JUNE 2008 • Vol. 73 • No. 1240
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Archdiocese Delegation Makes Official Visit to Church of Russia
MOSCOW – Archbishop Demetrios, members of the Holy Synod and other Archdiocese representatives visited Moscow in late May at the invitation of Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia. The visit came at a time of important developments in the Russian Orthodox Church in America, especially the reunification of the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR), and the celebration in the Russian Federation of Slavic Letters Day; the only holiday of both a national and religious character. Accompanying the Archbishop on the seven-day trip from May 22-28 were Metropolitans Methodios of Boston and Alexios of Atlanta, the Archdiocese chancellor, Bishop Savas of Troas, Michael Jaharis, vice chairman of the Archdiocesan Council, Dr. Anthony Limberakis, national commander of the Order of St. Andrew–Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, National Philoptochos Treasurer Aphrodite Skeadas, and accompanying staff: Frs. Alexander Karloutsos and Mark Arey, Archdeacon Pandeleimon Papadopoulos, Jerry Dimitriou, executive director of administration, and invited guest, Dr. Antoine Harovas. Patron Saint’s Monastery On May 23, the first full day of the delegation in Moscow, Bishop Mark of Egorievsk escorted the delegation to the Holy Trinity and St. Sergius Lavra, one of the most famous Orthodox monasteries in the world, found in 1340 by St. Sergius of Radonezh, the patron saint of Russia. The monastery, which has had during its lengthy history as many as 2,000 monastics, contains numerous churches, shrines, and all the seminary facilities. It
Hierarchs of the Archdiocese of America – Archbishop Dimitrios (center), Metropolitan Methodios of Boston, Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta and Bishop Savas of Troas with Patriarch Alexy of Moscow and All Russia and other Russian metropolitans at a service.
is one of the most visited religious sites in all of Russia. On the 50-mile trip to the monastery, delegation members had the opportunity to stop and visit the renowned Patriarchal Ecclesiastical Workshops at Sofrino ( www. sofrino.ru), where they were received by the director, given a tour of the facility, chapel and museum, and were hosted at a reception in the Archbishop’s honor.
At their arrival, church bells rang and prayers of thanksgiving were offered in the chapel. After departing Sofrino, the group proceeded to the Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra, where the Archbishop and the members of the delegation were received by archimandrites of the monastery and by officials of the Moscow Spiritual Academy and Theological Seminary: the vice-
rector, Archpriest Vladimir Shmaliy, and the academic secretary, Archpriest Pavel Velikanov. The Archbishop and the delegation were conducted to the monastery’s main church to venerate the holy relics of St. Sergius. As they made their way into the
HC-HC Receives $5 Million Gift at 66th Commencement
Mary Jaharis receives the honorary Doctorate of Humanities degree from Archbishop Demetrios at the Hellenic College-Holy Cross graduation ceremonies in May, which was awarded to her and her husband, Michael Jaharis (right). Also taking part in the ceremony are Fr. Nicholas Triantaﬁlou, HC-HC president, and Board of Trustees Vice Chairman Dr. Thomas Lelon (left).
BROOKLINE, Mass. – Hellenic College-Holy Cross School of Theology held its 66th commencement on Saturday, May 17, The highlight of the day was the announcement by Archdiocesan Council Vice President Michael Jaharis and his wife, Mary, of a $5 million gift to the school. It is the largest single gift in Hellenic College and Holy Cross history. Mr. and Mrs. Jaharis received honorary Doctorate of Humanities degrees. (Related story page 6) The ceremony was attended by nearly 500, including Archbishop Demetrios, Metropolitan Maximos of Pittsburgh, Metropolitan Methodios of Boston, Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco, Bishop Anthimos of Olympos, Right Reverend Ilia Katre Bishop of Philimelion, Archdiocese Chancellor Bishop Savas and Board of Trustees members. Hellenic College graduated 21 students, several of whom will continue
their education at Holy Cross. The School of Theology conferred master’s degrees in theological studies, theology and divinity on 41 graduates. Nineteen of 25 graduates who received Master’s of Divinity degrees, will eventually serve as clergy in the Greek Orthodox Church. Archbishop Demetrios, who gave the invocation, presided over the Orthros and Hierarchal Liturgy earlier that morning and the Great Vespers the previous evening where seniors received crosses at the “Stavrophoria” presentation. In his salutation, Fr. Nicholas C. Triantafilou, Hellenic College-Holy Cross president, said, “Indeed, we praise God for the sterling students who dedicate their lives to deepening their understanding of God’s revelation. We praise Him for the pilgrimages that you, the members of the Class of 2008 – both you of Hellenic College and you of Holy
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Archdiocese Hierarchs Make Official Visit to Church of Russia page 1 church, passing through the massive walls that surround the monastery, pilgrims approached the Archbishop and the accompanying hierarchs to receive their blessing. After venerating the relics, the delegation was accompanied to the former refectory of the monastery, now a church, which was the site of Patriarch Alexy’s election. Inside, Archbishop Demetrios led the delegation in chanting “Christos Anesti,” to the visible joy of the clergy, monks and pilgrims. After visiting another of the many churches in the monastery, one dedicated to the Dormition of the Virgin Mary and which houses holy relics of St. Maxim the Greek and St. Innocent of Alaska, the official party was conducted to the Moscow Spiritual Academy and Theological Seminary, where hundreds of students were waiting in the main auditorium to hear the Archbishop address them. The Archbishop delivered his address in English, assisted by a translator, entitled “Healing the Wounded World.” The day, being the eve of the Feast of Sts. Cyril and Methodios, Apostles to the Slavs and the Russian National Holiday of Slavic Letters, presented an occasion for the Archbishop to discuss the theology that stands behind how the message of the Gospel is transmitted to heal a wounded and ailing world (the address may be seen at http://www.goarch.org/en/news/ moscowaddress.html ). In his conclusion, the Archbishop said, “On this occasion, as we stand ready to commemorate once again the Feast of Sts. Cyril and Methodios, you as their spiritual descendants should take great courage in the example that they set, and in the power of holding to the model of healthy words which was given to you. It is a power to change the world! For me, a
son of Thessaloniki – the city of Sts. Cyril and Methodios – and an exarch of the same Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople that sent them on their apostolic mission of evangelization to share the Good News of the Gospel, it is an honor to be present here in person with you to rejoice in their ever-memorable legacy of faithfulness to the Gospel, to truth, to right worship, and to unlimited love.” As the Archbishop concluded his address with a joyous “Christos Anesti,” the student body rose on its feet with the reply “Alithos Anesti!” in Greek, and then proceeded to chant “Eis Polla Eti, Despota,” as they received the blessing of the Archbishop. His Eminence then presented a silver censer to the seminary as a commemorative token of the visit. Following a tour of the seminary chapel and museum, the delegation members were hosted at a formal luncheon. Following the return to Moscow, the delegation proceeded to the Greek embassy, where Ambassador Ilias Klis was waiting to receive the Archbishop. The entire delegation was hosted by the ambassador and members of the Greek diplomatic staff, in the magnificent facility which houses the embassy of the Hellenic Republic to Russia. National Holiday The celebration of Slavic Letters Day on May 24 (May 11 on the Old or Julian Calendar) commemorates Sts. Cyril and Methodios, the Apostles to the Slavs who were blood brothers from Thessaloniki, sent by Patriarch Photios the Great of Constantinople to evangelize the Slavic lands in the ninth century. It is a day when the faith, linguistic, and ethnic heritage of the Russian people is commemorated by both the State and the Church. The Archbishop served at the Divine Liturgy with Patriarch Alexy II in the Cathedral of the Dormition within the Kremlin, Archbishop Demetrios and Patriarch Alexy II.
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Church, and as a son of Thessaloniki, the birthplace of the saints of the day. Although relatively small in comparison with other churches, the Dormition Cathedral (Uspensky Sobor) is enormously important in the history of Russian Orthodoxy. The cathedral, built in the 14th century, was the site of the coronation of the tsars of Russia, even after the capital was transferred to St. Petersburg under Peter the Great. Filled with ancient frescoes and icons, the cathedral was turned into a museum during the Soviet era, but was restored to the Russian Orthodox Church after the fall of communism. The annual commemoration of Slavic Letters Day, celebrated on the Feast of Sts. Cyril and Methodios, recognizes the source both of Orthodox Faith and Slavic culture in Russia, which commenced with St. Photios the Great, Patriarch of Constantinople, sending the two monastic brothers from Thessaloniki, Sts, Cyril and Methodios, on their apostolic mission of evangelization of the Slavic peoples. To this day, even the name “Cyrillic Alphabet,” testifies to the strength of the connection of Orthodox faith and culture in Russia. Revisits Cathedral On May 25, Archbishop Demetrios revisited the massive Christ the Savior Cathedral, in the same church where he led the official delegation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate eight years ago at the consecration of this, the largest church building
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Archbishop Demetrios visits with a patient at the Central Hospital of the Moscow Patriarchate.
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and participated in special commemorative festivities for the occasion. Also serving were Metropolitan Methodios, Metropolitan Alexios, Bishop Savas, Fr. Arey and Archdeacon Papadopoulos. The remainder of the delegation attended the Liturgy with faithful who filled the Cathedral. When, as is the custom in the Russian Orthodox Church, the clergy greeted the Chief Celebrant after receiving Holy Communion, Patriarch Alexy warmly greeted the Archbishop, the hierarchs and clergy of the Archdiocese. Following the Divine Liturgy, the Archbishop and the delegation were hosted, together with 100 dignitaries and clergy, at a banquet offered by Patriarch Alexy in his official residence within the walls of the Danilovsky Monastery. In his toast, Archbishop Demetrios congratulated the Patriarch, wishing him “Many Years,” and noted his own connection with the celebration both as Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the ecclesiastical fountainhead of the Russian Orthodox
Articles do not necessarily reﬂect the views and opinions of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America which are expressed in ofﬁcial statements so labeled.
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Oratorical Festival Sen. McCain visits Celebrates 25th Anniversary
“Gather My People to My Home”
by Presbytera Margaret Orfanakos
LEXINGTON, Mass. – Months of planning culminated on June 7 when the 25th Annual St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival was held at St. Nicholas Church in what organizers, headed by their pastor, the Rev. Agathonikos Wilson, described as “an unforgettable weekend.” The official gathering began that evening with Paraklesis at St. Nicholas Church where Fr. Wilson welcomed the finalists and their families. Following the welcome dinner everyone was given the opportunity to get acquainted with one another, before returning to their hotel. On Saturday, the finalists and their families gathered at St. Nicholas for breakfast. The church was filled when Archbishop Demetrios opened the Oratorical Festival with prayer. Following greetings from Fr. Wilson and Dr. Anton Vrame, director of the Archdiocese Religious Education Department, the speaking program began. Introducing the speakers to the podium to deliver their speeches were previous Oratorical Festival Diocese and Metropolis finalists, including one finalist from 1986. It was wonderful to see so many of them and to hear how the Oratorical Festival influenced their lives. After the speeches those attending were invited to a luncheon in the church community center where, on the occasion of the Oratorical Festival anniversary, five individuals were given special recognition with a plaque acknowledging their work and involvement in the early stages of the event. They were Minerva Stergianopoulos of North Salem, N.Y., who, along with Ernest Villas, director of the Department of Religious Education at the time, developed and chaired the very first Festival in 1983. Fr. George Zervos of St. Nicholas Church in Jamestown, N.Y. was honored for being the Archdiocese Oratorical Festival chairman in 1985. Nicholas Karakas of St. Louis was recognized for his philanthropic support of the Oratorical Festival. George Sarados was acknowledged for his initial efforts in establishing and maintaining the Oratorical Festival Scholarship Fund. Vicki Villas, who worked side by side with her husband, Ernest, also received a plaque. The Lexington church received a plaque commemorating the day that the Archdiocese Oratorical Festival finals was held. When the results were announced, Archbishop Demetrios and Metropolitan Methodios presented the awards to all 18 finalists. Junior Division results are as follows (grades 7-9), first place and a $2,000 college scholarship-- Christopher Kouldukis (San Francisco Metropolis) Assumption Church-Seattle; second place and a $1,500 college scholarship – Paige Alesia Grinstead (Detroit Metropolis) St. George Church, Southgate, Mich.; third place, with a $1,000 college scholarship – Nicholas Lambert (Denver Metropolis) Greek Orthodox Church of Greater Omaha. Honorable mention and $500 US Savings Bonds went to: Demetra Athena Skenderis (Direct Archdiocesan District) Holy Trinity Church, Bridgeport, Conn.; Sarah Elizabeth Hunt (Atlanta Metropolis) Sts. Markella and Demetrios Church, Ft. Walton Beach, Fla.; John Damianos, (Boston Metropolis) St. Nicholas Church, Portsmouth, N.H.; Rebecca Schieber (Chicago Metropolis) Holy Apostles Church, Westchester, Ill.;
In a few weeks we will gather in Washington DC for our 39th Biennial Clergy-Laity Congress. The meeting of the Congress is a special time in the life and work of our Holy Archdiocese. We experience great
Archbishop Demetrios received U.S. Sen. John McCain, the Republican presumptive nominee for President, at the Archdiocese on June 10, which included a brief press conference. The two met privately and discussed religious freedom issues, especially relating to the Ecumenical Patriarchate and other human rights and education issues. In a comment after their meeting, the Archbishop said: “As Saint Paul says in his First Letter to Timothy, ‘let supplications, prayers, intercessions and giving of thanks be made for all people: kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.’ Well, in America we have no kings, but we do have elected leaders and representatives of government. As Archbishop, I feel a responsibility to pray for all our leaders and to encourage our Greek Orthodox faithful to do likewise, as they participate in the political process granted to all Americans by our Constitutionally protected freedoms. Sen. McCain is an honorable American who has demonstrated his heroism and love for this country.”
Archbishop Demetrios Meets with Metropolitan Hilarion NEW YORK -- On Monday June 9, Archbishop Demetrios of America welcomed Metropolitan Hilarion, the newly enthroned First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) at Archdiocese headquarters. This meeting between the two primates follows on a new relationship between the Churches occasioned by the reunification of ROCOR with the Moscow Patriarchate in May 2007. Archbishop Demetrios had already sent a congratulatory letter to Metropolitan Hilarion after his election as First Hierarch (primate) of ROCOR, which also invited him to the Archdiocese. Metropolitan Hilarion was accompanied by the Very Rev. Protopriest Alexander Lebedeff, secretary of Inter-Orthodox Relations. During the 90 minute meeting with the Archbishop, who is also the chair-
man of the Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA), the discussions focused around the new reality of ROCOR in the PanOrthodox environment of America. Also present at the meeting were the chancellor of the Archdiocese, Bishop Savas of Troas, Fr. Mark Arey, director of Inter-Orthodox Relations and Archdeacon Pandeleimon Papadopoulos.
Hierarchs and priests of SCOBA held their spring meeting at the Archdiocese on June 12.
by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America
joy when we are able to see brothers and sisters in Christ once again and share in fellowship and worship. We find encouragement in the challenges and triumphs of ministry as we discuss our work at all levels of the Church in America. We renew our vision and purpose as we set our course for the coming years, reviewing all that has been accomplished and establishing goals and plans for all to be done. It is important that we prepare ourselves in prayer and reflection for the Congress. Our hearts and minds need to be open to the will of God, and we need to have the spiritual awareness and ability to address very critical needs and issues. This is why the theme for our Congress is significant. “Gather My People to My Home” is a theme that addresses the nature of our daily service in the kingdom of God. It has tremendous implications for the focus of our meetings and planning. It also guides our work in the days and months ahead as we renew our commitment to making our parishes a spiritual home for all. When we understand the nature of the Church and our calling to “Gather My People to My Home,” we know that there is much work to be done. Many are completely disconnected, living without faith and hope. Others are connected to our parishes in very limited ways. For some, the Church is not a haven and has no spiritual relevance in their lives. Others are in despair and are not able to find their way into a place of love and healing. In addition, many of our youth and young adults are lured by vain endeavors and empty ideas. All of these need our immediate attention and efforts so that their souls will find truth and life in God’s home. We are blessed to have our spiritual home in the Church. We have been gathered by our Lord, and we are being blessed with healing, guidance, and salvation. However, there are many more who are wandering, searching and struggling for a place of hope and truth. What are we doing as Orthodox Christians and as parishes to reach out to those in need? Do our attitudes and lifestyles offer a visible witness of Christ and the transformation He brings to our lives? Do we seek to connect others to faith, to Church, and most im-
PATRIARCHATE Message of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on World Environment Day
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew with Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens.
Ecumenical Patriarch Welcomes Archbishop of Greece ISTANBUL – Patriarch Bartholomew welcomed Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece for an official visit in mid-May, thus initiating a new and promising period between the Mother Church of Constantinople and the Daughter Church of Greece. The meeting, which took place May 12 at the Ecumenical Patriarchate, marked the first official visit of His Beatitude to the Church of Constantinople since his election in February, following the death of his predecessor, Archbishop Christodoulos. During his three-day visit to Istanbul, Archbishop Ieronymos celebrated the Holy Eucharist with the Ecumenical Patriarch at the historic 1833 church of the Balukli Monastery for the feast of Zoodochou Pigis (The Church of the Life-Giving Font in honor of the Virgin Mary). In an exchange of greetings following the service, the Ecumenical Patriarch referred to the close ties between the Churches of Constantinople and Greece, commenting that the acts of 1850 and
1928 that granted the Church of Greece its autocephaly “should not be seen as uprooting the branch from the original grapevine, nor falsely presenting the limits set during the ecumenical synods and agreed upon by the Fathers of the Church.” His All Holiness added that those things that “irregularly grew from the grapevine of the Church as a ‘greedy offshoot’ would be considered a damaging growth” and “cast into the fire for not bearing good fruit.” In response, His Beatitude said, “Conditions have ripened now and we have all understood that we should put the differences behind us. I want to assure you that I will do everything in my power together with my brothers, the archbishops, to achieve an absolute coexistence with you. Rest assured, your Holiness, that from today, we will plow deeply into the ecclesiastical field to cultivate the church unit, coexistence and cooperation in our common route.”
Today’s celebration ( June 5, 2008) of World Environment Day is a unique opportunity for all of humanity to contemplate the incomprehensible dimensions of the environmental crisis. This opportunity extends not only personally to each citizen of the world, but to the world community at large, the business community, and of course to religious and political leaders. The moment has come to remove our current way of thinking from its pedestal and to reconsider the means by which we interact with this unique world, which the Almighty God left to us with the command “Work and protect”. Henceforth, it cannot satisfy humanity to remove that which is necessary and profitable from the natural world. But humanity must maintain to its full potential the renewal of the natural ecosystem through the enrichment of our natural resources. Humanity unfortunately has transgressed the Divine command for the protection of creation. We experience the results of this neglectful and avaricious behavior today, as weak-willed spectators of the repercussions of catastrophic climactic changes. We observe the pollution of fresh and ocean waters, over-fishing, the loss of biodiversity,
the desertification of soil, the catastrophes occurring in forests from deadly fires, and many more expressions of this unprecedented environmental crisis. Our Patriarchate, which symbolically celebrates September 1, the beginning of the Ecclesiastical year, as the Day of Creation, today unites its voice with the environmentally sensitive and active people and institutions throughout this earth, regardless of religious or political beliefs. Let us understand, beloved brothers, sisters, and children in the Lord, that each of us from our own position must make every effort to confront the environmental crisis. Let us leave behind whatever differences and problems may have separated peoples and nations throughout the course of history. Especially let the developed world acknowledge this catastrophe and let it give every available economic and educational assistance unsparingly and unselfishly to those nations which daily confront hunger and are torn apart by civil war. Let us remember that the pejoratively titled “Third World,” that is to say, those countries which fall short of economic development, do not maintain just cultural riches, but also natural ones, which are critical for the salvation of our entire planet.
Patriarch Bartholomew accepts award for public service at Woodrow Wilson Center ceremony.
Ecumenical Patriarch Accepts Award at Woodrow Wilson Center
During his trip to Greece in mid-May, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew released a hawk that had been held in captivity. At the time, he was on a visit to a forest in Parnitha, outside Athens, which had suffered extensive destruction during last August’s ﬁres.
ATHENS, Greece – The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars of the Smithsonian Institution honored Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew during his recent visit to Greece with its Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service in recognition of his efforts on environmentalism and other issues. The award was presented at a reception on May 15 in recognition of “his commitments to the environment, to international peace and human rights, and to eradicating racism.” In his address, His All Holiness cited the concerns of people around the world over a possible environmental catastrophe, saying, “In his unbridled race for material prosperity alone, man risks destroying the beauty of our planet.”. Even in the “socalled civil world that calls itself Christian … there persists a frenetic race aimed at the environmental destruction of our planet.” The Ecumenical Patriarch arrived in Athens on May 13 for a five-day visit. His All Holiness was greeted at the Athens Interna-
tional Airport by Deputy Foreign Minister Theodoros Kassimis. Later that afternoon, Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece hosted a luncheon in honor of the Patriarch’s visit. U.S. Ambassador to Greece Daniel Speckhard met with His All Holiness on May 14 offering his support for the re-opening of the Halki Seminary and religious freedom for the Ecumenical Patriarchate. His All Holiness expressed his satisfaction with the meeting saying that both the United States and the Ecumenical Patriarchate “serve the same ideals of justice, freedom and all the supreme moral values that exist over time and universally, and because of this, we share many common positions.” The U.S. envoy praised Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew for his international efforts to promote environmental awareness as well as advancing inter-faith
Archdiocese Delegation Makes Official Visit to Church of Russia page 2
World-renown St. Basil Cathedral on Red Square, which the delegation observed close up during their time in the Kremlin.
Photos D. PANAGOS
in Russia. Standing in the Altar with brother hierarchs Metropolitan Methodios, Metropolitan Alexios and Bishop Savas of Troas, the Archbishop followed the Divine Service presided over by Archbishop Arseny, an assistant hierarch to Patriarch Alexy, whose main duty is to be responsible for all the clergy of Moscow. At the end of the Liturgy, Archbishop Arseny introduced the Archbishop to the faithful, together with the accompanying hierarchs. He warmly welcomed the Archdiocese group to the Cathedral (which was demolished by Stalin and only rebuilt – exactly as it was – in recent years), and invited the Archbishop to address the congregation and clergy. Archbishop Demetrios spoke on this occasion in Greek, with a translator conveying his words in Russian. The Archbishop spoke of the great emotion he felt returning to Christ the Savior after eight years, when he represented the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, by leading the patriarchal delegation that participated in the Consecration of the Cathedral. He spoke of the remarkable progress of the Russian Orthodox Church and congratulated Patriarch Alexy for his leadership. Finally, as the Archbishop presented a commemorative plate to the cathedral dean in honor of the occasion, he reminded the faithful, who are fully aware of the symbolic value of the rebirth of Christ the Savior, that “whatever the
Archbishop Demetrios and others in the delegation meet with members of the Duma (Russian parliament). Directly across from His Eminence is Kiubov K. Sliska, the deputy chairman of the state Duma and the third highest-ranking member of parliament.
The Archbishop and the other hierarchs with nursing students and staff of the Central Hospital.
obstacle, whatever the challenge, whatever the difficulty, in the end, the words on this Plate ‘IC XC NIKA’ are the final witness: Jesus Christ Conquers!” As the faithful followed the translation and heard this final praise to God for the miracle of the rebirth of the Russian Orthodox Church, as one body they bowed their heads and made the sign of the cross. Then, as the choir sang “Eis Polla Eti” the Archbishop blessed the congregation and, with the entire delegation, received a private tour of the cathedral. That afternoon, Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, head of External Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate who had sent the written invitation to Archbishop Demetrios, hosted a luncheon for delegation members. The invitation had been conveyed in person to the Archbishop by Bishop Mercurius of Zaraisk, the administrator of the parishes of the Moscow Patriarchate in the United States. Also in attendance from the Russian Orthodox Church were Bishop Mark of Egorievsk, the vice-chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Holy Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate, and Protopresbyter Nikolai Balashov, both of whom had welcomed the Archdiocese delegation upon their arrival at the airport and later accompanied them to the Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra. The group visited several religious and philanthropic institutions in Moscow and held official talks and dialogues with representatives of the Russian Church. Archbishop Demetrios also had a private audience with Patriarch Alexy. Received at State Duma The delegation was received at the State Duma of the Russian Federation on May 26. Before the official visit to the parliament, the Archbishop, accompanied by officials of the Moscow Patriarchate, visited the Central Hospital of the Moscow Patriarchate, a philanthropic institution restored to Church ownership only in the last decade. The Archbishop and delegation were received at the gate of the hospital grounds by administrators and the spiritual father of the institution, Archpriest Arcady. The clergy escorted the delegation to the main chapel, dedicated to St. Alexy of Moscow, where over 100 high school pre-nursing students of the reestablished “Sisters of Mercy” were awaiting the Archbishop with flowers and hymns. As they lifted their voices in singing “Christ is Risen” (“Christos Voskrese”), prayers of thanksgiving were offered. Fr. Arcady officially welcomed the Archbishop and delegation on behalf of the doctors, nurses and administration of the hospital. The Archbishop introduced the members of the delegation one by one, saving for last Mrs. Skeadas, who made a presentation of $25,000 to the hospital on behalf of the National Philoptochos. In her remarks, Mrs. Skeadas gave greetings on behalf of the more than 27,000 women of Philoptochos. Offering in her address these words of explanation of the purpose of the organization to the very attentive young women of the “Sisters of Mercy” high school program, she said: “The women of Philoptochos aspire to their mission and honor their devotion to our Risen Lord by using their faith, gifts, abilities, compassion and love to improve their families, their Orthodox communities, contemporary society and the world.” Following the presentation of the Philoptochos gift to the hospital, the more
HC-HC Receives $5 Million Gift at 66th Commencement $5 Million Gift from Great Benefactors by Stavros H. Papagermanos
Holy Cross School of Theology graduates with Archbishop Demetrios, Metropolitans Methodios, Alexios and Gerasimos and school ofﬁcials.
