοιούτου πνευματικού ποδηγέτου, με τοσαύτην πνευματικήν και κοινωνικήν δραστηριότητα, του αναδείξαντος την Ιεράν Μητρόπολιν Χαλεπίου εις αληθή πνευματικήν οασιν εν μέσω της Συριακής ερήμου. Αιτούμεθα παρά του Κυρίου εν προσευχητική δεήσει να δώση φωτισμόν και σύνεσιν εις τούς κρατούντας αυτόν “ίνα παύσουν από των αδικιών αυτών». Στην αντιφώνησή του ο Πατριάρχης Αντιοχείας μίλησε για την εύανδρο γη της Εκκλησίας του η οποία ανέδειξε μέγα πλήθος Αγίων οι οποίοι έγιναν γνωστοί σε όλον τον κόσμο και επηρρέασαν τη ζωή και πορεία της χριστιανικής σκέψης με τα συγγράμματά τους. Διαβεβαίωσε για την ευλάβεια του ποιμνίου του προς

το Οικουμενικό Πατριαρχείο σημειωνοντας χαρακτηριστικά : «Ήλθομεν εις Υμάς σήμερον ίνα βεβαιώσωμεν την υψηλήν θέσιν την οποίαν κατέχει ο καθ Υμάς Οικουμενικός Θρόνος εις τας καρδίας των Αντιοχειανών... ήλθομεν σήμερον ίνα βεβαιώσωμεν ότι προσβλέπομεν προς τον καθ’ Υμάς αποστολικόν Θρόνον ως μίαν πηγήν η οποία αναβλύζει την ευθύνην της διατηρήσεως της ενότητος και της αρμονίας μεταξύ των Ορθοδόξων αδελφών Εκκλησιών». Παρουσίασε τις ιδιαίτερες συνθήκες της περιοχής της ποιμαντικής ευθύνης του ενώ τόνισε την αξία και ανάγκη ενεργοποίησης των θεολογικών διαλόγων και σε διαχριστιανικό αλλά και σε διαθρησκειακό επίπεδο. «Τι αναμένει άραγε ο κόσμος εξ ημών; Θεωρούμεν ότι ο κόσμος αναμένει εξ ημών προφητικούς λόγους, όπως όσα έχετε αναφέρει εις επίκαιρα θέματα που αφορούν το περιβάλλον, την μεταμόρφωσιν της γης, την ελευθερίαν, την αγάπην, την Εκκλησίας, την εκκοσμίκευσιν, την καταναλωτικήν κοινωνίαν και τόσα άλλα που εκδηλώνονται

εντός της διεθνούς κουλτούρας». Χρησιμοποίησε τα λόγια του προκατόχου του Μακαριστού Πατριάρχου Ιγνατίου Δ αναφερόμενος στη διακονία των πτωχών και των αδυνάτων η οποία έχει σπουδαία σημασία παράλληλα με τους διαλόγους, ο οποίος είχε πει. «Είμαστε καλεσμένοι να σκουπίσουμε τα δάκρυα όλων όσων κλαίνε», για να συνεχίσει, «όχι μόνο με την προσευχήν δι αυτούς αλλά και με την αλληλεγγύην και την προσπάθειαν να αρθεί η αδικία εξ αυτών ώστε να να πεισθούν ότι ο τελευταίος λόγος δεν είναι δια τον θάνατον αλλά δια την ζωήν και την αγάπην». Εκανε, τέλος, έκκλησιν προς την παγκόσμια κοινότητα για την απελευθέρωση των απαχθέντων Μητροπολιτών. «Επομένως, επισημαίνω την αναγκαιότητα της ειρηνικής επιλύσεως αυτής της κρίσεως εις την Συρίαν μέσω του διαλόγου, εφ όσον και ο φανατισμός έχει φθάσει εις σημείον που χριστιανοί και μουσουλμάνοι πνευματικοί ηγέται γίνονται στόχοι απαγωγής και βίας, όπως η περίπτωσις των δύο Μητροπολιτών εκ Χαλεπίου Παύλου και Ιωάννου. Από αυτόν σήμερον τον ιερόν και ιστορικόν άμβωνα καλούμεν και πάλιν τους πάντας και την παγκόσμιον Κοινότητα να ενεργήσουν δια την άμεσον απελευθέρωσίν των». Στο τέλος ο υψηλός επισκέπτης της Μητρός Εκκλησίας διένειμε στο πλήθος των πιστών το αντίδωρο ώστε να έχουν την ευκαιρία όλοι να λάβουν την ευχή του. Παρέστησαν συμπροσευχόμενοι Αρχιερείς και άλλοι κληρικοί, ο Πρέσβυς Νικόλαος Ματθιουδάκης, Γενικός Πρόξενος της Ελλάδος στην Πόλη, τα μέλη της Αδελφότητος Οφφικιάλων “Παναγία Παμμακάριστος” υπό την ηγεσία του Προέδρου Οδυσσέως Σασαγιάννη οι οποίοι πραγματοποιούν το ετήσιο προσκύνημά τους στο Κέντρο της Ορθοδοξίας κατά την Κυριακή της Σαμαρείτιδος, Άρχοντες από την Πόλη, ο Περιφεριάρχης Κρήτης και Άρχων Έξαρχος Σταύρος Αρναουτάκης, ο Β Αντιπρόεδρος της Βουλής των Ελλήνων και Άρχων Ρεφερενδάριος Γεώργιος Καλαντζής καθώς και πολυάριθμοι προσκυνητές από την Πόλη, την Ελλάδα και άλλες χώρες του εξωτερικού.




Ιστορική πρώτη επίσκεψη του Αρχιεπισκόπου Αθηνών και Πάσης Ελλάδος υποστηρικτής της Ελληνοαμερικανικής κοινότητος της Βοστώνης, είπε ότι θεωρεί ιδιαίτερη τιμή την επίσκεψη του Μακαριωτάτου στη Βοστώνη και στο Γραφείο του και εξέφρασε την ευγνωμοσύνη του για την συμβολή της Ελληνορθόδοξου κοινότητος στη ζωή και στη πρόοδο της Πόλεως, κάνοντας ιδιαίτερη αναφορά στο έργο του Μητροπολίτου Βοστώνης κ. Μεθοδίου και τονίζοντας ότι ο Ελληνισμός και η Ορθοδοξία εκπροσωπούνται επάξια στην περιοχή της Νέας Αγγλίας. Λίγο αργότερα, ο κ. Ιερώνυμος και η συνοδεία του επισκέφθηκαν το Πανεπιστήμιο Harvard, όπου έτυχαν θερμής υποδοχής από την Διευθύντρια Εθιμοτυπίας και Διεθνών Σχέσεων του Πανεπιστημίου κ. Jackie O’ Neill, την διευθύντρια του Κέντρου Ευρωπαϊκών Σπουδών κ. Ελένη Παπούλια και την καθηγήτρια κ. Ελισάβετ Προδρόμου. Ακολούθησε ξενάγηση σε διάφορους χώρους και κτίρια του Πανεπιστημίου και ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Ιερώνυμος υπέγραψε το βιβλίο των επισήμων επισκεπτών.

Σελίδα 15 Αγγλικά. Ο Σεβασμιώτατος Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής κ. Δημήτριος απευθύνθηκε στο συγκεντρωμένο πλήθος στα Αγγλικά και εξήγησε ότι πρόκειται για τον Αρχιεπίσκοπο Αθηνών και Πάσης Ελλάδος και την εκλεκτή συνοδεία του, οι οποίοι όπως είπε «έρχονται από την Ελλάδα, απ’ όπου ξεκίνησε ο Μαραθώνιος». Πρόσθεσε δε, ότι «ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Ιερώνυμος αισθάνθηκε την ανάγκη και θεώρησε υποχρέωσή του να έρθει εδώ για να προσευχηθεί και να τοποθετήσει ένα στεφάνι μνήμης και τιμής για τους νεκρούς αυτής της τραγωδίας που συγκλόνισε όλο τον κόσμο». Με την ολοκλήρωση αυτών των επεξηγήσεων του Αρχιεπισκόπου Δημητρίου, οι παρόντες κατανοώντας καλύτερα το τι είχε προηγηθεί χειροκρότησαν αυθόρμητα. Στο Μουσείο Καλών Τεχνών Εξ άλλου, νωρίτερα τις πρωινές ώρες, ο Προκαθήμενος της Εκκλησίας της Ελλάδος, ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής, οι Ιεράρχες και η συνοδεία τους επισκέφθηκαν το Μουσείο Καλών Τεχνών της Βοστώνης. Τους υποδέχθηκε ο Άρχων κ. Γεώργιος Μπεχράκης, μέλος του Αρχιεπισκοπικού Συμβουλίου, μέλος του Διοικητικού Συμβουλίου του Μουσείου Καλών Τεχνών της Βοστώνης και μέγας δωρητής του Μουσείου. Η πτέρυγα Ελληνικής, Ρωμαϊκής και Αιγυπτιακής Τέχνης του Μουσείου φέρει προς αναγνώριση της μεγάλης του δωρεάς το όνομα George and Margo Behrakis Wing. Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Ιερώνυμος ξεναγήθηκε στις διάφορες αίθουσες του Μουσείου από τους ειδικούς εφόρους και συντηρητές των διαφόρων εκθεμάτων. Μια από τις ιδιαίτερες στιγμές ήταν η παρουσίαση ενός τέμπλου με εικόνες αγνώστου Κρητός-Βενετού αγιογράφου των αρχών του 15ου αιώνα που δεν εκτίθεται ακόμη δημόσια, αλλά βρίσκεται στο στάδιο της έρευνας και της συντήρησης. Αποτελείται από την εικόνα της Βρεφοκρατούσας Παναγίας στο κέντρο και τις εικόνες των Αγίων Χριστοφόρου, Αυγουστίνου και Στεφάνου στα αριστερά και των Αγίων Ιωάννου του Βαπτιστού, Νικολάου και Σεβαστιανού στα δεξιά. Η ξενάγηση συνεχίστηκε στην πτέρυγα Μπεχράκη, η οποία περιέχει μια από τις πλουσιότερες συλλογές Ελληνικών αρχαιοτήτων ανά τον κόσμο. Το Μουσείο και ο φιλέλληνας διευθυντής του κ. Malcolm Rogers παρέθεσε γεύμα εντός του Μουσείου προς τιμήν του Αρχιεπισκόπου Ιερωνύμου στο οποίο παρακάθισαν εκτός των άλλων και ο διευθυντής Διεθνών Σχέσεων του Μουσείου κ. Andrew Russell και η συνεργάτης του Μουσείου για Ελληνικά θέματα κυρία Μπέτυ Γεωργακλή. Στον Καθεδρικό της Βοστώνης Το ίδιο απόγευμα ο Μακαριώτατος επι-



σκέφθηκε και προσκύνησε στον Καθεδρικό Ναό του Ευαγγελισμού της Θεοτόκου της Βοστώνης, όπου ιερατικώς προϊστάμενος είναι ο π. Κλεόπας Στρογγύλης. Το εσπέρας, ο Σεβασμιώτατος Μητροπολίτης Βοστώνης κ. Μεθόδιος παρέθεσε για τον κ. Ιερώνυμο και την συνοδεία του δείπνο σε εστιατόριο της περιοχής στο οποίο συμμετείχαν και σημαντικοί συνεργάτες και υποστηρικτές της Μητροπόλεως Βοστώνης. Δήμαρχος Menino και Χάρβαρντ

Την επομένη ημέρα, Παρασκευή 17 Μαΐου 2013, ο Μακαριώτατος συνοδευόμενος από τον Αρχιεπίσκοπο Αμερικής κ. Δημήτριο, τον τοπικό ιεράρχη Μητροπολίτη Βοστώνης κ. Μεθόδιο και την εξ Ελλάδος συνοδεία του, επισκέφθηκε τον Δήμαρχο της Βοστώνης κ. Thomas Menino στο γραφείο του στο Δημαρχείο της Πόλης. Ο Μητροπολίτης Βοστώνης Μεθόδιος παρουσίασε τον Αρχιεπίσκοπο Ιερώνυμο στον Δήμαρχο και τον ενημέρωσε για το πρόγραμμα και τις δραστηριότητες της επισκέψεώς του. Ο κ. Menino, φιλέλλην και

Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης: «Τα μηνύματα που εκπέμπονται από τον λαό, πρέπει να συλλαμβάνονται από τους ιθύνοντας κάθε χώρας» Σελίδα 15 ότι η Πρωτόθρονη Εκκλησία της Ορθοδοξίας λαμβάνει τα μηνύματα των καιρών και είναι πάντοτε ανοικτή στο διάλογο με οποιονδήποτε. «Ευτυχώς ότι το Οικουμενικό Πατριαρχείο και εις αυτόν το τομέα είναι πάντοτε ανοικτό, είναι πρωτοπόρο σε κάθε δικαιολογημένη, επιτρεπόμενη καινοτομία. Πάντοτε προσαρμοζόμεθα εις τας περιστάσεις και τα αιτήματα των καιρών και διαλεγόμεθα με όλους τους ανθρώπους καλής θελήσεως, Χριστιανούς και μη Χριστιανούς και ίσως και μη πιστεύοντας καθόλου, διότι όλα τα προβλήματα, πιστεύουμε ότι λύνονται με τον διάλογο, ότι οφείλουμε να προσφέρουμε στους πιστούς μας το μήνυμα του Ευαγγελίου, το διαχρονικό και οικουμενικό, εις την μορφήν υπό την οποίαν το αντιλαμβάνεται ο κόσμος και ημπορεί να

το εγκολπωθεί και να το υιοθετήσει και να το εφαρμόσει εις την καθημερινή του ζωή. Επαναλαμβάνω με καύχησιν εν Κυρίω ότι το Οικουμενικό Πατριαρχείο είναι πρωτοπόρο και εις αυτόν τον χώρον, και εις αυτόν τον τομέα. Και σήμερα και αύριο και πάντοτε θα συλλαμβάνει τα μηνύματα των καιρών και θα προσαρμόζει το κήρυγμά του και το μήνυμά του, το πάντοτε ευαγγελικόν, αποβλέποντας εις ένα και μόνον σκοπόν: Εις την σωτηρίαν των πιστών», τόνισε ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης. Το «κατειλημμένο» Βακούφι του Αγίου Γεωργίου Εδιρνέκαπου και ο σεβασμός των ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων «Το Βακούφι του ναού του Αγίου Γεωργίου Εδιρνέκαπου είναι κατειλημμένο, το οποίο σημαίνει ότι δεν δικαιούμεθα να διενεργήσουμε εκλογές, ώστε να αναδείξωμεν την εκκλησιαστικήν επιτροπήν, η οποία θα

διαχειρίζεται τα της κοινότητός μας αυτής, και ότι η εξουσία του δεσμήν και λύειν, το διοικειν και διαχειρίζεσθαι ανήκει εις την Γενικήν Διεύθυνσιν των Βακουφίων, δηλαδή εις το Τουρκικόν κράτος», είπε ο Πατριάρχης και τόνισε: «Αυτό το καθεστώς των κατειλημμένων βακουφίων, η Θεολογική Σχολή της Χάλκης και άλλα πράγματα είναι από τα εκκρεμή (σ.σ.ζητήματα), τα οποία χρονίζουν, τα οποία αναμένουν την επίλυσίν των, άνευ της οποίας δεν ημπορούμεν να ομιλούμεν δια κράτους δικαίου. Αυτά είναι παραβιάσεις των ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων, παραβιάσεις των μειονοτικών δικαιωμάτων και έως ότου επιλυθούν κατά τας παραδόσεις μας, κατά τα ήθη και έθιμα των μειονοτήτων, όχι μόνον της ιδικής μας, αλλά και των άλλων μειονοτήτων που υπάρχουν σε αυτή τη χώρα, δεν θα είναι δυνατόν να ομιλούμε για πλήρη δημοκρατία και για κράτος δικαίου».

