MAY – JUNE 2009 • Vol. 74 • No. 1249
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President Meets Privately with Ecumenical Patriarch ISTANBUL - President Barack Obama held a private meeting with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at the Conrad Hotel during the President’s recent visit to Turkey. Archbishop Demetrios and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel also were present. The meeting and ensuing discussion were marked by a spirit of warm cordiality and mutual respect. The substance of the discussions included His All Holiness’ expression of gratitude to President Obama for his strong support of religious freedom and raising before the Turkish Parliament itself the issue of opening up Halki Seminary as a tangible sign of Turkey’s commitment to enter the European Union. He also thanked the President for discussing these issues personally with Prime Minister Erdogan and President Gul of the Turkish Republic. President Obama said he would follow up on these issues with a view to a favorable solution for the Ecumenical Patriarchate. His All Holiness made reference to the following points: • He made a convincing and passionate argument for the speedy re-opening of the Theological School of Halki, a basic need for the education and preparation
White House Photo-Pete Souza
President Obama speaks with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at their meeting in an Istanbul hotel. Archbishop Demetrios is at left.
of clergy of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. • He emphasized the importance of religious liberty and the guarantee of same for all minorities of Turkey.
• He stated his well–known and long–time support for the efforts of Turkey to join the European Union. • He noted the significance of efforts
Archbishops Dedicate New OCMC Administrative & Training Center by Jim Golding
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – The Orthodox missions program has taken a giant step forward with the dedication of the Orthodox Christian Mission Center’s new training facility on May 20-21. The Archbishop Anastasios and Archbishop Demetrios Training and Administration Building marks the first joint project of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas and drew more than 200 Orthodox Christians from the SCOBA Churches to the two–day event that was beset by almost continuous rain that drenched much of northeastern Florida. The training center represents an investment of about $4 million: $3 million for the 12,000 square–foot building and another $1 million to acquire and develop the 20-acre site near Interstate 95, a few miles from St. Augustine. This includes building a paved road, installing utilities, constructing a retaining pond, and landscaping. The event was preceded by a Hierarchal Divine Liturgy for the Feast Day of Sts. Constantine and Helen, officiated by Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta, the host hierarch, at Holy Trinity Church a few minutes from the center. At the actual dedication and thyranoixia (opening of the doors) on May 21, attendees stood under a large tent in front of the building, as the two Archbishops
made on behalf of the environment, adding information on his own upcoming Ecological Symposium in the U.S. (Mississippi River) in October. • He thanked President Obama for this meeting and for his sincere amid active interest in the pressing issues of religious freedom and human rights for the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the other minorities in Turkey. His All Holiness mentioned that he had sent to the President, through the local U.S. Consul General, an icon of the Prophet Baruch (patron of the President) with a handwritten inscription. He also congratulated the President for the championship victory of the University of North Carolina’s Basketball Team, which the President had predicted would win. “As the Ecumenical Patriarchate, we are much more optimistic about the opening of the Halki Seminary,” His All Holiness said in a statement after the meeting. “The Halki seminary is not a matter of prestige for us. Opening this school is a true necessity for our Patriarchate to fulfill its religious mission.” In a speech to the Turkish parliament on Monday, President Obama said that re-opening the Halki seminary would “send a strong signal inside Turkey and beyond” that Turkey respected freedom of religion and expression. The European Union has urged Turkey to open the seminary, located on an island off the coast of Istanbul and shuttered for almost four decades, in order to meet its political criteria for membership. Turkey has argued that having a seminary in Istanbul would violate the country’s secular order.
Archbishop Presents Award to Hillary Clinton by Stavros H. Papagermanos
sional lightning did not dampen the spirits of the participants. For the dedication, Archbishop Anastasios brought relics of St. Cosmas Aitolos, who evangelized communities throughout Greece in the 18th century. “His work saved many Orthodox communities,” His
WASHINGTON – Archbishop Demetrios presented a special award to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on May 22 during a small ceremony at the State Department on behalf of several Hellenic organizations. The ceremony took place in the Treaty Room shortly after Secretary Clinton received Archbishop Demetrios and a delegation of leaders of the National Coordinated Effort of Hellenes (CEH) who were participating in the 25th Annual Cyprus and Hellenic Leadership Conference, taking place in Washington May 20-22. The special award was presented “in light of unprecedented steps that
Archbishop Anastasios of Albania and Archbishop Demetrios view the dedication plaque at the entrance to the building named in their honor.
and other hierarchs and OCMC officials stood under a smaller tent in front of the entrance. Archbishop Demetrios noted the religious significance of the tent from Old Testament times. The Bible notes that, after their exodus from Egypt, the Israelites used a large tent called a tabernacle. Intermittent rain, thunder and occa-
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Benevolence Fund Appeal
Hosting National Oratorical Festival The Oratorical Festival host committee of the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul Minn., under the chairmanship of Frs. Paul Paris and R. Demetrios Andrews, are working to ensure that the 18 metropolis finalists will enjoy an unforgettable weekend. Upon their arrival on Friday, June 12, the finalists and their families will stay at the Radisson hotel, a mile from the Mall of America. Dinner and a get-acquainted fellowship hour will follow the Paraklesis service at St. Mary’s Church in Minneapolis After an early morning wakeup call on Saturday, the group will arrive at St. George Church, in St. Paul, where the speeches will be presented. Attending will be Archbishop Demetrios, Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago and Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos. An awards luncheon follows, where the judges’ decisions will be announced. The top speakers in each division are awarded a $2,000 college scholarship; the second–place participants receive a $1,500 college scholarship and the third–place speakers a $1,000 college scholarship; those finalists who achieve Honorable Mention, each receive a $500 U.S. Savings Bond. After the presentation of awards, the group is then treated to a fun– filled afternoon, including a paddleboat river cruise. The Sunday morning Hierarchical Liturgy will be celebrated at St. Mary’s Church in Minneapolis, followed by a farewell luncheon.
Special Olympics President Joanna Despotopoulou with Archbishop Demetrios.
Greece to Host Another Olympics Greece will once again host a summer Olympics following the highly successful 2004 event, only this time it’s the Special Olympics World Summer Games, slated for June 20 to July 4, 2011. The president of the 2011 Summer Games, Joanna Despotopoulou, visited Archdiocese headquarters in early May and discussed the preparations and plans for the event, which is expected to draw 7,500 athletes with disabilities from 185 countries. An estimated 25,000 volunteers will be needed to assist with the games in 17 service categories In conjunction with the games, a global policy summit to discuss topics about challenges and opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities and a global youth summit will meet concurrently in Athens. The youth summit will bring together young people with and without disabilities to strengthen youth involvement in the
President Papoulias signs as the first volunteer for the Athens 2011 Special Olympics.
Special Olympics International Movement. For more information about the Special Olympics and its volunteer program go online at www.athens2011.org, or call 126.96.36.199.120-2, or write World Summer Games Athens 2011, Ktirio Ippasias, Parko Goudi 11410 Athens, Greece.
New Faith and Life Resource AVAILABLE FOR PARISH MINISTRY AND OUTREACH NEW YORK – The Archdiocese has recently published the new “Faith and Life: Orthodox Christianity” series with the release of three web-based pamphlets on Fasting, the Dating of Easter in the Orthodox Church, and Holy Week. These pamphlets and the “Faith and Life” series are available for free. Intended to be placed in the narthex, they are designed to assist parishes’ ministries and outreach, and the spiritual life and growth of Orthodox Christians, by providing an introduction to a wide range of spiritual, social, and theological issues. In the initial launch of the series, the Archdiocese is publishing the pamphlets
as both web pages and as PDF files that can be viewed online or downloaded and printed on legal size paper for distribution. The resources will also be featured in Bulletin Builder (http://bulletin.goarch. org) As additional topics and pamphlets are published, the resource will be available in a format that can be customized by parishes or ordered in a print version for use in display racks. The variety of formats will help parishes to provide quality literature on Orthodox Christianity for outreach to the unchurched and for parish educational and catechetical programs.
EDITOR IN CHIEF Jim Golding (Chryssoulis) GREEK SECTION EDITOR Eleftherios Pissalidis
In 2009, published bi–monthly except for March and April by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Editorial and Business Office: 8 East 79th Street, New York, NY 10075 TEL.: (212) 570–3555 FAX (212) 774–0239
PRODUCTION & ADVERTISING Eleftherios Pissalidis GRAPHIC ARTIST Abel Montoya ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT Soula Podaras BUSINESS MANAGER Marissa P. Costidis
CONTRIBUTING CORRESPONDENT & PHOTOGRAPHER: Nicholas Manginas
These first three pamphlets offer an attractive and concise presentation of significant issues in the life and praxis of the Orthodox faith. Combining Holy Scripture, theology, history, liturgy, and practice, the pamphlets address relevant and contemporary issues to enhance knowledge and understanding of the faith, addresses the challenges of contemporary life, and offers guidance to help persons, families, and communities grow in their relationship with God and in their commitment to His will for their lives. The series eventually will include dozens of topics in the areas of worship, theology, ethics, and spirituality.
Periodicals’ postage paid at New York, NY 10001 and at additional mailing offices. The Orthodox Observer is produced entirely in–house. Past issues can be found on the Internet, at: www.observer.goarch.org • E–mail: email@example.com Articles and advertising do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America which are expressed in official statements so labeled.
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During the months of May and June, we respectively honor our mothers and our fathers. These days are each an opportunity to remember and honor our respective mothers and fathers who raised us and nurtured us during the formative years of our lives. In addition to our parents, there are other individuals who no doubt played central roles in our spiritual development, amongst them our local parish priest and his presbytera. Across this nation, it has been these Fathers and their wives who have raised us and countless generations in the Orthodox faith and nurtured us with the teachings of Christ and His gospels. As you all may know, some of these fathers and presbyteres who have retired from active ministry are subsisting on meager pensions and the Benevolence Fund for Retired Clergy and Widowed Presbyteres has been sending them a monthly stipend to augment their income. During the past three years since the Department of Philanthropy assumed responsibility for this Fund, over $225,000 has been collected and distributed in monthly subsidies to a number of clergymen and widowed presbyteres most of whose total annual retirement incomes range from $14,500 to $21,000. Currently there are 16 individuals (4 priests and 12 presbyteres) receiving assistance and there are others who have applied for assistance. Unfortunately, the Fund cannot approve their applications because there are not enough monies to assist additional individuals. I am hopeful that some of you will want to assist by generously responding to this appeal so that the Fund can offer them the assistance they so need and deserve! Without this assistance, the quality of life of these retired clergymen and widowed presbyteres will be greatly diminished. In advance, thank you. I convey to you and all your loved ones my heartfelt best wishes. May the Light of our Lord’s glorious Resurrection ever shine upon you and enlighten your hearts and minds. Bishop Andonios of Phasiane í Department of Philanthropy Please make your check out to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and earmark it for the Benevolence Fund for Retired Priests and Widowed Presbyteres. Please send it to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, Department of Philanthropy, 8 East 79th Street, New York, NY 10075.
Observer’s Going ‘Green’ In its efforts to be “environmentally responsible,” the Orthodox Observer, like many publications that have already done so, will offer its online version to our readers, in lieu of a hard copy mailed to your home, beginning with the September issue. In so doing, less newsprint, and therefore fewer trees, would be used. There is no cost to subscribe online. Just e-mail your name, address, and customer number that appears on the mailing label to: firstname.lastname@example.org Once we receive your information, the print version will no longer be mailed to your home, but the online edition will be sent via e-mail. In addition to reducing the amount of newsprint used to produce the Observer, with its environmental benefits, you will also receive the publication sooner than by regular mail.
MAY – JUNE 2009
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Progress Noted at Archdiocesan Council Meeting by Jim Golding
NEW YORK – The nation’s difficult economic situation has affected the Church as it has most institutions and individuals, but the Archdiocese continues to make progress on several fronts. In his opening comments at the spring meeting of the Archdiocesan Council on May 1, Archbishop Demetrios noted the effect on the Church by the economy and expenses incurred from legal cases prior to 2001. He said the Archdiocese “could end the year without a significant deficit.” He also noted, while the Leadership 100 Endowment Fund had to drastically curtail its support of certain ministries, including the scholarship program at Hellenic College–Holy Cross School of Theology, through the individual contributions of scholarship committee members, “$1 million was collected to cover the scholarship funds for this year.” Giving to the Church by the parishes continues to hold steady and the ministries of the Church are managing to weather the economic storm. “Thanks be to God the Church could face this without damage that could impair this function,” His Eminence said. One bright spot has been in the area of cooperation with the American Bible Society, which has begun work on producing a bilingual edition of the New Testament using the original Greek patriarchal edition.” Metropolitan Nicholas of Detroit and Jerry Dimitriou, executive director, who are members of the Board of Trustees of ABS, and Theo Nicolakis director of Information Technologies for the Archdiocese, have been at the forefront of this effort as well as many other ABS projects. The ABS also has produced a pocket New Testament for Orthodox Christians in the military. The books contain several color icons in the front and back of Christ, the Virgin Mary and some major saints. Council Vice Chairman Michael Jaharis noted that the economy could get worse but urged the various department heads and ministries to “continue your good work.” Reports from the various committees and ministries highlighted some of the significant work of the Church. Youth ministry Fr. Mark Leondis, director of the Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries noted the improvements made to the
be placed online, a disaster recovery plan to enhance the Archdiocese’s security online, the inclusion of daily Bible readings on Facebook and igoogle, a military web site for Orthodox Christian service personnel, audio editions of the Bible and the military Bible project with the American Bible Society. Communications Committee Chairman Cliff Argue reported on several initiatives and projects affecting D. PANAGOS the Archdiocese’s communiArchbishop Demetrios and Michael Jaharis. cations program including Challenge page in the Orthodox Observer following up on the recent audit and its and the online Challenge newsletter to recommendations to hire a director of streamline their appearance and contents. communications, improve the stewardIn its Young Adult Ministry focus research ship/mailing list, boost revenue for the project, the Department has created an Orthodox Observer, return to a monthly publishing schedule, and other topics. Internet Young Adult Survey. After Archbishop Demetrios underA Young Adult Task Meeting took place in Boston on May 15 that included Council scored the need to increase the publiYouth Committee members, Metropolis cation’s frequency, the Council voted youth directors and others involved in unanimously for the Observer to resume publishing monthly. young adult ministry. Also discussed was the success of The Youth Protection Manual for Archdiocese Camps and Retreats recently the recent airing by ABC-TV of the FAITH was completed and distributed. Created Endowment-sponsored program “Pascha,“ with the Archdiocese Legal Committee and produced by GOTelecom, and its relevance Praesidum Inc., it will train youth workers to the theme of “Gather My People to My to provide children and youth with a safe Home.” Marissa Costidis, director of GOTeleenvironment for learning and growth. Fr. Mark also announced that Fr. Jason com, reported that she had received three Roll was appointed as the new Ionian Vil- “very moving” phone calls from individuals lage Camp director and that, despite the who viewed the program. “It really, really adverse economic conditions, registration touched me,” she said. These included a for the first session of the camp is filled. man from Modesto, Calif., who had not The Department also had received 96 staff gone to church in years, but was “inspired to return on Good Friday;” an Alabama applications for 26 spots. Commenting on the success of the woman who had never set foot in a Greek youth programs, Archbishop Demetrios Orthodox Church and whose mother was noted there has been major expansion of Greek Orthodox, said the program had summer camp programs in various me- transformed her; and, a Hispanic woman tropolises and that the summer camp in who is not Greek Orthodox said she “just New Hampshire under the Metropolis of loved the show” and also commented, Boston has taken on a multifunctional role “You Greek Orthodox hold your faith in that offers many groups the opportunity to such high esteem.” She had also asked for the location of a Greek store so she could use the facility throughout the year. purchase icons and incense. In all, more Technology Committee Department of Internet Ministries than 250 phone calls were received followDirector Theo Nicolakis presented several ing the program, Ms. Costidis said. Greek Education new developments that will upgrade the Dr. Ioannis Efthymiopoulos, national Church’s telecommunications effort, including color-coded events and activities calendars for each metropolis that could page 12
CLERGY UPDATE Ordinations to the Diaconate Louis Nicholas – by Bishop Savas of Troas – St. John Church, Blue Point, N.Y. 04/05/09 Offikia Fr. George W. Wilson – Office of Economos, bestowed by Metropolitan Nicholas of Detroit 09/11/05 Fr. Athanasios Haros – Office of Confessor, bestowed by Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta. 04/12/09 Retired Priests Fr. James J. Cleondis 05/17/09
Next issue deadline
The deadline for articles and photos for consideration in the July-August issue of the Orthodox Observer is Wednesday, July 15. Photos should be sent as large format (300 dpi or greater) jpg attachments. E-mail to: email@example.com or regular mail to: Editor, Orthodox Observer, 8 E. 79th St., New York, NY 10075.
ORTHODOX OBSERVER photo
Executive Committee members of the Retired Clergy Association met with Archbishop Demetrios on May 12 to discuss the RCA’s activities and projects. With His Eminence are Fr. Michael Kontogeorgis, assistant chancellor who serves as the Archdiocese liaison with the RCA; Fr. Constantine Eliades, secretary; Fr. Nick Soteropoulos, president; and Fr. Joel McEachen, treasurer.