Hellenic College graduates with the hierachs and school ofﬁcials.
MAY 2008 GRADUATES
The following is the list of graduates for 2008 for Holy Cross and Hellenic College, along with their degree or area of study and hometown or home country.
HOLY CROSS Master of Theological Studies Karim Bishay, Egypt; Jessee Githui, Kenya; Daniel W. Habib, San Dimas, Calif; Gregory C. Kearns, Baltimore; Rev. Nikolaos Pelekoudas, Lynn, Mass; Djordje N. Petrovic, Serbia; Donna Marie Rizk, Northridge, Calif; Julieta Roz, Romania; Eva Stathi, Albania; and Theodore A. Theodorou, Tucson, Ariz. Master of Theology Teodor Anastasoaie, Rev. Ioan Bociu, Marinel Marcu, and Tudor Constantin Sambeteanu, all of Romania; Richard Fillon, Hingham, Mass; Bobby Junes, Richmond, Va. Master of Divinity Nikolaos H. Bekris, Seattle; Dn. Matthew Carter, Pensacola, Fla; John Daly, Grand Rapids, Mich; Jessica Mary D’Angio, Allston, Mass. Tyrone Emery, Haleiwa, Hawaii; Dn. David Eynon, Champaign, Ill; Gaby Gadah, Sarasota, Fla; Demetrios C. Golfos, Mobile, Ala; Dn. Panagiotis Hanley*, Denver; Rev. Athanasios Haros, Englewood, Colo; Dan Hoarste, Dearborn Heights, Mich. Dn. Jason Krokos, Ridgeland, Miss; Vladimir George Lange, Kansas City, Mo; Paul R. Lundberg, Jamestown, N.C; Nicholas D. March, Paxton, Ill; Nicholas Marcus*, Farmington, Mich; Rev. Paul Matar, Montreal, Canada; Dn. Thomas L. Newlin, Jr., Friendswood, Texas; Louis Nicholas, Corum, N.Y; Rev. Christodoulos Papadeas, Denver.
Dino Angelo Pappas, Portsmouth, N.H; Theodore Charles Roupas, Chapel Hill, N.C; Sophia Sapokolos, Astoria, N.Y; George Tomczewski, Bel Air, Md; and Nikolaos Tsimalis, Lake Station, Ind. *Requirements to be completed by December 2008. HELLENIC COLLEGE Bachelor of Arts George F. Athanasiou, Religious Studies, Pittsburgh; Eleftherios Constantine, Religious Studies, Leo, Ind; Michael A. Gavrilos, Religious Studies, New Kensington, Pa; Georges Giavris, Religious Studies, Elmhurst, Ill; Christina Gilbert, Human Development, Herrinan, Utah. Nicole M. Hillas, Religious Studies, Sandy, Utah; Andrew Mark Horvath, Religious Studies, Holmdel, N.J; Perikles D. Kallis, Religious Studies, Livonia, Mich; Stephanie M. Kallis, Religious Studies, Livonia, Mich. Demetrios M. Kazakis, Religious Studies, Syracuse, N.Y; Panayotis F. League, Classics, Clifton, Va; Vasilios Louros, Religious Studies, East Meadow, N.Y. Panteleimon I. Maillis, Religious Studies, Campbell, Ohio; Photios C. Meirthew*, Religious Studies, Ft. Wayne, Ind; Andreas Michaelides, Religious Studies, Nesconset, NY; Tatiana Morosan*, Elementary Education, Romania. Andonios C. Prayannis, Religious Studies, Tulsa, Okla; Dimitra Strimpakou*, Elementary Education, Greece; Lavinia C. Suciu, Elementary Education, Romania; Lorena Vangjeli, Management & Leadership, Albania; and Cassandra Zitzloff, Human Development, Minnetonka, Minn. *Requirements to be completed by December 2008.
BROOKLINE, Mass. – The highest–ever single gift to Hellenic College-Holy Cross School of Theology, made by Michael and Mary Jaharis, will endow a Chair for the Study of the New Testament that will be named in honor of Archbishop Demetrios, and also will fund the Institute for Byzantine Arts and Culture to focus on five key areas of interest and research: Byzantine Iconography, Byzantine Artifacts, Byzantine Architecture, Byzantine Literature and Byzantine Music Archbishop Demetrios, deeply moved by the Jaharis’ generosity, said it was “a great and historical day in the life of the School.” Mr. Jaharis, the vice-chairman of the Archdiocesan Council and his wife, Mary, were this year’s honorees and Hellenic College-Holy Cross conferred upon them honorary Doctorates of Humanities. The announcement of this great gift of Mr. and Mrs. Jaharis was a very moving and joyous surprise for everyone in attendance. Mrs. Jaharis in accepting her honorary doctorate announced the gift of $5 million to HC/HC “in appreciation for and recognition of the outstanding work that this School does in preserving and promoting Orthodoxy and Hellenism.” Mrs. Jaharis continued, “It is our hope that the institute will be a great resource for the school as well as a premier research center for national and international academic and intellectual exchanges and cultural programs related to the beautiful and interesting arts of the Byzantine era.” Archbishop Demetrios on behalf of all expressed heartfelt gratitude for the gift and proposed that the institute be named in honor of Mrs. Mary Jaharis. His proposal was accepted with enthusiastic applause by the audience and deep emotions by Mrs. Jaharis. The Archbishop called the donation “a catalyst for the future of the School,” a catalyst which opens wide avenues of progress for this key institution of higher learning of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese. Mr. Jaharis delivered the commencement address and in thanking HC/HC said he was “truly honored and touched for the tribute of an honorary doctorate.” Speaking of HC/ HC, Mr. Jaharis said that “for over 70 years as a seminary and over 40 as a liberal arts college, it has been and still is a place of spiritual and academic enlightenment for talented young people wishing to dedicate their service to the Lord and His Church and to the members of our Orthodox Christian community.” Mr. Jaharis also spoke of the very important value he places on the priests of today and the future: “The progress – and very existence – of our community and culture rests on our clergy as we advance into the 21st century,” he said. Among those present in the commencement ceremony were Metropolitans Maximos of Pittsburgh, Methodios of Boston and Gerasimos of San Francisco, Bishops Savas of Troas, Elias of Philomelion and Anthimos of Olympos.
page 1 Cross - are now completing.” Christine Karavites and Valerie Roumeliotes, representing the National Philoptochos Society, greeted those in attendance and announced a gift of more than $40,000 for the school. The valedictory addresses were given by Nicholas March for Holy Cross and Lorena Vangjeli for Hellenic College. Ms. Vangieli told her classmates, “Do good and achieve greatness for others, and for God! Then it is true greatness that will shine forth from you and that you will be remembered by.” Mr. Jaharis gave the commencement address and told the graduates, “In many ways you, the graduates of HC-HC, will be the ambassadors of Orthodoxy and Hellenism, preserving our legacy, our faith and values to our community, to future generations, and to people of other cultural and religious backgrounds. In addition, you will be assistants to and builders of the various ministries of the Church.” Earlier in the week the Alumni Association honored the classes of 1958 and 1983 and dedicated a memorial wall, adjacent to the chapel. The commencement ceremony brings to a close the 70th year of Holy Cross and begins the 40th anniversary celebration of Hellenic College. Others in attendance were the vice-consul of the Greek Consulate of Boston, Katherine Economou-Demeter, HCHC Board Vice Chairman Dr. Thomas Lelon, Dean Lily Macrakis of Hellenic College and Fr. Thomas FitzGerald, dean of Holy Cross, and professors at the school.
The Voice of
DETROIT METROPOLIS Holds Retreat and Area Meeting
With honoree, (front row, l to r) Katherine Kotsis’ mother Penelope Williams, and Eleni Zaferes, metropolis president. (Back Row) Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Kotsis, Fr. Nick Kotsis, Metropolitan Nicholas of Detroit , Katherine and Dr. Harry Kotsis and Mr. and Mrs. Damion Kotsis.
SPRINGFIELD, Ohio – The Springfield chapter hosted a Lenten retreat and area meeting in April under the theme “One Thing is Needful.” Metropolitan Nicholas opened the retreat, with Fr. William Cassis of Cincinnati assisting. Frs. Mark Emroll of Dayton and Andrew Walsh of Springfield served as retreat leaders. They related the story of Martha and Mary and their relationship to Christ and encouraged the women to be like Martha, always ready to help, but also like Mary and become closer to
Christ and God. Metropolitan Nicholas also spoke on the topic. Metropolis President Eleni Zeferis, recognized the chapter members for their efforts and acknowledged those who attended from Dayton, Middletown, Cincinnati and Lexington, Ky. A light Lenten luncheon was served to emulate the Empty Bowls event held by Wittenberg University art students. The Springfield Philoptochos serves as a major sponsor for this event with proceeds benefiting the Second Harvest Food Bank.
Past Metropolis President Honored Metropolis of San Francisco Hosts Kids ‘N’ Cancer Ministry Fundraiser
The Metropolis of Detroit Philoptochos along with St. John the Baptist Philoptochos of Sterling Heights, Mich. hosted a luncheon in May honoring past President Katherine Kotsis. More than 75 guests from across the Metropolis attended including Metropolitan Nicholas, Katherine’s husband, Harry; mother, Penelope Williams, and sons with their families. Many tributes were given to Katherine for her dedicated service to the Church and the Philoptochos. Metropolis Philoptochos President Eleni Zaferes stated that during Mrs. Kotsis’ term from 2001-07, she found the time to see three of her four sons marry; host the ordination of her son
Fr. Nick Kotsis of Ann Arbor, Mich.; witness the birth of grandchildren who she now baby sits and teach Sunday School at St. John’s Church. Metropolitan Nicholas thanked Katherine for her dedication and love of her Church and Philoptochos. He told the attendees that Philoptochos in the Metropolis of Detroit is stronger due to Katherine’s leadership. Katherine has been a member of National Philoptochos, served as chairman for a luncheon honoring Patriarch Bartholomew during his visit to Detroit, co-chairman of the Children’s Medical Fund Luncheon in 2003 and co-chairman of the 2006 National Philoptochos Biennial Convention in Nashville.
National Philoptochos Revamps Website National President Georgia Skeadas has announced the newly revamped website for the National Philoptochos Society available at www.philoptochos.org or by accessing Philoptochos under the Ministry and Outreach tab of the Archdiocese website www.goarch.org. The website serves to increase local, national and international awareness of the scope of the Society’s charitable work and functions as a resource for the 28,000 members in 480 Philoptochos chapters throughout the nation. New features include a “Chapter President’s Alert” with content links to the latest news and announcements. Current information is available about the National Philoptochos Society and its numerous national committees and broad level of commitments to myriad national and international ministries. The Ministry and Outreach section contains descriptions of commitments, programs and projects including a list of charitable donations totaling $8,530,419.00 for the period of Jan. 1, 2002 to Dec. 31, 2007. A key feature is a direct link to the Social Services Department that contains an important Resource Information Database, articles and guidebooks to educate and inform
chapters and those seeking assistance. President Skeadas acknowledges the tremendous work of the public relations Co-Chairs Barbara Pasalis and Christine Karavites and their committee in launching the website, the enormous contribution of Nick Sialmas, president of St. Nicholas parish in Newburgh, N.Y., who provided his expertise to create the new website and the continued support of the Archdiocese Office of Internet Ministries. New Directory of Services National President Georgia Skeadas recently announced the publication of the Directory of Services for Older Adults whose objective is to help educate and support older adults, family members, caregivers, professionals and the Greek community-at-large. The directory was developed by the Aging Subcommittee of the Department of Social Services under the leadership of the co-chairmen, Helen Misthos and Paulette Geannacopoulos, LMSW. The directory was researched and authored by Diamond PrassakosDelagrammatikas, social worker for the National Philoptochos Office. Look for the directory on the National Philoptochos Website: www.philoptochos.org.
IMPORTANT 2008 NATIONAL CONVENTION DEADLINES Registration: Delegates must complete registration forms and send immediately to the National Office. Registration forms are available to download on the National Philoptochos website: www. philoptochos.org Resolutions: Philoptochos members have the opportunity to submit resolutions for consideration by the Convention Resolutions Committee. All resolutions must adhere to the guidelines for preparing a resolution as described in Roberts Rules of Order Newly Revised, 2000, 10th
Edition. Deadline for resolutions to be submitted in writing is on or before July 1, 2008. Resolutions should be sent to the National Office. Sponsorships: Philoptochos members and friends wishing to participate in sponsorship of the National Convention may send their donations to the National Office. Registration forms, Resolutions and Sponsorships should be sent to the National Philoptochos Office at 345 E. 74th Street, NY, NY 10021.
BEL AIRE, Calif. – The Metropolis of San Francisco Philoptochos held its annual Kids ‘n’ Cancer Camp Agape garden reception May 4 at the home of Dr. Anthony and Sophie Mastor. The Kids ‘n’ Cancer Ministry provides summer camp experiences for children with cancer or other lifethreatening diseases and their entire families. Camp Agape gives these courageous children opportunities for fun, learning, and building self-esteem and confidence, in a safe environment, away from hospitals and doctors’ offices. Hundreds of families, regardless of ethnic background, have participated in the Camp Agape experience. Metropolitan Gerasimos attended the reception and accepted generous donations from Metropolis chapters and individuals that reached $250,000. Through the commitment of Metropolis President Valerie Roumeliotes, event Chairman Jeannie Ranglas, and their committee, it was a success. Five hundred guests were emotionally moved as they listened to a family whose young daughter is bravely fighting leukemia, and whose lives were
touched by a “life-changing” weekend at Camp Agape. What awaited them at Camp Agape was far more than they could have imagined. The pain this family experienced each day was left behind, and in its place this mother and father again experienced the joy of watching their young daughter running and playing with her sister, and experiencing childhood delights in every camp activity. Even taking her evening chemotherapy was done without protest, in anticipation of the excitement the next day at Camp Agape would bring. Although this family attended Camp Agape nearly a year ago, they continue to carry in their hearts the love and support they received at Camp Agape. The Kids ‘n’ Cancer Camp Agape Ministry of the Metropolis Philoptochos began in 1990 at the St. Nicholas Ranch in Dunlap, Calif. and has grown from a single camp to include five camps in San Diego and central California, Portland, Oregon, Seattle and Lakeside, Ariz. For more information regarding this important ministry, visit the website at www.kidsncancer.org. or call 415.431.2600.
St. Sophia Cathedral Philoptochos in Los Angeles recently held a fashion show and honored their “Mother of the Year” for 2008. Shown with the the luncheon and fashion show committee members are Fr. John Bakas, cathedral dean, Mother of the Year Constance Desby Cooper (to the left of Father) and chapter President Dina Skouras Oldknow (to the right of the priest).
Living the Mission BROOKLYN, N.Y. – The Philoptochos Benevolent Group of Holy Cross Church exemplifies the Philoptochos mission and stewardship in its many deeds. Most recently, when a parish member Anastasia Paros, 86, passed away, she had no relatives to take her body and make arrangements for her funeral. When chapter President Helen Psarras, learned the circumstances, she immediately sought financial support to cover the funeral costs. Local merchants assisted with flowers
and the makaria luncheon. The Very Rev. Gerasimos Makris, proistamenos, presided at the funeral attended by 11 persons, mostly Philoptochos ladies including Anna Zacharatos, Philoptochos president of the neighboring Brooklyn Koimisis parish who was moved by the kind gesture of her sister chapter. Individual members, chapters, and the National Philoptochos are poised to respond to those most in need, whether it is a national disaster or a loving gesture for a single individual.
Clergy-Laity Congress Preview Several Programs Planned for Clergy at C-L Congress WASHINGTON – Clergy of the Archdiocese will gather at the 39th biennial Clergy Laity Congress July 14-18 for an activity-filled week of programs based on the general theme “Gather My People to My Home.” The week’s events will include clergy marriage workshops on July 15 and 16, a Clergy Family Appreciation Dinner on July 16; and a breakfast with Archbishop Demetrios on July 18. The breakfast will feature the introduction of the Archdiocesan Presbyters Council and members of the Benefits Committee to the attendees. The week will also include clergy benefits information sessions, clergy syndesmos meetings, and special events and reunions for the retired clergy. Overall theme of the clergy marriage workshops is “Attending to our Marriages as Clergy Couples.” The titles of the presentations and the speakers are: “Slip-Sliding Away from Marital Oneness” presented by Fr.
Charles Joannides; “Love’s Container: Understanding and Moving Beyond Inevitable Conflicts, Disconnections, and Disappointments in Marriage” presented by Dr. George Stavros; “Balancing Family and Ministry as the Sacrament of (Clergy) Marriage” presented by Dr. Philip Mamalakis; and “Sacred Image, Sacred Marriage: Living the Images of Marriage Given to Us,” presented by Kerry Pappas. All clergy family members are invited to the clergy family appreciation dinner (Wednesday evening), whether registered or not. The clergy family child care program is available for clergy family children from 5-12 years old. The weekly fee per child is $100 if booked before June 11; $200 if booked from June 12-June 20; and $300 if booked after June 21 and for walk-ins. For additional information and a registration form please visit the NSP website or contact Flora Moraitis at (631) 470-1374 or PresFloraM@oponline.net
Embassy Luncheon Among Highlights of Presbyteres’ Activities WASHINGTON – The National Sisterhood of Presvyteres (NSP) will also convene at the Marriott for the Congress, July 14-18. The NSP Board and the Direct Archdiocesan District presbyteres are planning a week filled with Congress-themed programs based on “Gather My People to My Home.” The conference registration fee for presbyteres is $400 ($100 if retired or widowed). The week’s events will include an ice–breaker and tea on July 14; clergy marriage workshops on July 15 and 16; a luncheon at the Greek embassy on July 16; and a clergy family appreciation dinner July 16. Throughout the week the NSP will conduct business of importance to the entire National Sisterhood, as well as sharing and learning from each other. Nominations and elections for the 2008-2010 Executive Board also will be held. The overall theme of the Clergy Marriage Workshops is “Attending to our Marriages as Clergy Couples. (See above story for specific presentations.) Two very important information sessions to be presented during the week will be by Fr. Michael Kontogiorgis, who
will speak about clergy taxes and Fr. James Rousakis, who will speak about clergy benefits. All presbyteres are invited to attend the NSP meetings, the Monday ice–breaker and tea, the clergy marriage workshops and the clergy family appreciation dinner whether registered or not. If not registered, presbyteres may purchase tickets for $20 to attend the lunch at the Greek embassy on Wednesday afternoon. Tickets for the luncheon must be purchased in advance and no tickets will be available after June 12. The names of all presbyteres attending the luncheon must be submitted to the embassy prior to the event. The Clergy Family Child Care program is available for clergy family children from 5-12 years old. The weekly fee per child is $100 per if booked before June 11; $200 if booked from June 12-June 20; and $300 if booked after June 21 and for walk ins. For additional information and a registration form please visit the NSP website or contact Flora Moraitis at (631) 470-1374 or PresFloraM@oponline.net. For additional information about the National Sisterhood of Presvyteres, visit the NSP website at www.nsp.goarch.org
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Clergy-Laity Congress Preview 2008 National Philoptochos Convention LOOKING FORWARD “The Future Is Something We Create Not Something We Enter” In keeping with the 2008 National Philoptochos Convention theme: Looking Forward, “The Future Is Something We Create Not Something We Enter”, the Convention Program has been designed as a unique forum for Looking Forward to the future Philoptochos – a new vision – a new spirit – a new day – a new opportunity. Together the delegates will create a blueprint for the future of Philoptochos and its philanthropic work, beginning the next great chapter in Philoptochos history. Convention Highlights Convention General Assemblies will convene Sunday through Thursday and are filled with high quality content and interaction to maximize the opportunity for building relationships across the Philoptochos Society. Business includes Budget Review, By Laws Review, Resolutions, Newly Revamped Philoptochos Website, Chapter Awards Presentations, Chapter Challenge Program Announcements and reports on National Commitments including: The Ecumenical Patriarchate, St. Basil Academy, Orthodox Christian Mission Center and Hellenic College/Holy Cross School of Theology.. The Standards of Excellence Institute and its subsidiary, the Maryland Association of Nonprofit Organizations, a team
of experienced professionals dedicated to improving the operation and management of nonprofit groups like Philoptochos, will facilitate interactive roundtable discussion groups. Two of their experts will speak on the topics of compassionate giving, effective fundraising and membership. This innovative program will educate and guide Philoptochos members at all levels. The Philoptochos Banquet theme “Promoting Children’s Literacy” features former Assistant Secretary of State Barbara Spyridon Pope as toastmistress. The evening celebrates Philoptochos accomplishments and will honor one outstanding woman of the Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society from the Direct Archdiocesan District and each Metropolis with the newly established AGAPE Award that symbolizes All Generations Accomplishing Philanthropic Endeavors. The festive centerpieces comprised of children’s books will be donated to Washington inner-city schools. The cultural experience of being in the nation’s capital and the camaraderie and fellowship of the convention and the Clergy Laity Congress attendees all make for a wonderful week with members energized to return to their chapter with a renewed commitment to the future Philoptochos.
National Forum of Greek Orthodox Church Musicians During the Congress, the official Archdiocesan ministry for church music – the National Forum of Greek Orthodox Church Musicians – will also meet. Each of the Metropolis Church Music Federations will send a delegation comprising the governing body of the National Forum. In addition, church musicians and clergy who are stewards of the National Forum will participate in the deliberations. Several events will highlight the participation of the National Forum in Washington. On Sunday evening, the church musicians will host Archbishop Demetrios, the other hierarchs of the Archdiocese, and other national, Metropolis, and parish leaders who have been supporters of Church music at the reception, where the recipient of the 2008 St. Romanos Medallion for Exemplary Archdiocesan Service in Church Music will be announced. Members of the National Forum will also present a church music workshop on Tuesday afternoon of the Congress. Entitled “Gather the Youth: Ideas for Youth Music Programs for Your Parishes,” the workshop will feature a panel of church musicians describing various ways that parishes can use hymnology to teach young people about the Orthodox faith and to encourage their participation in our services. Examples of common congregational hymns in English for use with youth and other congregation members will also be shared. National Forum’s deliberations during their business meetings will focus on several areas: choir development and choir director training programs, liturgical music
for youth, teaching of Byzantine chant, and assistance to clergy and parishes. The progress of current projects in these areas will be reviewed and direction set for the next biennium. Another major agenda item will be planning for the Leadership 100 grant recently awarded to the National Forum - “Enhancing the Music Ministry of our Parishes” and the 2009 National Church Music Institute that will be held at Holy Cross School of Theology in cooperation with the Archdiocese Department of Religious Education. Other issues to be discussed include choir member recruitment, development, and retention, chanter training, “Oloi Mazi” hymns in English for congregational singing, new music compositions, youth involvement, and more. Administrative committees will review National Forum publications, finances, public relations, administration, stewardship, and awards for church musicians. At their annual meeting, the National Forum has traditionally invited members of the Eparchial Synod to address the gathering as well as Archdiocese department heads and faculty from Holy Cross. In addition, Forum members interact with the National Sisterhood of Presvyteres, the Archdiocese Presbyters Council, and the Philoptochos. Some National Forum members will join the chanters and choir of St. Sophia Cathedral for Sunday’s Orthros and Divine Liturgy, led by Stelios Kontakiotis, chanter and choir director at the Cathedral and Byzantine music arranger.
