MARCH - APRIL 2006 • Vol. 71 • No. 1222
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Christ is Risen! The Feast of Feasts HOLY PASCHA 2006
Thanks be to God, Who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. I Corinthians 15:57 To the Most Reverend Hierarchs, the Reverend Priests and Deacons, the Monks and Nuns, the Presidents and Members of the Parish Councils of the Greek Orthodox Communities, the Day, Afternoon, and Church Schools, the Philoptochos Sisterhoods, the Youth, the Hellenic Organizations, and the entire Greek Orthodox Family in America. Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ, On this great and glorious day of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, the Feast of Feasts of our Holy Orthodox Church, I greet you with our time-honored exclamation of truth and victory: Christ is Risen! On this day of the Resurrection, the words of St. Paul to the Corinthians, Thanks be to God, Who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (I Corinthians 15:57), resound with great clarity, for today the Risen Jesus Christ has triumphed over sin, evil, and death.
O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting? Our expression of thanksgiving to God for His greatness is a defining hallmark of Pascha. One such expression of our thanks for His greatness is revealed in the service of the Agape Vespers of Pascha, when we joyously sing the words of the Psalmist, Who is so great a God as our God? For You are the God, Who alone works wonders (Psalm 77:13-14). The wonder worked by God which we celebrate with joy and awe on this day of Pascha is one of ultimate victory; namely, the total reversal of the devil’s power upon the fate of human beings, which was secured by the descent of Christ into Hades and His Resurrection from the dead. Through His own death and descent into Hades, Christ conquered death and gave life to those in the tombs. A vibrant depiction of this victory is the Holy Icon of the Anastasis (Resurrection) displayed throughout the Paschal period in our churches. This Holy Icon depicts the Risen Christ raising Adam and Eve from the grave, a symbolic image of Christ’s liberation of the entirety of humanity, who had once been held captive by the power of death, but who are now saved by Christ and live eternally with Him. It should be emphasized that the victory that has been given to us by God through Jesus Christ was in essence in fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies. God declared through the prophet Portable Icon of the Ressurection by the Brotherhood of Theofilaion, Mount Athos 2002
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MARCH - APRIL 2006
Archdiocesan Council Considers New Approaches to Finances NEW YORK – Archdiocesan Council members at their spring meeting March 17-18 discussed major changes in financing the Archdiocese budget, the funding of the Metropolises, and the allocation of the parish National Ministries Commitment, which if adopted by the Clergy-Laity Congress in July, would result in a more efficient and equitable collection and distribution of funds, and an overall strengthening of the Church’s finances.
in a $3.2 Million operating surplus in 2005, compared to a deficit in 2004. Mr. Dimitriou noted that as a result of this significant progress, the total Archdiocese debt has been reduced to approximately $7 Million in 2005 compared to $9.9 Million in 2004. About 74 percent of the debt represents bank loans and the remainder is accounts payable, Mr. Dimitriou said.
by Jim Golding
Also discussed at great length was an amendment to the Archdiocesan Regulations providing a concrete policy for settling disputes in parishes. During the Finance Committee report to the Council, Finance Committee CoChairman George Vourvoulias called the new approach to finances “a plan to level the playing field” through a number of recommendations in the three financial categories as part of the charge from the 2004 Congress for greater “transparency, accountability, responsibility and fairness.” Under the National Ministries Commitment, for example, a parish’s commitment would not be based on total income, as it is now, but on expenses after certain deductions as provided for under the proposed plan. Total commitment since 1997 has shown a steadily upward trend, Finance Committee member George Matthews reported. He presented a series of graphs that confirmed the upward trend in every Metropolis of the Archdiocese. While Total Commitment has increased every year, there is still a shortfall in the amount needed to adequately fund all the requirements of the national ministries and it is hoped that this new method of funding will eliminate the shortfall. Archdiocesan Council Administration Committee Chairman Anthony Stefanis and attorney Cathy Bouffides-Walsh discussed the proposed “dispute resolution procedure” amendment to the Archdiocesan Regulations. The new procedure will serve as “a mechanism for addressing grievances, mediating conflicts and ultimately for the resolution of disputes” in the parishes by setting up specific procedures, Mr. Stefanis said. The amendment will be considered during the Congress in Nashville.
ARCHBISHOP DEMETRIOS welcomes the members of the Council.
sage and competent volunteers among the laity. Responses concerning weak points included a lack of understanding of the Orthodox faith by the people, little understanding of Orthodoxy by those outside the church, a low awareness of Orthodoxy in America, inadequate funding and inadequate communication with the world at large. Major opportunities for the Church according to the responses included marriage between Orthodox and non Orthodox, which respondents considered highest opportunity by 68 percent; emerging technology and resources, an increased interest in maintaining fiscal responsibility, increased interest in maintaining fiscal responsibility, increased interest in traditional values and an increase in the number of spiritual seekers thirsting for knowledge. Finally, threats to the Church included no awareness of the faith, the Archdiocese financial situation, legal liabilities and a weakening family structure. Respondents saw a need for increasing knowledge of Orthodoxy in and out
of the Church and the need to enhance worship and spirituality, along with an awareness of the uniqueness of the Orthodox message. About 400 of the 1,200 surveys sent out were returned. Fr. Frank noted that the Metropolis of Chicago ranked first in the number of surveys returned, Detroit was second and the Pittsburgh and New Jersey metropolises tied for third.
Positive financial news
Council members heard a highly favorable report on Archdiocese finances from Archdiocesan Executive Director of Administration, Jerry Dimitriou, who noted that revenue from the 2005 Total Commitment Program was “$852,000 higher than the 2004 amount which represents the “second largest increase in the past six years” and that total revenue for 2005 increased by $5 Million over the prior year. Mr. Dimitriou also reported that operating expenses in 2005 reduced by approximately $550,000 with a $763,000 annualized reduction in staff costs. This reduction of operating expenses coupled with the increase in revenue resulted
Strengths and weaknesses
In remarks to the Council, Archbishop Demetrios commented on results of a recent “SWOT” survey of priests and lay leaders in metropolises across the country regarding their views of the Church. Later during the meeting, the Rev. Dr. Frank Marangos offered a detailed report on the SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) survey that was sent to all clergy and parish council presidents. Among the strong points respondents identified were the spiritual leadership of the priests and hierarchs, Orthodox theology and worship, a strong spiritual identity, an important and unique mes-
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ARCHDIOCESAN COUNCIL members in attendance during the Archbishop’s opening remarks. DIRECTOR & EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Stavros H. Papagermanos EDITOR: Jim Golding (Chryssoulis)
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The second day of the meeting, Council members heard the following reports: Archons – Dr. Anthony Limberakis, national commander of the Order of St. Andrew, said the Order has “a multifaceted program” in its efforts to protect the rights of the Ecumenical Patriarchate that includes discussing the religious persecution of the Patriarchate by the Turkish government with the president, congressional leaders and other government officials. “The ultimate conflict we’re trying to resolve is the survival of the Ecumenical Patriarchate,” Dr. Limberakis said. He also urged the Council to endorse a resolution approved at the recent Metropolis of San Francisco clergy-laity assembly to be sent to President Bush, and to U.S. senators and representatives to seek religious freedom for the Patriarchate. The Council agreed to endorse the resolution. Clergy Laity Congress update – Timothy Maniatis reported that most of the program for the congress has been approved, including 34 workshops, a cultural event at the Parthenon, the replica of the original ancient Greek temple, that will feature Greek and country and western entertainment, and several events for clergy and their families. Metropolitan Nicholas said the small Greek Orthodox community of about 150 families is eager to share its hospitality with the Congress delegates. Archbishop Demetrios noted there is “tremendous interest at the local level” in the upcoming event. Religious Education – Vicky Pappas said the committee recommended expanding the religious education program offerings for adults and teens with more printed materials, the Internet School of Orthodox Studies, tri-level studies in n the summer, expanded workshops at the congress and expanded development of CD-ROMS and DVDs. The committee also recommended coordinating religious education materials with the Departments of Family and Outreach. Communications – Clifford T. Argue noted the success of the publication of the Archdiocese calendars with more than 100,000 sold to nearly 230 parishes. He also recommended two “action items,” that the budget provide for the monthly publication of the Orthodox Observer and that each member of the Archdiocesan Council provide Fr. Frank Marangos, the newly appointed director of the Archdiocese Department of Communications, with the name and affiliation of one communications professional in their community. Mr. Argue, who serves as president of the Orthodox Christian Mission Center, also announced that a ground breaking would take place May 5 for a new missions work training center in St. Augustine, Fla. Youth and Young Adults – Chairman Tom Kanelos noted three initiatives currently under way – the annual national altar boy retreat and national girls retreat; a fourth video in the Orthodox Christian Teen Video Series and efforts with other
MARCH - APRIL 2006
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A TRIBUTE TO THE IDEALS OF FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY
Greek Independence Day Celebrated in Washington D.C.
WASHINGTON – President George W. Bush warmly welcomed Archbishop Demetrios and the Greek American community to the White House on March 24 for the celebration of Greek Independence Day: A National Day of Celebration of Greek and American Democracy 2006. More than 100 individuals, including government officials, the Foreign Minister of Greece, Greek and Cypriot diplomats and Greek Americans from throughout the United States attended the ceremony in the Old Executive Office building. In his opening remarks, Archbishop Demetrios thanked President Bush for signing the proclamation that pays tribute to the historic day of March 25, 1821, which is a symbolic day of the Greek War of Independence, or Greek Revolution, that ended with the liberation of Greece after four bitter centuries under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. He also stated that Greece has been a battleground of armies for millennia but has survived because “…the Greek nation has always been absolutely conscious of having a mission in this world, a mission of serving the highest possible ideals and sharing them with every nation, friend or enemy alike. The awareness and condition of mission explains not only the mere survival, but the Greek nation’s brilliant, most generous universal contributions to the ideals of freedom, human dignity and democracy.” President Bush in his response, welcomed the Archbishop and everyone in attendance and commented on the high number of Greek Americans currently serving in this administration including the director of National Intelligence, John Negroponte, and Homeland Security Advisor Frances Fragos Townsend. He also noted the presence of the Foreign Minister of Greece, Dora Bakoyianni, who was in the United States for scheduled meetings, and U.S. Sen. Paul Sarbanes of Maryland.
He also spoke of the need to continue working for democracy. “America’s founding fathers were inspired by the democratic ideals, and it helped to form our own union. Those ideals became implanted in long-lasting documents. But, as we watch the world today, we must understand that democracy is difficult at times. It’s not easy to take hold. It requires work and diligence and optimism and strength and will. But the Greek lesson not only in Greece, but also here in America, is one that with time and persistence, liberty does take hold because of its universality. It’s a lesson we honor on Greek Independence Day.”
Blair House Dinner
President George W. Bush with His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America.
BLAIR HOUSE DINNER: (l to r) Senator Paul Sarbanes, Archbishop Demetrios, Michael Jaharis, Director John Negroponte, Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyianni, Anthony Limberakis and Metropolitan Nicholas of Detroit.
On the evening of March 23, Director of National Intelligence and Mrs. John D. Negroponte hosted a dinner in honor of Archbishop Demetrios at the Blair House. In welcoming His Eminence and guests, including the Foreign Minister of Greece, Dora Bakoyianni, Sen. Sarbanes (D-MD), Metropolitan Nicholas of Detroit, members of the government, diplomats and Greek American community, Negroponte noted that he too is a proud member of the Greek American community. He continued, “…between two and three thousand years ago, Greece gave birth to a philosophical style and train of thought that has helped liberate more than half the world… The inquiring habits of mind of Ancient Greece still underpin the urge of individuals throughout the world to ask the great questions - and in the case of democracy, the biggest questions of all: Why should this or that people be free and not us? Why shouldn’t we, with the same God-given gifts, enjoy similar opportunities to express, better and secure ourselves? How could it be that someone else has rights we do not have?”
ARCHBISHOP DEMETRIOS ADDRESS TO PRESIDENT BUSH Mr. President, For the sixth consecutive year we have the distinct honor and special privilege to be your hosts at the White House on the occasion of the celebration of Greek Independence Day. As Greek-American Orthodox community, we are deeply grateful for such a great honor and for your exceptional kindness to sign this pertinent document of proclamation, a proclamation that pays tribute to the historic day of March 25, 1821, which is a symbolic day of the Greek War of Independence, or Greek Revolution, that ended with the liberation of Greece after four bitter centuries under the painful occupation and rule of the Ottoman Empire. The remarkable issue here is that the Greek Revolution was not an isolated event or a rare phenomenon. Throughout her exceedingly long history of at least 4,000 years before Christ and another 2,000 years after Christ, the nation of Hellenes has been constantly involved in revolutions, battles, and fights for preserving independence and freedom and, when lost, for regaining these precious ideals. For serious students of history, the mere survival, Mr. President, of the Hellenic nation is a miracle indeed. Greece has always been a nation with a small population, located in a very important geopolitical area which has been a permanent passageway for people and a battleground for armies, not simply for years or centuries, but for millennia. Yet, while numerous other national entities have simply disappeared, the Greek nation has survived the cruelest and longest tests in history. How and why? Is there a secret to this survival? Is there an explanation for it? Probably yes! And this is the fact that the Greek nation has always been absolutely conscious of having a mission in this world, a mission of serving the highest possible ideals and sharing them with every nation, friend and enemy alike. This awareness and condition of mission explains not only the mere survival but the Greek nation’s brilliant, most generous universal contributions to the ideals of freedom, human dignity, and democracy. This explains its amazing creativity in the fields of science,
philosophy, literature, arts, considered classic and unsurpassed, and additionally, its astonishing contribution to theology and religion after the synthesis of Hellenism with Orthodox Christianity during the late Hellenistic and Byzantine era. So then, the celebration of Greek Independence Day is not a celebration of a historically limited event, but of a unique, diachronic, and universal achievement by the Greek nation in “whatever is true, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, whatever belongs to excellence, whatever belongs to virtue, whatever is worthy of praise,” to use the language of St. Paul from his letter to the Philippians (Phil. 4:8), the Greek people of the city of Philippi in Greece. In the center of all this is a passion for freedom and independence, for justice and peaceful coexistence, the most precious gifts of God. From such a perspective America, here, is the place for a very appropriate celebration of these unique gifts. We give the warmest thanks to God for living in this beloved country, the United States of America, which exemplifies in the most clear way the superb classic achievements that we have mentioned. Here, in America, we do not celebrate occasionally these great achievements. Rather, here, we feel daily the universal demand for freedom; we (Phil. 4:8) constantly experience the need for justice for all; we incessantly breathe the air of true democracy; and we deeply share the pain of all those who look for reconciliation and peace on earth. We are aware Mr. President of your commitment to these great ideals of the universal Hellenic heritage, and we are also aware of the complex and formidable problems that you face in translating the noble principles of freedom and democracy, justice and peace, into a palpable reality. Please be assured that you have our wholehearted prayers in your exceedingly delicate handling of all such relevant issues, and the expression of our faith that with the help of the Almighty God, present and future difficulties will be overcome, and freedom, democracy and peace for all will finally prevail, Mr. President. Thank You
“whatever is true, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, whatever belongs to excellence, whatever belongs to virtue, whatever is worthy of praise”
MARCH - APRIL 2006
NEW YORK – The Holy Eparchial Synod of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America convened in Archdiocese Headquarters March 15-16. His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios presided. Present at the two-day session were all of its members: His Eminence Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago; His Eminence Metropolitan Maximos of Pittsburgh; His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios of Boston; His Eminence Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver; His Eminence Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta; His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas of Detroit; His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco; and His Eminence Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey. His Grace Bishop Dimitrios of Xanthos served as Acting Chief Secretary.
Holy Eparchial Synod Convened in New York
The lengthy Agenda included discussion of the following topics, which constitute various aspects of our ecclesiastical life: 1. The program of education for individuals interested in becoming ordained deacons in the permanent diaconate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese; 2. The guidelines being prepared For the Conduct of the Ecclesiastical Spiritual Court in Matters of Clergy discipline; 3. The English text of the Regulations for the Holy Monasteries of the Archdiocese; 4. The work of the Synodal Commission on English Translations of Liturgical Texts; 5. The issue of Canonical Impediments to Ordination; 6. The Implementation of the Archdiocese Policy on Clergy Sexual Misconduct; 7. The presence of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem in the U.S.; 8. The various issues related to Holy Cross School of Theology and Hellenic College;
ARCHBISHOP Demetrios (center) presides at the Holy Eparchial Synod meeting. (starting left, clockwise) Metropolitans Gerasimos of San Francisco, Alexios of Atlanta, Methodios of Boston, Iakovos of Chicago – acting secretary Bishop Dimitrios of Xanthos – Maximos of Pittsburgh, Isaiah of Denver, Nicholas of Detroit and Evangelos of New Jersey.
9. The various recent efforts related to Greek Education; 10. SCOBA and inter-Orthodox relations; 11. Recent efforts at promoting Byzantine Music
12. The ongoing process concerning the election of an Auxiliary Bishop for the Metropolis of Chicago. 13. And several other particular issues introduced by the Hierarchs about concerns in each Metropolis.
Most of the above agenda items are ongoing topics of discussion and involved updates on the progress made by the various synodical committees responsible for their development and implementation.
It is the day of Resurrection; let us then make ourselves resplendent for the festival and embrace one another. Let us say, brethren, even to those who do not love us: “Let all be forgiven in the Resurrection, and so exclaim: Christ is risen from the dead, trampling death by death, and bestowing life on those in the graves.”
Christos Anesti! Serving Orthodoxy and Hellenism in America
MARCH - APRIL 2006
I N H O N O R A N D M E M O RY
A Tribute to Archbishop Iakovos An ancient sage once said, “A name truly good is the aroma from virtuous character. It is a name not only remembered on earth, but it is written in Heaven.” The good name of Iakovos for 93 years on earth joins heaven, which has proudly embraced him these past 365 days. The good name of Archbishop Iakovos has literally engulfed the entire world for the amazing span of 93 tremendous years that has left a legacy of accomplishments more than any other hierarch in the history of Orthodoxy throughout North and South America. by Fr. George Poulos
Born in the shadows of the Islamic minarets on the island of Imbros and imbued with a Christian fervor that led him inexorably to the Patriarchal Seminary of Halki, another Turkish-dominated island, the young Koukouzes emerged not only with high scholastic honors, but a call to higher still eventually to serve God in the New World. The brilliant young graduate was compelled by Turkish law to serve two years in the Turkish army, where intellect is of little value and Christianity a liability. When he finished his tour of duty he was a study of debilitation whose feverish brown must have been soothed by a hand not of this world. The a divine will in 1919 compelled his presence in America where he regained his physical vigor and set a phenomenal pace in theological pursuits which took the Greek Orthodox Church out of the backwaters of America to the mainstream of consciousness of the continent. The theological pursuits of the priest of priests commences inauspiciously enough with his ordination in 1940 in Lowell, Mass., a city teeming with Greeks who were the first to witness his compelling presence. His full talent was put on full display when he was assigned to the Church of St. George in Hartford, where church attendance was on the ascendancy when he was sent to the Holy Trinity Cathedral in New York. Shortly afterward he spent a few months at St. Nicholas Church in St. Louis. But it was during the years 1942 to 1954 this extraordinarily talented man gave full expression to his Christian fervor while serving Boston as dean of the Annunciation Cathedral. These dozen years of amazing dedication and perpetuation of the Orthodox Church signaled the beginning of the Golden Age of the Faith in the Boston area. Everyone quickly became aware of his spiritual gifts and his intellectual capacity. Fr. Koukouzes captivated everyone within the sound of his sonorous voice. His sermons were truly masterpieces of oratory and his weekly lectures attracted hundreds of both young and old within the Boston community. During his tenure at the Boston Cathedral he worked with this spiritual mentor, Bishop Athenagoras Cavadas, in preparing students to enter the priesthood at Holy Cross Theological School in Brookline, Mass.
This magnificent campus was made possible through the efforts of Fr. Koukouzes who gathered the necessary funds to make possible the transfer of the theological school then located at Pomfret, Conn., which was near extinction. It was to the credit of Fr. Koukouzes who managed to purchase the famous Weld estate, consisting of 56 acres, for a mere $170,000. The Patriarch of Constantinople, Athenagoras, in recognition of his outstanding accomplishments during his amazing career in Boston, appointed Fr. Koukouzes after his ordination as Bishop of Melita in February 1955 and was given the position as official representative to the World Council of Churches in Geneva where he also served as president of this august body for many years. After the death in 1958 of Archbishop Michael of North and South America, Bishop Iakovos was appointed to succeed him. Upon his enthronement on April 1, 1959 at the Cathedral in New York, Archbishop Iakovos declared, “I come to the realization that I am ascending a throne graced by men of God but which, though it is called an Episcopal throne, it is the throne of Jesus Christ and its occupant the messiah Himself.” He further stated, “We ascend His throne with trembling knees to declare to all that our Church is Christ-centered from which He alone reigns and governs. More than his stately looks culminated in his appointment as spiritual leader of the Greek Orthodox Church of North and South America, a lofty post from which he might have gazed out with imperial serenity to rest on his laurels while pushing buttons. Instead, he pushed himself for over 37 years ever at hand to help whether the need be great or small. He had administered with excellence, initiating programs too numerous to mention. His year of dedication and devotion are legion and his accomplishments well known the world over, not the least of which is the Ionian Village in Greece where more than 18,000 American children of Greek descent have visited the land of their forbears and return enriched and enobled from having trod on the sacred Hellenic soil. In the wake of this monumental advancement of Greek Orthodoxy have come honors, accolades and renown. His Eminence was a man whose admirers are legion, whose achievements are numberless and whose tireless efforts on our behalf are as infinite as the Heaven where he now rests in eternal glory. After April 10, 2005, what could we observe as his epitaph for all eternity? William Blake once said: “To see the world in a grain of sand, And heaven in a flower, Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, And eternity in an hour.” I am sure that Archbishop Iakovos did just that in his glorious lifetime. Fr. George Poulos is pastor of Archangels Church in Stamford, Conn., and a longtime associate of Archbishop Iakovos.