Communiqué of the Holy Eparchial Synod NEW YORK.- The Holy Eparchial Synod of the Holy Archdiocese of America convened for its regular Spring Session in the Synodal Room of the Holy Archdiocese in New York on April 29-30 under the presidency of Archbishop Demetrios. The Holy Eparchial Synod deliberated on a series of issues pertaining to the life of the Church. Among them, the following were discussed: 1. Liturgical Issues – The Holy Eparchial Synod worked for the preparation of a Service Text for the induction of the heterodox into the Orthodox Church through the administration of the Sacrament of Chrismation. A new special pocket edition of the New Testament for the benefit of Orthodox military personnel was presented. It was published by the American Bible Society in cooperation with the Holy Archdiocese of America. Parishes of the Holy Archdiocese will be called by their local Metropolitan to honor their members serving in the military and offer them this special edition of the New Testament. 2. Canonical Issues – The Holy Eparchial Synod a) discussed cases of canonical issues pertaining to interOrthodox relations in the U.S., b) made decisions with regard to pending issues of disciplinary nature, c) approved the draft of the Regulations for the operation the Holy Eparchial Synod, which will be forwarded to the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate for final approval, and d) worked on a text of the regulations for the operation of Spiritual Courts. 3. Educational Issues a) Holy Cross School of Theology/Hellenic College – A lengthy discussion took place regarding the Holy Cross School of Theology and Hellenic College, and more specifically the financial ramifications of the world financial crisis. Furthermore, gratitude was expressed to the members of “Leadership 100”, for it was their personal donations that covered the necessary amount for the continuation of the scholarship program offered to students of the Holy Cross School of Theology. It was also emphasized that the clergy of the Holy Archdiocese should increase their efforts to cultivate young people for the Priesthood, especially among altar boys. b) Specialized Educational Program for Deacons – There was discussion on the practical aspects of this program that is already underway at the Holy Cross School of Theology and operates under the supervision of the Holy Eparchial Synod. A supplementary educational program at the Metropolis level was suggested. After the conclusion of the session of the Holy Eparchial Synod, the hierarchs participated in the meeting of the Executive Committee of the Archdiocesan Council.
MAY – JUNE 2009
Archbishops Dedicate New OCMC Administrative & Training Center page 1 Beatitude said. Another hierarch taking part in the dedication, Metropolitan Jonah of the Orthodox Church in America, presented relics of St. Innocent of Alaska, the first Orthodox Christian missionary to arrive in North America, also in the 18th century. The Metropolitan said Innocent was a great inspiration to him. St. Innocent, known as the Apostle to America, established churches in Alaska, California, other parts of the United States, and eastern Asia. The ceremony included a ribbon cutting, dedication of two plaques–one for the two Archbishops and the other for SCOBA, the depositing of the holy relics and the blessing of the building. Participants then filed into the building for a tour and a reception in the training room. The spacious two–story cultured cast stone veneer building contains several administrative offices for the center’s 18 employees, seven dorm rooms that sleep two each and the training room. The formal celebrations included a dinner the evening before, and a luncheon after the dedication. At The Renaissance hotel at the World Golf Village, during interviews with GOTelecom’s Nick Furris and Fr. Chris Metropulos of the Orthodox
The new administrative building as seen from the back. The body of water is the retention pond excavated on the property, as required by local ordinances. (at right) At the service of the thyranoixia (l. to r.) Archdeacon Panteleimon Papadopoulos, OCMC President Clifford Argue, Archbishop Anastasios of Albania, Archbishop Demetrios, Metropolitan Alexios, Metropolitan Jonah and Fr. Martin Ritsi.
D. PANAGOS photos
The Ribbon Cutting (above) – Participants were Metropolitan Alexios, Metropolitan Jonah, Fr. Ritsi, Dedication Committee Chair Helen Nicozisis, Archbishop Demetrios, Clifford Argue and Archbishop Anastasios. (right) Archbishop Demetrios and Metropolitan Alexios, the host hierarch, unveil the icon of Sts. Cyril and Methodios, the missionaries to the Slavs and patron saints of the new facility. Representatives of the Churches of SCOBA attend the dedication. In addition to Archbishops Anastasios and Demetrios, 15 SCOBA hierarchs and clergy also attended. They included Metropolitan Jonah and Fr. Leonid Kishkovsky (OCA), Metropolitan Nicholas of Amissos and the Very Revs. Michael Rosko and Michael Miklos (Carpatho-Russian), Archbishop Nicolae (Romanian), Archbishop Antony and Fr. Harry Linsinbigher (Ukrainian), Bishop Antoun (Antiochian), Fr. Fred Lunich (Serbian), Fr. Blagoy V. Topuzliev (Bulgarian), Archpriest Alexander Abramov (Representative of the Moscow Patriarchate), Deacon Andrew Rubis (Albanian) and Bishop Dimitrios of Xanthos and Fr. Mark Arey (Greek Orthodox Archdiocese).
MAY – JUNE 2009
ound the Ar r A k ch di ee oc W es ly o e
Top tier (from left) – Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey presides at the Agape service at Ascension Church, Fairview, N.J.; Archbishop Demetrios leads the procession at the Lamentations service, Holy Trinity Archdiocesan Cathedral, New York; Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver, at Lamentations, Assumption Cathedral, Denver.
Photo contributors: Dimitri Panagos, Areti Bratsis, Mark Przeslawski, Peter Andrews, Perry Mormanis, Dr. Nick Kyriazi and others.
Middle tier (from left) – Metropolitan Methodios of Boston, Anastasis, St. Spyridon Cathedral, Worcester, Mass.; Metropolitan Maximos of Pittsburgh, Lamentations, Holy Trinity, Ambridge, Pa.; Metropolitan Alexios, St. Nektarios, Charlotte, N.C.
Lower tier (from left) – Metropolitan Gerasimos, St. Nicholas Church, Northridge, Calif.; Metropolitan Iakovos, Holy Unction service, St. John the Baptist, Des Plaines, Ill; Metropolitan Nicholas of Detroit, Annunciation Cathedral.
MAY – JUNE 2009
Metropolitan Methodios Marks 25th Anniversary of His Enthronement by Sophia Nibi
On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of his enthronement as bishop of Boston, Metropolitan Methodios presided at the Pre-Sanctified Liturgy in Holy Cross Chapel on April 8 with clergy of the Metropolis in the congregation. Also attending were members of the Hellenic College–Holy Cross family, and area faithful. Metropolitan Methodios served as president of Holy Cross, his alma mater which, in 2001, awarded him an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree. At the conclusion of the Liturgy, Hellenic College-Holy Cross President Fr. Nicholas Triantafilou, presented Metropolitan Methodios with a crystal bowl with the engraved image of the chapel. Following the Liturgy, Metropolitan Methodios was feted at a reception in the Cathedral Center. The newly printed tome Legacy of Achievement, a festal volume printed to mark his 25th anniversary, was officially presented to the large gathering that included Archbishop Demetrios, Cardinal Sean O’Malley of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, Consul General of Greece in Boston Constantine Orphanides, Metropolitan Paisios of Tyana, Bishop Philotheos of Meloa, former president and chancellor of Boston University, Dr. John Silber, former U.S. Congressman Michael Huffington (R-Calif.), Fr. Triantafilou, the priests and presbyteres of the Metropolis, the Rev. Jack Johnson, executive director of the Massachusetts Council of Churches,
Gathered for the celebration –(from left) Dr. John Silber, Metropolitan Methodios, Archbishop Demetrios, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, and Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston.
the Rev. Diane Kessler, former executive director of the Council, Church Philanthropists Arthur and Madeline Anton, George and Margo Behrakis, Christos and Mary Papoutsy, George and Cathy Sakellaris, and many who have encouraged and supported his ministry during the past 25 years.
Archbishop Demetrios and Cardinal Sean O’Malley display framed icons that Metropolitan Methodios presented them.
At the conclusion of the Pre–Sanctified Liturgy in the Chapel of the Holy Cross, Metropolitan Methodios was presented with a crystal bowl engraved with an image of the Chapel by President Fr. Nicholas Triantafilou. On the right Holy Cross Dean Fr. Thomas FitzGerald and, at left, Metropolis Chancellor Fr. Theodore Barbas.
He was praised for his visionary leadership, his compassion, his ecumenism, his unconditional love for his people, all of which contributed to the achievements of the Metropolis which include the construction of the Metropolis Center in Brookline, establishment of the Philoxenia House, the purchase of the Faith and Heritage Center in Contoocook, N.H., and the transformation of the 200-acre property to an accredited first-rate camp, the construction currently underway of a retreat house on the shores of one of the lakes at the Faith and Heritage Center, and programs such as Marriage Preparation Seminars, expanded Youth and Family Ministry, Greek and Catechetical Education, and outreach programs for the Greek Orthodox Community of New England and the community at large. Visibly touched by the outpouring of love and support, Metropolitan Methodios thanked everyone present, and recognized the clergy who served him as chancellors–the Revs. George Karahalios, George Tsoukalas, Nicholas Krommydas, Athanasios Demos and, currently, Theodore Barbas. He also praised the young men who served as youth directors over the years, three of whom are clergymen today–the Revs. Christopher Foustoukos, Theodore Barbas and Philippe Mousis–Michael Sintros, the director of the St. Methodios Faith and Heritage Center, the current director of Youth Ministry, Dino Pappas, and his office staff. Reflecting on his quarter of a century ministry in New England, Metropolitan Methodios said, “As I look back on April 8, 1984, I thank God for all who were present at my installation. I especially thank God for my mother who is no longer here, and my sister who is present tonight. I thank God for Archbishop Iakovos who presided at the installation and who ordained me to the three ministries of the priesthood. I learned much from him, but most of all to love the Church. “Tonight, as I look back –but also forward– I know that I owe everything to the Church. It is the greatest treasure of the Greek American Community. It is the Church that has kept us focused as a people in America. Think of it, where would we be without our Church? Our Faith and our priceless Hellenic Cultural Heritage would have been lost genera-
tions ago. It is our Church that has kept us united and strong. It is our Church that has enabled us to maintain our identity in America, this beautiful mosaic of cultures and peoples. The legacy of our Faith Tradition is treasured and perpetuated not by any particular organization or by any particular individuals, but by the Church and its people....our clergy and laity who treasure that legacy as the Parakatathiki, as the Covenant of our ancestors. “During these last 25 years, I have done nothing more than to build upon the foundations laid by my predecessors. That is why so much emphasis in the festive volume was placed on the ministry of those pioneer bishops who preceded me, beginning with Ioakeim Alexopoulos, the first bishop of Boston. I try never to forget what St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, ‘Neither he who plants, nor he who waters is anything, but only God Who gives the growth’ (1 Cor. 3,7). To God Almighty and Him alone belongs all honor, thanksgiving and worship.” “In my ministry, I have endeavored to reflect upon the ever-changing reality in our parishes–to determine the best means for making more efficacious and beneficial our contacts with the faithful entrusted to our care–those in the Church but more so with those who stand outside. I wanted from day one for the Diocese, now a Metropolis, to reach out to our young people, our teenagers, our college students, and those preparing to enter into marriage. I wanted us to more effectively minister to our elderly, to the homeless and hungry, and to the sick and suffering in Boston and throughout New England. “It is thanks to our priests and laymen that our Administrative Center has been a beehive of activity, and that the Philoxenia House has been a beacon of philanthropy offering hospitality to hundreds of brethren from throughout the world. It is thanks to our priests and laymen that our camp, Faith and Heritage Center are focal points of Orthodox Christian life for young and old alike. “When I recall the last 25 years, I call to mind St. Basil’s words treasured in the Divine Liturgy he authored, ‘Thus it is, most holy master that we priests though sinners and unworthy minis-
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The Voice of Philoptochos
National Philoptochos Board Meets at HC/HC, Assists Numerous Ministries BROOKLINE, Mass. – The National Philoptochos Board held its spring meeting at Hellenic College/Holy Cross School of Theology on May 1-2. National Philoptochos President Aphrodite Skeadas opened the meeting and Bishop Andonios of Phasiane, Philoptochos’ spiritual advisor, offered the opening prayer and provided a spiritual reflection on the Sunday of the Myrrh–Bearing women and the identity of Philoptochos members as women of faith with a strong relationship to Christ. President Skeadas welcomed the board members at this meeting during the period of the celebration of Christ’s resurrection and she thanked Bishop Andonios for his inspirational messages sent to the members during the Lenten period. President Skeadas emphasized the importance of the growth and strength of the National Philoptochos and charged the members to become “Ambassadors of Philoptochos” and stand on the shoulders of our forefathers to expand the organization. As ambassadors each board member shares the responsibility to participate in the organization’s growth and to reach out to embrace members for Philoptochos. Treasurer Joanne Kakoyiannis reported that the membership continues to grow and announced the three Philoptochos chapters that provided the greatest funds to the Vasilopita: Annunciation, Houston, $13,000; Holy Trinity, Dallas, Texas, $10,630 and Annunciation, Atlanta, $8,500. The National Board approved disbursements of $163,000 for the following ministries: Hellenic College/Holy Cross School of Theology Scholarships, $46,000; Lenten Appeal, $17,000; St. Photios Shrine, $25,000; Ecumenical Patriarchate, Philanthropic/Charitable Programs,
Metropolis of San Francisco President Valerie Roumeliotes presents a $5,000 donation to National President Aphrodite Skeadas on behalf of the Metropolis Philoptochos for the new National office.
$50,000; Archdiocesan Missions, $25,000. Committee reports were presented and the Social Services committee reported that $79,000 was disbursed in the first quarter to meet the many requests for medical assistance during these difficult economic times. This amount is equivalent to annual distribution levels in the past. Rev. Nicholas Triantafilou, president of Hellenic College and Holy Cross offered special remarks and introduced Dr. Ann Bezzerides, director of the Office of Vocation and Ministry at Hellenic College, who presented three inspiring students, Anna Colis, Sam Johnson and Stella Hondros, who described their calling and motivation
to become future leaders in the Church. President Skeadas offered a most inspiring and impassioned presentation to the members regarding the relocation of the National Office. She appealed to each member to search her heart and consider the future of the National Philoptochos and the need for a permanent home for the organization. In its early history the National Philoptochos responded to Archbishop Athenagoras and purchased the Ruppert Estate in Garrison, N.Y. that is now the beautiful St. Basil Academy. The National Philoptochos raised over $120,000 in support of the Archbishop
Iakovos Library at Hellenic College/Holy Cross and in its 78 years has distributed millions of dollars to its many ministries and charities to benefit those in need. At this point in its history, the National Philoptochos Board took another monumental step and authorized the Executive Committee, in consultation with Archbishop Demetrios and Bishop Andonios, to conduct a search for a permanent National Philoptochos Office location in New York City. The entire board enthusiastically endorsed this historic decision and Metropolis President Valerie Roumeliotes rose to present a check for $5,000 to President Skeadas from the Metropolis of San Francisco Philoptochos as the first of many donations made toward the purchase of a permanent home. Friday’s meeting culminated with a beautiful education and Cultural program for the national board members at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. President Skeadas thanked Mr. and Mrs. George Behrakis for their generosity in providing the program which included a most informative guided tour by Christine Kondoleon, the George and Margo Behrakis Senior Curator of Greek and Roman Art. Saturday’s meeting concluded with a membership program responding to the goal of organizational expansion that included a special presentation from three area chapter presidents. The National Board agreed that chapters should be invited to participate in all future national board meetings to develop better communication between national and the local chapters. The National Board will meet prior to the Children’s Medical Fund Luncheon at the Boca Raton Resort in Boca Raton, Fla., Saturday, Nov. 14
Board Hears membership Tips and Perspectives The National Board meeting included a special membership presentation organized by the Membership Committee Chairmen Kathy Gabriel and Diane Tseckares who introduced the new membership theme, “Invite, Embrace, Involve – One Woman Asking another Woman to Care.” The program included presentations by National Public Relations Chairmen Christine Karavites and Barbara Pasalis on “Using Public Relations to Maximize Membership” and was rounded out by a special presentation of the Metropolis of Boston Philoptochos. Diane Miminos, president, introduced three chapter presidents who shared their membership stories summarized below: Fran Giannakopoulos, Annunciation Cathedral, Boston, assumed the presidency for a chapter that had been in limbo for a few months and infused new energy and new projects. The chapter takes field trips to the Onassis Cultural Center in New York City and the Russian Icon Museum in Massachusetts and sponsors Senior Guild lunches, monthly fellowship hour, Evangelismos luncheons, Festival Pastry Preparation, and an Art Auction. Outreach programs include a Bone Marrow Drive, Hellenic Nursing Home, IOCC, National Philoptochos commitments, Philoxenia House, Metropolis Camp, Room to Grow and Shoes for Orphan Souls. Membership has increased 7 percent and members are proud to be a
member of Philoptochos again. Lisa Primes, Sts. Constantine and Helen, Andover, Mass., is a working mother with two children serving her first term as president. Her chapter targeted mothers and working women and increased by 33 new members this year. Activities include having a woman parishioner speak or give a demonstration at the meetings in an area of talent or special knowledge concerning women; encourage women to come to a meeting with a friend; include Philoptochos news in the monthly bulletin and email blasts and send a letter to all women in the church community inviting them to join Philoptochos. As a GOYA mom she recruited other GOYA moms and the GOYA advisors who are active members. For the past two years the chapter participated in a local Heart Walk raising $10,000 for the American Heart Association while building team spirit among the women. Susan Pappas, Transfiguration parish in Lowell, Mass., serves her second term as president, served two terms on the metropolis board and is the mother of a presbytera. Her chapter was one of the most active in the Metropolis serving as a role model with over 200 members. The membership is now approximately 160 and in the last election only 13 women agreed to serve on the Board of Directors.
