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MAY 2007 • Vol. 72 • No. 1230

www.observer.goarch.org • e-mail: observer@goarch.org

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Archdiocese archdiocesan Council affirms Measurable Progress Offers Condolences to Virginia Tech University Family

Mr. Michael Jaharis, vice-chairman of the Archdiocesan Council, noted the “tremendous change in the way things are done,” credited the diligent work of the committees and congratulated all the members for “making great progress” in their service to the Archdiocese. Mr. Jaharis spoke about the challenges of family ministry, especially the interfaith family, youth ministry and the values of Orthodoxy and Hellenism as the essence of the values of this country.

Committee Reports

NEW YORK – In response to the unfathomed tragedy and senseless loss of life at Virginia Tech University on Monday, April 16, Archbishop Demetrios offered the fervent prayers and deepest sympathy of the Greek Orthodox faithful in America. In a letter to Dr. Charles W. Steger, president of Virginia Tech University, Archbishop Demetrios wrote: “This horrific incident has shattered our thoughts and hearts while we are still journeying in the period which celebrates our Lord’s victory over death and His granting to us eternal life and salvation. May the ‘Father of mercies and God of all comfort’ (2 Corinthians 1:3-4) give you, your faculty, the students and their parents the strength today and the days ahead to bear the heavy burden of this enormous loss. God promises to be with us always in times of grief and unbearable pain, even in the shadow of death. “We, at the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, offer our fervent prayer for the comforting of everyone who has been affected by this act of violence. May the Lord, the Divine Comforter and Savior of humankind, grant life to all and eternal memory to those who perished.” Archbishop Demetrios also affirms the ministry of Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF), its Virginia Tech Chapter, and International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), who are working to provide traumatic incident counseling to those who have been affected. OCF and IOCC are endorsed agencies of SCOBA, the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas. see related stories, pages 5,6,9

ORTHODOX OBSERVER

(L to R) Metropolitans Nicholas of Detroit, Alexios of Atlanta, Isaiah of Denver, Archbishop Demetrios, Anthony Stefanis, Emmanuel Demos and Michael Jaharis.

HOUSTON – The Archdiocesan Council ascertained continued and measurable progress in all aspects of the ministry and life of the Archdiocese during its scheduled semi-annual spring meeting, which took place April 26-27, in Houston with Archbishop Demetrios of America presiding. by Stavros H. Papagermanos

The Archdiocesan Council Committees met during the first day, reviewed their work and progress since the fall council meeting in New York and prepared their reports for the whole body. The Archdiocesan Council convened in the morning of April 27. Following the prayer, the host hierarch, Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver welcomed the members and expressed his gratitude and satisfaction for the holding of the spring session of the Archdiocesan Council in his Metropolis. He further indicated that this practice of periodically holding the Council’s activities in different cities around the country is a clear sign of progress. “Let us be the people who continue to grow the fruits of the Gospel in our parishes and in our communities,” urged the members Archbishop Demetrios in his opening remarks to the Council. The Archbishop spoke about religion

HOUSTON’s 90th ANNIVERSARY .... 3 Archbishop’s Encyclical...................8 Archdiocese News .......................2-4 Challenge...................................... 23 Classifieds .....................................24 Communicating the Faith ................6 Ecum. Patriarchate ..........................3 Greek Section ........................... 13–17 In Memoriam..................................20 Interfaith Marriage .........................10 Letters.................................. ............8

in general and Christianity in particular in the context of our society and how contemporary media treats and presents aspects of our faith in relation to science. His Eminence offered a few elements of a recent lecture he presented at Columbia University on the subject of “Religion and Science.” (see p. 10) The Archbishop further highlighted three areas relevant to the work of the Church. First he said “the interfaith marriage family is a challenge and a blessing but not a problem and should not be viewed as a problem. And noted that it is a matter not simply of central administrative actions, but best addressed on a local parish level. Second he spoke of the issue of ministering and retaining the youth, especially the young adult population who while striving for career success tend to drift away from the Church. Third the Archbishop noted an increased interest in things related to Hellenism and Byzantine studies and spoke of the importance of offering Orthodoxy and our Hellenic universal tradition of which we are the alive carriers.

Anthony Stefanis, chairman of the Administration committee presented the report. Elenie Huszagh introduced minor amendments to the Metropolis Regulations which were approved after some discussion. Some new objectives were presented aiming to improve the effectiveness of future Clergy-Laity Congresses, reduce costs and increase their revenues. It was reported that in the 2006 Nashville Congress 329 parishes participated with 893 delegates, 135 young adults and 380 Philoptochos members. The cost for the 2006 Congress was 1,288 million and the revenues amounted to 1,367 million. It was also announced the 2008 Clergy-Laity Congress will be held in Washington DC, July 13-18. Cliff Argue, chairman of the Communications Committee presented the report centered on how to better reach the faithful through the various new means of communication. He also presented some of the lessons learned from the significant participation of the Archdiocese in the communication work during the Papal Visit to the Ecumenical Patriarchate last November. The Youth Committee in its report presented several educational programs which are currently being undertaken. Steady progress was reported for Ionian Village and a renovation program of its

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GREEK INDEPENDENCE PARADE .... 28 Metropolises’ News .................26-27 Missions ........................................19 Opinions .........................................8 Orthodox Family ...........................21 Parish Profile ................................12 People ...........................................12 Scholarships .................................11 Survey Results ..............................25 Viewpoint ........................................9 Voice of Philoptochos ..................18

MEMBERS of the Archdiocesan Council.

ORTHODOX OBSERVER


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MAY 2007

n.Y. hellenic Groups Bestow archbishop with liberty award NEW YORK – Archbishop Demetrios was awarded the 2007 Liberty Award in honor of the 186th Anniversary of Greek Independence, by the Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater New York on April 14. The award ceremony took place at the Greek Independence Liberty Award Gala at the Hilton, Hotel and Towers in New York City. Among the many notable dignitaries attending the Award Gala were Sen. (retired) Paul Sarbanes; Congressman (retired) Mike Bilirakis and his son, U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis; Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias; City of New York Comptroller Bill Thompson; Alexandros P. Mallias, ambassador of Greece; Mr. Kakouris, ambassador of Cyprus; Ioannis Tragakis, vice president of the Parliament of Greece; Giorgos Kalatzis, minister of Macedonia-Thrace; Evangelos Meimarakis, defense minister of Greece. The evening’s toastmaster and event chairman was Philip Christopher. Also attending the gala were Greek Independence Day Parade Grand Marshals Dr. Anthony Limberakis, representing the Order of St. Andrew, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and Nick Davatzes, CEO Emeritus of A&E Television Networks. “I am honored to receive this very special award,” said Archbishop Demetrios. “But as the first recipient of the Liberty Award for Religious Freedom I do not receive it alone but on behalf of the entire Hellenic community.” "His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America is a blessed man of great thought and integrity who is deeply concerned with the future of Greek America. As this year's Liberty Award recipient, he exemplifies the stalwart leadership in the ongoing preservation of our Orthodox faith, Greek language, culture and religious freedom in the world,” said Greek Parade Chairman John Catsimatidis, chairman and CEO of the Red Apple Group. The Federation’s annual Liberty Award is bestowed to an individual or an organization that exemplifies and promotes the Hellenic ideals of freedom, democracy, language, culture, and religious faith.

PHOTOS D. PANAGOS

ARCHBISHOP Demetrios receives Hellenic federation’s Liberty Award. (L to R) Tassos Manesis, Nick Dimantidis, Minister of Defense of Greece Evangelos Meimarakis and Senator Paul Sarbanes.

Dr. Anthony Limberakis on behalf of the Order of St. Andrew Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, receives the award from Tassos Manesis. Also shown (l to r) are Archons John Halecky and James fountas.

fr. Mark arey named Director of inter-orthodox, ecumenical and interfaith relations NEW YORK–Archbishop Demetrios, following the retirement of Bishop Dimitrios of Xanthos, has appointed Fr. Mark Arey to succeed him as director of the Office of Inter-Orthodox, Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations of the Archdiocese. Fr. Arey will assume his duties on June 1. Bishop Dimitrios has been the director since September 1998. Commenting on his departure, Archbishop Demetrios said: “Bishop Dimitrios leaves behind a legacy of true ecumenical bridge-building and an unflagging dedication to the work of the Gospel. All of us have witnessed his humility, his dedication, and his abiding love for the Church. We know that he will remain with us in prayer and will continue, as a special

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Published bi-monthly except single issue in September and December by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Editorial and Business Office: 8 East 79th Street, New York, NY 10021. TEL.: (212) 570-3555, 774-0235. FAX (212) 774-0239.

consultant, to assist the new director, Father Mark Arey, who is also very capable and fully willing to serve.” Fr. Arey leaves his current position as the pastor of Holy Trinity Church in Nashville, the host parish for last year’s widely acclaimed 38 th Biennial ClergyLaity Congress, where he has served since 2004. Fr. Arey has served the Archdiocese in various capacities: pastor of St. George Tropaiophoros Church in New York (1998 – 2004), director of Communications (1998,99), ad interim director of Leadership 100 (1997,98), as pastor of Sts. Peter and Paul Parish in Frederick, Md, Holy Trinity in Nashville, (1983-88), St. Barbara in New Haven, Conn. , and as assistant priest at Annunciation Cathedral

in Baltimore, where he was ordained in 1979. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Maryland, a Master of Divinity with honors from Holy Cross School of Theology, and a Master of Science in pastoral counseling from Loyola College in Maryland. Archbishop Demetrios commented on the appointment of Fr. Arey, who served in the past in a large variety of activities related to ecumenical issues: “Father Arey’s appointment is a very promising extension of his service to our Archdiocese, and we know that with the help of God he will continue to serve with the same zeal, dedication and care that he manifested during the Clergy-Laity Congress in Nashville”

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Holy Eparchial Synod Holds Spring Meeting NEW YORK – The Holy Eparchial Synod of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America convened in the Synod Room of the Holy Archdiocese on March 14-15. Archbishop Demetrios presided over the meeting. Present were members of the Holy Synod: Metropolitans Iakovos of Chicago, Maximos of Pittsburgh, Alexios of Atlanta, Nicholas of Detroit, Gerasimos of San Francisco and Evangelos of New Jersey. Also present was the Chief Secretary of the Synod Archimandrite Sebastian Skordallos. Metropolitans Methodios of Boston and Isaiah of Denver were absent from the meeting because of illness. During the meeting, the Holy Eparchial Synod discussed a number of issues concerning subjects related to the life of the Church including the following: 1. The parishes and monasteries of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem in America Archbishop Demetrios of America informed the members of the Holy Synod about his recent trip to Jerusalem where he headed a delegation on behalf of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in meetings with the Patriarch of Jerusalem and members of the Synod of Jerusalem. They discussed the issue of the presence of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem in America. The results of these meetings conform to the proposals of the Holy Eparchial Synod of America and the related decisions of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. 2. The program of permanent deacons The Holy Synod, in light of the possibility of ordination of permanent deacons, decided that the candidates must be educated in accordance with a special program that will be established by Holy Cross School of Theology following the guidelines of the Holy Eparchial Synod. It is expected that this program will begin in September of this year. 3. Greek Education: It was reported that the cooperation between the Department of Greek Education of the Holy Archdiocese of America and the educational officials in Greece and Cyprus continues on the subjects of teaching materials, methods of teaching the Greek Language by electronic means and educational seminars for teachers. There was also discussion regarding the Greek American Day Schools, Afternoon Schools, and the Charter Schools which function in each Metropolis and the Direct Archdiocesan District. Also it was decided to gather experts in Greek Education, from each Metropolis and the Direct Archdiocesan District in order to cooperate in promoting the subject of Greek Education. 4. Youth: Related to the youth, there was discussion about the various programs, with emphasis on summer camps. It was noted the significant success of the summer camps of each Metropolis and the Direct Archdiocesan District, as well as Ionian Village. Furthermore, it was mentioned that the second Conference of Youth at the Ecumenical Patriarchate will convene in July 2007. Details regarding this Conference will be forthcoming. 5. Canonical Matters: The Holy Eparchial Synod also discussed canonical matters related to the Holy Priesthood. The Holy Synod cares for and heals all ailing spiritual children of the Church. 6. Synodal Committees Proposal: There was discussion on Regulations of the Operation of Spiritual Courts, Regulations of the Operation of the Holy Eparchial Synod and liturgical matters. After the conclusion of the meeting, the members of the Holy Eparchial Synod participated in the meeting of the Executive Committee of the Archdiocesan Council.


MAY 2007

Houston Cathedral Celebrates 90th Anniversary

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On April 16, 1916, a small group of Greek immigrants gathered together and formed a committee to create the first Greek Orthodox Church in Houston. A year later, in 1917, this dream became a reality and the Church was established and evolved into one of the most influential communities in the Archdiocese. by Poppy Cobanoglu-Padley

This year, in the 90th anniversary of Annunciation Cathedral in Houston, all the men and women over the years who helped establish the parish were honored. Several events in the month of April were scheduled to celebrate this milestone in the history of the parish. Among some of the memorable events were a Family Bowling Night and a Family Glendi Night for the entire community. Families gathered together for fellowship and to remember grandparents and parents who helped establish the parish through photographs, artifacts, videos and personal testimonials. These events were an opportunity for all to enjoy each other’s company and celebrate and recognize our past and future. On April 28, Archbishop Demetrios and Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver met with the young people of the community to answer questions they might have about the Orthodox Faith. Archbishop Demetrios congratulated and praised them on their questions. Each was presented with a cross

YOUNG MEMBERS of the Annunciation Cathedral Parish with Archbishop Demetrios, Metropolitan Isaiah, V. Rev. Archimandrite Gabriel Karambis and assistant clergymen.

METROPOLITAN Isaiah of Denver welcomes Archbishop Demetrios following the Divine Liturgy.

by either Archbishop Demetrios or Metropolitan Isaiah. That evening a banquet and ball was held at the Martel Hall. Honored guests included Archbishop

Demetrios and Metropolitan Isaiah who offered inspiring remarks and best wishes for the 90th anniversary of the Cathedral. Former cathedral dean Fr. Nicholas Triantafilou, Fr. Louis Christopulos, and

Fr. Andrew Eugenis were among the special guests. On Sunday April 29, a Hierarchal Divine Liturgy was celebrated with Archbishop Demetrios, Metropolitan Isaiah, and current priests of the cathedral, The Very Rev. Archimandrite J. Gabriel Karambis, proistamenos since 2001, and Frs. Michael J. Lambakis and Demetrios Tagaropulos. The former proistamenoi also participated in the Liturgy, along with the Rev. Dr. Frank Marangos, former associate pastor and more than 700 parishioners were present. Following the Liturgy a Texas BBQ was enjoyed by the community and guests. During the four day celebrations more than 1,200 people attended the events. In addition to the 90th anniversary celebrations, the Archdiocesan Council met in Houston for the first time the same weekend. Co-chairing the anniversary events were John and Joni Zavitsanos.

archons renew Call to Defend the ecumenical Patriarchate NEW YORK– The Order of St. Andrew, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in America has recently re-issued a statement regarding the efforts for the reopening of Hagia Sophia. The Archon’s release calls these efforts “A misguided campaign that demeans the real survival struggle of the Ecumenical Patriarchate which is at the precipice of extinction due to the systematic policies of religious persecution by the government of Turkey.” It also states that “Despite claims to the contrary, the European Union has not pressured the Turkish government to restore St. Sophia Cathedral from a museum into a Greek Orthodox church, nor is there a requirement of one million signatures on a petition before it makes this conversion a prerequisite for Turkey's accession into the European Union,” facts supported by a European Union letter clarifying the EU position on the issue. The Archons original statement signed by National Commander Dr. Anthony Limberakis follows: Many readers may have received an email requesting them to sign a petition supporting the “restoration and reopening” of Hagia Sophia. The email states that this petition would oppose Turkey’s entry into the European Union unless or until the Turkish government “restored” Hagia Sophia (currently a museum) to a church. To my mind, Hagia Sophia is the most magnificent edifice in the world. I believe that its mosaics, particularly the

14th century Deisis with its depiction of Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary and St. John the Forerunner, are among the greatest works of art ever conceived! However, this campaign is misguided and lamentable. It demeans the current survival struggle that is unfolding before us regarding the life of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to which the world community and the Orthodox faithful have barely awakened. The call to action to which all women and men of conscience should respond is the call to protect the living institution of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. For the greater part of 18 centuries, the Ecumenical Patriarchate has preserved and passed on the Christian message. Through countless and unimaginable hardships it has remained as a testament to faith and the enlightenment for all mankind. Over the course of the last several decades, elements in the Turkish government have systematically moved to extinguish the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Not only has an environment of religious intolerance been fomented, certain members of the Turkish state have persecuted the Orthodox clergy and laity, closed down its only theological school and confiscated its properties. The litany of aggressive persecutions is vast and ghastly.

Instead of being beguiled in the comfortable click of an email signature endorsing a petition to “restore and reopen” Hagia Sophia, let us all commit to taking profound action to ensure the perpetual health of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Here are some of the many things you can do: Make a donation to the Order of St. Andrew for its Patriarchal Defense Initiatives. These initiatives will support legal actions and seeking governmental intervention against the repression of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the courts and governments of the United States, Europe and the Middle East; Write President George W. Bush, copying Secretary of State Rice and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and your senators and congressmen, your state, city and local representatives stating something like

the following: America was established, in part, because of the desire for religious freedom. The First Amendment makes it very clear that freedom of worship is a fundamental human right recognized by the Founding Fathers and the framers of the United States Constitution. Turkey, as an ally of the United States, ought to recognize legally the Ecumenical Patriarchate; return its confiscated properties back to the Mother Church; not interfere in Patriarchal elections or in the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s canonical governance; and immediately reopen Halki Theological School which was forcibly closed in 1971. For Turkey to join the European Union it must act like Europeans and Americans; i.e. recognize fundamental religious freedom and inalienable human rights. Contact our brothers and sisters of all faith and creeds, whether they be Orthodox, Catholic or Protestant – Muslim or Jewish and ask them to join in a united stance for religious tolerance and freedom of faith. These are the true calls to action to which we must respond. Let us resolve to ourselves and the world that a true tragedy of our generation – the extinguishing of the Ecumenical Patriarchate – must be averted.




MAY 2007

The Greek Division of the Ronald McDonald House

Pascha of the Faithful

SUPPORT OUR Annual Walk-a-thon This year’s Annual Walk-a-thon takes place on Saturday, May 19, 2007 at 11 a.m. at the Ronald McDonald House. You can still support us if you can not attend. We appeal to the spirit of generosity, which we know exist in all of you. For information and participation please call (212) 717-6608

Come and take part

NAME________________________________________________________________ ADDRESS______________________________________________________________ TELEPHONE_____________________________________________________________ Donations:_________________________________________________________________ Please Send to Ronald McDonald House, Greek Division, 405 East 73rd St-New York, NY 10021

D. PANAGOS

ARCHBISHOP DEMETRIOS leads clergy and faithful in chanting Hristos Anesti at the Ressurection service at Holy Trinity Archdiocesan Cathedral in New York.

INTERESTED IN STUDING ORTHODOX THEOLOGY? UNABLE TO ATTEND A SEMINARY OR THEOLOGICAL SCHOOL? ST. STEPHEN’S COURSE OF STUDIES IN ORTHODOX THEOLOGY IS YOUR ANSWER Besides our theological program, we also now offering three new specialization tracks: Youth Ministry, Musicology and Iconology. These tracks are offered in a distinct Orthodox and Byzantine setting.

METROPOLITAN IAKOVOS of Chicago lights the candle of a little girl at Chicago’s Annunciation Cathedral.

St. Stephen’s Course, a three-year directed reading program under the auspices of the Antiochian House of Studies is open to both men and women. For information and catalogue, contact: ST. STEPHEN’S COURSE OF STUDIES 385 IVY LANE, BERGENFIELD, NJ 07621 E-mail: theoedu1@aol.com

Tel.: (201) 569-0095

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METROPOLITAN NICHOLAS leads the prayers and lamentations in front of the Epitaphios at the Annunciation Cathedral in Detroit.


MAY 2007

Condolences from Metropolitan Evangelos Kenilworth, N.J. – Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey expressed his condolences to the parents, siblings, relatives, friends, administration and faculty as well as to the entire Virginia Tech Community in the aftermath of the horrendous and senseless massacre that occurred there April 16th. In a letter to Virginia Tech President, Dr. Charles W. Steger, he stated the collective support and compassion of all Greek Orthodox Christians, “we share in the

unspeakable pain and grief of the families of the victims, as we ‘weep with those who weep,’ (Romans 12:15)” The Metropolitan added, “truly, now is the time to join our prayers with all peace-loving Christians that our “Father of mercies and God of all comfort” (2 Corinthians 1:3) will be “gracious and full of compassion…and great in mercy” (Psalm 145:8) to the families who must endure this unbearable grief and persevere, allowing time to heal their wounded hearts.”

MOURNERS stand in line to pay their respects at a memorial on the drillfield of the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Virginia April 22. Cho Sueng-Hui, a mentally ill student, killed thirty two students and teachers on April 16, making the massacre the largest ever on a college campus in the United States.

OCF Responds to Tragedy at Virginia Tech BOSTON – Prayers, resources, and outreach to the local Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) chapter at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) are part of the response OCF has mounted to address the horrific tragedy that occurred on the 16th of April in Blacksburg, Va., which resulted in the loss of 33 human lives. Although it has been reported that all of the OCF students are safe, some of the students lost friends and acquaintances in the shooting. OCF has been in constant communication with the leaders of the Virginia Tech OCF including the Rev. Constantine Nastos of Holy Trinity Church in Roanoke, who serves as the OCF’s spiritual advisor. OCF has been doing everything possible to respond to the emotional and spiritual needs of the students. In conjunction with International Orthodox Christian Charities, OCF is coordinated the deployment of “frontline” responders to minister to the Orthodox college students and community at Virginia Tech. The responders included OCF Executive Director Rev. Kevin Scherer, and three others with specialized training in Critical Incident Stress Management.

“This is an important time for the Church to make sure that it creates an emotionally safe environment for students, everywhere, to share their feelings and experiences relative to this tragedy,” says Fr. Scherer. “Our responsibility is to actively listen and help them contextualize this horror in light of the Gospel, especially Christ’s life-giving resurrection.” The OCF website (www.ocf.net) included an email address for the Virginia Tech local OCF, allowing other chapters and the Orthodox community world-wide to express their concern and support. The emails received thus far have been heartfelt and loving, and are a great testimony to the unbreakable Christian bond Orthodox college students have for one another. Orthodox Christian Fellowship is the official campus ministry program of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA). It is a Pan-Orthodox effort which is overseen by a Board of Directors and assisted by a Student Advisory Board. Additional information on all the OCF programs can be found on the OCF website, www.ocf. net, or by calling toll-free, 800-919-1623

Church in Indonesia Faces Serious Persecution The Metropolitanate of Hong Kong and Southeast Asia (Ecumenical Patriarchate) wishes to issue the following statement, concerning situations in Indonesia. The Orthodox Christians in Indonesia have joined the list of those attacked by Muslim extremists. Fr. Methodios Sri Gunarjo, his family and other Orthodox were terrorized and threatened this past weekend. Although there are no reports of physical harm at this point, the verbal, psychological and other forms of abuse continue. At one point, a knife was put to the throat of Fr. Methodios, as his attackers demanded that he close the Churches in the Boyolali area of Central Java. It should

be noted that there is a thriving ministry in this area. A large group of Muslim protestors has gathered in the Church area and continues making demands upon Fr. Methodios and the Church community. The attackers are not from Boyolali, as local Christians and Muslims have joined in showing their support for Fr. Methodios, who is noted for the love and compassion he has shown all people in the area. Fr. Methodios and his family have been forced to leave their home, as their lives have now been threatened. The attackers have also promised to purge the area of Christians.