It is with awe and deep respect that I write these words about our late beloved spiritual father whose memory we honor on this first anniversary of his death. Like many fellow Bostonians nurtured spiritually at the Annunciation Cathedral, I remember vividly the eloquent sermons preached and charismatic ministry practiced there by him who we were privileged to have as our pastor for twelve years. by Dr. Lewis J. Patsavos
Our beloved “Pater,” as we affectionately referred to him throughout the years, otherwise known to the world as Archbishop Iakovos, retained in his heart a special place for the Cathedral of Boston. As stated often in his own words, the years he served there were the happiest years of his life. The celebration of Holy Week and Pascha was for him the highlight, indeed, of the entire year. Anyone who ever experienced the profoundly moving services of that week when he was dean of the Annunciation Cathedral will never forget the deeply emotional impression they made. It is fitting, therefore, that he should be remembered in a special way by the Cathedral community who knew him intimately and whom he loved dearly. It was here that he earned his reputation as a preacher and pastor of extraordinary ability. Here that he
touched the lives of countless numbers of young people who have gone on to excel in all the professions, thereby bringing honor to their spiritual father. And here that he began the ministry which was eventually to impact world Orthodoxy. It is no wonder, then, that he chose to be buried in Boston on the campus of Hellenic College – Holy Cross School of Theology, whose library bears his name. His legacy for our School and for our Church in America was reflected in his own example. All his life he sought to engage our Church and community with the world and society of which we are a part. From his courageous stand in the civil rights movement to the moral issues of the day, not to mention his central role in promoting both Christian unity and Pan-Orthodox unity, he insisted that Orthodoxy had the obligation to be involved and to be heard. There can be no better way, then, to honor the memory of our revered and much beloved spiritual father than to do what he did – to convey the truth of our faith boldly and courageously, in a way that speaks to the hearts and minds of all those who hear it. May his memory be eternal and may his dream for our Theological School and for our Church become a reality! Dr. Lewis J. Patsavos is Professor of Canon Law at Holy Cross School of Theology.
MARCH - APRIL 2006
RELIGIOUS EDUCATION Pascha: Our Dance of New Life
“You have turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever.” Psalm 30:11-12
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by Fr. Frank Marangos
Dance has long been known for its healing powers. It places the mind in touch with the body the spirit in touch with the soul. Recently, a Hispanic neighborhood in South Florida decided to harness the power of dance by combining healthy entertainment and exercise with an expressive way for families and communities to bond. According to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, the community event, held at a senior-citizen center, promoted family bonding, communication, and spiritual healing through dance. The event was celebrated as a tremendous success in that it developed closer ties between generations. As an expression of human feelings and a sponsor of intergenerational communication, dance has always played an important role throughout history. The ancient Greeks danced at religious festivals, to ensure fertility, to prepare for war and to celebrate victories. They danced at weddings, to overcome depression and to cure physical illness. Dance was also regarded as one of the highest forms of art because every dance had a poetic story to tell. Consequently, dance was held in high regard in particular for its educational properties. Dance was essential for developing personality as well as preparing for battle. Along with music, writing and physical exercise, dance was the basis of the educational system. Plato agreed with his mentor Socrates that every educated man should know how to dance gracefully as it was essential for developing personality as well as preparing for battle. These attitudes were passed on from generation to generation by secular as well as religious institutions. The 30th psalm of David is an excellent biblical example that links the metaphor of dance with liturgical praise and thanksgiving to God. It is a public sharing, a testimony in public worship, describing the saving work of God. As a result of David’s leadership, Israel developed into a powerful and prosperous nation. Reviewing his accomplishments, David felt secure and said: “I will never be shaken.” As an act of pride, he took a census of the people. Because he did not heed the insightful warning of Joab, one of his commanders who tried to convince him not to do this evil and arrogant act, God punished David by allowing a plague to killed 70,000 people (1 Chronicles 21). Recognizing this national tragedy as a consequence of his sinfulness, David dressed in sackcloth and mourned, asking God to remove the plague before more would die. God observed the repentance of David and withheld the destructive force of the plague. In 1 Chronicles 22, we then read how David helped Solomon prepare to build the temple. It is at the groundbreaking for the construction of the Jerusalem Temple that David presents the celebratory features of the 30th psalm. David realizes that the suffering of Israel was due to his own sin. He realizes
the physical as well as spiritual dangers of praising oneself rather than God. As a result, his sackcloth was replaced with joy and the wailing of his people was turned to dance! The 30th Psalm contains King David’s joyful praises to God for saving him and his nation from the consequences of his own arrogance. In the final analysis, the psalm is a catechetical lesson that utilizes the metaphor of dance to convey an important lesson for each respective generation. Holy Scripture insists there is a time to mourn and a time to dance: “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: ... a time to mourn and a time to dance” (Ecclesiastes 3:1,4). Dancing seems to have occurred at certain very great occasions in Israel’s history. Dancing was prophesied as a future event at the restoration of Israel from bondage and captivity (Jeremiah 31:4,13); dancing at the return of victorious armies (1 Samuel 18:6-7); dancing at the miraculous crossing of the Red Sea (Exodus 15:19-21); dancing at the return of the ark to a tent in the vicinity of Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6:14-17); and finally, dancing at the annual festival of the Lord at Shiloh (Judges 21:19-21,23). Unlike the numerous reference found in the Old Testament, the New Testament describes only three instances of dancing. Jesus compared his generation to children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others: ‘we played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn ” (Matthew 11:16-17). The daughter of Herodias danced before Herod (Matthew 14:6). The third and final reference describes the celebration at the return of the prodigal son (Luke 15:21-29). Orthodox worship provides numerous references to dancing. In fact, numerous hymns of Pascha describe our Lord’s Holy and Glorious Resurrection as the Divine Act that transforms mourning into joy, wailing into dance! According to a beautiful hymn chanted during the Sunday of Cheesefare, which commemorates the Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise as “banishment from the dance of life.” Hymns from the 3rd Sunday of Great Lent, The Sunday that commemorates the veneration of the Holy Cross, insist: “at the awakening of Christ, Adam has risen and dances for joy!” As a result of the Resurrection, another hymn describes how “the ranks of angels dance with gladness” because “Christ has shattered the hosts of devils.” Several other hymns suggest that nations and even trees “dance and sing at the sight of the Holy Cross.” Finally, a hymn of the 4th Sunday of Great Lent insists that at the news of the Resurrection, the “entire assembly of saints and the righteous dance with gladness.” Pascha is a wonderful occasion to join hands and spiritually dance with King David in praise for God’s merciful acts. Perhaps, this is reason why so many of us long to dance at our respective parish’s Agape picnic that follows the traditional Vespers service on the afternoon of Easter. It is the mystical culmination of all of history’s dances. May we, like David and the countless generations of dancers before us, recollect how God hears the prayers expressed to Him by the penitent and humble of heart.
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Fr. Marangos Named Executive Director of Communications NEW YORK – Archbishop Demetrios of America has appointed the Rev. Dr. Frank Marangos as the executive director of Communications for the Archdiocese. Fr. Marangos leaves his current position as director of Religious Education of the Archdiocese where he served since 1997. As executive director of communications, Fr. Marangos will directly oversee and coordinate the work of the Department of Communications staff and offices consisting of the Office of News, Information and Public Relations, the Orthodox Observer, Internet Ministries, and GOTelecom (Greek Orthodox Telecommunications). In addition, Fr. Marangos will serve as the official spokesperson for the Archdiocese and will facilitate the communications efforts of all the Archdiocese ministry departments. For the past 27 years, Fr. Marangos has served with dedication and pastoral care the Archdiocese in various capacities: As pastor of the St. Mark Church, Boca Raton, Fla. (1989-1997); of the Annunciation Church, Pensacola, FL (1983-1989); and as assistant pastor of Annunciation Cathedral, Houston, 1979-1983); as youth director of the Denver Diocese, as Religious Education director of the Atlanta Diocese, and as the Religious Education director of the Archdiocese and adjunct assistant professor at Holy Cross School of Theology. He has authored numerous articles for theological publications, and he is the executive editor and publisher of Praxis Magazine. He has received a bachelor of arts degree from Hellenic College and holds a Master of Divinity Degree with honors from Holy Cross School of Theology since 1979.
Recently certified as a distance learning leader from the United States Distance Learning Association, Fr. Marangos also holds a doctorate of education, Ed.D., with honors in adult education from Nova Southeastern University, Fischler Graduate School of Education and Human Services, Miami, Fla., and a doctorate of ministry, D.Min. with honors in Christian Education from Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, Dallas. Fr. Marangos was ordained to the deaconate in January 1979 and to the priesthood in June 1979. He was awarded the Patriarchal Cross by Patriarch Bartholomew in March 2001, and was elevated to the rank of protopresbyter by Archbishop Demetrios in 2002. Upon Fr. Marangos’ appointment to his new position, Archbishop Demetrios noted, “The appointment of the Rev. Father Dr. Frank Marangos to the position of the executive director of communications of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America constitutes a significant step of progress in our sacred work of the dissemination of the Gospel message through the various means of communications. He comes to the Archdiocese with valuable experience after serving for many years with dedication and distinction in various Church positions. He always has been a methodical planner and a successful user of the appropriate modern tools for the accurate transmission of Christian knowledge and Orthodox information. He has been a successful communicator, a sensitive listener to the voices of our contemporary world, and a promoter of the teachings of the Orthodox Faith and the Hellenic Tradition by oral, electronic, or printed means. We welcome him and pray for the continuation of his offering to God and to the Church in his new position.”
Annual Archdiocesan District Spelling Bee Held in Astoria
SPELLING BEE participants display their certificates. Maria Makedon (left) served as coordinator.
The Archdiocesan District Spelling Bee Competition among the students of the 11 Greek Orthodox parochial day schools of the Metropolitan New York area took place recently at St. Demetrios Greek-American School in Astoria. This year’s winner is Elea Tsentzelis, a seventh grade student at Three Hierarchs Parochial School (1724 Avenue P, Brooklyn) Runner-up is Andreas Kolombos, an eighth grade student at the School of the Transfiguration (9807 38 Avenue, Corona) Following are other students who participated in the spelling bee: Ork Ahmed, Jamaica Day School of St.Demetrios; Alexander Argyriou, A.
Fantis Parochial School, Brooklyn; George Holevas, W. Spyropoulos Day School, Flushing; Marianthi Kougentakis, D&G Kaloidis Parochial School, Brooklyn; Tessa Ann Medakovich, The Cathedral School, New York; Peter Rallis, Greek American Institute, Bronx; George Sartzetakis, S. Ellenas Parochial School, Brooklyn; Maria Sergiadis, St. Demetrios GreekAmerican School, Astoria; Nikolas Vorontchikhine, School of St. Spyridon, Manhattan. Ms. Debra Cavalli, a language arts teacher at the A. Fantis Parochial School was the word announcer. The spelling bee coordinator was Maria Makedon, director of the Archiodicesan District Greek Education Department.
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MARCH - APRIL 2006
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Visits Panama, Mexico PANAMA CITY, Panama – Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew made a pastoral visit to the Metropolis of Central America in early February spending five days each in Panama and Mexico. He brought a message of keeping Orthodoxy strong, maintaining Hellenic identity, as well as love, unity, and the importance of the environment. by Clifford T. Argue
The trip, which was arranged by His Eminence Metropolitan Athenagoras of Mexico and Central America and the Greek Orthodox communities, included worship services as well as meetings and events with the presidents and government officials of the two countries, Roman Catholic hierarchs and other religious leaders, and academic and business representatives. It also provided an opportunity to see and bless the work of Metropolitan Athenagoras to expand the Greek Orthodox presence in the region, including the training of local candidates for the priesthood. Throughout his trip, the Patriarch received high honors by civil and religious officials, including “head of state” levels of security and diplomatic recognition. Senior Catholic prelates welcomed His All Holiness to their cathedrals, and also attended Orthodox services, while extensive media coverage in both countries focused on efforts to have a closer relationship between the Orthodox and Catholic churches. This was highlighted by the announcement during the visits that Pope Benedict XVI would travel to Constantinople in November. “I ask and pray that we persevere in achieving something that appears utopian,” the Patriarch stated in the Met-
ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH Bartholomew addresses the congregation at the world renown Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.
ropolitan Catholic Cathedral of Panama City. Protestant church leaders also attended the ecumenical prayer service that attracted an overflowing congregation. In Panama, a major element of the trip was a pastoral visit to the small, but influential “Comunidad Helenica de Panama.” The community President is Evangelos Koumanis. His All Holiness officiated at Vespers Saturday evening at the “Catedral Ortodoxa Griega de la Anunciacion de Theotokos de Panama,” which was followed by an elegant reception hosted by the Cathedral Philoptochos in the adjacent community center under President Margarita Milas. Orthros and the Patriarchal Liturgy took place Sunday morning. His All Holi-
ness was assisted by the host hierarch Metropolitan Athenagoras of Central America; Metropolitan Stephanos of Estonia; Fr. Fotios Bithas, dean of the cathedral; the priest monk Fr. Lukas from Mount Athos; Fr. Alexander Gorbunov of the Russian Orthodox parish in Panama; Archdeacon Ioakim from the Patriarchate, and Deacon Athanasios of Mexico. The Cathedral choir sang the responses, while chanting of the Orthros and other services was performed by three visitors from America, Nicholas Chingas of Philadelphia, along with Vasilios Roditis and Demetrios Kehagias of Astoria, N.Y. The Liturgy was celebrated in both Greek and Spanish. At the conclusion of the service, the Patriarch elevated Fr.
Bithas to the rank of Protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Throne. The President of the Republic of Panama, Martin Torrijos, welcomed the Patriarch at a reception at the Presidential Palace. Other government officials, including the country’s two vice presidents, also participated in various events. His All Holiness received an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Panama, in recognition of his leadership role in improving the environment. He also visited the Children’s Hospital, an old age home, and was given a VIP tour of a segment of the Panama Canal. “Panama unites two oceans and two worlds, and from this point of view, it constitutes a symbol,” he told reporters, because “the world needs unity, cooperation, solidarity.” Patriarch Bartholomew officiated at a Trisagion service at a local cemetery for Demetrios Lakas, who served as president of Panama from December 1969 to October 1978, and all other departed Greek Orthodox of Panama. The Patriarch visited the “Instituto Atena” a private school built by Haralambos Tzanetatos, who also serves as honorary consul general of Greece in Panama. The school has 120 students from Pre-school to 4th grade on its extensive campus in a suburban area. Numerous banquets and receptions were held throughout the visit, including a luncheon on the last day hosted by the five Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Panama. They are Haralambos Tzanetatos, Pablo Antonio Thalassinos, Anastasio Athanasopulos, Juan Liakopulos, and Angelos Trapatsas. In Mexico, the Patriarch was likewise received by President Vicente Fox and
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PRESIDENT Vicente Fox of Mexico and his wife Martha de Fox with His All Holiness.
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other government officials. The President noted that his country agrees with the desire of His All Holiness for peace, tolerance, and dialogue among all peoples and religions. The Patriarch delivered a lecture on environmental issues, visited the famous Roman Catholic Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and presided at an ecumenical meeting of religious leaders. Participating in services at Mexico City’s St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral with Patriarch Bartholomew in addition to Metropolitan Athenagoras and Metropolitan Stephanos were Metropolitan Meliton of Philadelphia, a member of the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate; Archbishop Timothy of Crete; Metropolitan Anthony of the Antiochian Orthodox Church; and Bishop Alejo of the Orthodox Church in America, along with a number of priests and deacons. During his trip, His All Holiness reiterated the significance of the historic leadership role of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the whole Orthodox Church. He likewise expressed his desire to embrace all Greek Communities throughout the world, noting the importance of maintaining Hellenism and the Greek language. The Ambassador of Greece to Mexico, Alexander Milaressis, whose territory also includes Panama, took part in all aspects of the visit. Through the efforts of Metropolitan Athenagoras and Georgia Athanasopulos, consul general of Panama in Philadelphia, groups of Greek Orthodox faithful from the United States traveled to Panama and Mexico for the events.
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In assessing the Central American visit, one participant Chris P. Tomaras of Chicago, Vice President and Regional Coordinator for North and South America of the World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE), observed “the Patriarch’s trip to these countries (Panama and Mexico) was a decisive event in the reaffirmation of the significance of the Greek Community and its role in the economic development of Panama, demonstrated by the warm treatment of that state’s political leadership. As well, there was a clear understanding by Mexican authorities as to how much Greeks and Mexicans have in common through their history and culture, promising closer ties in the future.” “I believe the Patriarch is indeed not only the best spiritual leader, but also a most competent diplomat and a world leader that commands the respect and admiration of all,” Tomaras added.
PATRIARCH Bartolomew visited the Panama Canal at Miraflores.
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A “Gospel” of Judas Since the beginning of Christianity, various groups and individuals have made continuous efforts to suppress, distort or discredit the gospel of Jesus Christ and to lead His followers astray. Among the first and greatest challenges to a proper understanding of the saving truth of Christ arose within decades of the birth of the Church, in the form of a multifaceted type of syncretism known as Gnosticism. Basic to the many varieties of this type of thinking was the teaching that the material world is the evil creation of a lesser god, and that Christ came as an agent of the true God, to liberate humans by initiating them into secret knowledge (or gnosis). As early as the turn of the 2nd century, we find evidence of the Gnostic threat in the writings of St. Ignatios of Antioch, and by the middle of that century St. Justin Martyr was arguing against such trends in his famous and influential Apologies. Around the year 180, the great bishop St. Irenaeus of Lyons demonstrated clearly and authoritatively the inadequacies of the Gnostic teaching in all its forms in his classic work Against the Heresies. It was strategy common to Gnostics to claim apostolic authority for their innovations by presenting their works as “gospels” of persons familiar from the canonical New Testament. Works of wildly speculative theology circulating as the writings of the Apostles Peter, Thomas, or Andrew, Pontius Pilate, and Mary Magdalene have been available to us for some time, but until recently we had only the word of St. Irenaeus concerning a “Gospel of Judas.” He dismissed it as a “worthless fiction” circulated by a fringe group of Gnostics who also revered the memory of Cain, the first murderer. Since the publication of the recently discovered text of this “gospel” a few weeks ago, we can judge for ourselves the enduring validity of the saintly bishop’s assessment of it as “a fabrication.” And judge for ourselves is what we must do, because the judgment promulgated by the media has been at best
hasty, sensational and irresponsible, and at worst deliberately anti-Christian. The timing alone of its publication, within days of the celebration of Pascha, raises questions concerning the motives of the “scholarly” establishment that produced the translation. Appearing as it does within weeks of with the release of the movie “The Da Vinci Code,” which also presents ideas and opinions patently unbiblical and blasphemous, and the fact that these stories have been coming out like clockwork for the past several years at this time and around Christmas, it seems hard to deny that its publication is part of an ongoing campaign by certain interests to undermine and erode the Christian faith. Curiously, no other religions are subject to such well-timed “critical reevaluations.” Nothing negative or offensive appears in the media about, say, Judaism or Islam, during the celebrations of Hanukkah and Ramadan. It is the Christian faith alone that is the object of this “critical” approach, coincidentally during the time of its two most important holidays. Of course, none of this comes as a surprise. Our Lord himself warned about false teachers, false messiahs and “wolves in sheep clothing” and his Apostles, including St. Paul, constantly faced such adversaries, and for centuries of Her existence the Church experienced attempts at oppression and suppression. We must not let our guard down, but rather arm ourselves with the knowledge of the Truth, that we may counter the distortions of it that are coming at us from every direction. Take advantage of the learning opportunities available on the parish level, or from websites such as our own. Don’t leave it for others to defend your faith in our Incarnate and Resurrected Savior. Consider the challenges of this historical moment an opportunity to deepen your own faith, by drawing from the inexhaustible source of the Truth that saves, the Gospel of Christ proclaimed in His Holy Orthodox Church.
In (almost) any Language...
Pascha is the Word for the Holiday In the Food section of its April 5 issue, the Long Island newspaper Newsday featured Easter lamb dishes and an interesting sidebar story on the words for the most important holiday of the Church in several languages, most of which are derived from the Greek term. The small article notes that the English word “Easter” is linguistically derived from the German word “Ostern,” the Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring, also known as Estre. Most of the languages listed below use the form of the word “Pascha,” the ancient Greek adaptation of the Hebrew Pesach, or Passover.
Afrikaans..........Paasfees Catalan............Pasqua Danish.............Paske Dutch...............Pasen Esperanto........Pasko Finnish.............Paasiainen French.............Pasques Greek...............Pascha Icelandic..........Paskar Indonesian......Paskah Italian..............Pasqua Irish.................Caisg Latin............Pascha or Festa Paschalia Norwegian.......Paske Portuguese......Pescoa Spanish............Pascua Swedish...........Pask Turkish............Paskalya Welsh...............Pasg
Archiepiscopal Encyclical One-Year Memorial for Archbishop Iakovos To the Most Reverend Hierarchs, the Reverend Priests and Deacons, the Monks and Nuns, the Presidents and Members of the Parish Councils of the Greek Orthodox Communities, the Day, Afternoon and Church Schools, the Philoptochos Sisterhoods, the Youth, the Hellenic Organizations, and the entire Greek Orthodox Family in America.
by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ, On behalf of our Holy Eparchial Synod, I write to you on the first year anniversary of the blessed passing away of Archbishop Iakovos of North and South America. One year ago, we grieved deeply upon offering our last respects to a great ecclesiastical leader who led the Church and the Omogeneia for decades. Today, his legacy lives on, and we honor the fruits of his labors as a dynamic witness to Orthodoxy and Hellenism in America and abroad. He defended zealously the civil liberties of people, advanced passionately issues concerning our Nation, worked intensively for Christian unity, and sowed generously the seed of the Gospel. His course of action constitutes a standard of application of Christian ideals in the world and an example of ecclesiastical offering. In honor of the life and offering to the Church and the Nation of our Archbishop of blessed memory, all parishes of our Holy Archdiocese are hereby directed to conduct a one-year memorial service at the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, April 9, 2006. Let this memorial service be an inspiration for all of us to comprehend the power of the Gospel, and our ultimate duty to promote it, as we pray for the repose of the soul of our deeply respected and beloved Archbishop Iakovos. May his memory inspire all and be eternal.
What are the Apocrypha and the DaVinci Code Claims? In general, “apocrypha” refers to books that were rejected from the canon of Scripture. But the term has different meanings depending upon if it is apby Presbytera Eugenia Constantinou
plied to the Old or New Testaments and whether Catholics, Protestants or Orthodox Christians use it.