“Gather My People to My Home” page 3 portantly to Christ in our homes, workplaces, and communities? Do we labor through prayer and study to understand the relevance of our faith to all aspects of our lives? These are very direct and critical questions that we must ask if we are to affirm the priority of bringing others into the Church. First, our willingness and efforts to reach out to others is dependent on the role of faith in our lives. Faith is not just something we celebrate in the Holy Sacraments and Divine Services. It is essential to understanding who we are and our purpose for being. Faith nurtures our relationship with God and assures us of our salvation, and it is in this relationship that we are guided in truth. We trust God to lead us through the challenges of this world and in the decisions that we must make. Through our faith in Him, we experience renewal and healing when we struggle or fall. We are blessed with joy when goodness and mercy prevail. We are continuously transformed as the divine image is restored within us and we are prepared for eternal life. Second, when our lives are centered on our faith in God, our attitudes and lifestyles will change. Our love for God, our desire for worship and prayer, and our concern for the needs of others will grow. We will know the Church as our home, because we will cherish each and every opportunity to gather for worship, fellowship, and ministry. Our hearts will be lifted up and our lives inspired through the services; with love in Christ we will long to see and embrace our brothers and sisters who are sharing in this journey of faith; and as a family of faith in the home of God, we will discuss and establish means of ministry to make the Church the spiritual home for all. Finally, when we know and experience the Church as our spiritual home we must also examine how we connect our lives, our faith, and the Church to others. With all of the challenges and demands upon our lives, it is possible to leave the Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning and proceed through the week without any thought of how our lives offer a witness of our faith. This is why daily prayer, reading the Holy Scriptures, and thought about the presence of Christ in our lives are so critical. As the Apostles and the Saints, and many blessed people down through the centuries, we may be the person who can bring hope to the life of another. When our words and actions reflect a godly love of human beings who are created in the divine image, when we choose the good and just, when we are merciful and kind, patient and forgiving, others will see Christ in us. Also, they will long to know the strength, joy and peace that we have in our lives. When this connection is made, we are able to lead a weary soul in need of God’s love and healing into His home. As we near the convening of the ClergyLaity Congress let us think clearly and deeply about the focus and purpose of all that we do as Orthodox Christians and parishes. Let us commit ourselves to a mission of gathering and bringing people home. To do this, each and every aspect of our lives and ministries must offer a witness of the power of faith. For this sacred work we will receive the tremendous blessing of sharing life in the kingdom of God with those who have come home.
Witnessing IOCC’s Compassion in Action CHICAGO – Andrew A. Athens, co-founder of the International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) accompanied by his wife, Louise, visited the regions of the Peloponnese in mid-April damaged by the wildfires in Greece last summer. Mr. Athens was invited by IOCC and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America to view the progress they have made in rebuilding and renewing life in Greece after the fires. Mr. Athens served for 25 years as chairman of the Archdiocesan Council and in addition to being a co-founder of IOCC, he served as its second president. Throughout IOCC’s 16-year history, Mr. Athens has been an ardent supporter. During their three-day visit, April 13-15, Mr. and Mrs. Athens visited the prefectures of Ileia and Arcadia, meeting first with Metropolitan Germanos of Ileia. His Eminence expressed his gratitude and congratulations to IOCC for the tremendous amount of aid they have delivered. He also commended Mr. Athens for his humanitarian service throughout his life and in particular in the founding of “hellenicare” to help Hellenes living outside of Greece. In the Prefecture of Ileia there was a loss of 45 human lives and 20,000 animals with more than 3 million olive trees, 200,000 fruit trees and 10 million square meters of vineyards destroyed. IOCC has established eight distribution centers in the area. Mr. Athens visited the distribution site in Krestena, Ileia, witnessing the deliveries of animal feed to local farmers. He met with the Prefect of Ileia, Haralambos Kafiras who expressed his appreciation to IOCC and the Archdiocese for their immediate response. He emphasized that IOCC was one of the very few organizations that immediately came to Ileia’s aid. Mr.
Athens also had an opportunity to meet with the director of the Department of Agriculture of Ileia, Mr. Christodulopulos. “Louise and I are deeply moved by what has happened to this region of our beloved Greece,” said Andrew A. Athens. We are elated at the progress that is being made thanks to the efforts of IOCC. With continued support the area will be revitalized surpassing what it once was,” continued Mr. Athens In the town of Zaharo, Mr. Athens met with Mayor Pantasis Hronopoulos, who thanked all the Orthodox people of America for their support. He appealed to Mr. Athens to carry back the message that long-term development projects were needed to rebuild the region. Mr. and Mrs. Athens visited the Church of Agios Panteleimon, which is under re-construction and had lunch at the village of Kakovatos, the birthplace of Mr. Athens’ father. Other areas that Mr. Athens visited were Leontari, Pyrgos, and Tripoli. On Tuesday, April 15, Mr. and Mrs. Athens met with the Metropolitan of Triopoli, Alexandros and the Prefect of Arcadia, Dimitrios Konstantopulos. Again, Mr. Athens witnessed IOCC’s compassion in action. Mr. and Mrs. Athens commend and congratulate IOCC for their tremendous work in these two Prefectures. “We extend our heartfelt thanks to Despina Katsivelaki, IOCC Country Representative and Demetri Djukic, program manager, for their untiring efforts to help the people of Ileia and Arcadia,” said Mr. Athens. Gratitude is also expressed to Archbishop Demetrios and to all the members of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America for their compassionate support in immediately establishing the Greek Fire Relief Fund. The Athens families, hellenicare and the United Hellenic American Congress (UHAC) were happy to give their generous support to the Archdiocesan Relief Fund.
What Does Christianity Do for Us? by Fr. William Gaines
It is a perfectly natural thing for us to try and appraise the spiritual, though we know it to be immeasurable and imponderable. We have the right to seek to discover whether this religion to which we give our fealty is worth our effort and concern. How often have we thought to ourselves: What does this religion of mine do for me and what good is this Christianity to me? After all, it ought to meet this test. It does not take us long to discover what science or modern medicine or the intricate economic processes of the world or music and art do for us. When we consider our religion, the answer is vague and uncertain. How many times do we hear others say: “My religion isn’t doing for me what it ought to do.” When I am bludgeoned by a terrible blow of grief, it ought to bring me peace of mind and comfort. When I am fearful and frantic in the midst of a world seemingly unaware of what is happening to me, it ought to bring assurance and serenity. When I am uncertain of myself and wonder if I can keep my convictions, it ought to make me confident and aggressive. When I am weak and powerless to resist life’s temptations piled in front of me, it should be strong enough to maintain my moral equilibrium. Now, if we want to appraise our religion to discover its true significance, we are posing the wrong questions when we ask only “What does it do for me?” Our Christianity proclaims a God who is a friend, the companion of our aspirations. Our God says “Not My will, but Thine be done” (Luke 22:42) he does not look upon God as one who is forever doing things for Him. He does not think of prayer as a series of petitions to obtain favors from a reluctant universe. He does not look upon God as a cosmic errand boy, eternally busy answering preemptory calls that come from
a demanding world. His companionship with God does things to him. It makes him the kind of person who seeks to be worthy of such companionship. What, then, may we say that Christianity does for us? Everyone is a symbol of something. Christianity makes us realize it. Each of us is an authentic representation of a quality in experience. One is a symbol of selfishness or generosity; another of concern with courage to stand by convictions honestly held; and others of triviality or intolerance. Christianity persuades us that such is the case and that life has more meaning than merely getting and spending and laying waste our powers. It persuades us that our contacts with one another may have significance. It insists that every experience has a right to stand up and demand justification for what we are. The life of Jesus reveals how possible it is to have human relationships achieve significance. We must see that our Christianity does something to our very being – to make us the sort of people who, when we meet another who is overwhelmed by grief, are of such quality that our very being means something; when we meet someone wobbling in his moral life; our presence gives assurance; who, when we find someone losing his morale, our very selves will give him power to face life boldly. Surely, our religion persuades us that our experience has significance. It reveals the inevitability of risk in the Christian experience. There is a prevailing fallacy that is characteristic of our thinking that life is spiritual when it is far removed from definite and recognizable social need. Christianity has always sought to persuade us that the element of risk and hurt is indispensable in the religious experience. Christianity ought to force us into a minority for the sake of some human hope. Can anything else be discovered in the stringent conditions that Jesus Christ lays down for discipleship? Fr. Gaines is a retired priest of the Archdiocese.
Clergy-Laity Congress Preview YAL Conference to Offer Spiritual, Cultural Events The 2008 National Young Adult Conference will take place this year from July 10-13, in Washington. This year’s conference will be held in conjunction with the 39th Biennial Clergy-Laity Congress at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel. “Doers of the Word” will be the theme for the weekend, with Rev. Dn. John Chryssavgis, noted author and theologian, as the featured keynote speaker. The weekend will kick off on Thursday night with a Chesapeake Bay Crab Feast at St. Katherine’s Church, in Falls Church, Va., featuring a deejay and a great meeting place for the participants. Workshops will be offered on Friday by noted Orthodox theologians and clergy from throughout our Archdiocese and will include the following titles: Your Role in the Church as a Young Adult: How To Be Doers of the Word; Dating and Marriage as an Orthodox Christian; Facing Atheism and Door Knocker Denominations: How to Respond; ABC’s of Orthodoxy/Combining Large T’s and Small T’s. In the afternoon an open forum will take place with Archbishop Demetrios. That evening the group will enjoy an exciting Greek Night Out in Northwest Washington. Saturday will feature a hierarchical brunch with guest speakers, as well
as a “hands-on” outreach project at Marvin Gaye Park, giving participants a chance to actively become “Doers of the Word.” In the afternoon, Archbishop Demetrios will place a wreath and lead a Trisagion memorial service for our fallen heroes at Arlington National Cemetery. A semi-formal dinner dance featuring live music by Apollonia will take place Saturday night at the Clarendon Ballroom in Arlington, Va. The Orthros and Hierarchal Divine Liturgy on Sunday will be celebrated at St. Sophia Cathedral, where there will be reserved seats for conference attendees. Sunday afternoon will give participants an opportunity to sightsee in the culturally and historically rich city of Washington. The final event of the weekend on Sunday evening will feature a late night Farewell Cocktail Cruise on the Potomac River. YAL is a ministry for young adults in our church ages 18 to 35. Online registration, conference schedule, and additional information are available at www.yal2008. org, or by contacting the Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries at 646-519-6180. Register before July 1 to receive the $199 rate, or after July 1 to receive the walk-in rate of $250.
Retired Clergy Association to Meet During Congress by Fr. Nicholas Soteropoulos
Once again the Retired Clergy and the Widowed Presbyteres are afforded the opportunity to gather together, to share fellowship, to offer from our vast experience our opinions for a better future for our Church. As president of the Retired Clergy Association I would like on their behalf to offer our prayers and best wishes for a successful Congress. I look forward to seeing and talking with all our Members and with all the Congress delegates and Philoptochos representatives. At this Congress the retirees will celebrate two important events. The 70th anniversary of Pomfret and the 20th anniversary of our association. We have planned a special gathering on Wednesday, July 16, at 8 p.m. in the Hoover Room and all are invited. The next day at the breakfast, we will commemorate all who served our
school, its graduates, its professors and all those who organized and served our Association. At this breakfast we will report on the progress of our Association, our future plans, the “Epistle” and other important issues. We have invited five speakers, who will address us.
THE RCA SCHEDULE AT THE CLERGY- LAITY WEDNESDAY, JULY 16 Noon - 5:00 p.m. Retired Clergy Executive Committee Capital Boardroom 8:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Pomfret/Retired Clergy Anniversary Events - Hoover THURSDAY, JULY 17 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Retired Clergy Breakfast Meeting - Delaware - A 6:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. Grand Banquet - Marriott Ballroom FRIDAY, JULY 18 9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. Clergy Breakfast with His Eminence - Marshall Ballroom
Ecumenical Patriarch Accepts Award at Woodrow Wilson Center page 4 dialogue and the spiritual health of the world’s citizens and acknowledged His All Holiness’ most recent appearance in Time Magazine’s issue of the World’s 100 Most Influential People in the category of Leaders and Revolutionaries. The Ecumenical Patriarch later made a two-day visit to Larissa in which he was made honorary citizen and presented with the city’s gold key by its mayor, who emphasized that the city is welcoming the head of the Orthodox Church for the first time in 18 centuries. The following morning, His All Holiness concelebrated the Divine Liturgy with Archbishop Ieronymos along with hierarchs and clergy of the Greek Orthodox Church for the Feast of St. Achillios.
At the end of his visit, Patriarch Bartholomew met with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on May 16, along with Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, who hosted a reception for the Patriarch at the Foreign Ministry, where she referred to the “new creative paths” in relations between the Church of Greece with the Ecumenical Patriarchate, as well as the “notable international initiatives” undertaken by the Ecumenical Patriarch. Additionally, the Greek foreign minister again emphasized Athens’ determination to continue to offer its “unreserved support” for the unhindered operation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the reopening of the Halki theological seminary.
Direct Archdiocesan District Education Head Attends Faith-Based Schools Meeting Direct Archdiocesan District Office of Education Director Maria Makedon, recently attended the White House Summit on Inner-City Children and Faith-Based Schools held in Washington in late April. She represented the New York City Greek Orthodox parochial day schools. President George Bush was the main speaker at the event, which drew 250 educators and officials of the religious and independent schools community and institutions of higher learning. U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings served as the moderator at the lunch plenary. The April 23-24 conference also featured four panel discussions with presentations from distinguished educators, religious and lay leaders of education, and government officials. All highlighted the importance of the faith-based schools and their great contribution to American society. In his speech, President Bush emphasized the No Child Left Behind Act, which was signed into law in 2002 and has since formed the nation’s education policy. The President stated that “…the future lies with faith-based schools, which offer solid academic foundation and moral character education” and pledged full support to the religious schools that “Despite their success, are closing down at an alarming pace.” He continued “The closing schools
have imparted a burden to public schools who are already failing! It is in the country’s interest to preserve these schools.” Commenting on her experience at the summit, Mrs. Makedon said, “The White House Summit on Inner-City Children and Faith-Based Schools highlighted the good work of faith-based schools. It was quite an experience. I was thrilled to see so many people who are passionate about our children’s education and believe that parents should be able to send their children to the schools of their choice.” She continued, “Faith-based urban schools have made a wonderful difference for students in this country. And the Greek Orthodox parochial day schools have done a similar job for the Greek American community offering a values-centered education and teaching our Faith.” Mrs. Makedon also said, “The Direct Archdiocesan District Office of Education has been advocating all along for the Greek Orthodox parochial day schools of New York City, and to hear President Bush saying ‘…the future lies with faithbased schools’ was both encouraging and reassuring of our efforts to assist and facilitate these schools as much and as best we can.” To learn more on the Summit, visit www.whitehouse.gov/infocus/education/ whschoolsummit
Metropolis of Boston Camp Benefit Golf Tournament Slated in Sept. BOSTON – The 8th annual golf tournament to benefit the Metropolis of Boston Camp will take place Monday, Sept. 8. Metropolitan Methodios recently met with committee members to plan the event for golfers at the Andover Country Club. The tournament will help continue the camp programs of the Metropolis. The theme for this year’s event will remain the
same, “For the Children.” Co-chairs of the 2008 Tournament--Drake Behrakis, John Dallas, John Gianakouras, George Frangiadakis and Costas Perdikakis---have appointed Drake Behrakis as general chairman. Brochures and additional information may be obtained by contacting Michael Sintros, director of the St. Methodios Faith & Heritage Center in Contoocook, N.H., at 603-545-7637.
New Boston Metropolis Chancellor Appointed BOSTON -- Metropolitan Methodios appointed the Rev. Theodore J. Barbas as the Metropolis of Boston chancellor effective June 1. Fr. Barbas succeeds Fr. Athanasios Demos who will assume new responsibilities in New York. Fr. Barbas graduated from Hellenic College in 1989 and from Holy Cross School of Theology in 1992. He served as the director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries for the Diocese of Boston for seven years, as well as camp director for the Boston Diocese Camp during the same period. Fr. Ted married Daphne (Zervoglos) in 1994. They have four children, Maria, Katerina, Yianni and Thea. He was ordained in March 1995 and served as deacon to Metropolitan Methodios until being ordained to
the Holy Priesthood in September 1996 at the Taxiarchae parish in Watertown.
Metropolis of Denver Adults, Youth Hear Tech Talk GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. – More than 100 persons attended a recent program on the uses and dangers of technology as part of the Metropolis of Denver Youth Seminar Series. The program was led by the Archdiocese Director of Internet Ministries, Theo Nicolakis, assisted by Fr. Vasileios Flagas of Denver’s Assumption of the Theotokos Cathedral and parishioner Cathy Huft of St. Catherine Church in Greenwood Village. The Philoptochos chapters of the two churches were co-sponsors. The presentation covered the Internet, cell phones, video phones, text messaging, I-pods, and video games. Mr. Nicolakis stressed that many more emerging technologies are yet to be invented which must be dealt with cautiously The audience included parents, grandparents, clergy, teachers, and youth workers. After the morning session, many were left saddened and angered by what they had learned.
One mother commented, “It’s so difficult being a Christian parent these days.” Another added, “I knew the kids could search out those sights if they tried. I just never knew that those sights hunt the kids down like prey!” Fr. Vasileios and Mrs. Huft guided the middle- and high school-aged young people in attendance through animated discussions. Fr. Vasileios focused on faith-based themes, while Mrs. Huft shared her practical knowledge about the legal complications that can befall those who misuse technologies. Fr. Vasileios used an engaging Spiderman movie theme where the main character is taken over by a black alien suit that attempts to intensify Spiderman’s inner passions. He ultimately turns to a church to rid himself of its powers. This scene serves as a parallel to our Christian journey to overcome impulses that tarnish our ability to grow in the image and likeness of God.
SEATTLE CHAPEL Service Parishioners of St. Demetrios Church gather for the annual Memorial Day service in the Greek Orthodox chapel at Evergreen-Washelli Cemetery, where Fr. Photios Dumont, proistamenos, blessed graves in the Orthodox section of the cemetery.
A record turnout of 160 young people from four Long Island, N.Y. parishes took part in the annual Pins for Pauly Bowl-a-thon in May to raise money for childhood leukemia. About $30,000 was raised. Since its founding seven years ago, the bowl-a-thon has raised nearly $200,000 that has helped 128 children from the United States and Greece. Parishes represented were St. Demetrios in Merrick, St. Nicholas in Babylon, St. Markella in Wantagh and Holy Trinity in Hicksville.
Participants in the New Jersey Clergy-Laity Assembly with Metropolitan Evangelos.
Metropolis of New Jersey Holds Clergy-Laity Assembly KENILWORTH, N.J. – The Clergy Laity Assembly and Philoptochos Convention of the Metropolis of New Jersey, held May 11-13 in Garfield, honored Metropolitan Evangelos for the fifth anniversary of his consecration and enthronement. The 2008 Clergy Laity Assembly coincided with the fifth celebration of His Eminence’s enthronement as the first Metropolitan of New Jersey. The festivities began with the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy celebrated by the Metropolitan at the Cathedral of St. John the Theologian in Tenafly. The Cathedral was also the site of the first Assembly event, held Sunday evening, which commenced with Great Vespers followed by an enjoyable family–style dinner. The official opening of the Assembly, under the chairmanship of Metropolitan Council Vice President James Fountas, took place May 12. Metropolitan Evangelos offered an inspirational Archpastoral Exhortation, expounding upon the theme of this year’s Assembly and offered personal reflection on the first five years of his Archpastorate. Addressing the need to reach out and bring back into the flock the unchurched, the Metropolitan remarked, “For we are all called to bear witness to the truth and to evangelize to the world; that despite the countless religions of convenience and quick-fix New-Age solutions offered to weary souls in the world today, our Orthodox faith, Church, traditions and, above all, our Lord Himself, is the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (Jn 14:6) Yet there are many in today’s contemporary society that do not believe that our Risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is the door to the Kingdom of Heaven and everlasting life. And this is our ongoing challenge, to answer those who ask, to reveal to those who seek, and to open to those who knock.” Metropolitan Evangelos further stated, “Our goal as a Church and Metropolis is to create a spiritual oasis for our people, to welcome them into our bosom as a loving mother does her child, and to lead
them to living fountains of waters. (Revelation 7:17) We must collectively strive, as a Church and as individuals, to continuously offer to our Orthodox faithful, and those ‘sheep’ seeking to become Orthodox, every possible spiritual aid and practical service, as Christ the tireless Shepherd has commanded us.” Highlighting a monumental achievement of his ministry and visibly moved with pride and emotion, His Eminence declared, “As I reflect on these last 5 years since my Enthronement as Metropolitan of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of New Jersey, we have truly labored together to fulfill this year’s theme and desire of our Heavenly Father, that we all be one. On Sept. 26, 2007, our dream of acquiring our own Metropolis headquarters became a reality with the acquisition of our new offices in Westfield, N.J. This gift from God, has signified the beginning of a new era as well as opened the path for increased resources and capacity for our Holy Metropolis to operate and serve the spiritual and administrative needs of our parishes.” Two presentations were offered by Dr. Elias Patsavos, professor of Canon Law and director of Field Education at Holy Cross School of Theology on the theme “Welcoming the Unchurched: How the Church Ought to Be.” and “Welcoming the Unchurched: The Role of the Parish and the Parishioner.” Several presentations and workshops were held in the areas of stewardship, youth, Greek education and parish administration. This year’s Clergy Laity third annual awards banquet was attended by nearly 600 people, who came to pay tribute to this year’s Metropolis honorees and those of the northern New Jersey region communities. Metropolitan Evangelos presented each honoree with an icon/plaque of St. John Chrysostom, patron saint of the metropolis. The metroplitan also honored members of the Philoptochos and GOYA who were chosen for their service to their respective parishes.
The final day’s proceedings began with the Divine Liturgy followed by the plenary session and discussion of Metropolis finances. Delegates vowed to return to their communities and make a concerted effort to support the Metropolis financially to ensure the work of the Church may be accomplished fully and effectively. The Plenary concluded with two resolutions: commemorating Metropolitan Evangelos’ fifth anniversary of his consecration, and enthronement, and in support of the rights of the Ecumenical Patriarchate against ethnic and religious discrimination. The 2008 Honorees The Metropolis honored the following for their service to the Church: Holy Trinity Church, Westfield, N.J.: Kathryn Athanasoulas, Nicholas Chingas, Constantine Economides, Chris Karamanos, Notis Kotsolios, Anthony Papamarkos, Dr. Spyridon Spireas, Nicholas Tsapatsaris, and Demosthenes Vasiliou. GOYA honorees of the Northern New Jersey Region: George Banis, James
Barrett, Christopher Christodoulou, Philip Kamaratos, Charalambos Karamanos, Theodora Maravegias, Maria Mitsaelides, Themistocles Nissirios, Demetra Nyktas, Emmanuel Scoullos, Michael Teevan, Iordanis Tsakiridis, Eleftheria Tsatsos, George Vosinas, and Antigoni Zourzoukis Philoptochos honorees–Northern New Jersey Region: Paraskevi Argyrou, Mary Boulegeris, Theano Chatzopoulos, Panagiota Christopulos, Eleni Constantinides, Helen Coutros (In Memoriam), Elisa Demetropoulos, Nike Eftychiou, Mersini Ginis, Elaine Gregory, Zoi Kaldes, Chrystalla Kanakis, Grace Kartanos, Kaliopi Kesoglou, Cynthia Ladas, Eugenia Manuel Community honorees of the Northern New Jersey Region: Nicholas Astras, George Corniotes, Hope Demitry, Charles Gavaris, Chrystala Hatzimanolis, George Hristofidis, Theodoros Kastis, Agapios Kyritsis, Constantine Mariolis, Capt. Spyridon Moraitis, Nicholas Nichols, Constantina Panas, Michael Sakellakis, Catherine Sakellos, Konstantinos Schadas, and Homer Vanides.