Υποδοχή στο Ελληνικό Κολλέγιο Οι καμπάνες του ναού του Τιμίου Σταυρού, που δεσπόζει στο λόφο του Ελληνικού Κολλεγίου και της Θεολογικής Σχολής, ήχησαν χαρμόσυνα το απόγευμα της Παρασκευής καθώς η διοίκηση, το προσωπικό και οι φοιτητές του μοναδικού ανώτατου Ελληνικού πανεπιστημιακού ιδρύματος στην Αμερική υποδέχθηκαν με σεβασμό, αγάπη και τιμή τον Προκαθήμενο της Ελλαδικής Εκκλησίας. «Είναι μεγάλη ευλογία του Θεού, χαρά και τιμή για μας η παρουσία σας εδώ σήμερα, διότι για πρώτη φορά Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αθηνών και Πάσης Ελλάδος έρχεται σ’ αυτόν τον ιερό χώρο», είπε ο Σεβασμιώτατος Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής κ. Δημήτριος, ο οποίος είναι και Πρόεδρος της Εφορίας της Σχολής, καλωσορίζοντας τον κ. Ιερώνυμο, στο κεντρικό κτίριο του Ιδρύματος, παρουσία του Προέδρου π. Νικολάου Τριανταφύλλου, των εφόρων, των κοσμητόρων, των καθηγητών και φοιτητών της Σχολής. Από την πλευρά του ο Μακαριώτατος εξέφρασε τις ευχαριστίες και την ευγνωμοσύνη του για την πρόσκληση και την τιμή που του γίνεται και τόνισε ότι «η ευθύνη όλων μας είναι τεράστια» και ότι «ο χώρος της Πατρίδας μας έχει ανάγκη της προσφοράς του καθενός από μας». Ακολούθησε, κατανυκτικός εσπερινός στο παρεκκλήσιο της Τιμίου Σταυρού, στον οποίο χοροστάτησε ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Ιερώνυμος, ο οποίος απηύθυνε λόγια αγάπης και πατρικής νουθεσίας προς τους τελειόφοιτους της Σχολής και του Ελληνικού Κολλεγίου και επέδωσε στους αποφοιτούντες μεταπτυχιακούς φοιτητές της Θεολογίας, τους επιστήθιους σταυρούς της Σχολής. Η ημέρα έκλεισε με το τιμητικό δείπνο της Σχολής προς τιμήν του Μακαριωτάτου στην παρακείμενη αίθουσα του Καθεδρικού Κέντρου. Η τελετή αποφοιτήσεως και η απονομή Η 71η Τελετή Αποφοιτήσεως από το Ελληνικό Κολλέγιο και τη Θεολογική Σχολή του Τιμίου Σταυρού πραγματοποιήθηκε το Σάββατο 18 Μαΐου 2013 και χαρακτηρίστηκε από την απονομή Διδακτορικού Διπλώματος Θεολογίας Τιμής Ένεκεν στον Μακαριώτατο Αρχιεπίσκοπο Αθηνών και Πάσης Ελλάδος κ. Ιερώνυμο. Ο Σεβασμιώτατος Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής κ. Δημήτριος επέδωσε στον Μακαριώτατο το Διδακτορικό Δίπλωμα και τα ακαδημαϊκά διακριτικά της Σχολής αφού πρώτα ο Πρόεδρος του Ελληνικού Κολεγίου – Θεολογικής Σχολής Τιμίου Σταυρού π. Νικόλαος Τριανταφύλλου, παρουσίασε τον κ. Ιερώνυμο ως Ιεράρχη, Ποιμένα και Ηγέτη, απαριθμώντας τις σπουδές του, την αγάπη του για τη γνώση και την επιστήμη, την πολυετή και αφοσιωμένη διακονία του στην Εκκλησία και το μεγάλο φιλανθρωπικό του έργο. Καταλήγοντας, ζήτησε από τον Αρχιεπίσκοπο

Σελίδα 18





ΝΕΑ ΥΟΡΚΗ – Μαθητές και μαθήτριες με παραδοσιακές ενδυμασίες και με τις αγκαλιές τους γεμάτες λουλούδια υποδέχθηκαν τον Μακαριώτατο Αρχιεπίσκοπο Αθηνών και Πάσης Ελλάδος κ. Ιερώνυμο, το πρωί της Κυριακής 19 Μαΐου 2013, μπροστά από τον Αρχιεπισκοπικό Καθεδρικό Ναό της Αγίας Τριάδος της Νέας Υόρκης όπου ετελέσθη πανηγυρική πολυαρχιερατική Θεία Λειτουργία. Προεξήρχε ο Μακαριώτατος Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αθηνών και Πάσης Ελλάδος κ. Ιερώνυμος και συλλειτούργησαν ο Σεβασμιώτατος Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής κ. Δημήτριος και οι Αρχιερείς που συνοδεύουν τον κ. Ιερώνυμο, Μητροπολίτης Μεσσηνίας κ. Χρυσόστομος και Επίσκοπος Διαυλείας κ. Γαβριήλ. Η Θεία Λειτουργία μεταδόθηκε τηλεοπτικά με ζωντανή δορυφορική σύνδεση, στην Αμερική, στον Καναδά και στην Αυστραλία, στην Ελλάδα και σε άλλες χώρες της Ευρώπης. Λίγο πριν την απόλυση ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριος παρουσίασε στο εκκλησίασμα τον κ. Ιερώνυμο και εξήρε το φιλανθρωπικό έργο του Μακαριωτάτου, ιδίως κατά τα τελευταία χρόνια που η οικονομική κρίση μαστίζει την Ελλάδα. «Παλεύετε ηρωικά προσφέροντας μεγάλο έργο, τρέφοντας χιλιάδες ανθρώπους ημερησίως χωρίς διακοπή», είπε ο κ. Δημήτριος και του ζήτησε να προσφέρει το λόγο του Θεού στο εκκλησίασμα. Ο προκαθήμενος της Ελλαδικής Εκκλησίας εξέφρασε τις ευχαριστίες του πρώτα προς τον Οικουμενικό Πατριάρχη κ. Βαρθολομαίο αλλά και προς τον Αρχιεπίσκοπο Αμερικής για την ευκαιρία να βρεθεί στη Θεολογική Σχολή, στην Βοστώνη και στη Νέα Υόρκη και να δει και να θαυμάσει «την ζωντανή μαρτυρία που έκτισαν οι μετανάστες διατηρώντας αλλά και δημιουργώντας ιστορία, πολιτισμό και παράδοση». «Καμάρωσα τα νέα παιδιά που είναι ελπίδα και γενούν αισιοδοξία για την πορεία αυτού του Γένους όπου και να βρεθεί, διότι κτίζουμε όπου πηγαίνουμε», είπε χαρακτηριστικά ο Μακαριώτατος και πρόσθεσε: «Εδώ βρίσκεται μια Ελλάδα έξω από την Ελλάδα, που όμως έχει τα χαρακτηριστικά, την καρδιά και τις αρετές των Ελλήνων όλων των εποχών», ενώ σε άλλο σημείο τόνισε: «Η συνέχειά μας εξαρτάται από τη συνέχεια αυτού του ιερού χώρου (της Εκκλησίας), διότι από την στιγμή που θα εκλείψει η θρησκεία, η πίστη και η ελληνορθόδοξη παράδοση να ξέρουμε ότι σιγά-σιγά αρχίζει να διαγράφεται και η ιστορία μας και η μνήμη μας». «Η επίσκεψή σας αυτή μας δίνει έμπνευση και δύναμη και αυξάνει τον δεσμό ο οποίος είναι αδιάρρηκτος με την Ελλάδα», τονισε ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής κ. Δημήτριος προσφωνώντας τον Μακαριώτατο μετά την απόλυση και του προσέφερε ένα εγκόλπιο με την εικόνα του Αποστόλου Παύλου σε μικροψηφιδωτό. «Και από την Ομογένεια Μακαριώτατε», πρόσθεσε, «για το έργο σας, ειδικώς για το έργο που έχει σχέση με τα παιδιά, δεχθείτε μια επιταγή 100 χιλιάδων δολαρίων ως ένα πρώτο μέρος, ειδικώς για τα παιδιά». Εξ άλλου, ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος


Ιερώνυμος ήταν το τιμώμενο πρόσωπο της μουσικής βραδιάς με τίτλο «Ανέστη Χριστός» που παρουσίασαν από κοινού το ίδιο βράδι η Αρχιεπισκοπική Βυζαντινή Χορωδία και η Αρχιεπισκοπική Χορωδία Νέων. Δήλωσε ιδιαίτερα εντυπωσιασμένος από το επίπεδο και την ποιότητα και των δύο χορωδιών. Στην Αρχιεπισκοπή και στον Αγιο Δημήτριο Στις 20 Μαΐου 2013, το πρωί, ο Μακαριώτατος επισκέφθηκε την έδρα της Ιεράς Αρχιεπισκοπής Αμερικής και προέστη Δοξολογίας στο Παρεκκλήσιο του Αποστόλου Παύλου της Αρχιεπισκοπής. «Υποδεχώμεθα έναν Ιεράρχη, ο οποίος με αγάπη που δεν έχει όρια, εφαρμόζει στο ακέραιο τα διδάγματα του Αποστόλου Παύλου, ως μαρτυρία ορθοδόξου πίστεως και αγάπης», είπε ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής κ. Δημήτριος καλωσορίζοντας τον Προκαθήμενο της Ελλαδικής Εκκλησίας στην Αρχιεπισκοπή. Ο Μακαριώτατος δήλωσε συγκινημένος από την υποδοχή και την εμπειρία του στην Αμερική και μίλησε για την αποστολή της Εκκλησίας στον σημερινό κόσμο και ιδιαίτερα στις σημερινές συνθήκες της Ελλάδος, τονίζοντας ότι παρά τις τεράστιες αντιξοότητες δεν πρέπει να είμαστε απαισιόδοξοι. Πρόσθεσε δε, ότι γνωρίζει πολύ καλά την πίκρα του λαού της Ελλάδος αλλά και τη μη αναμενόμενη και μη πρέπουσα συμπεριφορά των εταίρων της Ελλάδος στην Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση, λέγοντας ότι και οι μεγάλοι κάνουν λάθη. «Όλοι μαζί και ενωμένοι θα κάνουμε το καθήκον μας και ο Θεός θα μας δώσει την βοήθεια Του για να τα ξεπεράσουμε όλα», κατέληξε. Το μεσημέρι, ο Μακαριώτατος, συνοδευόμενος από τον Αρχιεπίσκοπο Δημήτριο και τους Ιεράρχες και κληρικούς της συνοδείας του, επισκέφθηκε την Κοινότητα του Αγίου Δημητρίου Αστορίας. Τον υποδέχθηκαν ο ιερατικώς προϊστάμενος του ναού Αρχιμ. Νεκτάριος Πα-

Ιστορική πρώτη επίσκεψη του Αρχιεπισκόπου Αθηνών και Πάσης Ελλάδος Σελίδα 17 Ιερώνυμο να τιμήσει την Σχολή αποδεχόμενος το διδακτορικό δίπλωμα και να ενώσει έτσι το όνομά του με την Ιερά Θεολογική Σχολή του Τιμίου Σταυρού. Στη ποιμαντική και παραινετική ομιλία του προς τους αποφοιτούντες φοιτητές, ο Μακαριώτατος Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αθηνών και Πάσης Ελλάδος κ. Ιερώνυμος έθεσε καίριους και ουσιαστικούς προβληματισμούς και ερωτήματα δίνοντας παράλληλα μεστές απαντήσεις και συμβουλές. (βλ. όλο το κείμενο της ομιλίας στο διαδίκτυο: http://www. ) Ακολούθησε η απονομή

των ακαδημαϊκών τίτλων στους 63 συνολικά φοιτητές και φοιτήτριες, είκοσι εκ των οποίων αποφοίτησαν από το Ελληνικό Κολέγιο και 43 από τα τρία τμήματα της Θεολογικής Σχολής. Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριος μίλησε στο τέλος της τελετής και συνοψίζοντας τα χαρίσματα του Μακαριωτάτου είπε ότι πρόκειται για την χωρίς συμβιβασμούς πίστη του, την απόλυτη αφοσίωσή του στην Εκκλησία και την υψηλού βαθμού ευαισθησία του για όσους πονούν και υποφέρουν. Αργότερα το απόγευμα ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριος με τον Μακαριώτατο και τη συνοδεία του ανεχώρησαν αεροπορικώς για τη Νέα Υόρκη, το δεύτερο σκέλος της επισκέψεως του Αρχιεπισκόπου Αθηνών.