The Term Apocrypha in the Old Testament
Regarding the Old Testament, originally all Christians had the same canon (list of books) of the Old Testament, the Greek version of the Jewish Scriptures known as the “Septuagint” (LXX). The Septuagint was widely considered by the earliest Christians to be an inspired translation and was the Old Testament of the Church. The Latin translation of the Bible (called the “Vulgate,” which originated with St. Jerome around the year 400) also included books found in the Septuagint. Around 100 AD the Jews rejected the Septuagint Greek translation in favor of using Hebrew only, primarily because Christians used the LXX. The rejection included about 10 books and portions of books found in the LXX but that hadn’t been in use by Hebrew speaking Jews in Palestine. The Christians continued to use the complete LXX, since the apostles used it. The Greek LXX (in the East) and the Latin Vulgate (in the West) were the undisputed versions of the Christian Old Testament for about 1,500 years. But in the 16th century some Protestant reformers, such as Martin Luther, decided that the additional Old Testament
books that formed part of the LXX but not used by Jews should not be in the Bible, since the Jews had decided not to include them. Luther first separated and later removed these from his German version of the Bible in 1534 and called them apocrypha, since he determined they should not be part of the canon of Scripture. That term is used to designate books rejected from the canon of Scripture. The Catholic Church, in response, affirmed the inspiration of these books at the Council of Trent (1545), but called them deutero-canonical, which means they have a secondary status, but are still scriptural. However, for the Orthodox Church, these 10 books of the Old Testament, which Protestants call “apocrypha” and Catholics call "deutero-canonical" have always been and still remain canonical Scripture. The Protestant Old Testament canon contains the fewest books, just 39. Since Protestants publish most English-language Bibles, these books are usually omitted from the Bible entirely or are found in a separate section in the back of the Bible or between the two Testaments. If it is a Catholic Bible, such as the New American Bible or the Jerusalem Bible, most of these books are incorporated without distinction into the Old Testament, but not all of them. Thus, Orthodox Christians have the oldest and most complete canon of the Old Testament, 49 books.
The Term Apocrypha with regard to the New Testament
The canon of the New Testament
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PASCHA 2006: The Feast of Feasts page 1 Hosea: I will redeem them from death. Where is your victory, death? Where is your sting, Hades? (Hosea 13:14) Also, the prophet Isaiah speaks the same way (Isaiah 25:8). St. Paul clearly alludes to these prophesies when he addresses the Corinthians: When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?’ (I Corinthians 15:54-55) St. John Chrysostom too deliberately uses these words in his celebrated Paschal homily, which is read in triumphant fashion on this day in our churches. He does this to affirm the continuity of this triumph and truth, and to categorically declare the determinative nature of Christ’s victory over death. The significance of the Old Testament prophecy in foretelling the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is its affirmation to us that our merciful God has continually loved us from the dawn of our existence; that it had always been His will to restore humanity from its fallen condition to a condition of everlasting communion with Him; and that the extraordinary means by which He chose to accomplish this was to condescend to enter our world as a human being and to suffer unto death, even to death on a Cross. As a result, our sins have been remitted, and we have been granted eternal life with Him, Who is Risen from the dead. My beloved Christians, Through Christ, the sting of death has been rendered venomless! As the prophets foretold, the claim of the devil upon our fate has been rendered forever void! As the Psalmist declared, God alone has worked a great wonder that surpasses the limits of our human comprehension! On this glorious day of the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, let us be mindful of the greatness of God, and let us be attuned to the natural yearning of our souls to offer Him unceasing praise for the victory that He has given us through Jesus Christ on this day. As we are mindful of this great victory throughout this Paschal season, may we come closer to appreciating and comprehending the full import of the triumphant words of St. Paul when he speaks to the Corinthians about the Resurrection: Thanks be to God, Who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (15:57). Christ Is Risen! Truly the Lord is Risen! With my warmest Paschal wishes and love in the Risen Christ,
† Archbishop Demetrios of America
is the same for all but a tiny minority of Christians: 27 books. In the case of the New Testament and for Orthodox Christians, the term apocrypha refers to ancient writings that falsely claimed to be written by apostles and by other disciples of the Lord. These books were rejected by the Church as counterfeit writings in the third and fourth centuries and were not included among the books of the New Testament because they were spurious and unauthentic. In fact, no Christians accept these books as genuine. These books appeared on the scene too late to have been actually written by any apostle. Some also contain passages that were used to promote false teachings (heresy), which indicates that heretics composed them.
What about “secret” writings that were suppressed, as claimed by the DaVinci Code?
The word apocrypha means, hidden. (Perhaps this is where the author of DaVinci Code got his ideas.) People who wrote these counterfeit books had a problem: how to get people to read the books. Why would anyone read these books when Christians already had a New Testament? To encourage people to read these counterfeit Christian books (apocrypha) that came into existence much later than the genuine books, people claimed the apocrypha were written by the apostles and contained hidden or secret teachings of Jesus available only to an elite few. (This is something like enticing
people to participate in a financial scam where they are promised that only a few will be allowed “in” on the secret of how to get rich.) The authors of these counterfeit books wrote them to promote their heresies, such as Gnosticism. Gnosticism was a serious problem in the early Church. Gnostics denied the human nature of Christ. They said that Christ was only divine, one of many divine beings that exist. He only seemed to be human and only seemed to die on the cross. This heresy is called “Docetism,” from the Greek word dokeo “to seem” or “to appear.” Gnostics claimed that Jesus did not come to earth to die of the salvation of human beings. He came to earth to reveal secret knowledge about how to get to heaven to a few elite “spiritual” disciples. The only people who could go to heaven were those who had acquired the secret knowledge (gnosis). How does this compare to what we know about the Lord? On the contrary, the Lord made a point of having a very public ministry. To say that people were saved only by secret knowledge would be to make His whole life and teachings a lie, as well as making the existence and purpose of the Christian Church entirely pointless. In fact, the Lord stated that He taught nothing secretly. When He was brought to the high priest Annas, who questioned Him about His teachings, the Lord replied, “I have spoken openly to the world. I have
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Protecting Traditional Marriage The merits of protecting our country’s traditional understanding of marriage are being debated throughout our great nation today. This is a very complicated debate, and I have found that most people do not have a good grasp of the important subtleties of debate.
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by Fr. Charles Joanides, Ph.D., LMFT
If you happen to be one of these people, perhaps the following information may begin helping you acquire a more complete understanding of this debate. However, before proceeding further, it should also be emphasized here that this article does not deliberately seek to discriminate against any group of people. But rather, for the reasons listed below, it is written to promote and protect our country’s traditional understanding of marriage.
Why Does Traditional Marriage Matter? At a recent marriage enhancement workshop I was conducting, a workshop participant asked me the following questions. Why is it so important that we protect traditional marriage? And how does samesex marriage affect traditional marriages? How would you have answered these questions? Here is how I responded. One of the most fundamental reasons why our country’s traditional understanding of marriage – that marriage is a one-flesh union between one man and one woman is so important, is because men and women make babies, society needs babies to ensure its survival, and the institution of marriage protects babies’ well-being better than any other social institution. Moreover, regardless of race, creed or culture, societies across time have understood these basic assumptions and promoted some version of a one-flesh union between one man and one woman. Traditional marriage is also important because it reduces the risk of poverty for children. Research indicates that the majority of children whose biological parents do not get married or fail to stay married experience at least a year of poverty. A high percentage will remain in a poverty stricken situation for much longer. Research also indicates that boys in fatherless households are prone to become involved in crime. Boys who live without their biological father are two to three times more likely to end up in jail as adults. Fatherless households also have a negative impact on their daughter’s well-being. For instance, girls living without their biological father are significantly more likely to be molested and become pregnant earlier than girls who live with their fathers. When comparing married people, with singles, cohabitators and widowers, married people are more likely to live longer, healthier and happier lives. They are also more likely to enjoy financial stability. On average, married people are better off in virtually every measure of health and well-being. Biological parents who do not marry, or marry and then divorce, put their children’s education at risk. These children tend to have lower grade point averages, are more likely to be held back in school, and be less likely to complete college, if they attend college. Traditional marriage also matters because just living together is not the same as marriage, especially for children. Research suggests that children whose parents live together, but never marry, are at greater risk of domestic violence, and child abuse and neglect. These children are also three times more likely to experience their parents’ breakup by age five.
My own research (Interfaith Marriage Project) also indicates that children who live with both of their biological parents are more likely to attend church services regularly and identify with a faith group. This latter observation is particularly true of intermarried couples and their children. And finally, when marriages fail, ties between parents and children generally weaken. One large national study suggests that 65 percent of adult children of divorce reported they were not close to their fathers.
What the Church Teaches
Together with the emotional, psychological, developmental and procreative benefits that spouses, children, families and society derive from marriage, our Orthodox Church also teaches that marriage between one man and one woman matters because it blesses spouses with a partner with whom they can struggle toward sanctification and salvation. It also serves to remind both individuals of the importance of community. Further, it reminds spouses that they are not islands, and that they are called into a community of marriage. It also teaches that marriages are embedded within a faith community that affords them a kind of safety net that protects intact families from the destructive effects of the secularization process permeating our society. Lastly, what is our Holy Tradition’s position with regard to same-sex marriage? To assist me in answering this question I would like to quote from Father John Breck, a preeminent Orthodox New Testament and Ethics scholar. In his book titled, The Sacred Gift of Life: Orthodox Christianity and Bioethics, he writes, “The fact that the homosexual orientation may be irreversible does not justify institutionalizing it and granting it social sanction by assimilating it to authentic marriage as God intended it (MK 10:6-9) and as Christ blessed it (JN 2:1-11).” Clearly, same sex marriage from an Orthodox perspective is one that simply does not fit into our understanding of marriage.
Make no mistake about it. There is a well-organized, well-funded vocal group in our country that is advocating that the definition of marriage be changed. Under the guise of civil rights law and charges of discrimination, this group is arguing both within and outside of our court system that the 21st Century thing to do is expand the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples. For the reasons I have cited above, and a number of reasons I did not list, as a result of certain divinely revealed truths embedded within Holy Tradition, our theology cannot support such an initiative. Further, should this nation determine that the gay community’s civil rights require protection – a decision I personally would not necessarily resist – I do not believe that the answer is to change the definition of marriage. As I have indicated above, the institution of marriage is too important to be tampered with any further. Moreover, in our divorce culture we should be doing everything we can to strengthen and protect the one-flesh understanding of marriage. This is part of our Holy Tradition and our great nation’s tradition. Yes, even to the point of supporting the Marriage Protection Amendment that is currently before Congress and is due to be voted upon by the Senate this summer.
MARCH - APRIL 2006
AHEPA Reaffirms Commitment to Hellenism ATHENS, Greece – A hundred-member strong AHEPA delegation headed by Supreme President Gus J. James, II arrived here April 8 to commence the 78th Annual AHEPA Family Excursion. It is a two-week journey, aiming to strengthen ties and promote programs between American Hellenes and the Eastern Mediterranean region. More than $140,000 will be donated to health and day-care facilities and Orthodox Christian institutions during the course of the trip by AHEPA. The excursion started ambitiously April 10, as AHEPA honored the Hellenic Republic at a banquet with more than 600 persons in attendance at the Intercontinental Hotel. According to Supreme President Gus J. James, II, it is the first event of its kind to be held in Athens in recent memory. “We felt strongly this event was long overdue,” said Mr. James following the banquet and added: “We’re proud of what we were able to demonstrate here this evening which was a commitment to Hellenism and an appreciation for the Hellenic Republic, its citizens, and their historic and modern contributions to the world.” AHEPA honored the Hellenic Republic with the inaugural “Spirit of Hellenism Award,” Prime Minister Kostas A. Karamanlis with the “AHEPA Socrates Award,” and President of the Hellenic Parliament Anna Benaki-Psarouda with the “AHEPA Pericles Award.” President Karolos Papoulias received the Spirit of Hellenism Award on behalf of the Hellenic Republic. According to the Athens News Agency, President Papoulias thanked the AHEPA delegation and referenced the excellent cooperation he has experienced with the organization. U.S. Ambassador to Greece Charles Ries also addressed the audience and spoke of AHEPA’s history in the United States and contribution to American society. The balance of the excursion in Athens will include meetings with American and Greek government officials, His Beatitude Archbishop Christodoulos, and a conference at the University of Indianapolis-Athens Campus.
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PRESIDENT Karolos Papoulias with AHEPA Supreme President Gus James.
From Athens, the delegation will proceed to Cyprus, April 13 to 17, to host a reception in honor of the Republic of Cyprus in Nicosia on April 14. The delegation will continue on to Thessaloniki, April 17 to 20, and conclude the journey at the Ecumenical Patriarchate, April 20 to 24, where the AHEPA family will participate in Holy Week Services and visit the Theological Seminary at Halki. “We’re excited about what we are doing to meet the core principles of our mission that include the protection, preservation, and promotion of Hellenism,” said James. “This excursion exemplifies our dedication that part of our mission and we look forward to sharing our experiences with our communities back in the United States. The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA) is the nation’s largest association of American citizens of Greek heritage and Philhellenes.
AHEPANS from the US and Greece in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Athens.
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MARCH - APRIL 2006
ΜΑΡΤΙΟΣ - ΑΠΡΙΛΙΟΣ 2006
ΕΤΟΣ 71 • ΑΡΙΘΜΟΣ 1222
ΠΑΤΡΙΑΡΧΙΚΗ ΑΠΟ∆ΕΙΞΙΣ ΕΠΙ ΤΩ ΑΓΙΩ ΠΑΣΧΑ ÿ ÂÁÑÈÏËÏÌÁÉÏÓ ÅËÅ~Ù ÈÅÏÕ ÁÑ×ÉÅÐÉÓÊÏÐÏÓ ÊÙÍÓÔÁÍÔÉÍÏÕÐÏËÅÙÓ, ÍÅÁÓ ÑÙÌÇÓ ÊÁÉ ÏÉÊÏÕÌÅÍÉÊÏÓ ÐÁÔÑÉÁÑ×ÇÓ ÐÁÍÔÉ Ô~Ù ÐËÇÑÙÌÁÔÉ ÔÇÓ ÅÊÊËÇÓÉÁÓ ×ÁÑÉÍ, ÅÉÑÇÍÇÍ ÊÁÉ ÅËÅÏÓ ÐÁÑÁ ÔÏÕ ÅÍÄÏÎÙÓ ÁÍÁÓÔÁÍÔÏÓ ÓÙÔÇÑÏÓ ×ÑÉÓÔÏÕ «Ἡ Ζωή πῶς θνήσκεις; Πῶς καί τάφῳ οἰκεῖς;». Ἀδελφοί συλλειτουργοί καί τέκνα εὐσεβῆ καί φιλόθεα τῆς Ἐκκλησίας, Πᾶσα φύσις ἀπορεῖ καί ἐξίσταται: Ὁ χορός τῶν Ἀγγέλων. Ἡ πληθύς τῶν ἀνθρώπων. Ἅπασα ἡ κτίσις ἐν φόβῳ καί τρόµῳ ἵσταται ἐνώπιον τοῦ µεγάλου καί ἀφάτου Μυστηρίου τῶν Ἁγίων Παθῶν καί τῆς λαµπροφόρου Ἀναστάσεως τοῦ Σωτῆρος Χριστοῦ. Καί διερωτᾶται: Πῶς εἶναι δυνατόν νά ἀποθνήσκῃ ἡ Ζωή, ἡ ὄντως Ζωή, ἡ Αὐτοζωή, ἡ πηγή τῆς Ζωῆς; Πῶς ἠµπορεῖ νά εἶναι ὁ τάφος κατοικητήριον τῆς Ζωῆς; Ἐκείνου δηλαδή, τοῦ Κυρίου ἡµῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, ὁ Ὁποῖος εἶπεν: «Ἐγώ εἰµι ... ἡ ζωή» (Ἰωάν. 14,6); Ἡ ἀπάντησις ἐδόθη διά τῆς Ἀναστάσεως. Πολλά ἀπό τά ἐρωτήµατα τῶν χρόνων ἐκείνων παραµένουν. Ὅ,τι ἐγένετο ἐφ᾿ ἅπαξ τότε, ἐπαναλαµβάνεται ἔκτοτε διηνεκῶς καί ἀδιαλείπτως. Τό Μυστήριον συνεχίζεται. Ἡ ἀπορία ὁµοίως. Σηµεῖον ἀντιλεγόµενον καί σήµερον διά πολλούς ὁ Χριστός (Λουκ. 2,34). Σταυροῦται, ἀλλά καί ἀνίσταται. Σκάνδαλον ὁ Ἐσταυρωµένος διά µερικούς, µωρία δι᾿ ἄλλους (Α´ Κορ. 1,23). Χλευάζεται ὑπό τινων ὁ ἐκ νεκρῶν Ἀναστάς (Πράξ. 17,32), συκοφαντεῖται ὑπό ἑτέρων (Ματθ. 28, 11-15), ἀλλά βασιλεύει εἰς τάς καρδίας τῶν πιστῶν. Οἱ πιστοί προγευόµεθα τήν Ἀνάστασιν, ζῶµεν ἀναστάσιµα, δέν φοβούµεθα τόν φυσικόν θάνατον τοῦ σώµατος, διότι πιστεύοµεν εἰς τήν Ἀνάστασιν τοῦ Χριστοῦ καί τῶν ἀνθρώπων, βλέποµεν δέ αὐτήν ὡς γεγονός µαρτυρούµενον ἀπό τήν συναναστροφήν µας µετά τῶν Ἁγίων, οἱ ὁποῖοι, ἄν καί κατά τήν ἀνθρωπίνην ἀντίληψιν ἀπέθανον, πράγµατι ζοῦν καί συναναστρέφονται µαζί µας καί µᾶς βοηθοῦν εἰς τήν ζωήν µας. Ἤχησεν ὅµως τότε καί ἠχεῖ ἐπίσης ἔκτοτε ἀκαταπαύστως διάτορος ἡ κραυγή τοῦ φανατισµοῦ: «σταύρωσον, σταύρωσον αὐτόν». Ἀπεκρίθη τότε καί ἀποκρίνεται ἔκτοτε ἡ δειλία καί ἀνευθυνότης τῶν κραταιῶν: «Λάβετε αὐτόν ὑµεῖς καί σταυρώσατε» (Ἰωάν. 19,6)! Ἡ ζωή ἀνέστη, ὁ Χριστός Ἀνέστη. Καί ἡµεῖς συµµαρτυροῦµεν τήν Ἀνάστασιν Αὐτοῦ, ὄχι µόνον διά ἀποδεικτικῶν ἐπιχειρηµάτων, ἀλλά διά τῆς ἀναστασίµου ζωῆς µας. Τότε γίνεται πιστευτή ἡ µαρτυρία µας ὅταν ζῇ ἐντός µας ὁ Ἀναστηµένος Χριστός, ὅταν ἀκτινοβολῆται ἀπό ὅλην τήν ὕπαρξίν µας ἡ χαρά, ἡ βεβαιότης καί ἡ εἰρήνη τῆς Ἀναστάσεως. Μένει βεβαίως ἐνώπιόν µας ὁ τάφος ὡς ἀπειλή τῆς ζωῆς. Τῆς ζωῆς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου καί τοῦ φυσικοῦ ἡµῶν περιβάλλοντος. ∆έν ἐννοοῦµεν βεβαίως τήν φθοράν καί τόν θάνατον ὑπό τήν βιολογικήν ἔννοιαν τῶν ὅρων. Ἐννοοῦµεν ἐκείνας τάς µορφάς τοῦ θανάτου καί τῆς φθορᾶς, αἱ ὁποῖαι ἀπειλοῦν τήν ζωήν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου αἰφνιδίως, βαναύσως, βιαίως. Ἐκείνας, αἱ ὁποῖαι προκαλοῦν τήν συνείδησιν, εὐτελίζουν τό ἀνθρώπινον πρόσωπον, παραφθείρουν τό κάλλος τῆς φύσεως. Ἐννοοῦµεν, ἐπί παραδείγµατι, τήν ζωήν, ἡ ὁποία παραδίδεται εἰς τόν θάνατον, πρίν κἄν ἀντικρύσῃ τό φῶς τοῦ ἡλίου. Ἐννοοῦµεν τά ἑκατοµµύρια τῶν παιδίων, τά ὁποῖα ὁδηγεῖ εἰς τόν τάφον ἡ πενία, ἡ πεῖνα, ἡ ἔλλειψις ἀκόµη καί τῶν στοιχειωδεστάτων φαρµάκων, ἡ σκληρότης τῆς καρδίας ἐκείνων, οἱ ὁποῖοι δύνανται, ἀλλά δέν πράττουν τά ἀναγκαῖα ὑπέρ αὐτῶν, ἡ ἀναισχυντία τῶν ἐκµεταλλευτῶν καί τῶν διαφθορέων τῆς παιδικῆς ἀθωότητος. Ἐννοοῦµεν τά θύµατα τῶν καθηµερινῶν βιαιοτήτων, τῶν θρησκευτικῶν, ἐθνικιστικῶν, φυλετικῶν καί ἄλλων φανατισµῶν καί πολεµικῶν συρράξεων, αἱ ὁποῖαι ἀντιπαρέρχονται ἀπαθῶς καί ἀδιαφόρως τό πανανθρώπινον αἴτηµα κατασιγάσεως τῶν παθῶν καί εἰρηνεύσεως, ἐπί τέλους, τοῦ κόσµου τούτου. Ἐννοοῦµεν, τέλος, τήν ληστρικήν ἐπιδροµήν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου κατά τοῦ φυσικοῦ περιβάλλοντος, τό ὁποῖον ὑποτάσσει βιαίως καί δολίως εἰς ἀκόρεστα πάθη ἐκµεταλλεύσεως καί κερδοφορίας, παραµορφώνει τό ἀπό τοῦ ∆ηµιουργοῦ δοθέν κάλλος αὐτοῦ καί ὑποσκάπτει τά θεµέλια καί τάς προϋποθέσεις ἐπιβιώσεως τῶν µελλοντικῶν γενεῶν. Συνελόντι εἰπεῖν, ἐννοοῦµεν ἐκείνας τάς µορφάς τῆς ζωῆς, αἱ ὁποῖαι φέρουν τά σηµεῖα τοῦ θανάτου, εἴτε πνευµατικά εἴτε ἠθικά εἶναι αὐτά, εἴτε γεννήµατα παθῶν καί λαθῶν, στερήσεως ἤ ἀπληστίας, εὐτελισµοῦ καί καταδυναστεύσεως τῆς ζωῆς. Ἀδελφοί καί τέκνα ἐν Κυρίῳ ἀγαπητά καί περιπόθητα, Προσεκυνήσαµεν καί πάλιν ἐφέτος τά Ἅγια Πάθη τοῦ Σωτῆρος ἡµῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ. Γνωρίζοµεν, ὅτι ὁ λόγος περί τοῦ σταυρικοῦ θανάτου αὐτοῦ εἶναι µωρία δι᾿ ὅσους ἐµµένουν
“Ί ο τόπος όπου εκείτο ο Κύριος”, Ιερά Μονή Σταυρονικήτα, Αγιο Όρος (1546).