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MAY 2007

Communicating the Faith THE POWER Of CHOICE Blacksburg, Thermopylae and Golgotha

“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13 by Rev. Frank Marangos

Choice is the defining moment of life. The liturgical celebration of Christ’s Passion and Resurrection annually challenges us to seriously consider the immense power and devastating effects of the choices we make daily. The hymns and prayers of Holy Week help us to so reflect by skillfully chronicling the theological, moral and cosmic consequences of the critical choices made by numerous biblical personalities. While we learn, for example, that Judas, one of the twelve disciples, chose to betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver, a sinful woman chose to anoint the feet of the Master with what is truly priceless . . . her tears of repentance. Choosing to release the guilty Barabas from prison, we are told that Pilate simultaneously decides to consign the blameless Jesus to the cross. While Peter chooses to deny his Lord three times, Nicodemus courageously defends him to his Jewish companions. Although one of the two thieves asks Jesus for His forgiveness, the other chooses to blaspheme him. The recent massacre that occurred on the campus of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia on April 16 provides a chilling contemporary backdrop for a serious examination of the choices that define humanity in terms of dignity or ignobility. The Blacksburg tragedy occurred in the shadow of Christianity’s liturgical celebration of Golgotha wherein the faithful may still discern the warm blood of the Eternal Lamb, Jesus Christ, highlighted upon His empty Cross. The deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history unfolded as two separate attacks approximately two hours apart during which Cho Seung-Hui, a South Korean national and a psychotic senior English major, chose to manage the elements of his multi-page typewritten manifesto of anger, brokenness, and overall distorted reality of life by killing 32 people and injuring 29 more before committing suicide. While the defining moment of Cho’s life transfixed and stunned our nation to a manifestation of evil, another individual, unwittingly caught up in the campus carnage, providentially made a choice that personified the supremacy of what Christians throughout the globe celebrated during Holy Week . . . the power of self sacrificial love! Professor Liviu Librescu, a 76-year-old Holocaust survivor, aeronautics engineer and lecturer at the school for 20 years, died trying to barricade the door of his Virginia Tech classroom to keep the gunman, Cho Seung-Hui, away from his students. Like the 300 Spartans that chose to sacrifice themselves as a human barrier in one of history’s greatest battles at Thermopylae (480 BC) facing the massive forces of Xerxes, the King of Persia, Librescu chose to place his physical as well as spiritual weight against his classroom door so his students would have a chance to jump out of the windows to safety. Referring to the heroic sacrificial choice made by 300 Spartans at Thermopylae, the poet Montaigne (1533-1592) wrote that “the worth and value of a man

is in his heart and his will. There,” he insisted, “lays mankind’s real honor. Valor is the strength, not of legs and arms, but of heart and soul.” Certainly knowing, like the small band of Spartans, there was no doubt he would perish, Librescu is an appropriate symbol for those who are called to stand firm at the narrow passages of life’s difficult choices, and in so doing, elegantly witness to redeeming presence of God’s image still at work in a fallen humanity! It is surely one of the greatest ironies in recent American history that a Romanian Holocaust survivor would choose, on Holocaust Remembrance Day, to deliberately get in the way of Mr. Cho’s bullets, and lay down his life to save some of his students. Like the door lintels of Jewish homes that were painted with the blood of a sacrificed lamb during the evening of the first Passover in Egypt, the classroom door post at Blacksburg is stained with the blood of a father and teacher, a contemporary Spartan, who chose to “lay down his life for his friends” . . . to stand firm so that others could survive to fight the deleterious effects of evil in the world yet another day. In many ways, the massacre at Blacksburg reveals a contemporary Thermopylae of epic proportions. Apart from raising familiar issues about campus security, domestic violence, gun control, and student profiling, the massacre at Virginia Tech raises spiritual issues concerning the existence of good and evil, and the choices that ultimately define the human condition. According to numerous social psychologists, the school and campus shootings that occurred at Columbine, Paducah, and now Blacksburg are committed by individuals that display several common characteristics. Apart from neurological and hyperactive disorders that may be important contributors, dysfunctional traits may include bitterness, anger and resentfulness; counter-culture lifestyles; social and emotional isolation; alienation from others; preoccupation with death; dark sense of humor; distorted thinking process; lack of guilt and remorse; negative self-concept; illusion of power, importance and intelligence; long-standing inner sadness and a loss of hope; devaluing of human life; and feelings of injustice. In the end what society needs most in the wake of the Blacksburg massacre are not neurological, societal, or even psychological explanations but rather permission to embark on an honest examination of the spiritual condition of humanity’s relationship with God. This is the major contribution of Golgotha to Blacksburg. From Cain, to Judas, from Pilate to Nero, people who make the wrong choices in life are often spiritually confused, guiltless, and lost. Unfortunately, most have no real relationship with God at all, choosing inappropriate friends or unfulfilling allegiances as a poor substitution. Lacking spiritual purpose and direction, many attempt to create meaning in life by building their own distorted view of how the world should be. In essence they create their own mini-religious world-view.

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MAY 2007

OPA! Let the fun begin. Welcome Aboard Our

2nd Annual Greek Cultural Cruise 2008 Sponsored by the Greek Orthodox Mission of Ocala, Father George Papadeas, Pastor Sanctioned by His Eminence Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta

February 23 - March 1, 2008

Aboard the Costa Mediterranea Departs Ft.Lauderdale,Florida to: Key West,Grand Cayman,Cayman Islands; Honduras,Central America; Cozumel,Mexico and back to Ft.Lauderdale. METROPOLIS HONOREES at the NJ Clergy-Laity Assembly.

ETA PRESS

New Jersey Metropolis Holds Clergy Laity Assembly KENILWORTH, N.J.–Metropolitan Evangelos convened and presided over the highly successful 2007 Clergy Laity Assembly and Philoptochos Convention of the Metropolis of New Jersey May 6-8. The event was attended by delegates from parishes and Philoptochos chapters from throughout the Metropolis. The Metropolitan Cathedral of St. John the Theologian in Tenafly was the site of the first Clergy Laity Assembly event held on Sunday evening, which commenced with Vespers. This year’s Assembly, which had as its theme, The Orthodox Church in the 21st Century: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8) Monday’s proceedings began with the Divine Liturgy, followed by the official opening of the Assembly by Metropolitan Evangelos. James Fountas, Metropolitan Council vice president, welcomed the delegates. The Metropolitan offered an inspirational exhortation, expounding upon the theme of this year’s Assembly and urging delegates to return to their communities with a renewed sense of purpose and commitment. He outlined several key issues that affect the Church in today’s world. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever….I believe our theme is a most appropriate reminder of our Lord’s presence in our lives, especially in this contemporary society that we are living. Despite the countless religions of convenience and the numerous New-Age phenomena present in the world today, our Orthodox Faith, Church, Traditions, and above all, our Lord Himself, remain constant, unchanging and everlasting,” the Metropolitan said. Concerning the negative influence of the media, His Eminence remarked, “Living in the 21st century requires us to be technologically in tune with the world and with our flock who are being bombarded by today’s media with questionable and hazardous subliminal messages. Constantly and systematically tempted, our everyday decisions must be made with great care and prayer.” A special presentation was offered by the Fr. Constantine Christofis, pastor of Holy Trinity Church in Wilmington, Del., on the theme of “The Faithfulness of St. John Chrysostom: the Treasure of the Orthodox Church.” Several Presentations and Workshops were given in the areas of Religious Education, Stewardship, Youth, Greek Education, Parish Administration and Liturgical Music. Delegates noted the informative na-

ture of these workshops and were thankful for the opportunity to learn from one another’s experience and accomplishments in the respective areas. The annual Awards Banquet held Monday evening, attended by nearly 600 persons, who came to pay tribute to this year’s Metropolis honorees and those of the Northern New Jersey Region Communities. It was truly a most memorable evening as those present were honored by His Eminence, who presented each Honoree with a beautiful plaque, engraved with the icon of St. John Chrysostom, Patron Saint of the Holy Metropolis of New Jersey, thanking them for their labor of love and devotion in nobly serving Christ’s Church. The following Orthodox Faithful were honored for their service to our Church and Holy Metropolis: Metropolis Honorees included the Rev. Protopresbyter John Alexandrou, upon his pending retirement; Archon Nicholas Bouras, for his unending love for the Church; Presvytera Eleni Chakalos, for her many years of promulgating our Hellenic Dance Heritage through the Hellenic Dancers of New Jersey; Archons John Halecky and Dr. Anthony Limberakis, for their tireless commitment and efforts in support of the Ecumenical Patriarchate through the Order of St. Andrew. Community Honorees included Nicholas Chergotis, Ellen Conti, Katherine Givelis, Stamatis Golfinopoulos (In Memoriam), Chris Karamanos, Jack Kelly, Jack Kessisoglou, Thomas Kourgelis, Evangeline Tsistinas-Kubu, Nancy Liverakos, Nicholas Michaels, Frieda Mookas, Dimitrios Moutafis, Demetrios Papadopoulos, Penelope Patsaros, Diana Stathopoulos, and Katherine Stratos, for their service to our Church by the giving of their time, talent and treasure. Tuesday’s proceedings began with the Divine Liturgy followed by a special Finance/New Total Commitment Program Presentation by Mr. Jerry Demetriou, Executive Director of Administration of our Archdiocese, and GOA Finance Committee Members Mr. George Vourvoulias and Mr. George Matthews. Metropolis of New Jersey became the final Metropolis to adopt and implement this new Metropolis Total Commitment Program, as was outlined in last year’s National Clergy Laity Congress in Nashville, TN. The day’s meetings wrapped up with the Plenary Session. Rejuvenated by the collective enthusiasm of this year’s Delegates, all participants returned to their local Parishes from the 2007 Greek Orthodox Metropolis of New Jersey Clergy Laity Assembly and Philoptochos Convention with renewed spiritual vigor and commitment to the Church and her vital ministries and outreach.

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MAY 2007

More Than an Easter in Common Editor’s Note: The following article written by Archbishop Demetrios appeared in the April 8 issue of the New York Times on the occasion of the common observance of Easter by the Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Protestant Churches. by Archbishop Demetrios

Today, Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Protestant Christians have the wonderful opportunity to celebrate Easter together on the same date. To many, that idea might sound natural, since the celebration of Easter speaks to the most central aspect of the Christian faith: the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Regrettably, though, the phenomenon happens only every few years. Most years, the date of Easter observed by Eastern and Western Christians varies from one to four weeks. The explanation is complex – a matter of calendrical calculations and astronomical applications based upon the lunar cycle. So whenever a common celebration does occur, it constitutes a true blessing. With than in mind, I would like to point out a remarkable occurrence in the history of the long walk toward Christian unity: the visit last November of Pope Benedict XVI, the 264th successor of St. Peter the Apostle, to the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, in Istanbul, at the invitation of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, the 270th successor of St. Andrew the Apostle and spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians. While historic, this was not the first visit of a pope to the Ecumenical Patriarchate; Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II had visited in 1967 and 1979, respectively. (Patriarch Athenagoras, Patriarch Dimitrios and the present Patriarch Bartholomew in turn visited the Vatican several times.) These meetings are important because they offer hope in view of the long and painful history of the separation

between the Christian Churches, which officially occurred in 1054, the result of historical circumstances, theological differences and misunderstandings. The exchange of visits has contributed to the rapprochement of the two churches and to more examination of these things that united – as well as separate – Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy. In fact, just two months before the visit of Pope Benedict to Istanbul, the official international dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church had resumed for the first time since 2000. That is too long a period of inactivity. But, happily, the dialogue is scheduled to continue with a meeting tentatively planned for Ravenna, Italy, in May. There is a strong possibility that both Pope Benedict and Patriarch Bartholomew will be present. Their meeting last November was therefore of much more than symbolic importance. I had the honor to be with the patriarch and the pope throughout the visit, and I witnessed firsthand a genuine atmosphere of mutual understanding and respect. The patriarch and the pope clarified in a common declaration, that our churches share much in terms of our commitment to safeguard human rights and religious freedom, to protect our natural environment from human harm and to advocate for justice and peace – especially as we are mindful of those who live with poverty, threats of terrorism, war and disease. Because the world’s Christian population stands at nearly 33 percent, or 2.1 billion people, our work to alleviate dire conditions is of global significance. Our common celebration of Easter this year raises two hopeful perspectives for us to consider: first, the steps that we are taking toward the reconciliation of the churches; and second, the rediscovery of the holy and sacred in human life and, ultimately, the discovery of the transcendent. Here are two things worth not only considering, but seriously pursuing.

ARCHDIOCESAN COUNCIL  page 1 facilities now under way. Also an increased participation in the program was noted. Archbishop Demetrios reminded the members of the upcoming International Young Adult Conference sponsored by the Ecumenical Patriarchate which will take place in Constantinople July 10-16. The Archbishop asked for a good representation of young people from our Archdiocese and urged everyone to “try to make it for those who should be there, not only for those who can afford it.” The Religious Education Committee outlined seven specific recommendations addressing the primary SWOT concern of providing effective educational material and resources for adults. A detailed action plan was presented which included, among other initiatives, the appointment of a Religious Education Director in each Metropolis. Peter Kikis, chairman of “Faith: An Endowment for Orthodoxy and Hellenism,” spoke on the endowment’s progress. He said that 40 million dollars have been already pledged and they are working towards a membership of 50 people and a fund of 100 million. The Finance Committee presented a report on the meetings that have been held at various Metropolises in order to provide

information concerning the new financial funding strategy for the Archdiocesan budget. A detailed financial summary of 2006 and the first quarter of 2007 income and expenses of the Archdiocese was offered which showed a major decrease in debt, which continues to go down. Andrew Manatos said the Archdiocese should be congratulated for its frugal approach to finances and noted that the financial picture shows a turning point for the first time, something which should be communicated by the members to the parishes, he said. The Committee on Marriage and Family provided an overview of its work with Interfaith Marriages, the launching of a new website, and educational resources and programs for families and parents. The Committee report also included a description of the work that is being done to address important issues facing clergy and their families. Additional Reports were presented by the committees on Outreach and Evangelism, Technology and Greek Education. The President of the Retired Orthodox Clergy Association (RCA) highlighted its goals and the work being done for the support of the retired clergy and presbyteres by the Archdiocese and the RCA.

Archiepiscopal Encyclical

AHEPA Sunday To the Most Reverend Hierarchs, the Reverend Priests and Deacons, the Monks and Nuns, the Presidents and Members of the Parish Councils of the Greek Orthodox Communities, the Distinguished Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Day, Afternoon, and Church Schools, the Philoptochos Sisterhoods, the Youth, the Hellenic Organizations, and the entire Greek Orthodox Family in America My Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Christ is Risen! I write to you in the joy of the Risen Lord Jesus Christ to commend to you the good work of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), an organization which since 1922 has enriched the lives of Greek Americans and society at large through the promotion of education, civic responsibility, and philanthropic initiatives. Today, the AHEPA continues to offer its services in our nation as its members set new goals in order to meet the contemporary challenges of society. As Greek Orthodox Christians our sacred responsibility is to love God with all our heart and to love our neighbor, and one of the manifold ways in which we express our love to God and to our neighbor is through our own dedication as a community of faith to the promotion of education, service to others, and care for those in need. It is in this regard that we are appreciative of the work of the AHEPA, since it serves in its capacity the same laudable goals. Therefore, in recognition of the work of the AHEPA, I am pleased to designate this Sunday, May 20, as AHEPA Sunday. I kindly ask that you offer your prayers and your support for the local chapters of the AHEPA in your communities, and for the national organization, as we grow in our love for God and for one another in the joy of our Risen Lord. With paternal love in the Risen Christ,

† Archbishop Demetrios of America

 Reach out on holidays Editor, I would like to share an idea whose time has come in our parishes – and hopefully, it is already implemented in some of our churches: “Not Home Alone for the Holidays” is an option for parishioners of our Orthodox churches to host another persons(s) from the parish for the holiday(s). We all have parishioners (widowed, divorced, youth attending college -outof-state, persons whose families have moved away, etc.) who have nowhere to go for the holidays (Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas). We may not hear about their need for fellowship for the holidays. When my parents moved back to South Carolina, I found myself in the position of needing family for the holidays, of having nowhere locally to go. Though I spent a few holidays alone, when I shared

CLERGY

my situation – I was invited by friends at my parish, the Greek Orthodox Church of St. Thomas in Cherry Hill, N.J. to spend the holidays with them. This is simple to implement: announcements could be made in the weekly bulletins and the monthly flyer sent to the homes. If families would like to “host” someone, they can contact the church office. Parishioners who are in need of a “home for the holidays” can connect to someone on the list In true Christian spirit – we outreach during the holidays to the community – but our community is also within our own parish. As Orthodox Christians we are greatly blessed in many ways, but we must remember that not everyone in our parish is blessed in the same way and there is nothing sadder than spending the holidays alone. Zaharati “Jackie” Morfesis Haddon Township, NJ

UPDATE

Ordination to the Diaconate Sarolas, Peter J.–Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago, St. Basil Church, Chicago, 01/01/07 Ordination to the Priesthood Tagaropulos, Rev. Dn. Demetrio –Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver, Annunciation Cathedral, Houston, 03/25/07 Petrutiu, Rev. Dn. Teodor–Metropolitan Nicholas of Detroit, Nativity of the Virgin Mary Church, Plymouth, Mich. 04/14/07

Assignments Rev. Fr. Chris A. Webb–St. George Church, Dekalb, Ill, 04/16/07 Rev. Fr. Kevin Millsaps–Holy Trinity Church, Bluff City, Tenn, 04/16/07 Rev. Fr. Teodor Petrutiu–St. Spyridon Chapel, Metropolis of Detroit, Troy, Mich., 04/19/07 Offikia Metropolitan Nicholas of Detroit bestowed the office of Economos upon Fr. Nicholas J. Verdaris, 03/11/07


9

MAY 2007

on religion and science

D. PANAGOS

NEW YORK – The fascinating subject of “Science, Religion and Technology” was the topic of a lecture by Archbishop Demetrios at the Teachers College of Columbia University, April 10. The lecture was attended by faculty and students not

only of Columbia but of the many other academic institutions of New York City. The Archbishop said that Christianity has nothing to fear from Science and that the existence of God is beyond the scientific method and above the realm of Science.

viewpoint from Duke to virginia Tech In the early 1980s some university sociologists were predicting the number one characteristic of American culture would become narcissism. by Fr. Angelo Artemas

Narcissism is a state of arrested or stunted emotional development characterized by childhood selfishness and self-indulgence. Manicures, pedicures, massages, recliners, Harleys, luxury cars, mansions, 72 inch plasma televisions, iPods, PS3 and wii personal games, designer clothes and accessories, jewelry, gourmet coffees, specialty foods, exclusive clubs, botox and plastic surgeries are just some of the symptoms of modern self-indulgence. Eight years ago following the Columbine shootings, a federal government research group studied the characteristics of serial and mass murderers. The study determined that the number one characteristic of serial and mass murderers was not depression, loneliness, childhood abuse, drugs, alcohol, hate, anger, jealousy, or vengeance; but extreme narcissism. How one becomes extremely self-indulgent is of major concern. In light of the Virginia Tech shootings on April 16, Americans must first pause and thank God that the crime of serial and mass murder is the most rare crime in America. We are among the safest countries in the world. Far too many countries witness daily occurrences of car bombs and mass killings, and far too many of our brothers and sisters throughout the world must look over their shoulders while sipping a cup of coffee. Secondly, while acknowledging that the Virginia Tech shooter was certainly an extreme narcissist, what happened on April 4 must also be noted. On that day rape charges against three Duke Lacrosse players were dropped. They proclaimed their complete innocence, and refused to accept an apology from the prosecutor. Is partying, getting drunk and celebrating with strippers complete innocence? When did strippers become exotic dancers? How did the Duke "players" cel-

ebrate after the charges were dropped? Are their families, including their future wives, sons and daughters, proud of this self-indulgent romp? Are they in a position to refuse to accept an apology? Strippers, rather exotic dancers, are among the most insecure and lowest esteemed women, whether they realize it or not. Should they be used for personal gratification? Internet porn is quite common among self-indulgent males as early as junior high school. It keeps boys from becoming men as they languish in selfish childhood. Isn't it about time for all males to eradicate porn and related activity, and grow up? Do these activities offer anything positive to civilized people? During tragedies, many ask "why?" The answer is quite simple - this is a fallen world. Others ask "where was God?" The real question is where are we? While we are all self-indulgent to some extent, we all have the capacity to help, nurture, comfort, teach, inspire, heal and love others. In tragedies such as these, it seems that the only name people remember is the name of the murderer. Because that name recognition actually fuels narcissism, it won't be mentioned here. The name that should be remembered along with all of the names of the victims is Liviu Librescu. He was the 76 year old professor and holocaust survivor who barricaded his classroom door with his body so that his classroom full of students could escape the shooter by jumping out of their second story windows. Liviu Librescu sacrificed himself in order to save his students. In a fallen world, and in obedience to Jesus Christ, we must act accordingly. Every day and in every place, there are people who need comfort, nurture, respect and love. We must not indulge ourselves while overlooking those in need. Those in need include those who are in our homes, neighborhoods, classrooms and work places. Self-indulgence is human movement in the direction of death. Self-sacrifice is human movement toward eternal life in God’s Kingdom.


10

MAY 2007

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As a married priest, couple’s therapist and researcher, I have had the privilege to counsel hundreds of couples. While doing this work, one conclusion that I have drawn is that good marriages do not simply materialize out of thin air. by Fr. Charles Joanides, Ph.D., LMFT

In the divorce culture in which we live, good marriages are highly dependent on the decisions that people make prior to marriage and during the dating process. For this reason, the next several articles which will appear in this column will offer some helpful information for those of you who are of marriageable age and dating.

Chemistry

It used to be that people married for all kinds of reasons, the least of which had much to do with being in love. Some primary reasons why people married in past generations were to form alliances to protect family interests. They also married to have children, thus ensuring that there were plenty of hands to work the family farm. Today things have changed. Ask almost anyone why they married and 99 out of a hundred will state that the number one reason they married their partner is because they were in love. Personally, I wouldn’t recommend that anyone dating consider engagement and marriage if they are not romantically attracted to one another. By the way, the chemistry of love sometimes happens slowly as two people get to know one another. And at other times, it’s love at first sight. Either way, the sparks should be flying at some point before you decide to get engaged and married.

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Whenever I meet privately with conflicted couples, at some point in my efforts to get to know them I might ask how long they dated before they decided to get married. It’s surprising to me how many indicate that they dated for less than a year. Some might tell me less than six months. When I hear this, I sometimes feel myself cringing because I know it takes time to get to know someone. In fact, research indicates that it takes a minimum of three months for couples to loosen up enough to begin showing their true colors. Research also indicates that it takes around two years to really get to know your dating partner. Part of the reason has something to do with the fact that it takes that much time to get to know how your partner will react in many different social situations. Beyond this, it also takes time to for you to see how your partner responds to different types of people, from close family members to complete strangers. So, don’t rush the dating process, and if you detect something you don’t like, don’t assume it will disappear. The likelihood is, it won’t go away. And worse, whatever behavior or attitude it is that you don’t like will probably become more problematic after marriage. Instead, take the time to get to know your partner’s strengths and weaknesses. And when a red flag appears, don’t ignore it. Otherwise, you will likely regret it. I can’t tell you how many conflicted spouses I’ve counseled who rushed through the dating process without taking the needed time to get to really know their partner, only to deeply regret this omission after marriage. One young lady with bruises on her

arm as a result of being physically abused recently shared the following thoughts with me in my office. “If only I had taken the time, I might have made a wiser decision and not ignored some of the subtle warning signs that suggested he might mistreat me.”