παζαφειρόπουλος, οι κληρικοί του ναού, το ενοριακό συμβούλιο, μέλη της Σχολικής Επιτροπής, οι εκπαιδευτικοί, οι μαθητές και μαθήτριες των Σχολείων του Αγίου Δημητρίου με τις αγκαλιές τους γεμάτες λουλούδια. Πρώτα, προσκύνησε στον ναό και όλοι μαζί έψαλλαν το απολυτίκιο του Αγίου Δημητρίου. Στη συνέχεια, ξεναγήθηκε στο Σχολείο, το οποίο περιλαμβάνει εκτός από το Δημοτικό, Γυμνάσιο και Λύκειο, το οποίο είναι το μοναδικό Ελληνοαμερικανικό Λύκειο στην Αμερική. Οι μαθητές παρουσίασαν προς τιμήν του Αρχιεπισκόπου στην αίθουσα τελετών του Σχολείου, ένα πρόγραμμα με τραγούδια και παραδοσιακούς χορούς που εντυπωσίασε τον Αρχιεπίσκοπο και τα μέλη της συνοδείας του. «Τώρα καταλαβαίνω γιατί θέλατε να έρθουμε σ’ αυτό εδώ το περιβόλι με τόσους ανθούς», είπε ο κ. Ιερώνυμος μόλις άρχισε την ομιλία του στα παιδιά και απευθυνόμενος στον κ. Δημήτριο, τον ευχαρίστησε που συμπεριέλαβε στο πρόγραμμα της επισκέψεως και το Σχολείο του Αγίου Δημητρίου. «Καθώς εξερχόμεθα από ένα χώρο, από ένα σχολείο, κατασυγκινημένοι και κατευχαριστημένοι, αισθάνομαι ότι επιστρέφω στην Ελλάδα πιο Έλληνας και πιο Ορθόδοξος Χριστιανός, με περισσότερη αισιοδοξία, με περισσότερη ελπίδα και με τη βεβαιότητα ότι οι δυσκολίες όλες θα ξεπεραστούν», δήλωσε ο Μακαριώτατος στους δημοσιογράφους μετά την επίσκεψη. «Όσο υπάρχει Εκκλησία, και γύρω από την Εκκλησία είναι συσπειρωμένοι οι Ομογενείς δεν πρέπει να φοβόμαστε για το μέλλον. Οι προγονοί μας όπου και να πήγαιναν έφτιαχναν το ιερό και γύρω από το ιερό θεμελίωναν τη ζωή τους. Πιστεύω λοιπόν, ότι όσο είμαστε ενωμένοι και παλεύουμε και είμαστε μέσα στο χώρο της Εκκλησίας το μέλλον θα είναι καλύτερο», πρόσθεσε. Στη συνέχεια οι δύο ιεράρχες και τα μέλη της συνοδείας του Μακαριωτάτου παρέστησαν σε γεύμα που παρέθεσε ο Μόνιμος Αντιπρόσωπος της Ελλάδος στον Ο.Η.Ε, πρέσβυς κ. Μιχαήλ Σπινέλλης. Η εορτή των Αγίων Κωνσταντίνου και Ελένης Την Τρίτη 21 Μαΐου, η εορτάζουσα κοινότητα των Αγίων Κωνσταντίνου και Ελένης στο Brooklyn της Νέας Υόρκης ανήμερα των πολιούχων αγίων της είχε τριπλή γιορτή. Πανηγύριζε την εορτή του ναού, γιόρταζε τα 100 χρόνια από την ίδρυσή της και υποδεχόταν για πρώτη φορά τον Προκαθήμενο της Εκκλησίας της Ελλάδος που την επισκέφθηκε ειδικά και προεξήρχε της Πολυαρχιερατικής Θείας Λειτουργίας. Η τελετή της υποδοχής του Προκαθημένου της Ελλαδικής Εκκλησίας με τα παιδιά που τον προσφωνούν και τον καλωσορίζουν σε άπταιστα Ελληνικά και του προσφέρουν λουλούδια μόλις βγαίνει από το αυτοκίνητο, είναι μια σκηνή και μια εμπειρία συγκινητική όσες φορές και να επαναληφθεί. Ο Μακαριώτατος αφιέρωσε πολύ χρόνο και χαιρέτισε ξεχωριστά κάθε παιδί, γονιό και δάσκαλο που βρέθηκε στην είσοδο του ναού.

Στη πολυαρχιερατική Θεία Λειτουργία συλλειτούργησαν ο Σεβασμιώτατος Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής κ. Δημήτριος και οι Αρχιερείς που συνοδεύουν τον κ. Ιερώνυμο, Μητροπολίτης Μεσσηνίας κ. Χρυσόστομος και Επίσκοπος Διαυλείας κ. Γαβριήλ και οι επίσκοποι της Ιεράς Αρχιεπισκοπής Αμερικής, Φασιανής κ. Αντώνιος και Ζήλων κ. Σεβαστιανός και ο ιερατικώς προϊστάμενος του ναού π. Ιωάννης Λαρδάς. Παρέστησαν ο πρόξενος της Ελλάδος στη Νέα Υόρκη κ. Ευάγγελος Κυριακόπουλος και η γενική πρόξενος της Κύπρου κ. Κούλα Σοφιανού. Στο κήρυγμα του ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Ιερώνυμος μίλησε για την ζωή του Αγίου Κωνσταντίνου και του Σαούλ, δηλαδή του Αποστόλου Παύλου και την μεταστροφή και μετάνοιά τους, τονίζοντας ότι η μετάνοια, η αλλαγή του τρόπου σκέψης και συμπεριφοράς, είναι κάτι που χρειάζεται ο σύγχρονος κόσμος μας, χρειάζεται να συμβεί και στην Ελλάδα και στην Κύπρο, για να ξεπεραστούν οι δυσκολίες που αντιμετωπίζουν. Ο κ. Ιερώνυμος πρόσθεσε: «Η παρουσία μας εδώ μας έδωσε πολύ δύναμη και θα προσπαθήσουμε να τη μεταφέρουμε πίσω στην Ελλάδα, διότι έχουμε ρίζες κοινές και πρέπει όλοι μαζί να τις ποτίζουμε, να τις καλλιεργούμε και να τις ενισχύουμε». Στο τέλος της Λειτουργίας o Μακαριώτατος προσέφερε δώρο ένα σταυρό ευλογίας για τον Ναό, εις ανάμνηση της ημέρας και της Αρχιερατικής Θείας Λειτουργίας. Εκπρόσωπος του προέδρου του δημοτικού διαμερίσματος του Brooklyn Marty Markowitz προσέφερε στον Αρχιεπίσκοπο Ιερώνυμο μια επιτραπέζια μινιατούρα της Γέφυρας του Brooklyn. Επιμνημόσυνη δέηση στο Ground Zero Το απόγευμα, ο κ. Ιερώνυμος μαζί με τον Αρχιεπίσκοπο Δημήτριο και τη συνοδεία τους, μετέβησαν στο τόπο της τρομοκρατικής επιθέσεως της 11ης Σεπτεμβρίου 2001, που έκτοτε έγινε γνωστή ως Ground Zero. Εκεί έχει ανεγερθεί ήδη, αλλά δεν έχει ακόμη τελειώσει, ένας νέος ουρανοξύστης με την ονομασία One World Trade Center, 104 ορόφων, που φτάνει το συμβολικό ύψος των 1776 ποδών (546 μ.) και είναι το ψηλότερο κτίριο στο δυτικό ημισφαίριο. Ο κ. Steven Plate, γενικός υπεύθυνος της ανάπλασης και ανοικοδόμησης της περιοχής ξενάγησε τον Μακαριώτατο στο νέο κτίριο και από τον 26ο όροφο εξήγησε την γεωγραφία της περιοχής, το που ακριβώς βρίσκονταν οι δίδυμοι πύργοι και το πως αναπλάθετε η περιοχή συμπεριλαμβανομένου και του σημείου όπου σύντομα πρόκειται να αρχίσουν οι εργασίες ανοικοδόμησης του Αγίου Νικολάου. Ο Μακαριώτατος τέλεσε σύντομη επιμνημόσυνη δέηση για τα θύματα της 11ης Σεπτεμβρίου 2001 και ανταποκρίθηκε στο αίτημα του κ. Plate να υπογράψει ένα από τους τοίχους του κτιρίου. Μητροπολιτικό Μουσείο και αναχώρηση Την Τετάρτη 22 Μαΐου, ολοκληρώθηκε η επταήμερη επίσκεψη του Αρχιεπισκόπου Ιερωνύμου στην Ιερά Αρχιεπισκοπή Αμερικής, η οποία πραγματοποιήθηκε με αφορμή την αναγόρευση του Μακαριωτάτου εις Επίτιμο Διδάκτορα Θεολογίας από την Θεολογική Σχολή του Τιμίου Σταυρού της Βοστώνης. Το πρωί, ο Μακαριώτατος, ξεναγήθηκε στο Μητροπολιτικό Μουσείο Τέχνης της Νέας Υόρκης και θαύμασε μερικά από τα εκθέματα του Μουσείου. Η ερευνήτρια του Μουσείου κυρία Brandie Ratliff παρουσίασε τα εκθέματα των αιθουσών Βυζαντινής Τέχνης που αποτελούν προϊόν δωρεάς του ζεύγους Μαίρης και Μιχαήλ Τζαχάρη. Την ξενάγηση συνέχισε η κ. Kiki Karglou στις μεγάλες αίθουσες Ελληνορωμαϊκής Τέχνης Μιχαήλ και Μαίρης Τζαχάρη, οι οποίες καταλαμβάνουν μεγάλη έκταση του πρώτου ορόφου του Μουσείου, και αποτελούν καύχημα για το διάσημο αυτό κέντρο τέχνης, αλλά και για τον Ελληνισμό. Το απόγευμα ο Σεβασμιτώατος Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής κ. Δημήτριος συνόδευσε τον Μακαριώτατο και τη συνοδεία του στο αεροδρόμιο Κέννεντυ της Νέας Υόρκης από όπου αναχώρησαν για την Αθήνα μέσω Ζυρίχης.


JUNE 2013 2013

Commentary Our Children Victims of the Darkness? by Andrew Manatos

“As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does the loss of our Church. In both instances there is a twilight, and it is in such twilight that we all must be aware of change in the air – however slight – lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.” Disturbing data about our Church and our country led me to use this paraphrase of Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas’ words at the Archdiocesan Council meeting in Boston on May 30. When a child born today reaches his or her 30s, there will be only three marriages per year performed on average by each of our approximately 500 churches. This is the reality if our national Church’s decline in marriages from 2008 to 2011, 2 percent per year, continues. And it could be worse. If our church slips back to the 2003 to 2008 rate of a 5 percent decline per year, our average church would perform only one marriage in an entire year when today’s baby is in his or her 30s. Interestingly, while the number of marriages per year in the Greek Orthodox Church in America has fallen since 1997 by 32 percent, baptisms have fallen by only 15 percent and Chrismations by only 6 percent. There is no doubt that the great increase in the number of couples forgoing marriage across America plays a role in our Church’s marriage decline. And, we are not alone. Virtually every other Church in America is having similar experiences. However, it is high time that our parishes across the country start playing a more active role in combating this trend. This includes use of the excellent materials the Archdiocese, under the leadership of Archbishop Demetrios and layman Mike Jaharis, have prepared for the parishes to effectively combat this crisis of families. As well, I believe each parish should begin hosting congratulations parties for every parishioner who becomes engaged, particularly for those who are engaged to a non-Greek Orthodox. Unless the “outsider” finds people in our church of like mind and background and feels welcomed, he or she will be inclined to stay with “their own.” I also shared with the Archdiocesan Council some equally disturbing facts about America that come from a new study initiated by the respected National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Washington. It

pointed out that the world-leading America that has surrounded and nurtured our Church for decades is fast disappearing. It found that of the 17 highest income countries in the world, America now shockingly ranks worst in terms of infant mortality, living to the age of five, total longevity, earliest sexual activity, largest number of partners, highest rate of adolescent pregnancies, AIDs, fatherless homes, drug use, criminality, poverty, obesity and diabetes. If you are over the age of 45, you and your fellow Americans rank number one in educational attainment in the world. If you are between 25 and 45, you rank 7th, and if you are 17 years old, you rank 11th. We are falling fast. The America of 1950, which possessed 70 percent of all the motor vehicles that existed in the world, and led the world in every measurable indice may now be gone. And, this de-enlightening of America plays a huge role in very disturbing trends within our Church. For one, I refuse to sit back and watch our country decline. In Washington, I am working with the NIH and the Brookings Institution to reverse America’s fall, which is driven to a large degree by poverty. Brookings, a left-leaning think tank, recently concluded that Americans of any background have only a 2 percent chance of poverty and a 77 percent chance of making at least a family income of $55,000 if they simply do three things. First, graduate from high school. Second, get a full time job. Third, don’t have a baby until you are 21 years old and married. Further, a project in Arkansas that I work on with former President Bill Clinton and David Leopoulos has shown amazing results in all the schools that have implemented it. And former Sen. Paul Sarbanes’ son Michael is involved with an effort in Baltimore city schools, which cut their dropout rate by 60 percent. America’s decline is reversible, and we as a nation can turn this problem around. Let this data be a wakeup call for us as Greek Orthodox and as Americans. It is not in our Hellenic value system to just shrug and accept our worsening plight. Thank God, we never have, and we never will. Let’s get to work. Andrew Manatos is an Archdiocesan Council Member, regional commander of the Order of St. Andrew and a Medal of St. Paul recipient.

Archdiocesan Council Spring Meeting u u from page 1 for not having children, not having blessed marriages, and they don’t even try to baptize them. This means the Church and the family are weak.” He said that factors such as many younger families who “do not care much about the church or religious education, do not attend church, and do not live the Orthodox life in the home,” influence children’s attitudes. Stewardship Vice Chairman George Matthews reported on efforts to encourage parishes to engage in “strategic planning” to move forward with better methods to improve parish ministries. He said a “proactive attitude” is needed and, rather than the parish budget driving the ministry, the ministry should drive the budget. Fr. James Kordaris, director of the Archdiocese Department of Stewardship, Outreach and Evangelism, noted that parishes under stewardship have larger memberships than those still maintaining the dues system. Administration Vice Chairman Anthony Stefanis said the Administration Committee will work with the metropolises and parishes to develop ideas “to enhance the clergy laity congresses, to develop concepts for strategic planning and to develop concepts for leadership, a vision and goals within a faith-based culture. Religious Education Dr. Anton Vrame, director of the Archdiocese Department of Religious Education, reported on the new ‘Zines being and other materials under development, including Zines for adults. But he commented “there is a great disconnect between what we are creating and what we are asked to provide.” He said only about a third of the parishes order the materials for their religious education programs. Marriage and Family Dr. Nicholas Loutsion, committee vice chairman, reported that the Archdiocese’s first family ministry conference will take place Sept. 26-28 in St. Paul, Minn., and that Archbishop Demetrios is scheduled as the keynote speaker. Dr. Loutsion also acknowledged grants from Leadership 100 Endowment Fund in the effort to offer a flagship Family Ministry Program that will serve families and parishes. He noted that new materials developed for family ministry include “Journey of Marriage in the Orthodox Church” a premarital preparation program, and “Challenges in Pastoral Care: Divorce and Remarriage,” by Fr. Charles Joanides. Youth Ministry Elaine Jaharis and Fr. Jason Roll noted that Leadership 100 has made a $230,000 grant to support the camping ministries of the Archdiocese and that Ionian Village has achieved its highest registration in 20 years.