εἰς τήν ἀπιστίαν καί ὁδεύουν εἰς ἀπώλειαν. Εἶναι, ἀντιθέτως, δύναµις Θεοῦ δι᾿ ὅσους πορευόµεθα ἐν πίστει τήν ὁδόν τῆς σωτηρίας (Α´ Κορ. 1,18) ὑπό τό ἀπαστράπτον φῶς τῆς Ἀναστάσεως. Ἐν τῇ δυνάµει αὐτῇ καί τῇ χαρᾷ τῆς Ἀναστάσεως τοῦ Χριστοῦ σεβόµεθα τήν ζωήν τῶν συνανθρώπων µας, διά νά παύσωµεν τούς ἀλληλοσπαραγµούς καί νά ἀπαρνηθῶµεν τήν βίαν καί τούς φανατισµούς, οἱ ὁποῖοι ἀπειλοῦν τήν ζωήν. Ὁ θρίαµβος τῆς Ἀναστάσεως πρέπει νά βιώνεται ὡς θρίαµβος τῆς ζωῆς, τῆς συναδελφώσεως τῶν ἀνθρώπων, τῆς προοπτικῆς, τῆς ἐλπίδος. «Χριστός Ἀνέστη καί ζωή πολιτεύεται». Αὐτῷ ἡ δόξα, ἡ τιµή καί τό κράτος εἰς αἰῶνας αἰώνων.
Ἅγιον Πάσχα 2006 διάπυρος πρός Χριστόν Ἀναστάντα εὐχέτης πάντων ὑµῶν
Επίσκεψη του Οικουμενικού Πατριάρχη στον Παναμά «Η χώρα του Παναμά ενώνει δύο ωκεανούς και δύο κόσμους, και από αυτής της απόψεως αποτελεί σύμβολο. Διότι σήμερα ο κόσμος χρειάζεται ενότητα, συνεργασία και αλ ληλεγγύη», τόνισε ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης κ. Βαρθολομαίος μόλις έφθασε στο αεροδρόμιο της πρωτεύουσας του Παναμά, πραγματοποιώντας επίσκεψη στα τέλη του προηγουμένου Φεβρουαρίου. Εκ μέρους του Προέδρου του Παναμά τον υποδέχθηκε ο αντιπρόεδρος Σαμουέλ Λουίς Ναβάρο, ενώ άγημα της Προεδρικής Φρουράς απέδωσε τιμές στον Πατριάρχη. του Νικολάου Μαγγίνα
Ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης μετέβη στον Παναμά μετά από πρόσκληση του Προέδρου της χώρας και του Μητροπολίτη Μεξικού ενώ κατά την παραμονή του έγινε δεκτός με θερμότατες και τιμητικές εκδηλώσεις από την πολιτική ηγεσία της χώρας, τους Εκκλησιαστικούς παράγοντες, την Ελληνορθόδοξη Κοινότητα και το λαό ευρύτερα. «Ασπάζομαι πατρικώς όλους τους Ορθοδόξους, οι οποίοι ζουν εις τον Παναμά. Η Μητέρα Εκκλησία της Κωνσταντινουπόλεως είναι υπερήφανη για την πρόοδό των, για τα επιτεύγματά των και δια την συμβολήν των εις την πρόοδον της χώρας του Παναμά», τόνισε ο Παναγιώτατος στον χαιρετισμό του προς τους ορθοδόξους. Τον υποδέχθηκαν πλην του αντιπροέδρου, ο Υπουργός Παιδείας, ο ρωμαιοκαθολικός Αρχ ιεπίσκοπος του Παναμά, ο Νούντσιος του Πάπα, ο Μητροπολίτης Μεξικού και Κεντρώας Αμερικής κ. Αθηναγόρας, ο Πρέσβης της Ελλάδος στο Μεξικό Αλέξανδρος Μηλιαρέσης, ο επίτιμος Γεν. Πρόξενος της Ελλάδος στον Παναμά Χαρ. Τζανετάτος, ο επίτιμος Πρόξενος της Ελλάδος Αναστάσιος Αθανασόπουλος, ο Πρόεδρος της Ελληνικής Κοινότητος Ευάγγελος Κούμανης κ.ά. Ιδιαίτερη συνάντηση είχε ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης με τον πρόεδρο του Παναμά Μαρτίν Τορίχο Εσπίνο, στο Προεδρικό Μέγαρο, όπου ακολούθησε δείπνο προς τιμήν του Πατριάρχου από τον Πρόεδρο, παρουσία Υπουργών και άλλων πολλών επισήμων. Ο πρόεδρος του Παναμά στην ομιλία του, αφού τόνισε ότι αποτελεί τιμή το να υποδέχεται στον Παναμά τον Πατριάρχη, τον χαρακτήρισε ως «από-
Αγκαλιάζοντας τον κόσμο
Ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης κ. Βαρθολομαίος με τον πρόεδρο του Παναμά Μαρτίν Τορίχο Εσπίνο καθ’ οδόν πρός το Προεδρικό Μέγαρο.
στολο της ανεκτικότητος και της κατανοήσεως μεταξύ λαών και θρησκειών». Στη συνέχεια ο Πρόεδρος αναφέρθηκε στη μέριμνα του Πατριάρχου για το διαθρησκειακό διάλογο και επεσήμανε τις προσπάθειες του Πατριάρχου για την ειρήνη, λέγοντας: «Είναι γνωστές οι ευγενείς προσπάθειές σας δια την οικοδόμησιν διαρκούς παγκοσμίου ειρήνης, δια την υπεράσπισιν του δικαιώματος της ανθρωπότητος να ζει με αξιοπρέπειαν εις τον υλικόν τομέα και με απόλυτον σεβασμόν εις τον πνευματικόν τοιούτον, δια την μονιμότητα τόσον πολυτίμων αξιών δια τον άνθρωπον, ως είναι η ελευθερία, η τιμή, η δικαιοσύνη και η αλληλεγγύη». Ο Πρόεδρος του Παναμά προέβη σε μία εκδήλωση ιδιαίτερης τιμής και σεβασμού προς το πρόσωπο του Πατριάρχου και του θεσμού που εκπροσωπεί, ξεπερνώντας το πρωτόκολλο. Ο Πατριάρχης είχε συνάντηση, σύμφωνα με το πρόγραμμα, με τον Ρωμαιοκαθολικό Αρχιεπίσκοπο του Παναμά Δήμα Σεδένιο, στον Καθεδρικό Ναό της πόλεως, παρουσία Ιεραρχών, κλήρου, άλ λων επισήμων και πλήθους πιστών. Έξω ακριβώς από την πόρτα του ναού ανέμενε ο Πρόεδρος για να συνοδεύσει τον Πατριάρχη στο Προεδρικό Μέγαρο, διασχίζοντας πεζή μαζί αρκετές εκατοντάδες μέτρα. Το γεγονός αυτό συνέβη για πρώτη φορά, όπως έλεγαν συνεργάτες του Προέδρου, και οι υπεύθυνοι της άσφαλείας του που δεν κατάφεραν
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Κατά την απονομή του επίτιμου διδακτορικού διπλώματος στον Οικουμενικό Πατριἀρχη από το Πανεπιστήμιο του Παναμά.
να το αποτρέψουν μπροστά στην επιμονή του Προέδρου να δείξει την πιο μεγάλη τιμή στον υψηλό προσκεκλημένο του.
Το κλειδί της πόλεως Το κλειδί της πόλεως του Παναμά προσέφερε ο Δήμαρχός της στον Οικουμενικό Πατριάρχη κ. Βαρθολομαίο. Ο Δήμαρχος Χουάν Κάρλος Ναβάρρο χαρακτήρισε μεγάλο γεγονός και ιστορικής σημασίας την επίσκεψη του Πατριάρχου, λέγοντας ότι: «Αυτή η ιστορική επίσκεψη του Πατριάρχου είναι η πρόγευση όλων των ευλογιών που θα έλθουν στον Παναμά... Γι’ αυτό, εξ ονόματος όλων των πολιτών της πόλεως του Παναμά Τον καλωσορίζουμε επίσημα και Τον ονομάζουμε Επίτιμο Δημότη». Το Εθνικό Πανεπιστήμιο της πόλεως του Παναμά ανακήρυξε τον Πατριάρχη επίτιμο διδάκτορά του, κάτι που στα 70 χρόνια της ιστορίας του, έχει κάνει έως τώρα μόνον επτά φορές απονέμοντας ανάλογα επίτιμα διδακτορικά. Στο Ρωμαιοκαθολικό Ναό, τον αφιερωμένο στην Παναγία, πραγματοποιήθηκε οικουμενική συνάντηση με τη συμμετοχή πολυπληθούς εκκλησιάσματος που ήρθε να ακούσει την ομιλία του Πατριάρχου. Μία ακόμη έκπληξη ήταν η συνάντηση του Πατριάρχου με τον πρώην Πρόεδρο του Παναμά Ernesto Perez Balladeres, ο οποίος, αν και ασθενής, θέλησε να λάβει την ευλογία του Παναγιωτάτου, συνοδευόμενος από τον πρ. Υπουργό Παιδείας Παύλο Θαλασσινό. Το πατρικό ενδιαφέρον του Πατρι-
άρχου Βαρθολομαίου για τα παιδιά δέχθηκαν οι μικροί ασθενείς του Νοσοκομείου Παίδων της πόλεως του Παναμά. Τον ξενάγησαν στους χώρους του ο Υπουργός Υγείας, η σύζυγος του Προέδρου του Παναμά Λίλιαν Εσπίνο, καθώς και ο Χαράλαμπος Τζανετάτος, ο οποίος έχει δωρήσει και συντηρεί ξενώνα για τους άπορους γονείς των παιδιών που νοσηλεύονται στο Νοσοκομείο. Στον Παναμά υπάρχει μία αξιόλογη παρουσία της Ομογένειας, η οποία δραστηριοποιείται γύρω από την εκεί Ελληνική Κοινότητα με τα νάματα της Ελ ληνορθόδοξης παράδοσης. Πρόεδρός της είναι ο Ευάγγελος Κούμανης. Αριθμούν γύρω στις 130 οικογένειες Ελληνικής καταγωγής. Το δραστήριο τμήμα της νεολαίας της Ελληνικής Κοινότητος που έχει Πρόεδρο τον Ιωάννη Κωνσταντάκη, παρουσίασε παραδοσιακούς Ελληνικούς και Παναμέζικους χορούς. Ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος απευθυνόμενος σε ομιλία του στους Ομογενείς του Παναμά τους προέτρεψε να ακολουθούν την Ελληνορθόδοξη παράδοση, τονίζοντας: «Πατρικώς προτρεπόμεθα να διακρατήτε την Ελληνορθόδοξον παράδοσιν, την πίστιν και την ευσέβειάν σας, με κάθε προσοχήν και επιμέλειαν, και τα πολύτιμα στοιχεία της παραδόσεώς μας να τα μεταλαμπαδεύετε εις τα τέκνα σας. Ουδέν κατόρθωμα, ουδεμία επιτυχία, ουδείς πλούτος, ουδέν αγαθόν του κόσμου τούτου δύναται να αναπληρώσει ή να αντικαταστήση τον ατίμητον θησαυρόν της πίστεώς μας». Ακόμη, ο Πατριάρχης συνέστησε στους Ομογενείς μας να συνεχίσουν τις προσπάθειές τους σε όλους τους τομείς της ζωής τους με ομόνοια και ειρήνη μεταξύ τους, λέγοντας: «Συνεχίσατε τας ευγενείς προσπαθείας σας εις όλους τους τομείς της δράσεώς σας, εις τον πνευματικόν, τον επαγγελματικόν, τον κοινωνικόν. Συνεχίσατε τον ωραίον αγώνα σας, υπό την στοργικήν σκέπην της Εκκλησίας και την φροντίδα των κοινοτικών σας αρχόντων, διαφυλάττοντες ως κόρην οφθαλμού την ομόνοιαν, την ειρήνην, τον σύνδεσμον της αδελφικής αγάπης και αναδεικνυόμενοι εν παντί υψηλά πρότυπα ζωής, προς χαράν και δικαίαν καύχησιν και της Μητρός Εκκλησίας». Το δυναμικό παρών των Ομογενών μας στον Παναμά σε όλους τους τομείς του κοινωνικού βίου είναι εμφανές. Έφθασαν μέχρι και του ανωτάτου αξιώματος της χώρας. Πρόκεται για τον αείμνηστο πρ. Πρόεδρο του Παναμά Δημήτριο Βασ. Λάκα, στον τάφο του οποίου ο Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος τέλεσε τρισάγιο παρουσία της οικογενείας του και άλλων μελών της Κοινότητος. Ο Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος προεξήρχε της Θείας Λειτουργίας που τελέσθηκε στο Ναό του Ευαγγελισμού της Θεοτόκου, όπου έλαβαν μέρος οι Μητροπολίτες Εσθονίας Στέφανος, ο οποίος σ υνόδευσε τον Πατριάρχη στον Παναμά, και Μεξικού Αθηναγόρας. Ο Πατριάρχης, συνοδευόμενος από τον Μητροπολίτη Μεξικού, τα μέλη της συνοδείας του και από παράγοντες της Ελ ληνικής Κοινότητος επισκέφθηκε την Διώρυγα του Παναμά, πραγματοποιώντας μία επιθυμία του από τα μαθητικά του χρόνια Έγινε επίσημα δεκτός από τους αρμοδίους της Διώρυγας, οι οποίοι και τον ξενάγησαν στις εγκαταστάσεις της.
ΟΡΘΟ∆ΟΞΟΣ ΠΑΡΑΤΗΡΗΤΗΣ ORTHODOX OBSERVER
Ἅγιον Πάσχα 2006 Ἑορτή τῶν Ἑορτῶν Τῷ δέ Θεῷ χάρις τῷ διδόντι ἡµῖν τό νῖκος διά τοῦ Κυρίου ἡµῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ Κορινθίους Α´, 15:57 Πρός τούς Σεβασµιωτάτους καί Θεοφιλεστάτους Ἀρχιερεῖς, τούς Εὐλαβεστάτους Ἱερεῖς καί ∆ιακόνους, τούς Μοναχούς καί Μοναχές, τούς Προέδρους καί Μέλη τῶν Κοινοτικῶν Συµβουλίων, τά Ἡµερήσια καί Ἀπογευµατινά Σχολεῖα, τίς Φιλοπτώχους Ἀδελφότητες, τήν Νεολαία, τίς Ἑλληνορθόδοξες Ὀργανώσεις καί ὁλόκληρο τό Χριστεπώνυµον πλήρωµα τῆς Ἱερᾶς Ἀρχιεπισκοπῆς Ἀµερικῆς. Προσφιλεῖς µου ἀδελφοί καί ἀδελφές ἐν Χριστῷ, Αὐτή τήν µεγάλη καί λαµπρή ἡµέρα τῆς Ἀναστάσεως τοῦ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ἐκ νεκρῶν, τήν Ἑορτή τῶν Ἑορτῶν τῆς Ἁγίας Ὀρθοδόξου Ἐκκλησίας µας, σᾶς χαιρετίζω µέ τήν διαχρονική ἀναφώνηση ἀληθείας καί θριάµβου: Χριστός Ἀνέστη! Αὐτή τήν ἡµέρα τῆς Ἀναστάσεως, οἱ λόγοι τοῦ Ἀποστόλου Παύλου πρός Κορινθίους τῷ δέ Θεῷ χάρις τῷ διδόντι ἡµῖν τό νῖκος διά τοῦ Κυρίου ἡµῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ (Α´ Κορινθίους, 15:57 ) ἀντηχοῦν καθαρότατα, διότι σήµερα ὁ Ἀναστάς Ἰησοῦς Χριστός ἐθριάµβευσε ἐπί τῃς ἁµαρτίας, τοῦ κακοῦ καί τοῦ θανάτου. Ἡ ἔκφραση τῶν εὐχαριστιῶν µας πρός τόν Θεό γιά τήν µεγαλωσύνη Του ἀποτελεῖ χαρακτηριστικό σηµεῖο τοῦ Πάσχα. Μία τέτοιου εἴδους ἔκφραση τῶν εὐχαριστιῶν µας γιά τή µεγαλωσύνη Του ἀποκαλύπτεται στόν Ἑσπερινό τῆς Ἀγάπης τοῦ Πάσχα, ὅταν χαρµόσυνα ψάλλουµε τούς στίχους τοῦ Ψαλµωδοῦ, Τίς Θεός µέγας ὡς ὁ Θεός ἡµῶν; Σύ εἶ ὁ Θεός ὁ ποιῶν θαυµάσια (Ψαλµ. 76: 14-15). Τό θαῦµα πού ἔκανε ὁ Θεός, τό ὁποῖο ἑορτάζουµε µέ χαρά καί δέος τήν ἡµέρα τοῦ Πάσχα εἶναι θαῦµα ἀπολύτου θριάµβου· εἶναι δηλαδή, ἡ πλήρης ἀνατροπή τῆς δυνάµεως τοῦ διαβόλου ἐπί τοῦ ἀνθρωπίνου προορισµοῦ, ἀνατροπή ἡ ὁποία ἐξασφαλίσθη µέ τήν κάθοδο τοῦ Χριστοῦ στόν Ἄδη καί τήν Ἀνάστασή Του ἐκ νεκρῶν. Μέσα ἀπό τόν δικό Του θάνατο καί τήν κάθοδο στόν Ἄδη, ὁ Χριστός ἐνίκησε τόν θάνατο καί ἔδωσε ζωή στούς νεκρούς. Ἡ ἱερή εἰκόνα τῆς Ἀναστάσεως ἡ ὁποία ἐκτίθεται εἰς προσκύνηση καθ’ ὅλη τήν Πασχαλινή περίοδο στίς ἐκκλησίες µας, µᾶς προσφέρει µιά ζωηρή παράσταση αὐτοῦ τοῦ γεγονότος. Αὐτή ἡ ἱερή εἰκόνα παρουσιάζει τόν Χριστό νά ἐγείρῃ τόν Ἀδάµ καί τήν Εὔα ἐκ τοῦ τάφου. Πρόκειται περί µιᾶς συµβολικῆς ἀπεικονίσεως τῆς ὑπό τοῦ Χριστοῦ λυτρώσεως ὁλοκλήρου τῆς ἀνθρωπότητος, ἡ ὁποία κάποτε ὑπῆρξε αἰχµάλωτη ὑπό τήν δύναµη τοῦ θανάτου, ἀλλά ἡ ὁποία πλέον ἔχει λυτρωθεῖ ἀπό τόν Χριστό καί ζεῖ αἰώνια µ’ Ἐκεῖνον. Πρέπει νά τονισθῇ ὅτι ὁ θρίαµβος πού µᾶς κληροδότησε ὁ Θεός µέσῳ τοῦ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ὑπῆρξε κατ’ οὐσίαν πραγµατοποίηση προφητειῶν τῆς Παλαιᾶς ∆ιαθήκης. Ὁ Θεός διεκήρυξε διά τοῦ Προφήτου Ὠσηέ: ἐκ θανάτου λυτρώσοµαι αὐτούς. Ποῦ ἡ νίκη σου θάνατε; Ποῦ τό κέντρον σου Ἅδη; Καί ὁ Προφήτης Ἠσαΐας ὁµιλεῖ µέ τόν ἴδιο τρόπο (Ἠσ. 25:8). Ὁ Ἀπόστολος Παῦλος ὑπαινίσσεται σαφέστατα τίς προφητεῖες αὐτές ὅταν ἀπευθύνεται στούς Κορινθίους: ὅταν δέ τό φθαρτόν τοῦτο ἐνδύσηται ἀφθαρσίαν καί τό θνητόν τοῦτο ἐνδύσηται ἀθανασίαν, τότε γενήσεται ὁ λόγος ὁ γεγραµµένος· κατεπόθη ὁ θάνατος εἰς νῖκος, ποῦ σου, θάνατε τό νῖκος; ποῦ σου, θάνατε, τό κέντρον; (Α´ Κορινθίους, 15: 54-55). Ὁ Ἅγιος Ἰωάννης ὁ Χρυσόστοµος ἐπίσης ἐσκεµµένως χρησιµοποιεῖ αὐτούς τούς λόγους στήν περίφηµη Πασχαλινή ὁµιλία του, ἡ ὁποία ἀναγιγνώσκεται µέ θριαµβευτικό τρόπο τήν ἡµέρα αὐτή στίς ἐκκλησίες µας. Τό πράττει αὐτό γιά νά ἐπικυρώσῃ τή συνέχεια αὐτοῦ τοῦ θριάµβου καί τῆς ἀληθείας, καί γιά νά διακηρύξῃ ρητῶς τήν καθοριστική φύση τῆς νίκης τοῦ Χριστοῦ ἐπί τοῦ θανάτου. Ἡ σπουδαιότητα τῆς προφητείας πού συναντοῦµε στήν Παλαιά ∆ιαθήκη περί τῆς Ἀναστάσεως τοῦ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, µᾶς φανερώνει ὅτι ὁ φιλεύσπλαγχνος Θεός µᾶς ἠγάπησε ἀπό τήν ἀρχή τῆς ὑπάρξεώς µας, καί µᾶς ἀποκαλύπτει ὅτι ἦτο πάντοτε τό θέληµά Του νά λυτρώσῃ τήν ἀνθρωπότητα ἀπό τήν πτώση καί νά τήν καταστήσῃ αἰώνιο κοινωνό Του. Καί, ἐπίσης, ὅτι ὁ ἐκπληκτικός τρόπος µέ τόν ὁποῖο ἀπεφάσισε νά πραγµατοποιήσῃ αὐτό τόν σκοπό ἦτο νά συγκαταβῇ νά εἰσέλθῃ στόν κόσµο µας ὡς ἄνθρωπος καί νά ὑποφέρῃ µέχρι θανάτου, θανάτου δέ Σταυροῦ. Ὡς ἀποτέλεσµα, οἱ ἁµαρτίες µας ἔχουν συγχωρηθεῖ καί µᾶς ἔχει χαρισθεῖ ἡ αἰώνιος ζωή µαζί µέ Ἐκεῖνον, ὁ Ὁποῖος ἀνέστη ἐκ νεκρῶν. Προσφιλεῖς µου Χριστιανοί, ∆ιά τοῦ Χριστοῦ, τό κεντρί τοῦ θανάτου παύει πλέον νά εἶναι δηλητηριῶδες. Ὅπως προεῖπαν οἱ προφῆτες, ἡ ἰσχύς τοῦ διαβόλου ἐπί τοῦ ἀνθρωπίνου προορισµοῦ καθίσταται γιά πάντα κενή. Ὅπως ὁ Ψαλµωδός διακήρυξε, ὁ Θεός µόνος κατηργάσθη ἕνα τεράστιο θαῦµα τό ὁποῖο ὑπερβαίνει τήν ἀνθρώπινη κατανόηση! Αὐτή τήν λαµπρή ἡµέρα τῆς Ἀναστάσεως τοῦ Κυρίου µας Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, ἄς σκεφθοῦµε τή µεγαλωσύνη τοῦ Θεοῦ, καί ἄς ἐναρµονισθοῦµε µέ τόν φυσικό πόθο τῆς ψυχῆς µας νά Τοῦ προσφέρουµε ἀκατάπαυστη δοξολογία γιά τό θρίαµβο πού µᾶς ἐχάρισε διά τοῦ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ αὐτή τήν ἡµέρα. Καθώς σκεπτόµεθα αὐτό τόν τεράστιο θρίαµβο κατά τή διάρκεια τῆς Πασχαλινῆς περιόδου, εἴθε νά µπορέσουµε νά κατανοήσουµε καί νά ἐκτιµήσουµε τήν πλήρη σηµασία τῶν θριαµβευτικῶν λόγων τοῦ Ἀποστόλου Παύλου ὅταν ὁµιλεῖ στούς Κορινθίους γιά τήν Ἀνάσταση: τῷ δέ Θεῷ χάρις τῷ διδόντι ἡµῖν τό νῖκος διά τοῦ Κυρίου ἡµῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ (Α´ Κορινθίους, 15:57 ). Χριστός Ἀνέστη! Ἀληθῶς Ἀνέστη! Μέ θερµότατες Πασχάλιες εὐχές καί ἀγάπη εἰς Χριστόν Ἀναστάντα
«Εφυγε ο φωτογράφος των Σεπτεμβριανών» Οι περισσότερες φωτογραφίες με τις οποίες έγιναν γνωστοί οι βανδαλισμοί κατά των Ελλήνων της Πόλης το 1955 φέρουν την υπογραφή του. του Νικολάου Μαγγίνα
Ο φωτογράφος των Σεπτεμβριανών, Δημήτρης Καλούμενος, απεβίωσε τον Ιανουάριο σε ηλικία 94 ετών. Ο Δημήτρης Καλούμενος γεννήθηκε στην Κωνσταντινούπολη το 1912 και ολοκλήρωσε τις γυμνασιακές του σπουδές στο Ζωγράφειο Λύκειο Κωνσταντινουπόλεως. Το 1932 ξεκίνησε τη συνεργασία του με το Αθηναϊκό Πρακτορείο ως ανταποκριτής. Το 1940 ορίζεται επίσημος φωτογράφος του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου και το 1941 ξεκινάει συνεργασία με τις βρετανικές διπλωματικές αρχές στην Κωνσταντινούπολη, στο Τμήμα Φωτογραφίας, η οποία θα διαρκέσει έως το τέλος του Β’ Παγκοσμίου Πολέμου. Στη συνέχεια, συνεργάζεται ως δημοσιογράφος-ανταποκριτής με τις εφημερίδες Έθνος και Μακεδονία. Το γεγονός που σφράγισε όμως την ζωή του, προσωπικά και επαγγελματικά, ήταν η νύχτα του πογκρόμ κατά των Ελλήνων της Κωνσταντινούπολης, στις 6 και 7 Σεπτεμβρίου 1955. Φωτογραφίζει τα γεγονότα και οι φωτογραφίες του δημοσιεύονται στο διεθνή Τύπο. Οι φωτογραφίες αυτές αποτέλεσαν τη συντριπτική πλειοψηφία των φωτογραφικών τεκμηρίων για τα τραγικά
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ΤΟ ΓΡΑΦΕΙΟ ΤΗΣ ΣΤΑΘΕΡΟΤΗΤΑΣ ASTORIA OFFICE
ÿ ï Áñ÷éåðßóêïðïò ÁìåñéêÞò ÄçìÞôñéïò
γεγονότα, που κυκ λοφορούσαν διεθνώς μέχρι και πέρυσι, όταν ο στρατιωτικός εισαγγελέας που ασχολήθηκε με την υπόθεση δημοσίευσε μετά θάνατον και τις φωτογραφίες που συμπεριελήφθησαν την εποχή εκείνη στο φάκελο της ανακρίσεως. Στις 28 Ιανουαρίου 1958 απελαύνεται από την Τουρκία κατηγορούμενος για αντιτουρκική δράση. Στην Αθήνα συμβάλλει στην ίδρυση του Σωματείου Απελαθέντων Κωνσταντινουπολιτών, στο οποίο διετέλεσε γενικός γραμματέας επί 15 χρόνια. Από το 1961 έως το 1967 φωτογραφίζει και αρθρογραφεί για το περιοδικό Ρομάντζο και το 1974 προσελήφθη στο υπουργείο Τύπου. Ο Δημήτρης Καλούμενος είχε βραβευθεί με σειρά τιμητικών διακρίσεων και μεταλλίων. Ιδιαίτερη ήταν η βράβευσή του από την Ακαδημία Αθηνών για την όλη δράση του και για το βιβλίο του «Η σταύρωση του Χριστιανισμού». Είχε εκδώσει, επίσης, τα έργα: «Το ξερίζωμα του Ελληνισμού», «Η νύκτα του Αγίου Βαρθολομαίου», «Τα τραγικά γεγονότα της Κωνσταντινουπόλεως», «Μικρά Ασία: ο υπό τουρκικής κατοχής ιερός χώρος των Ελλήνων», «Χάρτης της Μ.Ασίας» (με στατιστικά στοιχεία του Ελληνισμού προ της Μικρασιατικής Καταστροφής). Τα συλλυπητήρια του στους οικείους του εξέφρασε η ΕΣΗΕΑ, που «αποχαιρετά έναν άξιο συνάδελφο που με αυταπάρνηση, ήθος και συνέπεια υπηρέτησε τη δημοσιογραφία».