After 26

Data also indicate that people who wait until they reach their mid-twenties significantly increase their probability of being happily married, and staying happily married. Why? Actually, it’s not really hard to understand why this might be true. People who wait until they reach their mid to upper twenties are more likely to have finished college, and are likely more mature than their peers who marry earlier. These factors put them in a better position to make wise choices.

Compatibility

What similarities do you share with your partner? Do you have a similar perspective regarding money, friends, in-laws, career goals, recreation, leisure activities, sex and parenting? What about your cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds? How compatible are they? Then again, how similar are your personalities? Are you a Type A personality, and he’s a Type B personality? Do you like to argue passionately, and she’s an avoider who doesn’t like conflict? Is he an introvert, and are you an extravert? The extent to which two people are compatible is very important to the wellbeing of your relationship today and into the future. So, while you’re getting to know your partner, don’t be shy about asking questions related to these and other important concerns. By the way, you might be interested to know that several excellent premarital preparation inventories exist that can help you understand the extent to which you and your partner are compatible. If you’re interested in more information about these inventories, you might E-mail me, consult your priest and/or a marriage friendly couple’s therapist who specializes in premarital preparation. The results should prove very helpful in your efforts to assess your compatibility quotient.

Concluding Remarks

In the Book of Genesis, the following succinct statement is made: “And Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived” (Gen 4:1). A quick interpretation of this verse might suggest that it refers to physical intimacy. However, if the meaning behind these words is understood in light of what our Orthodox, Christian tradition teaches about marriage, then a more complete interpretation must, at minimum, also include emotional, psychological and spiritual intimacy. Beyond this, I would also maintain that this verse also refers to how partners’ perspectives are similar and different when it comes to money, friends, in-laws, religion , ethnicity, career goals, recreation, leisure activities and parenting. I’ve met far too many couples who failed to get to know their partner in this way. Instead of making a sound decision that was guided by what they knew about their partner, they entered marriage hoping that things would work out. And while this strategy does work, I’m convinced it’s also helps explain why so many people are entering fatally flawed

 page 25


11

MAY 2007

SCHOLARSHIPS Paleologos Graduate Scholarship Program Established, Applications Being Accepted A new graduate scholarship program has been established at the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America by Peter and Elli Malta Paleologos to assist students enrolled in professional graduate studies and other helping professions including JD, MD, MSW, M.A, M.S., or other professional graduate, non-theological degrees. At least one scholarship of $10,000 per academic year will be awarded to help graduate students defray the costs of tuition, room and board, and/or other expenses related to obtaining a degree. Candidates should be Orthodox Christian graduate students within a jurisdiction of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas – SCOBA. Other criteria and guidelines for application include: • Candidates must submit a complete academic record (including undergraduate and graduate transcripts, past and present) • A budget and/or statement of need must be submitted outlining sources of financial support as well as a calculation of expenses (listing all financial aid: loans, scholarships, grants; expenses such as books, fees, room, board, transportation, travel, tuition), which is certified by the financial aid and/or bursar’s office. The statement should also include the amount of student loan indebtedness (total accrued liability at time of application) and, the students last three years of gross annual income, along with the number of hours worked (paid, unpaid, volunteer, intern, service, or other). Copy of tax returns or other proof of income may be required by the scholarship committee. Students receiving a full scholarship from any other source or a partial scholarship exceeding fifty (50) percent of their tuition are ineligible • Candidates must include a resume or Curriculum Vitae • Candidates must include five (5) letters of recommendation

with one addressing your academic background and one your religious/spiritual background from the following. You may choose more than one recommendation letter from the same area. Please choose individuals and areas that best represent diverse aspects of your accomplishments. a) Academic, from professor or advisor or program director (required). b) Religious/Spiritual, from clergy, lay leader, parish council member or other church official (required). c) Personal, from someone who knows you well (not family, or co-worker). d) Supervisor, from employer, manager, or supervisor (for paid, unpaid, volunteer, intern, service, or other). e) Professional peer, from colleague or co-worker. f) A recommendation of your own choosing, not listed above • Candidates must include a scholarship proposal: Describe how your current studies allow you to employ your talents. How would being awarded with this scholarship help you use these talents to serve the Church or community at large? Your response to the question should be 23 pages in length • Candidates may include an Optional Personal Statement including special/extenuating circumstance(s). Potential applicants should address any questions to the Office of the Chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese by calling (212) 774-0513, by e-mail at scholarships@ goarch.org, or by letter. A completed packet of the application materials listed above should be sent to the Paleologos Graduate Scholarship Fund–c/o Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America–Office of the Chancellor–8 East 79th Street–New York, NY 10021. Scholarship application packets must be postmarked by the June 1, 2007 deadline. Incomplete packets will not be considered for the award.

Vamvas Medical, Dental Scholarships Available ROLLING HILLS ESTATES, Calif.–The Hellenic American Medical and Dental Society of Southern California is offering the S. James Vamvas Scholarships for medical and dental students of Hellenic descent for 2007-08. Students must be enrolled in accredited California schools, or be

California residents attending schools in other states. For information, contact: George C. Emmanouilides, MD, HAMDS Scholarship Chair, 4619 Browndeer Lane. Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90275, or telephone (310) 377–6643, or 222–4000. Application deadline is July 31

St. Photios Shrine Celebrates 239th Landing of 1st Greek Colony ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla.–The 239th anniversary of Greek Landing Day will be celebrated with services and festivities on June 22–24, at the St. Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine. The annual Greek Landing Day celebration commemorates the landing in St. Augustine on June 26, 1768, of the Turnbull colonists who attempted to found a new colony on the site of today’s New Smyrna Beach. Nearly 500 of these colonists were Greeks. They constitute the first such settlement of Greeks and other persons of Corsica, Minorca and Italy on the American Continent. On behalf of Archbishop Demetrios, executive director, the Very Rev. Father Nicholas T. Graff, and the Board of Trustees, and event Chairman Gary Peterson, announce the details of the 2007 Greek Landing Day events at the St Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine.

Friday, June 22

Greek Landing Day Lecture and Reception "New Smyrna Colonists, St Augustine Residents–1768 to present day" - Judge John Alexander, lecturer • 5:30 p.m. Recognition and Reception - St

Photios Shrine • 7:00 p.m. Lecture–Flagler Room, Flagler College

Saturday, June 23

Greek Landing Day Services and Glendi •11:00 a.m. Memorial and Proclamation - St Photios Chapel • 12:00–2:00 p.m. Executive Board Meeting • 12–5:00 p.m. Dancers, pastries & music - DeMesa House Courtyard • 4:00 p.m. OPA! a cookbook by Liz Lazarides White - Greet the Author Reception–Constantine Sisters Courtyard, St Photios Shrine

Sunday, June 24

Greek Landing Day Services and Youth Cultural Jamboree • 9:00 a.m. Orthros followed by Divine Liturgy–St. Photios Chapel • NOON–Founders' Hospitality Hour, Constantine Sisters Courtyard •1:00–3:00 - YOUTH Cultural Jamboree - Shrine and DeMesa Courtyard The lecture is a public forum that allows Hellenes, Philhellenes, academics and community members to come together for an informative lecture while recognizing the historical implications of the colonization of Mediterranean people in America.

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12

MAY 2007

PEOPLE Tiny Church Hangs by a Strong Thread in the Land of Cotton

AHEPA Honorees

AHEPA has named three recipients to be honored at the 85th Annual Supreme Convention in Denver, July 9–15 AHEPA will present U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John D. Negroponte and Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyiannis with the Pericles Award and Antonis H. Diamataris, editor-publisher of The National Herald, with the Demosthenes Award. The presentations will be made at the Grand Banquet on Friday, July 13.

Achievement Award Michigan State University Professor Emeritus of Higher Education Administration Dr. Louis C. Stamatakos, recently was selected by his peers to receive the “Lifetime Achievement Award of the American College Personnel Association at its national conference in Orlando, Fla. He was cited for his contributions to knowleget, service to the association and profession, and influential teaching and mentoring of graduate students. He and his wife, Bess, are members of Holy Trinity Church in Lansing, Mich., where she had served as the organist for 25 years.

Named VP Dr. Jack Soterakis of Manhasset, N.Y., a member of the Hellenic Medical Society of New York, has been named vice president of medical affairs at St. Francis Hospital, The Heart Center, in Roslyn, N.Y., according to an article in Newsday. He is a gastroenterologist and affiliated with the hospital for more than 30 years.

MONROE, La. – Sts. Constantine and Helen Church has never been a large parish, but the small membership doesn’t prevent the faithful from enthusiastically practicing their faith. The parish has the distinction of being served at least once a month by pastors from two other parishes. Either Fr. Theoharis Theoharis, pastor of Holy Trinity/St. John the Theologian Church in Jackson, Miss., or Fr Brendan Pelphrey of St. George Church in Shreveport, La., hold services on certain Saturday mornings. At other times, parishioners themselves hold what are

P A R I S H

Named to board Markos Kounalakis, president of Washington Monthly magazine and executive vice president of AKT Development Corporation, has been appointed to a three-year term on the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication Board of Councilors. This is the second board appointment at USC for Mr. Kounalakis, who was named to the USC Center on Public Diplomacy Advisory Board in October 2005. He and his wife, Eleni TsakopoulosKounalakis, have a long history of support and involvement in the nation’s academic community. They serve on the Board of Advisors for Georgetown University, where the family endowed the Eleni and Markos Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis Chair in Hellenic Studies. The family has also endowed chairs at Columbia University and Stanford University as part of an unprecedented initiative to promote Hellenic studies at leading academic institutions. In addition, Mr. Kounalakis also serves on the Board of Visitors at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

there. He is a retired professor of journalism at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, 30 miles west of Monroe.. His wife, Noula (Ourania), currently serves as parish council president. Mr. Rodakis said his wife is a native of Constantinople. He said that, “Owing to the absence of a permanent priest. We have occasionally had evening Liturgies on the eves of Feasts as the schedules of visiting priests permit. During Lenten periods, we have had laymen's Salutations or Paraklesis (on appropriate weekdays), as the

p ro f i l e

Name: Sts Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church Location: Monroe, La. Metropolis: Atlanta Size: about 10 to 20 member families Founded: 1951 Clergy: no full time priest (community is served by Fr. Theoharis G. Theoharis and Fr. Brendan Pelphrey) Website: www.constantine-helen.org Noteworthy: Church has never closed its doors, even without fulltime priest.

Eagle Scout Peter Davin, 16, son of Joan (Croussouloudis and Peter Frank Davin of Jefferson Hill, Pa., and a Thomas Jefferson High School sophomore, recently earned his Eagle Scout rank in his Boy Scout Troop 1843. His project was to raise money for a new mythology and folklore center in the library of Pleasant Hills Middle School. He rented the Grand Theatre in Elizabeth Borough, N.J., in July to run the film "My Big Fat Greek Wedding." He sold tickets at $4 each to 150 friends. His home parish is Ypapanti in East Pittsburgh.

class conducted by Fr. Brendan Pelphrey of Shreveport. For the past two years, he has been coming to Monroe an average of twice a month on weekends when Fr. Theoharis is not there. He arrives on a Friday for Vespers, and then conducts the class, which is advertised in the local paper as open to the public. He stays until the next day for Divine Liturgy. Fr. Pelphrey also founded a chapter of the Orthodox Campus Ministry at the University of Louisiana-Monroe. A former Lutheran minister who converted to Orthodoxy and graduated from Holy Cross, he said the action came about

STs. CONSTANTINE AND HELEN GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH called “lay services” on Sundays, when they offer various prayers of the typikon of the day. There is a small choir, two chanters and a professional organist that serve to enhance the services. From the mid-1950s until 2001, the community had eight full-time priests. Fr. David Buss was the last and longest-serving pastor, (19792001). After he retired in 2001, a number of temporary or retired clergy continued to minister to the parish. Fr. Theoharis has been serving the parish for the past three years. Usually on the third Saturday of each month, he makes the twohour drive to celebrate the Divine Liturgy. “I enjoy going out there; I look forward to going,” said Fr. Theoharis, who spends time visiting with parishioners after the service at a luncheon. Fr. Theoharis also comes at other times for funerals or other services such as baptism. “It’s been uplifting for me; where ever I can serve, I serve. I’m here to serve my people.” (He also pastors a satellite parish in Aberdeen, Miss., more than 150 miles northeast of Jackson, near the Alabama border). During Holy Week this year, a retired priest, Fr. Chris Matos, officiated at services. Even when a priest is not available, members gather on Sundays for a paraklesis service, or an orthros service (minus the priest’s part), and to recite prayers from the typichon. There is no Sunday school for children, but adults attend a catechism

after he was invited to speak to young people at the church. About eight students came to his talk “completely by accident,” not as a result of an ad that was to have been placed in the school paper but didn’t because it was submitted too late. “They happened to be driving around town arguing about churches when they saw MONROE lights on at Sts. Constantine and Helen and decided to enter the church,” Fr. Pelphrey said.

“They experienced Great Vespers, had the meal; and stayed for the talk,” he continued. “One of them became interested in the faith and he was catechized and chrismated and is now president of the OCF chapter.” Fr. Pelphrey said the chapter has as many as 20 students attending the biweekly meetings and only the president is Orthodox. They also attend functions at Sts. Constantine and Helen.

Mainstay of the parish

No one is at the church during the week. But if maintenance needs to be performed or preparation in needed for an event such as a lecture, usually the past parish council president, Steve Rodakis, is

season allows.” He added that, “In the six years since the retirement of our last priest, we have had visiting priests come for all of Holy Week and Holy Pascha and we are able to celebrate the entire daily cycles of services.” Mr. Rodakis also wrote a brief church history. “We were once a much larger congregation,” he said during a telephone interview. “There were up to 40 families and the membership peaked in the 1960s.” The demographics of the community are diverse. The original members included not only Greeks, but also Yugoslavs, Arabs and Romanians who were attracted to the area by commerce. Monroe, a city of about 75,000, is a major trading center on the Oachita River in northeast Louisiana, lies within a large cotton-growing area. It is the home of the University of Louisiana-Monroe, where some parishioners are employed, and the eighth largest telecommunications provider in the country, CenturyTel, and the first CocaCola bottling plant outside of Atlanta. From 1926 to 1941, when it moved to Atlanta, Monroe served as the headquarters for Delta Airlines. Most major Christian groups are represented in the Monroe area, Mr. Rodakis noted. “As in most of the deep South, Baptists are dominant, though this being Louisiana, there is a strong Roman Catholic presence. Also typical of the South, ‘highchurch’ Episcopalians are often associated with old families.”

page 25   page 31


ΜΑΪΟΣ 2007

ΕΤΟΣ 72 • ΑΡΙΘΜΟΣ 1230

ΣΤΑΘΕΡH ΠΟΡEIΑ ΠΡOOΔΟΥ

διαπιστώνει το Αρχιεπισκοπικό Συμβούλιο ΧΙΟΥ ΣΤΟΝ – Μια σταθερή και συνεχιζόμενη πορεία προόδου διαπίστωσε το Αρχιεπισκοπικό Συμβούλιο της Ιεράς Αρχιεπισκοπής Αμερικής κατά την εαρινή συνεδρίασή του που πραγματοποιήθηκε υπό την προεδρία του Αρχιεπισκόπου Δημητρίου σε ξενοδοχείο του Χιούστον, στις 26-27 Απριλίου.

ΑΡΧΙΕΠΙΣΚΟΠΙΚΗ ΕΓΚΥΚΛΙΟΣ Κυριακή της AHEPA 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 πλήρωµ α τῆς Ἱερᾶς Ἀρχιεπισκοπῆς Ἀµερικῆς.

ôïõ Óôáýñïõ Ç. Ðáðáãåñìáíïý

Την πρώτη ημέρα των εργασιών οι επί μέρους επιτροπές του Αρχιεπισκοπικού Συμβουλίου μελέτησαν τα θέματα της ημερησίας διατάξεως, συζήτησαν προτάσεις και κατάρτησαν τις αναφορές τους.

Ἀγαπητοί Ἀδελφοί καί Ἀδελφές ἐν Χριστῷ, Χριστός Ἀνέστη! OΡΘΟΔΟΞΟΣ ΠΑΡΑΤΗ ΡΗΤΗΣ

ΜΕΛΗ του Αρχιεπισκοπικού Συμβουλίου κατά την έναρξη των εργασιών.

κληση μεν αλλά συγχρόνως και ευλογία και δεν πρέπει να αντιμετωπίζονται αρνητικά ως πρόβλημα. Σημείωσε ακόμη ότι ιδιαίτερη προσοχή πρέπει να δίνεται στη νεολαία και στους νέους 18-25 ετών οι οποίοι συχνά παρατηρείται ότι απομακρύνοΟ Μητροπολίτης Ισαΐας καλωσορίζει τον Αρχιεπίσκοπο νται από την Εκκλησία κακαι τα μέλη του Αρχιεπισκοπικού Συμβουλίου. θώς αγωνίζονται να δημιΤα μέλη του Αρχιεπισκοπικού Συμ- ουργήσουν καριέρα σ τ η σ ημερινή βουλίου που συνήλθαν σε σώμα το πρωί ανταγωνιστική κοινωνία. Ως τρίτο σητης 27ης Απριλίου καλωσόρισε ο τοπι- μείο ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος τόνισε ότι παρακός ιεράρχης Μητροπολίτης Ντένβερ τηρείται αυξημένο ενδιαφέρον για θέΙσαΐας, εκφράζοντας την ικανοποίηση ματα που έχουν αναφορά στον ελληνορτου για την πραγματοποίηση της συνε- θόδοξο πολιτισμό και παράδοση και ως δρίας στη Μητρόπολη Ντένβερ, σημεί- εκ τούτου είπε, έχουμε καθήκον και ωσε δε ότι θεωρεί το γεγονός θετικό υποχρέωση, ως ζωντανοί φορείς αυτής της παραδόσεως να την μεταδώσουμε βήμα αποκέντρωσης. Ο Σεβασμιώτατος Αρχιεπίσκοπος στην κοινωνία που μας περιβάλλει. Ο κ. Εμμανουήλ Τζαχάρης, αντιπρόΑμερικής κ. Δημήτριος εστίασε την εισαγωγική του ομιλία σε τρία σημεία. Οι εδρος του Αρχιεπισκοπικού Συμβουλίου, μικτοί γάμοι, είπε ότι αποτελούν πρό- παρατήρησε τα πολλά θετικά βήματα

στον τρόπο εργασίας του Αρχιεπισκοπικού Συμβουλίου και διαπίστωσε αισθητή πρόοδο σε όλους τους τομείς. Η παρουσίαση του έργου των επιτροπών και τμημάτων που ακολούθησε κατέδειξε μια σταθερή πορεία προόδου. Μεταξύ πολλών δεικτών ιδιαίτερα σημειώθηκε η συνεχής μείωση του τραπεζικού χρέους, η διακοπή περαιτέρω δανεισμού και η επιτυχής προώθηση πιο αποτελεσματικού τρόπου συνεισφοράς των κοινοτήτων στο έργο των εθνικών διακονιών της Αρχιεπισκοπής. Ο κ. Πίτερ Κίκης, πρόεδρος του νέου αποθεματικού ταμείου που δημιουργήθηκε με την προτροπή του Αρχιεπισκόπου Δημητρίου και την επονομασία «Πίστις: Αποθεματικό Ταμείο για την Ορθοδοξία και τον Ελληνισμό», δήλωσε ότι μέχρι στιγμής υπάρχουν υποσχέσεις μελών ύψους 40 εκατομμυρίων δολαρίων και αποβλέπουν στη συμμετοχή 50 τουλάχιστον μελών και στη συγκέντρωση 100 εκατομμυρίων δολαρίων.

ΟΙ ΕΥΖΩΝΟΙ ΣΤΗΝ ΑΡΧΙΕΠΙΣΚΟΠΗ Οι Εύζωνοι της Προεδρικής Φρουράς βρέθηκαν στη Νέα Υόρκη για τις ετήσιες εκδηλώσεις εορτασμού της 25ης Μαρτίου και τη μεγάλη παρέλαση στην Πέμπτη Λεωφόρο του Μανχάταν. Μαζί με τους άνδρες της μπάντας του Πολεμικού Ναυτικού και με τους συνοδούς αξιωματικούς τους επισκέφθηκαν την Ιερά Αρχιεπισκοπή και συμμετείχαν στη δοξολογία που ετέλεσε ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριος στο παρεκκλήσιο της Αρχιεπισκοπής. Οι αξιωματικοί του Πολεμικού Ναυτικού και της προεδρικής φρουράς προσέφεραν συμβολικά δώρα στον Αρχιεπίσκοπο κι αυτός τους προσέφερε εις ανάμνηση της επίσκεψης μικρές εικόνες, ευχές και ευλογίες. ΔΗΜ. ΠΑΝΑΓΟΣ

Ἐπικοινωνῶ µαζί σας µέσα στήν χαρά τοῦ Ἀναστάντος Κυρίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ γιά νά ἐπαινέσω τό καλό ἔργο τοῦ Ἑλληνο-Ἀµερικανικοῦ Προοδευτικοῦ Συνδέσµου (AHEPA), ὁ ὁποῖος ἀπό τό 1922 ἐµπλουτίζει τή ζωή τῶν Ἑλληνοαµερικανῶν καί τῆς κοινωνίας, ἐν γένει, µέσῳ τῆς προαγωγῆς τῆς παιδείας, τῆς κοινωνικῆς εὐθύνης καί τῶν φιλανθρωπικῶν πρωτοβουλιῶν. Σήµερα ἡ AHEPA συνεχίζει νά προσφέρῃ τίς ὑπηρεσίες της στό ἔθνος µας καθώς τά µέλη της θέτουν νέους στόχους προκειµένου νά ἀντιµετωπίσουν τίς νέες προκλήσεις τῆς κοινωνίας. Ὡς Ἕλληνες Ὀρθόδοξοι Χριστιανοί ἔχουµε τό ἱερό καθῆκον νά ἀγαποῦµε τόν Θεό µέ ὅλη µ α ς τήν καρδιά καί νά ἀγαποῦµε τόν πλησίον µας. Ἕνας ἀπό τούς πολλούς τρόπους γιά νά ἐκφράσουµε αὐτή τήν ἀγάπη πρός τόν Θεό καί τόν πλησίον µας εἶναι ἡ ἀφοσίωσή µας ὡς κοινότητα πίστεως στήν προώθηση τῆς παιδείας, στήν προσφορά ὑπηρεσιῶν στούς ἄλλους καί στήν φροντίδα γι’αὐτούς πού ἔχουν ἀνάγκη. Ὑπ’ αὐτή τήν ἔννοια, ἐκφράζουµε τήν ἐκτίµησή µας γιά τό ἔργο τῆς AHEPA, ἐφ’ ὅσον κατά τό δυνατόν ὑπηρετεῖ αὐτούς τούς ἴδιους ἀξιέπαινους στόχους. Γιά τόν λόγο αὐτό, πρός ἀναγνώριση τοῦ ἔργου τῆς AHEPA, εὐχαρίστως καθορίζω αὐτή τήν Κυριακή, 20 Μαΐου 2007, ὡς Κυριακή τῆς AHEPA. Σᾶς προσκαλῶ νά προσευχηθῆτε καί νά προσφέρετε τήν συµπαράστασή σας στά τοπικά παραρτήµατα τῆς AHEPA τῶν κοινοτήτων σας, καθώς καί στήν ἐθνική ὀργάνωση καθώς προαγόµεθα στήν ἀγάπη µας πρός τόν Θεό καί πρός ἀλλήλους µέσα στήν χαρά τοῦ Ἀναστάντος Κυρίου. Μετά πατρικῆς ἀγάπης ἐν Χριστῷ Ἀναστάντι,


14

ΟΡΘΟΔΟΞΟΣ ΠΑΡΑΤΗΡΗΤΗΣ

ΜAΪΟΣ 2007

Αποκάλυψη αυτόπτη μάρτυρα για μαζικό τάφο Ελληνοκυπρίων αγνοουμένων Η εφημερίδα «Πολίτης» της Κύπρου με ημερομηνία 6 Μαΐου 2007 δημοσιεύει άρθρο - μαρτυρία Τουρκοκύπριου αυτόπτη μάρτυρα για μαζική ταφή Ελληνοκυπρίων αγνοουμένων στα κατεχόμενα. Η Διερευνητική Επιτροπή Αγνοουμένων (ΔΕΑ) δεν έχει προβεί σε επίσημη ανακοίνωση για την αποκάλυψη αυτή αλλά τους τελευταίους μήνες ιδιαίτερα έχει εντείνει την εφαρμογή του Προγράμματος της Εκταφής, Ταυτοποίησης και Επιστροφής Λειψάνων Αγνοουμένων Προσώπων στην Κύπρο. Το πρόγραμμα αυτό περιλαμβάνει εκταφές λειψάνων σε ολόκληρο το νησί από δικοινοτικές ομάδες Ελληνοκυπρίων και Τουρκοκυπρίων επιστημόνων, υπό την καθοδήγηση της Αργεντινής Ιατροδικαστικής Ομάδας Ανθρωπολογίας (EAAF), ανθρωπολογική ανάλυση των λειψάνων και ταυτοποιήσεις με τη μέθοδο του DNA. Μέχρι στιγμής, 160 λείψανα βρίσκονται στο Ανθρωπολογικό Εργαστήριο όπου υπόκεινται σε ανάλυση και προετοιμάζονται για τα τεστ DNA. Ακολουθεί ολόκληρο το ρεπορτάζ της εφημερίδας «Πολίτης». Ο μεγαλύτερος ίσως μαζικός τάφος Ελληνοκυπρίων πεσόντων και φυσικά αγνοουμένων του 1974, βρίσκεται στη Μια Μηλιά, σύμφωνα με μαρτυρία Τουρκοκύπριου αυτόπτη μάρτυρα στη συνεργάτιδα του "Π" δημοσιογράφο Σεβγκιούλ Ουλουτάγκ. Σύμφωνα με τις πλέον συντηρητικές εκτιμήσεις, σε εκείνο τον τεράστιο τάφο-χαντάκι τοποθετήθηκαν 150-200 νεκροί Ε/Κ. Πρόκειται για μια πολύ σημαντική αποκάλυψη που δημιουργεί προϋποθέσεις για τη διακρίβωση της τύχης μεγάλου αριθμού αγνοουμένων της τραγωδίας του 1974. Η σκυτάλη τώρα φεύγει από τα χέρια της δημοσιογραφικής

Συνεχίζονται οι εργασίες για τον εντοπισμό και την εκταφή λειψάνων από δύο χώρους ταφής στην περιοχή Παρισινός, στη Λευκωσία. Η εργασία διεξάγεται από τα μέλη της δικοινοτικής ομάδας Ε/Κ και Τ/Κ επιστημόνων με τη συμμετοχή Αργεντινών επιστημόνων, στο πλαίσιο του προγράμματος εκταφών της Διερευνητικής Επιτροπής Αγνοουμένων (ΔΕΑ).