She ascribes the decline to the passing away of older members and the inability to recruit new, younger women at the same rate. The chapter altered meeting times and dates to accommodate family schedules, but this did not affect membership. Younger women do agree to assist with a particular event, a project or mailing that involves a short-term commitment. The chapter is successful in its fundraising despite the reduced membership and provides exemplary support to National Philoptochos. Outreach projects include Shoes for Orphan Souls, a 2,400-book drive for a local elementary school and 460 book bags for students in the summer Literacy
Outreach Program. Two of the youngest members began the Christmas Adopt–a–Family Program that serves over 100 families. The chapter continues its successful Annual Christmas Benefit Tea with profits in 2008 of $8,000. It is very important to continue to promote the good works of Philoptochos and to educate parishioners of the purpose and mission of fundraising. The chapter seeks ways to incorporate the Philoptochos goals into the lives of busy families and to accept the ideas of a new generation of women who may do things quite differently. We must remain strong and focused as we look forward to the next generation of Philoptochos leaders.
S AV E T H E D AT E ! Twelfth National Philoptochos Children’s Medical Fund Luncheon
“Let Us Rejoice and Embrace the Children”
Saturday, November 14, 2009 Boca Raton Resort and Club, 501 East Camino Real, Boca Raton, Florida
Hosted by Metropolis of Atlanta Philoptochos Make your reservations early. Room rates are $179 - $259 Available November 11 – 17, 2009 Phone: 888.491.2611 or 561.447.3000 Code: Philoptochos Cut-off for reservations is November 1, 2009 Airports are: Fort Lauderdale/Palm Beach/Miami International
MAY – JUNE 2009
Commentaries and Opinions TALES FROM THE STOLÉ Archpastoral Reflections
Lighthouse on Rocky Shores by Fr. John S. Bakas
I asked for a 6:30 a.m. wake-up call on Sunday, March 8. The hotel operator noted my request and wished me a good night. It seemed I had only slept for a few moments. I thought I was dreaming when I was startled awake by the loud chanting coming simultaneously from at least a half a dozen places. I looked at my night table clock and it was 5:30 a.m. I quickly realized it was the Moslem call to prayer amplified from a mosque’s minaret loud speakers that were not too far from my half-opened window. Getting my bearings and snapping out of my jet-lagged mode, I was instantly reminded that I was in Istanbul, Turkey. The sunlight was barely piercing the darkness as I looked over the shimmering calm Bosphoros waters. My airline ticket said Istanbul, but my heart’s eyes read Constantinople, the queen city and capital of the 1,200-year-old Christian Byzantine Empire. I had come to Constantinople with several associates to experience the liturgical celebration of the Sunday of Orthodoxy in the Mother Church, the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, and to have the distinct honor and joy to be received by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew for a private meeting scheduled for March 10. Although I have been to the Patriarchate many times over the years, there was something special about this particular visit. Perhaps it was my growing awareness of the historic and canonical importance of this holy institution to worldwide Orthodoxy or my need to be spiritually nourished from the bosom of the Mother Church, which in spite of tremendous and crushing challenges still feeds her children worldwide with unparalleled dignity and undying devotion. The 10-minute taxi drive dropped us off on the main road leading to the Rum Patrikhanesi, or the Fener, the Turkish names for what Orthodox Christians know as the Fanari…the great lighthouse of historic and present–day Christianity, located on the very rocky shores of a world where Christ is perpetually on the cross. Walking past hawkers of religious trinkets and other tourist paraphernalia and up a narrow road, confined on all sides by non-descript gray buildings, one would not realize we were approaching the center of worldwide Orthodoxy. A few paces up the road on the right, a sentry type cubicle welcomes visitors and pilgrims. The original main entrance is permanently closed and has been since April 10, 1821 when Patriarch Gregory V of blessed memory was dragged from his quarters and brutally hanged from the top bar of the gate by marauding Turkish criminals, reacting to the Greek mainland declaration of independence two weeks before on March 25. Visitors and faithful enter through the smaller entryway on the left. The sealed main entrance is a mute yet dramatic witness not only of the martyrdom of Patriarch Gregory but to the enduring struggle and on-going martyrdom of the present Patriarchate. I spent a few minutes in prayer, passing my hands carefully over the old iron doors infusing my fingertips with the history that was made there. Through tearing eyes, I began to put events that took place on that spot
into some chronological perspective. On April 10, 1821, America was formally a 45-year-old nation. Abraham Lincoln was 12 years old and James Monroe was president. Looking over the courtyard, the small and unimposing Patriarchal Cathedral of St. George engages the visitor. The Patriarchate had been relegated to this location by the Ottoman sultan in 1600. The cathedral’s visible humility is its glory. Its physical unpretentiousness is its beauty and witness of its enduring spiritual power. It is simply the eternal hill of Golgotha of our times. As much as some may try to ignore that fact in our secularized and history–distorting world, the Fanari is still the lighthouse on the rocky shores of our collective conscience. This Sunday of Orthodoxy, 2009, was the 1,156th Sunday since the Triumph of Orthodoxy had been proclaimed in this city of Constantinople in 853 A.D. On this Sunday of Orthodoxy, as I experienced the Patriarchal Divine Liturgy and heard the homily proclaimed, I had an epiphany of sorts. I realized we live in an age of fission: an age of splits and division. The atom had been split decades before. Personalities in and out of the Church are split. Husbands and wives are easily split. Families are split. East and West are split. Within our Orthodox world some leaders at the highest levels, have a split understanding of established canonical structures of organization. An amnesia of Church history has split our vision of what the Gospel, the Fathers and the Ecumenical Councils have taught. But the greatest split or division of all is the separation of what was meant to be one; Christ and the cross. In this hour however in so much of our Christian culture, the cross and Christ have been divorced and new partners come forward for each. Who takes up the cross “without Christ?” Places like sub–Saharan Africa, Sudan, Darfur, North Korea and others where genocide, torture, hunger, suffering and human cruelty make the cross a cruel instrument of torture, a vise squeezing the life out of individuals as grapes to make the collective wine for oppressors and tyrants. Who has picked up Christ without the cross? Our soft Western Civilization which has made Christ another teacher, a Buddha or Confucius… one who blesses us with material gifts, who becomes for us our personal valet, speaking only of soft things, to make us comfortable and warm all over. Jesus without the cross is then at our beck and call, another Genie popping up from our religious Aladdin lamps and fulfilling our exaggerated desires and fantasies. These are two extremes to be sure. The fullness of the gospel message has power only when Christ and the cross are one. Only when they are one is salvation possible, making death a stepping stone to life. Christ on the cross is forgiveness, reconciliation, endurance, triumph and a witness to sin. Who exemplifies this today in the Christian world? It is the Ecumenical Patriarchate, unashamed in its struggle to be the lighthouse which witnesses Christ in a sea of anti-Christs. It is the Ecumenical Patriarchate that in our day carries the yoke of systematic persecution. It does so with dignity, blessing when cursed, correcting with conviction when maligned, never succumbing to the forces of darkness.
Reaching Out to the ‘Disconnected’ Orthodox In our last reflection, studying the theme of our most recent Clergy–Laity Congress “Gather My People to My Home,” we focused our attention on the word “Gather.” As a consequence, a serious question was raised: Who are the people whom we are trying to “gather?” There are several categories of people that could be included in the answer to the above ques-
by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America tion. In today’s reflection, however, let us limit our thoughts to one such category, namely the people described as “disconnected.” By using the term “disconnected,” we mean the Orthodox Christians, perhaps close friends or even relatives of ours, who, for one reason or another over the passing of time, have lost what had once been for them a close connection to the Orthodox Church. The case of the “disconnected” Orthodox Christians should not be a well–known phenomenon to us. Sadly, however, we encounter such cases in people who comprise not only our friends or co–workers, but even members of our own family, which is the most intimate community of spiritual and social significance in our lives. Because of this, the phenomenon of the “disconnected” Orthodox Christians is one that confronts us, as Church, with many questions: What are the reasons why Orthodox Christians cease their involvement with the life of the Orthodox Church and become disconnected? Are Orthodox Christians who cease their involvement with the Church doing so slowly over time, with no particular reasons; or are they leaving abruptly due to specific incidents within the parish and with feelings of unresolved anger? Do our “disconnected” people feel that the Church is not speaking with relevance to their daily lives and is not meeting their spiritual needs? Have some people experienced painful events or crises in their lives which they felt that the Church was unable to address meaningfully or competently, and, consequently, decided to cut their connections with the Church? These questions raise some serious issues of concern that require all Orthodox Christians, particularly the laity and clergy who occupy leadership roles within the Church, to reassess the manner by which we are truly listening and responding to the needs of the people. This requires a conscious shift in our thinking and in our attitudes. It requires that we should not be lazy in our thinking or in our awareness of contemporary social trends, movements, and alternative lifestyles that others around us may be adopting, and which might influence our minds, and those of our children, at some level. Our own Archdiocese has recently created on Office of Church and Society that will help us to collect and analyze pertinent reports and statistics, so that we may better understand the complex forces at work in our society and direct our ministries accordingly to these challenges and to our own specific concerns as the Greek Orthodox Church in America. Yet this effort must not only remain at a general level. It must be the conscious concern of each of our local parishes, with the guidance and supervision of their respective Metropolises. If we are truly serious about the Lord’s exhortation to “Gather” His people to His Home, then each parish of our Archdiocese should be devoting substantial time and resources to addressing the difficult question of how to gather the “disconnected.” One easy opportunity for the parish to do this, is to host an evening during the week, or perhaps on a Sunday afternoon after the Divine Liturgy, to provide people in the parish with the opportunity to come together to reflect openly about these questions, with the goal of stimulating creative suggestions for local ministries in the “Gathering” of God’s People to His Home, especially of gathering the “disconnected.” Of course, each parish should be in the process of forming a special committee to focus on the task of reaching out to the “disconnected” Orthodox Christians in their immediate area and environment, with the goal of eventually expanding their work to the “Gathering” of God’s people who comprise larger and more distant segments of the population. For if we do not begin our task of “Gathering” God’s people to His Home, by opening our hearts to the concerns of those closest to us who have been baptized or chrismated as Orthodox Christians and who, for one reason or another, have distanced themselves from the Orthodox Church, how can we be responsive to God’s command: “Gather My People to My Home”? The issues raised and suggestions discussed in this brief reflection are not new ones at all. Many of them were already included in the Keynote Address which I had the honor to deliver at our most recent Clergy–Laity Congress in Washington, DC, where this theme was introduced. The passage of nearly a year since that important Congress only reinforces the need to repeat some of these suggestions, as the phenomenon of the “disconnected” remains as urgent of an issue now as it did a year ago, indeed even more so, as statistical data from recent sociological studies are indicating. I invite you to reflect more deeply upon the contents of this reflection piece and, before anything else, to start praying for the reconnection of the “disconnected” with God’s Home, His Church.
MAY – JUNE 2009
Metropolitan Methodios Reflects on Orthodox Unity “He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps his soul from tribulation.” (Proverbs 21:23) On April 8, I celebrated the Divine Liturgy of the Pre-Sanctified gifts at the seminary chapel in Brookline. I thanked Almighty God for blessing me as I marked the 25th Anniversary since my Installation as Bishop of Boston. I brought to mind and prayer Archbishop Iakovos who ordained me to the three ministries of the Holy Priesthood, and who presided at my installation on April 8, 1984. Among his countless achievements was the establishment of SCOBA, the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas to foster better cooperation between all Orthodox. As a result of those efforts, many ministries offered by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and other Orthodox presences in America, are now administered under the supervision of SCOBA. These include the Orthodox Christian Education Commission (OCEC), the International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), the Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC), the Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF), and others. I am saddened to note that Orthodoxy in America has recently been wounded by statements published in various publications as well as by remarks offered during Church services by brother Hierarchs. All of us – clergy and laity alike – would offer Orthodoxy a great service should we reflect upon the admonition recorded in Proverbs 21:23, “He who guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from tribulation.” I confess that I have grown weary with individuals pontificating about the plight of Orthodoxy “in this country, in this time,” wringing their hands about the absence of “administrative unity of our indigenous Church in America.” Who is to blame? The finger of responsibility is always pointed at the “Greeks” i.e. the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The individuals making such preposterous claims are the very ones who ignore and violate basic tenets of Orthodox Ecclesiology and Canon Law by placing bishops
in cities where there is already a canonical Orthodox bishop. They dispute the Primacy of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the world of Orthodoxy. They ignore decisions made in Geneva in the 1990s by representatives of all Orthodox Patriarchates and Autocephalous Churches. We who are in positions of leadership must be very careful each time we speak publicly. The content of our remarks must be accurate and responsible. Our words – written and uttered – must, to the best of our ability, edify our readers and those who congregate to hear us preach the Word of God. I recently viewed on the internet a “sermon” delivered by an Orthodox hierarch. References were made to an upcoming meeting in Cyprus. He was referring to the meeting of representatives of all Patriarchates and Autocephalous Churches who will gather to discuss issues of vital importance to Orthodoxy in preparation for the convening of the Great and Holy Synod. Asserting that the meeting was convened to discuss “singular control of the so-called Diaspora by the Ecumenical Patriarchate” is nothing less than an insult to the integrity not only of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, but all Mother Churches! My brother Metropolitan prejudges the outcome of discussions that have not even taken place. I am appalled how a hierarch could permit himself to publicly state --- in a sermon, mind you --- “I would submit that if we wanted a Pope, we’d be under the real one.” While accusing others, the preacher sadly proved that it is he --- and not the heads of our Mother Churches --- that has “complete ignorance and misperceptions” about Orthodoxy in America. May the benevolent Lord heal these latest wounds which have been inflicted upon the body of His Holy Orthodox Church. May the unwaning Light of His glorious Resurrection illumine our hearts with the pure light of His divine knowledge, and open the eyes of our minds to think and to act in ways that are pleasing to Him.
Metropolitan Methodios of Boston
Hillary Clinton Receives Award page 1 have been taken in this very short period of time in the right direction on Hellenic and Orthodox issues” and symbolically contained two small vials of soil – one from Athens and one from Capitol Hill in Washington – and an inscription which partly read “from this hallowed earth have come the world’s greatest minds, ideas and actions.” Presenting the Award to Hillary Clinton Archbishop Demetrios conveyed the greeting of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and speaking of the cooperation on the issues of Justice and Religious Freedom said: “We trust in your judgment and your disposition and your total dedication to these issues … and we offer this plaque as an indication of our recognition of what you have been doing and as a token of our continuous cooperation…” In her response the Secretary thanked and welcomed His Eminence and the other leaders and said: “We are committed to the reopening of the Halki Seminary,
to the unification of Cyprus as a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation, and we know these are difficult issues,” and she pledged that her Administration is committed in making progress on them. Secretary Clinton also asked the Archbishop to convey to His All Holiness her personal wishes saying “… please extend my personal best wishes to the Patriarch. My opportunities to visit with him and talk with him have been true highlights of my life in public service, and I look forward to seeing him again. I understand he may be coming to the United States, I hope in the future, and it will be my great honor to receive him and to look forward to hosting him here at the State Department.” The group of leaders who were present at the ceremony with the Archbishop included 10 members of CEH: Andrew A. Athens, Zenon Christodoulou, Philip Christopher, Michael Galanakis, Andy Manatos, Mike Manatos, Nikos Mouyiaris, Peter Papanicolaou, George J. Tsunis and Tasos D. Zambas, and Supreme Vice President of AHEPA Nick Karacostas.
Archbishop Visits ROCOR Headquarters Photos: D. PANAGOS
Archbishop Demetrios and a delegation from the Archdiocese (above) meet with the ROCOR hierarchs and clergy at their cathedral in Manhattan. (below) Archbishop Demetrios with Metropolitan Hilarion.
NEW YORK – Responding to a formal invitation from the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, Archbishop Demetrios became the first primate of the Archdiocese to make an official visit to that Church’s headquarters in more than 40 years. The visit was reciprocal in nature, as Archbishop Demetrios had received the new First Hierarch of ROCOR, Metropolitan Hilarion, at Archdiocese headquarters in June 2008, after the Metropolitan’s enthronement. Metropolitan Hilarion and members of the ROCOR Synod received the Archbishop and several Archdiocese clergy who accompanied him at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Sign in Manhattan on May 5. After cordial fraternal exchanges between the Hierarchs and the clergy, there was the chanting of “Christ is Risen” in Slavonic, Greek and English, and Metropolitan Hilarion escorted Archbishop Demetrios to venerate the historic Miracle Working Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God. Metropolitan Hilarion addressed Archbishop Demetrios to the Cathedral and ROCOR headquarters saying, “We welcome the Chief Orthodox Archpastor of America and the Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.” An exchange of greetings and gifts followed. After the veneration of several relics and icons in the Cathedral, the Metropolitan and the Archbishop gathered in the Metropolitan’s private quarters for informal discussions. The Archbishop was accompanied in the meeting by Bishop Savas of Troas; the Very Rev. Archimandrite Sebastian Skordallos, chief secretary of the Eparchial Synod; the Rev. Mark Arey, director for Inter-
Orthodox Relations, and Archdeacon Pandeleimon Papadopoulos. Metropolitan Hilarion was accompanied by Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco, Bishop George of Mayfield, Bishop Jerome of Manhattan, the Very Rev. Archpriest Alexander Lebedeff, and the Very Rev. Archpriest Seraphim Gan. After the hour-long meeting, the entire company was joined by other ROCOR hierarchs who were present for synod meetings. A Paschal meal followed in honor of Archbishop Demetrios. The other ROCOR hierarchs were Archbishop Mark of Berlin, Bishop Gabriel of Montreal, Bishop Peter of Cleveland, and Bishop John of Caracas. ROCOR was formed by bishops of the Moscow Patriarchate driven from Russia during the Bolshevik Revolution. In 1920, with the blessing of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, these bishops formed a Higher Ecclesiastical Authority Abroad in Constantinople, which through the decades became what is known as ROCOR. In 1927, this Synod of Bishops separated itself from the Hierarchs loyal to the Bolshevik state. After 80 years of separation, the fall of communism, and a lengthy process of rapprochement, in May 2007, the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia officially signed the Act of Canonical Communion with the Moscow Patriarchate, restoring the union between them. The Church has over 400 parishes worldwide, and an estimated membership of more than 400,000. Within the ROCOR there are 13 hierarchs, and also monasteries in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, and South America.