Bridgeport Hosts Oratorical Festival BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Holy Trinity Church hosted the Direct Archdiocesan District’s 25th anniversary commemoration of the St. Chrysostom Oratorical Festival on May 17 with 12 participants giving speeches. The event was under the direction of Fr. Demetrios A. Recachinas, pastor and Archdiocese District chairman, and Co-Chair Eva Vaniotis. The following six juniors and six seniors spoke: Juniors: Alexandra Aiken, Sts. Constantine & Helen, West Nyack, NY; Eliza Allen, Church of Our Savior, Rye, N.Y.; Alyssa Conte, St. Paul Cathedral, Hempstead, George Coritsidis, ArchangelMichael Church, Roslyn Heights, N.Y.; Jordan Augustinos, St. George Cathedral, Hartford, Conn.; and Demetra Skenderis, Holy Trinity Church, Bridgeport. Seniors: Elianna Michaels, Sts. Con-
stantine & Helen Church, West Nyack, Georgia Stasinopoulos, Holy Trinity-St. Nicholas Church, Staten Island, N.Y.; Demitri Dedousis, Archangel-Michael. Church, Roslyn Heights, Matina Panagos, St. Nicholas Church, West Babylon, N.Y.; Leah Hallas, Holy Trinity Church, Bridgeport, and Alexander Tougas, St. George Cathedral, Hartford. Demetra Skenderis of Holy Trinity Church in Bridgeport represented the Junior Division and Alexander Tougas, St. George Cathedral in Hartford, represented the Senior Division for the Archdiocesan District at the National Oratorical Festival in Boston. Judges: Fr. Joel McEachen, Holy Trinity Church, Ansonia, Conn.; Fr. Michael Macura, St. John the Baptist Church, Stratford, Conn.; and Bridgeport parishioner Athan J. Metsopoulos
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The Archbishop Iakovos Leadership 100 Endowment Fund has a great deal to celebrate as it moves toward its 25th “Silver Anniversary” in 2009. The organization has grown from its inaugural 100 members to 760, with grants exceeding $26 million and total assets at $83 million. Fulfilled members also hit a record number of 348, approaching half the total membership. While the ultimate goal is to reach 1,000 members, a steady increase in truly committed men and women of Orthodox faith and Hellenic heritage is the real goal. Leadership 100 is unique. No other membership organization in our Church or in the Hellenic world brings together so varied a group of faithful with the main purpose of devoting themselves to true “philanthropia,” to do great works of charity, to recommit to the Church and to grow spiritually. As Greek Americans of the Orthodox faith grew in education, influence and income, Leadership 100 was there for them to express their values in new ways. Leadership 100 grants were responsible for beginning International Orthodox Christian Charities and the Orthodox Christian Mission Center and helped to more than double the enrollment of young men studying for the priesthood through scholarships at Holy Cross. Leadership 100 relieved the burden of clergy struggling with student loans or inadequate pensions or low income. Leadership 100 brought the Archdiocese into the 21st century with funding of its technology infrastructure, Internet Ministries and content management system. Leadership 100 has always supported Home Mission, Outreach and Evangelism, Youth Ministries, Greek Education and Christian Education, and recently has helped the Orthodox Christian Fellowship put an Orthodox presence on our college and university campuses. Now, Leadership 100 is expanding its scope by supporting the growing ministries of the Archdiocese. Throughout its history, Leadership 100 was aware that the very Faith and Heritage it espoused required a response to all human need in the world at large and marshaled financial and human support during the great tragedies of September 11 and Hurricane Katrina and when
earthquakes and forest fires devastated Greece. We are being called today to a Herculean effort to make our Faith and Heritage a more vibrant and present reality, especially to our youth. This will require phenomenal financial resources but, more importantly, the wisdom and learning that is our birthright and our gift to the world – the gift of civilization itself. Mindful of the next generation and its responsibility to teach true philanthropia and instill the values of our faith and heritage, Leadership 100 has begun the Leadership 100 Partners Program, encouraging young Greek American professionals to join at affordable levels as they progress in their careers. Leadership 100 now counts 55 Leadership 100 Partners. Leadership 100 Conferences continue to draw record numbers of attendees with programs promoting Orthodoxy and Hellenism. The 17th annual conference took place Feb. 14-17 in Palm Desert, Calif. and featured the awarding of the Leadership 100 Award for Excellence to longtime members, Theodore P. Angelopoulos and Ambassador Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, for their historic roles in promoting Greece and Hellenic culture through the organization of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. The 18th annual 25th Anniversary Conference will convene Feb. 5-8, 2009 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Leadership 100 will double its efforts as it “goes for the silver” and moves toward its 25th anniversary in 2009, with the aim of doubling our grants to our beloved Church and community over the next 25 years, reminding us all of our unique philanthropic responsibilities in supporting the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and contributing to the advancement of Orthodoxy and Hellenism in America into the 21st century. We urge those of you who are able, now or in the near future, to consider joining Leadership 100 and supporting this glorious and inspired mission to build a better world. Stephen G. Yeonas, chairman Constantine G. Caras, vice chairman George E. Safiol, treasurer Mark D. Stavropoulos, secretary Paulette Poulos, executive director (Interim)
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ΕΠΙΣΗΜΗ ΕΠΙΣΚΕΨΗ ΤΟΥ ΑΡΧΙΕΠΙΣΚΟΠΟΥ ΑΜΕΡΙΚΗΣ ΔΗΜΗΤΡΙΟΥ ΣΤΗ ΜΟΣΧΑ ΝΕΑ ΥΟΡΚΗ – Ο Σεβασμιώτατος Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής κ. Δημήτριος πραγματοποίησε μεταξύ 22-28 Μαΐου επίσημη επίσκεψη στη Ρωσία και συγκεκριμένα στο Πατριαρχείο Μόσχας ανταποκρινόμενος σε επίσημη πρόσκληση του Πατριάρχου Μόσχας Αλεξίου Β΄. Η πρώτη αυτή επίσημη επίσκεψη Αρχιεπισκόπου Αμερικής στην Εκκλησία της Ρωσίας πραγματοποιήθηκε μετά από πρόσκληση του Μακαριωτάτου Πατριάρχου Μόσχας και πάσης Ρωσίας Αλεξίου Β΄ η οποία διαβιβάστηκε τόσο από τον επίτροπο των ενοριών του Πατριαρχείου Μόσχας στις ΗΠΑ Θεοφιλέστατο Επίσκοπο Ζαραΐσκι κ. Μερκούριο, όσο και γραπτώς με επιστολή του Σεβασμιωτάτου Μητροπολίτου Σμόλενσκ και Καλίνινγκραντ κ. Κυρίλλου, επικεφαλής Εξωτερικών Σχέσεων του Πατριαρχείου Μόσχας. Ο Σεβασμιώτατος Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής κ. Δημήτριος αφίχθη στη Μόσχα το απόγευμα της Πέμπτης 22 Μαΐου και έτυχε επίσημης και ιδιαίτερα θερμής υποδοχής από τον αντιπρόεδρο Εξωτερικών Σχέσεων της Ιεράς Συνόδου του Πατριαρχείου Μόσχας Επίσκοπο Έγκοριεβσκ κ. Μάρκο και τον πρωτοπρεσβύτερο Νικόλαο Μπαλασόφ, γραμματέα Διορθόδοξων Σχέσεων οι οποίοι μετέφεραν το θερμό καλωσόρισμα του Πατριάρχου Αλεξίου. Στη συνέχεια ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριος και τα μέλη της συνοδείας του μετέβησαν στη Μονή Ντανιλόβσκι, στα όρια της οποίας περιλαμβάνεται η επίσημη κατοικία του Πατριάρχου, η έδρα του Τμήματος Εξωτερικών Εκκλησιαστικών Σχέσεων του Πατριαρχείου και το ξενοδοχείο στο οποίο θα φιλοξενείτο ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος και η
Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής ∆ημήτριος με τον Πατριάρχη Μόσχας Αλέξιο Β’. Φωτογραφία ΔΗΜ. ΠΑΝΑΓΟΣ
ακολουθία του. Την Παρασκευή 23 Μαΐου, ο Επίσκοπος Έγκοριεβσκ Μάρκος συνόδευσε τον Αρχιεπίσκοπο Δημήτριο και τα μέλη της συνοδείας του σε επίσκεψη στην Ιερά Μονή Αγίας Τριάδας – Αγίου Σεργίου, ένα από τα πιο γνωστά ορθόδοξα μοναστήρια του κόσμου, ιδρυθέν το 1340 από τον Άγιο Σέργιο Ραντονέζ, προστάτη άγιο της Ρωσίας. Η μονή περιλαμβάνει πολλούς ναούς, παρεκκλήσια και εγκαταστάσεις της Θεολογικής Σχολής και είναι τόπος μεγάλου θρησκευτικού ενδιαφέροντος για όλη τη Ρωσία. Καθ’ οδόν προς τη μονή ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος και η αντιπροσωπεία επισκέφθηκαν τα Πατριαρχικά Εργαστήρια Εκκλησιαστικής Τέχνης στο Σοφρίνο όπου έγιναν δεκτοί με κωδωνοκρουσίες και στη συνέχεια ξεναγήθηκαν και φιλοξενήθηκαν στους χώρους των εγκαταστάσεων. Κατά την άφιξη στη Μονή Λαύρα Αγίας Τριάδας – Αγίου Σεργίου ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος και η συνοδεία του έγιναν δεκτοί από την ηγεσία της μονής και τους υπευθύνους της Πνευματικής Ακαδημίας και
Θεολογικής Σχολής της Μόσχας, τον Αντιπρύτανη π. Βλαδίμηρο Σμαλΐη και τον Ακαδημαϊκό Γραμματέα π. Πάβελ Βελικάνωφ. Αμέσως προσήλθαν στον κυρίως ναό της μονής όπου προσκύνησαν τα ιερά λείψανα του Αγίου Σεργίου Ραντονέζ. Ρώσοι προσκυνητές της μονής συναντήθηκαν με τον Αρχιεπίσκοπο και τους άλλους ιεράρχες της συνοδείας του και έλαβαν τις ευχές και την ευλογία τους. Λίγο αργότερα επισκέφθηκαν παρακείμενο ναό – όπου είχε πραγματοποιηθεί η εκλογή του Πατριάρχου Αλεξίου – όπου ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριος και τα μέλη της αντιπροσωπείας έψαλαν το «Χριστός Ανέστη». Ακολούθησε προσκύνημα στο Ναό της Κοιμήσεως όπου βρίσκονται τα λείψανα του Οσίου Μαξίμου του Γραικού και του Αγίου Ινοκέντιου Αλάσκας. Εκατοντάδες φοιτητές και ιεροσπουδαστές υποδέχθηκαν τον Αρχιεπίσκοπο στην αίθουσα τελετών της Πνευματικής Ακαδημίας και Θεολογικής Σχολής της Μόσχας για την προγραμματισθείσα διάλεξη. Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος και οι εξ Αμερικής
Ιεράρχες που τον συνόδευαν παρουσιάσθηκαν στο ακροατήριο από τον π. Σμαλΐη και παρεκάθησαν στο βάθρο της αιθούσης. Η διάλεξη του Αρχιεπισκόπου με θέμα «Θεραπεύοντας ένα τραυματισμένο κόσμο» δόθηκε στα Αγγλικά με παράλληλη μετάφραση στα Ρωσικά. Καταλήγοντας την διάλεξή του, ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος τόνισε: Σήμερα καθώς είμαστε και πάλι έτοιμοι να εορτάσουμε τη μνήμη των Αγίων Κυρίλλου και Μεθοδίου, εσείς οι πνευματικοί τους απόγονοι πρέπει να αντλείτε κουράγιο και δύναμη από το παράδειγμά τους και από την παρακαταθήκη που παραλάβατε. Είναι μια δύναμη για ν’ αλλάξει τον κόσμο! Για μένα, που κατάγομαι από τη Θεσσαλονίκη – την πόλη καταγωγής των Αγίων Κυρίλλου και Μεθοδίου – αλλά και ως Έξαρχος του ιδίου Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου Κωνσταντινουπόλεως το οποίο απέστειλε τους Αγίους Κύριλλο και Μεθόδιο να κηρύξουν το Ευαγγέλιο του Χριστού, αποτελεί μεγάλη τιμή να βρίσκομαι εδώ μαζί σας και αγαλλιώ καθώς εορτάζουμε την μνήμη τους και την αλησμόνητη παρακαταθήκη Πίστης στο Ευαγγέλιο, Αληθείας, Ορθοδόξου λατρείας και απεριόριστης αγάπης. Μετά την ανταλλαγή αναστάσιμων ευχών και πολλών δώρων ακολούθησε επίσημο γεύμα προς τιμήν του Αρχιεπισκόπου και της συνοδείας του. Μετά την επιστροφή του στη Μόσχα, ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριος επισκέφθηκε την Ελληνική Πρεσβεία και τον Έλληνα Πρέσβη κ. Ηλία Κλή. Κατά τη συνάντηση έγινε αμοιβαία ενημέρωση και αντηλλά-
ΔΩΡΕΑ 5 ΕΚ. ΔΟΛΑΡΙΩΝ ΠΡΟΣ ΤΟ ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΟ ΚΟΛΕΓΙΟ/ΘΕΟΛΟΓΙΚΗ ΣΧΟΛΗ ΤΟΥ ΤΙΜΙΟΥ ΣΤΑΥΡΟΥ ΑΠΟ ΤΟΥΣ ΜΕΓΑΛΟΥΣ ΕΥΕΡΓΕΤΕΣ ΤΗΣ ΑΡΧΙΕΠΙΣΚΟΠΗΣ ΑΜΕΡΙΚΗΣ ΜΑΡΙΑΣ ΚΑΙ ΕΜΜΑΝΟΥΗΛ-ΜΙΧΑΗΛ ΤΖΑΧΑΡΗ ôïõ Óôáýñïõ Ç. Ðáðáãåñìáíïý
ΒΟΣΤΩΝΗ – Βαθιά συγκινημένος από τη μεγάλη δωρεά ύψους πέντε εκατομμυρίων δολαρίων προς τη Σχολή που πραγματοποίησε το ζεύγος Εμμανουήλ-Μιχαήλ και Μαρίας Τζαχάρη προς το Ελληνικό Κολέγιο – Θεολογική Σχολή του Τιμίου Σταυρού, ο Σεβασμιώτατος Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής κ. Δημήτριος χαρακτήρισε την ημέρα της φετεινής τελετής αποφοίτησης – Σάββατο 17 Μαΐου – μια πολύ μεγάλη και σημαντική ημέρα στην ιστορία του ανώτατου εκπαιδευτικού ιδρύματος τ ης Α ρχ ιεπ ισ κοπ ής Α μερικ ής που εδρεύει στη Βοστώνη. Ο κ. Τζαχάρης, αντιπρόεδρος του Αρχιεπισκοπικού Συμβουλίου της Αρχιεπισκοπής και η σύζυγός του κυρία Μαρία Τζαχάρη ήταν τα τιμώμενα πρόσωπα τ ης φετεινής χρον ιάς σ τους οποίους η Σχολή απένειμε διδακτορικά διπλώματα ανθρωπιστικών γραμμάτων «Τιμής Ένεκεν». Η δωρεά του ζεύγους Τζαχάρη, η μεγαλύτερη στην ιστορία της Σχολής του Τιμίου Σταυρού αποτέλεσε συγκλο-
Ο Σεβασμιώτατος Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής ∆ημήτριος με το ζεύγος Μιχαήλ και Μαρίας Τζαχάρη και τον π. Νικόλα Τριανταφύλλου.
νιστική έκπληξη για όλους τους παρευρισκόμενους. Συγκεκριμένα η κυρία Τζαχάρη αποδεχόμενη τον διδακτορικό τίτλο ανακοίνωσε την δωρεά πέντε (5) συνολικά εκατομμυρίων δολαρίων προς το Ελληνικό Κολέγιο – Θεολογική Σχο-
λή του Τιμίου Σταυρού της Βοστώνης για την ενίσχυση και προώθηση των ιδεωδών της Ορθοδοξίας και του Ελληνισμού. Η κυρία Τζαχάρη δήλωσε ότι αποτελεί επιθυμία της οικογένειας Τζαχά-
ρη τα δύο εκατομμύρια να διατεθούν αποκλειστικά για την προικοδότηση μόνιμης Έδρας (endowed chair) της Καινής Διαθήκης που θα ονομασθεί προς τιμήν του Αρχιεπισκόπου Δημητρίου, ενώ τρία εκατομμύρια να διατεθούν για την δημιουργία στα πλαίσια της Σχολής, Ινστιτούτου Βυζαντινών Τεχ νών και Πολιτισμού (βυζαντινή αγιογραφία, μικροτεχνία, αρχιτεκτονική, φιλολογία και βυζαντινή μουσική). Η κυρία Τζαχάρη πρόσθεσε ότι ευελπιστεί το νέο ινστιτούτο να καταστεί ερευνητικό κέντρο ακαδημαϊκών πνευματικών και πολιτιστικών ανταλλαγών τόσο σε εθνικό όσο και σε διεθνές επίπεδο. Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριος εκφράζοντας εξ ονόματος όλων τις θερμότατες ευχαριστίες του για τη δωρεά, πρότεινε το υπό ίδρυση Ινστιτούτο να έχει το όνομα της κυρίας Μαρίας Τζαχάρη. Η πρόταση έγινε δεκτή με ενθουσιώδη χειροκροτήματα από το πολυπληθές ακροατήριο και προκάλεσε βαθύτατη συγκίνηση τόσο στην κυρία
Επίσκεψη του Οικουμενικού Πατριάρχη Bαρθολομαίου στην Ίμβρο Στον Παπαδιαμάντη, τον Ρίτσο, τον Σεφέρη ανατρέχει ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος για να διαχειρισθεί τα έντονα αισθήματα που του προκαλεί η επαφή με τη γενέτειρα του Ίμβρο. “Πονά η σιωπή, πονάει κι η πέτρα κάθε δρόμου της” είπε ο Πατριάρχης ολοκληρώνοντας τριήμερη επίσκεψη στην Ίμβρο. “Εκείνα τα χρόνια τα ανακαλώ εις την μνήμην μου, τα ζω καλύτερα κάθε φορά που έχω την ευτυχία να επανέρχομαι και σωματικώς εις την Ίμβρον. Και το τονίζω αυτό το “και σωματικώς”, διότι, όπως θα μας έλεγε ο λυρικός και ευσεβής Αλέξανδρος Παπαδιαμάντης, “η ψυχή μου ήτο πάντοτε προς τα μέρη εκείνα, αν και τον πλείστον χρόνον απεδήμουν σωματικώς”, δηλαδή προς τα μέρη ετούτα, προς την Ίμβρο. Και εγώ χρόνια τώρα αποδημώ. Είμαι μακριά από την Ίμβρο σωματικώς με τις ευθύνες τις Πατριαρχικές, με τις συνεδριάσεις, με τις χοροστασίες, με τις ατελείωτες ακροάσεις, με τα πολλά ταξίδια στο εξωτερικό, με πολλές κοινωνικές υποχρεώσεις, με όλα αυτά ευρίσκομαι μακριά από την Ίμβρο, αποδημώ σωματικώς. Αλλά επανέρχομαι στον Παπαδιαμάντη και ξαναλέγω: “η ψυχή μου ήτο πάντοτε προς τα μέρη εκείνα”. Η ψυχή μου είναι πάντοτε προς τα μέρη εδώ, προς την Ίμβρο και, ιδιαιτέρως, προς τους Αγίους Θεοδώρους. Και συνεχίζω, όχι με δικά μου λόγια,
αλλά με τα λόγια του Γιάννη Ρίτσου, τα οποία βρίσκουν εφαρμογή κάθε φορά που επανέρχομαι εδώ και σωματικώς. Λέει ο Ρίτσος: “Εδώ πονά η σιωπή, πονάει κι η πέτρα κάθε δρόμου”. Αλλά, παρ΄ όλα αυτά δεν πρέπει να μας καταλαμβάνει απελπισία και απογοήτευσις. Εις τον Χριστιανόν δεν ταιριάζουν αυτά. Ο Χριστιανός είναι στρατιώτης του Χριστού, είναι αγωνιστής του βίου και, επομένως, πρέπει να διακρίνεται για το αγωνιστικό του φρόνημα. Και έρχεται τώρα ο Σεφέρης από τα δικά μας τα μέρη, από τα Βουρλά. Επισκέφθηκα το σπίτι του τον περασμένο
Μάρτιο, όταν χοροστάτησα στο Κιρκιντζέ και θυμηθήκαμε με όλους τους προσκυνητές τη Διδώ Σωτηρίου και τον Κόντογλου και το Βενέζη και όλους αυτούς τους γόνους της Ιωνίας και της Αιολίας. Τα λόγια λοιπόν του Σεφέρη μας δίνουν μέσα σ’ αυτή τη δύσκολη ατμόσφαιρα μία ελπίδα φωτός: “Ο τόπος μου”, λέει, “είναι μικρός, όλο βουνά, που έχουν για σκεπή τον καθαρό ουρανό, μέρα και νύχτα”. Παρά τη σιωπή που πονά εδώ, που πονάει κάθε πέτρα του δρόμου, κατά τον Ρίτσο, υπάρχει ο καθαρός ουρανός που είναι καθαρός, μέρα και νύχτα. Άλλωστε, “χίλιες πλούσιες και άνετες ξενιτιές δεν κάνουν μία φτωχή και άσημη πατρίδα”. Σ’ αυτήν επανερχόμεθα και βρίσκουμε ανάπαυση ψυΝ. ΜΑΓΓΙΝΑΣ χική και αποκούμπι και γυρίζουμε ανανεωμένοι και ενισχυμένοι, εις τα βαρέα Πατριαρχικά καθήκοντα και τις ευθύνες εγώ, και εσείς, ο καθένας από εσάς ξαναγυρίζει μετά από σύντομη ή εκτενεστέρα επίσκεψη στην Ίμβρο, στις ευθύνες, τη βιοπάλη του, ασφαλώς πιο ενισχυμένος και πιο αισιόδοξος απ΄όσο όταν ήλθε εδώ. Και μακάριοι αυτοί που έρχονται για να μείνουν για πάντα εδώ! Εννοώ τους Ιμβρίους που για οποιονδήποτε λόγο-για τους γνωστούς λόγους- ξενιτεύθηκαν και οι οποίοι, όταν τελειώσουν τις απασχολήσεις τους και γίνουν συνταξιούχοι και δεν έχουν πλέον ευθύνες και δεν έχουν λόγο να ευρίσκονται μα-
κριά από την Ίμβρο, έρχονται εδώ και εγκαθίστανται σαν τα αποδημητικά πουλιά, τα οποία πάνε και έρχονται κάθε χρόνο. Αλλά εγώ θα ευχόμουν για τους συμπατριώτες μου να έλθουν οριστικά και να μείνουν και να ρίξουν άγκυρα εδώ. Αυτή τη νότα αισιοδοξίας μας δίνει ο Σεφέρης που μας δείχνει την αξία του τόπου μας, όσο μικρός και όσο βραχώδης κι αν είναι. Όσες φορές δυσκολίες κι αν πέρασε, και αν αντιμετωπίζει σήμερα το νησί μας, έρχεται να μας δώσει ο ποιητής όχι απλώς ελπίδα φωτός, αχτίδα φωτός, αλλά ελπίδα αιωνιότητος, μακαριότητος, χαράς, χαράς ανεξάλειπτης. Ο Αναστάς Κύριος, ο φιλάνθρωπος και παντοδύναμος Κύριός μας, ο αρχηγός και τελειωτής της πίστεώς μας, αυτός που άνοιξε σήμερα τα μάτια του εκ γενετής τυφλού.... Έτσι ο Θεός επεμβαίνει, παρεμβαίνει εις την ιστορία του καθενός από ημάς: ξαφνικά και ανέλπιστα παρεμβαίνει εις την ιστορίαν του κόσμου ολοκλήρου και αλλάζει τον ρουν της ιστορίας και γίνονται θαύματα, εις τα οποία εμείς πάντοτε πιστεύουμε. Φεύγω λοιπόν, και επιστρέφω εις τα ίδια ενισχυμένος, πιο δυνατός, διότι ήλθα και πάλι στην Ίμβρο, άντλησα δύναμη και πάτησα εις το έδαφός της, όπως ο Άνταίος που πατώντας στη γη έπαιρνε δύναμη. Και θα συνεχίσω με τις προσευχές σας και με την αγάπη σας ως συμπατριωτών μου και ως φίλων της Ίμβρου την ταπεινή μου διακονία”. Ο Πατριάρχης συνεχάρη τον Μητροπολίτη Ίμβρου Κύριλλο για το δημιουργικό έργο που επιτελεί υπό τας γνωστάς συνθήκας.