Communications Leadership 100 has also provided grants in other areas of Church ministries. In the area of Communications, Vice Chairman Cliff Argue noted that a grant is making possible the production of 22 talk shows by Greek Orthodox Telecommunications. The programs include Bible study topics, guest interviews, Church music, faith and pop culture and the basics of Orthodox Christianity. The programs will air on Wherever TV, the internet-based channel of the Archdiocese and its YouTube channel. The videos also will be packaged for sale. Internet Ministries Internet Ministries has also benefited from Leadership 100 grants. In his report, Director Theo Nikolakis noted that the Alexander Project and Bulletin Builder are among the Internet Ministries programs funded by the grants.He also reported that the Archdiocese Archives documents have been completely scanned and digitized and comprise the largest collection of historical documents relating to the Church in the United States.The technology department also has joined in a partnership with the Roman Catholic Church in a project relating to technology safety. Finance Committee The Finance Committee report by George Vourvoulias noted the ongoing progress of the parish software initiative and ongoing cooperation with the finance committees of the metropolises to bring a greater understanding about the needs of the Church ministries. Archdiocese Executive Director Jerry Dimitrou commented on the important contributions of Leadership 100 and the FAITH Endowment that have supported a number of programs that “we would not be able to do without that funding.” This includes grants for the St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival and a new feature at the Ionian Village-a full-size swimming pool with a complete filtration system and lighting. It is also chlorinated and eliminates the old pool that used sea water that had to be pumped out after a few days’ use. In his closing remarks, Archbishop Demetrios offered thoughts on some topics discussed. On the idea of strategic planning, he noted that “the plan doesn’t work if people don’t construct or institute it properly” and unpredictable factors should also be taken into consideration. He also commented that the Apostles’ strategy “was a non-stop spreading of the truth of the gospel.” His Eminence praised the success of the Alexander Project, calling it “a terrific job” by the Internet Ministries Department, but cautioned about over reliance on some aspects of the Internet and use of technology in general, such as the damage done to the memory by relying on Google as a primary source of knowledge. “Do what you can to contain the insatiable nature of technology,” he said.

Illinois Senate Passes Resolution on Religious Freedom in Turkey u u from page 9 Sen. Richard Durbin and the mayor and City Council of Chicago. Other endorsements they secured for the resolution came from the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago and Francis Cardinal George, OMI. Additionally, the committee secured newspaper columns about the status of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople twice in the Chicago Sun Times and once in the Chicago Tribune as well as 10 other major newspapers within

Illinois. Bishop Demetrios traveled in early June with committee members Frank and Katena Lagouros and others to Istanbul to present Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew the city and state resolutions. Bishop Demetrios thanked the many persons involved: “The hard work here in Illinois of the faithful and friends of the Church to gain passage of these resolutions will be noticed, and will continue to have an impact on improving the conditions and status of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Metropolitan Iakovos is deeply grateful, as I am sure will be the Ecumenical Patriarch.”


JUNE 2013

Day Schools

AOS Offers Quality Education, Greek Heritage in the Heart of Houston by Maria Newton

HOUSTON– Annunciation Orthodox School, having grown from a ministry of the Annunciation, celebrates the diverse and individual qualities of all children and their families. AOS provides a superior education in a secure and stimulating environment, which encourages the individual child to achieve academic, spiritual, emotional, social and physical excellence, and to become a responsible member of society. Through the efforts of the dean of Annunciation Cathedral in the late 1960s, Fr. Nicholas Triantafilou, the parish recognized a need and an opportunity to establish a quality and affordable school not only to serve its Orthodox children, but also to serve as a ministry to children of other denominations, spreading the knowledge of the Christian Orthodox faith to children and their families of all backgrounds. Presbytera Diane Triantafilou, an exemplary educator, developed the curriculum and served as the first teacher for a handful of pre-kindergarten children when the school opened its doors in 1970. Housed in the cathedral’s Polemanakos Educational Building, the school added a grade level each year. The school’s reputation grew as the student body increased and matriculated to some of the finest Houston high schools. Upon earning accreditation by Independent Schools Association of the Southwest (ISAS), applications tripled. New facilities and properties were needed and AOS became separately incorporated, maintaining five voting members from the parish on its board, current pastor Fr. Michael Lambakis, and advisory members. AOS offers pre-school through eighth grade. Enrollment is about 700. The cur-

riculum is vigorous and well-rounded with attention given to academic rigor supported by Christian nurturing and guidance. Balance is the key. Upholding the Greek philosophy of mind, body and spirit, physical education classes are daily and include fitness and athletics. A healthy lifestyle is promoted in all aspects of the school. Athletic offerings in the Middle School include track and field/cross country, football, lacrosse, basketball, volleyball, field hockey, softball, and soccer. To continue the balanced curriculum, the school promotes the arts through music, drama, and visual arts classes, as well as in-depth experiences in public speaking. All grade levels perform during the year with the highlight being the eighth grade musical. The musicals have included such well-known pieces such as “The Wizard of Oz,” “Beauty and the Beast,” and “Fiddler on the Roof.” Beyond performances are opportunities to learn costume, lighting, sound, and set design. Foreign languages are two-fold: Greek language and culture provides the stepping stones for more saturation in AGOC’s Greek Afternoon School. AOS students learn conversational Greek with some focus on reading and writing; however, the study of etymology is of most benefit to all students. Traditional songs in Greek are learned and performed in nearly every school performance in the early childhood and lower school. Spanish is taught in middle school to allow students to work toward high school credit. Beginning in sixth grade, students receive basic knowledge not only of the language, but also of the cultures in the world whose native language is Spanish. High school credits may also be obtained in physical science and in algebra. By the eighth grade, AOS students have covered physical science, biology, and integrated chemistry and physics. Pre-algebra is taught in the seventh grade, providing sound preparation for the high school level Algebra 1 in the eighth grade. AOS offers extended day care an abundance of extracurricular activities and a welldesigned after- school program that meets the needs of children and busy parents. Continuing the nurturing, personal attention, age-appropriate activities are provided to ensure that children are engaged, while experiencing a home-away-fromhome comfort. Additionally, there are a variety of classes and clubs for after-school involvement. Dance Express allows children to take lessons in a variety of dance classes, as well as in gymnastics. Computer, chess, art, and drama clubs are also available. Providing the much needed balance to academia, physical activity, and the arts, is the Religious Education program which is presented from the Christian Orthodox perspective. Religion classes are weekly and are complemented by weekly chapel services led by the parish priests who offer a homily that reflects the school’s “word of the month,” which are character traits or Fruits of the Spirit that permeate the school’s daily teachings. Using the Old and New Testaments, the religious education curriculum is designed to study Bible truths and to apply them to everyday living and experiences. Students are encouraged to live as God commands and to follow the teachings of Jesus. Being kind-spirited and loving one another as Christ loves, is something students strive to

Fr. Nicholas and Presbytera Diane Triantafilou.

accomplish in their spiritual growth. One way in which students practice His teachings is in service to others. Community service is a part of their spiritual training. Preparing, serving and visiting with the homeless is a much sought after opportunity. Early childhood and lower school grades “adopt” a homebound person from the parish and send remembrances at Christmas and Pascha. Letters to service men and women, making blankets for children, clothing and food drives, are but a few ways that AOS children constantly put others first. Major feast days are celebrated, especially the Annunciation for which the school is named. The parish priests lead a special all-school service followed by a 25th of March celebration with children of Greek background dressed in costumes, singing songs, and dancing. Yiayias (grandmothers) from the parish community participate and lead School moms in baking sweets for the celebration. Other special times in the Greek Orthodox faith and culture are also celebrated. Over 50 vasilopitas, one for every classroom and administration for St. Basil’s Day, are prepared. Dyed red eggs for each student after Orthodox Easter break is a real favorite of the students. The tradition cracking of the eggs is done during lunchtime. One of the year’s highlights is the AOS Olympics that includes toga-clad, track running torch bearers, reciting the Olympic Oath, and singing the Greek national anthem. Every child from age 3 to 13 participates in a variety of age-appropriate events, striving to give his or her personal best. More than 1,000 students, parents, faculty and guests attend the opening games and enjoy the dance and gymnastic performances by the Kindergarten “host nation.” Two city blocks are marked off for the events as the students and faculty travel between the school and cathedral facilities. For more information about AOS, visit www.

School Facts Parish Affiliation: Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Houston, Texas Proistamenos: Fr. Michael Lambakis Head of School: Mark Kelly Advisor to the Head of School & Director of Admissions: Maria Newton Board of Trustees Chair: Ron Adzgery Grade Levels: Delphi Class (3 yrs.) through Eighth Grade Founders: Fr. Nicholas and Presbytera Diane Triantafilou, with the support of the AGOC parish Founded: 1970 Current Enrollment: 698

See you in September The Day School page will join the Day Schools of the Archdiocese in taking the rest of the summer off.

JUNE 2013


Parish Profile

Earthquake a Key Factor in San Francisco Cathedral’s Progress P A R I S H


Greek Historical Society of the SF Bay Area photo

Name: Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral Location: San Francisco Metropolis of San Francisco Size: about 500 families Founded: 1921 Clergy: Fr. Stephen Kyriacou (Hellenic College, ‘68; (M.Div.-Princeton Theological Seminary ‘72; Trinity College, MA ‘74 ; ) Fr. Nicholas H. Bekris, assistant, (Holy Cross) E-mail: Web:

SAN FRANCISCO – Two devastating earthquakes more than 80 years apart have had profound impacts on this community in unrelated ways. For nearly 70 years the parish, which started out as St. Sophia, but which was later changed in the 1930s, was housed in an elegant structure that began as a theater. Following the catastrophic earthquake of 1906, the Valencia Theater was built on Valencia Street near the downtown area in 1907 on the site of a previous building. It was a venue that attracted many noted entertainers in that era, notably 20th century comedian George Burns, who got his show business start there, dubbed the theater “the grandest, most beautiful in the West.” Twenty-one years later, the Greek Orthodox parish of St. Sophia, as it was then known, purchased the building to serve as its church. It would serve the community for 61 years, when the Alta Loma earthquake struck San Francisco with a force of 7.1 on the Richter Scale. It structurally imperiled the cathedral and parishioners voted to demolish the structure. The earthquake has defined how Fr. Kyriacou, the cathedral dean, has had to function in the community. More on this later. Back in the 19th century According to an extensive parish history, the Greek Orthodox presence in the city by the bay goes back to at least 1870, when 27 Greeks were known to be living in San Francisco. By 1900, that figure increased to 199 and, by 1920, following the Balkan Wars, to 3,886. A “Greek Town” emerged in the area known now as “South of Market.” While it is not known if the first settlers came from any one locale, the parish has a strong contingent of Cretans and Messenians, from the Peloponnesus. In 1904, several Greeks formed the community of Holy Trinity, the first Greek Orthodox church in the city. But, in 1916, political loyalties in Greece resulted in a division here between the supporters of Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos, and King Constantine I. In 1921, those who supported the prime minister purchased a lot in another location and built their own church, named St. Sophia Cathedral by Meletios Metaxas, the deposed Archbishop of Greece, who, later the same year was elected Ecumenical Patriarch. While still Archbishop of Athens, he laid the cornerstone for St. Sophia when he came to America prior to becoming the patriarch, Meletios Metaxakis also created the original four dioceses of the Archdiocese: San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, and New York. The Archdiocese was headquartered in New

ANNUNCIATION GREEK ORTHODOX CATHEDRAL (circa 1955) York and incorporated in 1922. In the 1920s, Venizelos visited the church, where a recording exists of his singing songs known as mantinades (improvised songs sung in Crete), which he composed, according to Fr. Kyriacou. In 1928, the St. Sophia community sold its property at the Hayes and Pierce streets location and relocated to the Valencia Street Theater. Nowadays, Valencia Street is considered very “trendy” and draws tourists to its many world-class restaurants. Depression and bankruptcy But the heavy mortgage during the Depression years resulted in its declaring bankruptcy in 1935. The community was reorganized in 1936 as the “United Greek Orthodox Community of San Francisco, The Annunciation,” which is still its official designation. It repurchased the Valencia Street property from the Bank of Italy (later renamed Bank of America) for the original auction price of $22,000. Over the year, many additions and improvements were made. The 1989 earthquake and the irreparable damage it caused to the building forced the community to consider its options of purchasing other properties to relocate, which many, including Bishop Anthony, favored. Attempting to find a suitable place to relocate proved to be cost-prohibitive as San Francisco has some of the most expensive property in the nation. A two-bedroom “starter” home, for example, sells for about $1 million, Fr. Kyriacou noted. When Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios visited San Francisco and the destroyed cathedral site in 1990, he remarked to the Bishop and Fr. Kyriacou, “This is where you will rebuild the cathedral.” Since the earthquake, a warehouse adjacent to the cathedral property has served as the worship facility for the parish. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, on his visit to the city on Nov. 6, 1997, broke ground for the cathedral and laid its cornerstone. Since then, Fr. Kyriacou, only the 10th priest to serve the community, has had to

function in two components of his priesthood, pursuing a dual role of maintaining the community’s identity in view of the changes that have taken place since the earthquake, and serving the parish’s spiritual needs. Fr. Kyriacou, a native of Hartford, Conn., who has been serving Annunciation since 1987, noted that the parish has a strong Greek cultural identity and services are conducted in Greek and English, about

50 percent for each. “Our desire to maintain the Greek language and culture is very strong,” he said, adding that the Consul General of Greece regularly attends services at the cathedral about 45 Sundays of the year. The parish Greek school has about 50 students. The parish has numerous organizations and ministries, including female acolytes – the “Myrrhbearers” organization – that serves throughout Holy Week beginning with the nymphios service. At the resurrection service on Holy Pascha, the light of the Anastasis is brought to them from the altar and they, in turn, disseminate it to the congregation. Annunciation’s Sunday school has an enrollment of between 110 and 125. It has a very active young adult ministry, with several marriages resulting from the organization’s social contacts. The young adults go out to dinner once a month, occasionally accompanied by Metropolitan Gerasimos, whose Metropolises office are at the same location as the cathedral. They also undertake several community service projects, including providing food to a local food bank. GOYA activities, including dance groups, draw the participation of a large number of the community’s young people. Among his pastoral ministries, Fr. Kyriacou offers Bible studies that focus on topics of interest to younger generation participants. The parish relies on stewardship to fund about half its annual budget, with the Greek festival and donations providing the remainder. To view an extensive history of Annunciation, visit the website: — Compiled by Jim Golding