34-10 Broadway, Astoria, NY 11106 (718) 932-7800 ■ 1-800-321-1199
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Πέντε γενιές Ελληνοαμερικανών γέμισαν την 5η Λεωφόρο Την κορύφωση των εορταστικών εκδηλώσεων για την Ελληνική Παλιγγενεσία αποτέλεσε και φέτος η μεγάλη παρέλαση της 25ης Μαρτίου στην 5η Λεωφόρο του Μανχάταν. Xιλιάδες Ελληνοαμερικανοί μικροί και μεγάλοι, ξεχύθηκαν στην Νέα Υόρκη την Κυριακή 2 Απριλίου εκδηλώνοντας με κάθε τρόπο την υπερηφάνεια τους για την ελληνική καταγωγή τους. Οι διοργανωτές της παρέλασης τίμησαν φέτος ως τελετάρχες τον δήμαρχο της Νέας Υόρκης Μάικλ Μπλούμπεργκ, τον πρόεδρο του Συμβουλίου Απόδημου Ελληνισμού Άντριου Άθενς, τον πρόεδρο της ελ ληνοαμερικανικής τράπεζας Marathon Bank Πολ Σταθουλόπουλο και τον επιχειρηματία Τζον Ράγκο. Ο Σεβασμιώτατος Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής κ. Δημήτριος ο οποίος συμμετείχε σε όλες τις εκδηλώσεις, ηγήθηκε της παρέλασης και περπάτησε μέχρι την εξέδρα των επισήμων μαζί με τους τελετάρχες. Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος παρακολούθησε την παρέλαση έως το τέλος, θαυμάζοντας και καταχειροκροτώντας τους παρελαύνοντας.
Φωτογραφίες ΔΗΜ. ΠΑΝΑΓΟΣ
Με ελληνικές σημαίες στα χέρια τελετάρχες και επίσημοι ξεκινούν την παράλαση (από αριστερά) Πολ Σταθουλόπουλος, Μάϊκλ Μπλούμπεργκ, Αρχιεπίσκοπος ∆ημήτριος, ο Υπουργός Μακεδονίας Θράκης Γιώργος Καλατζής, και Τζον Ράγκος. (δεξιά) Ο ΑΡΧΙΕΠΙΣΚΟΠΟΣ ∆ημήτριος με τη Ροδούλα Καλαμαρά, 18 μηνών.
Νεαρός εκπρόσωπος του συλλόγου Ποντίων “Κομνηνοί” Νέας Υόρκης.
Αριστούχες μαθήτριες των ελληνοαμερικανικών ημερησίων σχολείων.
Παρελαύνουν οι εύζωνες της Προεδρικής Φρουράς.
Ο Μεγαλέξανδρος: Αρμα του Αγίου Ιωάννη του Θεολόγου, Τενεφλάϊ, Νέας Ιερσέης.
Ο Ευαγγελισμός: Αρμα γεμάτο παιδιά της ενορίας Αρχαγγέλου Μιχαήλ, Γκλεν Κόουβ, Ν.Υ.
Η παρέλαση ήταν αφιερωμένη στον Έλληνα μετανάστη και τον αείμνηστο Αρχιεπίσκοπο Ιάκωβο, ο οποίος απεβίωσε σχεδόν ένα χρόνο πριν στις 10 Απριλίου, λίγη μόλις ώρα μετά το τέλος της περυσινής παρέλασης. Ιδιαίτερο παλμό έδωσαν οι εύζωνες της Προεδρικής Φρουράς που ήρθαν γι’ αυτόν ακριβώς το λόγο από την Ελλάδα και καταχειροκροτήθηκαν από τις χιλι-
ελληνοαμερικανικές επιχειρήσεις ενίσχυσαν οικονομικά την διοργάνωση της φετεινής παρέλασης. Το Κυπριακό και το Μακεδονικό, τα ανοιχτά εθνικά θέματα που απασχολούν την Ομογένεια, αποτέλεσαν σημείο αναφοράς για τα συνθήματα και τα πανώ των συλ λόγων. Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριος, στο κήρυγμά του μετά το πέρας της Θείας
άδες των ομογενών. Καθ’ όλη τη διάρκεια της παρέλασης η Φιλαρμονική Μπάντα του Γενικού Επιτελείου Στρατού παιάνιζε εμβατήρια, δημιουργώντας εθνικό παλμό και ενθουσιασμό. Συμμετείχαν περισσότεροι από 100 ομογενειακοί φορείς, τα σχολεία, οι ενορίες, η νεολαία, οι οργανισμοί, τα εθνικοτοπικά σωματεία και οι ομοσπονδίες, οι φοιτητικές ενώσεις. Πολ λές
Λειτουργίας στον Καθεδρικό Ναό της Αγίας Τριάδος, μίλησε για την πίστη που καθοδηγούσε τους αγώνες των Ελλήνων για την Ελευθερία. «Οι αγωνιστές του ’21 είχαν λάβαρο μια εικόνα της Παναγιάς και ένα Σταυρό… σήμερα σε έναν κόσμο σύγχυσης, βίας, διαφθοράς, συνεχών αθλίων συνδυασμών και σχετικοποίησης των πάντων, ο ρόλος της πίστης είναι καθοριστικός» τόνισε.
MARCH - APRIL 2006
Diplomat honored Greece’s Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis was honored by the Daughters of Penelope on March 11 in its “Salute to Women” event at the Greek Embassy in Washington.
Leads Dental Assoc. Brooklyn, N.Y. dentist Dr. Steven Gounardes, D.D.S., is president-elect of the New York State Dental Association (NYSDA). He will serve as NYSDA president in 2007. The association, a constituent of the American Dental Association, represents more than 13,000 of the state’s dentists. Dr. Gounardes is also president of the St. Basil Academy Board of Trustees, a member of the Hellenic Dental Society, and for 20 years a member of the Holy Cross Church board in Brooklyn. He also served on the Board of Trustees of Hellenic College-Holy Cross School of Theology and is a member of the Archdiocesan Council.
Greek Loukoumi Author Nick Katsoris’ recent children’s book, Loukoumi, has been published in Greek by Livanis Publishing Organization in Athens. Loukoumi is the story of a little lamb, who was supposed to go to America with her family, but she got on the wrong plane, and then the wrong train, and then the wrong boat. In this international journey through Greece, France, Italy and Morocco. The author is a New York attorney and since 1995 has served as general counsel of the Red Apple Group. A graduate of Fordham Law School, Nick also is entertainment editor for the Hellenic Times newspaper, and has published several articles for the American Bar Association and the National Law Journal. Katsoris is also the author of the legal thriller Crimes of Fire (www.crimesoffire. com) and, in 1989, co-founded the Hellenic Times Scholarship Fund.
National honor Cleveland Plain Dealer reporter Andrea Simakis recently won the Sigma Delta Chi Society of Professional Journalism Award for best magazine writing. Her lengthy award-winning article “Road to Ruin,” which is the story of a diesel mechanic who endured a nightmare experience in the state court system after he threw a single punch at his neighbor’s eye and received a two-year prison term.
Architect’s view The weekly professional architect’s journal AIArchitect, included in its April 7 issue a small blurb on noted church architect Steven Papadatos who commented that the trend is toward larger houses of worship because of obesity. He observed that, fewer people these days sit in pews, but not necessarily by choice. In 1970, it took 20 inches to seat an average American; 30 years later, it took 4 additional inches; and today it’s 26.5 inches per average person. The reason is obvious, Papadatos, says. “Larger sizes. This goes along with bigger portions, bigger candy bars, bigger steaks, bigger everything—which translates into bigger persons.” Papadatos also notes that front-to-back spacing between pews used to be 40 inches, and is now 43 inches, particularly when kneelers are used.
A Shining Example of a Church on a Hill Whose Works Cannot Be Hid BALTIMORE – On top of a hill in a quiet suburban setting of northeast Baltimore, St. Demetrios Church is a beehive of activity. Though only in existence a little more than 35 years, the parish offers its members a strong ministry that includes many programs and activities. According to a history by parishioner Demetrios N. Makres, the effort to organize began Nov. 29, 1969, at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Gabriel Pantelides. A meeting with Archbishop Iakovos followed, in February 1970, and,
P A R I S H
tablished in October 1973 and took place at the elementary school where services were first held. By 1974, the community had grown to 168 families and the parish received its name and ecclesiastical charter. The first construction on the property, the fellowship hall-education building, was completed in February 1975 and the first liturgy took place in the chapel of the building in early January 1976. As part of the preparation of the land for the construction, an existing old farmhouse on the site was intentionally set on fire and provided a training session for the
some immigrants and converts. Fr. Noplos said the parish gets “about a dozen converts a year.” The Divine Liturgy and the hymns are performed mostly in English. The parish’s priest, Fr. Gousios, is a delayed-vocation priest who was ordained Nov. 1, 2005. “Most Sundays, all three of us are in the altar,” said Fr. Noplos.
Large youth program
The church has a number of ministries and outreach programs, including a large youth program with a full-time youth director, Jennie Kegle.
p ro f i l e
Name: St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church Location: Baltimore Metropolis: New Jersey Size: more than 625 supporting families Founded: 1969 Clergy: Fr. Louis J. Noplos (Hellenic College ’79; Holy Cross ’82) Fr. Stephen Gousios, (assistant Holy Cross ’94) Web site: www.stdemetriosmd.org E-mail: email@example.com Noteworthy: the “Levendes” and the “Palikaria” take good care of the church. shortly afterward, 102 families pledged more than $100,000 in 30 days. The charter meeting was held on April 5, 1970 at a local Episcopal Church, along with the selection of an interim parish council. By October, the Greek school began operating and the first priest to serve the parish, Fr. Sam Kalamaras, was assigned on Nov. 15. A year to the day following the first organizational meeting, the first Divine Liturgy took place at a local elementary school. The choir was formed a week earlier. The worship service location shifted to a local high school by January 1971 and the church school classes got under way. When the elementary school was unavailable, services took place at one of the local Catholic, Protestant or Episcopal churches. Following the departure of Fr. Kalamaras in August 1971, the community was without a priest for 13 months until the assignment of the Rev. Dr. Demetrios Constantelos, a professor at Richard Stockton College in New Jersey. When Fr. Constantelos was unavailable, the Rev. Dr. Sophocles Sophocles substituted. Plans to eventually build a church continued during this period and the 30-acre property on Cub Hill Road where the church complex now stands was purchased in late 1971. Fr. Sophocles held the first openair liturgy on the property in the summer of 1972. A new priest, Fr. Ernest Arambiges, was assigned to St. Demetrios on Sept. 15, 1972. He went on to serve the community for nearly 25 years during which time the present church was completed in 1983, as well as other structures. He also implemented many of the programs that continue to function. The annual Greek festival was es-
ST. DEMETRIOS GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH
There is a full-time pre-school functioning Monday through Friday with 45 to 60 students in three grade levels. Sunday school has about 250 children and Greek school has 40. From 60 to 80 young children participate in JOY, which meets one Saturday a month. A group of preschool-age children, the “Angelakia,” also meet monthly. Goyans hold several events each month and undertake special projects. Fr. Noplos said the group’s current project involved preparing and serving food at a local homeless shelter twice a month. The YAL recently was BALTIMORE reactivated and has nearly 30 members. The community has several Greek St. Demetrios has dance groups, its own cemetery that occupies including the 10 acres of the property and “Zorba” dancers was dedicated June 2, 1985. who performed Lastly, construction of at the first Greek St. Kyriaki Chapel, which festival in 1973 holds about 60 people, was comand the “Demetrapleted in 1989 and dedicated July 9 of kia” dancers, who that year. Fr. Arambiges retired in 1996 and was m a d e their first appearance at the succeed as proistamenos by the current 1981 Greek festival. Over the last few years, St. Demepastor, Fr. Noplos, who for the previous 14½ years served as assistant priest at An- trios’ Greek dancers have placed first at the New Jersey Metropolis Fold Dance nunciation Cathedral in Baltimore. But Fr. Arambiges continues to be a Festival. The Philoptochos chapter conpresence in the parish. “Fr. Ernie is a very integral part of the community,” said Fr. ducts several outreach programs durNoplos. “We keep him involved as much ing the year, including an Easter Food as he wants to be. He does Bible studies Drive, in which members collect from and is a very , very good teacher. He’s also 80 to 100 bags of groceries and take one of the best liturgists I’ve ever come them to people in need; and one or two blood drives annually. across.” Aid efforts for victims of Hurricane Most of the current members originally attended Annunciation, or Balti- Katrina and the tsunami in Asia were more’s other Greek Orthodox church, St. among the chapter’s successful projNicholas. They consist of second-, third- or page 22 31 page fourth-generation American-born with Baltimore County Fire Department. The fellowship hall holds about 250 and has a large dance floor. The second floor contains classrooms and houses the library with nearly 600 volumes that is staffed three days a week. There is also a computer lab and a collection of DVDs. Groundbreaking for the church itself finally took place on April 10, 1983 and the cornerstone was laid 11 months later, March 11, 1984. The building was completed by August and the first service took place Aug. 28, 1984. Archbishop Iakovos consecrated the church in 1994. The church seats about 500.
MARCH - APRIL 2006
National Young Adult Pilgrimage to Rome and Constantinople The participants of the National Young Adult Pilgrimage this year traveled to the two great and historic cities of Rome and Constantinople. I feel blessed and fortunate to have been able to attend, and honored that the Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries asked me to write about my experience. By anyone’s account this was a whirlwind trip, taking in two cities in six days. We began in the “Eternal City” - Rome. I was fascinated by Rome, for it contained more physical evidence of history than anyplace else I had ever visited. It seemed there were ruins, important monuments and significant churches around every corner. More importantly, many sites allowed me to better appreciate Rome’s connection to my faith, such as St. Peter’s chains, the site of St. Peter’s burial and enshrined remains, and the ancient city walls and gates through which Sts. Peter and Paul traveled. Among all the sites we took in, the tour of the catacombs stood out, for me, as perhaps the most moving and extraordinary. It was a completely unfamiliar type of place, but once you entered, it was easy to be transported in your mind’s eye to a time when Christians worshipped in
secret, for fear of their lives. Upon entering the site, we walked down deep into the earth, walking on twisting narrow dirt pathways, between walls with niches to hold the dead, smelling the dankness of the earth and seeing the places along the pathways where torches or lanterns were once hung. We saw individual and family burial chambers, as well as rooms that were dedicated to worship, with now
faded but still visible Christian inscriptions and paintings from the Bible. It was a humbling experience, in stark contrast to our present day freedom of worship. It was fitting that we left Rome, only to go to the “New Rome,” as St. Constantine had named it. Among all the sites we visited, the visit to Agia Sophia was one we were all anxiously awaiting.
It was almost surreal to be standing in the famous church, a truly magnificent structure. I thought it a great compliment that the Sultan who conquered Constantinople ordered a mosque (the now often-referred-to “Blue Mosque”) be built directly across from Agia Sophia, and that it be modeled after her, but “bigger”! We also learned that the Romans sent architects to study Hagia Sophia before they built St. Peter’s in Rome, to ensure that their basilica would surpass Hagia Sophia in its architectural grandeur. All in all, it was wonderful to visit the churches, monasteries, and the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople, and to connect with the history of our Orthodox faith, but it also left me with a feeling of sadness for all the Church has endured there. Maybe that is why it was such a delight on our last night in Constantinople that the Blue Mosque, typically lit up every night, was dark, and Hagia Sophia was lit up instead, illuminating the night sky—a highly unusual event. It was as if Agia Sophia was thanking us for coming, bidding us good-bye, and reminding us that Holy Wisdom should always be our guiding beacon in life! This was a truly remarkable and unforgettable trip.
Contrasts: Experiences from a Journey to the “Two Romes” The pilgrimage to Rome and Constantinople was one of many benefits. Along with the sharing and fellowship experienced by all the participants, we were exposed to a world of great contrasts and valuable lessons about life. Imperial Rome is stark in its contrasts. It housed both thundering imperial monstrosities and grandiose pagan facades, a testament to the glory that was itself, as well as saints and martyrs who lived simple, God-fearing lives, in spite of the weight of mighty Rome bearing down upon them. Moving into the outer places, even underground in the Catacombs-- one will find great peace and holiness within these far-flung regions. Instead of being surrounded by great
megalomaniacal structures with speak of the hubris of their builders, one’s attention is focused on the simple scenes of encouragement in the struggle of the early Christians of Rome. Their courage and sacrifice are depicted on the walls: Christ the Good Shepherd, never failing to leave one of his flock astray, Abraham, a father figure for this new Israel and frescos of loved ones martyrdoms speak volumes. As freedom came for Christians in the time of the Emperor Constantine so did a new capital and soon a new center for Christianity. Constantinople, alien yet familiar, the once-Byzantine capital and center of Orthodoxy, faintly reminds one of its Christian past; the melancholy of its invader’s presence looms heavy in the air.
Archdiocese District Holds Clergy Retreat
GARRISON, N.Y. – Archbishop Demetrios and 45 clergy participated in the annual Archdiocese District Lenten Clergy Retreat at St. Basil Academy. The two-day retreat included opening words of inspiration from Archbishop Demetrios followed by an afternoon session with Fr. George Liacopulos. Lenten meals were provided by Mr. and Mrs. John Rountous from the Amber Room in Danbury, Conn. and served by Academy staff and Philoptochos Society volunteers from St. Nicholas Church, Newburgh, NY.