Μήνυμα Οικουμενικού Πατριάρχη για την ΕΠΙΣΚΕΨΗ ΠΡΟΕΔΡΟΥ ΤΗΣ ΑΥΣΤΡΙΑΣ HEINZ FISCHER Παγκόσμια Ημέρα του Περιβάλλοντος ΣΤΟΝ ΟΙΚΟΥΜΕΝΙΚΟ ΠΑΤΡΙΑΡΧΗ ΒΑΡΘΟΛΟΜΑΙΟ «Το Πατριαρχείο μας ενώνει σήμερον την φωνή του με τους απανταχού της γης ευαισθητοποιημένους και περιβα λ λοντικώς δραστηριοποιημένους ανθρώπους και φορείς, ασχέτως θρησκευτικού ή πολιτικού φρονήματος», τόνισε ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος σε μήνυμα του με αφορμή την Παγκόσμια Ημέρα του Περιβάλλοντος. «Ας καταβάλωμεν, έκαστος από τής θέσεώς του πάσαν προσπάθεια αντιμετωπίσεως της περιβαλλοντικής κρίσεως, αφήνοντας οπίσω τας οποίας διαφοράς και πάθη έχουν εις την διάρκεια τής ιστορίας χωρίσει λαούς και έθνη. Ιδιαιτέρως τα οικονομικώς ανεπτυγμένα κράτη, ας περιβάλλουν με κατανόηση και ας προσφέρουν αφειδώς και ανιδιοτελώς κάθε διαθέσιμον οικονομικήν και επιστημονικήν βοήθεια προς εκείνα τα έθνη τα οποία αντιμετωπίζουν την πείνα και σπαράσσονται από εμφυλίους πολέμους. Ας ενθυμούμεθα ότι ο υποτιμητικώς αποκαλούμενος «Τρίτος Κόσμος», δηλαδή εκείνα τα κράτη πού υστερούν εις οικονομικήν ανάπτυξην, δεν διατηρούν απλώς πολιτισμικό, αλλά και φυσικό πλούτο, ο οποίος είναι κρίσιμος για την σωτηρία ολοκλήρου του πλανήτη μας», λέει ο Πατριάρχης στο μήνυμά του και τονίζει ότι η « σημερινή Παγκόσμιος Ημέρα Περιβάλλοντος είναι μία μοναδική ευκαιρία ώστε το σύνολον της ανθρωπότητος, έκαστος πολίτης του
κόσμου προσωπικώς, η κοινωνία συνολικώς, η επιχειρηματική κοινότης και βεβαίως οι θρησκευτικοί και πολιτικοί ηγέται, να αναλογισθούμε τας δυσθεωρήτους πλέον διαστάσεις της περιβαλλοντικής κρίσεως». «Έχει έλθει η στιγμή για εκ βάθρων αναθεώρησιν του τρόπου σκέψεως και λειτουργίας μας εντός αυτού του μοναδικού κόσμου, τον οποίον ο Παντοκράτωρ Θεός εκληροδότησεν εις την ανθρωπότητα με την εντολήν «εργάζεσθαι και φυλάσσειν». «Η ανθρωπότης πλέον δεν αρκείται εις την άντλησιν των απαραιτήτων προς το ζην υλών και ωφελειών εκ του φυσικού κόσμου, ώστε να διατηρηθή εις το ακέραιον η δυνατότης αναγεννήσεως των φυσικών οικοσυστημάτων και ο επανεμπλουτισμός των φυσικών πόρων. Η ανθρωπότης έχει δυστυχώς προ πολλού υπερβεί την θείαν εντολήν για φροντίδα της κτίσεως. Τα αποτελέσματα αυτής της άφρονος και πλεονεκτικής συμπεριφοράς βιώνουμε σήμερον, παρακολουθούντες ως άβουλοι θεαταί τας επιπτώσεις της καταστροφικής κλιματικής αλλαγής, την ρύπανσιν των εσωτερικών και θαλασσίων υδάτων, την υπεραλίευσιν, την απώλειαν της βιοποικι λότητος, την ερημοποίησιν των εδαφών, την καταστροφήν των δασών από φονικές πυρκαϊές και πολλές ακόμη εκφάνσεις αυτής της πρωτοφανούς περιβαλλοντικής κρίσεως.»
Τον Οικουμενικό Πατριάρχη Βαρθολομαίο επισκέφθηκε ο Πρόεδρος της Ομοσπονδιακής Δημοκρατίας της Αυστρίας Heinz Fischer στο Φανάρι. Ο Διαθρησκειακός Διάλογος, η ειρηνική συνύπαρξη μεταξύ ανθρώπων διαφορετικού θρησκεύματος και θέματα που απασχολούν το Οικουμενικό Πατριαρχείο συζητήθηκαν κατά την διάρκεια της συνάντησής τους. Ο Πρόεδρος Fischer θέλησε να ενημερωθεί για την πορεία των προβλημάτων που απασχολούν το Οικουμενικό Πατριαρχείο και την Ελληνορθόδοξη Μειονότητα της Πόλης. Συζητήθηκαν οι προσπάθειες που καταβάλλει το Οικουμενικό Πατριαρχείο για το Διαθρησκειακό Διάλογο, ιδιαίτερα με το Ισλάμ. Ο Πρόεδρος της Αυστρίας εξήρε τις πρωτοβουλίες του Πατριαρχείου για την προστασία του περιβάλλοντος, επισημαίνοντας τον πρωτοποριακό ρόλο του Οικουμενικού Πατριάρχου Βαρθολομαίου. Πριν την αναχώρησή του ο Πρόεδρος της Αυστρίας δήλωσε τα εξής: «Γνωρίζω τον Παναγιώτατο Οικουμενικό Πατριάρχη από επανει λημμένες συναντήσεις μας. Χάρηκα ιδιαίτερα για την επίσκεψή μου αυτή. Είχαμε ευρεία και ανοικτή ανταλλαγή σκέψεων και έχουμε από κοινού την πεποίθηση για την ανάγκη της έτι περαιτέρω προωθήσεως του διαλόγου μεταξύ θρησκειών και πολιτισμών και την παράδοση αυτή θέλουμε να την συνεχίσουμε εργαζόμε-
Φωτορεπορταζ Ν. ΜΑΓΓΙΝΑΣ
νοι για την επικράτηση της ειρήνης, για την εξασφάλιση των μειονοτικών δικαιωμάτων και για την ειρηνική συμβίωση μεταξύ ανθρώπων διαφορετικού θρησκεύματος, πολιτισμού και πεποιθήσεων». Στη συνάντηση παρίστατο ο Μητροπολίτης Αυστρίας Μιχαήλ, ο Υπουργός Κοινωνικών Υπηρεσιών της Αυστρίας Erwin Buchinger, ο Διευθυντής του Διπλωματικού Γραφείου του Προέδρου Rene Pollitze, ο Πρόεδρος του Ομοσπονδιακού Οικονομικού Επιμελητηρίου της Αυστρίας Christoph Leitl, η Πρέσβης της Αυστρίας στην Άγκυρα Heidemaria Gürer και άλλοι υπηρεσιακοί παράγοντες της Προεδρίας της Δημοκρατίας της Αυστρίας. Μετά τη συνάντηση με τον Οικουμενικό Πατριάρχη ο Πρόεδρος Fischer ξεναγήθηκε στον Πατριαρχικό Ναό του Αγίου Γεωργίου.
ΟΡΘΟΔΟΞΟΣ ΠΑΡΑΤΗΡΗΤΗΣ ORTHODOX OBSERVER
ΣΥΝΑΝΤΗΣΗ ΓΕΡΟΥΣΙΑΣΤΗ JOHN McCAIN ΜΕ ΤΟΝ ΑΡΧΙΕΠΙΣΚΟΠΟ ΑΜΕΡΙΚΗΣ ΔΗΜΗΤΡΙΟ
Στο σύγχρονο πανευρωπαϊκό χαρτονόμισμα του ευρώ θα έπρεπε να είχε θέση η εικόνα του Πατριάρχη Κωνσταντινουπόλεως Αγίου Νήφωνος, του B’, «της αληθούς και ακράδαντου γέφυρας που συνδέει εν πνεύματι και αληθεία πολλές σύγχρονες χώρες και λαούς”, είπε ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος με την ευκαιρία της 500ής επετείου από της κοιμήσεως του Πατριάρχη Νήφωνος. “Υπήρξε πραγματικός εθνάρχης του «Αγίου Έθνους» και «βασιλείου ιερατεύματος» των Ορθοδόξων, χωρίς ίχνος εθνοφυλετισμού». «Και δεν είναι περίεργον το ότι αμέσως μετά την εκδημίαν του ετιμήθη ως Άγιος, τόσον εν Αγίω Όρει, όσον και εν Κωνσταντινουπόλει και εν Ουγγροβλαχία και πανταχού», είπε ο κ. Βαρθολομαίος και θύμισε ότι ο Πατριάρχης Νήφων κατετάγη μεταξύ των Αγίων της Εκκλησίας εννέα μόνο χρόνους μετά την εκδημία του την 11ην Αυγούστου 1517. Στις τελετές συμμετείχαν και οι άρχοντες του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου που βρίσκονται στην Κωνσταντινούπολη για την καθιερωμένη επίσκεψή τους. Στο στιγμιότυπο ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος στη Μονή της Αγίας Τριάδος στη Θεολογική Σχολή της Χάλκης, με τεμάχιον ιερού λειψάνου του Αγίου Νήφωνος Πατριάρχου Κωνσταντινουπόλεως.
Βράβευση του Οικουμενικού Πατριάρχη Βαρθολομαίου από το Ινστιτούτο Ουίλσον
«Κινδυνεύουμε να μετατρέψουμε τον ωραιότατο πλανήτη μας σε θάλαμο δηλητηριωδών αερίων, κατά την επιδίωξη του στενός εννοουμένου υλικού κέρδους», τόνισε ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος στην ομιλία του κατά τη διάρκεια της εκδήλωσης του Ινστιτούτου Ουίλσον το οποίο του απένειμε ειδικό βραβείο. Ο κ. Βαρθολομαίος τόνισε ότι «το οικολογικό πρόβλημα είναι ένα εκ των σοβαροτέρων του σύγχρονου ανθρώπου. Εις όλους τους τόπους τούτους οι άνθρωποι πάσης ιδιότητος έχουν αντιληφθεί ότι η ρύπανσις του περιβάλλοντος και αι εξ αυτής κλιματολογικαί αλλαγαί μεταβάλλουν το ενδιαίτημά των δια ταχυτάτου ρυθμού και τοιούτου τρόπου ώστε η προκαλουμένη ζημία να είναι μη αναστρέψιμος». Σε άλλο σημείο της ομιλίας του ο κ. Βαρθολομαίος αναφέρθηκε στο ρόλο των θρησκειών τονίζοντας ότι «θα πρέπει όλοι οι άνθρωποι ειδικοί και μη ειδικοί, να καταβάλλομεν επιπόνους προσπαθείας προκειμένου να εξεύρομεν διέξοδον εκ του αδιεξόδου, κυρίως όμως τρόπους επικοινωνίας και συνεννοήσεως μεταξύ μας. Προς την κατεύθυνσιν αυτήν βασικόν ρόλον δύναται να διαδραματίσει η θρησκεία, η οποία ημπορεί να εμποτίσει δια των ευχύμων καρπών της το τεχνο-
κρατικόν πνεύμα της επιστήμης και την κατ’ άνθρωπον σοφίαν». Καταλήγοντας ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης προσκάλεσε πάντα άνθρωπο, όπως είπε, να αναπτύξει ηθικό κριτήριον «ουχί αυτονομημένον, αλλά εστραμμένον προς τον Θεόν, το «μέτρον πάντων των χρημάτων» και με γνώμονα αυτό το κριτήριον να αναπτύξει μία στάση ζωής αποσκοπούσα εις την προστασία του περιβάλλοντος. Μία στάση ζωής διακατεχομένην εκ της συναισθήσεως της ευθύνης έναντι των συνανθρώπων και των επερχομένων γενεών». Ο Πατριάρχης ευχαρίστησε για την τιμή που του έγινε από το Ινστιτούτο Ουίλσον λέγοντας χαρακτηριστικά ότι το βραβείο το δέχεται ως ένδειξη τιμής και σεβασμού προς το Οικουμενικό Πατριαρχείο για όσα αυτό πράττει υπέρ της αφυπνίσεως των συνειδήσεων των όπου γης ανθρώπων για την προστασία της «καλώς δημιουργηθείσης» υπό του Θεού φύσεως. Ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος συναντήθηκε την επομένη, 16 Μαίου, με τον Πρόεδρο της Ελληνικής Δημοκρατίας Κάρολο Παπούλια, τον Πρωθυπουργό Κώστα Καραμανλή και την υπουργό Εξωτερικών Ντόρα Μπακογιάννη.
Εικόνες από το χθές...
ΜΟΥΣΕΙΟ ΜΠΕΝΑΚΗ/ΚΩΣΤΑΣ ΜΠΑΛΑΦΑΣ
Φωτογραφία με τίτλο “Στις κορφές των βράχων, Μετέωρα” του καταξιωμένου φωτογράφου Κώστα Μπαλάφα, ο οποίος δώρισε το αρχείο του στο Μουσείο Μπενάκη, Τρίτη 20 Μαϊου 2008. Ο Κώστας Μπαλάφας κατέγραψε με το φακό του τη μεταπολεμική Ελλάδα καθώς και παραδοσιακά ήθη και έθιμα κυρίως της Ηπείρου.
ΝΕΑ ΥΟΡΚΗ – Ο Γερουσιαστής John McCain, υποψήφιος του Ρεπουμπλικανικού Κόμματος για το προεδρικό αξίωμα των Η.Π.Α. επισκέφθηκε στις 10 Ιουνίου 2008 τον Σεβασμιώτατο Αρχιεπίσκοπο Αμερικής κ. Δημήτριο στην έδρα της Ιεράς Αρχιεπισκοπής Αμερικής. Ο γερουσιαστής McCain συναντήθηκε για πρώτη φορά με τον Αρχιεπίσκοπο Δημήτριο πριν ένα περίπου χρόνο πραγματοποιώντας τότε την πρώτη του επίσκεψη στην Αρχιεπισκοπή. Τότε, ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος είχε εκφράσει στον κ. McCain το ενδιαφέρον και την ανησυχία της Αρχιεπισκοπής για θέματα σχετικά με τις θρησκευτικές ελευθερίες και τη νομική προστασία του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου, όπως και για θέματα δικαιοσύνης και ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων. Η συνάντηση τους αυτή αποτέλεσε συνέχεια της πρώτης. Μετά τη συνάντηση ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριος σε δηλώσεις του στον Τύπο μεταξύ άλλων είπε: «Η σημερινή συνάντηση γίνεται σύμφωνα με μια γραμμή που ακολουθεί η Εκκλησία και η Αρχιεπισκοπή, η οποία είναι ανοιχτή σε όλους», και σημείωσε την παρότρυνση του Αποστόλου Παύλου στη πρώτη προς Τιμόθεο επιστολή του στην οποία αναφέρει χαρακτηριστικά: Παρακαλώ ουν πρώτον πάντων ποιείσθαι δεήσεις, προσευχάς, εντεύξεις, ευχαριστίας υπέρ πάντων ανθρώπων, υπέρ βασιλέων και πάντων των εν υπεροχή όντων, ίνα ήρεμον και ησύχιον βίον διάγωμεν εν πάση ευσεβεία και σεμνότητι (Τιμ. Α΄ 1-2) και εξηγώντας περαιτέρω τόνισε: «Δεν ήταν μια συνάντηση πολιτικού χαρακτήρος αλλά μια συνάντηση κατά την
οποία έχουμε την ευκαιρία να δούμε ηγετικές μορφές στη σύγχρονη πολιτική ζωή της Αμερικής με σκοπό να συζητήσουμε και να θέσουμε θέματα τα οποία έχουν σχέση και με το λαό εδώ, κοινωνικά, οικονομικά, πολιτιστικά, αλλά ταυτοχρόνως να συζητήσουμε και θέματα τα οποία είναι του αμέσου ενδιαφέροντος της Ομογενείας και πέραν τούτου της Ορθοδοξίας». Η συνάντηση που διήρκεσε μισή περίπου ώρα διεξήχθη σε πολύ φιλικό και εγκάρδιο κλίμα και συμπεριέλαβε θέματα άμεσου ενδιαφέροντος για τον Αμερικανικό λαό όπως η εν γένει οικονομική δυσχέρεια που πλήττει ένα μεγάλο κομμάτι της κοινωνίας και η ανάγκη σεβασμού της ανθρώπινης ζωής. Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριος τόνισε τη δύναμη της παιδείας που μπορεί να οδηγήσει σε περισσότερες οικονομικές ευκαιρίες για όλους τους πολίτες. Εκτός από το θέμα των θρησκευτικών ελευθεριών και των δικαιωμάτων του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου, ετέθησαν τα θέματα του Κυπριακού και της ονομασίας της ΠΓΔΜ.
Προσφορά ζεύγους Τζαχάρη στη Θεολογική Σχολή του Τιμίου Σταυρού óåë. 15 Τζαχάρη όσο και σε πολλούς ακροατές. Ο Σεβασμιώτατος Αρχιεπίσκοπος χαρακτήρισε την δωρεά «καταλύτη» για την περαιτέρω πορεία της Σχολής, κατα λύτη ο οποίος ανοίγει ευρείες λεωφόρους προόδου του ανώτατου εκπαιδευτικού ιδρύματος της Αρχιεπισκοπής Αμερικής. Πρόσθεσε δε ότι το ζεύγος Τζαχάρη αποτελεί πράγματι ιδανικό παράδειγμα και έκφραση του τίτλου των Μεγάλων Ευεργετών. Ο κ. Τζαχάρης που ήταν ο κύριος ομιλητής της τελετής αποφοιτήσεως ευχαρίστησε για τη μεγάλη τιμή και με βάση τις δύο παγκόσμιες πραγματικότητες της Ορθοδοξίας και του Ελληνισμού τόνισε τον ρόλο της Εκκλησίας ως κέντρου αναφοράς, ζωής και δημιουργίας της Ελληνοαμερικανικής κοινότητος. Τόνισε ακόμη τον καθοριστικό ρόλο που καλείται να παίξει ο ελληνορθόδοξος κλήρος στην Αμερική και κατ’ επέκταση την ανάγκη ενισχύσεως του Ελ ληνικού Κολεγίου – Θεολογικής Σχολής του Τιμίου Σταυρού. Οι αριστούχοι απόφοιτοι Lorena Vangjeli του Ελληνικού Κολεγίου, και Nicholas March της Θεολογικής Σχολής μίλησαν ως εκπρόσωποι όλων των αποφοίτων. Κατά τη διάρκεια της τελετής αποφοιτήσεως 63 συνολικά φοιτητές και φοιτήτριες έλαβαν τα πτυχία τους. Εικοσιένα (21) από το Ελληνικό Κολέγιο και 42 από τη Θεολογική Σχολή. Από τους 42 αποφοίτους της Θεολογικής Σχολής, 25 έλαβαν το πτυχίο
ιερατικής κατευθύνσεως Master of Divinity, 19 εκ των οποίων προορίζονται να στελεχώσουν τον κλήρο της Ιεράς Αρχιεπισκοπής Αμερικής (7 είναι ήδη χειροτονημένοι), έντεκα (11) έλαβαν το πτυχίο Master of Theological Studies και έξι (6) το πτυχίο Master of Theology. Σύμφωνα με τον πρόεδρο της Σχολής π. Νικόλαο Τριανταφύλου, τη φετεινή ακαδημαϊκή χρονιά χαρακτήρισε το πολύ υψηλό ακαδημαϊκό επίπεδο τόσο στη Θεολογική Σχολή όσο και στο Ελληνικό Κολέγιο. Ο ίδιος τόνισε ότι ένα μεγάλο ποσοστό από τους αποφοίτους του Ελληνικού Κολεγίου θα συνεχίσουν τις μεταπτυχιακές σπουδές τους στη Σχολή. Να σημειωθεί επίσης ότι οι κυρίες Χριστίνα Καραβίτη και Βάλερυ Ρουμελιώτη, εκ πρόσωποι της Εθνικής Φι λοπτώχου Αδελφότητος ανακοίνωσαν την δωρεά ποσού που ξεπερνά τις 40 χιλιάδες δολάρια για τις ανάγκες της Σχολής. Στη τελετή αποφοίτησης παρευρέθηκαν οι Μητροπολίτες Πίτσμπουργκ Μάξιμος, Βοστώνης Μεθόδιος, Αγίου Φραγκίσκου Γεράσιμος, οι επίσκοποι Τρωάδος Σάββας, Φιλομελίου Ηλίας και Ολύμπου Άνθιμος, η πρόξενος της Ελλάδος στη Βοστώνη Κατερίνα Οικονόμου-Demeter, ο αντιπρόεδρος της Εφορείας της Σχολής Δρ. Τόμας Λίλον και τα μέλη της, οι κοσμήτορες του Ελ ληνικού Κολεγίου Λιλή Μακράκη και Τόμας Φιτζέραλντ και οι καθηγητές της Σχολής καθώς και πλήθος κόσμου φίλων και συγγενών των αποφοίτων της τάξης του 2008.