έρευνας και πάει στα χέρια της Διερευνητικής Επιτροπής Αγνοουμένων... Άλλη μια φόρα τα στοιχεία της δημοσιογραφικής έρευνας ρίχνουν φως στην πιο τραγική πτυχή της τραγωδίας του 1974, αυτή των αγνοουμένων. Με στοιχεία που συνέλεξε η δημοσιογράφος συνεργάτιδα του "Π" Σεβγκιούλ

Ουλουτάγκ ανοίγει ένα νέο κεφάλαιο στη διακρίβωση της τύχης Ελληνοκυπρίων που τα ίχνη τους χάθηκαν στην περιοχή της Μιας Μηλιάς στη δεύτερη φάση της εισβολής τον Αύγουστο του 1974 και πιο συγκεκριμένα όταν έσπασε η γραμμή Κουτσοβέντη. Στην περιοχή εκείνη ενεργούσε ο Τάσος Μάρκου με το τάγμα του, το 305ο Τάγμα Πεζικού, σύμφωνα με τις πληροφορίες που συλλέξαμε. Υπήρχαν επίσης δύο τάγματα εφέδρων από την περιοχή Λευκωσίας, το ένα εκ των οποίων από το Δάλι. Επίσης, στην ίδια περιοχή υπήρχαν δύο πυροβολαρχίες της 181ης Μοίρας Πεδινού Πυροβολικού με έδρα την Πρώτη Τακτική Διοίκηση Αμμοχώστου, καθώς επίσης και κάποια τεθωρακισμένα οχήματα τύπου "Μάρμον Χάριγκτον". Ωστόσο, όπως μας ελέχθη από τον υποστράτηγο εν αποστρατεία Χαράλαμπο Λόττα, αφού έσπασε η γραμμή Κουτσοβέντη οι άλλες μονάδες υποχώρησαν και η μόνη συγκροτημένη δύναμη που υπήρχε στην περιοχή ήταν το τάγμα του Τάσου Μάρκου.

Αυτόπτης μάρτυρας

Οι Ολυμπιακές Αερογραμμές που φέτος γιορτάζουν τα πεντηκοστά γενέθλια τους και που για τα τελευταία 40 χρόνια εξυπηρετούν συνεχώς την ομογένεια της Αμερικής, ανακοινώνουν στο επιβατικό τους κοινό ότι φέτος για την καλύτερη εξυπηρέτηση τους, εκτός της καθημερινών πτήσεων από τη Νέα Υόρκη προς την Αθήνα, έχουν προγραμματιστεί 2 επιπλέον πτήσεις για την καλοκαιρινή περίοδο του 2007, κάθε Παρασκευή και Σάββατο, από 22 Ιουνίου-15 Σεπτεμβρίου. Κλείστε θέσεις εγκαίρως. Οι τιμές των εισιτηρίων, όπως και κάθε χρόνο, έτσι και φέτος είναι συγκαταβατικές. Οι επιβάτες με προορισμό τη Θεσσαλονίκη, Κέρκυρα, Ηράκλειο, Χανιά και Ρόδο, παραλαμβάνουν τις αποσκευές τους στον τελικό προορισμό τους, κι όχι στην ΑΘήνα. Επιπλέον μια ακόμα προσφορά της Ολυμπιακής είναι ότι το βάρος της κάθε αποσκευής παραμένει 70 πάουντς κι όχι 50 όπως των άλλων εταιριών, κάνοντας το ταξίδι σας πιο ευχάριστο κι αναπαυτικό. Για περισσότερες πληροφορίες αποτανθείτε στον ταξιδιωτικό σας πράκτορα ἠ στις Ολυμπιακές Αερογραμμές στα τηλέφωνα (718) 269-2200 ή 1-800-223-1226

1-800-223-1226 • www.olympicairlines.com

Τουρκοκύπριος αυτόπτης μάρτυρας, ο οποίος μίλησε με τη Σεβγκιούλ Ουλουτάγκ περιγράφει τις συνθήκες κάτω από τις οποίες έγινε η ταφή εκατοντάδων Ε/Κ που σκοτώθηκαν στην περιοχή.

"Το 1974, στη Μια Μηλιά σκάφτηκε ένα τεράστιο χαντάκι για να ταφούν Ελληνοκύπριοι που σκοτώθηκαν στη διάρκεια του πολέμου στην περιοχή. Ο αριθμός των νεκρών ήταν πολύ μεγάλος. Με τις πλέον συντηρητικές εκτιμήσεις οι νεκροί θα ήταν τουλάχιστον 150-200. Πιστεύω όμως ότι ήσαν περισσότεροι. Μπορεί και να πρόκειται για το μεγαλύτερο ομαδικό τάφο σε όλη την Κύπρο. Εξ όσων θυμάμαι ο μαζικός αυτός τάφος βρίσκεται στην έξοδο της Μιας Μηλιάς στην αριστερή πλευρά. Φυσικά, όλα αυτά τα χρόνια η περιοχή άλλαξε πολύ. Εκεί έχει δημιουργηθεί νέος δρόμος και φυτεύτηκαν και δέντρα. Περνώντας τότε από εκεί, είδα τον Μ.Α. να θάβει τους νεκρούς με ένα εκσκαφέα. Ο Μ.Α. είχε έρθει για διακοπές στην Κύπρο το καλοκαίρι του 1974 από τη Βρετανία, όπου διαμένει μέχρι και σήμερα και είχε τότε εγκλωβιστεί εδώ λόγω του πολέμου. Όταν άρχισε ο πόλεμος και πήγε να καταταγεί οι αρμόδιοι του είπαν "εσένα δεν θα σε εντάξουμε στις στρατιωτικές μονάδες, θα σου αναθέσουμε άλλα καθήκοντα" κι έτσι του ανέθεσαν, στη συγκεκριμένη περίπτωση, μαζί με άλλους Τ/Κ να μαζέψουν τους νεκρούς Ε/Κ και να τους θάψουν.

"Αγνοούμενος" κι ο ίδιος Η ιστορία του ανθρώπου εκείνου κατέληξε να είναι θλιβερή. Μάζευε πτώματα σε προχωρημένη αποσύνθεση, σώματα σάπια, κορμιά ακρωτηριασμένα. Το πιο άγριο, το πιο αδυσώπητο πρόσωπο του πολέμου διαπερνούσε το σώμα και την ψυχή του. Η μπόχα της πτωμαΐνης μαζί με τις ανατριχιαστικές εικόνες δημιούργησαν ένα ολέθριο μίγμα στο μυαλό του, που τον ακολουθούσε όπου κι αν πήγαινε και ίσως ακόμα τον ακολουθεί. Οι μέρες που περνούσαν έκαναν το πρόβλημα πιο μεγάλο, καθώς οι εικόνες επαναλαμβάνονταν. Έφυγε επιστρέφοντας στην Αγγλία. Μόνο που οι εφιάλτες τον ακολούθησαν. Έβλεπε τα πρόσωπα των νεκρών να περνούν μπροστά του μελανιασμένα και με την οδύνη του πόνου ανεξίτηλη να τα συνοδεύει στην αιωνιότητα. Έβλεπε άδεια μάτια που έμειναν ανοικτά να τον κοιτάζουν και να τον διαπερνούν. Έβλεπε, έβλεπε, έβλεπε... ώσπου το μυαλό του δεν άντεξε. Σάλεψε. Η γυναίκα του δεν άντεξε. Τον άφησε. Κι εκείνος βγήκε στους δρόμους της γκρίζας πόλης, όπου περιπλανιέται μέχρι σήμερα...

Θερινά μαθήματα και διακοπές στη Μεσσηνία Οι σχολές του Πανεπιστημίου Πελοποννήσου στην Καλαμάτα και ο Δήμος Καλαμάτας σε συνεργασία με την Παγκόσμια Συνομοσπονδία Αποδήμων Μεσσηνίων και τη Παμμεσσηνιακή Ομοσπονδία Η.Π.Α και Καναδά οργανώνουν για δεύτερη φορά δωρεάν θερινά μαθήματα για 50 παιδιά (ηλικίας 17-27 ετών) Μεσσηνίων ομογενών και 10 δασκάλους, συνοδούς τους, που διδάσκουν σε Ελληνικά σχολεία. Η διάρκεια του προγράμματος είναι περίπου ένας μήνας από 2 μέχρι 27 Ιουλίου και τα μαθήματα θα περιλαμβάνουν Ελληνική γλώσσα, Ελ ληνική Ιστορία και πολιτισμό. Η παραμονή και η διατροφή των παιδιών θα είναι δωρεάν αλλά τα εισιτήρια επιβαρύνουν τους μαθητές. Η Παμμεσσηνιακή Ομοσπονδία Η.Π.Α και Καναδά θα συμβάλει στην

αγορά του εισιτηρίου με το ποσό των $350 δολαρίων για κάθε μαθητή. Θα διδάξουν εξειδικευμένοι καθηγητές πανεπιστημίου γνώστες της αγγλικής γλώσσας, με σύγχρονα οπτικοαουστικά μέσα και με μαθήματα ειδικά, για παιδιά ομογενών δεύτερης, τρίτης και τέταρτης γενιάς. Κατά τη διάρκεια του προγράμματος θα δοθεί η ευκαιρία στα παιδιά να πραγματοποιήσουν εκπαιδευτικές εκδρομές και να επισκεφθούν τα αξιοθέατα και ιστορικά μνημεία αλλά και τις όμορφες ακρογιαλιές Μεσσηνίας εντελώς δωρεάν. Πληροφορίες στα τηλέφωνα (312) 953-2235, (847) 414-7726 και (847) 6300655. Επίσης μέσω email στις ηλεκτρονικές διευθύνσεις: Worldmessinians @earthlink.net και messinia@panmessinian.com


ΜAΪΟΣ 2007

15

ΟΡΘΟΔΟΞΟΣ ΠΑΡΑΤΗΡΗΤΗΣ ORTHODOX OBSERVER

Το Βραβείο Ελευθερίας στον Αρχιεπίσκοπο Δημήτριο ΝΕΑ ΥΟΡΚΗ – Το «Βραβείο Ελευθερίας» που θέσπισε εφέτος η Ομοσπονδία Ελ ληνικών Σωματείων Μείζονος Νέας Υόρκης απενεμήθη στο Σεβασμιώτατο Αρχιεπίσκοπο Αμερικής κ. Δημήτριο κατά τη διάρκεια του επίσημου εορταστικού δείπνου που παρετέθη το Σάββατο 14 Απριλίου 2007 στο Ξενοδοχείο Χίλτον της Νέας Υόρκης επί τη ευκαιρία των εορταστικών εκδηλώσεων για την 186η επέτειο της Ελληνικής Παλιγγενεσίας. Το κύριο θέμα των εφετινών εορτασμών ήταν η προάσπιση των θρησκευτικών ελευθεριών ιδιαίτερα σε μέρη που παραβιάζονται όπως στην περίπτωση του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου. Στο ίδιο δείπνο τιμήθηκαν με το βραβείο Ανεξαρτησίας ως τελετάρχες της εφετινής παρελάσεως το Τάγμα του Αγίου Ανδρέου των Αρχόντων του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου εκπροσωπούμενο από τον δρ. Αντώνιο Λυμπεράκη και ο Ελληνοαμερι-

ΔΗΜ. ΠΑΝΑΓΟΣ

Ο ΑΡΧΙΕΠΙΣΚΟΠΟΣ Δημήτριος με τους δύο τελετάρχες της Παρελάσεως, Νικόλαο Νταβάτζη και Αντώνιο Λυμπεράκη.

στοιχεία εκείνα που ορίζουν την έννοια της ελευθερίας σύμφωνα με τον Πλάτωνα και ιδιαίτερα την ανάγκη για αυτοκράτεια, ενώ τόνισε ότι η ελευθερία προϋποθέτει πρωτίστως την υπακοή στους νόμους. Επίσης ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος εξέφρασε ορισμένες σκέψεις για την σχέση ελευθερίας και δημοκρατίας. Στο δείπνο παρευρέθηκαν μεταξύ άλλων εκ μέρους της Ελληνικής Κυβέρνησης οι υπουργοί Εθνικής Αμύνης Ευάγγελος Μεϊμαράκης, Μακεδονίας-Θράκης Γιώργος Καλατζής και ο υφυπουργός εξωτερικών Ιωάννης Βαλινάκης. Να σημειωθεί ότι Ελληνική Παρέλαση για

την 25η Μαρτίου που πραγματοποιείται κάθε χρόνο στην 5η Λεωφόρο της Νέας Υόρκης ανεβλήθη λόγω δεινών καιρικών συνθηκών και πραγματοποιήθηκε την επομένη Κυριακή 22 Απριλίου. Οπως και κάθε χρόνο οι Εύζωνοι της Προεδρικής Φρουράς βρέθηκαν στη Νέα Υόρκη για τις εκδηλώσεις εορτασμού της 25ης Μαρτίου και την μεγάλη παρέλαση στην Πέμπτη Λεωφόρο του Μανχάταν. Μαζί με τους άνδρες της μπάντας του Πολεμικού Ναυτικού και με τους συνοδούς αξιωματικούς τους επισκέφθηκαν την Ιερά Αρχιεπισκοπή και συμμετείχαν στη δοξολογία που ετέλεσε ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριος στο παρεκκλήσιο της Αρχιεπισκοπής. Οι αξιωματικοί του Πολεμικού Ναυτικού και της προεδρικής φρουράς προσέφεραν συμβολικά δώρα στον Αρχιεπίσκοπο κι αυτός τους προσέφερε εις ανάμνηση της επίσκεψης μικρές εικόνες, ευχές και ευλογίες. Στη συνέχεια ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος δέχθηκε την επίσκεψη βουλευτών του Ελληνικού Κοινοβουλίου – αποτελούμενη από τον κ. Ιωάννη Τραγάκη, Αντιπρόεδρο της Βουλής, κ. Ευγένιο Χαϊτίδη, Πρόεδρο της Ειδικής Μόνιμης Επιτροπής Αποδήμου Ελληνισμού, κ. Γρηγόρη Νιώτη, Α΄ Αντιπρόεδρο της ίδιας επιτροπής, και κ. Ασημίνα Ξηροτύρη – που βρέθηκαν στη Νέα Υόρκη για τις εκδηλώσεις της Εθνικής Παλιγγενεσίας Στη συνάντηση συζητήθηκαν ουσιαστικά θέματα που αφορούν την Ομογένεια, την Ιερά Αρχιεπισκοπή Αμερικής και την Ελλάδα.

ΔΗΜ. ΠΑΝΑΓΟΣ

Από την επίσκεψη των μελών της Διακομματικής Επιτροπής της Ελληνικής Βουλής για τον απόδημο ελληνισμό στο Αρχιεπισκοπικό γραφείο (από αριστερά) κ. Τραγάκη, Ευγένιος Χαϊτίδης, Ασημίνα Ξηροτύρη, Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριος, Ιωάννης Τραγάκης και Γρηγόρης Νιώτης.

κανός κ. Νικόλαος Νταβάτζης, επίτιμος πρόεδρος του τηλεοπτικού δικτύου Α&Ε. Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριος αποδεχόμενος το «Βραβείο Ελευθερίας» τόνισε ότι το αποδέχεται «εξ ονόματος της Ελληνοαμερικανικής Ομογένειας στην οποία και ανήκει».

Ο Σεβασμιώτατος στη σύντομη ομιλία του, αναφέρθηκε στο θέμα των θρησκευτικών ελευθεριών και στην ανάγκη εφαρμογής των ιδιαίτερα στην περίπτωση του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου λέγοντας ότι «είναι καθήκον να βοηθήσουμε με κάθε τρόπο προς αυτή την κατεύθυνση». Στη συνέχεια αναφέρθηκε στα

ÍÅÁ ÕÏÑÊÇ-ÁÈÇÍÁ-ÈÅÓ/ÍÉÊÇ ÊÁÔ’ ÅÕÈÅÉÁÍ ÐÔÇÓÅÉÓ ×ÙÑÉÓ ÓÔÁÈÌÏ ÊÁÉ ÌÅ ÊÁÍÏÍÉÊÁ ÄÑÏÌÏËÏÃÉÁ

ÌÅÔ’ÅÐÉÓÔÑÏÖÇÓ ÁÐÏ

ΑΡΘΡΟ ΣΤΗΝ NEW YORK TIMES Η εφημερίδα New York Times, στην Κυριακάτικη έκδοσή της, της 8ης Απριλίου 2007 και συγκεκριμένα στις σελίδες των απόψεων και γνωμών δημοσιεύει άρθρο του Σεβασμιωτάτου Αρχιεπισκόπου Αμερικής κ. Δημητρίου με τίτλο «Περισσότερο από ένα κοινό Πάσχα» (“More than an Easter in Common”) στο οποίο με αφορμή τον κοινό εφετεινό εορτασμό του Πάσχα από όλους τους

Χριστιανούς πραγματεύεται την επαναπροσέγγιση μεταξύ Ορθοδόξου και Καθολικής Εκκλησίας με αναφορά στην πρόσφατη επίσκεψη του Πάπα Βενέδικτου XVI στο Οικουμενικό Πατριαρχείο Κωνσταντινουπόλεως και την συνάντησή του με τον Οικουμενικό Πατριάρχη Βαρθολομαίο. Το άρθρο αναδημοσιεύεται στη σελίδα 8 του παρόντος τεύχους.

$

ÌÅÔ’ÅÐÉÓÔÑÏÖÇÓ

695 1,039 ÁÐÏ

$

+Tax

Από 1 Απριλίου 2007 έως 15 Ιουνίου 2007

+Tax

Από 19 Μαϊου 2007 έως 6 Σεπτεμβρίου 2007

•$75 åðéðëÝïí åðéâÜñõíóç êáõóßìùí ãéá êÜèå äéáäñïìÞ •$30 åðéðëÝïí åðéâÜñõíóç ãéá üóïõò ôáîéäåýïõí ÐáñáóêåõÞ, ÓÜââáôï Þ ÊõñéáêÞ •ÐáéäéÜ 2-11 åôþí ðëçñþíïõí 25% ëéãüôåñï

ΤΗΛΕΦΩΝΕΙΣΤΕ ΜΑΣ ΚΑΙ ΓΙΑ ΑΛΛΕΣ ΕΙΔΙΚΕΣ ΠΡΟΣΦΟΡΕΣ • ΥΠΑΡΧΟΥΝ ΠΕΡΙΟΡΙΣΜΟΙ Για ερωτήματα σχετικά με τον Κανονισμό για θέματα επιλήψιμης σεξουαλικής συμπεριφοράς κληρικών της Ιεράς Αρχιεπισκοπής Αμερικής ή για σχετικές καταγγελίες καλέστε χωρίς χρέωση τον ειδικό αριθμό (877) 544-3382 Όλες οι καταγγελίες θα ληφθούν σοβαρά υπ’ όψιν και θα διερευνηθούν πλήρως και με απόλυτη αμεροληψία. Μπορείτε να μιλήσετε Αγγλικά ή Ελληνικά σε εθελοντή ή εθελόντρια.

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16

ΟΡΘΟΔΟΞΟΣ ΠΑΡΑΤΗΡΗΤΗΣ

ΔΙΑΛΕΞΗ ΣΤΟ COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY ΝΕΑ ΥΟΡΚΗ – Το θέμα «Επιστήμη, Θρησκεία και Τεχνολογία» ανέπτυξε με εκφραστικό και παραστατικό τρόπο ο Σεβασμιώτατος Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής κ. Δημήτριος στη διάλεξη που έδωσε την Τρίτη 10 Απριλίου στις 7:00 μ.μ., στην αίθουσα τελετών της Παιδαγωγικής Σχολής (Teacher’s College) του Πανεπιστημίου Κολούμπια της Νέας Υόρκης. Στη διάλεξη που διοργανώθηκε με πρωτοβουλία της Ελληνικής Ένωσης του Πανεπιστημίου Κολούμπια παρευρέθηκαν πολλοί επιστήμονες, καθηγητές και φοιτητές του Κολούμπια και άλλων πανεπιστημιακών σχολών και ιδρυμάτων της Νέας Υόρκης από διαφορετικούς κλάδους των θετικών και θεωρητικών επιστημών. Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριος στη διάλεξή του, τόνισε δύο βασικά σημεία: πρώτον ότι ο Χριστιανισμός δεν έχει τίποτε να φοβηθεί ή να χάσει από την Επιστήμη, εφ’ όσον η επιστήμη είναι όντως βασισμένη σε αποδείξιμες αλήθειες· και δεύτερον ότι το ερώτημα που αφορά τον Θεό και την ύπαρξη του Θεού δεν είναι επιστημονικό ερώτημα, διότι ο Θεός βρίσκεται εκτός της επιστημονικής σφαίρας και η ύπαρξη Του δεν εξαρτάται από επιστημονικά δεδομένα.