This is especially felt in Hagia Sophia: the seemingly timeless mosaics of Christ and the saints stand together with the recent placards of its occupation. In many of the other churches, the sweet smell of incense mingled with the remnant stench of violence; these holy places bearing witness to both dispassionate flames of prayer and the fires of desecration. The lament for the loss of the great pearl of Byzantium is tempered by the knowledge that the Kingdom of God is far more glorious, and a pearl of greater price than even the earthly city of Constantinople. Yet, this does not underestimate the importance of Byzantine traditions, as well as the societies and religious traditions that call Byzantium their mother.
The Ecumenical Patriarchate, pushed aside by the Ottomans and relegated to cramped quarters, embodies this well: while its place in Istanbul today is minor, the Ecumenical Patriarchate still retains its global position of respect and importance in Church affairs. Rather than just looking at these sites from a merely historical perspective, one is drawn closer to God through a lesson about priorities, as Christ said in Matthew 6:19-21: “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
Academic Summer Programs in Athens ATHENS, Greece – The American Community Schools of Athens (ACS) offer a two week summer program of studies for international young students of 10th –12th grades, giving them the opportunity to develop critical and creative thinking, while they deepen their understanding and appreciation of Greece and its fabulous cultural environment during summer. “Our school has developed a partnership with premier educational institutions of higher learning to help students develop their leadership potential. As a result of this partnership, the ACS Athens Summer Institute is able to offer several college courses to qualified students,” said Dr. Stefanos Gialamas, ACS Athens director. “We are excited to provide students in Greece and from throughout the world with the opportunity to come together on our campus for two weeks of innovative and challenging learning experiences” according to a statement from the Summer Institute directors, Steve W. Medeiros, academy/middle school principal and
Peggy Pelonis, director of academic and student affairs. Collaborating institutions include Bentley College, Tufts University and Williams College from the United States and York University from Canada. Courses offered include the following: Introduction to Business, Theory and Practice of International Relations, Introduction to Theater Performance, Creativity through Mathematical Thinking, IB Diploma Preparatory Workshops. The American Community Schools of Athens has promoted for many years educational excellence through innovative academic programs and co-curricular activities. The ACS Athens Summer Institute offers unique educational experiences and personal growth opportunities for young people from all over the world who aspire to become leaders in science, technology, business, government, education, community affairs and the arts. For more information contact: American Community Schools of Athens; +30 (210) 639-3200; firstname.lastname@example.org
MARCH - APRIL 2006
38th Biennial Clergy-Laity Congress, July 15-21
Congress Educational Program to Offer Full Slate of Sessions
HE EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM of the 38th Biennial Clergy-Laity Congress will offer Congress participants the opportunity to attend sessions on a wide range of topics related to parish ministry, contemporary issues, and the work of the Orthodox Church on national and international levels. Many of the sessions will address the theme of the Congress, Sharing the Truth of the Gospel and the Love of Christ, and how it relates to our calling as Orthodox Christians and as parishes to share the truth that illuminates the path of salvation so that all may know and receive the gift of life offered by our Risen Lord. The sessions will be held on Monday through Thursday of the Congress and will include workshops offered by various departments and ministries, as well as special sessions on unique parish ministry programs. With an emphasis on the importance of equipping and training for ministry in and through the local parish, all sessions will be open to Congress delegates and to parish leadership in the region of Nashville who are interested in attending the Congress. No advanced registration for specific workshops is necessary for those who have or will register
for the Congress as a parish delegate. However, please note that seating for workshops is limited. If you are or have a parish staff or ministry leader who would like to attend the workshops but will not be registering for the Congress as a delegate or non-delegate, please pre-register for specific workshops by sending name, parish information, and titles of sessions to Fr. Nektarios Morrow at FrNektarios@ goarch.org or by fax to 325-646-6804. The Congress will also feature a Clergy health and wellness program led by noted physicians and wellness experts. Topics will include stress management, dieting, physical exercise, preventing heart disease, health care and retirement, and the prevention of diabetes. The program will be offered to all clergy and presvyteres attending the Congress. More information on the wellness program and a complete schedule of the workshops by topic and day will be available on the Congress website by the end of May. Visit the Congress site at http://www. clergylaity.org for updates on this program and other information on the 38th Biennial Clergy-Laity Congress. Below is a sampling of session topics for the upcoming Congress. If you
Clergy-Laity to Feature Family Synaxis At the upcoming Clergy-Laity Congress in Nashville, the Center for Family Care will sponsor a Family Synaxis that will include educational and social activities for family members of all ages. The activity, scheduled July 16-20, is geared toward families of delegates and for those within driving distance of Nashville interested in spending a day or two at the Congress. “We are excited to be offering this program to the families who attend the Congress for their own spiritual edification and as a model for family programming in their parishes,” said Fr. Constantine Sitaras, director of the Archdiocesan Center for Family Care. While delegates to the Congress and the National Philoptochos Convention are attending their daily meetings, the Family Synaxis will provide opportunities for worship, fellowship, and spiritual growth to their spouses and children. Children and adults will be will have opportunities to attend together, as well as participate in age group sessions. One fo-
cus of the program will be to show parents how family resources can be used in the home to nurture faith on a daily basis. Sessions are scheduled on Monday afternoon and in the mornings on Tuesday and Wednesday. In addition, a series of family activities also is planned and will include a Sunday evening social at Holy Trinity parish in Nashville and an all-day youth program on Thursday with tours of the Nashville Zoo and several historic sites. The Congress Family Synaxis is offered at no charge, but the Thursday youth program will have a $45 fee per person. An adult must accompany children in grade 5 or under. Pre-registration for the Family Synaxis is required, and more information and registration materials can be accessed at http://www.familyaschurch.org/familysynaxis.asp . Information on the Clergy-Laity Congress, hotel accommodations, schedule, and more is available at http://www.clergylaity.org.
have questions about the sessions or the educational program, please call 212-7740506 or email the program coordinator at FrNektarios@goarch.org. Religious Education: Developing an Integrated Family Ministry Parish Program Communications: The Future of Orthodox Communications in America Youth and Young Adult: Working with Students on the College Campus; Protecting our Youth; Hot Topics; Youth Catechetical Pilot Programs. Family Ministry and Marriage: Intermarriage and Conversion; Our Children’s Spiritual Development; Holy Vocation of Marriage According to the Church Fathers; Resources for Family Ministry; Ministering to Intermarried Couples. Outreach and Evangelism: The Turnaround Church; Establishing, Nurturing and Growing New Parishes; Revitalizing Faith – Parish Outreach and Evangelism – What’s Working. Greek Education: Teaching Children of the 21st Century Literacy in the Greek Language; What does a Greek-American Day School Look Like; The Parish Priest and Greek Education. Ecumenical and Contemporary Issues: Orthodoxy and Ecumenism; Christian-Muslim Relations in Contemporary America; Eradicating Poverty and
the UN Millennium Development Goals; Pornography and Emerging Technologies; Human Biotechnologies. Philanthropy and Social Ministry: Parish and Community Philanthropic Ministries; Philanthropia According to the Church Fathers; Finding an Orthodox Identity in Pastoral Health Care; Fighting World Hunger: Your Parish and CROP Walk. Technology Labs In addition to the educational program, the Departments of Internet Ministries and Information Technologies will offer sessions on the following topics in the Congress computer labs: Bulletin Builder, Photoshop 1, Parish Management Software (5 sessions), Publishing Parish Newsletters Using InDesign, Photoshop 2, Orthodox Web Builder, Session on Web Site Use, Tools and Services for Parish Ministry, Developing Parish Web Site, Intro to GOARCH mail, Streaming Audio and Video on Parish Web Site, Advanced Adobe Photoshop, Advanced GOARCH mail, Protecting Yourself from Online Scams, Emerging Technologies, I donations Affiliate Program, Protecting Children and Youth from Pornography on Cell Phones and Ipods, How Orthodox Christians Surf the Web, Introduction to the Internet, Planning and Developing a Parish Web Site.
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22 PARISH PROFILE page 19 ects last year with $10,000 donated to the International Orthodox Christian Charities for tsunami aid and $8,000 to New Orleans hurricane victims. The Stewardship program is highly successful. “We’re at the point where we don’t even pass trays in church,” said Fr. Noplos. “Stewardship supports 75 percent of the budget, but we want to get to the point where it is 100 percent.” Fr. Noplos characterizes his community as “progressive” and notes there are extensive expansion plans, including a possible second fellowship hall. The Greek festival held the first weekend in October also has been a staple in the parish’s fund-raising efforts. Perhaps it’s the only festival of its kind to be held entirely under a circus tent. The tent covers an area of 150 feet by 80 feet and includes nearly all the festival’s activities while the fellowship hall serves as a coffee shop. Another fund-raising effort is unique among parishes. The church has an active theater group, the Suburban Players, who have staged plays for the public over the past 30 years. They are a professional group of actors, about 60 percent of them from the community, who present a different play each year over three weekends before Lent in a dinner theater venue. The plays draw
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an average audience of 200 each evening, Fr. Noplos noted. “Word has gotten out that we put out a great product, for $35 you can get a great meal and a play,” he said. The productions gross about $60,000, almost as much as the Greek festival, Fr. Noplos added. The Goyans serve the food and parishioners serve as the kitchen staff and do the lighting and sound. Auditions begin in November and rehearsals take place over the next three months. Along with raising money, the parish also has an interesting way of saving money. Two groups of men skilled in carpentry, plumbing, electrical work and other areas of maintenance, the Levendes and Palikaria, volunteer their services to the church on an ongoing basis. The Levendes consist of about 20 younger men and the Palikaria includes about 25 older men. “They meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays and perform whatever maintenance is needed,” Fr. Noplos said. “In the process they save the parish between $50,000 and $75,000 a year. They actually enjoy themselves,” he added. The Levendes do the heavy work, such as setting up the stage for the plays and also striking the set. The priest also said he likes to “work out with them.” Fr. Noplos himself is a car mechanic by trade. “That’s what got me through school,” he said. He also restores old cars as a hobby.
AHEPA Honors Sarbanes, Bilirakis WASHINGTON – The Order of AHEPA honored two members of the Greek American community in March who served in Congress for many decades. Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes and Rep. Michael Bilirakis, who both will retire this year at the end of their terms, were the recipients of the 2006 AHEPA Public Service Award. Featured speakers included Archbishop Demetrios and Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs R. Nicholas Burns, who delivered the keynote address. Master of ceremonies was George Stephanopoulos, host of ABC News’ The Week and former AHEPA scholarship recipient.
1997 as a highlight of the congressman’s 24-year legislative history in support of issues affecting the community. In response, Bilirakis described Burns’ remarks as “powerful” and reflected upon those immigrant forbears who came to America without language and education but through it all retained their heritage. “I won because I am Greek,” the 12-term congressman exclaimed about his election to Congress 24 years ago. He credited a hard work ethic and the general love and enthusiasm Americans have for Greeks and Greek culture. Burns described Sarbanes as a “standup guy” who spoke in his defense when the undersecretary, then ambassador,
— Compiled by Jim Golding
ARCHBISHOP DEMETRIOS addresses the AHEPA gathering.
Archbishop Demetrios spoke of how the honorees did not demonstrate the typical characteristics often associated with politicians. “There are politicians as we understand it in the sense of some people who try to manipulate and do things a certain way for some gains, or whatever it is. These people are exactly not this species,” His Eminence said. “They are an exception. They are people who give without counting. They have shown a generosity of heart and mind.” Undersecretary Burns noted, “Tonight, we are here to honor two men who have contributed so much to all AHEPA’s accomplishments, both of whom are icons of the Greek-American community: Sen. Paul Sarbanes and Rep. Michael Bilirakis,” said Burns. “During my tenure as U.S. Ambassador to Greece and in the years since, I have benefited personally from their wise counsel and appreciated their support.” He recognized Bilirakis’ co-founding and co-chairmanship of the Hellenic Caucus in the House of Representatives that now stands at 134 members, as “one of his most important accomplishments.” He also cited the congressman’s instrumental effort to award the Congressional Gold Medal to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in
was having a tough time over his criticism of the 17 November terrorist group. He also credited Sarbanes’ work as a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on behalf of his Maryland Constituents and, of course, the GreekAmerican community on issues such as NATO, Greece, and Cyprus. In response, Sarbanes considered the honor a tribute to his parents and the close-knit community from which he learned that he credits for enriching his life. Both honorees expressed their gratitude to the community and each paid tribute to one another for the work on issues of concern to Greek-Americans. Supreme President Gus J. James, II also cited the importance of what the two honorees mean to Greek-Americans. “They have been staunch defenders of our heritage and excellent models for us to follow,” he said. A third honoree, Mr. George E. Paraskevaides, O.B.E., of Cyprus, who was unable to make the journey overseas, was paid tribute marvelously by the banquet’s co-chairman, Philip Christopher. Paraskevaides will receive the AHEPA Philanthropy Award when Supreme President James visits Cyprus this month.
Virginia Parish Honors Navy Hurricane Crew NORFOLK, Va. – Annunciation Cathedral honored several officers and crewmembers of the USS Iwo Jima for their role in relief efforts for Holy Trinity Cathedral in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina last August. They were recognized at cathedral’s annual ball March 25 in celebration of the Annunciation, according to a report by Hattie Brown Garrow in the Virginian-Pilot newspaper. This year’s event also recognized the church's 95th anniversary. Sailors from the Iwo Jima helped many other churches, schools and people during their month in the Gulf Coast region. Navy chaplain Cmdr. Milton Gianulis said he was struck by the devastation at
Holy Trinity. The water, which at one point was 3 feet high inside the church, had receded by the time the roughly 50 sailors and a few National Guardsmen arrived. They cleaned the altar, ripped up moldy carpet and salvaged prayer books and other liturgical items. That Sunday, for the first time since the hurricane made landfall, a handful of parishioners who were still in the area gathered with some from the Iwo Jima for a service and participated in the Liturgy. Andrew Protogyrou, who organized the ball, presented the Iwo Jima with an icon with the image of St. Nicholas, the patron saint of sailors. With its relics and other holy items, Holy Trinity brings parishioners into the presence of God.
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For the Orthodox Family...
Beatitudes for Orthodox Christian Living As a “Catechist” - teacher of the faith - for 30 years, I have taught people of all ages. Sometimes I have witnessed a child, a teen, or an adult having an “A-HA” moment. At that moment in time, something “clicks” and “it all makes sense.” Suddenly the person senses the love of God in a new way or for the first time or Liturgical worship makes an impact as never before or why Orthodox Christians do what we do. by Phyllis Meshel Onest,M.Div.
One day while thinking about A-HA moments, these “Beatitudes” began to flow from my pen onto the paper. Each one involves an aspect of an Orthodox Lifestyle. They help bring us to the “A-HA Moments.” The more “A-HA’s” we have, brings on a desire to know Christ, to feel His presence and to learn more about His life and His Church. Our lives are never the same again, but Christ came to give us life, “life in abundance.” Select one Beatitude for Orthodox Christian Living. Focus on it for a predetermined period of time (6-8 weeks). Each week record how this spiritual effort affected your life. When that period ends, ask yourself if this spiritual effort made a difference in your daily life. Discuss it with your parish priest or Spiritual Father. Continue and consider adding another Beatitude. Although this is for one’s personal spiritual life, it provides an opportunity for parents to develop an Orthodox Christian lifestyle with their children. A child’s Christian formation begins and is reinforced in the home. Whether one is single, married, widowed or divorced these traditional spiritual efforts are for all of us. Consider inviting a family member(s) or friend(s) to join you in some of these. You can encourage one another. 1) Blessed are those who Follow God’s Commandments, for their lives will be peaceful. In the Old Testament, God gave us 10 Commandments, not suggestions, not options, not even “for our consideration.” In the New Testament Jesus summed up the 10 into two Commandments. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” and “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mt 22:37-39( If we use the two commandments as our guide we will keep the 10 and experience the peace of God. 2) Blessed are those who Live the Faith, for they walk in the path of the Lord. We are to be Christians more than just on Sunday mornings. The test is to be a Christian on Monday-Saturday. That’s what the Apostles, Martyrs and the Saints struggled to do. That’s what a Christian struggled to do. Union with God – theosis – is a journey. Journeys have bumpy roads, rest stops, detours, and friends along the way. 3) Blessed are those who Sing the Liturgy, for they praise God with the Choir of Angels. From Old Testament times those who worshipped God sang the responses. This carried over into New Testament times and the Early Church. The Liturgy developed into sets of prayers, requests and the blessing of the bread and wine, with the Priest leading the
People of God, who sang the responses. When we worship we offer our voices in song along with the angels. Just listen to the words of the Liturgy. Scriptures reveal that in Heaven angels surround God’s throne and praise Him in song. Our hymns declare that we are like the Cherubim singing to the Trinity, so we need to sing from the pews, the sanctuary, the choir loft, from wherever we are! Parents, this is another teaching area for the children. They need to learn the hymns of the Liturgy and the special feast days so they can worship the rest of their lives. (+See below) 4) Blessed are those who Read the Bible, for they will grow closer to our Lord. God has revealed Himself in the Scriptures and through His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. The more we read, the more we know about Jesus and what He did. 5) Blessed are they who Study the Faith, for their lives will be enriched beyond their expectations. The Orthodox faith is not learned by osmosis. Sunday Church School is foundational and is to be built upon and lived out daily with the guidance of parents in the home. Learning and growing in Faith begins when we are born and ends when we are laid to rest, waiting to hear the Lord say, “Welcome good & faithful servant.” 6) Blessed are those who fast, for they will eat at the Great Feast in the Kingdom. It seems that whenever Orthodox Christians come together to study the Faith, several questions are asked: “Why do we fast?” “From what do we fast?” and “Isn’t fasting for monks?” Fasting is part of Orthodox practice [Orthopraxia] for all Orthodox Christians. It is part of our preparation for a Feast Day here on earth and for the Kingdom of God, which Christ refers to as a “Great Feast.” 7) Blessed are those who avail themselves of the Sacrament of Confession, for their sins will be erased from their List of Deeds. If one claims he has no sin, Proverbs 26:26 states, “He who trusts in his own mind is a fool…” Even if one lives alone, it is impossible to live without sinning, Just go back to the two commandments that Jesus gave us. When we stand before “the dread judgment seat of Christ” - listen for it in
the Liturgy - we will be reminded of all that we have done or failed to do. When we humble ourselves in Confession, our sins can be forgiven and erased. We have the choice to face our sins now, when we can make a change or wait. 8) Blessed are those who pray often, for they may hear the Voice of God. God “speaks” to us in many ways – through Scriptures, People, Worship and Prayer. Prayer requires us to “be quiet.” Our society - filled with sounds of voices, media, traffic, and more - challenges us to “be quiet” or even find a “quiet site.” We are not alone in our prayers, though. Orthodox Christians on all continents, in all time zones, in many languages pray for each other and us daily. 9) Blessed are those who frequent the Eucharist, for they experience aspects of the Kingdom of God now. In the Kingdom of God we will unite with God in an unknown way. At each Liturgy we enter the Kingdom of God on earth when the priest intones, “Blessed is the Kingdom of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” Receiving the Eucharist, Holy Com-
munion, unites us with Christ, the Son of God and one another, now. 10) Rejoice and be glad, for God is merciful and forgiving. Jesus said “be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Mt 5:43). The best we can do is focus on Christ and seek to live as He taught. Life in this imperfect world is a struggle. God loves us. He sent His Son to become one of us, to heal our humanity, and finally to die and be resurrected so we could join Him in the Kingdom! With that love comes great mercy and forgiveness. +Hymns Of The Orthodox Church Family Packet of Hymnology Materials Publisher: The National Forum of Greek Orthodox Church Musicians. Family Packet: 12 4-page booklets and teaching CD / cassette tape sung by EIKONA presenting the 12 hymns in English and Greek. Cost: $20 with CD or $18 with Tape, plus $4.00 for SH. Order from National Forum Publications, c/o Vicki Pappas, 3814 Regents Circle, Bloomington, IN 47401. Phone 812-855-8248 or E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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MARCH - APRIL 2006
The Voice of Philoptochos National Philoptochos Convention Theme “Celebrating 75 Years of Philanthropy” The Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society will convene its 2006 Biennial Convention in Nashville, Tennessee from Sunday, July 16 – Thursday, July 20 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort. The Convention will meet concurrently with the 38th Biennial Clergy-Laity Congress of the Archdiocese, with Archbishop Demetrios, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America presiding. National President Georgia Skeadas announced that the Philoptochos Convention will feature the theme, Celebrating 75 Years of Philanthropy, as the organization celebrates its successful history. President Skeadas remarked, “Philoptochos has a long and noble history of philanthropic outreach and dedicated service to the Greek Orthodox community, and the community at large. Starting with just a few women of devout Orthodox Christian faith, the Society has now grown into a nationwide movement of 30,000 women dedicated to their faith, their church and their philanthropic mission. It is these women, of the past, and of the present, who have served and continue to serve, with love, dedication and tireless efforts on behalf of our brothers and sisters in Christ, who will be celebrated at the Convention.” Convention Chairmen Maria Stavropoulos, (National Board third vice president), Katherine Kotsis, (Metropolis of Detroit Philoptochos president), and Eleni Zaferes, (National Board member) along with Nashville Host Committee Chair-
Philoptochos takes part in an Emergency Meeting in Louisiana, following Hurricane Katrina.
men Lisa Solon, (Philoptochos Nashville chapter president) and Presbytera Stella Sfikas invite Philoptochos members from throughout the country to participate in this historic convention to celebrate the combined efforts and successes of 75 years of philanthropy. Philoptochos members have the unique opportunity every two years to participate in organizational decision making and help shape Philoptochos for the future while also engaging in interactive discussion groups to exchange thoughts, ideas and experiences. The Skills Forum to be offered is designed to build organizational capacity as members enhance their knowledge of
Chapters Nationwide Answer The Call As Orthodox Christians throughout the world prepare to celebrate the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the members of the Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society, as ambassadors of Christ on earth, are striving to provide exemplary service in helping those in need. National Philoptochos President Georgia Skeadas recently congratulated the Presidents of this great philanthropic organization and in turn the esteemed Board members and chapters throughout the United States. President Skeadas stated, “Under your superb leadership and of course under the leadership of the previous past presidents of your chapters, you have truly inspired your members to be the most generous of contributors, which produced a banner year, 2005. As a result of the generous donation of your time and talent, you have contributed a record amount of monies enabling the National Board of Philoptochos, on your behalf, to be most charitable in its donations.” In 2005, the National Board distributed a total of $1,024,188 from the organization’s fund drives. In addition, $287,636 was collected from Chapters and forwarded to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, the IOCC and to UNICEF for emergency relief efforts, such as Hurricane Katrina, the Florida Hurricanes, and the Asian Tsunami catastrophe. Through membership generosity, the National Board was able to purchase an entire container of wheelchairs and provide vocational training for the disabled in the Republic of Georgia, while the magnanimous support of the 10th National Philoptochos Children’s Medical Fund Luncheon allowed the Society to donate $125,000 to five worthy children’s hospital in the Metropolis of Denver, and $35,000 to establish a children’s medical clinic in Ambo, Ethiopia. The grand total of funds
distributed by the National Philoptochos in 2005 was $1,512,424. In her message, President Skeadas remarked, “Let us be thankful to the Lord that your successes have assisted most profoundly in the needs of others. In addition, it should also be emphasized, that the number of recipients touched by the donations listed represents only a part of the countless numbers of people who have been personally touched in your community by your local Chapter. Remain strong, faithful, united, and continue to promote the goals of Philoptochos.” In the calendar year 2005, a total of $1,512,424, was donated from the following National Philoptochos Commitments/ Programs and Special Collections: Saint Basil Academy Vasilopita $325,000, Sisterhood Fund $2,800, Graduation Ceremonies, $5,812 and Zoe Cavalaris Education Fund, $25,256; Hellenic College/Holy Cross Scholarship Fund $81,500, Lenten Event $75,000, Archbishop Iakovos Chair of Orthodox Theology $25,000; Social Services $99,464; Cardiac Program $2,637; Bessie Pappas Children’s Charities $4,060; Cancer Fund $26,659; Retired Clergy Association Benevolence Fund (RCA) $30,000; Ecumenical Patriarchate $175,000; Orthodox Christian Mission Center(OCMC)$40,000; Support a Mission Priest(SAMP) $40,000; International Orthodox Christian Charities(IOCC) $50,000; St.Photios Shrine $28,000; UNICEF $25,000; Children’s Medical Fund Luncheon 2005 $160,000; Children’s Medical Fund $13,000; Wheelchair Project $40,600; Asia Disaster Relief Fund $113,340; Florida Hurricane Victims $13,459, and the Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund $110,837. For information on the Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society please visit the Society’s website at www.philoptochos.org.
the skills necessary to lead an effective and responsible not-for-profit organization. The pre-Convention activities begin with a National Philoptochos President’s Reception for the early arrivals on Friday evening. Saturday opens with Registration, the National Board Meeting and the Grand Old Opry Concert. Sunday morning will start with the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy with Archbishop Demetrios officiating. The Philoptochos Opening Ceremony begins in the afternoon and two specialized sessions will take place
in the evening: Budget Preview and Mock Elections. Monday following the Official Opening Breakfast, members will participate in interactive Discussion Groups and in the evening attend the Philoptochos Banquet, which will be Celebrating 75 Years of Philanthropy, marking a significant and historical milestone.The Philoptochos General Assembly commences on Tuesday concluding with a panel discussion featuring the topic of “Aging” and in the evening members will attend an Evening at the Parthenon. The Philoptochos General Assembly reconvenes on Wednesday with highlights including: Awards Presentations, Spiritual Commentary and the Philoptochos Challenge. The day ends with a free night to enjoy your family and friends. Thursday’s program offers the Skills Forum and the Healthy Heart Wellness Program followed by the Clergy Laity Grand Banquet on Thursday evening. New program formats have been designed to inspire, motivate and enthuse the delegates with a new zeal for the mission of philanthropy, so that working together we may build an even more dynamic organization. The celebration of 75 years of philanthropy will truly be a momentous landmark for the Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society.