ΕΠΙΣΗΜΗ ΕΠΙΣΚΕΨΗ ΤΟΥ ΑΡΧΙΕΠΙΣΚΟΠΟΥ ΑΜΕΡΙΚΗΣ ΔΗΜΗΤΡΙΟΥ ΣΤΗ ΜΟΣΧΑ óåë. 15 γησαν απόψεις για πολλά θέματα κοινού ενδιαφέροντος. Ο Σεβασμιώτατος Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής κ. Δημήτριος συνεόρτασε το Σάββατο 24 Μαΐου (11 Μαΐου με το παλαιό ημερολόγιο) την μνήμη των Αγίων ισαποστόλων Κυρίλλου και Μεθοδίου συμμετέχοντας στο αρχιερατικό συλλείτουργο που πραγματοποιήθηκε στον Καθεδρικό Ναό της Κοιμήσεως της Θεοτόκου στο Κρεμλίνο προεξάρχοντος του Μακαριωτάτου Πατριάρχου Μόσχας και πάσης Ρωσίας κ. Αλεξίου Β΄. Στην ιστορική Θεία Λειτουργία έλαβαν επίσης μέρος ο Μητροπολίτης Βοστώνης κ. Μεθόδιος, ο Μητροπολίτης Ατλάντας κ. Αλέξιος, ο Επίσκοπος Τρωάδος κ. Σάββας, ο π. Μάρκ Άρεϊ και ο Αρχιδιάκονος π. Παντελεήμων Παπαδόπουλος. Τα υπόλοιπα μέλη της συνοδείας του Αρχιεπισκόπου παρακολούθησαν τη Θεία Λειτουργία μαζί με τους πιστούς που κατέκλυσαν το ναό. Σε θέση τιμής δίπλα από τον Πατριάρχη Αλέξιο λειτούργησε ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριος ενώ ανάλογη τιμή απεδόθη και στους λοιπούς εξ Αμερικής Ιεράρχες και κληρικούς που συμμετείχαν. Ο Πατριάρχης Αλέξιος παρέθεσε επίσημο γεύμα στην επίσημη κατοικία του που βρίσκεται εντός της αυλής της Μονής Ντανιλόβσκι, στο οποίο παρεκάθησαν ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριος και τα μέλη της συνοδείας του καθώς και 100 άλλοι επίσημοι και ανώτατοι κληρικοί. Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος ευχήθηκε στον Πατριάρχη Αλέξιο σημειώνοντας την ιδιότητά του ως Εξάρχου του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου Κωνσταντινουπόλεως και την κοινή εκ Θεσσαλονίκης καταγωγή του με τους εορτάζοντες Αγίους Κύριλλο και Μεθόδιο. Ο Καθεδρικός Ναός της Κοιμήσεως της Θεοτόκου (Uspensky Sobor), αν και μικρός συγκριτικά με άλλους ρωσικούς ναούς, κατέχει ιδιαίτερα σημαντική θέση στην ιστορία της Ορθοδοξίας στη Ρωσία. Η ανέγερσή του άρχισε τον 14ο αιώνα. Είναι περίτεχνα διακοσμημένος με τοιχογραφίες και εικόνες και αποτέλεσε το χώρο στέψης των Τσάρων ακόμη και την εποχή του Μεγάλου Πέτρου όταν η πρωτεύουσα του κράτους είχε μεταφερθεί στην Αγία Πετρούπολη. Ο ετήσιος εορτασμός της ημέρας των Σλαβικών Γραμμάτων αποτελεί εθνική εορτή στη Ρωσία και εορτάζεται παράλληλα με τη μνήμη των Αγίων Κυρίλλου και Μεθοδίου. Παράλληλα αναγνωρίζονται και τιμώνται οι ρίζες της Ορθοδοξίας στη Ρωσία κι ενός μεγάλου τμήματος του μετέπειτα Σλαβικού πολιτισμού, που ανάγονται στην αποστολή από τον Πατριάρχη Φώτιο τον Μέγα, των αδελφών μοναχών από τη Θεσσαλονίκη Κυρίλλου και Μεθοδίου και τον εκχριστιανισμό των σλαβικών λαών. Στον επιβλητικό Καθεδρικό Ναό του Σωτήρος Χριστού εκκλησιάστηκε την Κυριακή 25 Μαΐου ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής κ. Δημήτριος συμπροσευχόμενος στο ιερό μαζί με τους εξ Αμερικής Ιεράρχες της συνοδείας του Μητροπολίτες Βοστώνης Μεθόδιο, Ατλάντας Αλέξιο και επίσκοπο Τρωάδος Σάββα. Πριν οκτώ χρόνια ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριος επικεφαλής της αντιπροσωπείας του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου, είχε παραστεί στα εγκαίνια του Ναού του Σωτήρος, που είναι ο μεγαλύτερος ναός στη Ρωσία. Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αρσένιος, βοηθός του Πατριάρχη Αλεξίου, που προέστη της Θείας Λειτουργίας, παρουσίασε στο εκκλησίασμα τον Αρχιεπίσκοπο Δημήτριο
και τους άλλους ιεράρχες και τον κάλεσε να απευθυνθεί στο λαό και στον κλήρο. Ο Σεβασμιώτατος μίλησε στα Ελληνικά καθώς τα λόγια του μεταφράζονταν στη Ρωσική γλώσσα. Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος εξέφρασε τη βαθιά συγκίνηση του, αναφέρθηκε στην αναγέννηση και την τεράστια πρόοδο της Ορθοδόξου Εκκλησίας της Ρωσίας και συνεχάρη τον Πατριάρχη Αλέξιο για την στιβαρή ηγεσία του. Ακολούθως ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος επέδωσε στον προϊστάμενο του ναού αναμνηστική πλάκα με την επιγραφή «IC XC ΝΙΚΑ» παροτρύνοντας τους πιστούς να θυμούνται πάντα ότι παρόλα τα εμπόδια, παρόλες τις δοκιμασίες και τις δυσκολίες στο τέλος η επιγραφή στην αναμνηστική πλάκα πάντα υπερισχύει διότι ο Χριστός πάντα νικά. Η χορωδία έψαλλε «εις πολλά έτη Δέσποτα» και ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος ευλόγησε το εκκλησίασμα. Μετά το πέρας της Θ. Λειτουργίας όλα τα μέλη της εξ Αμερικής αντιπροσωπείας ξεναγήθηκαν στο ναό. Το απόγευμα της ίδιας ημέρας ο Μητροπολίτης Σμολένσκ και Καλίνινγκραντ Κύριλλος, επικεφαλής Εξωτερικών Σχέσεων του Πατριαρχείου Μόσχας, παρέθεσε γεύμα στο οποίο εκτός του Αρχιεπισκόπου και των μελών της συνοδείας του παρεκάθησαν ανώτατοι Ρώσοι κληρικοί μεταξύ των οποίων ο Επίσκοπος Εγκοριέβσκ Μάρκος και ο πρωτοπρεσβύτερος Νικόλαος Μπαλασόφ. Το γεύμα αποτέλεσε ευκαιρία ευρείας ανταλλαγής απόψεων και ανταλλαγής δώρων. Ο Μητροπολίτης Κύριλλος επέδωσε εγκόλπιο στον Αρχιεπίσκοπο και συμβολικά δώρα στα υπόλοιπα μέλη της αντιπροσωπείας. Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος ανταπέδωσε με εγκόλπιο και αρχιερατικό σταυρό προς τον οικοδεσπότη Μητροπολίτη, εγκόλπιο για τον Επίσκοπο Μάρκο και ιερατικό σταυρό για τον π. Μπαλασόφ. Μετά το γεύμα ακολούθησαν ιδιαίτερες συνομιλίες με τον Μητροπολίτη Κύριλλο και τους συνεργάτες του. ΣΤΟ ΝΟΣΟΚΟΜΕΙΟ ΜΟΣΧΑΣ Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος συνοδευόμενος από αξιωματούχους της Ρωσικής Εκκλησίας επισκέφθηκε το Κεντρικό Νοσοκομείο Μόσχας, το οποίο αποτελεί φιλανθρωπικό ίδρυμα της Εκκλησίας. Στην είσοδο του νοσοκομείου, ο ιερατικώς υπεύθυνος του ιδρύματος π. Αρκάδιος, γιατροί, μέλη του προσωπικού και μαθητευόμενες αδελφές νοσοκόμες υποδέχθηκαν με λουλούδια στα χέρια την αντιπροσωπεία της Αρχιεπισκοπής Αμερικής υπό τον Αρχιεπίσκοπο Δημήτριο. Στο παρεκκλήσιο του νοσοκομείου, οι νεαρές μαθητευόμενες αδελφές νοσοκό-
μες έψαλαν το «Χριστός Ανέστη» και άλλους ύμνους. Μετά την επίσημη υποδοχή ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος παρουσίασε τα μέλη της συνοδείας του καταλήγοντας στη κυρία Αφροδίτη Σκιαδά την ταμία και εκπρόσωπο της Εθνικής Φιλοπτώχου Αδελφότητας της Ι. Αρχιεπισκοπής, η οποία πρόσφερε εκ μέρους των 27 χιλιάδων γυναικών της Αδελφότητας δωρεά ύψους 25 χιλιάδων δολαρίων προς το Ίδρυμα. Έκπληξη αποτέλεσε η απάντηση της χορωδίας των μαθητριών οι οποίες έψαλαν στα Ελληνικά τον ύμνο «Αγνή Παρθένε» που συνέθεσε ο Άγιος Νεκτάριος Αιγίνης. Στη συνέχεια ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος περιηγήθηκε τους χώρους του Νοσοκομείου και επισκέφθηκε και ευλόγησε ασθενείς της Νευρολογικής Κλινικής. Ο π. Αρκάδιος παρέθεσε γεύμα για τους επισκέπτες του, και σ΄ ένα πολύ εγκάρδιο και φιλόξενο κλίμα συζητήθηκαν σχετικά θέματα και αντηλλάγησαν συμβολικά δώρα. ΣΤΗ ΡΩΣΙΚΗ ΔΟΥΜΑ (ΒΟΥΛΗ) Η Ρωσική Δούμα δια της αντιπροέδρου της κ. Λιούμποφ Σλίσκα επεφύλαξε θερμή υποδοχή στον Αρχιεπίσκοπο Δημήτριο και τη συνοδεία του κατά τη διάρκεια της εκεί επίσημης επίσκεψής τους τη Δευτέρα 26 Μαΐου. Η κυρία Σλίσκα, υποδεχόμενη τον κ. Δημήτριο στην επίσημη αίθουσα της Βουλής τόνισε ότι η επίσκεψη του Αρχιεπισκόπου αποτελούσε ιδιαίτερη τιμή και ευλογία για την ίδια και το σώμα των αντιπροσώπων καθώς καλωσόριζε τον Έξαρχο του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου Κωνσταντινουπόλεως. Η ίδια εξέφρασε την ευαρέσκειά της για τις προσευχές του Αρχιεπισκόπου και του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου για την επανένωση με το Πατριαρχείο Μόσχας της Ρωσικής Ορθοδόξου Εκκλησίας εκτός Ρωσίας (ROCOR), που επετεύχθη πρόσφατα. Παράλληλα εκφράστηκε επαινετικά για τον Πατριάρχη Αλέξιο και το έργο του στη Ρωσική Εκκλησία και εξέφρασε την ελπίδα ότι η επίσκεψη του Αρχιεπισκόπου Δημητρίου στη Ρωσία θα συνέβαλε θετικά στις διμερείς σχέσεις Ρωσίας και Η.Π.Α. Ανταπαντώντας στην Αντιπρόεδρο της Βουλής, ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριος μίλησε για τους ιστορικούς δεσμούς Ηνωμένων Πολιτειών και Ρωσίας και τόνισε τη στήριξη του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου σε θέματα σημαντικά για το Ρωσικό λαό. Επιπλέον, ο Σεβασμιώτατος εξέφρασε τη μεγάλη ικανοποίησή του για την βαθιά αφοσίωση στην ορθόδοξη πίστη, που διαπίστωσε στη Ρωσική Δούμα. Το βράδυ ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος και η συνοδεία του, ως επίσημοι προσκεκλημένοι του Πατριάρχη Αλεξίου Β΄, παρακολούθη-
σαν συναυλία που πραγματοποιήθηκε στην αίθουσα τελετών του Καθεδρικού Ναού του Σωτήρος Χριστού, επ’ ευκαιρία των συνεχιζόμενων εορταστικών εκδηλώσεων για την Ημέρα των Σλαβικών Γραμμάτων. Τη συναυλία ακολούθησε δεξίωση. ΣΤΗΝ ΠΑΤΡΙΑΡΧΙΚΗ ΟΙΚΙΑ Ο Πατριάρχης Μόσχας και πάσης Ρωσίας δέχθηκε στις 27 Μαΐου τον Αρχιεπίσκοπο Αμερικής Δημήτριο και τα μέλη της συνοδείας του στην επίσημη πατριαρχική κατοικία του που βρίσκεται εντός της Μονής Διανιήλ, η πρώτη μονή που ιδρύθηκε στη Μόσχα. Κατά την άφιξη, τον Αρχιεπίσκοπο Δημήτριο υποδέχθηκαν ο Επίσκοπος Μιτρώφ Αλέξανδρος, βοηθός επίσκοπος παρά τω Πατριάρχη, ο ηγούμενος της Μονής Δανιήλ Αρχιμανδρίτης Αλέξιος και ο πρωτοπρεσβύτερος Νικόλαος Μπαλασόφ, γραμματέας διορθοδόξων σχέσεων. Ο Πατριάρχης Αλέξιος υποδέχθηκε εγκάρδια τον Αρχιεπίσκοπο και τη συνοδεία του και τους οδήγησε στην Αίθουσα του Θρόνου όπου πραγματοποιήθηκε η συνάντηση μεταξύ του Αρχιεπισκόπου και της αντιπροσωπείας της Αρχιεπισκοπής Αμερικής από τη μια και του Πατριάρχη Αλεξίου και κληρικών του Πατριαρχείου από την άλλη. Η συνάντηση πραγματοποιήθηκε σε δύο μέρη. Στο πρώτο έλαβαν μέρος όλοι οι προαναφερθέντες και οι παρόντες εκπρόσωποι των ΜΜΕ και στο δεύτερο έγινε ιδιαίτερη συνάντηση μεταξύ του Αρχιεπισκόπου Δημητρίου και του Πατριάρχου Αλεξίου στο οποίο παρευρέθηκαν και οι εξ Αμερικής Ιεράρχες. Ο Πατριάρχης Αλέξιος ευχαρίστησε τον Αρχιεπίσκοπο Δημήτριο για την επίσκεψη και το αρχιερατικό συλλείτουργο στον Καθεδρικό Ναό της Κοιμήσεως στο Κρεμλίνο και αποκαλώντας τον «τέκνο της Θεσσαλονίκης» τόνισε την κοινή ορθόδοξη πίστη της Ελλάδος και της Ρωσίας. Σημείωσε ακόμη την σημασία της επισκέψεως και εξέφρασε την «εκ βάθους καρδίας αγάπη» του Πατριαρχείου Μόσχας προς τον Οικουμενικό Πατριάρχη Βαρθολομαίο και το Πατριαρχείο Κωνσταντινουπόλεως. Ο Πατριάρχης Αλέξιος δεν παρέλειψε να αναγνωρίσει και να τιμήσει τους εξ Αμερικής Ιεράρχες της Αρχιεπισκοπής ως «σεβαστούς ποιμένες και πνευματικούς ηγέτες στις Η.Π.Α» Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριος εξέφρασε ευγνωμοσύνη για τη φιλοξενία, αναφέρθηκε στην πρότερη επίσκεψή του το 2000, ως εκπρόσωπος του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου για τα εγκαίνια του Καθεδρικού Ναού του Σωτήρος Χριστού και την πρόοδο που διαπίστωσε από τότε. Στη συζήτηση έγινε εκτενής αναφορά στη θέση της Ορθοδοξίας στην Αμερική, την δίψα που υπάρχει για την ορθόδοξη πίστη και το μεγάλο αριθμό προσήλυτων. Ακολούθησε ανταλλαγή δώρων και ο Πατριάρχης Αλέξιος πρόσφερε στον Αρχιεπίσκοπο κρυστάλλινη αναμνηστική πλάκα για τα 125 χρόνια του Ναού του Σωτήρος, τονίζοντας ότι ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος ήταν εκείνος που ελάμβανε το πρώτο αντίγραφο της σειράς. Του πρόσφερε ακόμη περικαλλή αρχιερατικό σταυρό και εγκόλπιο. Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριος ανταπέδωσε με εγκόλπια και αρχιερατικό σταυρό. Ο Πατριάρχης Αλέξιος επέδωσε εγκόλπια και στους εξ Αμερικής Αρχιερείς, ιερατικούς σταυρούς στους κληρικούς και αναμνηστικά δώρα στους λοιπούς της συνοδείας. Είναι χαρακτηριστικό ότι μετά το τέλος της συναντήσεως ο Πατριάρχης Αλέξιος συνόδευσε τον Αρχιεπίσκοπο Δημήτριο μέχρι την έξοδο.
PEOPLE The Mother Church of Northern Florida Parishes
Woman of excellence
The Union County (N.J.) Commission on the Status of Women and the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders have chosen Cynthia Ladas of Mountainside, N.J., as a 2008 Woman of Excellence for Community Service-Volunteerism. Mrs. Ladas is the first woman of Greek descent to receive the honor. She is a founding member of Holy Trinity Church in Westfield, was Philoptochos chapter president and board member, and Sunday School director. She has survived two bouts of cancer and continues her church commitments.
Endows Chair The University of Missouri-St. Louis announced a $1.5 million gift from noted Greek philanthropist Nicholas Karakas, a former member of the Archdiocesan Council, to endow a chair in Byzantine and Orthodox Studies. An international search is underway for a candidate for the position. This gift from Mr. Karakas, will allow the university to offer a comprehensive study of the history, culture, politics and individuals of the Byzantine Empire, one of the most powerful economic and cultural forces in Europe. Karakas offered this gift, as well as a previous gift from the Karakas Family Foundation, to honor his parents Achilles and Malamati Karakas. Presented to the university in 1996, that gift endowed a chair of Greek studies and established the Greek Studies program at the university. Karakas’ generous contributions to the university over the last 15 years also include Greek language scholarships and the establishment of the Nicholas and Theodora Matsakis Hellenic Cultural Center and the Sam Nakis Memorial Lecture in Greek Studies.
Happy birthday Peter G. Polmen, a steward of St. Spyridon Church in Palos Hills, Ill., recently celebrated his 90th birthday and was joined by two members from his WWII B-24 “Liberator” crew. He also received a letter of commendation from Congressman Gus Bilirakis, a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
Greek dentists A group of dental professionals from Greece and Cyprus recently arrived in New York to continue their education and become acquainted with the latest concepts in American dentistry. The program is organized by the Hellenic Association of Continuing Dental Education (HACDE) in Greece, in association with New York University’s College of Dentistry (NYUCD) Continuing Education programs and Dr. Dean Vafiadis, associate clinical professor at NYUCD and founder of the New York Smile Institute.
New Eagle Scout Harrison T. Geron, 16, a member of Ascension Cathedral in Oakland, Calif., achieved his Eagle Scout rank on May 22. He is a member of Troop 243 in Lafayette, Calif. His Eagle project was to build a kiosk and two benches for the garden at a church in Lafayette. He is the son of Tasos and Diana Geron and serves as an altar boy at the cathedral.
Outreach best defines St. John the Divine Church’s function in Florida’s largest city. The parish has a strong program that not only ministers to parishioners but also serves “to directly impact the neighborhood;” Fr. Nicholas Louh told the Observer. “We do a ministry to help our neighbors and help make a better neighborhood.” Among these outreach efforts are a periodic “get-to-know-your-neighbor dinner” in which the parish invites residents of the neighborhood to a meal in the community center, the Adopt-a-Highway program; and a Va-
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dained to the diaconate on Dec. 15, 2007 and to the priesthood on Dec. 16. “For me St. John the Divine is one of most welcoming communities I’ve ever come across. You can feel the warmth,” Fr. Nicholas remarked. He said that parishioners have responded very well to his ministry. “They have always been very respectful and follow my lead on spiritual issues.” Fr. Nicholas continued, “I feel very blessed to serve my home parish. One of the rewards is watching members of my church family progress in their faith.” He and his presbytera, Roxanne, who
purchased and converted into the first Greek Orthodox Church of Jacksonville. The “godfather” was the Very Rev. Parthenios Kolonis from Patmos, and had bestowed the name of St. John the Divine on the church, which originally had been named The Church of the Revelation of St. John the Divine. The community purchased a larger church building in the downtown area from the Christian Science congregation in April 1919. For the next 39 years, it served as the parish’s house of worship. It was consecrated some-
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Name: St. John the Divine Greek Orthodox Church Location: Jacksonville, Fla. Metropolis: Atlanta Size: about 350 families Founded: 1918 Clergy: Rev. Dr. Nicholas G. Louh (Holy Cross ‘99, M. Div., M.Th. 2000; D.Min. GordonConwell Theological School) E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.stjohngk.com Noteworthy: Outreach is a priority. cation Bible School that is open to the general public. Fr. Nicholas also said the church’s “very active Philoptochos,” with more than 90 members; “also does a great deal,” including helping the homeless. The parish places such great importance on outreach that it devotes a significant amount of its budget each year for these programs. St. John’s, the third oldest Greek Orthodox church in Florida, after Tarpon Springs and Pensacola, also is a strong supporter of the St. Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine in nearby St. Augustine, which it helped to establish. The emphasis on outreach is a key part of the ministry of Fr. Nicholas who said he views his role as “sharing our faith in a very relevant and practical way to those within the Church, and those outside of the Church.” The priest said he strives to make the faith relevant to their every day lives; focusing on the importance of outreach. His efforts also include getting to know pastors of other churches, participating in homeless ministries and inter-faith dialogue. He also teaches a course in world religions at Florida Community College, where he holds the rank of adjunct professor, which gives him the opportunity to discuss the Orthodox faith. Fr. Nicholas has served as parish priest only seven months, but he’s no stranger to the community – he grew up in the Jacksonville church and served as an altar boy. After completing his studies, he served as a pastoral assistant at St. John’s for seven years and was or-
ST. JOHN THE DIVINE GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH
holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and has her own practice in Jacksonville, have a 10-month-old son. Assisting Fr. Nicholas with the Sunday Divine Liturgy is a priest with a lay profession, Rev. Dr. Milton Magos, a full-time dentist. On May 23, 1993, Dr. Milton Magos, a long time parishioner, was elevated to the sacred order of presbyter. He had served as a deacon in the St. John the Divine parish since September 1985. As the first Orthodox church in Jacksonville and northern Florida, St. John the Divine is the “mother church” for St. Elizabeth the Wonderworker in Gainesville, Holy Trinity in St. Augustine and Holy Mother of God in Tallahassee. Before these churches were founded, the parish lines extended from Tallahassee, on the west, to Valdosta, Thomasville and Waycross, Ga., in the north, to Titusville in the south. Jacksonville has a large Orthodox Christian presence and St. John the Divine is one of five communities, along with Serbian, Romanian, Antiochian and OCA churches. According to a parish history by Mary Roman, the first Greek immigrants arrived in the Jacksonville area in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Many of them likely came from the area of Patras. Earliest records of a Greek Orthodox service in Jacksonville can be traced to 1907. A priest listed as Fr. Arsenios is mentioned as the first clergyman to officiate at a service, but other priests also held occasional services randomly in the years before the parish formally organized. A permanent parish organization was established in 1918, the parish history noted, when the community was organized and incorporated. The first priest was Fr. Michael Sarris Two years earlier, a home had been
tie in the mid-1920’s by Archbishop Alexander. During World War II, the old facilities became inadequate for the needs of the growing parish and a building fund committee was established, originally to raise funds for a church hall, but the vision expanded to the goal of a new church complex. The first American-born priest, Fr. Anastasios Bandy, was assigned to the parish. He was succeeded by Fr. E.B. Papazisis, one of the longest serving priests, who helped the parish attain its eventual goal of building a new church. After he retired, the parish reached the next stage of its goal. Groundbreaking for the new church, the present facility, took place May 1, 1966, with an agiasmo service conducted by Bishop Amilianos, who had served as the parish priest in 1929, assisted by the new pastor, Fr. Frank Kirlangitis. Construction began on July 14, 1967, with parishioner Ted Pappas as the architect and John N. Pappas as Building Committee chairman. The building won a national award for its design. The first Liturgy was held March 3, 1968, with Fr.Frank Kirlangitis officiating. Mr. James Kalogerakos, the only living charter member of the church and, at 100 years of age, the oldest parishioner, cut the ribbon at the thyranoixia service. Archbishop Iakovos consecrated the building on Sept. 20,1970. In the 1990s, St. John the Divine parish initiated plans to develop a “community village complex and to acquire 20 acres to build a new church,
YOUTH OLYMPICS 30th Archdiocese District Olympics Breaks Attendance Record PHOTOS ORTHODOX OBSERVER
BRENTWOOD, N.Y. – More than 1,200 GOYA and JOY athletes set a new record for participation in the Direct Archdiocesan District Olympics, which marked the 30th anniversary of their existence with an hourlong Memorial Day ceremony. The 2½–day sporting event took place at the Suffolk Community College Western Campus in central Long Island. Participants in the ceremony included a U.S. Army band, bagpipers of the Northport Pipe and Drum Band, and several Greek American veterans of World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Guest speaker was Lt. Commander John Anayannis (U.S. Navy Ret.), a former carrier pilot and Master of Ceremonies was Fox Channel 5 meteorologist Nick Gregory. Participating churches included the following New York and Connecticut parishes: St. Sophia, Albany; St. Demetrios, Astoria; St. John’s, Blue Point; Holy Trinity, Bridgeport, Conn; Zoodohos Peghe, Bronx; Holy Cross, Brooklyn; Kimisis Tis Theotokou, Brooklyn; Sts. Constantine & Helen, Brooklyn; Church of the Resurrection, Brookville; St. Nicholas, Flushing; St. Paraskevi, Greenlawn; St. Paul’s, Hempstead; Holy Trinity, Hicksville; St. Demetrios, Jamaica; St. Demetrios, Merrick; Holy Cross, Middletown; Holy Trinity, New Rochelle; Kimisis Tis Theotokou, Port Jefferson; Archangel Michael, Roslyn; Church of Our Saviour, Rye; Kimisis Tis Theotokou, Southampton; St. Nicholas, West Babylon; Sts. Constantine and Helen, West Nyack; and Holy Cross, Whitestone.
Volleyball champs • The girls volleyball team from St. Paraskevi in Greenlawn, N.Y. won the gold medal for their ﬁrst place ﬁnish while the boys team (below) from Kimisis Tis Theotokou Church in Port Jefferson did the same in their category.
Sister act • Diana and Elli Vamvakitis, two sisters from the Southampton, N.Y. church community, won the gold and silver respectively in the girls tennis event.
New Jersey’s GOYA Olympics featured more than 500 participants.
N.J. Metropolis Holds Successful 39th Annual GOYA Olympics WESTFIELD, N.J. – The GOYA Olympics of the Metropolis of New Jersey, under the high auspices of Metropolitan Evangelos, took place Memorial Day weekend in Elizabeth with more than 500 athletes and event volunteers representing parishes from throughout the Metropolis. The Olympians competed in track and field, swimming, volleyball and the annual Chris Gacos Memorial marathon. Most of the running preliminaries, swimming and volleyball events took place May 24, at the Dunn Sports Center of Elizabeth High School. Everyone enjoyed an entire day of fellowship and spirited sports competition while at the same time making plans to see each other at Camp Good Shepherd, the official summer camp of the Metropolis in July. A dinner–dance was held in the evening at the Sheraton Hotel in Newark, where medals for the soccer tournament were presented.
On Sunday, May 25, all young people, coaches and advisors attended the Divine Liturgy celebrated by the Very Rev. Archimandrite Ambrosios Bitziadis, pastor of the St. George Church in Clifton. The Olympiad then moved to Williams Field for the traditional opening ceremony presided over by Metropolitan Evangelos, which included the invocation, parade of churches, Olympic torch run, American and Greek national anthems and greetings from Mr. and Miss GOYA. The Metropolitan, visibly enthused by the presence of so many young Orthodox Christians, addressed the Olympians, urging them to be champions of their Faith “on and off the field,” and blessed them for a safe and injury-free day. His Eminence thanked all of the parents, advisors and coaches for continuing their support of our youth, who are the present and future of our Church.
Metropolitan Evangelos with medal recipients after the JOY run.