MAY – JUNE 2009
Metropolitan Maximos Participates in Rome Conference for New Book on Pope Benedict XVI PITTSBURGH – Metropolitan Maximos of Pittsburgh recently traveled to Rome to participate in a conference on a new book about the Pope titled The Pontificate of Benedict XVI, Its Premises and Promises. Publisher is William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Mich./ Cambridge, U.K., 2009. The book was edited and included an introduction by the Rev. Dr. William G. Rusch (Lutheran, New York), with a postscript by the Rev. Richard John Neuhaus (Roman Catholic, New York). Metropolitan Maximos was one of several contributors in addition to the above. Nearly 50 people were invited to the meetings held April 19-23, which took place in the same conference center where the observers at the 2nd Vatican Council had met in 1962. The venue was very familiar to Metropolitan Maximos, who was an observer – delegate of the Ecumenical Patriarchate at the 2nd Vatican Council. The April meetings took place from Paschal Sunday afternoon to Bright Tuesday noon. By Monday afternoon, most of the papers were presented and discussed. The last presentation was that of Metropolitan Maximos, who was unable to travel to Rome earlier due to Orthodox Holy Week. His presentation and discussion took place Tuesday morning. The panel discussion involving all the contributors followed the Metropolitan’s presentation. At the meeting, it was also decided that the editor of the book, Dr. William Rusch, would present a signed copy to Pope Benedict after the meetings on Wednesday, April 23. In his presentation, Metropolitan Maximos justified his point of view regarding the unity of the churches, which was to unite the Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Churches even before the conclusion of the official theological dialogue between them, the way it was over one millennium following the Christian origins of both Churches. This was one of the suggestions made by the present Pope when he was Cardinal Ratzinger. Another important point he made was for the West not to try to impose upon the Churches of the East the theological developments of the Church of the West regarding the Roman primacy during the 19th and 20th centuries A.D., that is, the Roman primacy in the way the Western scholars understand this primacy. Another important point of Cardinal Ratzinger’s suggestions, is for the West to respect the Orthodoxy of the Eastern Orthodox Church without any interference, and for the Churches of the East to respect the developments of the Church of the West without calling them heretical. St. Augustine is the main Western father who created the differences in the understanding of the Filioque (the procession of the Holy Spirit and from the Son) without it affecting the unity of the
One Church of Christ. A solution should be found to restore the unity of this one Church of Christ without rendering either of the two Churches which comprise this one Church heretical. It can be done, if the Western Church eliminates from the Creed the Filioque as an illegitimate addition to the Creed, that of Nicaea/Constantinople, in the way that the theological dialogue between Orthodox and Roman Catholics in the U.S.A. has suggested, and in the way that this Pope, as the director of the Pontifical Commission of the Teaching of the Faith established in its document on the Faith Dominus Iesus. This Pope, as Cardinal Ratzinger, was the presiding officer of the Commission at the time of the issuance of Dominus Iesus. On the other hand, the Pope remains faithful to all the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, with which the Orthodox Church is in disagreement. He has also abandoned the papal title of Patriarch of the West, with which action the Church of the East is in disagreement. It is compared with the cutting one of the five fingers of the hand, which is the way of looking at the famous Pentarchy of the Church, of which each one of the five Patriarchs, including the Pope, is one of the fingers. The Metropolitan gave a summary of his paper at the meeting, and, for 15 minutes, he responded to questions. The Metropolitan defended his point of view, which was also a defense of the position taken by the Pope, as Cardinal Ratzinger, suggesting that the unity between Eastern and Western Churches may become a reality on the basis of the model provided during the first millennium of Christianity. The theologians may work out the differences in the years following this unity, for, according to specialists, the theological differences between the two Churches do not seem to be Church–dividing issues. The Metropolitan described the help he received from the Roman Catholic Church during his years of studies in Louvain, especially during his preparation and defense of his thesis for his theological doctorate. He also presented his response to this hospitality, which he offered to one of his colleagues, a Franciscan father who was in need of his help and that of his priest father in Chios, Greece. It seems that the brother contributors to the book and the invited guests to the conference were very pleased with the Metropolitan’s forthright and thoughtful presentation. It was made known to him by one of the Christian brothers, that his presentation and that of one of the other contributors, were two new points presented for the first time in ecumenical circles. The full presentation by Metropolitan Maximos, in Greek and English, in his contribution to the volume presented to Pope Benedict XVI can be accessed on the Metropolis of Pittsburgh web site: www. pittsburgh.goarch.org
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MAY – JUNE 2009
OCF 2009 Real Break to Constantinople by Fr. Mark Leondis
During the third week of Great Lent, 17 students from five different Orthodox Churches in America traveled to the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople for a week-long renovation of a Patriarchal cemetery. Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF), the campus ministry arm of SCOBA, sponsored this trip. It was led by Bishop Savas of Troas, director of Church and Society, Fr. Mark Leondis, national director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries, project coordinator and OCF Board chairman and Fr. Chris Metropulos, pastor of St. Demetrios Church in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and executive director of Orthodox Christian Network (OCN). Also on the trip was Elisabeth Lourie, resource coordinator for the Youth Department and Cameron Thorpe, photographer. The National Ladies Philoptochos Society and the Order of St. Andrew, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, assisted in sponsoring the supplies and the travel expenses for the documentation of our efforts. A daily blog with audio, pictures and written footage was broadcast daily with the cooperation of the Orthodox Christian Network (www.myocn.net), which is still available to view. As the group met at the airport, there was an excitement in our midst. Bishop Savas of Troas, Fr. Chris, Lis Lourie and myself, along with 17 college students, began our weeklong journey to Constantinople. This was our second Real Break trip to Constantinople which His Grace and I have led; we were both excited that these students would experience this amazing transformation in their spiritual lives. We call it “Real Break,” because it offers college students an opportunity to spend their spring break on something “real” and unique, Instead of empty experiences in Cancun or Florida. OCF offers students an opportunity to spend their spring break with other college students responding to our Lord’s call. OCF sends over 150 college students to various destinations throughout the world (orphanages in Tijuana and Guatemala; El Salvador, Los Angeles, a mental institution in Karditsa, Greece, Romania, and to Constantinople, where the Ecumenical Patriarchate is located). What amazed me most were the students and how they enthusiastically did their own fundraising to participate on this trip, because they must raise money for their travel expenses and board. They had a genuine desire to do something
Real Break participants with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
“real,” something exciting and memorable on their spring break. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew asked us to renovate a patriarchal cemetery that was desecrated and vandalized in 1955 and had fallen into disrepair. Imagine two football fields with about 400 tombstones spread throughout. Headstones were smashed, crosses broken, cement grave covers split and toppled over, weeds overgrown and unruly, broken glass everywhere, bones of the deceased scattered throughout. His All Holiness asked us to return the cemetery to its proper dignified state. The students were excited, nervous, scared, but most importantly – ready to work and serve God and the Church. Instead of coming back to school (after spring break) physically rested, they returned physically exhausted, but spiritually rested and rewarded. After arriving at the Attaturk Airport, we met Paul Gikas (a Greek–American graduate of Holy Cross School of Theology who has been working at the Ecumenical Patriarchate for more than seven years). We boarded our bus and arrived at a simple and humble hotel, called the Daphnis, located about 100 yards from the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The students rested for an hour or so and then attended Vespers at the request of His All Holiness.
A group of young adults restores a gravesite.
Photos by CAMERON THORPE
drink beer until late in the evening and throw their empty bottles and cans onto the cemetery grounds. The heap of trash that accumulated over the years was massive. During the winter, homeless people sleep in the graves for shelter from the cold. On the first day, the team spent over six hours just clearing trash and hauling away debris under a 35yard stretch of wall. They must have also moved one ton of rocks during that time. As we were working, a man was wandering through the roads of the cemetery. He was a Greek Orthodox man named Michali, who was born in Constantinople, but who now resides in Athens. Michali told me that he was overjoyed to see what was happening and he thanked the students for what they were doing. He brought His All Holiness, Bishop Savas, Fr. Mark Leondis and Fr. Chris me to the northern end of the cemetery to the graves Metropulos inspect a grave. of his parents, his brother, Prior to Vespers, Paul and I traveled to the (who died at age 40) and his Nona, (his cemetery to deliver supplies and inspect godmother who died at age 38). I called its condition .We would spend the next over upon to two of the students and asked if they would restore his family’s three and a half days there. As we drove up to site, I couldn’t grave. Tears ran down Michali’s face and believe my eyes. I was overwhelmed! with his head bowed humbly, he said This cemetery was terribly vandalized, “thank you.” desecrated and required much more work An emotional experience and many more hands that our group As I walked back down to rejoin the could offer. In Greek, the word cemetery literally group, I was overcome with emotion: the means, “the place for those who are sleep- transformation had begun. The students ing or resting.” This place of rest was in were working remarkably hard on their shambles and in dire need of a complete specific tasks. They were scrubbing, cleanphysical “makeover.” Our charge was to ing, cementing and planting flowers. As I restore this place of rest for those who walked up to the chapel, I heard beautihave fallen asleep as well as the St. Kyria- ful hymns being chanted by the students. They viewed their work as sacred and kos Chapel on the grounds. The transformation that took place wanted to praise God in this small chapel, had to be inspired by the Lord. The cem- which was surrounded by reprehensible etery was surrounded by a large stone wall vandalism. When His All Holiness visited (the ancient Vlacharnae Walls). page 26 In the afternoons the locals would
MAY – JUNE 2009
Progress Noted at Archdiocesan Council Meeting page 3 director of Greek Education reported on several activities, including the creation of new testing materials and a new set of textbooks sponsored by FAITH: “An Endowment for Orthodoxy and Hellenism.” He said that, after the new textbooks are published, training seminars will be held for Greek teachers in every metropolis. Dr. Efthymiopoulos also announced the annual educational seminar for teachers representing the Archdiocese that will take place at the University of Cyprus in Lefkosia July 13-28. The Department of Greek Education also is involved in the
First Orthodox Military Edition of New Testament Published
NEW YORK – The first–ever English edition of the New Testament and Psalms for Orthodox Christians serving in the Armed Forces has been published. This edition is a joint effort between the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, the American Bible Society, and SCOBA. The Orthodox Military New Testament and Psalms features a camouflage cover and conforms to military specifications so that it can easily be carried in a uniform or backpack. Unique to this edition are the Orthodox Christian morning and evening prayers; mealtime prayers; an article on living an Orthodox Christian life while serving in the military; full color icons of military-specific saints; a daily Bible reading guide; a prayer list to remember the names of those living and deceased; maps and many other useful aids.
Archdiocesan Council members at their recent meeting.
creation of an experimental theatrical youth group from Archdiocese schools. Most recently, the theatrical presentation “4,000 Years of Hellenic Language” was presented at Holy Trinity Archdiocesan Cathedral. Maria Makedon, director of the Direct Archdiocesan Office of Education, issued a seven-page prepared report on her office’s activities. These include the annual staff development seminar, the annual conference for administrators of independent and religious schools, workshops on the EAROBICS software program, the comprehensive examination in modern Greek, which will be administered June 23 to students in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Virginia. Outreach and evangelism William Kallinikos reported on the department’s efforts to financially assist 13 communities in the Home Mission Parish Program and that a fund-raising effort has been initiated to help support the priests serving those communities. The five–point mission of the department calls for revitalizing the faith of active Orthodox Christians, reaching out to inactive Orthodox, meeting the needs of those inquiring about the Orthodox
faith, offering tools for parish renewal and offering guidance for the establishment of new parishes. Finance In order to allow parishes some relief from the current economic conditions, George Vourvoulias, chairman of the Archdiocesan Council Finance Committee and Jerry Dimitriou, executive director, reported that the Committee has adjusted the 2010 Metropolis National Ministries Commitment allocations downward to 2009 levels. However, there was positive financial news. There has been a continued increase in revenue from the National Ministries Commitment Program. “The system is working,” said Mr. Dimitriou. “We’re setting a record pace. Parishes have been meeting their obligations and commitments in spite of the difficult economic times,” he added. Mr. Dimitriou also noted that the Metropolises of Chicago and San Francisco have again met 100 percent of their National Ministries Commitment for 2008. Mr. Dimitriou reported that even with the current legal challenges we have faced over the past several years, we have
managed to continue our funding of the National Ministries. He also reported that the first quarter of 2009 shows a small budget surplus and an increase over 2008. Other Reports Council members also heard reports from the Stewardship, Administration, Religious Education, and Marriage and Family committees that will be presented in the next issue of the Observer. Fr. Nicholas Soteropoulos, president of the Retired Clergy Association, presented a brief report on the RCA’s recent projects, including informational material to help priests with retirement and providing scholarships to widowed presbyteres to further their education. The RCA will work with Fr. Michael Kontogiorgis, assistant chancellor of the Archdiocese, to develop a program that will help priests prepare for retirement. Archons National Commander Dr. Anthony Limberakis expounded on the Order of St. Andrew’s recent initiatives in its efforts to support the Ecumenical Patriarchate. He said the Order has been pursuing a “multi–faceted global strategy” that has included visits to key European countries that hold the presidency of the European Union in rotation and promoting efforts to improve human rights in Turkey. The initiative also includes efforts to push for support of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the state legislatures. Dr. Limberakis also noted the upcoming visit of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in late October, which will include the bestowing of an honorary degree at Fordham University in New York, attending an environmental symposium on the Mississippi River and the induction ceremony for the new Archons.
MAY – JUNE 2009
George D. Behrakis of Massachusetts, a member of the Archdiocesan Council, an Archon and a life-time Chairman Emeritus of Leadership 100, was honored at the 18th annual gala of The Hellenic Times Scholarship Fund on May 16 in New York, receiving the Humanitarian Leadership Award. Over the years, Mr. Behrakis has been the major supporter of the Hellenic American School in Lowell, Mass., which he attended as a child. He has also strongly supported other educational and cultural institutions including the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Hellenic College-Holy Cross, Northern Essex Community College and others.
High school senior honored Norwalk High School (Conn.) senior Despina Sidiropoulos, daughter of Stavros and Zoe Sidiropoulos of Norwalk, is the recipient of a $120,000 scholarship, the largest award ever given at her school. Ms. Sideropoulos was selected for the Kevin M. Eidt Memorial Scholarship from a pool of National Honor Society students at Norwalk High and was judged as the most outstanding senior because of her dedication and achievements in academics, the arts, athletics and community and religious service; areas in which the scholarship’s namesake, the late Kevin M. Eidt, excelled. Eidt died of cardiac arrest while a freshman student at Boston College in January 1997.
Hometown hero The city of Aurora, Ill., recently honored Penny Panayiota Deligiannis with its Hometown Hero Award. Nearly 300 people joined the mayor of Aurora and the American Philhellene Society, which sponsored a memorial tribute to three major philhellenes and Greek Revolutionary War heroes: George Jarvis, Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe and Capt. Jonathan P. Miller. The mayor made the surprise announcement that the city was conferring the award upon Ms Deligiannis, who has sacrificed many years of her life toward noble humanitarian works in East Africa, the Balkans and southeast Asia.
Choir member Fr. George Tsoukalas, pastor of St. George Church in Lynn, Mass., and choir director John Arambages recently presented Evangeline Leondires with the “Archbishop Iakovos Award for Church Music.” A reception was given for her in conjunction with the celebration of “National Church Music Sunday.” She has sung in the St. George choir for more than 27 years.
Eagle Scout Nicholas A. Stratis, son of Fr. Anthony Stratis, pastor of Holy Trinity Cathedral in New Orleans, recently was awarded the rank of Eagle Scouts. Nick, a member of Boy Scout Troop 176, in Kenner, La., earned the Alpha-Omega Eastern Orthodox Religious Award, as well as 27 merit badges (11 of which are Eagle badges). His Eagle Project was the parking lot re-striping for Holy Trinity Cathedral, which as particularly needed following the effects of Hurricane Katrina. Nick’s brother, Stavros, A. Stratis, is currently a Star Scout.