The Sacred Journey of Great Lent Dear Chapter Presidents and Members, As we embark upon this very Holy and sacred journey of Great Lent, into Pascha, the true Festival of Festivals, the Feast of complete joy, hope, reawakening and eternal life, it becomes more evident to me as an Orthodox Christian that there is a great desire and a tremendous responsibility to achieve the ultimate goal of an Orthodox Christian, namely, to move closer to God in His likeness and image. It is during this time of Great Lent that we are called to grow closer to Christ and to build deeper bonds with Him and, therefore, with all human beings, by the “building of our faith and our nourishing of love for one another.” It is a time that allows us to develop spiritual love, growth, maturity, inner peace and harmony through special prayer, self-examination, sacrifice, fasting, introspection and reflection. It is a journey whose actions result in a thoughtful evaluation of ourselves, and it becomes a time to renew our Christian identity as people of compassion. It is a time that we need to intensify our dedication to the mission of Philoptochos and our commitment to philanthropy. It is through our acts of charity, our dedication to philanthropy and an intensified commitment in this regard that we begin to approach the objective of loving God and one another. The period of Lent is called the “spiritual spring which blossoms with the fruits of the Spirit… love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Our good works as a philanthropic entity demonstrate to all people the way of love and giving, of justice and respect for life and for the dignity of each individual that we assist. The first Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, which is read on Holy Wednesday evening, is one of my most favorite passages that truly inspires me and that defines to me the true essence of philanthropy. The passage is as follows: “and if I distribute all my goods to feed the poor, and if I deliver my body to be burned, yet do not have love, it profits me nothing. Love is patient, is kind; love does not envy; is not pretentious, is not puffed up; is not ambitious, is not self-seeking, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice over wickedness, but rejoices with the truth; bears with all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” The act of appreciating more fully God’s love also enables us to respond accordingly with acts of love and philanthropia towards all people. Let us be thankful in the Lord that our successes as a philanthropic entity have assisted most profoundly in addressing the needs of others. We applaud the selfless and untiring efforts of our entire Philoptochos Society for personally touching the countless number of people in our communities that have received the benefits of our noble mission of philanthropy. The sacred journey of Great Lent will culminate with the celebration of Pascha. At the stroke of midnight, the Paschal candle is illuminated at the altar – the candle that represents Christ, the Light of the World. “Come receive the Light, from the Light, that is never overtaken by night, and glorify Christ, who is risen from the dead.” (Troparion of the Resurrection). “I am the Light of the world”; in every Orthodox Church we read these words “I am the Light of the world.” This Light is the Word of God that illuminates our hearts, our minds, our bodies and souls. It is only because of God’s love and great mercy for humankind that we are here almost 2000 years later to proclaim the good news of the Resurrection. Let us continue in all aspects of our life to proclaim that good news to the world. May the Light of God’s love fill your heart with peace, grace, and joy. With love in Christ, Georgia Skeadas, President
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Dean Wanted for Holy Cross School of Theology
National Philoptochos board members attended a rigorous two-day meeting.
Archdiocesan Council Spring Meeting page 2 jurisdictions to establish a SCOBA agency of camping ministry. Marriage and Family – Fr. William Christ said the committee discussed changing mores in society including the changing definitions of marriage and other challenges to the faith, along with pressures facing clergy and their families, among them a rising divorce rate. “Many of our people do look for guidance, and for witness to greater community,” he said. “We know what marriage is and we need to teach it to children regardless of what society is doing.” Greek Education – Dr. Steven Gounardes noted that text books used by the Greek schools are not adequate for students who are American born. “Obsolete books are obstacles against the efficient operation of the parochial schools,” Dr. Gounardes said. “They don’t address the reality of teaching Greek” in America, he said.
Concurrent with the Archdiocesan Council meeting, the National Philoptochos board held its two-day meeting. Its program included a presentation from a representative of UNICEF (the United Nations Children’s Education Fund) and Habitat for Humanity. Philoptochos has been a long-time supporter of UNICEF and plans to become involved with support for Habitat in cooperation with the Young Adult League through the Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries will be considered, National President Georgia Skeadas said after the presentation. In his comments, Archbishop Demetrios noted that Bishop Dimitrios of Xanthos recently spent two days working on a home-building project with Habitat. “He didn’t use words he used a hammer,” said the Archbishop. His Eminence also said, “I’m glad our Philoptochos has been involved in UNICEF,” noting the “important work they are doing.” The Archbishop also praised the Philoptochos’ involvement with aid to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. “Philoptochos’ offering continuously gives us an example of how much you beautifully fill the needs of our people hard-hit by Hurricane Katrina.” He also said that, while much of the work done by the organization “is unknown,” there is a need for Philoptochos “to expand as much as possible.” As a possibility for the Philoptochos’ consideration, he recalled his recent visit to Cyprus where a day care center on the dividing line between Cyprus and Turkish-occupied northern part of the island provides care for children of working mothers. He called the day care workers “a heroic element near the line where the army was a threat.”
Council Vice Chairman Michael Jaharis expressed satisfaction at the Council’s efforts. “I think we’re seeing an evolution of how this assembly works, he said. “It’s very heartening to me.” He said the Council accomplished some very important, concrete results. “It is a continuation of what we think is important to the growth of the Church.” He also noted that recent changes made at Hellenic College-Holy Cross School of theology would make it possible “for more effective administration and governance of the school;” along with a major push in funding. Archbishop Demetrios, in his closing remarks, praised the efforts of Michael Jaharis and Emmanuel Demos, the Archdiocesan counsel, as well as “the continuous work by all the people here. I’m so thankful.” He went on to say there is “quite a degree of ignorance and distortion of this Church” especially with regard to finances and noted that what happens at the parish level should not be ignored. “The Church is self-funded. There is always an offering that comes from the Church,” he said. The Archbishop also thanked council members for their committee work, calling it “a professional approach; the result of hard work.” He stated his support for initiatives recommended by the committees, including that the Observer be published every month. “We have to continuously project and define what we are,” he said. Reflecting on Greek education, the Archbishop said textbooks and other materials for teaching Greek education should be developed in this country and aimed at teaching the language to American-born students. “The reference must be to an American reality. We must have material produced here and the logical place is Hellenic College-Holy Cross. Archbishop Demetrios called the situation regarding clergy families “a very, very sensitive issue. The clergy need support,” he said. “Lets contribute as much as we can. We need people, telephone lines, and personnel for ministering to clergy.”
He also touched upon a familiar theme – the unchurched. “We have a problem of the unchurched in our church,” he said. “There are 60 million unchurched in the United States. It is a population that needs immediate attention.” He included many in the Greek Orthodox community in his assessment, noting that churches are filled to capacity on Palm Sunday and Easter, but with much smaller attendance at other times of the year. “People need to feel this is a community that cares for me being absent. They have to see that, they have to feel that; that’s our function.”
The president of Hellenic College and Holy Cross School of Theology invites applications, nominations, and expressions of interest for the position of dean, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. Holy Cross also attracts students from other Orthodox Christian Churches internationally. It offers the degrees of M.Div., M.T.S., and Th.M. Holy Cross holds accreditation with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and the Association of Theological Schools of the United States and Canada. As the chief academic and administrative officer of the School of Theology, the dean reports to the president and will be expected to establish and implement a strategic vision for the School of Theology, provide leadership in faculty and staff development, promote national and international visibility, participate in fund raising efforts, and nurture relationships with the institution’s ecclesiastical and academic constituencies. The ideal candidate will have a strong intellectual record, a clear history of academic leadership, and a demonstrated understanding of the institution’s larger ecclesiastical environment and mission. The person selected will receive faculty rank based on teaching and research; salary and compensation are competitive nationally.
Candidates for the position should be individuals who: are a member of the Orthodox Church; have a strong personal faith and understanding of the Orthodox Church; hold an earned doctorate in theology; have attained recognition within their discipline including a strong record of accomplishment in graduate teaching, research, publications, and academic administration; have extensive experience in, and genuine commitment to, graduate theological and ministerial education; have excellent interpersonal and communication skills, and a collegial interaction style; and recognize that successful personnel management, especially conflict resolution, requires annual, written evaluations of faculty performance. Applications should include a letter that demonstrates the candidate’s suitability for the position, a current curriculum vitae, and a list of the names, mailing addresses, telephone and fax numbers, and e-mail addresses of at least four individuals who have agreed to serve as references. The Search Committee will begin the review of applications on May 1, 2006. Nominations, applications, and questions concerning this search may be directed to: Search Committee for Dean of Holy Cross, Office of the President - Hellenic College, Inc.; 50 Goddard Avenue; Brookline, MA 02445; Tel. (617) 850-1280; Fax: (617) 850-1455; http://www.hchc.edu
OCN Announces Its First New York Affiliate FT. LAUDERDALE – Come Receive The Light, the national Orthodox Christian radio program produced by Orthodox Christian Network, has announce that its national radio outreach can now be heard in New York. Fr. Charles Joanides and the parish council of St. Nicholas Church have committed to airing CRTL each week in Newburgh, N.Y. on WWLE AM 1170 on Sunday mornings at 8 a.m. This local station can be heard in the cities of Newburgh, Poughkeepsie, Middleton, and as far east as Danbury, Conn. Fr. Charles states his parish
believes that by using local media to raise awareness of the Orthodox faith, this will support his teaching ministry to his own faithful and share Orthodoxy with many who have never heard of the faith. “This is exactly how we envisioned the ministry being used all across the country” said Fr. Chris Metropulos, founder and co-host of the program. “When parishes partner together with us to use local media to serve the Church, we are fulfilling the task our bishops gave us in teaching, preaching, and sharing our faith with the nation.”
RELIGIOUS EDUCATION page 6 Let us acknowledge that through His Resurrection we, like Adam and Eve have been restored to the Dance of Life . . . the Paschal blessing of community, healing and forgiveness that we now enjoy. Our sackcloth has been truly replaced with joy! As we consider the 30th Psalm in
the light of Christ’s Resurrection we ought to remember with thankfulness the deliverances He has worked for us. We need to stir ourselves up to praise God and fully engage ourselves in the Dance of Life! The Rev. Dr. Frank Marangos is executive director of Archdiocese Department of Communications
Ordination to the Diaconate Lawrence, Robert Stephen by Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver, at Annunciation Cathedral, Houston 02/19/2006 Alevizos, John G., Bishop Anthimos of Olympos, St. George Church, Downey, Calif. 06/12/2005 Pilafas, John, Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago, Annunciation Cathedral, Chicago, 03/05/2006 Ordination to the Priesthood Rev. Dn. Constantine Lazarakis. Archbishop Demetrios, Kimisis tis Theotokou, Southampton, N.Y. 02/26/06 Title Bestowed Metropolitan Maximos of Pittsburgh bestowed the title of Chancellor of the Metropolis of Pittsburgh to Rev. Archdeacon Ryan Gzikowski 03/03/06 Assignments Rev. Fr. Louis (Elias) Scoulas–St. John, Charleston, W.Va. 02/15/06 Rev. Dn. Nathanael Symeonides–
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese 02/15/06 V. Rev. Archimandrite Timothy Bakakos–Assumption, Chicago 03/01/06 Rev. Presbyter Eleftherios (Larry) Legakis – Assumption Church, Louisville, Ky. 03/25/06 Retired Priests Rev. David O. Eckley 03/01/2006 Rev. Nicholas Nichols 03/19/2006 Rev. Peter C. Kyriakos 03/06/2006 Offikia Metropolitan Nicholas of Detroit bestowed the office of Economos upon: Rev. Fr. Mark B. Arey 02/26/06 Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago bestowed the office of Economos upon: Rev. Fr. Dumitru Macaila 10/9/2005* Leave of Absence Rev. Fr. George Orfanakos 02/06/06 Suspensions Gavrilos, Rev. Fr. James 02/08/06
MARCH - APRIL 2006
Quite typically, we don't always rely on the church, priests, parents, or teachers when making decisions. National research shows that friends and the media remain the top two influences for teenagers. The same results come from asking our local GOYA: How does being a Christian affect your life? How does it affect you when you make a decision? What influences you the most in your decision-making?
Natasha Bedingfield's Unwritten In an age where many pop songs contain negative and degrading lyrics, it is refreshing to hear a song with an uplifting message. “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield combines a catchy tune with words of inspiration. by Evangeline George
by Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis
In Scripture, Christ is described as “the true Light which enlightens every person coming into the world.” (John 1:9) And Jesus Himself says, “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16) Christ is RADIANCE. Therefore, as His followers, we must BE RADIANT by His Light burning brightly in us. When we are sincere and confident about our belief that He does, we are consistent and joyful in practicing it. This is only done when we are making disciplined decisions in our lives—especially in the things that we say with our mouths, look at with our eyes, put into our bodies, and spend our time doing. We cannot radiate Christ’s love if we use profanity, gossip, look at inappropriate and vulgar images, are negligent about what goes onto or into our bodies, or engage only in activities that are selfcentered. It’s hard to be radiant and joyful about being a child of God when the mind is filled with ungodly images, or one’s life is filled with ungodly habits. Can you imagine putting an image of Christ on the cross next to a vulgar image? If you went to church on Sunday morning and saw your church covered in graffiti, you would be upset, because someone had vandalized the house of God? So, why then does it not bother us when we vandalize our bodies, our temples of the Holy Spirit when we overeat, do not exercise, or dabble in alcohol and drugs? And as for self-centeredness, it also runs contrary to Christ’s message and example of love for us. To love means to sacrifice and you cannot sacrifice for yourself, because ultimately you are the beneficiary. To love requires interaction with someone else, giving to someone else. To be radiant means that being a Christian brings us joy. It’s not something we do; it’s something we are. This is an important distinction. Playing soccer, working at the grocery store, hanging out with friends, even going to school—these are things we do, not who we are. We put things we do into little compartments—when we are watching TV, we are not students or athletes. And when we are playing basketball, we are athletes but not always friends. Being a Christian, and radiating the light of Christ is something we are, or
A wall mosaic detail from the Monastery of Chora in Contantinople, early 14th century.
something we should try to be. We should be radiating Christ in whatever we are doing. We all wear many hats, putting them on and taking them off as we go through each day. We get up in the morning and we are a spouse or child, and then go to school where we are a student, or to work where we are an employee, and then go out and socialize, a friend. But in all these things, we should be known as an Orthodox Christian and child of God. Though we may not see ourselves as students when we are watching TV or playing basketball, we should still see ourselves as Christians--in whatever we are doing. If we are truly Christian, and truly believe and radiate Christ’s love, then those around us “will see our good works,” and know that we are Christians. If, however, we see Christianity as something we can (like a hat) put on and take off as we choose, it will be very hard to be radiant. It’s difficult to let our lights shine before people when we fall prey to distractions and temptations, or when God figures very minimally, if at all, into our decision-making. As priests, we have the opportunity and the privilege to know many people intimately—to know their joys, sorrows, hopes, dreams, and struggles. We know people who “get it” when it comes to loving the Lord, and those who don't. This season in our journey together is a time to open our eyes to really see. Jesus tells us “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness.” (Matthew 6:22-23) Indeed, then, the eye is the key to radiating Christ’s light--not only as our window into the world, but also through which we look at ourselves. A person can be popular, a star athlete, or wear the most trendy clothes but cannot escape the sorrow he feels when he looks himself in the eye and knows
that his Light is flickering or going out. Another can feel frustrated and lonely because most of her “friends” criticize her Christianity or kindness to someone less popular, but she can look in the mirror and see the Light burning brightly inside of her. Through the joy and sometimes heartache of our spiritual journey, what we think is important today won’t likely be relevant in 100 years. All that will matter is whether we find ourselves at the right hand of God, or not. Will we be numbered among the sheep or the goats, the righteous or the condemned? If we truly want to see ourselves as children of God, then our desire to “let our light so shine before men” should be a constant pursuit. Through a relationship with a Spiritual Father, we continually must be confronted with sobering and needful questions: Am I a good Christian, or merely a good actor? Am I truly radiating the light of Christ, or just very good at pretending to? Does the light of Christ shine in me at all times and in all places, or only when convenient or comfortable? As we again make the journey to the Cross and Resurrection of Christ this spring, we must focus on being radiant. The joyful message of the Resurrection indeed will ring hollow and empty if there is no radiance, no reconciliation, nor love in us. Enthusiasm, however, breeds enthusiasm (just as apathy or indifference produces more of each). And if we are enthusiastic as Christians, then we will ULTIMATELY be united with others who share that same joy, both in this life and in the eternal life. Let us, then, be RADIANT! As a hymn of Pascha gives direction, “Embrace one another, reconcile, forgive, and you will be able to cry out for joy, that Christ is Risen.” Father Stavros is the Presiding Priest of St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church in Tampa, Florida, and is the Director of St. Stephen’s Summer Camping Program for the Metropolis of Atlanta.
The song’s second line reminds us, “I’m the beginning, the pen is in my hand, ending unplanned . . . ” Bedingfield’s lyrics emphasize that each person has the power to control his or her destiny and make the most of their life with what they have. This theme of free will runs throughout the song. As Orthodox Christians, we believe in free will. Each of us determines our own path. Every choice is ours to make, whether of career, right and wrong, or most importantly to accept our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Orthodoxy also rejects the practice of astrology. In today’s society, horoscopes are very popular. Some people consider them harmless fun while others believe the stars control their destiny. When Natasha Bedingfield sings, “Today your book begins,” let it be a reminder of the free will God gives us. Today we can work our hardest. Today we can achieve our goals. Today we can make a difference. The choice is ours. How will your book be written? Evangeline George is a freshman at Furman University in Greensville, S.C. Her home parish is Annunciation Cathedral in Atlanta.
PARENTS and YOUTH Workers Corner New youth sessions and resourceful archives are at your fingertips! Light of Christ and Let Us Be Radiant are powerful new sessions available at http://www. goarch.org/en/archdiocese/departments/youth/youthworkers/sessions/. Sign up for our listserv, and join over 900 people who get links to sessions like these, resources, and youth ministry tips weekly! Click Join LISTSERV on the page For Youth Workers. Great Graduation gifts! The OCF Connect Kit is a perfect gift to help graduates stay connected to Christ! Give spiritual aid and information needed to jump right into Orthodox Christian Fellowship, the young adult ministry on college campuses near you! Find this and more at http://www.ocf.net/bookstore/, or call 800-919-1OCF (1623) from the US and Canada.