Parents and relatives of the athletes enjoyed the finals of the running events as well as all of the field events, including long jump, shot put and the marathon. The 3rd Annual Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey Joy Run attracted more than 50 young athletes ages 10-11 running a 100-meter dash. This event gave JOY-aged children a taste of the excitement that
Mr. and Miss GOYA, Chris Christodoulou of St. Nicholas parish, Wyckoff, N.J., and Sophia Zigouras of St. John the Theologian in Tenaﬂy, lead the procession of athletes into the stadium.
awaits them upon entering GOYA and participating fully in the Olympics and other events. Metropolitan Evangelos blessed and presented each of the runners with a gold medal, wishing them the best as they grow in their Faith and friendship with their peers, encouraging them to be athletes for Christ. The 2008 GOMNJ GOYA Olympics concluded with the Fr. Dean Martin Memorial Award Ceremony in which gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded to individuals as well as teams. It is the Metropolitan’s vision and hope that next year’s Olympics, which will be celebrating its 40th anniversary, will also include a young adult reunion through athletic competition as participants reflect on the success of this Metropolis youth program of the last 40 years.
Torch bearers Spyro Mantzas of St. Thomas Church, Cherry Hill, and Nicole Moutis of St. George, Asbury Park.
Metropolitan Iakovos greets the more than 2,000 young athletes at the Metropolis of Chicago Olympics.
27th Annual Metropolis of Chicago Olympics
Participants in the wrestling competition
PALOS HILLS, Ill. â€“ Nearly 2,200 youngsters ages 7-18, and representing 32 parishes in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Missouri, Iowa, and Minnesota, participated in the 27th annual Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago Junior Olympics on Memorial Day weekend. Sts. Constantine and Helen Church in Palos Hills again served as host, with the assistance of more than 150 volunteers. Opening ceremonies were held May 24 as Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago officially began the Olympics with prayer and his blessings. The ceremonies featured many of the traditions of the ancient Olympic games highlighted by the lighting of the torch saluted by fireworks, music and balloons.
Soccer team of St. Haralambos, Niles, Ill.
Winning teams in the boys relay race.
Tennis girls â€˘ Angela Pappas and Katie Georgacopoulos getting ready for their match. Basketball team of Sts. Constantine and Helen, Palos Hills.
Participants competed in several sports including basketball, volleyball, swimming, soccer, tennis, softball, track and field, 10K run, chess, checkers, bowling, wrestling, table tennis and more. Some 900 medals were awarded. After the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, Olympic scholarships of $500 each were awarded to: John Calash of St. Sophia, Elgin, Ill., Danielle Davis of Holy Apostles, Westchester, Ill., Alexandra Moxley of Sts. Peter and Paul, Glenview, Ill., and John Strzelecki of Assumption Church, Town & Country, Mo. Planning for the 28th annual JuMetropolitan Iakovos with torch-bearers Demitrios Andrikopoulos, nior Olympics will begin towards the Nicholas Kalomas, Nicolette Kametas, and Nicholas P. Jonas. early portion of 2009.
Recipients of Junior Olympics scholarships.
Girls volleyball team of St. Nectarios, Palatine, Ill.
Importance of the Elderly by John Papson
I remember the years my grandfather lived with my family. In fact, my earliest memory is from the time he came to live with us when I was just 3½ years old. He was stout and strong. In his curious mixture of Greek and English, he told wild and fanciful tales of his youth on the island of Lesbos while it was still part of the Ottoman Empire. Even now, he still seems larger than life. There was many a time–thinking I might be in trouble–that I would run to hide behind his wide shoulders. Before my sisters and I were to receive Holy Communion, we would first have to go to him, kneel down, kiss his hand, and ask for his blessing. Of course, he always seemed to know this was to occur and would have a quarter ready for each of us. What I wouldn’t give today for the opportunity to have an afternoon alone with him conversing, reminiscing, and most assuredly sharing some of the wonderful ouzo he so expertly made. Space permits us but a brief mention of the role and stature of elderly in our faith and culture. The Old and New Testaments are replete with examples of honor and respect given to the elderly. The patriarchs and prophets lived deep into old age. Abraham and Sarah brought forth a son, Isaac, when they were advanced in years, as did Zachariah and Elizabeth, the parents of the Baptist and Forerunner John. St. John the Evangelist, the only one of our Lord’s apostles not to be martyred, lived into his nineties. In church, we chant ‘eis polla eti despota’ (many years) to the bishop. On holidays, birthdays, and namedays we wish each other ‘chronia polla’ (many years). We are praying and wishing for a long life. As we do this, we remind ourselves of the blessings that can come when a long life is well lived. And how do we know about these blessings? We know from the memories we have of our elders who handed down the faith and culture to us. In return, we give them our respect in a variety of ways. There can be little doubt that many of the traditions of our faith and culture face much pressure in our contemporary society. An example of this is the role and function of the elderly in the family and community. Our society today is youth oriented. Value is connected to productivity and the elderly oftentimes are seen as a burden. But how do we define productivity? Does it mean having a job and bringing home a paycheck? Is there value in being rather than doing? Many of us have had the experience of having an elderly parent or grandparent live with our families. In this experience, we can see the value of old age. Value comes from the presence of someone who
has had a lifetime of experiences, who has gained wisdom from their life, and who displays a perseverance that is worthy of emulation. The opportunity exists for the old to give to the young a taste of a lifetime of living within a cultural and spiritual milieu that is, to a great extent, unlike one they are likely to come in contact with during everyday life. To this day, one can still see in church elderly Greek widows dressed entirely in black. To study them carefully is to recognize in them a real certainty of Christ as Lord and Savior. As an example to their family and the community of believers, the elderly become cultural transmitters and beacons of faith. The community of faith can contribute much to efforts to support families and their elderly, not just in cases of illness, but also where the elderly have no close social or family support. Many communities have organizations for the elderly which help to ensure an ongoing connection with faith and culture. But what is also needed is outreach– support in many ways–to those who are shut in, those without family nearby, those
with no family at all, or those who might be in a rest home or a nursing home. This type of philanthropy is at the core of Christian belief of community; an expression of love that helps to bind together the community of faith. Not that someone could actually replace my grandfather, but there have been many elderly men and women who became ‘papoudes’ and ‘yiayiades’ to me, enriching my life as examples of faith and models of inspiration, who lived lives worthy of imitation. There is little doubt in my mind and heart that I received in return for my work at least as much as I gave over the many years I have worked with the elderly. This idea—this act of loving, losing, and loving again—is an expression of philanthropy at a very deep and meaningful level. This is an opportunity to give back to and nourish the segment of the community that preserved, propagated, and transmitted our faith and culture to future generations. We suffer many types of losses as we age. These might be physical in nature, but they are also losses of relationship such as the death of a spouse, siblings, friends, and–in some cases–an adult child. Isola-
Resources for Elder Care The fastest growing segment of the population in this country is comprised of those who are 85 years of age and older. We are more prone to physical ailments as we age. We are a mobile society, families today are often widely separated, and the elderly are less likely to live with their children. These situations present us with issues that need to be addressed by the family and the community. At one time, the ill elderly could be cared for in the home of a loved one. If someone didn’t need acute care in a hospital, they this is where they would reside. Today, more often than not, this is not realistic. Care management is often done from a distance. It is important for families to know where to turn in times of need. Every state has agencies that provide many kinds of services for the elderly. Although names and structures vary from state to state, a good place to start is with the public health office in your city, town, or county, or even on a state level. Many states now have a department of elder affairs. Families can get information from these places that will steer them in the right direction according to their
23 tion can come about when someone can no longer drive, which limits socialization. Intimacy is achieved through relationships, either ongoing or new. “Generativity,” the process of literally being creative and thus engaged, can be achieved by such methods as mentoring, sharing experiences, or being part of outreach to other elderly. Continuity is the fruit of intimacy and generativity. All of this contributes to successful aging. The community must enable and encourage its elderly members to continue to participate in the life of the community, and provide the ways to do so. This idea of service to the community of faith does not exclude the elderly from participation. We have inherited a precious legacy of spiritual and cultural values. Our parents and grandparents incorporated those values into their lives and community so that we would benefit from them. It is now our turn to make sure this legacy is passed on to future generations. John Papson graduated from Hellenic College and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. He did further graduate work at Boston University studying the aged and old age. He is a social worker who has worked with the elderly for the past 30 years.
FAMILY ACTIVITY CORNER
Much to Learn
There is much to learn from our elder relatives and friends. But often in the hustle and bustle of our day-to-day life we forget to sit down and really talk with those who have the wisdom that comes from having experienced life. As a family, plan an interview with an elderly person you know (or perhaps someone recommended by your priest). Take time to plan out your questions before you go to meet with them. Here are a few to get you started: What was life like when you were a teenager or child? What role has the Church played in your life through out the years? What is a life lesson that you wish you had learned earlier? What was your favorite thing to do with your friends when you weren’t in school? How much did it cost to go to the movies when you were a teenager? What was your favorite movie at that time? When your family goes home after the interview, discuss what you learned.
particular needs. In addition, your local Orthodox parish can be a wonderful resource. They can link you to programs in the community and activities for the elderly in the church. Additionally, your parish priest can be a support as you are making decisions for you family. From the Bible ‘You shall rise before the gray headed and honor the presence of an old man, and fear your God: I am the Lord. – Leviticus 19:32 Wisdom is with aged men, and with length of days, understanding. – Job 12:12
In the April For the Orthodox Family section, we made an error in the in the article Forgiveness vs. Forgetness by Yianni Smyrni. We misplaced an end quotation marks in a quote from Fr. Meletios Webber. The quote is actually significantly longer than indicated in the article ending with the sentence, “Our feelings may (or may not) catch up with our decision—but they do not affect the forgiveness, or cause it in any way.”
The articles on this page are provided by the Center for Family Care of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. For further information, visit www.familyaschurch.org or call (845) 424-8175
Oratorical Festival Celebrates 25th Anniversary
page 3 Maria Eliades (New Jersey Metropolis) St. Demetrios Church, Upper Darby, Pa.; and Spyros Staikos, (Pittsburgh Metropolis) Annunciation Church, Lancaster, Pa. Senior Division (grades 10-12) recipients were: first place and a $2,000 college scholarship -- Emmanuel Maginas (Pittsburgh Metropolis) Dormition of the Theotokos Church, Aliquippa, Pa; second place and a $1,500 scholarship -- Pilar Pappas (Denver Metropolis) Holy Trinity Cathedral, Salt Lake City, third place and a $1,000 college scholarship -- Katerina Siefkas (San Francisco Metropolis) Nativity of Christ Church, Novato, Calif. Honorable Mention recipients receiving $500 US Savings Bonds in the Senior Division were: Alexander Tougas (Direct Archdiocesan District) St. George Church, Hartford, Conn.; Nicholas Caros (Atlanta Metropolis) Holy Trinity Church, Clearwater, Fla.; Jennifer Cokotis, (Boston Metropolis) St. Luke Church, East Longmeadow, Mass; Kasiani Vlahakis (Chicago Metropolis) St. John the Baptist Church, Des Plaines Ill; Irina Haralambis (Detroit Metropolis) St. George Church, Southgate, Mich.; and Andriana Pomades Lozier (New Jersey Metropolis) Nativity of the Theotokos Church, Fredericksburg, Va. Participants also received a plaque honoring their achievements along with a certificate signed by Archbishop Demetrios. After all the finalists received their awards, Archbishop Demetrios spoke about the exceptional quality of all the speeches and the difficulty that the judges must have had in selecting only three for top honors. His Eminence made a surprise announcement that each participant would receive a cash award from FAITH: An Endowment For Orthodoxy and Hellenism. The speakers and their families then went on a “Duck Tour” of Boston. Following their tour, the group attended the Greek Festival at the St. Athanasius Church in Arlington, Mass. At the Sunday morning Divine Liturgy at Holy Cross Chapel on the Hellenic College-Holy Cross campus, Fr. Nicholas Triantafilou, president, invited the first place honorees, Christopher Kouldukis and Emmanuel Maginas to give their speeches. Before departing for home and final goodbyes, everyone was treated to a farewell luncheon, and then a special tour of the Archbishop Iakovos Library and the campus. The St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival, a program of the Department of Religious Education of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese encourages and motivates teenagers to speak about their faith and, at the same time, develop their communication skills. There are countless others whose efforts each year enable the Oratorical Festival to flourish. While the 2008 Oratorical Festival year concludes with the Archdiocese Finals, planning for 2009 has already begun. It is important to note that the encouragement for the children to participate in the Oratorical Festival is at the parish level. All teenagers should be encouraged to participate as part of the parish religious education and youth ministry programs. The 2009 topics will be posted by the Department of Religious Education on its website at www.religioused.goarch.org by mid-September. Presbytera Margaret and her husband, Fr. John Orfanakos, serve as Archdiocese Oratorical Festival co-chairmen
Participants in the National St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival Finals in Lexington, Mass., with (back row l to r) Presbytera Orfanakos, Fr. Wilson, Archbishop Demetrios, Metropolitan Methodios, Anton Vrame and Fr. Orfanakos.
How Can Someone Be ‘Pleasing to God?’ Emmanuel Maginas Dormition of the Theotokos Orthodox Church Aliquippa, Pa First Place Speaker Senior Division “To be pleasing God, this is to be a human being.” (St. John Chrysostom, Homily II in the Gospel of John, M.P.G. 59, 36). Why, if a person is “pleasing” God, is he or she truly and fully a human being? How does one really please God? What is the meaning of the phrase “to be pleasing God?” What does it mean to be pleasing to God? Were the Apostles and their contemporaries the only people who pleased God? Let me tell you a story. A priest once was so compassionate that he would always give his shoes to poor beggars who asked him. This resulted in him going barefoot most of the time. His parishioners didn’t like this, and complained to the bishop. His bishop ordered him to always wear shoes. Like any good priest does, he obeyed his bishop. What did he do? He tied two shoes together, and wore them around his neck! Who was this priest? Was this some guy who lived a long time ago? No, this priest would go on to be consecrated Archbishop of San Francisco. His name was John Maximovitch. Was St. John pleasing to God? Apparently: he’s a saint. Why was he pleasing to God? If I go and give my shoes to poor people, am I pleasing to God? Well, why am I doing it? Is it because I have compassion on the poor, and want to clothe the least of these, so that I may clothe Christ? What did St. Paul say about this? “Though I bestow
all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing” (I Corinthians 13:3). Why did St. John give his shoes away? It was out of love. If that’s the reason that I’m putting shoes on these poor beggars, then I am pleasing to God. According to Jesus, the way to enter the Kingdom is to follow the commandments (Mark 10:19, Luke 18:20). But Jesus also said that love of God and love of neighbor are two commandments “on [which] hang all the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:37-40). So what pleases God is following the Commandments, not emptily, joylessly and because we have to, but because we love God and we want to. St. John the Evangelist said “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God Whom he has not seen?” (1 John 4:20). How do we please God? By loving Him and by showing Him that we love Him by the way we treat our brethren: feeding, clothing and helping them. Now, St. John Chrysostom did not just say “Be pleasing to God.” But rather, he said that it is human to be pleasing to God. He didn’t mean “human” in the way we mean it when we say “Well, I’m only human.” He meant what human nature was intended to be when God created us, before the Fall. And Who is the Epitome of human nature, not subject to death, corruption, sin and all the rest? The same Logos Who is the express Icon of the Father (2 Corinthians 4:4), our Savior Jesus Christ. We encounter this “Logos tou Theou” (the Word of God), when we see the icons of Christ and His Saints.
We also encounter Him in the Holy Eucharist. But! We also encounter Him, as my spiritual father puts it, in the simple things of life. We encounter Him in other people, who are themselves living icons. St. Martin of Tours was a soldier in the Roman army. He was still unbaptized when he was riding through the streets of a city one winter night and saw a beggar wearing very little, if anything at all, and shivering from the extreme cold. Feeling compassion for this poor naked man, Martin took off his soldier’s cloak, cut it in half with his dagger, gave half to the beggar, wrapped the other half around himself, and rode away. That night, the Lord appeared to Martin, wearing the other half of his cloak and surrounded by angels. Christ spoke to the angels and said, “Martin, while still a catechumen, has clothed Me in this garment.” When we show compassion on the “least of these” (cf. Matthew 25:40, 45), we show compassion for Christ Himself. This is what is pleasing to God. Christ is the Epitome of human nature in the way human nature was created to be. As we become more Christ-like, as we become more pleasing to God, by loving God and our neighbors, we restore our human nature to what it was created to be – perfect. Using Christ, Who is pleasing to His Father (cf. Matthew 3:17, 17:5, Mark 1:11, Luke 3:22), as our example, we can draw the conclusion that it is human, it is natural, it is part of our nature, to please God and to do His will – by loving Him, loving our brethren, and keeping the Commandments. (The speech of the Junior Division winner will appear in the July-August issue.)
HTSF Presents Scholarships to 33 Students NEW YORK – The Hellenic Times Scholarship Fund presented scholarships to 33 students from colleges and universities throughout the United States and honored “Guiding Light” actor Frank Dicopoulos and humanitarian and business leader John Pappajohn at its recent 17th Anniversary Gala. About 1,500 persons attend the HTSF Gala that presented more than $100,000 in scholarships. Scholarship winners, their hometowns, institutions of higher learning they attend and area of study are: Stephanie Alexandrou, Cleveland, Tenn., Lee University, theater; Elena Cade, Des Moines, Iowa, University of Iowa, communications; Jonathon Osborne, Mason City, Iowa, Minnesota State University, law enforcement; Richard Zubulake, Des Moines, University of Iowa, MIS. Kathryn Christoforatos, Bronx, N.Y., New York University, law; Amanda Efthimiou, Garden City, N.Y., George Washington University, international relations; Christina Galifianakis, New York, Marymount Manhattan, medical; Angela Krontiris, Brooklyn, N.Y., SUNY-New Paltz, business and photography; Eleni Liakaris, Oakland Gardens, N.Y., St. John’s University, education; Christos Plakas, Flushing, N.Y., Drexel University, medical; Thalyana Smith-Vikos, New York, Cornell University, botany; Georgia Stagias, Astoria, N.Y, Fordham University, law; Stephen Tripodianakis, New York, Manhattanville College, international relations; Patricia Zillas, Hicksville, N.Y., Centenary College, law; and Maria Zoulis, Yonkers, N.Y., Georgetown University, arts. Angeliki Fotiades, Elk Grove, Calif.; Univ. of Southern California, journalism; Paul Kaklamanos, Jupiter, Fla., Florida State University; Christina Lagos, Dunedin, Fla., Harvard, public health; Anthony Velardocchia, Tarpon Springs, Fla., Hellenic CollegeHoly Cross, religion; Michael Karidoyanes, West Roxbury, Mass., Westfield State College, law enforcement-FBI; Christina Lenis, Worcester, Mass., Simmons College, journalism. Thomas Katsiyiannis, Boston, Berklee College of Music, music; Constantina Lalangas, Dallas, Baylor College of Dentistry, dentistry; Anna Moisiadis, Madison,Wis., University of Wisconsin-Madison, printing. Frankiskos Othitis, Wanaque, N.J., Embry-Riddle University, aeronautics; Kaliopi Rose, West Trenton, N.J., St. Joseph’s University, marketing; Thomas Skleros, Barnegat, N.J., William Paterson University, music. Zachary Poulos, Plainville, Conn., Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Dentistry, pharmacy;; Alexander Tinios, Watertown, Conn., Mass. College of Pharmacy, pharmacy; George Tinios, Watertown, Conn., Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, computer science; Michael Skapes, Berea, Ohio, University of Akron, political science; Christina Synodinos, Columbus, Ohio; Ohio University, public relations; Sarah Sotiropoulos, O’Fallon, Ill.. University of Illinois, physics. To date, the HTSF has awarded over $1 million to more than 500 students. Dinner chairman was attorney Nick Katsoris, general counsel of the Red Apple Group, headed by Archon John Catsimatidis, who also is publisher of the Hellenic Times with his wife, Margo.
Recipients of Hellenic Times Scholarship Fund awards with honorees, celebrity presenters and HTSF ofﬁcials at the Hilton hotel dinner dance in May
Applications Available from Calif. Medical, Dental Society ROLLING HILLS ESTATES, Calif. – The Hellenic American Medical and Dental Society of Southern California invites medical and dental students of Greek descent to apply for the S. James Vamvas Scholarships for the academic year 2008-09. Applicants should be medical and dental students enrolled in accredited California schools or California residents attending schools in other parts of the United States. For more information and applications, contact Dr. George C. Emmanouillides, HAMDS Scholarship Chairman, 4619 Browndeer Lane, Rolling Hills Estates, CA 9027 6; or telephone (316) 377-6643, or (310) 222-4000. Applications will be accepted until July 31.
Bikers Get Blessings for Easy Riding GLENVIEW, Ill. – Sts. Peter and Paul Church of Glenview, Ill., recently held its first annual (and possibly the first-ever anywhere) “Blessing of the Bikes” by Fr. Angelo Artemas for a healthy, safe and blessed riding season. More than 60 bikers, about half of them Greek Orthodox and a third parishioners of the church, turned out for a blessing before getting their motors running and heading out on the highway in search of adventure (and whatever comes their way). Special guests included two of Glen-
Fla. Parish to Build Shrine Church by Peter Crist
view’s finest police officers with the force’s Harley Davidsons. The parish plans on hosting the blessing again next year on April 19. Fr. Artemas also acknowledged the event organizer, Barbara Pignato of Skokie, Ill.
Conference on Orthodox Schools Slated at HC–HC The Virginia H. Farah Foundation is sponsoring a second annual “Conference on Orthodox Schools” to be held Aug. 1-2 at Hellenic College/Holy Cross in Boston. The conference is presented by The Orthodox School Association and the Theophany School. Speakers for the conference include Rev. Dr. Demetrios Constantelos, Fr. Anthony Scott of Stewardship Advocates, Dr. Anne Bezzerides, Dr. James Skedros, Dr. Vigen Guroian, and others. Topics will include philosophy of education, administrative practice, teaching methodologies,
curricular content, and classical learning. This year participants have the option to attend one of three two-evening seminars over prescribed readings for an added tuition of $50. Participants will receive professional development credit hours. Registration and other conference information are available from The Orthodox School Association website at www.orthodoxschools.org. You may also contact by phone 617-850-1315 or email email@example.com.
PALM HARBOR, Fla. –The mission parish of Sts. Raphael, Nicholas, and Irene in Palm Harbor, Fla. has taken a giant step in the development of their parish shrine with an affirmative vote of 99 percent of the general assembly to build a Byzantine church/ shrine dedicated to their beautiful martyred patron saints. The mission parish was formed in 1999, and became a shrine in February 2003 when the relics of the blessed martyrs were brought from the island of Mytilene, Greece by the island’s Metropolitan, Iakovos. It was a glorious celebration attended by Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta and Fr. John Protopapas, the pastor, along with local clergy and hundreds of faithful who were present to welcome the saints to their home in Palm Harbor. The presence of the saints creates a special place of healing and transformation on a regional and national level and enhances the spiritual and educational mission of the young parish. At a parish general assembly on March 23, architect Christ J. Kamages, AIA, principal of CJK Design Group of San Francisco, provided an overview of the project and presented several design options and possibilities.
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Prof. Charles Moskos Compiled from various news sources Charles C. Moskos, age 74, professor of sociology at Northwestern University for 40 years and the author of “Greek Americans: Struggle and Success and New Directions in Greek American Studies” (with Dan Georgakas), died peacefully on May 31 in Santa Monica, Calif., after a struggle with cancer,. Professor Moskos also had served on Archbishop Iakovos’ Commission on a Theological Agenda for the Third Millennium and was chairman of the Theodore Saloutos Memorial Fund in Greek American Studies. He also was a recipient of the American Hellenic Institute’s Hellenic Heritage Achievement Award and was a member of AHEPA. He also was a prominent military sociologist and wrote “All That We Can Be: Black Leadership and Racial Integration the Army Way,” with John Butler (1997); “The Military: More Than Just a Job?” (1988); and “The Postmodern Military” (2000), among numerous other books and articles. Professor Moskos was born May 20, 1934, in Chicago to Greek immigrant parents, and grew up in Albuquerque, N.M. where he graduated from Albuquerque High School. His was the brother of Harry Moskos, an Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, who had a long career with the Albuquerque Tribune before becoming vice president and editor of The Knoxville (Tenn.) News-Sentinel, then on his retirement in 2006 went to the Albuquerque Journal, where he continues to work for the editorial page. Charles Moskos was a sought-after source on military matters from journalists with the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, USA Today and contributed op-ed pieces to newspapers including The Wall Street Journal and the Albuquerque Journal. After graduating from Albuquerque High, Charles Moskos went to Princeton University on a tuition scholarship. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1956 after graduation from Princeton. On leaving the military, he earned a master’s degree in 1961 and a doctorate in 1963, both in sociology from the University of California at Los Angeles. He took his first teaching job at the University of Michigan, then went to Northwestern University, where he taught sociology. His highest profile came with his development of the controversial “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy for the Clinton administration, in which the government cannot ask about an enlistee’s sexual preference and homosexuals cannot tell military superiors their preference. Moskos stopped teaching classes at Northwestern University in 2006 and moved to Santa Monica. He is survived by his wife of 41 years, Ilca (Hohn) Moskos; sons, Andrew of Amsterdam, the Netherlands and Peter of Astoria, N.Y.; two grandchildren; and his brother, Harry, of Albuquerque. Funeral services were held at St. Andrew ‘s Church in Chicago, on June 6 with Bishop Dimitrios of Mokissos officiating, assisted by Frs. John Kalomas, pastor, and Fr. John Kutulas, pastor emeritus. Memorial donations may be made to the Hellenic Museum and Cultural Center, 801 W. Adams St. 4th Floor, Chicago, IL 60607-3035.