ΔΗΜ. ΠΑΝΑΓΟΣ

Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριος επιδεικνύει το προσωπικό του i-pod ως παράδειγμα εξέλιξης της τεχνολογίας.

ΜAΪΟΣ 2007

Επίσκεψη Υπουργού Εθνικής Άμυνας Ευάγγελου Μεϊμαράκη στην Αρχιεπισκοπή Ο Υπουργός Εθνικής Άμυνας Ευάγγελος Μεϊμαράκης, βρέθη­ κε στη Νέα Υόρκη επ΄ευκαιρία των εορταστικών εκδηλώ­ σεων της Ομογένειας για την 186η Επέτειο της Ελληνικής Επαναστάσεως του 1821 και επισκέφθηκε την Πέμπτη 12 Απριλίου τον Αρχιεπίσκοπο Αμερικής κ. Δημήτριο με τον οποίο και συζήτησαν θέματα κοινού ενδιαφέροντος. Τον κ. Μεϊμαράκη συνόδευαν ο πρώ­­ην Υφ. Εξ. και βουλευ­τής Παναγιώ­της Σκανδα­ λάκης και η διπλωματική σύμβουλος του ΥΠ.ΕΘ.Α κ. Λόρα Μολυβιάτη.

ΔΗΜ. ΠΑΝΑΓΟΣ

Ακολούθησε ζωντανή ανταλλαγή απόψεων κατά τη διάρκεια μιας περιόδου ερωταπαντήσεων με το ακροατήριο που διήρκεσε μια περίπου ώρα.

Νέος Μητροπολίτης Ισπανίας Τον πρωτοσ ύγκελ λο τ ης Ιεράς Μητροπόλεως Ιτα λίας και Μελίτης Πανασιολογιώτατο Αρχιμανδρίτη Πολύκαρπο Σταυρόπουλο εξέλεξε παμψηφεί στις 30 Απριλίου η Αγία και Ιερά Σύνοδος του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου, ως το νέο Μητροπολίτη Ισπανίας και Πορτογαλίας. Η Σύνοδος του Πατριαρχείου προέβη στην εκλογή αυτή μετά την παραίτηση του έως τώρα Μητροπολίτη Ισπανίας κ. Επιφανίου για λόγους υγείας. Η χειροτονία του νέου ιεράρχη πραγματοποιήθηκε στον Πατριαρχικό Ναό του Αγίου Γεωργίου στο Φανάρι την Κυριακή της Σαμαρείτιδος, 6 Μαΐου υπό του Οικουμενικού Πατριάρχου κ. Βαρθολομαίου, παρουσία πολ λών Ιεραρχών του Οικουμενικού Θρόνου,

ΜΗΤΡΟΠΟΛΙΤΗΣ Πολύκαρπος.

διπλωματικών αρχών της Ελλάδος και Αρχόντων Οφφικιά λων της Μητρός Εκκλησίας – μελών της Αδελφότητος «Παναγία η Παμμακάριστος».

Ο ΓΕΝΙΚΟΣ Γραμματέας Ενημέρωσης του Υπουργείου Επικρατείας της Ελλάδος κ. Πάνος Λειβαδάς, στα πλαίσια των επαφών του στις ΗΠΑ, επισκέφθηκε πρόσφατα τον Αρχιεπίσκοπο Δημήτριο και είχε μαζί του συνομιλία μιας περίπου ώρας για σειρά θεμάτων κοινού ενδιαφέροντος. Ο κ. Λειβαδάς ενημέρωσε το Σεβασμιώτατο για τις πρωτοβουλίες της Ελληνικής Κυβερνήσεως στον τομέα της ενημέρωσης και τις δυνατότητες συνεργασίας με την Ιερά Αρχιεπισκοπή Αμερικής. Τον κ. Λειβαδά συνόδευαν η σύμβουλος κ. Ειρήνη Ψύρρα και η διευθύντρια του Γραφείου Τύπου της Ελλάδος στη Νέα Υόρκη κ. Πολυξένη Μαστροπέρρου.

ΣΥΛΛΥΠΗΤΗΡΙΑ ΑΡΧΙΕΠΙΣΚΟΠΟΥ ΔΗΜΗΤΡΙΟΥ ΓΙΑ ΤΑ ΘΥΜΑΤΑ ΤΟΥ ΠΟΛΥΤΕΧΝΕΙΟΥ ΤΗΣ ΒΙΡΤΖΙΝΙΑ ΝΕΑ ΥΟΡΚΗ.- Τα βαθύτατα συλλυπητήρια και τις θερμές του προσευχές απηύθηνε με επιστολή του προς τον πρόεδρο του Πολυτεχνείου της Βιρτζίνια δρ. Charles W. Steger, ο Σεβασμιώτατος Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής κ. Δημήτριος μόλις πληροφορήθηκε τη μεγάλη μεγά λη τραγωδία και παρά λογη απώλεια αθώων ανθρώπων, την Δευτέρα 16 Απριλίου 2007. Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριος μεταξύ άλλων αναφέρει: «Το αποτρόπαιο αυτό έγκλημα συγκλόνισε τις σκέψεις και τις καρδιές μας, στην Αναστάσιμη αυτή περίοδο καθώς εορτάζουμε την νίκη του Χριστού επί του θανάτου και την δωρεά της αιωνίου ζωής και σωτηρίας. Είθε «ο πατήρ των οικτιρμών και Θεός πάσης παρακλήσεως» (Κορινθ. 2 1:3-4) να χαρίζει σε σας, το καθηγητικό σώμα, τους φοιτητές και τους γονείς των, κουράγιο και δύναμη καθώς φέρετε το βαρύ φορτίο της μεγάλης αυτής απώλειας. Ο Θεός υπόσχεται να σταθεί πάντα δίπλα μας σε στιγμές οδύνης και

ανείπωτου πόνου ακόμη και υπό την σκιά του θανάτου. Οι πιστοί της Ελληνικής Ορθοδόξου Αρχιεπισκοπής Αμερικής αναπέμπουν θερμή προσευχή υπέρ παρηγορίας όλων όσων έχουν επηρεασθεί απ’ αυτήν την βίαιη πράξη. Είθε ο Θεός πάσης παρηγορίας και Σωτήρ της ανθρωπότητος να χαρίζει ζωή σε όλους και είθε η μνήμη των απολεσθέντων να είναι αιωνία». Στην αντιμετώπιση του τραγικού αυτού συμβάντος σημειώνουμε την διακονία της Ορθοδόξου Χριστιανικής Φοιτητικής Οργανώσεως (ΟCF), του τμήματος ΟCF του Πολυτεχνείου Βιρτζίνια και της IOCC (Διεθνούς Χριστιανικής Οργάνωσεως Φιλανθρωπίας) για την προσφορά συμβουλευτικής και ψυχολογικής υποστήριξης που παρέχουν. Οι οργανώσεις ΟCF και IOCC, είναι πανορθοδόξου χαρακτήρα και υπάγονται στην SCOBA (Διαρκή Επιτροπή Κανονικών Ορθοδόξων Επισκόπων στις Η.Π.Α.). Πληροφορίες στο διαδίκτυο www.ocf.net

OΡΘΟΔΟΞΟΣ ΠΑΡΑΤΗΡΗΤΗΣ

ΑΡΙΣΤΟΥΧΟΙ φοιτητές του Αμερικανικού Κολλεγίου Ελλάδος επισκέφθηκαν τον Αρχιεπίσκοπο Δημήτριο στην έδρα της Ιεράς Αρχιεπισκοπής Αμερικής για να τον γνωρίσουν και να λάβουν την ευλογία του. Οι συνοδοί τους (δεξιά) Χαρίλαος Δασκαλοθανάσης, Διευθυντής Επικοινωνιών και Χρήστος Κούτρος, Διευθυντής Γραφείου Σπουδαστών, ενημέρωσαν τον Αρχιεπίσκοπο για το πρόγραμμα σπουδών του Κολλεγίου. Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος πληροφόρησε τους επισκέπτες του για την ιστορία, τη ζωή και τις δραστηριότητες της Αρχιεπισκοπής Αμερικής και της Ελληνοαμερικανικής Ομογένειας.


ΜAΪΟΣ 2007

17

ΟΡΘΟΔΟΞΟΣ ΠΑΡΑΤΗΡΗΤΗΣ ORTHODOX OBSERVER

Kαθηγητής Γ. Mπαμπινιώτης: «Oρθοδοξία και Eλληνισμός δεν χωρίζονται» Tην εχθρότητα απέναντι στο Bυζάντιο και στη γλώσσα του Eυαγγελίου στηλίτευσε ο καθηγητής Γλωσσολογίας και τέως πρύτανης του Eθνικού Kαποδιστριακού Πανεπιστημίου Γεώργιος Mπαμπινιώτης, μιλώντας στον Pαδιοφωνικό Σταθμό της Eκκ λησίας της Eλλάδος και στην εκπομπή Pαδιοπορτραίτα. O καθηγητής, μιλώντας στον Kωνσταντίνο Mπλάθρα, αναφέρθηκε στην συνέχεια του ελληνισμού και την συνταύτισή του με την Oρθοδοξία, ενώ σχολίασε την εξαίρεση Πατερικών και Ευαγγελικών περικοπών από τα βιβλία των αρχαίων ελληνικών: Γεώργιος Mπαμπινιώτης: Σ' αυτόν τον τόπο, πρέπει να σας το πω και το ’χω ξαναπεί, υπάρχει ένα μίσος και μία ανεξήγητη εχθρότητα απέναντι σ' ένα μεγάλο κομμάτι της πνευματικής και γλωσσικής μας ιστορίας, από την περίοδο την μετακλασική μέχρι τον νέο Ελληνισμό. Δηλ. δεν αγαπάμε το Bυζάντιο, δεν αγαπάμε την περίοδο της Kοινής και του Eυαγγελίου, σαν αυτά να είναι ξένα. Aλ λά εδώ διαπράττουμε το εξής ολέθριο έγκλημα: εάν ο Ελ ληνισμός είναι μόνο η αρχαιότητα και ο νέος Ελληνισμός, τότε έχουμε όχι συνέχεια αλλά έχουμε ένα τεράστιο χάσμα 12-13 αιώνων στην Iστορία μας, που θα ήταν το χειρότερο που θα μπορούσε να μας έχει συμβεί. Eυτυχώς ιστορικά δεν μας συνέβη ποτέ. Yπάρχει μία συνέχεια. Oι Έλ ληνες μιλούσαν πάντοτε αυτή τη γλώσσα, έγραφαν μ' αυτή τη γλώσσα κι εμείς ερχόμαστε εκ των υστέρων και αυθαίρετα λέμε «έξω η γλώσσα του Eυαγγελίου, έξω η γλώσσα των Πατέρων, έξω τα κείμενα του Bυζαντίου» Ερώτηση: Yπάρχουν, ωστόσο, κ. Mπαμπινιώτη, κάποιοι οι οποίοι υποστηρίζουν ότι η συνέχεια του Ελληνισμού, εδεχομένως, κατ’ επέκτασιν και η συνέχεια της γλώσσας του, είναι κατασκεύασμα εθνικής ιδεολογίας και δεν έχει ιστορική τεκμηρίωση. Eσείς τί λέτε; Γ.Μ: Tέτοια ακούγονται πολλά, ότι όλα αυτά είναι ιδεολογήματα. H απάντησή μου είναι αυτή που έλεγε κι ο αείμνηστος δάσκαλός μου, ο Iωάννης Θεοδωρακόπουλος: ιδεολόγημα και ιδεολογία είναι το ίδιο το ιδεολόγημα που προβάλλεται όταν λέγονται τέτοια πράγματα. Iδεολόγημα είναι ακριβώς να λες ότι είναι ιδεολόγημα, ότι δεν υπάρχει συνέχεια, ότι η συνέχεια είναι πλάσμα, ότι είναι κατασκευή, ότι είναι μία εθνική σύλ ληψη χωρίς βάση. H Iστορία η ίδια μιλάει γι’ αυτά τα πράγματα. Εάν θέλουμε να πούμε ότι υπάρχουν διαφορές στις διάφορες περιόδους, μα αυτό είναι αυτονόητο κι αυταπόδεικτο. Mόνο ένας λαός πεθαμένος βρίσκεται χωρίς αλλαγές, κοκαλωμένος. Ένας ζωντανός λαός πάντοτε μετακινείται, κινείται, έχει άλλες θέσεις, άλλες αντιλήψεις, άλλη ζωή, άλλες αξίες, άλλες αναφορές. Aυτό συνέβη και με τον Ελληνισμό. Bεβαίως, το Bυζάντιο ήταν κάτι άλλο από την μετακλασική περίοδο και η μετακλασική από την κλασική και ο νεώτερος Ελ ληνισμός από την προηγούμενη περίοδο, την μεταβυζαντινή κ.λπ. Aυτό είναι σωστό. Tο θέμα είναι ότι, εγώ αυτό διδάσκω, αυτό γράφω και αυτό πιστεύω, ότι σ’ αυτό τον τόπο συνέβη ώστε στον ίδιο γεωγραφικό χώρο, το ίδιο έθνος, ο ίδιος λαός μίλησε, στο μεγαλύτερό του κομμάτι, την ίδια γλώσσα επί αιώνες, επί 40

Συνέντευξη στον Pαδιοφωνικό Σταθμό της Eκκλησίας της Eλλάδος

ÍÉÊ. ÌÁÃÃÉÍÁÓ

Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριος με τον καθηγητή Γεώργιο Μπαμπινιώτη κατά την αναγόρευσή του σε Επίτιμο Διδάκτορα του Πανεπιστημίου Αθηνών, το 2005.

αιώνες, 2000 π.X. μέχρι σήμερα. Aυτό είναι μία ιστορική πραγματικότητα.(…) Aυτά μάς φέρνουν και σε άλ λες διατυπώσεις και προλήψεις και προκαταλήψεις, όταν μιλάμε, επί παραδείγματι, για τη σχέση του ελληνισμού με την Oρθοδοξία. Yπάρχουν αυτοί οι οποίοι αρνούνται αυτή τη σχέση και λένε ότι είναι ιδεολόγημα. Ερώτηση: Ήταν η Oρθοδοξία ολέτειρα του ελληνισμού, όπως λένε; κατάστρεψε τον ελληνισμό; Γ.Μ: Yπάρχουν μερικοί οι οποίοι το ισχυρίζονται αυτό. Θεωρώ ότι είναι τελείως ανιστορική προσέγγιση εκτός πραγματικότητας, όχι του ελληνισμού, εκτός πραγματικότητας ιστορικής. Aπό τον 4ο αιώνα, με τους Πατέρες της Eκκλησίας και, βεβαίως, με την αναγνώριση του Χριστιανισμού ως επίσημης θρησκείας του ανατολικού Pωμαϊκού κράτους, δηλαδή του Bυζαντίου, αλλάζει όλη η σχέση του Ελληνισμού με τον Χριστιανισμό και ιδιαίτερα με την Oρθοδοξία. Oι Πατέρες Bασίλειος και Γρηγόριος που έχουν σπουδάσει στην Aθήνα, αλλά και οι πριν, Συνέσιος κ.ά., έχοντας ζήσει αυτό το μεγαλείο και την πνευματική πρόκληση των κειμένων, της φιλοσοφίας, κυρίως, αλλά όχι μόνον, γιατί και Όμηρο είχαν διαβάσει και ιστορία είχαν διαβάσει, έχοντας ζήσει αυτό το μεγαλείο υποστήριζαν ότι μόνο καλό έχεις εάν ασχοληθείς με τα ελληνικά γράμματα. Ότι γίνεσαι καλύτερος χριστιανός στο μυαλό, επιχειρηματολογείς πιο σωστά, καλλιεργείς τη σκέψη σου καλύτερα, όταν περάσεις μέσα από την ελληνική παιδεία. Όχι για να πιστέψεις στον Δία, όχι για να πιστέψεις στο Δωδεκάθεο αλλά για να δεις τις απόψεις του Πλάτωνος, π.χ., στον Φαίδωνα, περί ψυχής. Ή να δεις τον τρόπο σκέψεως και διατυπώσεως. Eκεί, λοιπόν, έχουν γραφεί πάρα πολλά γι’ αυτά, φαίνεται ότι γίνεται το γεφύρωμα του ελληνισμού με τον χριστιανισμό και αυτό συνεχίζεται μέχρι σήμερα. Εγώ λέω, πώς έγινε ο ξεσηκωμός στην Eλληνική Eπανάσταση; δεν γίνεται το κίνημα του νεοελ ληνικού διαφωτισμού, το οποίον είναι και παρεξηγημένο, που ξεκινάει με τον Kοραή. O Kοραής, όμως, δεν φέρνει έναν διαφωτισμό που είναι εναντίον της θρησκείας, φέρνει έναν διαφωτισμό που είναι «ξυπνήστε, Έλληνες, έχετε μία παράδοση, εγώ κάθομαι και σας εκδίδω τα κείμενα τα αρχαία, διδάξτε τα, μέσα από την νεοελληνική γλώσσα», γιατί υπεστήριζε την κοινή γλώσσα, να ξυπνήσει ο Έλ ληνας, να ξαναπάρει τα

πάνω του, ν’ αποκτήσει γνώση του τί ήταν στο παρελθόν και πού πρέπει να πορευθεί και να πάρει τα όπλα και να αποτινάξει τον ζυγό. Aπό κοντά ήταν η Eκκλησία. O Άνθιμος Γαζής, ο Στέφανος Kομιτάς, ο Nεόφυτος Bάμβας, ο Nεόφυτος Δούκας, όλοι οι μεγάλοι αυτοί εκκλησιαστικοί άνδρες ήτανε μπροστάρηδες στο θέμα του διαφωτισμού. Kι αυτοί τι έλεγαν; χρησιμοποιούσαν τα αρχαία κείμενα, εξέδιδαν αρχαία κείμενα, αρχαίους συγγραφείς και τα δίδασκαν. Όχι προφανώς για να μάθουν τα παιδιά και οι άνθρωποι μόνο την αρχαία γλώσσα, αλλά για να μάθουν τον αρχαίο πολιτισμό, τις ρίζες τους και να αποκτήσουν θάρρος, συνείδηση και να παλαίψουν για την ελευθερία τους. Nα, λοιπόν, που η Eκκλησία ξαναμπαίνει σε έναν αγώνα πνευματικό, που συνδέει την παράδοση την αρχαία με αυτό που ζητάμε, την ελευθερία και τη συνέχεια του ελληνισμού. Πώς μπορείς, λοιπόν, να χωρίσεις την Eκκλησία και την Oρθοδοξία από τον Eλληνισμό; δεν είναι αυτός (ο εκκλησιαστικός) μαχητής, δεν πιστεύει στον ελληνισμό όταν κάνει αυτό που κάνει και δεν εκδίδει κείμενα ο εκκλησιαστικός άνδρας που είναι άλλοτε επίσκοπος, άλλοτε ιερέας, άλλοτε μοναχός; Kι όταν πάμε στο εξωτερικό σήμερα ποιός διδάσκει την ελληνική γλώσσα, η Eκκλησία δεν την διδάσκει; Λοιπόν, αυτές οι ιδεολογίες και τα ιδεολογήματα που θέλουν άλ λο θρησκεία άλ λο

ελληνισμός, χωρίζουν τον ελληνισμό και την ελληνική ιστορία και το ελληνικό έθνος σε κομματάκια που θέλουν να είναι ασύνδετα, γιατί βολεύει ορισμένες ιδεολογίες και απορρίπτουν συλλήβδην ό,τι έχει σχέση με Eκκλησία, με Oρθοδοξία. Η δική μου θέση, και δεν θα ’χε κανένα νόημα εάν ήταν μόνο δική μου, είναι νομίζω μία ευρύτερα αποδεκτή θέση, είναι ότι Oρθοδοξία και Eλληνισμός δεν χωρίζονται και δεν χωρίζονται με την έννοια ότι έχουν ιστορικά συμπορευθεί, όχι ότι συμπίπτει ακριβώς ό,τι διδάσκει η Oρθοδοξία και το Eυαγγέλιο με ό,τι δίδασκαν οι αρχαίοι συγγραφείς, αλλά ακριβώς, ξαναλέω, ότι ένα έθνος εξελίσσεται. Tο θέμα είναι να μην υπάρχει σύγκρουση. Σύγκρουση δεν υπάρχει, ξεπεράστηκε ήδη από τους Πατέρες της Eκκλησίας, γι’ αυτά έχουν γραφεί πάρα πολλά πράγματα και δεν χρειάζεται να το σχολιάσουμε περισσότερο. Ερώτηση: Άρα ισχύει αυτό που λέει ένας σύγχρονος μεγάλος θεολόγος ότι ο εκχριστιανισμένος ελ ληνισμός είναι ο μόνος ελληνισμός που γνωρίζουμε, που έχει επιβιώσει σήμερα; Γ.Μ: Eίναι πολύ σωστό αυτό, ο εκχριστιανισμένος ελ ληνισμός είναι αυτός που γνωρίζουμε. Έχει υπάρξει και μία συζήτηση, είχαμε κάνει στο Πανεπιστήμιο μία συζήτηση με τον Aρχιεπίσκοπο, με πρωτοβουλία του Aρχιεπισκόπου, στη σειρά του «Λαϊκού Πανεπιστημίου», όπου είχαν μιλήσει και λαϊκοί και κληρικοί και είχαμε ακριβώς δει αυτές τις πλευρές. Δηλαδή, πρόκειται για έναν εκχριστιανισμένο ελληνισμό ή για έναν εξελληνισμένο χριστιανισμό; Aυτά είναι διαφορετικές όψεις του ιδίου νομίσματος. Στην πραγματικότητα έχουμε έναν συνδυασμό αυτών των δύο πολιτιστικών μεγεθών –γιατί περί πολιτιστικών μεγεθών πρόκειται– που είναι η Oρθοδοξία, όπως αναπτύχθηκε στον δικό μας χώρο και ο Eλληνισμός, πού είναι το άλλο μεγάλο μέγεθος. Aυτά συμπορεύθηκαν, αναμίχθηκαν. Αν βρίσκεσαι στο εξωτερικό τι είσαι; Eίσαι πρώτα Oρθόδοξος και μετά Έλ ληνας. Δηλαδή, η έννοια της θρησκείας δεν χωρίζεται σ’ αυτά. Aλλά και μέσα στην Eλλάδα, όπου υπάρχει αυτή η πολύ μεγάλη θρησκευτική ομοιογένεια, όπου το 95% είμαστε Oρθόδοξοι, πάλι έτσι αισθάνεσαι. Δεν ξεχωρίζεις μέσα σου την Oρθοδοξία από τον Eλληνισμό.