Challenge is the Youth & Young Adult Ministries supplement to the Orthodox Observer. Articles reﬂect the opinion of the writers. Write to: Youth & Young Adult Ministries, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, 83 St. Basil Rd., Garrison, New York 10524 or email: youthofﬁce@goarch.org
MARCH - APRIL 2006
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MARCH - APRIL 2006
San Francisco Metropolis Holds Clergy-Laity Assembly at Ranch DUNLAP, Calif. – Unity, stewardship, and spiritual life were major themes outlined by Metropolitan Gerasimos to the annual San Francisco Metropolis ClergyLaity Assembly held at St. Nicholas Ranch and Retreat Center in late February. by Clifford T. Argue
Over 130 priests and lay leaders representing 55 parishes in the seven Western states attended the sessions, as did the heads and members of the three monastic communities in the Metropolis. Participants heard reports from the Metropolis Council and the leaders of various ministries. The delegates discussed and adopted the 2006 budget and resolutions, and worshipped at services in the Catholicon of the Monastery of the Theotokos of the Life Giving Spring. A memorial service for the late Metropolitan Anthony, who is buried behind the Monastery church was chanted. In his keynote address, Metropolitan Gerasimos called on his flock to maintain unity in everything they do, reminding them that “As St. Ignatius wrote to the Philadelphians so many centuries ago, ‘God does not dwell where there is division.’” His Eminence explained that stewardship is not only about giving money, but “how we manage the household, in this case, the Church itself.” He lauded the wonderful volunteer work by many in their parishes and the Metropolis, while at the same time encouraging even greater involvement and service. However, he cautioned that all such efforts must incorporate the spiritual di-
METROPOLITAN GERASIMOS of San Francisco speaking during the CLC in San Francisco.
mension, observing that “I believe that if we paid greater attention to the spiritual life of our Church, the issues of money, programs and ‘church politics’ would evaporate.” He also reminded everyone of the importance of being in Church at the start of the Divine Liturgy and other services. His Eminence made special mention of the needs of clergy and their families, asking parish leaders to ensure their priests take opportunities to “be refreshed” in mind and body through classes, retreats, regular medical care, and time to be with their families. The Metropolitan asked the delegates to support three specific proposals, a Family Life Center to provide resources to help clergy and non-clergy families deal with
difficult situations; expanded ministries in support of Hellenic cultural programs; and enhancement of the already active Metropolis Spiritual Renewal Committee. A major initiative continues through the Bishop Anthony Student Aid Endowment Fund, managed by the Philoptochos, to provide full funding to seminarians from the Metropolis at Holy Cross in Brookline, Mass., and to assist other students from the Metropolis at the school. Metropolis Council Vice President Fanis Economidis highlighted the various committees and activities of the Council. He also encouraged everyone to support the campaign of the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate through the members of the U.S. Senate to get President Bush to take a stronger stand with
Turkey on the issue of religious freedom and harassment of the Patriarchate. The delegates unanimously adopted a resolution endorsing this effort. Other resolutions adopted dealt with minor clarifications to the Uniform Parish Regulations to be proposed to the Archdiocese Clergy-Laity Congress this summer. The existing Metropolis Council was reelected for another two-year term. Elenie Huszagh served as presiding officer. Anthony Saris, council treasurer, presented comprehensive 2005 financial reports including each of the monasteries and other ministries of the Metropolis and led the discussion and adoption of the 2006 budget. Fr. Demetrios-Earl Cantos, chancellor; Valerie Roumeliotes, Philoptochos president; Catherine Lingas, president of the Commission for Orthodox Missions and Evangelism; Kristen Bruskas, the Church Music Federation president; Paul Bodnar, recently appointed executive director of St. Nicholas Ranch; Fr. Paul Paris, chairman and Spiro Preovolos, vice chairman of the Folk Dance Festival Board; Peter Sotiras, youth director, and Fr. James Retelas, Stewardship Committee chairman, reported on their respective ministries. The Assembly also heard a presentation by Dr. Achilles Adamantiades of Washington, who serves as executive secretary of the Archdiocesan Advisory Committee on Science and Technology. His talk, “An Unchanging Faith for an Ever-Changing World,” reinforced the themes of the Assembly such as the importance of the family unit, continuing education for the clergy, and closer collaboration between clergy and laity.
What are the Apocrypha and the DaVinci Code Claims? page 11 always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together. I have said nothing secretly. Why do you ask me? Ask those who have heard me what I said to them. They know what I said.” (John. 18:20-21. For this reply a guard struck the Lord.) The DaVinci Code is a work of fiction, but the author claims it is based on fact. However, its details are factually untrue or the interpretation or meaning he gives them are untrue. His skill as a writer and his obvious anti-Christian and anti-Catholic agenda have led many people to question their faith and to at least wonder whether the book is true. The author says that the powerful interests in the Catholic Church –“The Vatican”– suppressed information about Christ. First, the Catholic Church did not exist as a separate entity until the 11th century. The powerful and highly organized Vatican he describes did not evolve until even later than that. Secondly, in the first centuries of Christianity, the Church did not have the type of organization or centralized leadership, such as the modern papacy, which would make possible the suppression of details about the life of Christ. The author claims the Church concealed the fact that Jesus was married and had children. It also claims that Mary Magdalene was the chief apostle and that Jesus was an ordinary human being, not divine at all. It should be noted there would have been no reason for the Church to hide a marriage of Jesus, were it true. Marriage is not a sin.
Had Jesus been married there would have been nothing sinful in that or in his having children. The baby and the marital relationship, had it been true, far from being hidden would have been extremely important in the early Church, just as His mother was extremely important in the early Church. Jesus would have presumably been the model of a married man, rather than the model of a celibate man. Christians would have been accustomed to the idea. In truth and fact, Jesus never married because He knew the purpose of His coming to earth was to die on the cross and He was completely devoted to this purpose. There would have been no point in getting married. Could the Church have suppressed such information if it wanted to do so? No, it would have been impossible for the Church to erase or expunge every writing that would have made mention of Jesus being married or having a child because that type of centralized control never existed in the early Church. It also would have been impossible because books were hand-copied in antiquity and there was no control over the process of who copied books and who acquired them. Could the DaVinci Code claims be true nonetheless? Is there any evidence that Jesus was married? There are many, many Christian writings of different types – from the end of the first century through the second century and beyond - and none of these ever mention Jesus being married or having a child. Even the apocryphal gospels of the third and fourth centuries never mention anything like that. This idea is entirely imaginary.
The author of the DaVinci Code also claims that Mary Magdalene was the leading apostle. First, be aware there is a strong feminist movement pushing this idea as part of a larger agenda, along with the idea that God is male-female and that the Church is somehow anti-female. But, in fact. women had important leadership positions in the early Church, including that of “apostle.” But the term apostle had a wider meaning in the early Church. The Greek word apostle apostelos means “one who is sent.” Jesus sent many people to preach, not simply The Twelve. The term apostle as used in the early Church meant someone who had been part of the earthly ministry of Church before the crucifixion and who had also witness him after the Resurrection alive again. (See Romans 16:7 for mention of apostles who are not among the Twelve). Apostle was not used to mean what it does today, a term synonymous with The Twelve. In fact, the Bible calls The Twelve, simply that: “The Twelve” (See Luke 22:3, John 20:24. In Luke 22:33 he calls them “the Eleven,” without Judas). Since apostle did note mean The Twelve as it does for us today, it is correct to say that women, such as Mary Magdalene, Fotini (the Samaritan woman at the well), and Junia, mentioned in Romans 16:7 were among the female apostles of the early Church.
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Is there any hinted conspiracy behind the Last Supper painting by Leonardo DaVinci? The author of the DaVinci code claims that one of the figures portrayed among The Twelve was a woman. The obvious and simple answer is that Leonardo DaVinci would have had absolutely no historical knowledge of what first century Jewish garments looked like. Ancient Jews did not create paintings or statues, so Leonardo relied solely on his imagination in his painting. There is nothing historical about the painting, including what was on the table or even the fact that The Twelve are seated around a table. Presbytera Constantinou is currently an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego and a former professor of New Testament at Holy Cross School of Theology. She holds Master of Theology degrees from Holy Cross School of Theology and from Harvard Divinity School, a Master of Arts degree in practical theology from the University of San Diego, and a Juris Doctorate from Pepperdine University School of Law. She also is a member of the California State Bar Association. Presbytera Constantinou is currently completing her doctoral dissertation on “The Interpretation of the Book of Revelation in the Ancient Church of the East” at Université Laval, Canada. She is married to Fr. Costa Constantinou, pastor of St Andrew the Apostle Greek Orthodox mission in San Luis Obispo, Calif.
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MARCH - APRIL 2006
Peabody, Mass. Church Celebrates Centennial PEABODY, Mass.– St. Vasilios Church launched its centennial year celebration on Jan. 1 with the Feast of St. Basil the Great, its patron saint, with Metropolitan Methodios of Boston presiding at the service. This North Shore church serves more than 1,800 families from the surrounding area and has long been prominently involved in community and charitable organizations. On Feb. 26, St. Vasilios honored past presidents of all its parish organizations when it celebrates the 100th anniversary of its recognition by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The parish youth will be dominant participants in this service and the day’s activities thereby linking the past and present of this community.
Special guests will include officials of government agencies in the surrounding areas. The Rachmaninoff Festival Choir performed two programs at St. Vasilios Church on March 11-12. Following the Church’s 100th celebration of its most holy Easter in April, St. Vasilios will present a musical afternoon at the Frank L. Wiggin Auditorium at Peabody City Hall on Sunday, May 7. The performance in concert by the group Journey to Ithaca accomplished composers, lyricists, interpreters, and musicians will present contemporary and traditional folk music in the historic setting of City Hall. The cornerstone of St. Vasilios’ Centennial Celebration will take place at the Danversport Yacht Club on Saturday, Sept.
Metropolis of New Jersey Clergy Hold Retreat
KENILWORTH, N.J. – Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey convened the 2006 Clergy Retreat of the Metropolis of New Jersey Feb. 6-8 at the Grand Hotel in Cape May, N.J. Clergy from throughout the Metropolis attended. This year’s clergy retreat featured the Very Rev. Dr. George Tsetsis, grand protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, as retreat master. A Halki Theological School graduate and a first-rate chanter, Fr. Tsetsis is one of the world’s foremost liturgists. Fr. Tsetsis occupied several executive posts at the Geneva headquarters of the World Council of Churches from 19651984 before being appointed in November 1984, by the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate as the Permanent Representative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, a position he held until his retirement in 1999. In 1971, Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras and the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, in recognition of his dedicated service to the Church, bestowed upon him the Offikion of Grand Protopresbyter of the Great and Holy Church of Christ. Fr. Tsetsis presented three key areas that affect the clergy and Church today: “Mixed Marriages: A crucial pastoral and ecumenical challenge,” “Promoting Peace: A central pastoral concern of the Church” and “The Orthodox Church and the Ecumenical Movement: A complicated one century old relationship.” Each informative lecture was followed
by discussion groups, which vigorously engaged and debated the issues at hand. Fr. Tsetsis’ wide and profound experience in these areas proved most stimulating for the Retreat participants as well as provided for an exceptional resource of knowledge in these vital dimensions of pastoral concern. Throughout the three-day retreat, divine services were held which offered all of the clergy present the opportunity to pray together and to partake of the Sacred Body and Blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ during the same Divine Liturgy. Another highlight of the retreat was a visit to Richard Stockton College and a dinner reception and slide show hosted by the “Friends of Hellenic Studies.” The group’s founder, the Rev. Dr. Demetrios Constantelos, assisted by the faculty representative, Dr. Thomas Papademetriou and Friends President, George Christy, informed the clergy of the ongoing efforts to promote Greek language and culture at the university level, noting that more than 600 students had registered for a course in one of the five areas of Greek Studies. The Metropolitan presented an icon of St. John Chrysostom to the president of Richard Stockton College, Dr. Herman Saatkamp, as a gift and expression of gratitude for his support of the Greek studies program. Next year’s clergy retreat will be held Feb. 5-7, 2007, in Annapolis, Md. and will include a tour of the U.S. Naval Academy.
16, an event filled with dining, music, dancing, and fellowship. Fr. Demotses, parish priest of St. Vasilios for 39 years will retire at the end of 2006, a bittersweet occasion for all in the community. An inspiring, untiring, devoted, loving leader, Fr. Demotses has served the parish, the city of Peabody, the surrounding North Shore areas with pastoral expertise and dedication. The entire St. Vasilios community will honor Fr. Demotses on Sunday, Nov. 26 following the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom that will be celebrated by Fr. Demotses. The parish will host a brunch reception in his honor and make a special presentation to Fr. Andrew. At this time, the entire community will have an opportunity to express their love, appreciation and gratitude to Fr. Andrew and Presbytera Mary Demotses. As the Centennial year approaches its final days, St. Vasilios Church will be honored with an archpastoral visit by Archbishop Demetrios of America on Dec. 2-3 weekend. Vesper services will be celebrated by His Eminence on Saturday evening and a reception and luncheon honoring Archbishop Demetrios will follow Sunday’s Divine Liturgy. The program will be both inspirational and enjoyable - it will consist of a classical Christmas musical selection and a brief exhortation from His Eminence in which he will share with the St. Vasilios Community his vision of the community’s next 100 years. Following this official closing event of St. Vasilios Church’s Centennial year celebration, the Men’s Club of the parish
ST. VASILIOS Church in Peabody, Mass.
will host its popular annual Christmas Party on Saturday, Dec. 9. In honor of the Centennial Year, St. Vasilios Men’s Club will donate all proceeds to benefit the St. Vasilios Endowment Fund in support of its vision for the future. St. Vasilios invites its friends in the surrounding area communities in celebrating its centennial by attending these events. For more information regarding place, time and ticket purchases may be obtained by contacting St. Vasilios Church Office at 978-531-0777.
Local Firms Assist Church with New Cross MANSFIELD, Mass. – St. Gregory’s Church of Mansfield recently installed a large cross on the church as part of its ongoing improvement to the facility. Local companies such as The Pro’s Car Care Complex of Mansfield and W Walsh Company of Attleboro generously assisted the church. The Byzantine style cross is a 17-foot tall by 9-foot wide 300-pound structure manufactured by Diaute Bros. of Quincy, Mass.. It was purchased through the donations of many parishioners. When discussing the best way to ensure a long lasting durable finish to the cross, a final coat of automotive paint was determined to be the best course of action. Pro’s Car Care of Mansfield donated the total cost of finishing, painting, pin striping, and transporting the cross. “It was strange having a 17-foot cross in our garage when we normally work on cars and trucks but we were glad to help St. Gregory’s Church,” said Nick Anagnos, president of The Pro’s Car Care Complex. In addition, W. Walsh Company of Attleboro assisted in the installation of the cross, which was raised more than 20 feet above the ground on an external wall of the church. “The crane operator we originally had scheduled cancelled at the last minute and W Walsh Company was kind enough to answer the call on very short notice and donate their time and equipment”, said Louie Zagami, St. Gregory’s facilities director. “As you drive up the entrance towards
the church, the cross is prominently displayed and provides a testament to the faith and generosity of our parish”, said Fr. Michael Bird. “We are grateful for the time and effort provided by Pro’s Car Care and W Walsh Company in helping complete this project and pleased that we are part of such a close and caring community.” The raising of the cross is just another milestone in the ongoing enhancements to the actual church edifice and the surrounding grounds. Most recently, St. Gregory’s has expanded its parking lot to accommodate its growing parish and installed a beautiful sign at its West Street entrance.
MARCH - APRIL 2006
100 Years of Orthodoxy Greek Independence Day Celebration BALTIMORE – The Orthodox Christian community in Maryland concluded its year-long celebration of “100 Years of Orthodoxy in Maryland” on March 19. The celebration included a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy celebrated by Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey at Annunciation Cathedral in Baltimore, followed by Centennial Grand Banquet at the Marriott Waterfront Hotel. The original Greek Orthodox congregation in Maryland, Annunciation Church in Baltimore, began services on the Sunday of Orthodoxy in 1906. Centennial observances began on the Sunday of Orthodoxy 2005. Many activities occurred during the past year, including special religious services, a concert at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall that featured the renowned Greek tenor Mario Frangoulis, a Byzantine concert by the Cathedral Choir, a children’s “birthday” party, a Byzantine Gala at the Walters Art Museum in November, various luncheons, and a Greek “Glendi” party with music and dancing on New Year’s Day 2006. Many of the events were open to the public. Founded in 1906 by 150 Greek immigrants, the original Greek Orthodox church location at the corner of Homewood Avenue and Chase Street (Greek inscriptions are still visible inside) is now the Highway Christian (Apostolic) Church. In 1937, the congregation moved to the former Associate Congregational Church on the corner of Maryland Avenue and Preston Street, which features a number of authentic Louis Comfort Tiffany stained glass windows. Many of the descendants of the original Maryland Greek families are still members of the community. The Cathedral of the Annunciation is the oldest church of all Baltimore area Orthodox congregations.
HOLY CROSS parish in Wichita Falls, Texas, hosted Greek and U.S. military personnel for the Feast of the Annunciation and the commemoration of Greek Independence Day. (l-r) Capt. Kostas Katsikias (Greek Air Force and NATO pilot); Capt. Aristeidis Zoumpakis (Greek army), Valia Zoumpakis, Fr. Nektarios Morrow (parish priest), Maj. Tamara Ryan (U.S. Air Force), Capt. Dimitris Nikolakakos (Greek army), Lt. Apostolos Gkogkos (Greek army), and Steve Spahis (NATO sponsor and Parish Council vice president. The Greek Army officers are training at the International Artillery School at Fort Sill, Okla. Wichita Falls is the home of Shepherd Air Force Base that has a training facility for NATO pilots.
Broadcast of Centennial Epiphany Events Available on DVD Ecumenical Patriarch Barthomolew’s participation in the Centennial Celebration of Epiphany in Tarpon Springs, Fla., is available for purchase on DVD. Thousands of people around the world witnessed the entire service, which was broadcast live on Antenna Satellite TV in North America, NGTV in Queens,
N.Y., throughout Greece and also on the Archdiocese website. For information about the broadcast, or to purchase dvd the day’s events, contact the Department of Communications of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese at 212-774-0244 or the Patriarchal Visitation Committee at 727-771-2099.
First New Church Since 1939 Opens in Washington SHORELINE, Wash. – Holy Apostles, the first new Greek Orthodox Church in the area Seattle since 1939, opened the doors to its own church complex on Sunday, Feb. 5. The Rev. Fr. Tom Tsagalakis, proistamenos, officiated, assisted by Fr. Michael Johnson, retired, who had served as the first full-time priest of the parish, and the Rev. Fr. Evan Armatas of St. Catherine Church in Greenwood Village, Colo. An overflow congregation participated in the first Liturgy in the new church. Holy Apostles was established in 1998 under the auspices of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco’s Commission for Orthodox Missions and Evangelism, and with the blessings of the late Metropolitan Anthony. Eight families formed the new mission parish serving the fast-growing suburban areas just north and east of Seattle. Today there are more than 80 families in the community including not only native Greeks and Greek Americans; but also Orthodox with roots in the Middle East, Slavic countries, and Ethiopia as well as a large number of converts to Orthodoxy from diverse backgrounds and faiths. Given the composition of the parish, services at Holy Apostles are conducted primarily but not exclusively in English, with strong congregational singing led by several professionally trained musicians and chanters. There is an active youth program, religious education for children and adults,
a Philoptochos chapter, outreach to the local community, as well as other activities. With solid stewardship, the proceeds of fund raising events usually go to the building fund. George Plumis is Parish Council president. Since its founding, the parish had met at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer in Kenmore, first with monthly Saturday liturgies by visiting clergy from the Metropolis and then regular Sunday and feast day services with Fr. Johnson in 1999. The Rev. John Fergueson, pastor of the Church of the Redeemer, and his congregation hosted the Orthodox with unbelievably deep and abiding charity and love, even changing the times of their own worship services to allow celebration of the Orthodox Liturgy in the main sanctuary. After a number of real estate and financial setbacks, including a bid to purchase an office-type building for the church to use, the parish community persevered in its search for a new home, and eventually found “the perfect fit” with an existing church structure in Shoreline, a suburb immediately north of Seattle. St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church in Shoreline decided to disband in late 2005 and join with another Lutheran community nearby, at first offering to sell their church and land to a developer to build condos. Upon hearing of the Greek Orthodox community’s need for a new home, St.
Stephen’s opted to sell the property to Holy Apostles, thereby keeping it a place of worship for many more generations to come. The sale was final at the end of 2005. During January, members of the parish devoted many hours of work parties to cleaning, painting, repairing, and improving the facilities that include the church, a hall and kitchen, offices, and a classroom wing. Adjacent to Echo Lake, there is sufficient property to allow eventual construction of a new Byzantine-style church on the site. Following the retirement of Fr. Michael Johnson, who was the church’s first permanent pastor and a long-time Orthodox Christian leader in the Pacific Northwest, Fr. Athanasios (Tom) Tsagalakis has served as the of Holy Apostles pastor since 2003. Fr. Tsagalakis is also an adjunct professor at Seattle Pacific University and maintains a private practice in marriage and family therapy in Seattle. He received his undergraduate degree from San Jose State University and a Masters of Divinity from Holy Cross School of Theology in Brookline, Mass. in 1986. He was ordained a deacon in June 1999 and subsequently a priest in August of 2003. He also holds a masters degree in marriage and family counseling from Seattle Pacific University. Fr. Tom and his Presbytera, Patricia, have two children, Nicholas and Maria Sophia.
Illinois Church Honors Pastor on 50th Anniversary WESTCHESTER, Ill. – Holy Apostles Church recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of the ordination of Fr. William Chiganos to the priesthood. The event took place on the feast day of St. Stephen, Dec. 27. Serving as altar “boys” were more than 50 former acolytes representing the decades of Fr. Bill's service at Holy Apostles, many of them in their 50s, 40s, 30s and 20s. Among them were several lawyers, a doctor, a college professor, business executives and business owners. Also serving in the altar were Fr. Bill’s two sons, his eldest grandson, and, as a special honor, two of his younger grandsons (ages 7 and 4) were robed. It was truly an awesome and inspiring sight to see the procession of seven priests, more than 50 acolytes, three chanters and several seminarians. Metropolitan Iakovos, in his address to the congregation, focused on Fr. Bill’s exemplary service to the Church and the nationally recognized parish that he has led since 1959. Fr. James Gordon spoke on behalf of the priests that concelebrated and as Fr. Bill’s spiritual son. Fr. Gordon emphasized the important role Fr. Bill has played in so many lives over the past five decades. He specifically singled out the former altar boys in attendance and talked of how Fr. Bill’s example of dedicated Christian service has touched each of their lives. Presbytera Effie was also recognized for her many contributions to Holy Apostles and for her service to the Church over the past 50 years. She was presented with a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Fr. Bill presented a cross to Mike Cotsilis in recognition of his 43 years of faithful and dedicated service in the altar. After the Liturgy, a reception, hosted by Philoptochos, took place in the multipurpose room. It was difficult to contain emotions during the Liturgy, and there were many tears of joy shed by the congregation in gratitude to Fr. Bill and all that he has meant to the Holy Apostles’ family.
Illinois Parish to Break Ground for New Church LAKE COUNTY, ILL. – St. Demetrios Church will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for its new church on April 30 at its property in Waukegan. Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago will officiate, assisted by Fr. Cosmas Halekakis, pastor. The blessing of the grounds will take place after Church services and a dinner-dance will follow at the Country Squire Restaurant in Grayslake. St. Demetrios parish has launched a capital campaign to build the new church beginning this spring. The church is designed to be a 500-seat traditional Byzantine style sanctuary of about 9,500 square feet. St. Demetrios Church was established in 1929, and has met the needs of the Orthodox Christian faithful in the city of Waukegan, and in the greater Lake County region. As the community has grown and expanded, the parishioners have shifted geographically out of the city to outlying communities west and north in Lake County. Twenty years ago, in response to this geographic shift of membership, the parishioners purchased a larger property several miles to the west on O’Plaine Road.
MARCH - APRIL 2006
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