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JUNE 2013

Scholarships HTSF Awards Record Number of Scholarships NEW YORK – The 22nd Annual Hellenic Times Scholarship Gala at Manhattan’s Marriot Marquis hotel awarded a record 36 scholarships to recipients from around the nation. The event, headed by Margo Catsimatidis and HTSF President Nick Katsoris has over the years provided over $2 million to more than 850 college students. HTSF also provides scholarships to students at the community’s day schools. This year, actress Nia Vardalos presented the awards via a video presentation to students from the Holy Trinity Cathedral School in Manhattan, the Greek American Institute in Bronx and the William Spyropoulos School in Flushing. The HTSF each year presents a humanitarian leadership award. This year’s recipient was George Sakellaris, president, chief executive officer and board chaiirman of Ameresco Inc., (NYSE:AMRC), a leading North American energy efficiency and renewable energy company headquartered in Framingham, Mass. HTSF Scholarships Recipients California: Nikolas Parisis Connecticut: Aristotle Tinios Florida: Stefano Ajaxi, Michael Bilirakis Illinois: Maria Anastasia Arianas, Alexander Kritikos, Jenny Sampras. Massachusetts: Ryan Spiess Minnesota: Alyssa Limberis New Jersey: Erini Christodoulou, Jaden Dicopoulos, Nikolaos Kotoulas, Anjelika Vayas New York: Christopher Abanavas, Alexandra Cherouvas, Dean Dakis, Alyssa DeLucci, Achilles Ecos, Eleni Florakis, Nicholas

Gianaris, Tiffany Grapsas, Alexandra Hristodoulou, Daphne Karidas, Dimos Karidas, Elisabeth Lefer, Diana Mikelis, Eleni Maria

Papastefanou, Alina Tsouristakis, Markella Roros, Nick Tzallas, Nicole Zoulis. Pennsylvania: Christina Flora Karnavas,

Renee Kontos, Ioanna P. Kotrotsios Tennessee: Christina Guliadis Texas: Christina Maria Dukes

California Church Foundation Awards Merit Scholarships REDONDO BEACH, Calif. – St. Katherine Church Foundation awarded 11 scholarships after the Divine Liturgy May 19 to outstanding young men and women of their parish. Six high school seniors, four undergraduates and one graduate were honored for their excellent academic performance and contribution and dedication to the church and community. The St. Katherine Parish Foundation Scholarship was established to enhance the educational opportunities for young

men and women of the parish who will be or are attending accredited colleges or universities by providing financial assistance through the scholarships. The $22,000 awarded that day were funded by seven private endowments and by the annual “Thanksgiving Benefit Drawing” each November. The students receiving scholarships were: Andrew Booras, Katherine Dupas, Samuel Dupas, Stephanie Frangos, Ana Gheorghiu, Christopher Harris, Nicholas Harris, Evangelia Makrygiannis, Ana Papadakis, Sophia Rendon and Joseph Wolfe. Fr. Michael Courey enthusiastically

handed the awards to these scholars as their names were called by the scholarship chairman. It was a happy and glorious moment for the entire parish who took great pride in the accomplishments of their youth. Those serving on the Foundation Board: Angelo Revels, president; Chris W. Caras, vice president; Peter Vasilion, treasurer; Helen Dalis, secretary; Rosalind Halikis, Scholarship chairman; George Giannioses, Philip Makris, George Mitsanas, Parish Council President and Fr. Michael Courey. The Founder of the Foundation is Dr. Demetreos Halikis.

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JUNE 2013

Metropolis News

Metropolitan Iakovos Breaks Ground for Retreat Center by Fr. Michael Stearns

CHICAGO – The Metropolis of Chicago celebrated more than just the Feast of the Life–Giving Fountain on June 10. Hundreds of clergy and laity gathered together in order to participate in the Official

Groundbreaking Ceremony of the Saint Iakovos Retreat Center. Despite the cold and rainy weather conditions in southern Wisconsin, the flame of Christ’s eternal presence both illuminated the souls, and warmed the hearts, of all the faithful in attendance.

Led by Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago, and assisted by Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos (Metropolis chancellor), and Bishop Ilia of Philomelion (Albanian Diocese); these three hierarchs, surrounded by dozens of priests and scores of faithful, implored God to bless the work of their hands on the foundation of our Savior Jesus Christ. After blessing the sacred ground in front of the existing Chapel with Holy Water, the three hierarchs led the Retreat Center’s major donors in turning over the sanctified soil at the foot of the Cross with ceremonial shovels. Honored participants in the groundbreaking ceremony included the Center’s Great Benefactor Chris Tomaras, who has contributed more than $1 million to the project; as well as major donors Harold Anagnos, Arthur Labros, Kosmas Pablecas, and Steve Regopoulos, all contributing in excess of $100,000. Parishes and church organizations were also recognized through individuals present, as sources of significant donations: Irene Arsoniadis, president of the Metropolis Philoptochos; Fr. James Greanias, president of the Metropolis Clergy Syndesmos; Fr. James Dokos, pastor of Sts. Peter & Paul (Glenview, Ill.); Fr. David Hostetler, as-

sociate priest of Annunciation (Milwaukee, Wis.); and Fr. Theodore Poteres of the Novak Foundation. Representing the Saint Iakovos Retreat Center Board were Bill J. Vranas, its current chairman, and George Vourvoulias, past chairman (under whose leadership the property was acquired). At the end of the ceremony, several individual and organizational donors came forward to present sizable commitments to Metropolitan Iakovos, who was visibly moved by their generosity. Construction is scheduled to begin in June on Phase II of the Retreat Center’s development. A main lodge building will be accompanied by two independent cabins, at a cost totaling approximately $6 million. The project will additionally include significant improvements to the facility’s infrastructure, in order to prepare the site to become the permanent home of the Fanari Camping Program (Summer 2015). The Saint Iakovos Retreat Center’s current Capital Campaign is ongoing, with several significant gifting opportunities still available. In addition, the board plans to hold a fund-raising gala this September in the Chicago area ( for future details).

Akron Orthodox Community Holds 1st Fellowship Weekend AKRON, Ohio – More than 200 youth and young adults from six states and one Canadian province gathered here for the first Pan Orthodox Fellowship Weekend for Orthodox Christian youth and young adults in the community. The Weekend’s activities included a round-robin soccer tournament, ethnic dance exhibition, and casual cornhole competitions. Pan Orthodox United, a committee of young adults representing Greek, Serbian, Antiochian, Russian, Romanian, and other parishes throughout the Midwest, organized the event. Michael Pacurar, of Fairlawn, Ohio, is Pan Orthodox United chairman. “It’s extremely difficult for Orthodox young adults to meet each other outside of their own parish,” said Pacurar. “The

purpose of the Pan Orthodox Fellowship Weekend is to bring together youth and young adults from all Orthodox jurisdictions in a less structured social setting.” A team of players from two Detroit-area Greek Orthodox parishes took first place in the Soccer Tournament, while the Mali Makedonci Dancers from Ft. Wayne, Ind. won the Audience Choice Award in the Cultural Exhibition. Other performers included Greek and Serbian dance ensembles, a Balalaika orchestra, Irish musicians and strolling troubadours. Harmonia Band, led by Walt Mahovolich of Cleveland, provided Greek, Romanian, Macedonian, Russian, and Serbian dancing music. Members of different dance groups taught each other their favor-

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JUNE 2013



OCMC Holds Spring Meeting in Va.

Metropolitan ‘Doctor’ Savas

FALLS CHURCH, Va. – Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) Board members received reports on widespread missions efforts during their annual spring meeting May 20-22 at St. Katherine Church. In late 2012, the OCMC adopted ministry plans for eight countries where it is most heavily involved. The increasing support and involvement of the faithful of North America, has resulted in significant progress on the strategies detailed in these plans. Executive Director Fr. Martin Ritsi highlighted specific efforts being undertaken in Guatemala to welcome thousands of indigenous Mayan people into the Orthodox Church. He also spoke about spreading the faith among the Turkana of northern Kenya and gave updates on initiatives in Pakistan and Mongolia. On May 21, Barbara Towle of Knutzen and Associates reported a clean audit of OCMC’s finances to the board. Major gifts officer Penny Petropoul reported that financial support by the faithful was rising, and Communications Director Alex Goodwin outlined strategies for growing awareness of missions going forward.

As the OCMC strives to bring the gospel to more and more people, additional resources and greater participation among the faithful will be needed. OCMC’s development and communications efforts will help many more Orthodox Christians answer their call to missions. Also at the meeting, two of the newest board members, Frs. John Parker and Joseph Ciarciaglino were introduced and Fr. Louis Christopulos was recognized for his 18 years service, most recently as vice president. He has strongly promoted the missions movement in North America, especially in his home state of Colorado. John Colis of Cleveland has assumed the role of vice president. During the benefit banquet May 22, OCMC President Fr. George Liacopulos expressed appreciation for everyone’s support and reminded those in attendance of the importance of missions. Long-term missionary Maria Roeber spoke of her recent missionary experience in Tanzania. Fr. Martin reported on his recent trip to Kenya with a team of seminary students to the Turkana region, where they witnessed the faith to more than 400 people.

First OCMC Mission Team of 2013 Arrives in Kenya ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla.– OCMC recently sent its first mission team of 2013 to Kenya. Team members traveled to the Makarios III Patriarchal Seminary in Nairobi before traveling to Lodwar where they served for a week, planting the seeds of Christianity to those in the Turkana tribe. Evangelism and teaching are taking place in rural areas outside of Lodwar. This team, led by OCMC Executive Director Fr. Martin Ritsi, helped the three

Orthodox clergy in the Turkana region nurture and expand the Church. The Turkana are one of the least evangelized groups on the continent. Through use of Bible skits, stories and the use of the Jesus film (in the Turkana language), Team members present the Good News of Christ’s love for His people in four villages that have no church and that have not yet been exposed to the Orthodox Faith.

WATERVILLE, Maine – Metropolitan Savas Zembillas of Pittsburgh, spiritual leader of the Greek Orthodox Church in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia, received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree at Colby College in Maine on May 26. Metropolitan Savas, who earned his Bachelor of Arts Colby College photo degree at Colby in 1979, was one of Metropolitan Savas accepts honorary doctorate from Colby President eight alumni who William Adams. Metropolitan Savas spoke to the facreceived honorary doctoral degrees at Colby’s bicentennial year commence- ulty and trustees of Colby Saturday, May ment. “At every phase of your life in the 25, and took part in the academic procesChurch, you have been in the vanguard,” sion and convocation on Sunday, seated said Colby President William D. Adams in on the platform. Citation and bio at www. the citation to Metropolitan Savas read at “As Metropolitan you engage ment/2013/honorary/savas-zembillas. with contemporary society and its cultural cfm Colby College, founded in 1813, is realities from an Orthodox Christian per- the 12th-oldest independent liberal arts spective, and you do that on Facebook as college in the United States. Colby was well as from pulpits. You illuminate the the first all-male college in New England presence of the sacred in everyday life and to accept female students, in the 1870s. call on all of us to remember and to act on Approximately 1,800 students from more than 60 countries are enrolled annually. our obligations to each other.”

Emmy Award–Winning NY Anchor Receives Doctorate OLD WESTBURY, N.Y. – Before an audience of 7,500 gathered at its campus here, New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) awarded an honorary doctorate to Ernie Anastos, a distinguished and popular Emmy Award-winning broadcaster for Fox’s WNYW-TV in New York at its 52nd Commencement, a global event saluting 3,215 graduates from throughout America

Akron Orthodox Community Holds 1st Fellowship Weekend u u from page 23 ite steps and learned new ones after their formal performances had ended. The Weekend closed with an awards lunch at “The Presentation of Our Lord” Orthodox Church. Parish members were invited to participate, as a “Thank-You” for their support in providing the event venue. The Fellowship Weekend coincided with the International PRIMAVARA! Festival sponsored by the Presentation of Our Lord Orthodox Church in Fairlawn.

An estimated 1,200 people took part in the combined events. In addition to Michael Pacurar, organizers include William Qaqish, Natalie Jovich, Victor Frunza, Amal Michael, Maria Koulioufas, Peter Young, Mark Bleahu, Walid Qaqish, Roger Muresan, Laura Eisenbrei, Nicole Fatu, Bianca Rebrisorean, and Bethany Avramaut. The Pan Orthodox United committee is already making plans for May, 2014. Visit their website at www.panorthodoxunited. org.


and more than 75 countries. Students from NYIT campuses in Old Westbury, Manhattan, Bahrain, Canada, China, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, and online attended the ceremony, which was webcast live around the world. Ernie Anastos’ record of achievement includes more than 30 Emmy awards and nominations. He is also the creator and host of the program “Positively Ernie,” which informs, entertains, and inspires viewers about people and stories that impact the community, country, and world. As a dynamic New York Hall of Fame broadcaster, Anastos is the only New York TV anchor to receive the “Lifetime Emmy Award.” A member of Holy Trinity Church in New Rochelle, where he has taught Sunday school, he is also an Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Anastos has covered major stories that have included the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks. He met with Fidel Castro in Cuba to produce a series of special reports on the anniversary of the Cuban revolution and has interviewed top world leaders including Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and South African Bishop Desmond Tutu.

Highest Scouting Award Bestowed Upon Boulukos FREEPORT, N.Y. – Former Eastern Orthodox Committee on Scouting (EOCS) Chairman George Boulukos has become the first Greek American to receive the prestigious Silver Buffalo Award, the pinnacle of achievement award that is given to recognize the extraordinary commitment to scouting and to youth by the National Boy Scouts of America. The Silver Buffalo is scouting’s highest commendation of the invaluable contributions that outstanding Americans make to youth. The National Court of Honor and the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America selected him to receive the Award in recognition of his 60 years of service.