Διάλεξη με θέμα τις εκκλησίες του Πόντου ΝΕ Α ΥΟΡΚΗ.- Η Παμποντιακή Ομοσπονδία ΗΠΑ και Καναδά σε συνεργασία με το Ιερό Ιδρυμα Παναγία Σουμελά Ποντίων Αμερικής και τους τοπικούς συλλόγους Ποντίων, «Κομνηνοί» της Νέας Υόρκης και «Πόντος» του Κονέκτικατ, διοργανώνουν από κοινού διάλεξη με κεντρικό θέμα «Οι εκκλησίες του Πόντου». Ο Δρ. Βασίλειος Μαρίνης, καθηγητής Ιστορίας και Αρχαιολογίας στο Κέντρο Κέντρο Βυζαντινών και Νεοελληνικών σπουδών του Πανεπιστημίου Κουίνς θα μιλήσει με θέμα «Τέχνη και Αρχιτεκτονική στην αυτοκρατορία της Τραπεζούντας». Η ομιλία θα συνοδεύεται από πλούσιο οπτικοακουστικό υλικό. Επίσης ο λέκτορας του Δημοκριτείου Πανεπιστημίου Θράκης, Δρ. Θεοφάνης Μαλκίδης θα μιλήσει με θέμα «Οι Πόντιοι κρυπτοχριστιανοί στην Τουρκία σήμερα». Η εκδήλωση θα πραγματοποιηθεί την Τρίτη 22 Μαίου,

Η Παναγία Σουμελά στον Πόντο.

2007, στις 7:00 μμ στο χώρο εκδηλώσεων του Καθεδρικού Ναού της Αγίας Τριάδος στο Μανχάταν που βρίσκεται στη διεύθυνση 319 East 74th Street (μεταξύ 1ης και 2ης Λεωφόρου).


1

The Voice of key role in assisting hurricane katrina families THE METroPoLis oF ATLANTA Philoptochos has coordinated relief efforts on behalf of the National Philoptochos and chapters throughout the country which have responded with numerous projects to help families in Louisiana and Mississippi affected by the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. These activities are part of the larger efforts of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America which established the Archdiocese “Florida Hurricane Victims” Fund to address the needs of the Greek Orthodox communities as well as assisting the general relief efforts throughout the South. Through March 2007, the Archdiocese and the Metropolis of Atlanta have distributed over one million dollars to the Orthodox in the region. The National Philoptochos donated $141,644 to the Archdiocese Florida Hurricane Victims Fund with $98,000 targeted to assist with the purchase of major necessary appliances and temporary housing expenses. To assist in rebuilding the lives of the families affected, the National Philoptochos Society created the Adopt A Family Project to meet the short and long term needs of primarily Orthodox victims of the Gulf Coast Tragedy. Following a long and arduous process to locate families in need, a list was compiled with family information and a registry of basic needs. The needs were vital, necessary and beyond our imagination. As of March 2007, the Philoptochos chapters from throughout the country have donated funds for the National Adopt a Family project close to $171,000, which was distributed to the sponsored families. Other projects of the Metropolis of Atlanta to assist families include, Pascha Baskets, Prescriptions for Medications, Sponsoring the New Orleans GOYA Junior Olympics trip to Tampa, Florida, funeral expenses and crisis counseling to name a few. There has been overwhelming national support from the churches and Philoptochos chapters to help those less fortunate. However, the Metropolis of Atlanta Hurricane Katrina office receives daily requests for which it needs additional funds to meet these requests. For information on how to assist, contact your local Philoptochos chapter or Dee Nicolaou, Metropolis of Atlanta Philoptochos president and Hurricane Katrina chairman at (813) 991-9026.

SAVE THE DATE Eleventh Children’s Medical Fund Luncheon November 10, 2007 Fairmont Hotel Newport Beach, Calif. Sponsored by the National Philoptochos Society Hosted by the Metropolis of San Francisco Philoptochos

MAY 2007

Philoptochos Spiritual Enrichment Retreat

(1st row l to r) Pat Votava, manager of Medically fragile Children's Program, Erica Rouvalis, MUSC physical therapy manager; Dee Nicolaou, Metropolis of Atlanta Philoptochos president; (2 nd row from left) Stephen Godbold, business manager of Children’s Hospital, John M. Sanders, Children’s Hospital administrator, fr. John Johns, Holy Trinity pastor.,

national Philoptochos funds support Medically fragile Children’s Program The Philoptochos Society of Charleston, S.C., witnessed first-hand what the money Philoptochos raises will do to help those in need when the members joined Metropolis of Atlanta Philoptochos President Dee Nicolaou on a visit to the Medical University of South Carolina. A check for $22,500 from the National Philoptochos Children’s Medical Fund was presented to the University’s Medically Fragile Children’s Program (MFCP) to purchase play equipment to help children improve their medical outcomes through recreationally therapeutic activities.

st. luke is newest Chapter A dedicated group of 20 stewards formed the newest Philoptochos chapter in the Metropolis of Atlanta on Feb. 6, only months after the creation of their parish of St. Luke Church of Mooresville, N.C. This 67th chapter in the Metropolis is led by Raenada Leonard, president. Meetings are held the second Sunday of each month following the Divine Liturgy where the Philoptochos hosts the coffee hour.

“What a lasting impact this gift will have on the lives of MFCP children and their families! With therapy and therapy equipment we have seen children who have been wheelchair bound learn to walk. This equipment will be used not only to help the children but to teach parents skills they carry forward at home, “said Pat Votava MFCP manager. Erica Rouvalis, physical therapy manager at Medical University of South Carolina, learned of funds available for children’s hospitals across the country while attending a National Philoptochos meeting in New York. Rouvalis consulted with Children’s Hospital and applied for the monies from the Philoptochos Children’s Medical Fund. The Medically Fragile Children’s Program is a national model that provides all-inclusive health care to children who have chronic illnesses and are in foster care in Charleston, Berkely and Dorchester counties. All services from primary medical care, family support, care coordination to education and training are provided by MFCP in one convenient location.

The Metropolis of Atlanta sponsored a three-day spiritual enrichment retreat in January at the Diakonia Center. The retreat was planned by Metropolis board member Presbytera Christine Salzman. The retreat theme was taken from II Peter 3:18, “But grow in the grace and knowledge of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” The question posed was, How can we grow if we’re not willing to “put our whole selves” in? The Rev. Nicholas Triantafilou, president, Hellenic College and Holy Cross School of Theology, served as retreat leader and led participants through reading passages in the Divine Liturgy that speak of “committing ourselves, each other, and our whole lives.” Fr. Triantafilou offered participants a model of a personal plan to continue their spiritual growth to include daily, weekly and monthly goals to spend time in Bible study, readings and prayer. Retreat activities included discussions, prayer services, sport and social activities and the making of blankets for Project Linus. The retreat concluded on Sunday morning with the celebration of the Orthros and Divine Liturgy and all look forward to the next inspirational retreat and communing together as a group.

About the Metropolis Philoptochos

The Metropolis of Atlanta Philoptochos is comprised of 67 chapters with almost 4,000 members from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. The Metropolis of Atlanta Philoptochos Board is led by Metropolitan Alexios who serves as chairman. Dee Nicolaou is Metropolis Philoptochos president.

national President skeadas expands Philoptochos outreach National Philoptochos President Georgia Skeadas entered her third term with a dedication to continue to raise awareness of the good works of Philoptochos as she represents the organization at major events, leads the National Philoptochos Board in building a stronger organizational infrastructure and crosses the country visiting local Chapters and each Metropolis.

National Representative

President Skeadas was honored to represent the National Philoptochos at the 2007 Greek Independence Day Celebrations in Washington, March 22-23. Mrs. Skeadas joined Archbishop Demetrios and dignitaries at a dinner at the Blair House, hosted by Homeland Security Advisor Frances Fragas Townsend, honoring His Eminence, spiritual leader of 1.5 million Greek Orthodox Christians in America. Preceding the visit to the White House on Friday afternoon, Mrs. Skeadas visited Arlington National Cemetery where Archbishop Demetrios laid a wreath in honor

of Greek Independence Day at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The two day celebrations concluded at The White House where President George W. Bush welcomed Archbishop Demetrios and members of the Greek American community on the occasion of the 186th Anniversary of Greek Independence Day. President Bush congratulated Archbishop Demetrios on the occasion of his 40th Anniversary to the Episcopacy, calling him a “man of prayer, vision, and great wisdom.”

Leading the National Philoptochos Board

In her role leading the National Philoptochos Board, President Skeadas has set a priority to expand geographic representation on the Board and to outreach to each Metropolis by convening Board meetings throughout the Archdiocese. Meetings have also been held in conjunction with visits to National Philoptochos ministries, as well as institutions of the Archdiocese including, Hellenic Col-

lege and Holy Cross School of Theology, St. Basil Academy, St. Michael’s Home for the Aged and, most recently, St. Photios Shrine and the Orthodox Christian Mission Center. The fall meeting of the National Board will be held in conjunction with the Eleventh National Philoptochos Children’s Medical Fund Luncheon in Newport Beach, California in November.

Outreach to Local Chapters

President Skeadas has crossed the country to outreach to local chapters and parishes and to each Metropolis with a goal to raise awareness of the mission and work of Philoptochos. She has inspired members and community leaders through these visitations resulting in increased National membership and new levels of giving to the Philoptochos ministries. President Skeadas has spoken at Metropolis biennial conferences and major Philoptochos benefits in New York, Massachusetts, Illinois, Ohio, Texas, Colorado, Michigan, Georgia, California and Florida.


19

MAY 2007

MISSION NEWS The Baptism of Baby John (FPSHJB,BQPSJT -JDFOTFE3FBM&TUBUF"HFOU 1BSL"WF4PVUI /FX:PSL /: FYU P ] D   FGBY

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XXXDJUJIBCJUBUTDPN Sister Abigail and Sister Margaret after testing Emily with a fetoscope deciding how to arrange transfer to the Kisumu Hospital

Chevogere, Kenya – “It doesn’t sound right, it doesn’t sound right at all,� whispered Sister Margaret, the registered nurse permanently employed at St Mark’s Orthodox Clinic in Chevogere, Kenya. Dr. Spero Kinnas nodded in agreement. Though an ophthalmologist, he could tell that the thump, thump he heard through the clinic’s fetoscope was too fast and it concerned him greatly. Emily was 32-weeks pregnant when she came to the clinic for the rare opportunity to see a doctor. by Alex Goodwin*

The clinic offered healthcare services for anyone in need and was often packed with patients receiving immunizations or attention for malaria, complications from HIV AIDS, asthma, or intestinal worms. The clinic’s small labor and delivery room, however, was ill-equipped to provide Emily with the care she needed. Dr. Spero, as part of an Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) Health Care Mission Team, examined Emily and the child she was carrying. It had been over 15 years since he had done an obstetrics rotation but it was apparent from Emily’s symptoms that she and the baby were in distress. Dr. Spero told Emily that she must go to the hospital; but after much pleading she would not go. She left the clinic and Dr. Spero wondered what would ever become of Emily and the tiny life that she carried within her. Days later, Emily came bursting into the clinic. She was in terrible pain. The fetal distress symptoms were critically worse. Team member Gail Mastroberte, a urology nurse who had experience with obstetrics and delivery, was called into examine her. Emily was in active labor and Gail knew that if the baby were to survive, they would need to get Emily to a hospital immediately. A runner from the village was sent to the main road five kilometers away to hail a driver. Nearly two hours later a car arrived. At first, the driver resisted taking Emily to the hospital. Only after Dr. Spero offered to pay the driver did Emily, Emily’s mother, Nurse Gail, and Sister Margaret piled into the compact vehicle, designed to fit four passengers at most. The hour long ride over uncomfortably bumpy roads was full of prayer. Having finally arrived at the hospital, the driver and Sister Margaret ran into the

building to get help. As they waited Emily began to groan deeply. It was time. Gail repositioned herself in the backseat, threw the IV bag that was connected to Emily’s arm over her shoulder, and prepared to deliver her child. With a weak cry, Emily’s baby announced his arrival into the world. Moments later, mother and son were rushed into the hospital. The following is Gail’s account of what happened next: “The hospital nurse listened to the baby’s chest with a stethoscope, and then handed it to me. I could hear a murmur. There was a hole in his heart that prevented it from pumping efficiently and the rhythm was irregular. Without a word the nurse pointed to the child’s palms and to the soles of his feet, both of which displayed deep creases – a possible sign of Down’s syndrome. The nurse shook her head and I knew that the baby would not survive. I prayed that Jesus would help me to do something, but what? There was nothing I could do to repair his heart. Then I saw a sink a few feet away, and my prayer changed to, ‘Dear Lord, please let this sink be hooked up to running water’. I thanked God when I turned the handle and water came out. I returned to the infant with water cupped in my left hand. I dipped my finger into the water, blessing it with the sign of the cross. I then made the sign of the cross on the baby’s forehead with the blessed water, and baptized him John, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. A short time later, baby John stopped breathing and quietly passed away. Words like ‘God’s Will and ‘for the best’ were whispered among the women. I seemed to be the one who was most upset. I was confused, even angry. Why did God send me here if I couldn’t do any good? It took time and a great deal of prayer for me to understand that I was called to be part of an Orthodox Mission Team, not to ‘do’, but to ‘learn’. The lesson was not easy, but I learned about God’s love and how to be patient in the face of adversity.� Orthodox Mission Team Members like Dr. Spero and nurse Gail are given an incredible opportunity to serve. Through the triumphs and struggles that they face, the lives of team members are often deeply affected by the experience.

ď ľ page 21

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20

MAY 2007

In Memoriam Fr. Michael C. Harmand

Fr. Michael C. Harmand, 94, the first American-born priest to be ordained to the priesthood in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, died Jan. 18. He was one of six young men from the United States to attend the Theological School in Halki, in 1932, however the other five were born in Greece and came to America at a young age. They then enrolled at the Theological School of Athens. Fr. Harmand also continued studies in music at the Conservatory of Music under the late Dimitri Mitropoulos. He graduated from the University of Athens in 1938 with his degree in Theological Studies. He was born Aug. 20, 1912, a native of Nashua, N.H., one of six children of Fr. Constantine and Presbytera Harmand (Harmandas). He attended public school in Cambridge, Mass. And attended the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy in Boston for one year before going to Halki. In 1931 he was married to Mary Charouhis of Detroit, and was ordained a deacon at the cathedral in Boston. He served at the cathedral for two years under Fr. Basil Efthimiou. He was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Germanos Polyzoides in Pontiac, Mich., in 1941, thus becoming the first American-born priest ordained to serve the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America. He served St. George Church for 10 years until the fall of 1951. In 1951 Fr. Harmand began his 55 years of selfless service to St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Church. He arrived with his wife Mary and their two children, Bill and Elaine. He was the 14th priest to lead the parish of St. Sophia Church. When he arrived the parish was in transition. The city of Syracuse had taken the original church building, built by the parishioners, by eminent domain to construct the War Memorial. The congregation was forced to purchase a Protestant church on the near west side of Syracuse. This was to be a temporary measure until a more suitable location could be found. As is recorded in the parish council minutes of 1955, Fr. Harmand recommended that a permanent Building Fund Committee be established. These funds became the seed money to build and pay for the building of the current Church in the Syracuse suburb, the Town of Dewitt. Fr. Harmand worked with the youth. He organized and taught Greek School and also taught classes to adults and to many non-Greeks in the Syracuse area. He continued to teach adult Greek classes until 2001! He and Presbytera Mary revitalized and organized the Sunday School. Under his guidance Syracuse had one of the largest GOYA chapters in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. He was instrumental in the GOYA Olympics held in Syracuse, which began in 1976 with seven churches and peaked with 15 parishes and more 600 participants and chaperones. Fr. Harmand’s passion was music, he was also a cabinetmaker, and world traveler (visits to Greece, Northern Europe and Russia) a scholar who also spoke Russian. His love for music was profound. As a musician he played several instruments, but his favorites were the trumpet and the drums. He had a beautiful voice and chanted for the Church after his retirement until Christmas day of 2006. Each year he led the congregation in the singing of Christmas Carols and the

chanting of the Nativity Apolytikion and Kontakion. He was the catalyst for the choir (now under the direction of his son, Dr. William Harmand). He was involved in the choir federation. In 1953 Fr. Harmand directed the choir in a hilarious comedy of the trials and tribulations of a Greek family in the United States entitled: “Spoudaia Ta Lakana” This in turn gave birth to the Sophia Players which performs a musical every two to three years. In July 2003 he received the National Forum’s Athenagoras Distinguished Service Medal from the Mid-Eastern Federation of Church Musicians. Fr. Harmand also brought the philanthropic organization of the Holy Cross into Philoptochos. He worked with the Parish Council and helped in the establishment of the annual Greek Festival. He was instrumental in Pan-Orthodox efforts. He with other Orthodox clergy of the area began to celebrate the Sunday evening Lenten Vespers, rotating the services among the parishes. This is still done to this day. On March 9, 1972 Archbishop Iakovos, in recognition of Fr. Harmand's work for the Greek Orthodox Church (at the time over 30 years) elevated him to the rank of Protopresbyter. He served as the proeistamenos until the fall of 1992 when the Church was consecrated by Bishop

Timothy of Detroit. Over the next 14 years Fr. Harmand continued to serve the parish, most recently as pastor emeritus. He would substitute for area clergy, co-celebrate until his health began to weaken him. He continued to serve the parish by chanting at all the services, attending clergy gatherings, teaching adult Greek School. He served our Church faithfully for over 67 years, of which 55 years were at Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Church, Syracuse, NY. “He was a true, selfless servant of the church,” said Fr. Thomas J. Zaferes, Fr. Harmand’s successor at St. Sophia church. Fr. Harmand lay in state in the church and over a two-day period some 4,000 persons paid their respects. Funeral services took place Jan. 22 with Metropolitan Nicholas of Detroit officiating. The Archbishop of Spain and Portugal, Epiphanios Perialis, Fr. Harmand’s spiritual son, Fr. Zaferes and 17 clergy from all Orthodox jurisdictions in the Syracuse area, took part. An estimated 650 persons attended the service. Survivors include Presbytera Mary; his son and daughter-in-law Bill and Kathy of Jamesville, N.Y.; a daughter and son-in-law Elaine and Dr. Tom Pagedas of Brookfield, Wis.; and three grandchildren. Memorial contributions may be made to the St. Sophia Organ Fund in memory of Father Michael.

Fr. Demetrios Kavadas

Palaiologou of Brooklyn, N.Y. and was ordained July 4 as a deacon by Archbishop Michael in New York. He was ordained to the priesthood July 7 in Lowell, Mass., by Bishop Athenagoras Kokkinakis Fr. Kavadas was bestowed the offikia of confessor in 1958, sakellarios in 1965, and protopresbyter in 1980. His first parish was St. George in Manchester, N.H., where he served from July 7, 1957 to Feb. 28, 1962, before being assigned to Assumption Church in Detroit. He provided the leadership in the move of the church from Detroit to its present location on Marter Road in the communities of St. Clair Shores and Grosse Pointe Woods. Fr. Kavadas received many citations for his community work. He was recognized by the Presidential Office of the United States, the state of Michigan and the cities of St. Clair Shores and Grosse Pointe Woods. He was a recognized lecturer and writer for the past 50 years. In 2003, he was honored as the March of Dimes Man of the Year. Fr. Kavadas also was a former trustee of Holy Cross School of Theology, a former vice president of the Alumni Association, and secretary of the Eastern Orthodox Clergy Association of Detroit. Funeral for Fr. Kavadas took place March 2 at Assumption Church with Metropolitan Nicholas of Detroit and Fr. Kavadas’ lifelong friend, Metropolitan Maximos of Pittsburgh., concelebrating, and with the participation of Assumption’s pastor, Fr. Michael Varlamos. Fr. Kavadas is survived by his wife, Prebytera Rodothea, and their children, Iphigenia Kavadas Pappas and John Kavadas. He was the loving grandfather of George, Thea, Demetri, and Vasilia. He was preceded in death by two sons, Stephen, and Basil. Memorial offerings may be made to the Rev. Demetrios Stefanos Kavadas Memorial Fund at the Holy Cross School of Theology, 50 Goddard, Brookline, Mass., 02445 or to Assumption Greek Orthodox Church, 21800 Marter Rd, St. Clair Shores, MI 48080.

Fr. Demetrios Kavadas, one of the Archdiocese’s most prominent clergymen, died Feb. 26 at a local hospital. Fr. Kavadas would have celebrated 50 years as a priest of the Church on July 4. For 39 of those years, he left an indelible mark on the over one thousand families of the Assumption parish in St. Claire Shores, Mich. He had been retired since Sept. 1, 2001, but after his retirement Fr. Kavadas continued to serve the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Detroit in many parishes. In August 2003, he began serving as the priest of Holy Cross Church in Windsor, Ontario until August 2006. He was also a prolific writer on the faith and a contributor to the Orthodox Observer for many years. He was born May 3, 1932 in Chios and attended primary school and high school there. His father was Stefanos Kavadas, a professor of Greek and director of the largest provincial public library in Greece. He emigrated to the United States in 1950, transferring as a scholarship student of medicine from the University of Athens to Tufts University in Medford, Mass., which he attended for one year before enrolling at Holy Cross School of Theology. From 1952-57, he was director of a weekly religious radio hour, “The Voice of Orthodoxy,” on station WKLB in Boston. After graduating with a divinity degree in 1956, he attended Harvard University for one year. He later enrolled at Boston University where he earned a master’s degree in religious education. He also attended the College of the City of New York and was a Fulbright Scholar, Taylor Foundation Scholar, and Panchian Society of America Scholar. In June 1957, he married Rodothea

Very Rev. James Mihalakis The Very Rev. James Mihalakis, a retired priest since 1993, died April 22 at the age of 85. He was born in Detroit on July 5, 1921, and attended public schools in Detroit. After graduation from high school, he enrolled at the University of Detroit with the goal of obtaining a degree in electrical engineering. However, in December 1941, with the entry of the United States into World War II, Fr. James enlisted in the Army. He was placed in the Transportation Corps in New Guinea for the duration of the war. Upon his return after the war, he entered the Holy Cross School of Theology to prepare to be ordained as a priest. Upon the death of his father, he found it necessary to interrupt his religious studies and return to Detroit to pursue work to care for his mother and sister. Nevertheless, he devoted every hour outside of work to the Orthodox Church, serving as executive secretary of his parish church, organizing its Sunday school, teaching catechism classes, and reading everything available concerning the Faith. During this period, he worked at a hospital and studied to become a certified oxygen therapist. However, he realized he could not ignore the persistent call from our Lord Jesus Christ which beckoned him to become a priest. Under the tutelage of Fr. Nicholas Harbatis, Fr. James continued his religious studies. In 1968, at the age of 47, he was ordained as a deacon and then a priest at St. Nicholas Church in Detroit. Fr. James was assigned as pastor Transfiguration Church in Florence in September 1968 and assumed the duties of priest and Greek school teacher. Under his guidance over the next 24 years, the church buildings and property were enhanced and expanded. The Iconostasis was completed and installed, six acres of additional property were purchased, the mortgages on both the church and the parsonage were paid in full, six additional classrooms were added to the church, the gold-leaf cross was installed on the church dome, and the beautiful Byzantine iconography was completed in the church and Sanctuary. In addition to teaching adult Greek language classes, Fr. James worked extensively to improve the religious education offered to parishioners of all ages through the Sunday school and adult Bible classes and the publication of the church newsletter. He was the motivating factor in the growth of the senior men’s and junior choirs. He supported the growth of many parish organizations, including the Philoptochos, GOYA, JOY, the AHEPA and the Panagia Prousiotissa Chapter “Velouchi.” Fr James encouraged the promotion of the Greek community’s spirit in Florence through the parish’s sponsorship of Greek Independence Day celebrations, Greek festivals, Mardi gras, Thanksgiving dinners, and community picnics. Fr. James was instrumental in the decision of two of his parishioners to become priests. In 1988, the Bishop of Atlanta bestowed on Fr. James the title of “Archimandrite,” the highest ecclesiastical honor given to a celibate clergyman. After his official retirement as an active parish priest, he continued to serve the Church. He was assigned to help establish a new church community in the Tri-Cities area of eastern Tennessee, serving for three years as priest of what s now Holy Trinity Church in Bluff City. He then returned to Florence and has assisted the priests who have served Transfiguration Church.