V. Rev. Paul Koutoukas SCHENECTADY, N.Y. – The Very Rev. Archimandrite Paul K. Koutoukas, 70, a retired priest, died on Memorial Day, May 26. He was born June 4, 1937 in Endicott, N.Y. He attended Endicott public schools and graduated from high school in 1955. He then enrolled at Hellenic College-Holy
Cross School of Theology in Brookline, Mass., where he studied for1½ years. He continue his studies at the University of Athens, Greece, for five years and received a licentiate in Sacred Orthodox Theology. Upon returning to the United States, he took monastic vows and was ordained a deacon at St. Nicholas Church in Newburgh, N.Y. on Nov. 13, 1966 by Metropolitan Silas of New Jersey. He was ordained to the priesthood on Thanksgiving of the same year at his native parish, Annunciation Church in Endicott by Metropolitan Germanos of Hierapolis. Fr. Koutoukas served parishes in St. Mary’s in Minot, N.D., and Annunciation in Grand Forks, N.D., from Dec. 1, 1966 to Aug. 31, 1969. He was next assigned to St. George Church in DeKalb, Ill,, from Sept. 1, 1969 to May 1, 1971, St. Demetrios in Tucson, Ariz., from May 1, 1971 to September 1974, St. Nektarios in Covina, Calif, from Dec. 1, 1974 to October 1977, St. Spyridon in San Diego, May 15, 1978 to July 13, 1979, St. Nicholas in Tacoma, Wash., from July 14, 1979 to July 1983, Annunciation in Jersey City, N.J. from Sept. 25, 1983 to Nov. 30, 1992, and St. George in Schenectady, N.Y., from Dec. 1, 1992 until his retirement on Sept. 30, 2002 for health reasons. He was elevated to the rank of Archimandrite in September 1982 by Bishop Anthony of San Francisco. Upon his retirement, the mayor of Schenectady presented Fr. Koutoukas with the key to the city. Over the years he also lectured at numerous colleges and universities, was active in the Pan–Orthodox and Ecumenical movements and the Right– to–Life organization and was a member of AHEPA for 38 years, serving as national chaplain for a brief period. In 1989, the Hudson Chapter of AHEPA in Jersey City selected him as “Ahepan of the Year.” Survivors include his twin brother, Harry M. Koutoukas of New York; a sister, Jean Ann Davidson of Endicott, N.Y.; a godson, Paul Zimmerman of Las Vegas; and other relatives and friends. Funeral services took place May 28 with Metropolitan Athenagoras of Mexico and Central America, a close childhood friend, officiating, assisted by Fr. Paul Panos. Memorial donations may be made to Orthodox Missions Mexico, 1520 Mt. Prospect Road, Des Plaines, Ill., 60018, or to St. George Church, 107 Clinton St., Schenectady, NY 12305.
Fr. Nicholas Retselas WANTAGH, N.Y. – Fr. Nicholas Retselas, 70, died May 22 after a lengthy illness. He had been pastor at Holy Cross, Whitestone, N.Y., and previously served parishes on Long Island. He was born Dec. 29, 1937 in Thessaloniki, Greece. After graduating from high school, he attended the theological school at the University of Thessaloniki. He married Elli Manessis, a native of Andros, Greece and they had four children. After immigrating to the U.S. in 1967, he was ordained to the diaconate and priesthood by Bishop Philotheos of Meloa on Oct. 29, 1971, at St. Demetrios Church, Astoria. He was assigned to St. Gerasimos Church in New York for a brief period. He was assigned to St. Demetrios Church in Freeport (now in Merrick) in October 1971 and served their until Dec. 31, 1987. His next assignment was Kimisis tis Theotokou in Island Park, N.Y. and then Holy Cross in Whitestone from March 12, 2005 to May 10, 2008. Survivors include his presbytera and four children, Petros, Anastasia, Photios and Argyro, and their families. Funeral services took place at Holy Cross Church, Whitestone, May 27. Memorial contributions may be made to the Holy Cross Church Building Fund, Whitestone, NY.
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The Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation Holds 74th Meeting NEW YORK – The North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation examined how the two Church bodies understand ecclesial authority and the sacramental nature of the Church at their 74th meeting at Hellenic College/Holy Cross School of Theology in Brookline, Mass. from June 2-4. Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk of Cincinnati and Metropolitan Maximos of Pittsburgh chaired the meeting. At the first theological session, Fr. Paul McPartlan of The Catholic University of America offered an analysis of the October 2007 document of the International Orthodox-Catholic Theological Dialogue, “Ecclesiological and Canonical Consequences of the Sacramental Nature of the Church: Ecclesial Communion, Conciliarity and Authority.” Also known as “The Ravenna Document,” this text examines the canonical structures that serve the understanding of koinonia (community) in the Church at the local, regional and world-wide levels. Fr. McPartlan is himself a member of the international dialogue. A Catholic reaction to the document was then presented by Fr. John Galvin and an Orthodox reaction by Robert Haddad, Ph.D. At the second session, Fr. Joseph Komonchak, from Catholic University, presented a select bibliography on synodality and commented on a number of the sources. Jesuit Father Brian Daley of the University of Notre Dame, presented an overview and commentary of the Cyprus Agreed Statement, the 2006 document of the Anglican-Orthodox theological dialogue, titled “The Church of the Triune God.” This was followed by brief presentations by Frs. David Petras and McPartlan on how the two churches might function were there reestablishment of full communion. At the third session, Metropolitan Maximos presented the paper, “Will the Ecclesiology of Cardinal Ratzinger Influence the Pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI?” This was followed by discussion of the Consultation’s efforts exploring primacy and synodality so far. The discussion continued at the fourth session. While at Holy Cross, the members
also shared in the spiritual life of the seminary, attending Vespers on Monday evening and a celebration of the Divine Liturgy in the seminary chapel on Tuesday morning, presided over by Metropolitan Maximos. Fr. John Erickson of St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, who had been an Orthodox member before he was named seminary dean in 2002, was welcomed back to the Consultation. He takes the place of Dr. John Barnet, also of St. Vladimir’s Seminary. The next meeting is slated for Oct. 23-25, in Montreal, Quebec. It will be sponsored by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, which has been an official participant in the North American Consultation since 1997. In addition to the co-chairs, the Consultation include Orthodox representatives Frs. Thomas FitzGerald (secretary), and Nicholas Apostola, Susan Ashbrook Harvey, Ph.D., Fr. James Dutko, Paul Meyendorff, Ph.D., Fr. Alexander Golitzin, Robert Haddad, Ph.D., Frs. Paul Schneirla, Robert Stephanopoulos, John Erickson, Theodore Pulcini, and Mark Arey, general secretary of SCOBA (staff). The additional Catholic members are Jesuit Fr. Brian Daley (secretary), Thomas Bird, Ph.D., Holy Cross Frs. Lucien Coutu, and Peter Galadza, Chorbishop John D. Faris, Frs. John Galvin, Sidney Griffith, Joseph Komonchak, Paul McPartlan, and David Petras, Sister Susan K. Wood, Vito Nicastro, Ph.D., and Paulist Fr. Ronald Roberson, who serves as staff. The North American OrthodoxCatholic Theological Consultation is sponsored jointly by the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA), the Bishops’ Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. Since its establishment in 1965, the Consultation has issued 22 agreed statements on various topics. All these texts are now available on the SCOBA Website at http://www.scoba.us/resources/ orthodox-catholic.html and at the USCCB website at http://www.usccb. org/seia/orthodox_index.html
The Mother Church of Northern Florida Parishes page 19 chapel, school building, retirement residences and banquet hall, which would be located east of the near-downtown site of the present church, and closer to the beach. Fr. Nicholas said the plans are still “a few years away.” The present composition of the community is mostly third and fourth generation Greek Orthodox, some Arab Christians from the Middle East, others from Eastern Europe, as well as African Americans; some who have married into
the faith, or converted on their own by learning about the faith. Very few Greek immigrants remain. The parish ministries include, the Sunday School, with an enrollment of 130 students. The Greek school, which also offers dance instruction, runs from ages 7 to adult and has about 30 students. Financially, the church relies mostly on stewardship for its revenue. There has not been a Greek festival for two years, but the community is considering re-establishing one next year. —Compiled by Jim Golding
Metropolitan Alexios Opens Dining Hall, Kitchen at Diakonia Center by Fr. Geroge Savas
With the generous donation by Charlie (Anastasios) Masterpolis the Diakonia Retreat and Conference Center has opened the doors to its new dining hall and kitchen. Metropolitan Alexios has been the driving force and inspiration of not only the purchase, but continued building of the property and programs hosted at the Diakonia Center, an integral part of the Metropolis of Atlanta. Situated along a lake on 210 acres near Salem, S.C., this dining hall will be used by the many groups who use the facility. Already His Eminence’s vision has become reality with use by all of the Church organizations including clergy retreats, parish council seminars, Philoptochos, GOYA, Senior Ministry, Summer Camp, and College OCF to name a few. As has been the tradition hundreds attended the Pascha Glendi hosted the Saturday before the Myrrh Bearers Sunday. Lambs cooked on the spit, old and young alike enjoyed the many activities of the day which were highlighted by the special service of Agape and Blessing of the new building. Honored guest included His Eminence Ignatios of Demetriados who spoke inspiring words to the faithful sharing the message of the Anastasis and making it a reality in our lives. Metropolitan Alexios also introduced the new executive director of the Diakonia Center, Fr. George Savas. Fr. George who took residence on the property will oversee all of the activity of the Center as well as conduct Liturgical services for visitors and residents of the surrounding area. This center is open to everyone of the Metropolis as well as the entire Archdiocese. The proximity to Atlanta and Greenville invites easy access for retreats, conferences, meetings and summer camps. When the weather in the north becomes too cold for outdoor enjoyment this South Carolina location is perfect for Advent and early spring Pascha retreats. Pan Orthodox participation is promoted and encouraged. Recent additions to the Center have included three lodges which sleep 40 each. Already on the property are 10 cabins for more private stays and a pavilion that is used for larger groups. Hiking and boating are part of the regular activities. Buildings for meetings, arts and crafts, woodworking, and education are also found on the property. Athletic activities are conducted in the lighted basketball courts, soccer and baseball fields. A sandy beach becomes the launching area for the canoes and docks for fishing. Area golf courses provide added perks for the visitors. Already in the planning stages the new Church will become a focal point from every direction. Centered on the property as well as in our daily life, the church will be built in the traditional Byzantine style. The Retreat Center is a wonderful setting to further our Orthodox life and enjoy spiritual focus. In its most natural beauty one cannot help but recognize the magnificent hand of God in creation and His blessings in our lives. For more information visit our web page at www.diakoniacenter.org or email Fr. George directly at fgholyspirit@yahoo. com
The Atlanta Metropolis Diaconia Retreat and Conference Center dining hall.
OUTREACH and EVANGELISM
Outreach is a Person-to-Person Process by Fr. James Kordaris
Second of two parts MINISTRY PROFILES Research has shown that people are looking to serve others through their church. Ministry Profiles is a program designed to profile exceptional ministries carried out in parishes throughout the Archdiocese with a step-by-step plan of implementation. The goal of Ministry Profiles is not to add to the workload of our parish priests. Local clergy are encouraged to assess the gifts of lay leadership in the parish, empowering them to spearhead suitable ministries, always under the guidance of the parish priest. Ministries highlighted include the Challenge Liturgy -- a special liturgy of physically & mentally challenged Orthodox Christians; a Grief & Bereavement Support Group, the Life Ministries Program to assist new mothers in need, and the Parish Nurse Program -- a multifaceted ministry serving parishioners and the surrounding community. OUTREACH WEBSITE & LISTSERV Over the past few years, this web site has grown quickly and includes many resources and ministry tools for outreach & evangelism, relevant articles, sermons, ministry profiles, photos and updates on developments from throughout the Archdiocese.
The Department also provides regular electronic communication with all those interested in outreach and evangelism through the Outreach email listserv. PARISH VISITOR CARDS & RACK Welcome visitors and collect their contact information for follow-up with this handsome Parish Visitor Card Rack for your candle stand, visitors’ center, literature table or bookstore. CLEARINGHOUSE OF LITURGICAL ITEMS Throughout the Archdiocese there are parishes in need of liturgical items such as censers, chalice sets, baptismal fonts, kouvouklia, and more. There are also many established parishes that have several of these items, some of which are never used. The Department is working with the parishes to match up those that have with those that need in order to provide these basic liturgical items for only the cost of delivery. Through this program the needs of parishes are being met through the care and generosity of other parishes. Relationships are being formed between parishes across the Archdiocese to the benefit of all.
PARISH LOCATION ANALYSIS A booklet outlining a process to assess the feasibility of establishing a parish based upon demographic analysis and projected population growth trends is available through the department. This location analysis is useful for new parishes, for existing parishes considering a change of location, and for existing parishes wishing to determine the growth potential of their current location. Copies may be ordered by contacting the Department (Outreach@goarch.org). LAY MINISTRY Lay Ministry is a key element in the process of parish renewal. The parish priest is called to assess the gifts of his lay leadership and to empower them to spearhead suitable lay ministries under his guidance. In the words of St. John Chrysostom: “The most basic task of the Church leader is to discern the spiritual gifts of all those under his authority, and to encourage those gifts to be used to the full for the benefit of all. Only a person who can discern the gifts of others and can humbly rejoice at the flowering of those gifts is fit to lead the Church.” Department of Outreach & Evangelism www.Outreach.Goarch.org , Outreach@ goarch.org
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Archdiocese Hierarchs Make Official Visit to Church of Russia page 5
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.
than 100 young women of the “Sisters of Mercy” program chanted – to the delight and surprise of the delegation – the famous hymn of St. Nektarios of Aegina, “Agni Parthene,” (in Greek) in honor of the day. The students then came forward one by one to receive the blessing of the Archbishop, and the delegation proceeded on a tour of the hospital while “Christ is Risen” was chanted. During the visit of the hospital, Archbishop Demetrios personally greeted some of the patients on the neurological ward, blessing them and sharing a pastoral moment with them. As the delegation has two physicians, Dr. Antoine Harovas and Dr. Anthony Limberakis, there were also discussions related to the health care system in Russia that started in the halls of the hospital and continued at a reception offered by Fr. Arcady. As in all the visits on this pilgrimage, the hospitality and gifts were only equaled by the warmth and respect afforded the Archbishop and all the members of the delegation. After the visit, the delegation departed for the State Duma, where the Archbishop was received by Deputy Chairman Liubov K. Sliska and various members and officials. As the deputy chairman welcomed the Archdiocese visitors at the formal Hall of the Duma, she spoke of the great honor – both to herself and to the State Duma, to receive for the first time “the representative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.” She thanked the Archbishop for his visit and expressed great appreciation for his prayers and the prayers of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in connection with the reunification of the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR). She spoke with great praise for Patriarch Alexy, and his leadership of the resurgence of the Russian Orthodox Church. She also expressed her hopes that the visit of the Archbishop to Russia would contribute in a positive way to the relations between the United States and Russia. The Archbishop spoke of the importance of the historical relations of Russia and United States, and stressed the support of the Ecumenical Patriarchate for many of the issues that are important to the Russian people. The Archbishop also expressed deep satisfaction at coming to this center of government, the State Duma, and finding such a deep commitment to the Orthodox Faith. In the evening, the Archbishop and the delegation were guests of Patriarch Alexy at a concert and performance in
the auditorium of Christ the Savior Cathedral. The performance, including music, poetry and dance, were a continuation of the celebration of Slavic Letters Day. The Archbishop sat with the Patriarch throughout the evening, and accompanied him to a reception afterwards. The delegation concluded its visit on May 28, by visiting two of the most famous monasteries in Moscow. The evening before their departure, the Archbishop and the members of the delegation were received by the Mayor Yury Luzkhov of Moscow. In the dialogue that followed, both the Mayor and the Archbishop commented on the importance of the reconstruction of the Christ the Savior Cathedral, a project in which the Mayor had been deeply involved. The Mayor gifted the Archbishop with a commemorative crystal bowl featuring the Cathedral, and the Archbishop reciprocated with a silver commemorative plate from the Archdiocese. The day of their departure, the Archbishop and delegation members were received at two of the most important monasteries in Moscow, the Danilov and the Donskoy. The Danilov, or St. Daniel Monastery, is the oldest in Moscow. The monastery abbott, Archimandrite Alexy, welcomed the group and gave them a tour of the monastery churches. The delegation next visited the Donskoy Monastery, which houses the relics of St. Tikhon, patriarch of Moscow at the time of the Bolshevik revolution and, previously, the Russian Orthodox primate in North America. The group, accompanied by clergy of the Moscow Patriarchate, was received with flowers by Bishop Alexander of Mitrof, and the abbot together with hieromonks. The Archbishop was escorted into the main church, where a special service of Thanksgiving was chanted before the relics of St. Tikhon. After the service, the Archbishop toured the Donskoy Monastery cemetery, which includes 19th century tombs of Pontian Greeks, as well as a few examples of the original monumental statuary that survived the destruction of Christ the Savior Cathedral. Following the tour, the delegation Archbishop was escorted to the airport by Bishop Alexander and representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate.
CORRECTION In the May parish profile, the restaurant where an organizing meeting took place was at Thalia Pappas’ restaurant, not Christina Kaouris’ restaurant.
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by Eva Kokinos
“We have seen the true light, we have received the heavenly Spirit, we have found the true faith, as we worship the undivided Trinity, for the Trinity has saved us.” (Hymn of Pentecost) A staggering 97.5 million - That’s how many votes were cast to select the 2008 winner of American Idol. That night, viewers from throughout the country spoke up and proclaimed who they believed should win the contest. When people believe in something so strongly, they will find a way to express their belief in that cause or person. What if we put that same type of conviction into our faith? What does it mean, as Orthodox Christians, to have conviction? As Orthodox Christians, we believe that God sent us His only begotten Son so we might inherit eternal life. As the Resurrectional Hymn proclaims, “Christ is Risen from the dead, by death He has trampled down death, and to those in the tombs, He has granted life.” Last month, we celebrated Holy Pascha. So we all probably still have the words “Christ is Risen” singing loudly in our hearts. Think about how that moment felt when your entire church sang “Christ is Risen.” It is with that enthusiasm and conviction that we should proclaim our faith every day. It is not easy to say what you believe with conviction. Even Peter denied knowing Christ three times when asked if he was a disciple (John 15:18-27). Many of the things we are called to do as Orthodox Christians are very different than society’s standards. We are still very much in a selfcentered society. Society might tell us that we can rely on ourselves for everything and that it is ok to indulge our every desire. Our goal is to watch out for “number one.” But in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus instructs us to pray, to fast, and to give alms. Society might tell us to get revenge on those who hurt us. But Jesus teaches us to forgive our brother “seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:21-22). Standing up and speaking out about our faith might mean going against our friends or popular trends. So how do we find the strength to stand up for what we believe? We can find inspiration in the Scriptures and the lives of the saints to help us stand up and affirm our faith to the world. In June, we celebrate Pentecost. During this important feast of the Church, the Holy Spirit descends upon the disciples so that they might be given the grace to proclaim the Good News. The disciples faced criticism, danger, and persecution. But it is with the Holy Spirit that they were able
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
are our opportunity to receive the Holy Trinity into our lives. We receive the Body and Blood of Christ through the Eucharist. We feel the grace and love of God through Holy Confession. And just like the disciples at Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descends upon us during the Sacrament of Baptism. We are willing to scream for our favorite singer, wear the colors of our favorite sports team, and spend all night voting for our favorite American Idol. With conviction in our Orthodox Christian faith, we must stand up and proclaim “Christ is Risen” with the same fervor and passion. If we stand with this conviction, we can teach others about the True Faith in our risen Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Eva Kokinos currently serves as the director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries for the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Detroit.
to proclaim the True Faith to all. Look at the saints of our Orthodox Christian faith. Many of them went “against the grain.” In other words, many of the saints stood up for what they believed regardless of the reaction or result. They proclaimed their faith with more than conviction. Some proclaimed their faith unto death. St. George, who we commemorate on April 23, was a decorated military solider. But when the emperor was preparing to persecute the Christians, St. George openly criticized the Emperor. Even through horrifying torture, St. George’s steadfast faith and conviction moved many people to Christianity. St. George did not let his conviction fade, even when faced with death. St. Basil, commemorated Jan. 1, showed his conviction by being strong and being active. St. Basil was threatened
with torture and exile if he did not follow the Emperor. But, St. Basil put his belief and faith into practice. He showed that he believed in Christ’s Resurrection and teachings by taking care of the sick and poor. He also wrote extensively so that others might come to know the True Faith, even writing a Divine Liturgy. So how do we, in 2008, show conviction in our Orthodox Christian faith? We are not threatened by exile or torture. But it is hard to fight the popular trends of society. As Orthodox Christians, we should be involved in our Christian communities. Even when others might criticize us for our beliefs and practices, our churches and youth groups are support groups. They will always understand who we are and what we believe. Also, we must make sure to participate in the Holy Sacraments of the Church. On the Christian path, the Sacraments
For Parents and Youth Workers Major announcements for Young Adult Ministries! Check them out! YOUNG ADULT SURVEY: The Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries has developed a survey to better understand the needs of our young adults. Go to http://www.surveymonkey. com to take the survey and enter to win a free iPod Nano. You may only enter once and a winner will be randomly chosen on Aug. 29. NATIONAL YOUNG ADULT CONFERENCE: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America National Young Adult Conference, July 10-13 in Washington. Online registration, conference schedule, and additional information is available at www.yal2008.org, or by contacting the Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries at 646-519-6180.
Faith on Summer Vacation? School is over. Graduates have received their diplomas. Now, everyone is packing their sunglasses and suntan lotion for summer vacation. Over the summer, it is common to see lower attendance at church. So what happens to our faith during the months of June through August? How are we staying connected to the church, even while on vacation? We put a lot of effort into planning summer vacations. According to a VISA survey, Americans in 2007 planned on spending an average of $1,654 on a summer vacation. Much of our summer vacation budget is spent on hotels, rental cars, and all of the entertainment. But this summer, consider adding these activities or plans to keep you connected to your faith during summer vacation. Pray… Even on Vacation One of the easiest things to keep going, even on vacation, is prayer. Whether traveling with family, a youth group, or on your own, you can still make time for morning and bedtime prayers, and prayers before meals. Make sure to pack an icon, prayer book, and Bible for your trip. Find an Orthodox Church in your Vacation Spot There are Greek Orthodox Churches in many popular vacation spots through-
out the U.S. Want to visit Disneyland in California? Plan to attend the Divine Liturgy at St. John the Baptist Church in Anaheim. Are you making an exciting trip to Hawaii? Visit Sts. Constantine and Helen Cathedral in Honolulu. Make it a point to visit the local Orthodox Church at our vacation locale to worship together. Make a Summer Reading List Everyone has a flight or car ride to their summer destination. Some people have plenty of downtime at the beach, the hotel, or at a relative’s house. So why not take that time to do a little reading about Orthodox Christianity? Visit Light and Light Publishing (www.light-n-life. com), Orthodox Marketplace (www.orthodoxmarketplace.com), or Holy Cross Bookstore (http://store.holycrossbookstore.com) and pick up a book about
G in Culture
Orthodoxy. There are books for all ages… adults, teens, and children! Plan a Mission Trip or Service Project We are called to give of our time and talents to help those who are less fortunate. Summer is a great time to plan a mission trip or major service project to fulfill this call to serve others. For mission opportunities, youth groups, young adult groups, and families can check out the Orthodox Christian Mission Center website (www.ocmc.org). For charities or service projects, visit the International Orthodox Christian Charities website (www.iocc.org). Also, check with your local parish to see what community service organizations need your help. Spend Your Time at Summer Camp Summer camps provide fun activities, sports, and much more. More importantly, it is a safe environment where Orthodox Christian youth learn about their faith. And summer camp is not just for youth! Many summer camps need adults to serve as counselors, medical staff, program directors, and other volunteers. Visit http:// camp.goarch.org to find a list of Orthodox Christian Camps in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese.
Orthodox Observer - June 2008