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JUNE 2013

Metropolis News

SF Metropolis Holds 1 Retreat for Health Care Professionals st

by Kristen Bruskas

BELMONT, Calif. – “Hope for the Caregiver” served as the theme of the first retreat for health care professionals organized by the Metropolis of San Francisco March 30 at Holy Cross Church. Attending the event were 50 doctors, nurses, other therapists and caregivers. The event was held in cooperation with the Network of the Ecumenical Patriarchate for Pastoral Health Care. The retreat offered Orthodox Christians who care for the sufferer the opportunity to meet under the sheltering love of the Church, so as to gain the spiritual strength necessary to continue their valuable and difficult work. The day-long event was generously hosted by the Holy Cross Church hosted the day-long retreat and welcomed the participants with brotherly love. Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco began the retreat with a Blessing of the Waters service. Afterward, he welcomed the participants, expressing his joy for the event, stressing the importance that each one has in ministering to those in need and the need for mutual support among caregivers within an ecclesiastical context. Fr. Peter Salmas of Holy Cross parish greeted participants, noting his participation in the 2nd International Conference of the Ecumenical Patriarchate for Pastoral Health Care that took place in Rhodes, Greece in 2011. He expressed the hope

that this pilot event will be an example for other parishes and Metropolises to host similar gatherings to support caregivers. The first presentation of the retreat, “The Meaning of Hope,” was delivered by the Rev. Dr. Stavros Kofinas, coordinator of the Network of the Ecumenical Patriarchate for Pastoral Health Care. Before beginning his presentation, he related the greetings of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and described the aim of the network. In his presentation, Fr. Kofinas said that hope is found in meaningful relations. True hope is not a hope in something but rather, in someone. Citing St. John Climacus, he brought attention to the fact that “the power of love is in hope, because by it we await the reward of love. The failing of hope is the disappearance of love.” Thus, “unwavering hope is the door of detachment.” When one has hope that does not falter, one can then detach himself or herself from the things of this world, “from the more sorrowful to the better and more pleasing,” living in and through the sacrificial love which is expressed in the Cross. Dr. Tanya Spirtos, gynecologist from the Clinical Faculty of Stanford University School of Medicine and Kristen Azar, R.N, followed in presenting “The Difficulties in Maintaining and Offering Hope as a Health Care Professional.” In their joint presentation, they explained the dynamics of hope from a medical perspective. They noted that hope is provided when one can express and choose regarding his or her

Metropolitan Gerasimos with attendees and presenters of pastoral health care

basic physical and emotional needs. They also cited that the difficulties in maintaining hope stem from the complexities of hospital care, the indifference of the community at large regarding medical care and the inability to accept our own limitations. Bishop Maxim of the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Western America was the third speaker of the retreat. He spoke on “Gaining Hope in prayer and liturgy”, showing that hope can be gained if it is founded on a personal relationship with God and the community of the faithful who comprise His Church. When we forget the Personhood of God, we lose sense of our own personhood and cannot find hope. He also

explained that hope is acquired in forgiveness, which is the reuniting of persons, the possibility of others to share their holy space. Following these three presentations, an open discussion took places. One issue discussed was the difficulty of assisting those that prefer to live in hopelessness rather than finding meaning in God. At the end of the discussion all expressed their desire to hold such an event again in the future. Metropolitan Gerasimos concluded the retreat and presided during the Great Vespers of the Second Sunday of Great Lent that took place in the magnificent church-building of the Holy Cross.

Alpha Omega Council of New England Bestows Top Honor to Philoptochos BOSTON – The Alpha Omega Council of New England presented its annual Lifetime Achievement Award to the National Philoptochos Society and the Metropolis of Boston Philoptochos in recognition of

Pins 4 Pauly

The Pins 4 Pauly Foundation’s annual Bowla-thon took place in May in Wantagh, N.Y., with hundreds of Long Island GOYA, JOY and adult bowlers participating in this fundraising event to help children with leukemia. The organization was founded in 2002 by Andreas and Georgia Pavlou of St. Demetrios, Merrick, as a memorial to their son, Paul. (Above) Fr. Nikiforos Fakinos, pastor of St. Demetrios, with Alexia Chrisomalis, 22, of Astoria, and Molly Guardon, 11, who have benefited from the Foundation’s support and are both in remission from the disease. The foundation has helped more than 250 children over the past 11 years.

decades of devoted philanthropy to Greek and Orthodox charities in America and overseas at the council’s award dinner June 8. “From the early days of aiding Greek immigrants and caring for orphans at Saint Basil’s, to their current outreach to Hurricane Sandy victims, the women of the Philoptochos have always served as our community’s ‘first responders.’ Alpha Omega is proud to salute their tireless efforts to address need wherever they see it,” said President Thanasi C. Liakos. In her first major event as the new Consul General of Greece in Boston, Iphigenia Kanara joined head table guests led by Metropolitan Methodios of Boston. “Alpha Omega’s focus on promoting the ideals of Hellenism in conjunction with upholding strong bilateral relations between Greece and the U.S. is of paramount importance, particularly at this time,” Ms. Kanara said. The evening also included the awarding of the 21st annual Peter Agris Memorial Journalism Scholarships, presented in memory of the founder of the Hellenic Chronicle. Former scholarship recipient and current U.S. Department of State Foreign Affairs Officer Alice Shukla served as master of ceremonies. “We began 21 years ago with very high hopes for this scholarship program to honor my father’s vision as founder of Alpha Omega and as a pioneer in Greek American journalism,” said Nancy Agris Savage, daughter of the scholarships’ namesake. “We had no idea it would take off across the country, giving us the opportunity to make possible the dream of so many dynamic young Hellenes seeking to honor their heritage and faith with careers in the communications field.”

Agris Memorial Scholarships The 2013 Peter Agris Memorial Journalism Scholarship recipients are: Phoebe Barghouty, senior, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and daughter of Nasser Barghouty of Huntsville, Ala., and Maria Pantazopoulou of Atlanta. She attends St. Nicholas Church in Ann Arbor, Mich. Katherine A. Kallergis, senior, University of Florida, and daughter of Nick and Wendy (Economy) Kallergis of Coral Gables, Fla. She is a member of St. Sophia Cathedral in Miami. John Gregory Kapetaneas, New York University, MA in journalism; BA in economics, University of Connecticut. He is the son of Gregory Kapetaneas of Fairfield, Conn., and Anastasia (Vlandis) Kapetaneas

of Shelton, Conn. He attends Holy Trinity Church in Bridgeport, Conn. Stephen Michael Keimig, sophomore, Franklin Pierce University, and the son of Michael and Stephanie (Bakos) Keimig of Rutland, Mass. He is a member of St. Nicholas Church in Shrewsbury, Mass. Eleni Anastasia Lazares, graduate, Ohio University. She is the daughter of John and Patricia (Patsios) Lazares of Maineville, Ohio, and is a member of the Holy TrinitySt. Nicholas Church in Cincinnati Anthony Emilios Savvides, graduate, Northeastern University. He is the son of Notis Savvides of Valley Stream, N.Y. and the late Harriet (Michael) Savvides, and is a member of St. Paul’s Cathedral in Hempstead, N.Y.


Highest Scouting Award Bestowed Upon Boulukos u u from page 24 Boulukos has been a lifelong Boy Scout, working tirelessly to promote the goals and objectives of the Boy Scouts of America. He was born and raised in Merrick, N.Y., and resides with his family in nearby Freeport. He has served the Boy Scout program on many levels, working within his community and throughout the United States on district, national and international programs and activities. He is co-founder of Desmos, the international organization of Eastern Orthodox Christian Scouts and was EOCS chairman more than 20 years. Mr. Boulukos and his wife, Katherine, are members of St. Paul’s Cathedral in

Hempstead, N.Y. Created in l925, the first Silver Buffalo Award was conferred upon Lord Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the Scouting Movements and Chief Scout of the World. Other well-known recipients include Charles A. Lindbergh, Eddie Rickenbacker, Astronauts James A. Lovell, Jr., John Glenn and Neil Armstrong; Norman Rockwell, Charles M. Schultz, Walt Disney, Hank Aaron, Vince Lombardi, Yogi Berra, Bob Hope, Marian Anderson, Irving Berlin, Art Linkletter, Dr. Ralph Bunch, H. Ross Perot, J. W. Mariottt, General Colin L. Powell, Bill Gates and l4 presidents of the United States. The award was presented at the national annual meeting held recently in Grapevine, Texas.


JUNE 2013

Ways of the Lord

The_latest_book_by_His_Eminence_ Archbishop_Demetrios_of_America__ includes_his_Keynote_Addresses_from_ from his_first_Clergy-Laity_Congress_in_ Philadelphia_in_July_2000_through_his_ his address_in_Washington,_DC_in_July_ 2008._Also_included_are_addresses_ given_in_Athens,_Greece,_Cyprus,_ Fordham_University_and_Brookline,_ MA_plus_others. In_compiling_this_book_Archbishop_ Demetrios_writes_in_the_Prologue_ of_Ways_of_the_Lord,_“_Sharing_the_ Gospel_with_those_who_do_not_know_ know it_can_be_at_times_an_uncomplicated_ task_as_we_know_from_the_long_ history_of_Christianity._Frequently,_ however,_and_especially_in_our_days,_ the_very_same_task_seems_to_require_ more_elaborate,_methodical_and_ sophisticated_approaches.

The First Greek Orthodox Bishop Consecrated in America by William H. Samonides, Ph.D

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As the Church in America grew, the need for hierarchs to oversee the ever-increasing number of parishes became more acute. Hierarchs of the Church had visited the United States since 1892, but most returned to Greece after only a brief stay. Before the arrival of Archbishop Athenagoras in 1931, only one hierarch, Bishop Alexander, remained for more than a decade. When the Archdiocese of North and South America was created in 1922, he became its first Archbishop and the only hierarch for the entire Western Hemisphere. There were nearly 200 parishes at this time, far more than could be effectively overseen by one person. The constitution of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America, drawn up in August 1922 by the second Clergy-Laity Congress, recognized the pressing need for more hierarchs. According to its provisions, there would be dioceses in Chicago, Boston, and San Francisco to join the Archbishop’s see in New York. The Diocese of Chicago was the first to elect a bishop at a special ecclesiastical assembly convened by the Archbishop and including all clergymen of the diocese and a lay representative from each parish. Among priests who graduated from theological seminaries recognized by the Ecumenical Patriarchate, three would be nominated and voted on by the assembly. The ecclesiastical assembly met on April 18, 1923, at Sts. Constantine and Helen parish in Chicago. The 31 clergy and 21 lay representatives in attendance voted by secret ballot, and the results were forwarded to the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Archimandrites Philaretos Ioannides (1886-1961), and Joachim Alexopoulos (1874-1959) received the most votes. Archbishop Alexander, in a letter dated May 8, informed the faithful that the Holy Synod of Constantinople had elected Archimandrite Philaretos bishop of Chicago. Born in Samos in 1886, Bishop Philaretos studied at Mount Athos and the University of Athens before coming to the United States in July 1919 for post-graduate work. On the recommendation of Meletios Metaxakis, the metropolitan of Athens, he studied at the Nashotah House Episcopal Seminary (1919-20) in Wisconsin. He continued his studies at the Western Theological Seminary in Chicago. As a deacon, he participated in the consecration of Annunciation Church in Buffalo. Following his ordination as priest, he briefly served in San Francisco before becoming dean of the St. Athanasios Seminary (1921-23). His consecration ceremony was held at Sts. Constantine and Helen in Chicago on June 21, 1923. Two hierarchs were required to be present at the consecration of a bishop. The Syrian and Russian churches abstained from participation in the ceremony because they did not wish to become involved in the turbulent Greek politics that plagued the Church at this time. As a result, Metropolitan Ger-

manos, head of the Church in Western and Central Europe, was brought from London; he arrived in New York on June 15. From his election in 1923 until 1927, Bishop Philaretos also served as hierarch locum tenens of the San Francisco Diocese and was therefore responsible for parishes from Ohio to California, an enormous area that is now administered by the Metropolises of Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Denver, Pittsburgh, and San Francisco. He was charged with bringing order to the parishes, despite the fact that many considered themselves self-ruling and did not easily submit to the hand of a hierarch. Politics further complicated his work. Although he had been elected in accordance with the constitution of the Archdiocese, many Royalist parishes considered Bishop Philaretos, the Diocese of Chicago, and the Archdiocese itself as an extension of the Venizelist political faction in Greece, and refused to recognize their authority. On Aug. 3, 1930 at the Cathedral of St. Basil in Chicago, Bishop Philaretos announced his resignation. In his farewell statement, he recounted that during his eight years as bishop he had established 30 schools, organized and founded 14 new communities, and built 13 churches. He had also officiated at 325 liturgies, and had given 75 lectures, and ordained six priests, three of whom were graduates of American institutions. He also mentioned his regret that he had not been able to accomplish all his dreams. He had also hoped to establish an orphanage, a retirement home, a free hospital, a cemetery, a seminary, and a monumental cathedral in Chicago. Following his resignation, Bishop Philaretos returned to Greece and became the Metropolitan of Syros and Tynos, where he served until his death on June 8, 1961. He left America following a special Divine Liturgy on the Feast Day of St. Gregory at St. Basil’s Cathedral in Chicago in late January 1931. Forty-five clergy from the Diocese served at this Liturgy. As he prepared for his new assignment, Bishop Philaretos offered these parting words: “The last sorrow that fills my heart is that I am separated from my beloved flock, which for many years I cared for and nourished with fatherly love and love in Christ. “Those who have refused to accept my advice and obey the voice of the church, are forgiven and are blessed. Those who obeyed and cooperated in uplifting the dignity and sacredness of the church are blessed, and as a father, I extend my appreciation and thankfulness to them.” Bishop Philaretos served the Church in America during its most troubled and chaotic time, but his work laid a solid foundation upon which Archbishop Athenagoras and later hierarchs of the Church would build. The author thanks Adam Strohm of the Newberry Library in Chicago and Laura Hummer of Nashotah House for their assistance. He invites readers to share their thoughts by contacting him at or 330-452-5162.