North Carolina’s Third Largest Community P A R I S H
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Name: Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church Location: Raleigh, N.C. Metropolis of Atlanta Size: about 400 families Founded: 1937 Clergy: Fr. Paul A. Kaplanis (Holy Cross ’83), Fr. Theodore Poupas (Holy Cross ’08) E-mail: email@example.com Web: www.holytrinityraleigh.org Noteworthy: Community has a strong outreach program HOLY TRINITY GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH
RALEIGH, N.C. – Within 30 years of the end of the Civil War, Greeks settled in North Carolina’s capital. It would be more than 40 years before the establishment of Holy Trinity parish. A parish history by Ted Vallas mentions that a Spartan, Constantine (Gus) Vurnakes, is thought to be the first to settle here. He had first moved to Chicago in 1895, decided for some unknown reason to move to Raleigh, then a small town of 13,000. The history notes that he became an American citizen in 1898 and opened his own business, the California Fruit Stand. He was soon joined by his brothers Leo and Alex and several other men from the Sparta area who established the roots of the community and started their own businesses. By April 1924, there were 10 Greek families in Raleigh and the first church services took place, a priest from Norfolk, Va., Fr. Vasiliathes, moved to the community and held services on the second floor of a grocery store near the Capitol that was rented for $35 a month. Over the next few years, the location of the “church” changed several times, always in rented space above a store, until 1935. The priest at the time, Fr. Elias Skipitarey led the effort to build the community’s first church in Raleigh. After a fund-raising campaign, the cornerstone-laying ceremony took place on Nov. 30, 1937 and was attended by Archbishop Athenagoras, the governor and attorney general of North Carolina and Raleigh’s mayor. Not wishing to rely solely on parishioners’ donations, the priest solicited funds from many American businesses operating in Raleigh, including Coca Cola, Ford Motor Company, the soft drink company Nehi, Armor meat company, Woolworth’s and others. Donations from individuals ranged from 5 cents to the largest sum from the Philoptochos, $1,200 – more than $300,000 in today’s economy. The community had about 25 families in late 1937. The church was completed in April 1938. However, a schism resulted among the laity as the church was completed and Fr. Skipitarey resigned. His successor, Rev. Missiris lasted a year and was
succeeded by a Fr. Constantinides who served until August 1942. Another parish history, by George Mandikos, notes that the next priest, Fr. George Stefanis, brought stability to the parish, serving for more than 20 years. Fr. Stefanis arrived in the United States in 1937 after having served as a priest in Domokos, Evrytania, Greece and had served in Canonsburg, Pa., before coming to Raleigh. He also served small enclaves of Greek Orthodox Christians in many surrounding communities, which eventually became seperate parishes. One of the fund–raising activities at this time consisted of the staging of two plays a year by a parish women’s organization, Agape, at a local high school or auditorium. Individual church dues were 10 cents a month. The second generation of the community, following World War II, went on to make their marks in various fields, including athletics, the arts and entertainment. One young man from the parish, Leonidas Capetanos, went to Hollywood and became a script writer, working on such movies as “Down and Out in Beverly Hills,” Gumball Rally,” “Moscow on the Hudson,” The Tempest,” and “My Palikari.” Under the direction of Fr. Stefanis, the community continued to grow and, in the 1960s, efforts began to consider building a larger church. Land for the new house of worship, its current site on Leadmine Road, was donated by George and Pota Vallas, who had purchased a farm on the outskirts of Raleigh. Fr. Stefanis retired in 1962. He was replaced by Fr. Elias K. Stephanopoulos, whose father, George, had been a priest in Great Falls, Mont., and whose brother, Fr. Robert, served as dean of Holy Trinity Cathedral in New York until his recent retirement. Fr. Elias eventually went on to pastor Holy Trinity Cathedral in Portland until his passing in the 1990s. Fr. Elias became the first priest of the community to deliver sermons in English. He also encouraged the continuation of the building program under way at the time. He was reassigned in 1967 and succeeded by Fr. George Arseniu who served until September 1970. Though retired now, Fr. Arseniu continues to assist with the Sunday liturgy and to administer Holy Communion.
The next priest to serve was Fr. Peter Murtos and he oversaw the groundbreaking for the fellowship hall in late May 1974. Fr. Michael Petrides was assigned to the parish in December 1980. Construction for the new church itself began in April 1982. The first Greek festival also took place that month. The contemporary parish is now in its third and fourth generation and has a more pan Orthodox character, with a membership that includes Russian, Ukrainian, Serbian, Romanian and Eritrean backgrounds. Fr. Kaplanis, a native of Danbury, Conn., has served the parish more than 17 years. The parish has a strong outreach program, with several members participating in overseas mission trips and in the Habitat for Humanity program, building homes for low-income persons. The parish also provides strong support for the mission priest program, the Orthodox Christian Mission Center and the International Orthodox Christian Charities. Volunteers also minister to a men’s homeless shelter and to a program for battered women. The church has a 200-student Sunday school and about 35 children in the Greek school program. Stewardship is the main revenue source, while funds from the annual Greek festival are used for capital improvements. Among Fr. Kaplanis’ ministries is the Spiritual Book Club, which involves participation by about 40 members. A faith-related book is selected and discussed over a period of several weeks. He also has a Tuesday evening Bible study. There is a monthly fellowship gathering at the church on a Sunday evening with up to 150 participants at an informal pot luck supper. A monthly Youth Sunday involves GOYA members performing the duties normally performed by the parish council and choir. One student also gives a sermonette and another does the Epistle reading. The group also sponsors the coffee hour. Fr. Kaplanis said the community’s next long-term goal is to build a new church on the existing 10-acre complex. —Compiled by Jim Golding
MAY – JUNE 2009
Detroit Parade Honors Archbishop Demetrios DETROIT – The Greek community of metropolitan Detroit celebrated Greek Independence Day on Sunday, March 29, with a parade in downtown Detroit preceded by a grand banquet on March 28. Metropolitan Nicholas of Detroit said, “The community awaited the visit of Archbishop Demetrios with great anticipation and excitement. His Eminence is known for his philanthropy and compassion for all mankind. As a scholar, he serves as a guardian for the legacy of Hellenism and the preservation of Greek culture and language.” The Saturday grand banquet, held at the Royalty House in Warren, Mich., honored Archbishop Demetrios and five honorees and recipients of the second annual Hellenic Heritage Awards. His Eminence greeted 500 guests and was thanked for his honored recognition of the pride and faith celebrated in Detroit that weekend. The Heritage Awards recognize those individuals who are senior members of the community and have achieved exemplary distinction in laying the foundation of their faith and culture as they immigrated and assimilated into our society. Fr. Michael Varlamos was recognized for laying the parade’s foundation and as the first clergyman to chair the Greek Language and Cultural Committee initiated by Metropolitan Nicholas in 1999. Along with the Archbishop and Metropolitan, several dignitaries, including federal, state and local government representatives, the Consulate of Greece in Chicago and honorees paraded. Another highlight was the visit of Georgios Papavasiliou, governor of Arta, Greece, with the unit of “Evzones” and “Amalies” from the region of Epirus and the city of
Arta, under the direction of Konstantinos Demitriou. They provided a colorful performance at the banquet and marched in full uniform and costume at the parade on Sunday. The group, also known as the Makrigiannis Dance Group, held a workshop upon their arrival at St Nicholas Church in Troy, Mich. Prior to the parade, a Hierarchal Liturgy was held at Annunciation Cathedral with Archbishop Demetrios officiating. The young visitors from Greece received His Eminence’s blessings at the end of the Liturgy, along with Governor Papavasiliou and Vice Consul Vassiliki Grivitsopoulou. Despite pouring rain, thousands stood under umbrellas along the parade route in Greektown to see Archbishop Demetrios and over 40 marching units representing Greek Orthodox churches, cultural organizations, dance groups in colorful ethnic dress, area college student organizations and visitors from nearby communities including Flint, Ann Arbor, Lansing and Windsor, Canada and Toledo, Ohio. Numerous floats were included in the parade. The American, Greek and Canadian national anthems were sung symbolizing the bonds between the three countries. Archbishop Demetrios and Metropolitan Nicholas led in singing “Ti Ypermacho”, assisted by participating clergy and chanters. Three white homing pigeons were released by Archbishop Demetrios symbolizing peace and independence, the dual themes of the parade. Metropolitan Nicholas reminded everyone that, “the sun is always shining in our hearts as we welcome Archbishop Demetrios and the leaders of government from here and Greece.” A proclamation from the state of Michigan honoring Greek Independence Day
Photos by George Dzahristos
Honor Guard and Archbishop Demetrios lead the parade through Detroit’s Greektown.
was presented to Archbishop Demetrios by Lt Gov. Cherry, signed by Gov. Jennifer Granholm and all Greek-American members of the Michigan Legislature. U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow also presented a proclamation, on behalf of the U.S. government. In addition the Michigan senate and House of Representatives presented a current resolution to His Eminence urging the government of Turkey to cease all discrimination against the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. A special Gold Medal of Phoenix Award from the Greek government was presented to PFC Costas Loizos, now 82, for his bravery in the Korean War when he heard a cry for help on his radio in Greek from a Greek Army unit that was surrounded by the enemy. Lozios was responsible for the employment of an American unit to save many of those Greeks in peril. The award was presented by Vice Consul Vassiliki Grivitsopoulou and Arch-
bishop Demetrios. Simultaneously, it was announced that the American Bible Society, of which Metropolitan Nicholas is a board member, had just issued a military edition of the New Testament and Psalms for Orthodox Christians. One of the first copies was given to Mr. Lozios. Groups that performed a variety of Greek dances over the two–day celebration were the Pseloretes Cretan Dancers of Detroit, the Terpsichore Dancers of Windsor, the Hellenic Dance Company of Toledo, the Kefi Dancers of St George Greek Orthodox in Southgate, St. Nicholas Church Dancers of Ann Arbor, the Assumption Church Dancers of St. Clair Shores, the Nativity Church Dancers of Plymouth, the Kyklos Hellenic Dancers, and the St. Nicholas Church Dancers of Troy. The Levendes Band provided all sound and music for the entire weekend, along with the young group, Oneiro, who made their first appearance at the banquet.
A pre- parade reception honored Archbishop Demetrios and guests.
Heritage Awards Recipients: Paul Alexopoulos, Nick Georges, Dr. Denny Stavros, Kalliopi Resh, Dr. Eleftherios Botsas, Parade Chairman George Reganis.
At the Hierarchal Liturgy held prior to the parade at Annunciation Cathedral, Evzones and Amalies Arta are shown with Archbishop Demetrios and Metropolitan Nicholas, Governor of Arta Prefecture Georgios Papavasiliou and Vice Consul Vasiliki Grivitsopoulou.
Archbishop Demetrios releases a white homing pigeon symbolizing peace and independence.
ΕΤΟΣ 74 • ΑΡΙΘΜΟΣ 1249
ΤΟ ΜΗΝΥΜΑ ΤΗΣ 39ης ΚΛΗΡΙΚΟΛΑΪΚΗΣ «ΣΥΝΑΓΑΓΕΤΕ ΤΟΝ ΛΑΟ ΜΟΥ ΣΤΟΝ ΟΙΚΟ ΜΟΥ» ΚΑΤΕΥΘΥΝΕΙ ΤΙΣ ΕΡΓΑΣΙΕΣ ΤΟΥ ΑΡΧΙΕΠΙΣΚΟΠΙΚΟΥ ΣΥΜΒΟΥΛΙΟΥ ΝΕΑ ΥΟΡΚΗ – Υπό την προεδρία του Σεβασμιωτάτου Αρχιεπισκόπου Αμερικής κ. Δημητρίου συνεκλήθη την 1η Μαΐου η εαρινή συνεδρία του Αρχιεπισκοπικού Συμβουλίου. Οι εργασίες του Αρχιεπισκοπικού Συμβουλίου και των επιτροπών του που πραγματοποιήθηκαν με οδηγό το πρόσταγμα της 39ης Κληρικολαϊκής Συνελεύσεως του 2008 «Συναγάγετε τον λαό μου στο Οίκο μου», εκτίμησαν την προόδο που επετεύχθη στους τομείς της διοίκησης, των οικονομικών, της οικονομικής συνεισφοράς των ενοριών, της κατηχητικής παιδείας, της νεολαίας, του ιεραποστολικού έργου, της τεχνολογίας, των επικοινωνιών, της ελληνικής παιδείας, της φροντίδος για την οικογένεια και άλλων διακονιών. Από τις εργασίες της συνεδριάσεως τα μέλη του Αρχιεπισκοπικού Συμβουλίου απεκόμισαν ικανοποιητικά και
ελπιδοφόρα συμπεράσματα διαπιστώνοντας ότι παρά την οικονομική κρίση στη χώρα αλ λά και παγκοσμίως, τα έσοδα της Αρχιεπισκοπής για το 2008 από την οικονομική συνεισφορά των Εθνικών Διακονιών έφτασαν τα 16,8 εκατομμύρια δολάρια γεγονός που αποτελεί ρεκόρ αύξησης ύψους 1,5 εκατομμυρίων δολαρίων σε σύγκριση με τα έσοδα του προηγουμένου έτους 2007. Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριος κατά την εναρκτήρια ομιλία του μετέφερε την πατριαρχική ευλογία και το χαιρετισμό του Παναγιωτάτου Οικουμενικού Πατριάρχου κ. Βαρθολομαίου προς τα μέλη του Συμβουλίου και προς το ευσεβές πλήρωμα της Εκκλησίας στην Αμερική. Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος αναφέρθηκε στις νέες οικονομικές συνθήκες στην Αμερική αλλά και παγκοσμίως και στις σχετικές ΔΗΜ. ΠΑΝΑΓΟΣ
Από τις εργασίες της Εαρινής Συνεδρίας του Αρχιεπισκοπικού Συμβουλίου.
Εγκάρδια Συνάντηση Οικουμενικού Πατριάρχου Βαρθολομαίου με τον Πρόεδρο των ΗΠΑ Μπαράκ Ομπάμα
Κ ΩΝ ΣΤΑ Ν ΤΙΝΟY ΠΟΛ ΙΣ.- Την Τρίτη, 7 ην Ἀπριλίου 2009, ἐπραγματοποιήθη ἰδιαιτέρα συνάντησις τῆς Α. Θ. Παναγιότητος τοῦ Οἰκουμενικοῦ Πατριάρχου Βαρθολομαίου μετά τοῦ Ἐξοχωτάτου Προέδρου τῶν Ἡνωμένων Πολιτειῶν τῆς Ἀμερικῆς Barack Obama. Ἡ συνάντησις ἐπραγματοποιήθη εἰς τό Ξενοδοχεῖον Conrad τῆς Κωνσταντινουπόλεως περί τήν 9:45 πρωϊνήν καί διήρκεσε περί τά 12 λεπτά τῆς ὥρας. Εἰς τήν συνομιλίαν μεταξύ τοῦ Οἰκουμενικοῦ Πατριάρχου καί τοῦ Ἀμερικανοῦ Προέδρου ἦσαν παρόντες ὁ Διευθυντής Ὑπηρεσιῶν (Chief of Staff) τοῦ Λευκοῦ Οἴκου κ. R. Emmanuel καί ὁ Σεβασμιώτατος Ἀρχιεπίσκοπος Ἀμερικῆς κ. Δημήτριος. Ἡ συνομιλία καί ἡ ἐν γένει συνάντησις ἐπραγματοποιήθη ἐν πνεύματι ἐγκαρδιότητος, ἀμοιβαίου σεβασμοῦ καί οὐσιαστικῆς τοποθετήσεως τῶν βασικῶν θεμάτων. Ὁ Πρόεδρος Obama ἀνέφερεν ὅτι, πέραν τῆς μνείας τοῦ ζητήματος τῆς Θεολογικῆς Σχολῆς Χάλκης κατά τήν ὁμιλίαν του εἰς τό Τουρκικόν Κοινοβούλιον, συνεζήτησεν ἐπ’ αὐτοῦ καί μέ τόν Πρόεδρον τῆς Τουρκικῆς Δημοκρατίας Γκιούλ καί διεπίστωσε τήν ὕπαρξιν καλῆς διαθέσεως ἀλλά καί τήν δυσκολίαν λόγῳ τῶν πολιτικῶν ἐπιπτώσεων. Ἐδήλωσε πάντως ὅτι θά συνεχίσῃ τήν παρακολούθησιν τοῦ ὅλου ζητήματος μέ σαφῆ προσπάθειαν εὐμενοῦς διά τό Οἰκουμενικόν Πατριαρχεῖον λύσεως αὐτοῦ. Αναφορές και τοποθετήσεις Ὁ Οἰκουμενικός Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος ἔκαμε τάς ἀκολούθους ἀνα-
φοράς καί τοποθετήσεις: 1. Παρεκά λεσεν ἐπιμόνως, πειστικῶς καί ἐμπόνως διά τήν ἐπίσπευσιν τῆς ἐπαναλειτουργίας τῆς Θεολογικῆς Σχολῆς τῆς Χάλκης ὡς βασικῆς προϋποθέσεως διά τήν μόρφωσιν καί τήν προετοιμασίαν Ἱ. Κλήρου τόσον διά τό παρόν ὅσον καί διά τό μέλλον τοῦ Πατριαρχείου. 2. Ἐτόνισε τήν σημασίαν τῆς ἐγγυήσεως τῆς θρησκευτικῆς ἐλευθερίας διά τάς μειονότητας τῆς Τουρκίας. 3. Ἀνέφερεν ὅτι ὑποστηρίζει σαφῶς καί μακροχρονίως τήν προσπάθειαν ἐντάξεως τῆς Τουρκίας εἰς τήν Εὐρωπαϊκήν Ἕνωσιν διά τό καλόν, ὡς εἶπεν, ὅλων. 4. Ἐσημείωσε τήν σημασίαν τῆς ἐργασίας διά τό περιβάλλον, καί προσέθεσε συναφῶς τήν πληροφορίαν διά τό προσεχές οἰκολογικόν Συμπόσιον ἐν Η.Π.Α. (Ποταμός Mississippi), κατά μῆνα Ὀκτώβριον 2009. 5. Ηὐχαρίστησε τόν Πρόεδρον Obama διά τήν παροῦσαν συνάντησιν καί διά τό ἔμπρακτον ἐνδιαφέρον του διά τά φλέγοντα θέματα τοῦ Οἰκουμενικοῦ Πατριαρχείου. Ὁ Παναγιώτατος ἀνέφερεν εἰς τόν Πρόεδρον ὅτι τοῦ ἀπέστειλε διά τῆς ἐνταῦθα Γεν. Προξένου τῆς χώρας του εἰκόνα τοῦ Προφήτου Βαρούχ (προστάτου τοῦ Προέδρου) μέ ἰδιόχειρον ἀφιέρωσιν. Ἐπίσης τόν συνεχάρη διά τήν νίκην καί κατάκτησιν τοῦ πρωταθλήματος καλαθοσφαίρας ὑπό τῆς ὁμάδος τοῦ Πανεπιστημίου τῆς Β. Καρολίνας, ὑποστηριζομένης ὑπό τοῦ Προέδρου.