MAY 2007

Keeping our Kids Safe Online A mother recently called to seek advice about an issue with one of her teenage children. Her daughter had been acting very strangely for two days. When her mother confronted her about the issue, the daughter replied, “Mom, you know I’m without my computer while it’s being fixed. I can’t talk to my friends. I don’t know what I am going to do.” by Theo Nicolakis

This response is likely typical of most teens. Today, over 90 percent of American teens age 12 to 17 use the Internet. For teens, computers, cell phones, and the Internet are not simply “devices”. Rather, these devices form an integral part of a teen’s social fabric and how they interrelate with one another. Divorce today’s wired teen from their computer or cell phone and you effectively cut them off from their social network. Yet just because computers are perceived as something children know how to use does not mean that they are appropriately equipped to handle the challenges these technology tools present. Kids may use these tools every day, but the real issue is how these tools impact their lives and social interactions. Church’s view on the dangers of technology Some have asked whether or not all this technology and the Internet is a good thing. His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios and the other hierarchs of SCOBA touched upon this issue in March 2006 through a powerful pastoral letter to every Orthodox Christian community in the United States. In this letter, the SCOBA hierarchs warned communities about the dangers inherent on the Internet and today’s mobile devices. They appropriately reflected the Church’s view on technology by saying, “The technology itself is not dangerous.” Rather, the danger stems from the malicious perversion of technology and the lack of safeguards. Unfortunately the burden of protecting our youth and teens has fallen squarely upon the shoulders of parents. Parents are the ones who must act as vanguards and take an active and proactive role in their children’s online endeavors. Technology is never a substitute for good parental supervision. Online Activities Parents Need to Watch out for: Kids today are engaged in a number of online activities including email, instant messaging, social networking, and virtual reality entertainment. If left unmonitored, some of these activities are potentially dangerous. Web sites and technologies that parents should be especially wary of include: 1) MySpace.com, which has been used by online predators and has no age verification system: MySpace and similar sites allow for the creation of online profiles and encourage posting personal information. 2) Secondlife.com, there.com, and other virtual reality web sites that pres-

For the Orthodox Family...

ent a virtual world and mix explicit adult content as part of the online experience: The popularity of these sites has exploded and will prove to be a new challenge for clergy and families. 3) YouTube.com, which has countless user-contributed online videos and has become a prime outlet for cyberbullying. 4) Instant messaging and web camera sessions that involve strangers or people met online: Online predators and pedophiles have leveraged these technologies. Fundamentally, if any online activity includes posting personal information, interacting with strangers, or sharing information visually through photos or videos, then it should be constantly scrutinized.

Help for Parents and Families

So what are parents and clergy to do? When it comes to online safety, being proactive is the only way to stay safe. While the road is certainly not an easy one, the following guidelines can help: • Get involved: First and foremost, parents and clergy must be involved in what their kids are doing. Technology is not self-monitoring and is not a substitute for parenting or mentoring. • Become educated: Visit the web sites listed below and access their free guides for online safety and dictionaries for online terms. Clergy should make hardcopies of such guides available in their parishes and conduct seminars at the parish level to educate parents about online dangers. The Archdiocese’s Internet Ministries Department is available to conduct local, parish educational seminars on these issues. • Keep computers in a public space: Computers should be in a family room or other public spaces so that parents can see what is happening online. Web cam use should only be allowed in common areas of a home. • Review computer activity: See what your kids are doing online, what sites they are visiting, what photos they are posting, what web sites they are creating, and who they are chatting with. • Set limits: Consider restricting computer use for specific purposes such as schoolwork. Children especially should not spend excessive amounts of time online–especially late at night. • Promote safety: Let kids know that they should not post or give out any personal information such as phone numbers, addresses, their location, etc. online. • Engage teens in a dialogue: Encourage kids to talk about their favorite web

sites, what is happening online, and any people they meet online. • If all else fails: Call the police. Local law enforcement is there to help if you are concerned about your child’s safety.

Online Aids for Parents and Clergy

While the Internet has many pitfalls, it is also a primary source for smart surfing. The following web sites are an important resource for every parent, clergyman, and youth worker. www.wiredsafety.org — One of the most critical web sites to visit when seeking information and education on the Internet and mobile devices with safety guides for parents and teens on social networking web sites, cyberbullying, cyberdating, and child pornography. www.getnetwise.org — An expansive web site with an online safety guide for parents with links to Internet safety products of interest to families with children. www.safeteens.com — This site contains guides for both teens and parents on a number of topics as well as a dictionary of Internet acronyms every parent needs to know. www.fbi.gov/publications/pguide/ pguidee.htm — A straightforward and important online safety reference for parents provided by the FBI www.missingkids.com — This web site managed by the national center for missing and exploited children contains vital information to help protect your children from being a victim of sexual exploitation. www.blogs.goarch.org — An informational web site by the Archdiocese Department of Information Technology and Internet Ministries that provides parents, clergy, and youth workers with updated information and links with technology news and issues facing Church communities and Orthodox Christian families. As the adoption of technology quickens, the challenges it will present will become more complex. As Christians, we must heed the Apostle Paul’s exhortation to comfort one another and edify one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11). If we stay grounded in the message and teachings of Scripture, then we will be able to overcome whatever challenges may come before us. Theo Nicolakis is the Director of Information Technology and Internet Ministries for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and represents the Archdiocese on the executive committee of the Religious Alliance Against Pornography.

On Protecting our Children from Negative Influence We cannot expect to bring up children today in a morally sterilized environment. We will try to direct our children's energy to decent entertainment and good company, but we will not be able to avoid every negative experience, especially as the children grow older, and it would not help our children if we could. We must accept any such negative experiences as "immunization" for our children. We can discuss these things with our children and try to imbue them with their own sense of judgment, so that at least they recognize what causes spiritual and physical harm, and learn to reduce the danger to themselves.

We must spend time doing things with our children. Above all, we must pray for our children to be protected, and inspire in them love for Christ, so that of themselves they have in their hearts an inner gauge. Only such protection will last and remain with them as they grow into independence and adulthood. It is the same with physical dangers. As children grow older, we cannot keep all dangers out of reach: we have to explain, discuss and warn—but above all, to pray, to put our trust in God, and to teach the children to pray, not least in times of fear or danger. – Children in the Church Today: An Orthodox Perspective, by Sister Magdalen

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Resources for Families Edifying Websites

The Internet has made Orthodoxy available to us with a click of the mouse. There are many wonderful websites that provide enrichment to your families spiritual life. As you explore the Internet world of Orthodoxy, we encourage you to check with you spiritual father or parish priest to make sure the sites you are visiting are representing the faith correctly. Here are a few of our favorites: Familyaschurch.com This is the website of the Center for Family of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. It has a wealth of information on raising your family in the church. Additionally it has links to other resources of interest to families. It is part of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese website—which provides the faithful with resources for their spiritual journey (www.goarch.org). Orthodox Family Life Archives Orthodox Family Life journal was a family ministry published for six years. Although it is no longer published, the articles are archived. Subject areas include: your family at church, home, and school, kids topics, information on Holy Days and other celebrations. For more information, visit www.theologic. com/oflweb/archive.htm PhyllisOnest.com Phyllis Meshel Onest has a Masters of Divinity from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology (1977). This website she created is an excellent resource for information about raising children in the faith. It contains articles, activities, curriculum, and other resources. Visit her site (www.phyllisonest.com) to educate your family and yourself!

MISSION NEWS  page 19 Following the example of Sts Cosmas and Damian, the service of faithful medical professionals show that caring for the physical well-being of others can serve as a powerful Christian witness. The OCMC sends out several health care mission teams every year and has long-term medical missionaries in Romania and Uganda dedicated to this life-saving work.  Additionally, the Mission Center funds mission projects around the world that provide healthcare services to those in need. Each of these efforts are prayerfully undertaken in the holistic tradition of the Orthodox Faith which works toward the sanctification of the whole being, both body and soul.  The Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) is the official international mission agency of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA). Its purpose is to encourage, support and facilitate the establishment and development of self-supporting, Eucharistic Orthodox Christian communities worldwide, thus incorporating the person into the fullness of a life in Christ. For more information on OCMC’s Orthodox Mission Teams, contact the Mission Center at 1-877463-6784 or by e-mail at teams@ocmc.org. You can also find details regarding this years Mission Team opportunities by visiting www. ocmc.org/teams. (*) Parts of this story were narrated to the writer by Gail Mastroberte and Dr. Spero Kinnas.


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“Will Our Children Have Faith?” Theme for Summer Institute 2007

BERKELEY, Calif.–The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America Departments of Religious Education (DRE) and Youth and Young Adult Ministries are collaborating with the Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute (PAOI) for Summer Institute 2007, to be held June 6-9 at the PAOI in Berkeley. The topic “Will Our Children Have Faith?” and the program will feature hands-on, experiential lectures and workshops presented by a variety of Orthodox and ecumenical scholars and practitioners. Topics include “Setting the Tone for Youth Ministry,” “Youth Spirituality,” “Organizing Youth and Family Ministries,” and “Communications Technology and Ministry to Youth.” Among the scheduled presenters are Fr. Michael Anderson, Sr. Mary Grennan, Fr. Mark Leondis, George Papageorge, Dr. David Randolph, Fr. Kevin Scherer, and Dr. Tony Vrame. Participants will pray together every morning and evening in the beautiful Chapel of St. Demetrios at the PAOI. Registration includes a daily continental breakfast as well as one dinner or lunch per day. For more information and a daily schedule of topics and speakers on the program you can visit the website of the Department of Religious Education or the Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute. The mission of the Department of Religious Education is to serve the parishes and dioceses of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America by providing materials and services that will advance their programs of religious education. The mission of the Archdiocese Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries is to minister to youth workers, young people and their families. For information on the Departments, visit the archdiocese website, www.goarch.org. The Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute exists to educate, communicate, promote and sustain the traditions, values, teachings and culture of Orthodox Christianity. The Institute is a “patriarchal institute” under the spiritual guidance of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. The Institute is an affiliate of the Graduate Theological Union, an ecumenical and interfaith consortium of nine independent seminaries and eight affiliated centers based in Berkeley, California. The Graduate Theological Union is an educational crossroads for teaching, research, ministry and service. As the largest partnership of seminaries and graduate schools in the U.S., the GTU builds bridges among many Christian denominations and other faith traditions. Information about the Summer Institute can be found at the PAOI’s website, www.orthodoxinstitute.org and the Department of Religious Education, www.religioused.goarch.org

MAY 2007

Summer Courses at the Univ. of the Peloponnese A Virtual Church Tour The Faculties of the University of the Peloponnese in Kalamata, in collaboration with the World Confederation of Messinians Abroad including the Pan-Messinian Federation of U.S.A. and Canada, is organizing for the second year in a row free summer courses for 50 students (ages 17-25) of Messinian descent and for 10 schoolteachers (student chaperones) from the U.S., Canada and/or Australia who teach in Greek schools. The duration of the summer course is approximately one month, from July 2-27, 2007. Courses that will be taught include: Greek language, Greek history, and Greek civilization. Courses will be taught by specialized university professors knowledgeable in the English language, through specialized courses, for second, third and fourth generation children of

the Greek Diaspora. Lodging and food will be provided for students free of charge. Airfare and travel arrangements are the responsibility of the participating student but the Pan-Messinian Federation of U.S.A. and Canada will contribute the sum of $350.00 towards each student’s airline ticket. Throughout the duration of the summer school, students will have the opportunity to also visit the sites and historical monuments of the prefecture of Messinia, but also to enjoy the beautiful area beaches–all completely free of charge. The submission deadline for all applications has recently been extended. Call Tom Sotiropoulos (312) 953-2235 or Bill Bebonis 847 414-7726. Email messinia@ pan-messinian.com or Worldmessinians@ earthlink.net

St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in Finland has put together a virtual reality tour of their church. You can move through the different areas of the church and click on different items for explanation. Sit down as a family and spend some time learning about the church. Pair this activity with an actual tour of your own church. Shortly after exploring the online tour with your children, make an appointment with your parish priest. Have your children observe things they saw in the virtual tour and notice the differences and similarities. Encourage them to ask questions about all that they are seeing. Go to http://www.ortodoksi. net/virtuaalikirkko/index.html, click on the British flag to read the explanation in English, and then enter the Church for the tour.


MAY 2007

Challenge

YOUTH MINISTRY

e-mail: youthoffice@goarch.org

What’s Up Living the Good Life? WITH

Christ is risen!! Who loves to have fun? Most of us would say we do. When we are having fun, we are usually out with friends, playing games, making jokes, etc. But sometimes people take fun to a different level. Unfortunately, some people do extreme or dangerous things for the sake of getting a thrill or having “fun.” Most of the time, fun is measured by whether or not we are happy at that moment. We have a great time, and then it's done! by Eva Kokinos

Pascha is a time in an Orthodox Christian’s life which cannot really be labeled as fun. We do celebrate Pascha with prayer, song, food, family, and much more. However, we probably would describe it as a joyous occasion rather than a fun time. It is a feeling that we carry with us through the entire year as Orthodox Christians. But what’s up with that? Don’t we feel joy when we are having fun? So what is the difference between “joy” and “having fun” for an Orthodox Christian? Is there even a difference between the two? Let us look to the parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32) for the answers. In Luke 15:11-32, we read that a son asks for his inheritance from his father. He takes the inheritance, packs up his bags, and travels to a distant land. The son gets caught up in the high life; doing lustful deeds, buying things, and wasting his inheritance. Unfortunately, these things all run out when a famine hits the area. The son had fun for a while, but then it was over and he was left with nothing.

PARENTS and YOUTH Workers Corner Summer camp is on the horizon! Registration has begun at most metropolis camps already. For a list of all camps in our Archdiocese, see: http://www.goarch.org/en/archdiocese/departments/youth/camping/. Subscribe to our weekly listserv called The Pulse, containing information and resources for youth workers, parents, clergy, and volunteers. Visit http://youth.goarch.org to subscribe or to access archives. The annual national young adult pilgrimage will be happening November 2-10, Bishop Savas of Troas will lead the trip to Florence, Ravenna, and Constantinople. It's open to young adults ages 18-35. Check our website http://youth. goarch.org for more details.

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

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Many times, we are romanced by the fast-paced life associated with partying, alcohol, materialism, promiscuity, etc. But ultimately, something happens to bring all the “fun” to a screeching halt. We hear about young people having “fun” with drugs or alcohol. Or sometimes, we are just guilty of wasting our money on material things. We want to be the first one with the

new $350 pink-jeweled wireless phone or wait in line for 10 hours to get the newest $500 video game system. But what happens when our money runs out, when someone has too much to drink, or peer pressure kicks in? This is where the fun stops, and reality sets in. If we go back to the Prodigal Son, we see that he has a realization. When the famine hit, he was left with nothing. He

sees that the things on which he wasted his inheritance were temporary. No money or inheritance could fulfill him. He wishes he had been content with the life he had. In fact, he says he would gladly feed on the food of the animals and work as a servant just to be safe in his father’s home again. After all the “fun” is over, what remains in our lives? The reality check is that God is always with us, through fun times and not-so-fun times, and we must learn how to be happy with the abundance of gifts God has given us. In addition, fun does not have to be destructive or dangerous. Look at all of the great things we can do in our Orthodox Christian communities: youth groups, retreats, camp, etc. We can definitely have tons of fun at these events. But what makes them memorable and joyous events? They are joyous because they are Christ-centered activities and they create bonds that last a lifetime. So what is the difference between fun and joy? Although fun is great, it is also temporary. Joy is something you feel or experience on a daily basis. Being joyful means that you are content and thankful for the blessings you have. Finally, think about how it felt to proclaim “Christ is Risen” this year. It is a feeling that we can still describe one or two months after Pascha. THAT is joy! Eva Kokinos is a graduate of Holy Cross School of Theology. Currently, she is the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries for the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Detroit. Email her at youth@ detroit.goarch.org.

G in Culture Will God be at your prom?

This time of year offers the occasion for lots of celebrations such as prom, homecoming, graduation, summer vacation, etc. These events are milestones in your life and it's appropriate to honor them with festivities, parties, and celebrating with friends and family. As Christians, we also set aside these special times to thank God for the blessings He's given us, and for bringing us to such a joyful point in life. However, sometimes these events become an excuse for reckless behavior and over-indulgence. Instead of honoring the special occasion appropriately, oftentimes we create situations that encourage lessthan-Godlike behavior. So, what are some ways we can make sure that God doesn't get lost in all the fun and celebrations? Here are some ideas: When attending someone else's party or celebration, keep in mind that as an Orthodox Christian, you are a representative of Christ. Ask yourself, am I behaving in a way that reflects Christ? Am I showing His love and His values to those around me? For instance, am I treating my date with respect and pure intentions? When planning events, think about what would honor God and thank Him for the blessings He has given you. For instance, you could turn your graduation or prom party into a fundraiser bash for a charity organization. (For Orthodox Chris-

tian charity organizations, check out www. iocc.org and www.ocmc.org.) How much money are you spending on these events: outfits, limos, food, etc.? It's easy to get carried away with all the material things and lose focus on the actual reason for the event. Take a look at what you're spending on these events - is it a reasonable amount? Is it more than you're giving to the Church and other

charitable organizations? Try cutting back on the extravagance and staying focused on the simple. Underage drinking is a big temptation at many spring celebrations. Unfortunately, even when it's done in "innocent fun," it's a risky activity that lowers your inhibitions and slows motor functions (sometimes leading to unwanted sexual encounters, substance use, and car accidents). Make a commitment beforehand not to participate in any illegal substance use, and if necessary, think of how you will respond if pressured to use alcohol or drugs. It might be wise to avoid certain places or parties where you know the pressure will be intense Take advantage of your summer free time by setting goals for spiritual growth at the beginning of your break. This could mean adding a couple extra minutes to your prayer time everyday, or reading the Bible more. Setting a measurable goal is helpful and more realistic (i.e., By the end of June, I will read the Gospel of Matthew). During summer travel and vacation, try to attend Divine Liturgy on Sunday. If you are on vacation in another town with friends or family, look up the local Orthodox church and find out when services begin. You can find the directory at http://scoba.us/directory/.


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MAY 2007

Survey Results on

The lost Tomb of Jesus issue

Results of the survey about the recent documentary by James Cameron entitled “The Lost Tomb of Jesus” are as follows:

1. Do you think the distribution of the documentary, “The Lost Tomb of Jesus,” shortly before Easter was done intentionally to discredit Christianity? a. Yes 73% b. No 20% c. Undecided 7% 2. Did the documentary, “The Lost Tomb of Jesus,” affect your faith?

a. Yes b. No c. Undecided

1% 95% 4%

3. How do you think the mainstream news media (electronic and print) handle news about the Christian faith compared to that of other religions? a. They are biased against Christianity 72% b. They provide neutral coverage 16% c. They provide favorable coverage 4% d. No opinion 8%

PARISH PROFILE  page 12 As the second generation of the parish became more educated, some moved away and others either married into other churches or “apostacized,” Mr. Rodakis said. Still others moved away for better jobs in larger cities. He said there is hope for the future as “some of the third generation have come back, either because of nostalgia or curiosity. There is hope for younger families.” According to Mr. Rodakis’ parish history, before the 1950s, Orthodox Christians in the region would travel to Shreveport, 100 miles west, for church services and sacraments.

Foundation of the parish

Then, in 1951, about 20 Monroe families purchased a house west of the downtown area on North Fourth Street with the hope of converting it into a church when a priest could be found, the history notes. In the fall of 1952 Fr. Spyridon Markopoulos, the community’s first full-time priest, arrived to celebrate the first Orthodox liturgy in Monroe. By 1953, there was talk of building a church. Their small numbers did not discourage them from pursuing their goal. The current Forsythe Street property was acquired in early 1954 and construction began immediately on the church, which was completed in August of that year. The first baptism, that of Kosta Kolokouris, was held in November of that year. Enthusiastic parishioners donated pews, chandeliers and icons. Many nonOrthodox friends pitched in and the little church was soon furnished in proper Orthodox fashion. In 1956 the community was well-established and hosted a threestate AHEPA district convention attended by more than 350 people. The parish house was built in 1960 and the community center, with its large kitchen, was constructed in 1971 and expanded in 1977. The three buildings are connected and the parish house is used as a guest house for visiting priests, bishops, or lecturers. In November of 1979 another milestone was reached with the arrival of the first American-born priest to serve the church, Fr. David Buss. He served the parish until his retirement in 2001. In the late 1980s the parish undertook a program to replace the older icons. Diamantis Cassis of Houston, an Orthodox iconographer originally from Galaxidi, Greece and who grew up in Shreveport, was commissioned to prepare a whole new set in the traditional Byzantine style.New furnishings of carved wood replaced the older, simply-crafted ones, and the church interior took on a whole new look. A hailstorm in the early 1990sdamaged the church's roof and breaking its windows. Insurance compensation allowed

the replacement windows to be done in a more authentic Byzantine style to further enhance the church’s appearance. Mr. Rodakis said many of the church’s furnishings are locally designed and manufactured. “Keeping faithful to authentic Byzantine models, and working with a number of local skilled artisans, we have designed and produced our own carved exterior doors, our pangaria, proskinitaria, and Oraia Pili,” Mr. Rodakis said. A taller, redesigned bell tower, a new portico, new window and door treatments, and a plaster exterior were added in 1992-93 and the landscaping was also replaced.