JUNE 2013

Family Connections

Raising Paracletes: Teaching Our Children to be Compassionate Participating in regular volunteer work is a spiritually beneficial activity for children. It is not harmful to expose them to poverty; rather, it will make them more thankful for what they have. Before a priest communes at the Liturgy he prays that the Lord will, with His own hand, grant a share in His Holy Body and Blood to those in the altar and “through us, to all the people”. May God encourage parents to teach their children the benefit of putting a higher value on others than they do on themselves, so that Christ can give Himself to ALL people through your children. May they become Paracletes for the weak and disenfranchised they encounter, and as a result, develop a warm and compassionate heart. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interest of others.” (Philippians 2:3-4)

by Kathryn Saclarides Bocanegra

Orthodox Christians are called to live compassionately through committing daily to acts of mercy, however the thought of ‘almsgiving’ has become a seasonal consideration (Christmas, Lent) rather than a lifestyle. How can a family make acts of compassion a part of their spiritual life? Several years ago I sat in on a parish meeting discussing the possibility of opening a soup kitchen. A concerned mother voiced her anxiety over having “those kind of people” becoming familiar with the Church, and in turn showing up at times when children were at the parish school. There was marked discomfort over the idea of “those kinds of people” coming into contact with parish children. As parents who want the best for our children and to protect them from harm and the dangers of the world, in truth how many of us share the sentiments of this concerned mother? When I was in elementary school I have vivid memories of my mother preparing a Nativity meal for the janitorial staff of my public school. She would come in with trays of rich food for the janitors, who would stare in disbelief at the delicious spread before them, and that somebody acknowledged them as human beings who also celebrate the Nativity of Christ. When I asked my mother “Why didn’t you prepare a meal for my teachers?” she replied, “Because nobody remembers the janitors who make this a safe and clean place for you”. By the time I was in fourth grade my mother started getting me and my siblings involved in volunteer activities. To this day she still volunteers at a foster home with mostly African-American youth who grew up in broken homes. What did my mother instill in me and my siblings starting at an early age: That “those kind of people” are also made in the image of Christ and worthy of our hearts. My mother’s example echoes the words of St. John Chrysostom who wrote, “It is not a small thing for even one sheep to be saved, since the shepherd left the ninety-nine sheep and ran after the one which had strayed. I do not despise anyone; even if he is only one, he is a human being, the living creature for which God cares.” My mother embodied the Gospel reading shared on the Sunday of the Last Judgment when Christ tells us “Inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.” (Matthew 25:40) Often out of the desire to protect our children and instill morals in them (the difference between “right” and “wrong”),

we end up making them more punitive than Christian. We encourage them to capitalize on differences rather than seek out similarities. When they tell us about a friend who got in trouble or a concerning behavior, we tell them “He is a bad boy, you should stay away from him” rather than processing the roots of this individual’s behaviors and teaching our children compassion. We should form our children to be Paracletes, a word that is used for the Holy Spirit in the Gospels (John 14:16, John 14:26, John 15:26, John 16:7). A Paraclete is a comforter, an advocate, and a helper. “Sympathy corrects the difference, and love makes all even.” (St. John Chrysostom, on Wealth and Poverty) Although my mother probably never wanted me to work in violence prevention in one of the cities with the highest homicide rates and prison populations, I attribute my work to her compassionate heart. Children desire a sense of purpose in life, the feeling that they are ‘making a difference’. My parents were stewards of my gifts and talents, charged with the sacred responsibility of nurturing them so that in turn I could be an offering of thanksgiving, “Thine own of Thine own we offer unto Thee.” (Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom). Parents are given the opportunity to be the greatest influence in drawing forth God’s gifts in their children, but they can also be the biggest obstacle in their life towards self-actualization and the realization of God’s Will for them. Unfortunately some parents find it more important to see the realization of their own dreams rather than what is in their child’s best interest. Raising compassionate children will in turn lead them closer to God. The desert father Abba Dorotheos was once approached by a monk who was disgruntled by the behavior of a fellow monk. Abba Dorotheos drew a wheel with many spokes. He explained that the wheel represented their monastic community with the center of the wheel being Christ. Each spoke represented a member of a community. Observing this wheel, Abba Dorotheos

pointed out that at the periphery of the wheel (further away from the Christ center); the spokes were widely spaced out. The closer you move to the Christ center, the closer the spokes grow together. If we raise children to “live generously, ”in the words of my spiritual father, we in turn lead them closer to Christ. There are many ways families can incorporate almsgiving into their daily life. First and foremost, be an example of a generous and compassionate person. Watch your comments about minority/ ethnic groups, how you express your anger, and how you process misfortune or tragedy. Your disposition towards people who are different from you will lay a blueprint on your children. A good exercise is to watch the 5 o’clock news with ageappropriate children (10 years and older) and help them process the crisis that is reported. Do this in a compassionate way, not a punitive way. Second, incorporate prayers for those who are not remembered into your family prayer life. Discuss with your children “Who are people who are normally forgotten?” Examples include the mentally ill, prisoners, soldiers, and the institutionalized. When your children enter a Church you can encourage them to light a candle for those who are not remembered as well, explaining that God knows who these people are. Read the lives of the saints like St. Moses the Ethiopian, St. Photini (the Samaritan woman), St. Mary of Egypt, St. Thais, St. Mary Magdalene, Dismas (the thief on the cross), St. Paul (once the persecutor of Christians), and King David the psalmist to your children. Their lives are powerful testimonies of authentic repentance and redemption. Share stories like these with your children, like the one about St Pachomios the Great, a desert father, who once learned of a famine ravaging the city of Alexandria. He wept for several days and refused to eat any food. When begged to eat, St. Pachomios replied, “How can I eat when my brethren do not have bread?”

Kathryn Bocanegra is a resident of Chicago and is a licensed clinical social worker in the field of violence prevention. Kathryn works with at-risk youth and organizes community-level strategies to enhance public safety. She currently facilitates a support group for parents who’ve lost children to violence as well as community watch programs. She hopes to start an Orthodox re-entry program and a social enterprise center for disenfranchised youth. She has worked with the IOCC in Ethiopia and the OCMC in Albania. Her home parish is Christ the Savior Church in Chicago (OCA) (Raised in the St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox parish is Des Plaines).

Quotes for Families Then the King will say to those on His right hand, Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me. (Matthew 25:34-36) Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. The commandments, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet, and any other commandment, are summed up in this sentence, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. (Romans 13:8-10) The bread you do not use is the bread of the hungry. The garment hanging in your wardrobe is the garment of the person who is naked. The shoes you do not wear are the shoes of the one who is barefoot. The money you keep locked away is the money of the poor. The acts of charity you do not perform are the injustices you commit. (St. Basil the Great, 4th century)


JUNE 2013

Obituaries Fr. John Spilio

Fr. Nicholas Andrews

Fr. John Spilio (Papaspiliopoulos), 81, died May 19. Papayianni, as he was known to his friends and parishioners, was a master iconographer and Greek Orthodox priest. He was brought to the United States by Archbishop Iakovos and, during his lifetime, Papayianni created icons and art for more than 80 churches nationwide and internationally, in most cases designing churches in their entirety. He was born in Piraeus, Greece, and orphaned at the age of 2 during World War II along with his two older brothers, later serving in the Greek army, all the while studying the art of icons. Papayianni’s life was an epic story of immigration and love for the opportunity that America provided. He melded both cultures effortlessly. His ordination into the priesthood in 1988 was a turning point for him personally and he continued to serve his community through his mission and artwork. He is survived by his loving and devoted wife Mary, his daughter and iconographer Katerina, two granddaughters in New York; and by his brothers, retired surgeon Polykarpos and retired priest Fr. Ignatius, and their families in Athens. Funeral service was held on May 22 at Holy Cross Church in Brooklyn followed by interment at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Sleepy Hollow, N.Y. Memorial donations can be made in his name to the Restoration Funds of either Holy Cross (718-836-3510) or Annunciation churches (212-724-2070).

ANAHEIM, Calif. - The Metropolis of San Francisco recently announced the passing of Fr. Nicholas Andrews, 55. At the time of his death, Father Nicholas was serving as the assistant priest at St. John the Baptist Church in Anaheim. Prior to his assignment in Anaheim, Fr. Nicholas served as the assistant at the Annunciation Cathedral in Houston from 2000 to 2006, and as head priest of St. Nectarios Church in Covina, Calif. from 2006 to 2007. “Father Nicholas was a kind and gentle priest, who put the needs of others before his own. He will be remembered for the care and compassion he demonstrated through his frequent and uplifting visits to pray with those who were ill or unable to attend church services,” stated Metropolitan Gerasimos. “His sincere desire to share the love of Jesus Christ will always be remembered as a hallmark of his ministry. We extend our heartfelt sympathy to Presbytera Autonomi and all those who mourn Father Nicholas’ passing.” Born on April 21, 1958 in London, Ontario, Canada, he spent the majority of his childhood in Michigan, relocating with his family to Athens, Greece, where he finished high school. He studied at the overseas campus of the University of LaVerne where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology, minoring in sociology and education. He was then granted a scholarship to study Theology at the University of Athens. Fr. Nicholas returned to the United States and completed his

Master of Divinity degree in 1979 from the Holy Cross School of Theology. Following his graduation he relocated to Las Vegas to be with his family and work as the lay assistant at St. John the Baptist Church. Fr. Nicholas continued his education by taking graduate level courses in psychology and counseling and became a licensed substance abuse therapist. His work in this field took him to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for one year, then back to Las Vegas where he worked at the Charter Hospital and the Safe Harbor Hospice. He was ordained to the diaconate on Aug. 20, 2000, at St. John the Baptist in Las Vegas by Metropolitan Anthony, of San Francisco and was ordained to the priesthood on Sept. 24, 2000, by Archbishop Demetrios. Fr. Nicholas is survived by his wife, Presbytera Autonomi “Toni” Eck, of Granite City, Ill., whom he married in 1998, and by his sister, Joanne Andrews of Las Vegas. Fr. Nicholas is a third-generation Greek Orthodox priest. He was predeceased by his parents, Fr. Apostolos and Presbytera Helen Andrews. Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco presided at the Trisagion and funeral services, which were held at St. John the Baptist Church in Anaheim on June 9-10.

Emmanuel Kontokosta NEW YORK – Emanuel M. Kontokosta, 82, Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, died peacefully at his home in Manhattan Sunday, March 31, surrounded by his loving family. Kontokosta, the son of Michael and Anna (Gregos) Kontokosta from Kardamyla, Chios, Greece, was born in New York City in 1931. He earned a bachelor of engineering degree from Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute and attended the Graduate School of Architecture at Columbia University. Kontokosta, a professional engineer, was the head of the New York City based architectural and engineering firm of Kontokosta Associates for over 50 years and also presided over the KACE Development Corporation, a successful land development and urban planning firm with projects in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the North Fork of Long Island. He gave back to the community and the church through his passionate dedication to Archdiocese projects, including designing the parochial schools at the Church of Kimisis Tis Theotokou in Brooklyn and Holy Cross Church in Brooklyn and designing St. Demetrios High School in Astoria, Queens. He also designed the cultural center at the Three Hierarchs Church in Brooklyn and the library at Saint Basil Academy in Garrison, N.Y. For more than 20 years, he served on the council of Holy Trinity Archdiocesan Cathedral. For 22 years, including five years as president, he served on the Kimisis Tis Theotokou Parish Council in Brooklyn. For 16 years, including two terms as president, he served as a board member of St. Michael’s Home for the Aged. For six years he served as a trustee at Saint Basil Academy. Beginning in 1984, Kontokosta served as director of the Atlantic Bank

of New York for six years. Later, he formed an investor group and purchased the First Savings Bank of Little Falls where he served as chairman of the board for 8 years. In 1992, he became the publisher/ owner of the Traveler Watchman, one of the oldest community newspapers on Long Island. A United States Army veteran, Kontokosta served from 1954 to 1956 with the 79th Engineering Battalion. He is a 1999 Ellis Island Medal of Honor Award recipient. From a small boy Kontokosta loved to build things. Nothing made him happier than overseeing a construction site, standing back and smiling as the physical structure grew from a picture in his mind. Kontokosta also was a selfmade entrepreneur, driven to succeed for those he loved. A loyal husband, generous father and devoted brother, Kontokosta worked hard, persevered and thrived with one goal in mind: a better life for his beloved family. Kontokosta is survived by his wife Patricia, his children Michael, Constantine and Anna, six grandchildren and his sisters Caliope and Alice Kontokosta. Memorial donations may be made to: Greek Orthodox Church of the Hamptons Building Fund, 111 Saint Andrew’s Road, Southampton, NY 11968 or Kimisis Theotoku Church, 224 18th Street, Brooklyn, New York 11215.

Presbytera Eleni Chakalos Presbytera Eleni Chakalos, 86, wife of the late Fr. James Chakos, died May 29. She was born in Bayonne, N.J. on Jan. 3, 1927. She married Fr. Chakalos in 1946, and they founded the Hellenic Dancers of New Jersey in 1972. She was the executive director of the Hellenic Dancers until 2012, teaching the art of Greek folk dance for 35 years to over four thousand children. She traveled nationwide with the dance troupe, performing and teaching the 300 dances from all areas of Greece she meticulously researched and choreographed. Eleni received many honors and accolades throughout her life for her talent and years of selfless service to the Greek community. Notably, she was honored as Educator of the Year in the Arts by the Hellenic American Educators Association of New York in 1991, and New Jersey Gov.Christine Whitman honored her for 25 years of perpetuating Hellenic heritage in America in 1997. In 1999, she received the National Heritage Fellowship Award, National Endowment for the Arts, and in 2003, she was nominated to receive the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. In addition to Fr. Chakalos, she is predeceased by her parents, Louis Banos and Ethel Tsandilis Banos; and son, Nicholas Chakalos. She is survived by her brother, James Banos; daughter, Georgia (James) Reamer; grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Services were held at Kimisis Tis Theotokou Church in Holmdel, on June 3. Memorial donations may be made to the Hellenic Dancers of New Jersey, PO Box 14, Sterling, NJ 07980.


JUNE 2013

Archdiocesan District Olympics BRENTWOOD, N.Y. – The 35th Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan District Olympics faced a major challenge in its first full day of competition on May 24 as a steady day-long rain curtailed some outdoor events and forced the rescheduling of others to the following day. But that didn’t dampen the spirits of more than 1,200 athletes representing GOYA and JOY groups from 26 parishes in New York and Connecticut. Archbishop Demetrios presided at the official start of the 35th Olympics held at Suffolk County Community College on Long Island with a prayer service and words of encouragement to the athletes. The opening program included a portion dedicated to American’s veterans and the presentation of $1,000 scholarships to three athletes: Anna Karavangelas and Diana Christine Litsas, both of St. Demetrios, Astoria; and Raphael Prodromou, of St. John’s, Blue Point. One could sum up the two-day and one evening event involving nearly 100 swimming, track and field, individual and team events as “a good time was had by all.” A JOY athlete from St. Demetrios in Astoria presents Archbishop Demetrios with a team jersey during the opening ceremonies. In the background, master of ceremonies Nick Gregory, popular meteorologist for WNYW FOX 5 News, whose daughter plays for the Holy Trinity New Rochelle GOYA volleyball team, accurately forecast that sunny weather with temperatures in the 70s was expected for Sunday

A sweep and a three-peat The boys and girls volleyball teams of St. Paraskevi Church in Greenlawn (right) seem to have a dynasty going, with three consecutive first-place finishes for the boys team; and the second time in three years that both the boys and girls teams have swept the gold medals in the event.