Αρχιεπισκοπικη Εγκυκλιοσ Κυριακή τῆς ΑHEPA Πρός τούς Σεβασμιωτάτους καί Θεοφιλεστάτους Ἀρχιερεῖς, τούς Εὐλαβεστάτους Ἱερεῖς καί Διακόνους, τούς Μοναχούς καί Μοναχές, τούς Προέδρους καί Μέλη τῶν Κοινοτικῶν Συμβουλίων, τά Ἡμερήσια καί Ἀπογευματινά Σχολεῖα, τίς Φιλοπτώχους Ἀδελφότητες, τήν Νεολαία, τίς Ἑλληνορθόδοξες Ὀργανώσεις καί ὁλόκληρο τό Χριστεπώνυμον πλήρωμα τῆς Ἱερᾶς Ἀρχιεπισκοπῆς Ἀμερικῆς. Ἀγαπητοί Ἀδελφοί καί Ἀδελφές ἐν Χριστῷ,
Χριστός Ἀνέστη! Μέ αὐτόν τόν εὐφρόσυνο χαιρετισμό τῆς Ἀναστάσεως τοῦ Χριστοῦ τόν ὁποῖον ἀπευθύνουμε κατά τήν πασχαλινή περίοδο, ἐπικοινωνῶ μαζί σας γιά νά μιλήσω περί τῆς σημασίας τοῦ ἔργου τῆς Ἑλληνοαμερικανικῆς Ἐκπαιδευτικῆς Προοδευτικῆς Ἐταιρείας (AHEPA). Ἀπό τήν ἵδρυσή της τό 1922, ἡ AHEPA ἔχει προαγάγει τά σημαντικά ἰδανικά τῆς κοινωνικοπολιτικῆς εὐθύνης, ἐκπαιδεύσεως καί φιλανθρωπίας. Αὐτή ἡ ἀδελφότητα διακονίας, ἡ ὁποία ἑδρεύει στήν Washington, DC, ἔχει ἀποδειχθεῖ ἀποτελεσματική φωνή ὑποστηρίξεως θεμάτων τά ὁποῖα ἀπασχολοῦν τήν Ὁμογένεια ἐδῶ στίς ΗΠΑ ἀλλά καί στό ἐξωτερικό. Καθιστώντας τίς ἀρχές τῆς κοινωνικοπολιτικῆς εὐθύνης, ἐκπαιδεύσεως καί κοινοτικῆς διακονίας κατευθυντήρια γραμμή της, ἡ AHEPA ἀντανακλᾶ τίς παγκόσμιες καί διαχρονικές ἀξίες τῆς Ὀρθοδόξου Χριστιανικῆς πίστεως καί τῶν Ἑλληνικῶν πολιτισμικῶν παραδόσεων. Ἔτσι, τά πολυάριθμα μέλη της, τά ὁποῖα ἀνήκουν στά τοπικά παραρτήματά της σέ ὅλη τήν ἐπικράτεια τῶν Ἡνωμένων Πολιτειῶν μέχρι τό προσωπικό τοῦ ἐθνικοῦ κέντρου της, ἀξίζει νά ἀναγνωρισθοῦν γιά τό ἔργο τους καί τήν δέσμευσή τους γιά τήν ἐνδυνάμωση τῶν σημαντικῶν ἀξιῶν τῆς κοινωνίας μας. Γιά τούς ἀνωτέρω λόγους, ἀναγνωρίζοντας τό καλό ἔργο τῆς AHEPA στήν προώθηση τῶν ἀξιῶν τῆς Ὀρθοδοξίας καί τοῦ Ἑλληνισμοῦ, καί στήν ἐξυπηρέτηση ποικίλων ἀναγκῶν τῆς Ὁμογενείας μας, εὐχαρίστως ἀνακηρύσσω τήν Κυριακή, 17 Μαΐου, ὡς Κυριακή τῆς AHEPA. Τήν ἡμέρα αὐτή ἄς προσφέρουμε τίς προσευχές μας γιά τήν αὐξανόμενη πρόοδο τῆς AHEPA καθώς ἐξακολουθεῖ νά προάγῃ τά ἰδανικά τά ὁποῖα χρειάζεται ἐπειγόντως ἡ σύγχρονη κοινωνία. Μετά τῆς ἐν Χριστῷ Ἀναστάντι πατρικῆς ἀγάπης,
ÿ ὁ Ἀρχιεπίσκοπος Ἀμερικῆς Δημήτριος
Το Χρονικόν ΤΟ ΜΗΝΥΜΑ ΤΗΣ 39ης ΚΛΗΡΙΚΟΛΑΪΚΗΣ της αλώσεως «ΣΥΝΑΓΑΓΕΤΕ ΤΟΝ ΛΑΟ ΜΟΥ ΣΤΟΝ ΟΙΚΟ ΜΟΥ» ΚΑΤΕΥΘΥΝΕΙ της ΤΙΣ ΕΡΓΑΣΙΕΣ ΤΟΥ ΑΡΧΙΕΠΙΣΚΟΠΙΚΟΥ ΣΥΜΒΟΥΛΙΟΥ Κωνσταντινουπόλεως Οκτώβριος 1448 Πεθαίνει ο βυζαντινός αυτοκράτορας Ιωάννης Η΄Παλαιολόγος 6 Ιανουαρίου 1449 Στέφεται στο Μυστρά ο αδελφός του Κωνσταντίνος, δεσπότης του Μορέως και γίνεται δεκτός “παρά πάντων ασπασίως” στην Κωνσταντινούπολη. Χειμώνας 1451 Πεθαίνει ο τούρκος σουλτάνος Μουράτ Β΄. Διάδοχος του ανακηρύσσεται στην Αδριανούπολη ο γιος του Μωάμεθ (Μεχεμέτ, Μεχμέτης των βυζαντινών πηγών). Οι επαφές Βυζαντίου και Δύσης δεν έχουν κανένα αποτέλεσμα. Ανανεώνεται η συνθήκη ειρήνης της Τουρκίας με τη Βενετία και τον Ιωάννη Ουνυάδη της Ουγγαρίας. Μάρτιος - τέλη Αυγούστου 1452 Στο στενότερο σημείο του Βοσπόρου χτίζεται το φρούριο Ρούμελη Χισάρ (ελληνιστί κεφαλοκόπτης) το οποίο αποκαλύπτει τις κατακτητικές βλέψεις του Μωάμεθ. Η δίοδος ελέγχεται πλέον απόλυτα από τους Τούρκους. Ιούνιος/Ιούλιος 1452 Λεηλασίες των Τούρκων στον ευρύτερο χώρο του νέου φρουρίου αναγκάζουν τον Κωνσταντίνο να κλείσει τις θύρες της Πόλης. Φθινόπωρο 1452 Οι Οθωμανοί επιτίθενται στο Δεσποτάτο του Μορέως. “Τεχνίτης δοκιμώτατος” αναλαμβάνει να κατασκευάσει για λογαριασμό των Τούρκων τεράστιο κανόνι αποτελεσματικό για τα τείχη της Βασιλεύουσας “χωνείαν μεγάλην πέτραν φέρουσαν υπερμεγέθη”. Νοέμβριος-Δεκέμβριος 1452 Ενεργοποιούνται στοιχειωδώς η Βενετία και η Γένοβα μετά από σειρά τουρκικών προκλήσεων απέναντι σε πολίτες τους. Στις 12 Δεκεμβρίου ο Κωνσταντίνος κηρύσσει την ένωση των εκκλησιών σε κοινή λειτουργία. Οι Κωνσταντινουπολίτες ετοιμάζονται για πολιορκία επισκευάζοντας τα τείχη στη γη και στη θάλασσα. Οχυρώνουν τον Κεράτιο με τεράστια αλυσίδα. Συλλέγουν χρήματα και τροφές ενώ απευθύνουν εκκλήσεις προς τον Πάπα και τους Ιταλούς ηγεμόνες για βοήθεια. Αρχές Ιανουαρίου 1453 Κινητοποιούνται οι δυνάμεις του Μωάμεθ στην Αδριανούπολη. Δοκιμάζεται το μεγάλο κανόνι. 26 Ιανουαρίου 1453 Φθάνουν στην Πόλη δύο γενουατικά πλοία με περίπου 700 μισθοφόρους υπό τις διαταγές του Giovanni Gioustiniani Longo. Φεβρουάριος/Μάρτιος 1453 Μεταφέρεται το μεγάλο κανόνι από την Αδριανούπολη, η μπομπάρδα. Σέρνεται από 30 βοϊδάμαξες και 500 άνδρες με μηχανικούς. “Τέρας τι φοβερόν και εξαίσιον με ήχο βολής ουρανόβροντον: είναι πράγμα φοβερώτερον ιδείν και ες ακοήν όλων άπιστον τε και δυσπαράδεκτον”. Λέγεται ότι είχε μήκος 8 μέτρα, διάμετρο 75 εκ. και είχε δυνατότητα να εκτοξεύσει βλήμα 544 κιλών. Χρειαζόταν 3 ώρες για να ξαναγεμίσει. Μπορείτε να διαβάσετε περισσότερα στο απόσπασμα της Βυζαντινής ιστορίας του Δούκα. Αρχές Μαρτίου-6 Απριλίου Σταδιακή συγκέντρωση του στρατού και αποκλεισμός από ξηράς. Μέσα-τέλη Μαρτίου Οι Βυζαντινοί ενισχύουν τα τείχη. Η αντίθεση των ενωτικών και ανθενωτικών παραμένει αισθητή. Ο Μέγας Δούκας Λουκάς Νοταράς είπε: “κρειττότερον εστίν ειδέναι εν μεση τη πόλει φακιόλιον βασιλεύον Τούρκων ή καλύπτραν Λατινικήν”. Καθορίζονται οι θέσεις άμυνας. Ο αυτοκράτορας υπερασπίζει την Πύλη του Ρωμανού όπου απέναντι έχει τοποθετηθεί το μεγάλο κανόνι και η σκηνή του Σουλτάνου. Το σύνολο των κατοίκων υπολογίζεται σε 50.000 ενώ οι μάχιμοι σε 5.000 Βυζαντινούς και 2.000 ξένους. 2 Απριλίου Κλείνει με αλυσίδα η είσοδος του Κεράτιου κόλπου. 5-7 Απριλίου Έναρξη της πολιορκίας. Πιθανότερος αριθμός τούρκων στρατιωτών 260.000-400.000. 12 Απριλίου
óåë. 15 πιθανές επιπτώσεις στο έργο της Εκκλησίας. Σημείωσε δε ότι η Ιερά Αρχιεπισκοπή βρίσκεται σε συνεχή προσπάθεια αποτελεσματικής αντιμετώπισης της κρίσεως ώστε να μην επηρεαστεί αρνητικά το έργο και οι διακονίες της. Ο Σεβασμιώτατος είπε ακόμη ότι στις επισκέψεις του ανά την επικράτεια παρατηρεί ότι οι εργασίες ανάπτυξης και ανοικοδόμησης κοινοτικών κέντρων, σχολικών εγκαταστάσεων και ναών συνεχίζονται αμείωτες. Ο κ. Εμμανουήλ Τζαχάρης, αντιπρόεδρος του Αρχιεπισκοπικού Συμβουλίου, προσφωνώντας τη συνεδρίαση επαίνεσε τη συγκροτημένη εργασία των επιτροπών και εξέφρασε την αισιοδοξία του για την αντιμετώπιση των δύσκολων οικονομικών περιστάσεων. Οι επιτροπές του Αρχιεπισκοπικού Συμβουλίου που είχαν συνεδριάσει την προηγούμενη ημέρα, παρουσίασαν τις συναφείς εκθέσεις τους, εκφράζοντας νέες ιδέες και προσεγγίσεις στο αντικείμενο του έργου τους. Τις εκθέσεις ακολούθησε εποικοδομητική συζήτηση για τα φλέγοντα θέματα που αφορούν στη ζωή της Εκκλησίας. Ανακοινώθηκε επίσης ότι η Κληρι-
Μέλη του Αρχιεπισκοπικού Συμβουλίου κατά τη διάρκεια των εργασιών της Εαρινής Συνόδου.
κολαϊκή Συνέλευση του 2010 θα πραγματοποιηθεί μεταξύ 4-7 Ιουλίου στην Ατλάντα της Τζόρτζια. Ο Δρ. Αντώνιος Λυμπεράκης, διοικητής του Τάγματος του Αγίου Ανδρέου των Αρχόντων του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου ενημέρωσε το Συμβούλιο για τον αγώνα των Αρχόντων για την υπεράσπιση των δικαίων και των θρησκευ-
τικών ελευθεριών του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου. Τέλος, ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος ανακοίνωσε την επίσκεψη του Οικουμενικού Πατριάρχου κ. Βαρθολομαίου στ ις Η.Π.Α. προς το τέλος του Οκτωβρίου 2009 αναφέροντας ότι οι συγκεκριμένες ημερομηνίες και το πρόγραμμα θα ανακοινωθούν προσεχώς.
Επίσκεψη του Αρχιεπισκοπου Δημητρίου στην Εδρα της ROCOR ΝΕΑ ΥΟΡΚΗ – Ο Σεβασμιώτατος Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής κ. Δημήτριοςπραγματοποίησε την 5η Μαίου επίσημη επίσκεψη στην έδρα της Ρωσικής Ορθόδοξης Εκ κ λησ ίας εκ τός Ρωσ ίας (ROCOR), επίσκεψη που είναι η πρώτη ποιμενάρχη της Ελληνικής Ορθοδόξου Αρχιεπισκοπής τα τελευταία 40 χρόνια. Η επίσκεψη ήταν ανταποδοτική αφού ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριος είχε δεχθεί τον περασμένο Ιούνιο την επίσκεψη του Σεβασμιωτάτου Μητροπολίτου Ιλαρίωνος, πρωθιεράχου της ROCOR, αμέσως μετά την ενθρόνιση του τελευταίου. Τον Αρχιεπίσκοπο Δημήτριο υποδέχθηκαν ο Μητροπολίτης Ιλαρίων και τα μέλη της Συνόδου της ROCOR στον Καθεδρικό τους ναό αφιερωμένο στη Θεοτόκο. Μετά τους εθιμοτυπικούς χαιρετισμούς εψάλη το «Χριστός Ανέστη» στα Σλαβονικά, Ελ ληνικά και Αγγλικά. «Καλωσορίζουμε τον Κορυφαίο Ορθόδοξο Αρχιερέα της Αμερικής και Έξαρχο του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου», είπε ο Μητροπολίτης Ιλαρίων προσφωνώντας τον Αρχιεπίσκοπο Δημήτριο. Στη συνέχεια αντηλλάγησαν εθιμοτυπικά δώρα.Ακολούθησε ιδιαίτερη άτυπη συνάντηση των δύο Ιεραρχών και των συνοδειών τους. Τον Αρχιεπίσκοπο Δημήτριο συνόδευαν ο Θεοφι λέστατος Επίσκοπος Τρωάδος Σάββας, ο Πανοσιολογιώτατος Αρχιμανδρίτης Σεβαστιανός Σκορδαλλός, αρχιγραματέας της Ιεράς Επαρχιακής Συνόδου, ο π. Μάρκ Άρεϊ, διευθυντής του γραφείου Διορθοδόξων Σχέσεων και ο Αρχιδιάκονος Παντελεήμων Παπαδόπουλος. Τον Μητροπολίτη Ιλαρίωνα συνόδευαν ο Σεβασμιώτατος Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αγίου Φραγκίσκου Κύριλλος, ο Θεοφιλέστατος Επίσκοπος Μανχάτταν Ιερώνυμος, ο πρωτοπρε-
Ο Σεβασμιώτατος Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής Δημήτριος και ο Μητροπολίτης Ιλαρίων στην έδρα της ROCOR.