A diverse group

The parish history states that today’s members include expatriates from Shreveport and Boston, and Orthodox from national backgrounds that include Greek, Macedonian, Russian, Ukrainian, Serbian, Arabic, as well as Americans of European, African, and Asian ancestry. Not all of them live in Monroe. Some live in other parts of northern Louisiana within a 100-mile radius of the city. The church is also a spiritual beacon for Orthodox students at the University of Louisiana from Greece, Cyprus, and the Middle East. It offers them a place to worship, and to congregate. There is interest in Orthodoxy beyond the people who were born into the faith. Mr. Rodakis said that an entire Baptist congregation has had exposure to the faith through fellowship gatherings at the church, and the minister and his wife have taken an interest in the faith. He also noted that, “Because of the many converts and their non-Orthodox families, we have for years compiled the parish's "diptychs" (memorial lists of deceased parishioners) together with their deceased family members. These lists are divided into monthly segments, depending on the dates of death,” he said. “Once a month, we have a memorial (mnymosino) with koliva for all those who have fallen asleep in the Lord during that month, regardless of how long ago. In this manner, every parish member and his or her family departed are perpetually remembered.” The parish council consists of four elected members and meets monthly and on other occasions as necessary. Mr. Rodakis said the community hopes to again have a full-time priest eventually, “if we can get the salary level to where we can support a priest.” The church’s main financial support comes from stewardship, along with “one or two bake sales a year.” While the community has no conventional social events such as dances or picnics, the parish sponsors a monthly "pot luck" dinner following a Liturgy. Together with regular refreshments after laymen's services, these occasions serve to bond the parishioners and allow for regular social interchange, Mr. Rodakis explained. “We are a lively little parish,” he added, “in spite of our small numbers.” — Compiled by Jim Golding

executive Director named for s.f. family Wellness Center SAN FRANCISCO.– Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco has announced the appointment of Kristen Bruskas of Phoenix as the first executive director of the newly established Family Wellness Center. This position was created following the announcement of a $100,000 grant from the Archbishop Iakovos Leadership 100 Endowment Fund to support this new and innovative ministry for the metropolis. Ms. Bruskas will be responsible for the overall administration and implementation of the Family Wellness Center. Her work will have a three-pronged focus including: creating an infrastructure upon which the Family Wellness Center will be built, developing a philanthropic support base and facilitating a comprehensive communications program between all Metropolis ministries and the community at large. Ms. Bruskas has been a life-long member of the Greek Orthodox Church and has spent many years serving the church

in various capacities including: nine years as president of the Metropolis of San Francisco Church Music Federation, five years as a member of the Metropolis Council, and four years as summer residence camp director at St. Nicholas Ranch. Within her local parish, Holy Trinity Cathedral in Phoenix, Ms. Bruskas has served as music director for 20 years, as former parish council vice president, stewardship chairman, and is currently co-chairing a capital campaign for a new education and cultural center at the cathedral. Professionally, Ms. Bruskas has been working in the non-profit field for nearly 17 years, with a focus on development and marketing. These skills, coupled with her extraordinary background in serving the church, made her an excellent candidate for this new position. To learn more about the Family Wellness Center, please contact Ms. Bruskas at 602-525-1617 or via email at kbruskas@ sanfran.goarch.org

COMMUNICATING THE FAITH  page 6

Finally, like Cho, they tragically become their own omnipotent gods, deciding who should live and who should die. Today’s Spartan struggle includes first and foremost choosing to take a firm stand against evil’s offensive against the God-centered nature of humanity. While humanity has incredible potential for good, the shootings at Virginia Tech reflect the human experience of evil . . . the result of our disconnect with God. Torn from the very Source of Life, we may breathe, love and achieve, but in the end, there is a major part of us that is dead! Like those at Thermopylae and Blacksburg we are all called by our respective circumstances to make the proper moral, theological, and sacrificial choices. The unspeakable evils perpetrated at schools and campuses bring us again and again face to face with the reality of human evil. Orthodox Christianity faces this challenge honestly and acknowledges the horror of moral evil and its consequences. Human beings are capable of committing horrible acts of violence, malevolence, cruelty, and killing. In taking evil seriously, Orthodoxy affirms that we are responsible creatures and that our Creator will hold us fully accountable for our choices. While we are all sinners, some will unfortunately embrace evil with virtual abandon . . . choosing to commit horrors. A central tenet of the Orthodox Chris-

tian faith is the claim that, on the cross, Jesus Christ willingly suffered the full force of evil, even unto death. In rising from the dead, Christ grants victory over sin, death, and evil to all that receive Him. While the Blacksburg massacre reminds us of what human beings can do to each other, Golgotha reminds us of what Jesus did for all of His Creation. It is here, at the narrows of Golgotha, the Eternal Thermopylae of the bloodied Cross and empty Tomb, that humanity learns where to find the courage, strength and wisdom to make the right choices in life. It is of some solace that the massacre at Virginia Tech occurred in the shadow of Christianity’s liturgical celebration of Pascha (Easter) where the faithful can still discern the warm blood of the Eternal Lamb, Jesus Christ, upon His empty Cross. Like the door lintels of Jewish homes that were painted with the blood of a sacrificed lamb during the evening of the first Passover in Egypt, the classroom door post at Virginia Tech is stained with the blood of a father and a teacher . . . a contemporary Spartan who stood firm so that others could survive to fight the forces of evil yet another day. The Rev. Dr. Marangos is executive director of the Archdiocese Department of Communications.

INTERFAITH MARRIAGE  page 10 marriages that end in divorce. I’ll have more to offer in the next two articles related to these last few points. Until then, if you’re dating and of marriageable age, I hope this information finds its way to you. I suspect it’ll make a decided, positive difference in your efforts to make

some healthy, holy choices. Should you have other questions or concerns after reviewing the information that follows, please don’t hesitate to Email me at joanidesch@aol.com. You might also log onto the Interfaith Marriage Web site for additional assistance. The address of this site is www.interfaith.goarch.org.

If you have questions regarding The Archdiocesan Clergy sexual Misconduct Policy or want to report a complaint of clergy misconduct, call the toll-free hotline (877) 544-3382 All complaints will be taken seriously and allegations will be investigated fully and impartially. Callers may speak with a male or female volunteer in either Greek or English.


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MAY 2007

Hellenic Dancers Celebrate 35 Years

MICHAEL CHRISTODOULAKIS

The Hellenic Dancers of New Jersey celebrated their 35th Anniversary at a Gala held April 29 at the Pines Manor in Edison, NJ. Over 650 people attended the Gala which celebrated the unique history of the organization and its role in the GreekAmerican community of New Jersey and also honored the memory of co-founder,

Father James Chakalos, who passed away last September. Over 100 members performed at this event including current dancers, as well as alumni from all three decades of the troupe’s existence. The performance highlighted the traditional Roumeliotiko wedding, as well as a multitude of dances from Thrace, Pontos, Crete, Macedonia, Cyprus and the various

islands of Greece. Children of alumni also performed a dance displaying the perpetuation of Greek Heritage from generation to generation. The Hellenic Dancers began as a small, local church group organized in 1972 by Fr. Jim and presvytera Eleni Chakalos. The group has grown into an internationally recognized dance troupe performing at such prestigious events such

as the Centennial Epiphany Celebration in Tarpon Springs in 2006, the closing ceremony of the 2004 Olympics in Athens, the Folk Dance Festival in Sacramento, and at many other events, church and cultural festivals across the United States. For more information about the Hellenic Dancers of New Jersey please visit www.hellenicdancersofnj.org

Assumption Parish of Long Beach Consecrates Church LONG BEACH, Calif. – The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church consecrated their sanctuary on April 29. Leading this holy and sacred service, which occurs only once in the lifetime of a parish, was Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco, by Bishop Anthimos of Olympos and Bishop Ilia of Philomelion. The weekend celebration, themed “A Time for Renewal…A Time for Rededication…A Time for Rejoicing”, began on Saturday, April 28 with Great Vespers, an evening prayer service at which the relics of St. Kyrikos, St. Panteleimon the Great Martyr, and the Holy Fathers Martyred in Sinai at Raitho were brought to the church and placed on the altar table. There were three components to the

service on April 29 – Matins, the Consecration service, and the first Divine Liturgy in the Consecrated Church. During the Consecration service, the relics of the saints were sealed into the holy altar table as a permanent example of the commitment of self-denial which is at the core of the Orthodox faith. More than 500 Greek Orthodox faithful from the local parish as well as many from surrounding area prayerfully participated in these services. Orthodox clergy from the Los Angeles area who participated in this historic service included: Very Rev. John Constantine, St. George Church in Downey, Frs. James Adams (retired); Michael Kouremetis, St. Prophet Elias, Salt Lake City; John Alexandres, Sts. Constantine and Helen,

Education Center Opening Metropolitan Methodios of Boston and Marianne Sergides are cutting the ribbon to initiate the opening of the Costas and Elsie Sergides Education Center at the Greek Orthodox Church of St. Luke in East Longmeadow, Mass. Marianne Sergides is the greatest contributor to the project, which is dedicated to her parents Costas and Elsie. During the opening ceremony Metropolitan Methodios was assisted by Frs. Michael Sitaras, presbyter of St. Luke; Elias Velonis, former presbyter of St. Luke, and Archdeacon Athanasios Haros.

METROPOLITAN Gerasimos carries the relics of the saints during the procession outside the church, followed by Gerontissa Markella, Abbess of the Monastery of the Theotokos the Life Giving Spring in Dunlap, CA.

Lancaster, Calif; John Bakas, St. Sophia Cathedral in Los Angeles, Michael Courey, St. Katherine Church, Redondo Beach, Anthony Savas, St. Nicholas Church, Northridge; and Gary Kyriacou, St. Demetrios Church, Camarillo. Also assisting was Deacon John Alevizos of St. George Church in Downey. Assumption parish was founded in 1949 with the arrival of their first priest, Fr. Nicholas Billiris, of blessed memory,

who served the Long Beach Faithful for over 35 years before retiring. Other priests who have served the Assumption parish include: Frs Michael Kouremetis, Nikolas Milatos, John Konugres and James Adams. The Greek Orthodox Church of the Assumption is now served by Fr. John Roll, who arrived in October 2006. A young and dynamic priest, Fr. Roll immediately instilled a sense of assurance and sparked a renewed spiritual movement in this wellestablished community. Fr. Roll’s continuing efforts to lead the faithful in Long Beach towards a greater life in Christ’s love is exemplified in the theme chosen for the Consecration celebration. “We are not merely consecrating our Church, we are renewing our lives and our souls, rededicating ourselves to Christ,” said Fr. Roll with enthusiasm at the Grand Banquet that followed Great Vespers on Saturday, April 28 at which over 400 people gathered. Fr. Michael Kouremetis shared some memories from his years of service at the parish, and Fr. James Adams extended his gratitude to many people whose unselfish generosity brought the dream of this Consecration to a reality. Following the services, the faithful gathered at the Betty Reckas Cultural Hall of Assumption Parish for a champagne brunch.

Scholarships Awarded to Foster Youth DENVER -- Trinity House, founded in 2002 by Stephanie Zaveral and former Assumption Cathedral dean Fr. Costa Pavlakos, has awarded $7,250 in scholarships to six foster youth in the Denver-metro area; all of the students are in college or will be attending college next fall. In addition, the Philoptochos of the Cathedral donated a $1,000 scholarship to a young woman in foster care who is a top 2007 graduate from her local high school. All of the youth are members of the Bridging the Gap program which is assisting foster youth ages 14-23 to develop life skills.

In announcing the awards, Dean Boosalis, president of Trinity House, said that “what a thrill it was to sign the letters to these deserving youth, and may God’s grace shine brightly on all the members of the Greek Orthodox community in the Denver-metro area–and from Wyoming and elsewhere–who made these grants possible. I just wish we had millions to give out.” The scholarships can be used for tuition, room and board, or books and supplies. For additional information, contact Frank Zaveral, 303-759-4037


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MAY 2007

March 25th Celebration in Corpus Christie METROPOLITAN ALEXIOS Celebrates Pascha in Argentina “Where the Church is, there is the Spirit, and where the Spirit is, there is the Church and all Grace.” (St. Ireneaus) It was almost midnight on Great Saturday in the year of our Lord 2007, when I found myself in an unknown place, with no knowledge of the people or their customs, except that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ, and believe in His Resurrection (Anastasi). Earlier that night, around 10:30 p.m., I was alone in the altar with one lay assistant, without even a chanter or council member, waiting for the unknown. Many thoughts crowded my mind. Will anyone come? If so, how many will there be? Will anyone stay for the Divine Liturgy after the Resurrection Service? But this spirit of doubt and uneasiness was also a blessing in disguise, for it gave me a real understanding of the Resurrection Service by itself. Unlike the disciples, who waited through this same night in fear and despair, I know that Christ is Risen! Of course, for the cosmos, for the universe, but also for me personally, which is something that we priests don’t think about often, when we are among the Faithful and serving them. Because we priests are also among the faithful, awaiting His Resurrection in the darkness. We too are part of the Body of Christ, the Church, from which our salvation comes. As I waited in the darkness, the time seemed to pass so slowly that minutes felt like hours and hours like days. Now the people began to come. All kinds of people, dressed up in their best, families, old and young, yiayithes and papouthes, young couples with children, all holding white candles. We waited in the darkness together for that precious, life-changing, renewing moment. As I offered the Light of Christ to the people, I came out, without other priests, without deacons, without chanters, without even altar boys, into a church and courtyard filled with a crowd of people. Together with one voice, we chanted the Tin Anastasin Sou, I felt the hunger and thirst of the people to hear the words of the hymn proclaiming the Resurrection of our Lord. By the light of hundreds of candles, I saw the joyous smiling faces, each face reflecting a beautiful intensely personal joy in the Resurrection. We went out into the courtyard, into the beautiful night, under a sky filled with stars, with a gentle breeze. I felt the appearance of something Divine participating in our celebration. When the time came to proclaim, “Christos Anesti!” I saw hundreds of candles moving left and right, up and down as we made the sign of the Cross, the sign of our salvation, and we greeted one another with the glorious greeting of our faith, “Christ is Risen!” After the Resurrection Service, more than 250 Faithful returned to the church for Orthros and the Divine Liturgy, as everyone joyfully anticipated receiving the Body and Blood of our Risen Lord. After the Divine Liturgy, we celebrated as one big family, with red eggs, a wonderful feast and Argentinian margharitsa. The celebration continued until dawn! That is the beautiful experience which I was able to have this year in Argentina, with the blessing and permission of His All Holiness, and the invitation of His Emi-

nence Metropolitan Tarasios. In Argentina, there are many difficulties and struggles, and they are in need of so much, as you will remember from our December appeal to assist the Greek Orthodox Church there. Sometimes we don’t realize the blessings that we already have here in our Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, where our mission and ministry is supported by all kinds of active and committed organizations, and where we have an understanding of what the Church is all about. We are clear in our minds that our Church is not an association or a club or a federation, because the Church is above all earthly concerns and is concerned with spiritual reality. Most importantly, here in the United States, the people are able to have a priest for Pascha and the priest has an altar, to celebrate this Feast of Feasts and Holy Day of Holy Days. This is not the case in other parts of the world, where there is a chronic shortage of priests, and the people wait in vain to heart the blessed words, “Christ is Born!” at Christmas and “Christ is Risen!” at Pascha. One of these places is in Argentina, A few months ago, my brother in Christ Metropolitan Tarasios of Buenos Aires appealed to me for help. In the past we were able to send a retired priest to assist Metropolitan Tarasios, but unfortunately this year, no one was able to go. Since it is a tragedy that the altar should be empty on the Great and Holy Feast Day of Pascha, I traveled to Argentina to assist the Faithful there as a priest by celebrating the services of Holy Week and Easter. Metropolitan Tarasios traveled to Brazil to serve the Faithful there. In this way, many Greek Orthodox Christians, who otherwise would not have the opportunity, were able to celebrate the holiest season of Christianity. We must pray to Almighty God to give us the wisdom and the strength to assist Metropolitan Tarasios and his co-workers to rightly teach and guide our brothers and sisters. Therefore we must pray, and think and plan on how we can best assist them in their ministry. As I returned home to my everyday routine and many responsibilities, I couldn’t help but reminisce about the beautiful experiences I had in Argentina, and I give glory to God for the opportunity that Metropolitan Tarasios offered me to

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX.–Sunday March 25, 2007 was special for the parishioners of the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church. The feast of the Annunciation and the commemoration of Greek Independence Day, were celebrated with a special Lenten luncheon followed by a program of poems, songs and recitations by the children of the community. Special guests at the Divine Liturgy and luncheon were twenty five members of the Hellenic Navy, including the commanding officers of the two mine hunter vessels that were recently purchased by Greece from the U. S. Government. During the luncheon the Commander of the Texas Detachment of the Hellenic Navy, Commander Niko Tetradakos, addressed the local parishioners and thanked the children for the very impressive program they presented on

the occasion of Greek Independence Day and also expressed his sincere appreciation to the local Greek Community for all the courtesies extended to the men of the Hellenic Navy. The two vessels were decommissioned by the U. S. Navy on Friday, March 16 at Naval Station Ingleside and transferred to the Greek Navy. Many of the local parishioners, waving Greek and U. S. flags, attended the very moving ceremony during which the vessels were blessed by Father Stelios Sitaras. Representing the Hellenic Navy was Rear Admiral Ioannis Karaiskos. Also attending the ceremony were representatives from the Greek Consulate in Houston, Texas and the Naval Attache Office in Washington, D.C. The two vessels and their crew will remain in the Corpus Christi areas for several months before leaving for Greece.

17th Annual Choral Offering of Ancient and Modern Works Held at Rutgers U. NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – The New Jersey & Staten Island District Choir of the Eastern Federation of Greek Orthodox Church Musicians (EFGOCM), presented its 17th annual Spirit of Lent concert at Rutgers University on March 30. The event is an annual Lenten choral offering of sacred Greek Orthodox liturgical Lenten hymns. The choir was accompanied by young singers from the Greek Orthodox communities

of Trenton and Westfield. The concert took place at Kirkpatrick Chapel at Rutgers. The concert featured ancient and modern arrangements of Byzantine hymns traditionally sung in Greek Orthodox churches during the six-week Lenten season, from the Sunday of Orthodoxy through Pascha (Easter), and is a unique opportunity for people unfamiliar with Byzantine church music to experience it for the first time.

visit his Metropolis, and serve in the altar of his Cathedral. I thank God that I had this priceless opportunity to offer praise and prayers for what He has given to all of

us, especially those of us who have been numbered in the royal priesthood. † Metropolitan of Atlanta ALEXIOS

Hartford Cathedral Celebrates 75th Anniversary HARTFORD, Conn.– St. George Cathedral celebrated its 75th anniversary. Nearly 500 people gathered Nov. 4 at La Renaissance in East Windsor for a banquet. Archbishop Demetrios, assisted by Fr. John A. Heropoulos and Archdeacon Panteleimon gave the invocation. Speakers included Christina Kaliff, the event chair; Bess Economos, the Philoptochos chapter president, Helen Limnios, the Parish Council president; and Fr John, dean of the cathedral. National Philoptochos President Georgia Skeadas, a Hartford native, shared her memories and thoughts with the group. State Rep. Demetrios Giannaros addressed the crowd in both Greek and English and the mayor of Hartford, Eddie A. Perez, presented a plaque to Fr. John and Helen Limnios commemorating the 75th Anniversary. Finally, Secretary of the State Susan Bysciewcz, read a proclamation from Gov. Rell, who could not attend that evening.

After dinner, there was a special video presentation chronicling the history of St. George through pictures and interviews, produced by Chris Merisotis. Metropolitan Nicholas of Amissos offered a few words followed by Archbishop Demetrios of America who gave the main address of the evening. On Sunday, Nov. 5, children of the parish greeted Archbishop Demetrios and Metropolitan Nicholas with bouquets of flowers. An archierarchical liturgy was celebrated followed by the bestowing upon. Fr. Thomas Cokotis with the office of Economos. The archbishop also blessed the altar boys under the age of 13: Christopher Augustinos, Chris Cokotis, Elias Kapetanopoulos, Paul Kardos and Alex Loukellis.

The St. Nektarios Shrine

As part of the 75th Anniversary of St. George Cathedral, Fr. Heropoulos had proposed that a shrine be built as a way to

give thanks for the sacrifices of the founders of the community. The shrine was built in honor of St. Nektarios of Aegina, known as the Wonder Worker. He is considered the patron saint of people with illnesses especially cancer, heart trouble, arthritis and epilepsy. A relic of St. Nektarios was offered to our parish by Metropolitan Nicholas of the Carpatho-Russian Diocese in America. On Nov. 5 Archbishop Demetrios of America and Metropolitan Nicholas officiated during the Divine Liturgy and the dedication of the St. Nektarios Shrine. The following altar boys who were 13 years of age and over had the honor of being tonsured by the Archbishop: Peter John Augustinos, Jordan Augustinos, Matthew Constantine, Evan Dantos, Iakovos Gerakos, Thomas Giannakopoulos, Nick Kanaras, Teddy Kanaras, Nicholas Loukellis, Stephen Loukellis, Antonis Mangllara, Chris Platsis, Alex Tougas and Stephen Zerbini.


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MAY 2007

New York Greek Independence Day Parade NEW YORK – The 76th annual Greek Independence Day Parade on April 22 featured a theme of religious freedom and recognized the contributions of the Order of St. Andrew-Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in their continuing efforts on behalf of the Patriarchate. The Archons, represented by National Commander Dr. Anthony Limberakis, were grand marshals of this year’s parade, which had to be postponed one week because of a severe nor’easter that drenched the New York area. Nick Davatzes, CEO Emeritus of the A&E television network was the second grand marshal. A two-year memorial service for Archbishop Iakovos was held following the Divine Liturgy at the Holy Trinity Cathedral. Speaking about late Archbishop’s legacy, His Eminence noted that the Greek Parade is directly connected with Iakovos’ passing right after the parade’s conclusion two years ago. A doxology was chanted in the presence of many officials, dignitaries and the Presidential Honor Guard of the Hellenic Republic. The new parade day featured sunny skies and mild temperatures that were perfect for the event. Archbishop Demetrios led the parade to the reviewing stand and then rode in an open car up the entire length of the parade route shortly before the formal beginning of the parade, greeting the many thousands of faithful lining the sidewalks. As he does every year he stayed to the end. The New York Fifth Avenue parade, is the largest of its kind in the United States. Although it featured more participants than in past years, and more than 50 floats, some groups who had come the previous week from as far as Pittsburgh, were unable to return. For the first time extensive parts of the parade were televised on WWOR-TV MY9 during a two-hour special hosted by Greek-American Senior Anchor Ernie Anastos. The parade also featured a traditional contingent of Evzones from Greece and several Greek and American politicians, including U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, both of whom marched the entire length of the parade. Floats expressed a variety of themes, some calling attention to the plight of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, others paid

PHOTOS D. PANAGOS

tribute to heroes of the Greek War of Independence, and others reflected Hellenic tradition and values. The Parade was organized by the Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater New York.

(clockwise) ARCHBISHOP Demetrios and other dignitaries lead the parade up Fifth Avenue. (L to R) John Catsimatides, Nick Diamantidis, Mrs. and Mr. Nick Davatzes, Archbishop Demetrios and Bishop Savas of Troas behind him, Dr. and Mrs. Anthony Limberakis and Greek Parliament vice president Ioannis Tragakis. TWO little girls in traditional costumes display their Greek pride. A CONTINGENT of Archons, led by Fr. Alexander Karloutsos, march up Fifth Avenue.

DETROIT HOLDS GREEK INDEPENDENCE DAY PARADE Detroit’s annual Greek Independence Day parade took place March 25 and included the celebration of the feast of Annunciation Cathedral in the heart of Greektown. by George Reganis

For the sixth year in a row, the parade set an attendance record, with close to 15,000 marchers and spectators attending from Michigan, Ohio, and Ontario. The famous Evzone group of the Hellenic Society of New England, 14 Greek Orthodox churches, 19 Hellenic organizations, and seven Greek dancing groups in full costume marched in the parade, which was led the by the Grand Marshall Philip Christopher Vice president of the World Council of Hellenes Abroad and World Coordinator for Cypriots, Metropolitan Nicholas of Detroit, City Council President Kenneth V. Cockrel, Vice Consul Vasiliki Grivitsopoulou Consulate of Greece, Michigan State Senator John Pappageorge,

Representatives Bob Constan and Fran Amos, and other dignitaries. Participants marched up Monroe Street from Woodward Avenue to the heart of Detroit’s Greektown. The pa-

rade included floats constructed by the University of Michigan Hellenic Students Association, “Dionysians” Wayne State University Hellenic Student Association and Pan-Cretan Association, Pselorites,

Cretan Ladies and Cretan Youth, To the crowds delight the Evzones Group from New England marched in military cadence of Greece’s honor guard and the spectators enthusiastically applauded from the reviewing stand as they passed by. Greek hero Alexander the Great lead the Macedonian Society of Michigan. After the parade, a ceremony was held at the end of the parade route. Rich Mayk, a longtime Detroit TV personality and parish council member at Assumption of St. Clair Shores, acted as master of ceremonies. The program opened with the singing of the Greek, Canadian, and American national anthems and followed by a short Doxology. Metropolitan Nicholas, Vice Consul Grivitsopoulou and the Grand Marshal Philip Christopher then addressed the crowd. The Evzone group and the seven other participating dance groups treated the crowd to a fine display of dances from all regions of Greece. Mr. Reganis is president of the Detroit Greek Independence Day Committee


Orthodox Observer - May 2007  

Orthodox Observer - May 2007

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