Lost in the crowd. (above left) JOY athlete gives it all he’s got in the softball throw. (above right) Table tennis finals. The gold medal round pitted Holy Cross-Brooklyn against St. Sophia in Albany. The Albany Goyan, John Sokaris, won the gold.

Photos by Orthodox Observer

GOYA girls from Sts. Constantine and Helen in W. Nyack (above) execute a successful handoff of the baton. (below) A Kimisis tis TheotokouBrooklyn Goyan puts all his strength into the shot put throw. (left) GOYA girl from Sts. Constantine and Helen in Brooklyn takes her turn at bat. (bottom left) A GOYA boy from St. Demetrios-Merrick goes airborne in the long jump event.

The JOY relays and basketball throw and GOYA 50-meter dash draw the participation of hundreds in the track and field events held in the SCCC Sports Complex and Exhibition Center, where all the indoor events took place.

Rain or no rain, Greeks play soccer GOYA boys teams from Holy Trinity-St. Nicholas in Staten Island and Church of the Resurrection in Brookville play in the rain while, out of the picture along the sidelines, numerous umbrellatoting fans cheer on their teams. (below) These JOY teams had very favorable conditions on Sunday, the 25th.


JUNE 2013



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JUNE 2013


The Feast of Pentecost and our lives TODAY! by Eva Kokkinos

Heavenly King, Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, everywhere present and filling all things, Treasury of blessings and Giver of life; come and abide in us, cleanse us from every impurity and save our souls, O Good One. Prayer of the Holy Spirit It is hard to believe that 50 days have passed since we celebrated the glorious Resurrection of Christ! But in celebrating the Sunday of Pentecost, commonly referred to as the establishment or “birthday” of the Church, we continue this jubilation. We celebrate how the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples, filling their hearts and giving them strength to spread the Good News of the Gospel. Today, we face many challenges… much like the challenges faced by the disciples. We are confronted with corruption, we are witnesses to violence, and we are consumed by messages of self-centeredness and materialism versus selflessness and sacrifice. It becomes all too easy to let the Paschal light within our hearts fade. We quickly move back to the “daily grind” which can leave us discouraged, weak, and vulnerable to temptation and sin. In turn, we might find it difficult to stay close to God and to spread the Gospel of Christ through our words and actions. This, however, does not have to be our reality… We do not have to step out into the world already defeated. Instead, we can seek strength through the Spirit! The Feast of Holy Pentecost reminds us that the Holy Spirit is also with us, just like the disciples… ready to give us courage and strength to overcome these obstacles.

FOR PARENTS AND YOUTH WORKERS We “tweet” and share photos!!! Find us on INSTAGRAM and Twitter!! Follow the GOA Youth at @GOA_ Youth and follow GOYA Young Adults at @GOA_YoungAdults -For Youth Ministry Resources that range from Pascha to Pentecost, visit and visit our FOR YOUTH WORKERS section! We have sessions, as well as archives from the Youth Worker Pulse. Are you on FACEBOOK? If you are a member of Facebook, you can visit us on our GOA Youth and GOA Young Adult Pages! Just search for GOA Youth or GOA Young Adults and BECOME A FAN TODAY! Don’t forget to sign up for the YOUTH WORKER PULSE! This is the weekly listserv of the Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries. Subscribers will receive valuable tips, tools, and resources for creating a successful and transformative youth ministry experience. Sign up today at

We can seek this guidance and strength of the Holy Spirit through the Sacraments. It is through these Sacraments that we immerse ourselves in the blessings of the Holy Spirit. BAPTISM: The Holy Spirit descends on us and we become part of Christ’s Church. Those who become baptized experience a Pentecost like the disciples. Metropolitan Kallistos Ware points out, in his book “The Orthodox Way,” that all those who are baptized are Spirit-bearers without exception. EUCHARIST: During the Divine Liturgy, we ask God to send down the Holy Spirit to descend upon us and the gifts that we offer to become the Body and Blood of Christ. CHRISMATION: Immediately following baptism, a Priest anoints the newlybaptized Christian on various parts of the body with “the seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit.” This designates our bodies as holy

and valuable instruments for the work of the Lord. CONFESSION: The Priest reads the Prayer of Absolution during the Sacrament of Confession. We receive the Gift of the Holy Spirit when our hearts are changed through Repentance. Here is a beautiful reflection and prayer from the book, Keeping the Light Burning: Meditations from Pascha to Pentecost by Fr. Aristotle Damaskos of the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Toledo, Ohio. “May the Holy Spirit fill our entire being, to give us that encouragement and strength. Thus, let us pray to Him to... ...replace the tension within with Holy relaxation. ...replace the turbulence within with a sacred calm. ...replace anxiety within with a quiet confidence. ...replace fear within with a strong faith.

...straighten our crookedness. ...fill our emptiness. ...dull the edge of our pride. ...sharpen the edge of our humility. ...wash away our selfishness. ...heal our wounded spirits. ...bend our rigidity and guide our wandering feet. ...heal us according to your Holy Spirit. me to think of others more, and less of me. ...give me the grace to be what I think I am, rather than what I am. Come Holy Spirit, Come Holy Spirit upon me and my family. Amen. (Author Unknown) Eva Kokinos is director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries for the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Detroit. She received a Masters of Theological Studies from Holy Cross School of Theology in 2003.

OCF Real Break Heads Back to New Orleans by Christina Andersen

It’s been almost eight years since Hurricane Katrina devastated the city of New Orleans and drastically redefined the lives of thousands of people. These eight years have been a testament to the resilience of the people of New Orleans who love their home and who will continue to work tirelessly until their city is rebuilt and flourishing. The passing of time has also brought forth stories of great love and service from outsiders working to fulfill the vision of New Orleaners. From the massive number of organizations and volunteers who mobilized themselves for disaster relief in the weeks following Katrina to the more recent rebuilding of sections of the Lower Ninth Ward by celebrities such as Brad Pitt and Harry Connick Jr., New Orleans has become a symbol not only of tragedy, but of charity, community, and strength. Among the many organizations and people who have been integral to the rebuilding of New Orleans, two organizations who have stood by the Crescent City all along and continue to play an important part in its life are International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) and Habitat for Humanity. Few people know that IOCC was actually the first organization to be allowed to enter the city with buses to help evacuate some of the hundreds of people stranded at the Louis Armstrong International Airport as the flood waters continued to cover the city in the days following Katrina. Since then, IOCC has sent over 40 groups to New Orleans to partner with Habitat for Humanity to help build new, affordable housing for New Orleaners. Prior to Hurricane Katrina, the Habitat for Humanity St. Tammany West affiliate was building or remodeling an average of seven houses per year--nowadays, the number is closer to 50. This March, Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) had the opportunity to participate in a small part of the incredible work that Habitat for Humanity and IOCC have done together in New Orleans. Led by the OCF North American Chaplain, Fr. Michael Ellis, the IOCC Country

OCF students spend their ‘Real Break’ helping Habitat for Humanity in New Orleans. (OCF photo)

Representative for the USA, Dan Christopulos, and myself, a group of nine college students representing seven colleges and universities, spent their spring break laying roofing, pouring concrete, cutting siding, digging gardens, painting walls, installing countertops, and experiencing New Orleans as part of OCF’s series of alternative spring break trips known as Real Break. Each Real Break trip is designed to provide Orthodox college students with an opportunity to encounter Christ in others through service, prayer, fellowship, and education. This year’s Real Break to New Orleans was a prime example. Our OCF students spent their days working on site alongside Habitat for Humanity employees and homeowners, volunteers from across the country, subcontractors, and each other to complete many of the necessary projects involved in building a new home for the community. The students spent their evenings exploring the beauty and vibrancy of New Orleans, learning about the history of the city and the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, praying with the historic community of Holy Trinity Cathedral, and coming to love the people they encountered along the way. It was my hope that the students would leave New Orleans feeling not only that they had done a service project, but that they had witnessed Christ and the activity of His Holy Spirit throughout the city--in every person,

in every neighborhood, especially in those places that have suffered greatly. One of the important ways in which we were able to do this was setting aside time for reflection and conversation about our experiences--from the museum dedicated to sharing the story of Hurricane Katrina to the offering up of our prayers in Paraklesis to the diversity and culture of the many neighborhoods of the Big Easy. Giving OCF students this well-rounded, spiritually-grounded experience would not have been possible without our partnership with IOCC. Through Mr. Christopulos, IOCC brought a level of knowledge and experience that our students needed as an example for how they, too, can put their Orthodox faith into action in the world and how they can continue their service in the Church after graduation. I recall overhearing a number of conversations between Real Break participants and Mr. Christopulos about problems in the world that they as college students were passionate about serving and intense discussions dissecting the global issues of poverty, hunger, illness, development, religion, race, politics, and disaster and how our Orthodox faith can offer hope and sustainable solutions by working in solidarity with local communities in humility and love.


JUNE 2013

The Metropolis of Atlanta Revisited

by Karen Powers

“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” (1 Peter 4:10) In the Metropolis of Atlanta, Metropolitan Alexios makes marriage and family and youth ministry a priority. The Metropolitan believes that, in today’s society, our young people and our families are under great stress. The world is pulling them further and further from the truth of our faith. he believes that we cannot allow the world and its values to define our lives, rather than our Orthodox Christian faith. This is why it is so important to make every effort to assist our youth and families in nurturing and supporting their spiritual lives. So the Metropolis is constantly thinking about programs and the means by which we can support our youth and our families. Through our St. Stephen’s Summer Youth Camp, Winter Youth Rally, HDF and other youth activities and retreats, and the Family Life Ministry, there are many opportunities to learn how to act with love and respect towards ourselves and each other, and to nurture a personal, vital and living faith. The Metropolis youth ministry specifically encourages our young people to do something constructive and learn about our faith, to contribute to their community and world through various activities and programs. In the process, they develop their faith, a sense of responsibility and purpose, which help to protect them against worldly dangers and snares. The four weeks of St. Stephen’s Summer Camp provide an adventure to over 500 teenagers – days filled with spirituality, fellowship, and pure, wholesome fun. On the spiritual side, there is morning Orthros and evening Vespers each day, Alone with God (10 minutes of quiet prayer time, listening to the sounds of nature while praying to God), Orthodox Life in the morning and “Hangtime” in the evening, Divine Liturgy on Friday, an opportunity to learn to bake Prosphora and an opportunity to receive spiritual healing and renewal in the sacrament of confession. Everyone sings the hymns of the services with one voice. At the Winter Youth rally, more than 600 youth enjoy an action packed four days, three nights

Members of the Metropolis of Atlanta Clergy Syndesmos.

of fun, fellowship, Bible Bowl, athletic competition, worship, and deepening the bonds of community and friendship with each other. Metropolitan Alexios also encourages ministry to our college students and to the institutions that they attend through OCF. The Diakonia Retreat Center has hosted several “Work Daze” Retreats, Work Daze Retreats, held twice a year, during the fall and spring semester. Students receive travel scholarships from the Philoptochos and room and board is free. In exchange they work for several hours beautifying the property, have services in the chapel, perfect their skills at games, go to confession, explore aspects of our Orthodox life, and celebrate the Divine Liturgy on Sunday before heading home. Additionally, the College Conference South is held at the Center over Christmas break with a keynote speaker, workshops, service activities, worship services and fellowship. Metropolitan Alexios particularly encourages ministry to college students on a parish level as well, believing that it is a great blessing and a unique opportunity for a parish to be located near a college or university. This is a critical time for the students in their life of faith, and that is

To access the map key for the communities in the graphic visit the Archdiocese website www. Then go to News, click on Observer and go to the May 2012 archived edition, page 32.

why parish communities should go out of their way to make students feel welcome and at home. But there is also something higher even these worthy goals. Metropolitan Alexios believes that we should make it our highest priority to come to church as a family, and immerse ourselves in the liturgical and ecclesiastical life. Christ is present in church and He sees our children, blesses them and surrounds them with His grace and love. Encouraging our children to have contact with this spiritual grace in prayer and worship, in the Divine Liturgy is the greatest gift that we can give them. Our Church affirms the importance of the Christian family as a blessing and a gift from God, the model of spiritual unity, a partnership of love, friendship. As Orthodox Christians, we are concerned that each and every family is united with Christ and His Holy Church, in a place where relationships with God and each other can be nurtured and sustained. For this reason, The Metropolitan places special emphasis on programs which help support marriages, because there is a great need for this kind of help, information and guidance for the Faithful, based on our Orthodox faith and understanding. In many ways, our families find themselves in crisis by letting the world and its values motivate us, rather than our Orthodox Christian faith. This is why it is so important to make every effort to assist our families. The Metropolis Family Life Ministry, led by Fr. Gregory Georgiou and Paula Marchman, conducts workshops and seminars and provides excellent resources of Orthodox materials to assist the healthy development and maintenance of Christcentered marriages and families. Topics include marriage at all stages of life, parenting, single life, grief, single parenting, substance abuse, stress, communication, trauma, Church etiquette, common Church myths and more. The new and improved blog and other resources may be found at the Family Life Ministry website:www.familylifeministry.atlanta. Of course, these are only some of the highlights of the daily life of the Holy and God-protected Metropolis of Atlanta. We give glory to God by our actions, and thank Him for all the wonderful opportunities given us by our Holy Church to work in His Vineyard. Karen Powers is corresponding secretary of the Metropolis of Atlnata.

Metropolis of Atlanta Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Atlanta 2480 Clairmont Road, N.E. Atlanta, GA 30329 (404) 634-9345 Chancellor Very Rev. George J. Tsahakis Ierokyrix V. Rev. Christodoulos Papadeas Executive Assistant Ethel M Gjerde Corresponding Secretary Karen Powers Treasurer Nick Katopodis Finance/Registry Secretary Assistant to Chancellor Joanne Mertzanis Youth, Education, Hellenic Culture Coordinator Stephanie Reid Philoptochos President Laura Nixon Development Office Elaina Marianes Clergy Laity Chairman Fr. Mark Leondis Metropolitan Council Vice President Nicholas Moraitakis Metropolitan Council Administration Dr. Larry R. Gess Metropolitan Council Finance and Developmen George Matthews Finance Chairman George Matthews Choir Federation Lucy Zapsas Regional Archon Commander Manuel Tissura Archangel Michael Honors V. Rev. George Tsahakis Metropolis Diakonia Deca Tom Nixon Diakonia Retreat Center Fr. Vasile Bitere Diakonia Publication Karen Powers Family Life Ministry Paula Marchman Lekas Disaster Relief Coordinator Dee Nicolaou

Orthodox Observer - June 2013  

June 2013

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