σβύτερος Αλέξαντερ Λεμπέντεβ και ο πρωτοπρεσβύτερος Σεραφείμ Γκαν. Μετά το τέλος της συναντήσεως που διήρκεσε μία περίπου ώρα, παρετέθη πασχαλινό γεύμα στο οποίο παρεκάθισαν εκτός των ανωτέρω και ο Αρχιε-
πίσκοπος Βερολίνου Μάρκ, ο Επίσκοπος Μοντρεάλ Γαβριήλ, ο Επίσκοπος Κλίβελαντ Πέτρος και ο Επίσκοπος Καράκας Ιωάννης, μέλη της Συνόδου της ROCOR που συνεδριάζει αυτές τις ημέρες στη Νέα Υόρκη.
Για ερωτήματα σχετικά με τον Κανονισμό για θέματα επιλήψιμης σεξουαλικής συμπεριφοράς κληρικών της Ιεράς Αρχιεπισκοπής Αμερικής ή για σχετικές καταγγελίες καλέστε χωρίς χρέωση τον ειδικό αριθμό (877) 544-3382 Όλες οι καταγγελίες θα ληφθούν σοβαρά υπ’ όψιν και θα διερευνηθούν πλήρως και με απόλυτη αμεροληψία. Μπορείτε να μιλήσετε Αγγλικά ή Ελληνικά σε εθελοντή ή εθελόντρια.
ΟΡΘΟΔΟΞΟΣ ΠΑΡΑΤΗΡΗΤΗΣ ORTHODOX OBSERVER
ΟΙΚΟΥΜΕΝΙΚΟΣ ΠΑΤΡΙΑΡΧΗΣ ΒΑΡΘΟΛΟΜΑΙΟΣ Πικρία και αγανάκτηση για τις μεγάλες αδικίες ôïõ Íéêüëáïõ Ìáããßíá
Την πικρία και την αγανάκτησή του εξέφρασε ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος για τις μεγάλες αδικίες που συμβαίνουν σε κοινότητες και σε ιδρύματα που έχουν χαρακτηριστεί αδικαιολόγητα ως «κατειλημμένα» από την Γενική Διεύθυνση των Βακουφίων (Ιδρυμάτων) της Τουρκίας. Επίσης αναφέρθηκε στην απόφαση της Ιεράς Συνόδου του Πατριαρχείου, σύμφωνα με την οποία θα προσφύγει στα τοπικά δικαστήρια και στη συνέχεια στο Ευρωπαϊκό Δικαστήριο Ανθρωπίνων Δικαιωμάτων για την διεκδίκηση του δικαίου. Αυτά τόνισε μεταξύ άλλων ο Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος στον Ναό της κοινότητος του Αγίου Γεωργίου στην Πύλη της Αδριανουπόλεως, δίπλα στα βυζαντινά τείχη (πρόκειται για «κατειλημμένη» κοινότητα). Παρέστη ο Πρόξενος της Ελλάδος Νίκος Σιγάλας, πλήθος προσκυνητών από την Ελλάδα και το εξωτερικό. Ο Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος απευθυνόμενος στους πολυπληθείς προσκυνητές, τούς καλωσόρισε εκφράζοντας την χαρά του για την παρουσία τους, που αποτελεί ενίσχυση, και είπε: “Ήλθατε, ήλθαμε όλοι μαζί σήμερα σ’ ένα ναό, σε μια κοινότητα της Αρχιεπισκοπής Κωνσταντινουπόλεως με πολλά προβλήματα, και δεν είναι η μόνη. Και ποιο είναι το πρόβλημα της κοινότητος, ότι, όπως άλλες είκοσι τρεις κοινότητες και ιδρύματά μας, στα καλά καθούμενα όπως λέμε, εχαρακτηρίσθησαν από τις Αρχές ως κατειλημμένα βακούφια (mazbut). Κατειλημμένα σημαίνει ότι εμείς πλέον επ’ αυτών, που ήταν όλα των πατέρων μας, δεν έχουμε δικαίωμα διαχειρίσεως και διοικήσεως, μπορούμε να λειτουργούμε όπως σήμερα αλλά πέραν τούτου ουδέν, ούτε προεδρεύουμε, ούτε κάνουμε εκλογές, ούτε έχει εκλελεγμένη εκκλησιαστική επιτροπή αυτή η κοινότης ούτε μπορεί να διαχειρισθεί την περιουσίαν της, όση έχει, αντιθέτως το ρωμέικο σχολείο που ευρίσκεται μέσα στον αυλόγυρο της εκκλησίας πίσω από το ιερό βήμα το κατέλαβαν οι Αρχές και το ενοικίασαν σε κάποιον ιδιώτη, ο
Ο Πατριάρχης απευθυνόμενος στους προσκυνητές στον Άγιο Γεώργιο Πύλης Αδριανουπόλεως.
οποίος το μετέτρεψε σε καφενείο και μπιλιάρδο. Εμείς λειτουργούμε εδώ, και δύο μέτρα πίσω από την εκκλησία, μέσα στον αυλόγυρο της εκκλησίας, παίζουν μπιλιάρδο. Τα ενοίκια από την ενοικίαση του Σχολείου μας τα εισπράττει η Γενική Διεύθυνση των Βακουφίων”. Στη συνέχεια ο Πατριάρχης δίνοντας έμφαση στο γεγονός της αδικίας των κατειλημμένων κοινοτήτων υπογράμμισε ότι: “Είναι μεγάλες αδικίες αυτές, που συμβαίνουν όχι μόνο σ’ αυτήν την κοινότητα αλλά και σε πολλές άλλες κοινότητες οι οποίες έχουν χαρακτηρισθεί ως «κατειλημμένες». Και έχουμε αποφασίσει στην Ιερά Σύνοδο να προσφύγουμε εις την δικαιοσύνη εδώ την τοπική και, εάν δεν βρούμε το δίκαιό μας, θα συνεχίσουμε τον δικαστικό αγώνα μέχρι του Ευρωπαϊκού Δικαστηρίου των Ανθρωπίνων Δικαιωμάτων – το οποίο ελπίζουμε να μας δικαιώσει, όπως συνέβη με το Ορφανοτροφείο της Πριγκήπου, καθώς και με ένα ακίνητο της Πατριαρχικής Μεγάλης του Γένους Σχολής. Κάθε φορά που έρχομαι εδώ ή σε άλλη κατειλημμένη κοινότητά μας, τα λέγω αυτά από πικρία και από αγανάκτηση, και θα συνεχίσουμε τον αγώνα διεκδι-
κώντας όχι προνόμια, όχι ιδιαιτέραν μεταχείριση, διεκδικώντας απλώς τα δικαιώματα τα οποία έχουμε από την ιστορική μας κληρονομιά, από τους πατέρες μας, από τους προγόνους μας, οι οποίοι ίδρυσαν αυτά τα σχολεία και τις εκκλησίες και μας τα παρέδωσαν για να τα διαχειριζόμεθα για το καλό της Ομογένειας, όχι για να εισπράττουν άλλοι τα ενοίκια από τα δικά μας ιδρύματα». Κατόπιν ο Πατριάρχης αναφέρθηκε στην ευαγγελική περικοπή της Κυριακής του Παραλύτου, ο οποίος περίμενε 38 χρόνια την θεραπεία του, επισημαίνοντας στη συνέχεια ότι “εμείς ακριβώς 38 χρόνια, εφέτος, περιμένουμε την επαναλειτουργία της Θεολογικής Σχολής της Χάλκης και δεν παραιτούμεθα, όπως γνωρίζετε, από την διεκδίκηση. Και εν προκειμένω, του δικαιώματός μας και δεν παύουμε να ζητούμε επισήμως - ανεπισήμως, εδώ και διεθνώς, την επαναλειτουργία της Σχολής, διότι απλούστατα παρανόμως εκλείσθη... Και σήμερα πιστεύουμε ότι όπως ο Παραλυτικός του Ευαγγελίου, μετά από 38 χρόνια θα θεραπευθεί και η Θεολογική Σχολή της Χάλκης δια της επαναλειτουργίας της...”
Δεύτερος Αρχαιολογικός Περίπατος με τον Πατριάρχη
Eπίσκεψη σε αρχαιολογικούς και ιστορικούς χώρους της Κωνσταντινουπόλεως διοργάνωσε το Σάββατο 23 Μαίου ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος για ογδόντα και πλέον ομογενείς μαθητές, σπουδαστές και εκπαιδευτικούς της Πόλης, καθώς και σπουδαστές από την Ελλάδα που ζουν στην Πόλη. Εκτός απο το Αρχαιολογικό και το Μουσείο μωσαϊκών του Μεγάλου Παλατίου, επισκέφθηκαν και τεμένη τα οποία κατά την βυζαντινή εποχή υπήρξαν καθολικά των εξής ιστορικών Μονών: Χριστού Ακαταλήπτου (τέμενος Kalenderhane) τέλη 11ου αιώνα, Μυρελαίου (τέμενος Bodrum) 10ος αιώνας, Λιβός (τέμενος Isa Feneri) 10ος αιώνας, Παντοκράτορος (τέμενος Zeyrek) 12ος αιώνας, Αγ. Θεοδοσίας (τέμενος των Ρόδων) 12ος αιώνας, Χριστού Παντεπόπτου (τέμενος Eski Imaret) 11ος αιώνας. Την ξενάγηση έκανε ο Ηγούμενος της Μονής Τατάρνης Ευρυτανίας και εραστής της Πόλεως Αρχιμ. Δοσίθεος. Ο Πατριάρχης, με τον πλούτο των γνώσεων και των εμπειριών του, προσέθεσε, από την πλευρά του, τα δικά του ενδιαφέροντα ιστορικά στοιχεία. Η περιδιάβαση στα ιστορικά μνη-
Αναμνηστική φωτογραφία έξω από την Αγία Ειρήνη.
μεία και στους γεμάτους ιστορία δρόμους της Παλαιάς Πόλης ολοκληρώθηκε μετά από γεύμα που παρατέθηκε σε εστιατόριο, με την διαβεβαίωση της δι-
οργάνωσης επόμενων επιμορφωτικών εξορμήσεων, συνεχίζοντας το άγγιγμα στην ιστορία με συνοδοιπόρο τον Πατριάρχη του Γένους.
Αρχίζουν συνεχείς κανονιοβολισμοί, ημέρα και νύχτα. Γίνεται σταδιακή επιχωμάτωση της τάφρου. Ανοίγονται υπόγειες διαβάσεις κάτω από τα τείχη. Στις 12 έφθασε και ο τουρκικός στόλος από την Καλλίπολη απαρτιζόμενος από 400 περίπου πλοία. 13 Απριλίου Η κυβέρνηση της Γένοβας καλεί εγγράφως τους πολίτες της που βρίσκονται στην Ανατολή να συνδράμουν τον αυτοκράτορα. 18 Απριλίου 2-6 τα ξημερώματα γίνεται η πρώτη απώθηση των Τούρκων στα τείχη. 19 Απριλίου Ξεκινάει από τη Βενετία γαλέρα με σκοπό να βοηθήσει αλλά να προσεγγίσει μετά τις 20 Μαΐου. 20 Απριλίου Τρία εμπορικά γενοβέζικα πλοία μετά από τρίωρη μάχη μπαίνουν στον Κεράτιο. Ο Μωάμεθ οργισμένος ορμά έφιππος στη θάλασσα. Διορίζει νέο αρχηγό στόλου. 22 Απριλίου Ο Μωάμεθ μεταφέρει δια ξηράς τουρκικά πλοία μέσα στον Κεράτιο από ειδική δίολκο. Ο σουλτάνος “την γην εθαλάσσωσε και την ξηράν ως υγράν διαβάς τους Ρωμαίους ηφάνισε”. 1-2 Μαΐου Συνεχίζονται οι κανονιοβολισμοί. Οι Γενουάτες προδίδουν αμυντικούς σχηματισμούς του Ιουστινιάνη στους Τούρκους. Γίνεται πλέον αισθητή η έλλειψη τροφίμων. 12 Μαΐου Μεγάλη επίθεση με δύναμη 50.000 ανδρών τα μεσάνυκτα. Μεγάλες απώλειες. 15 Μαΐου Η σύγκλητος της Βενετίας μετά από παπική πρόταση δέχεται να επανδρώσει πέντε πλοία για την ενίσχυση της Πόλης. 19 Μαΐου Κατασκευάζεται γέφυρα στο μυχό του Κεράτιου από αγγεία που στρώθηκαν με σανίδες. 21 Μαΐου Ο Κωνσταντίνος αρνείται να παραδώσει την πόλη με αντάλλαγμα την ελευθερία του και την περιουσία του. “Το δε την πόλιν σοι δούναι ουτ’ εμόν εστίν ουτ’ άλλου των κατοικούντων εν ταύτη∙ κοινή γαρ γνώμη άπαντες αυτοπροαιρέτως αποθανούμεν και ου φεισθόμεθα της ζωής ημών”. 20-25 Μαΐου Τα τείχη αποδυναμώνονται από τους κανονιοβολισμούς και τις υπόγειες στοές. 25-26 Μαΐου Διάφορα δυσοίωνα συμβαίνουν, πέφτει χαλάζι και γίνεται έκλειψη. Προετοιμάζεται η τελική τουρκική επίθεση. 27 Μαΐου Προετοιμασία του τουρκικού στρατού με νηστεία και προσευχή. Θορυβώδεις νυχτερινοί εορτασμοί ανησυχούν τους πολιορκούμενους. 28 Μαΐου Ο Μωάμεθ ανακοινώνει τη μεγάλη επίθεση. Υπόσχεται ανταμοιβές στους στρατιώτες ακολουθούν αλλεπάλληλοι κανονιοβολισμοί. 29 Μαΐου Αρχίζει η μεγάλη επίθεση στις τρεις τη νύχτα με κύριο στόχο την Πύλη του Ρωμανού. Σχεδόν ταυτόχρονα επιτυγχάνεται η διείσδυση των Τούρκων από την Κερκόπορτα και την Πύλη του Χαρισίου. Ο Ιουστινιάνης τραυματίζεται και αποσύρεται με αποτέλεσμα να επικρατήσει χάος. Κοντά στην Πύλη του Ρωμανού σκοτώνεται και ο αυτοκράτορας. Ακολουθούν λεηλασίες και αγριότητες. Διαφεύγουν δεκαέξι πλοία και ελάχιστοι από τους έγκλειστους που κατέγραψαν την Άλωση, ο Γεώργιος Σφραντζής, ο Nicolo Barbaro. Ο Μωάμεθ εισέρχεται έφιππος στην Πόλη και στην Αγία Σοφία. 31 Μαΐου Ο Μωάμεθ διατάσσει τη διακοπή των βιαιοπραγιών, απομακρύνει τους στρατιώτες. “Την δε πόλιν έρημον νεκράν κειμένην, γυμνήν άφωνον μη έχουσαν είδος ουδέ κάλλος”. Οι αυτοκράτορες ποτέ δεν σκέφτηκαν να εγκαταλείψουν την Πόλη -έμεναν κλεισμένοι σα σε φυλακή... Τα ταξίδια των αυτοκρατόρων ήταν αντίθετα στην αξιοπρέπεια του βυζαντινού λαού. Τα αποτελέσματά τους ήταν φτωχά. Προκάλεσαν οίκτο και αδιαφορία στη Δύση, δυσπιστία στο βυζαντινό λαό, εσωτερικές διαμάχες και μίσος για τους δυτικούς. Ο Μανουήλ ο Β΄ ο Παλαιολόγος είχε ταξιδέψει δια μέσου της Ιταλίας στο Παρίσι και στην Αγγλία. Ο Αδάμ από το Ουσκ που εργαζόταν στην αυλή του Ερρίκου αναρωτιέται πόσο λυπηρό ήταν να αναγκαστεί ο χριστιανός ηγεμόνας να έρθει στα μακρινά δυτικά νησιά για να ζητήσει βοήθεια σωτηρίας και αναφωνεί: “Τι απέγινε Ρώμη, η παλιά σου δόξα;”
ΑΝΑΚΟΙΝΩΘΕΝ ΤΗΣ ΙΕΡΑΣ ΕΠΑΡΧΙΑΚΗΣ ΣΥΝΟΔΟΥ
Ἡ Ἱερά Ἐπαρχιακή Σύνοδος τῆς Ἱερᾶς Ἀρχιεπισκοπῆς Ἀμερικῆς συνῆλθεν εἰς τήν ἐαρινήν τακτικήν συνεδρίαν αὐτῆς εἰς τήν αἲθουσαν τῆς Συνόδου τῆς Ἱ. Ἀρχιεπισκοπῆς ἐν Νέᾳ Ὑόρκῃ τήν 29ην καί 30ην Ἀπριλίου ἐ. ἒ. ὑπό τήν προεδρείαν τοῦ Σεβασμιωτάτου Ἀρχιεπισκόπου κ. Δημητρίου. Ἡ Ἱερά Ἐπαρχιακή Σύνοδος ἠσχολήθη μέ σειράν θεμάτων ἀφορώντων εἰς τήν ζωήν τῆς Ἐκκλησίας. Μεταξύ αὐτῶν συνεζητήθησαν τά ἀκόλουθα θέματα: 1. Λειτουργικά Θέματα. Ἡ Ἱερά Ἐπαρχιακή Σύνοδος ἠργάσθη διά τήν ἑτοιμασίαν Κειμένου Ἀκολουθίας εἰσδοχῆς Ἑτεροδόξων διά τοῦ Μυστηρίου τοῦ Χρίσματος εἰς τήν Ὀρθόδοξον Ἐκκλησίαν. Ἐπίσης ἐγένετο παρουσίασις εἰδικῆς ἐκδόσεως τῆς Καινῆς Διαθήκης πρός χρῆσιν τῶν Ὀρθοδόξων στρατιωτικῶν, ἡ ὁποία ἐξεδόθη ὑπό τῆς Βιβλικῆς Ἐταιρείας μέ συνεργασίαν τῆς Ἱερᾶς Ἀρχιεπισκοπῆς Ἀμερικῆς. Αἱ ἐνορίαι τῆς Ἱερᾶς Ἀρχιεπισκοπῆς θά προσκληθοῦν λίαν συντόμως ὑπό τοῦ οἰκείου Μητροπολίτου νά τιμήσουν τά Ὀρθόδοξα μέλη τῶν ἐνοριῶν των τά ὁποία ὑπηρετοῦν εἰς τάς ἐνόπλοCoυς δυνάμεις, καί νά τούς προσφέρουν τήν εἰδικήν αὐτήν ἒκδοσιν τῆς Καινῆς Διαθήκης. 2) Κανονικά Θέματα. Ἡ Ἱ. Ἐπαρχιακή Σύνοδος α) συνεζήτησε περιπτώσεις κανονικῶν ζητημάτων σχετιζομένων μέ διορθοδόξους σχέσεις ἐν ΗΠΑ, β) ἒλαβεν ἀποφάσεις ἐπί ἐκκρεμῶν περιπτώσεων πειθαρχικῆς φύσεως, γ) ἐνέκρινε σχέδιον Κανονισμοῦ Λειτουργίας τῆς Ἱερᾶς Ἐπαρχιακῆς Συνόδου, τό ὁποῖον θά ἀποσταλῆ εἰς τήν Ἁγίαν καί Ἱεράν Σύνοδον τοῦ Οἰκουμενικοῦ Πατριαρχείου πρός τελικήν ἒγκρισιν, καί δ) ἐπεξηργάσθη κείμενον Κανονισμοῦ Λειτουργίας Πνευματικῶν Δικαστηρίων. 3) Θέματα Παιδείας. α. Θεολογική Σχολή/Ἑλ ληνικόν Κολλέγιον Τιμίου Σταυροῦ. Ἐγένετο ἐκτενής συζήτησις διά τήν Θεολογικήν Σχολήν τοῦ Τιμίου Σταυροῦ καί τό Ἑλληνικόν Κολλέγιον, καί ἰδιαιτέρως διά τάς οἰκονομικάς ἐπιπτώσεις, λόγῳ τῆς οἰκονομικῆς κρίσεως. Περαιτέρω ἐξεφράσθη ἡ εὐγνωμοσύνη πρός τά μέλη τῆς «Ἡγεσίας τῶν 100», διότι δι’ εἰδικῆς προσωπικῆς προσφορᾶς των ἐκάλυψαν τό ποσόν τό ἀναγκαῖον διά τήν συνέχισιν τῶν ὑποτροφιῶν εἰς τούς φοιτητάς τῆς Θεολογικῆς Σχολῆς τοῦ Τιμίου Σταυροῦ. Ἐπίσης ἐτονίσθη ἡ ἀνάγκη τῆς συμβολῆς τῶν ἱερέων τῆς Ἱερᾶς Ἀρχιεπισκοπῆς εἰς τήν προσπάθειαν καλλιεργείας νέων ἀνθρώπων, ἰδίως ἐκ τῶν ἱεροπαίδων, πρός προσέλευσιν εἰς τήν ἱερωσύνην. β. Εἰδικόν Μορφωτικόν Πρόγραμμα Διακόνων. Συνεζητήθη τό πρακτικόν μέρος τοῦ προγράμματος αὐτοῦ τό ὁποῖον ἢδη ἢρχισε νά λειτουργῇ ὡς ἀκαδημαϊκόν μέρος εἰς τήν Θεολογικήν Σχολήν τοῦ Τιμίου Σταυροῦ καί τελεῖ ὑπό τήν ἐποπτείαν τῆς Ἱερᾶς Ἐπαρχιακῆς Συνόδου. Συγκεκριμένως ἐσχολιάσθη συμπληρωματικόν ἐκπαιδευτικόν πρόγραμμα ὑπό τῶν Ἱερῶν Μητροπόλεων. Μετά τήν λῆξιν τῶν ἐργασιῶν τῆς Ἱερᾶς Ἐπαρχιακῆς Συνόδου, τά μέλη αὐτῆς εἶχον τήν εὐκαιρίαν νά συμμετάσχουν εἰς τάς ἐργασίας τῆς Ἐκτελεστικῆς Ἐπιτροπῆς τοῦ Ἀρχιεπισκοπικοῦ Συμβουλίου. Ἐκ τοῦ Γραφείου τῆς Ἱερᾶς Συνόδου
Βράβευση της Χίλαρι Κλίντον στην Ουάσιγκτον ΟΥΑ ΣΙΓΚΤΟΝ.- Η Αμερικανίδα υπουργός Εξωτερικών Χίλαρι Κλίντον κατά τη διάρκεια σύνομης τελετής όπου βραβεύτηκε από τον Σεβασμιώτατο Αρχιεπίσκοπο Αμερικής κ. Δημήτριο και παράγοντες της ηγεσίας της ομογένειας, επανέλαβε τη σταθερή δέσμευση των ΗΠΑ στο άνοιγμα και την επαναλειτουργία της Θεολογικής Σχολής τηςΧάλκης, αλλά και στην επανένωση της Κύπρου σε διζωνική και δικοινοτική ομοσπονδία, καθώς και στην επίλυση του ζητήματος της ονομασίας των Σκοπίων (FYROM). Η κ. Κλίντον έκανε μια σύντομη αναφορά στις γνωστές θέσεις του αμερικανικού υπουργείου Εξωτερικών κατά τη διάρκεια σύντομης τελετής η οποία έλαβε χώρα στο Στέιτ Ντιπάρτμεντ και κατά την οποία τιμήθηκε από τον Σεβασμιώτατο Αρχιεπίσκοπο Αμερικής κ. Δημήτριο και παράγοντες της οργανωμένης ομογένειας, όπως και των οργανωτών του 25ου Συνεδρίου της ΠΣΕΚΑ (Παγκόσμιας Συντονιστικής Επιτροπής Κυπριακού Αγώνα) και της Ενιαίας Προσπάθειας των Ελλήνων (Coordinated Effort of Hellenes). Στη διάρκεια αυτής της σύντομης τελετής αποδόθηκε στην κ. Χίλαρι Κλίντον ειδική τιμητική πλακέτα για την αναγνώριση του ενδιαφέροντός της αναφορικά στα σοβαρά θέματα που απασχολούν την ελληνοαμερικανική κοινότητα σήμερα. Λίγα λεπτά πριν την τελετή ο Σεβασμιώτατος Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριος και οι ομογενείς ηγέτες είχαν την ευκαιρία να συναντηθούν και να χαιρετήσουν χωριστά την κ.Κλίντον, η οποία είχε συνομιλία πέντε λεπτών με τον Αρχιεπίσκοπο Δημήτριο, για θέματα που άπτονται της επίσκεψης του Πατριάρχου Βαρθολομαίου στις ΗΠΑ το ερχόμενο Φθινόπωρο. ΟΙ ΔΥΣΚΟΛΙΕΣ Παραλαμβάνοντας την τιμητική διάκριση από τον Αρχιεπίσκοπο Αμερικής και τους ομογενείς ηγέτες, η κ. Κλίντον είπε στους παρευρισκόμενους πως αναγνωρίζει ότι το Κυπριακό και η επαναλειτουργία της Χάλκης είναι δύσκολα ζητήματα. «Η ελληνική κοινότητα έχει πρωτοστατήσει και εργάζεται πάνω σ’ αυτά για πολλά χρόνια τώρα. Όμως θέλω να
Ο Σεβασμιώτατος Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής Δημήτριος κατά τη διάρκεια της βραβεύσεως της Αμερικανίδος υπουργού Εξωτερικών Χίλαρι Ρόνταμ-Κλίντον σε τελετή που έλαβε χώρα στο Στέιτ Ντιπάρτμεντ. Μαζί του πολλοί παράγοντες της οργανωμένης ομογένειας.
σας υποσχεθώ ότι η κυβέρνηση Ομπάμα είναι δεσμευμένη να σημειώσει πρόοδο μέσω αυτής της σχέσης μας και είμαστε αφοσιωμένοι στην προώθηση του διαλόγου και της συνεργασίας και εργαζόμαστε υποστηρίζοντας τους λαούς της Ελλάδας και της Κύπρου, καθώς προωθούν τη σταθερότητα και τη δημοκρατία στη Μεσόγειο». Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριος αποδίδοντας στην κ. Κλίντον την τιμητική πλακέτα και διάκριση, την ευχαρίστησε γιατί, όπως τόνισε, είναι η δεύτερη φορά μέσα σε δύο μήνες που γίνεται δεκτός στο Στέιτ Ντιπάρτμεντ, αναφέροντας ότι «το Στέιτ Ντιπάρτμεντ γίνεται κάπως σαν το σπίτι μας, με τόσες συχνές και πολύτιμες επισκέψεις”. O Σεβασμιώτατος Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής εξήρε τις συνεχείς προσπάθειες και την ουσιαστική υποστήριξη της κ. Κλίντον, όχι μόνο σε θέματα όπως το
κυπριακό, το Οικουμενικό Πατριαρχείο και την ονομασία της FYROM, αλλά και άλλων και υπενθύμισε στη κ. Κλίντον την επίσκεψή της στο Φανάρι, με το σύζυγό της τότε πρόεδροτων ΗΠΑ Μπιλ Κλίντον, το Νοέμβριο του 1999 έπειτα από την ανεπιτυχή προσπάθεια για την επαναλειτουργία της Θεολογικής Σχολής της Χάλκης. «Όμως είσαστε εκεί κι ο Πατριάρχης – που στέλνει τους χαιρετισμούς του - δεν πρόκειται να ξεχάσει ποτέ αυτές τις προσπάθειες και μου ζήτησε να σας απευθύνω εκ μέρους του πρόσκληση για επίσκεψη». Ο κ. Δημήτριος αναφέρθηκε στην τιμητική διάκριση που προσφέρει στην υπουργό Εξωτερικών, εκ μέρους των οργανωτών του συνεδρίου για την Κύπρο, «ως αναγνώριση των όσων κάνετε και ως δείγμα της συνεχούς και δημιουργικής συνεργασίας».
MAY – JUNE 2009 2009 ΜΑΙΟΣ-ΙΟΥΝΙΟΣ
ΟΡΘΟΔΟΞΟΣ ΠΑΡΑΤΗΡΗΤΗΣ ORTHODOX OBSERVER
Η ΓΑΛΑΖΙΑ 5 ΛΕΩΦΟΡΟΣ ΤΗΣ ΝΕΑΣ ΥΟΡΚΗΣ
ΝΕΑ ΥΟΡΚΗ.- «Σύμβολο της εθνικής ενότητας του Οικουμενικού Ελληνισμού» χαρακτήρισε τον Σεβασμιώτατο Αρχιεπίσκοπο Αμερικής Δημήτριο ο υπουργός Εθνικής Άμυνας Ευάγγελος Μεϊμαράκης, μετά τη συνάντησή τους στα γραφεία της Ελληνικής Ορθοδόξου Αρχιεπισκοπής, στο Μανχάταν, κατά τη διάρκεια της επίσκεψής του στην αμερικανική μεγαλούπολη, στα πλαίσια των εορταστικών εκδηλώσεων της ομογένειας και της εθνικής παρελάσεως στην 5η Λεωφόρο. Ο κ. Μεϊμαράκης, ο οποίος ήταν τελετάρχης της παρελάσεως τόνισε ότι πρόκειται για «έναν άνθρωπο, ο οποίος με το κύρος και τις γνώσεις του, προωθεί τις ελληνικές απόψεις και θέσεις στην Αμερική και ταυτόχρονα κρατάει υπό την αιγίδα του, υπό τη σκέπη του, όλη την Ομογένεια». Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριος, από την πλευρά του, σημείωσε ότι ο κ. Μεϊμαράκης εκπροσωπεί το «ευσεβές έθνος» και τον «φιλόχριστο στρατό», υπογραμμίζοντας τη σημασία της άμεσης επικοινωνίας με την Ελλάδα και της πληροφόρησης για τα εθνικά θέματα «τα οποία είναι
δύσκολα, αλλά που είναι πάντοτε δυνατόν να λυθούν με σωστή γνώση και τοποθέτηση, με βάση αρχές οι οποίες είναι απαράβατες και αιώνιες, όπως είναι ο σεβασμός των ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων, ο σεβασμός της θρησκευτικής ελευθερίας, η αγάπη για τον άλλο άνθρωπο και όχι απλώς η ανοχή του άλλου, αλλά η συνύπαρξη». Ο Σεβασμιώτατος Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής συναντήθηκε επίσης με τα μέλη της διακομματικής αντιπροσωπείας της Βουλής των Ελλήνων που έλαβαν μέρος στις εορταστικές εκδηλώσεις για την 25η Μαρτίου, μεταξύ των οποίων ήταν οι βουλευτές Γεράσιμος Γιακουμάτος, Νικόλαος Παπαδημάτος, Δημήτριος Σταμάτης και Ιορδάνης Τζαμτζής από τη ΝΔ, Μιχάλης Καρχιμάκης, Χρήστος Παπουτσής, Γεώργιος Νικητιάδης και Γρηγόρης Νιώτης από το ΠΑΣΟΚ, Σπυρίδωνας Χαλβατζής από το ΚΚΕ, Μάκης Βορίδης από το ΛΑΟΣ και Αναστάσιος Κουράκης από το ΣΥΡΙΖΑ. Στιγμιότυπα από την παρέλαση στα πλαίσια των εορτασμών της ομογένειας στην 5η Λεωφόρο του Μανχάταν.
«Yπό την σκέπη της Εκκλησίας όλοι μαζί ευλαβικά κλείνουμε το γόνυ σ’ όλους εκείνους που έδωσαν τη ζωή τους για να μπορούμε σήμερα να ζούμε ελεύθερα, δημοκρατικά, μεταφέροντας αυτό το πνεύμα το ελληνικό». Ευάγγελος Μεϊμαράκης, Υπ. εθνικής Αμυνας
Photos: D. PANAGOS
MAY â€“ JUNE 2009
S.F. GREEK INDEPENDENCE DAY PARADE The Spithes dancers from the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral in San Francisco, perform in front of City Hall at the end of the parade route. (Below) Members of the Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church in Belmont, CA ride a float in the parade.
Members of the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Ascension in Oakland.
(Above) Metropolitan Gerasimos marches in the Greek Independence Day parade in San Francisco. Walking at the front of the parade were: (L-R) The Honorable Nick Theophanous, Honorary Consul General of Cyprus; Eleni Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis, His Eminence Metropolitan Nikitas of Dardanelles; and Markos Kounalakis.
Members of the St. Basil Greek Orthodox Church in Stockton.
MAY – JUNE 2009
‘Faith’ Endowment Sponsors Series of Scholarship Awards
“FAITH: An Endowment for Orthodoxy and Hellenism” announces it is once again supporting a series of academic scholarships and travel fellowships in 2009 for young people of the Archdiocese through its scholarship award program for academic excellence and leadership. In 2007, FAITH launched one of its most prominent funding initiatives by underwriting several merit-based scholarship awards offered by the Archdiocese to the graduating valedictorians and salutatorians of its parochial schools. The FAITH Scholarships for Academic Excellence are merit-based scholarships designated for educational purposes and underscore the commitment to excellence in education throughout the Archdiocese. This year, FAITH increased its funding for the scholarship programs to include Greek Orthodox valedictorians of any public or private high school in the United States.There will also be a limited number of need-based scholarships for academic excellence. In addition to the scholarships for academic, as part of its 2009 scholarship program, FAITH once again funded several Archdiocese travel scholarships for students to participate in the Ionian Village summer program. These need–based scholarships were awarded by the Archdiocese to students who displayed financial need, assisting to cover the tuition and travel fees to the program. In 2008, there were about 34 recipients of FAITH Ionian Village Travel Scholarships. Ionian Village is located in Greece and operated by the Archdiocese, under the spiritual direction and guidance of Archbishop Demetrios. Established in 1970, Ionian Village offers its participants a unique experience to travel across Greece, venerate the relics of saints, walk in the footsteps of the Apostles, and visit significant sites of Greek history and culture. Peter T. Kikis, president and one of the Original Founders of FAITH, remarked on last year’s scholarship recipients, “We are very proud to be able to support the Archdiocese scholarship programs. The past recipients of the FAITH
Scholarships for Academic Excellence are truly outstanding candidates - unilaterally, they not only excelled academically but they are also the young leaders in our community by commendably donating their time and effort to volunteering and actively building our community through their extracurricular activities.” Cathy Papoulias-Sakellaris, a founder of FAITH and also an alumna of Ionian Village states, “We (the Founders of FAITH) are happy to support young people wishing to participate in Ionian Village, which is a truly transformative experience – one can see the intellectual, spiritual and emotional growth that takes place for young people attending the summer camp.” FAITH looks toward continuing support of these vital educational programs as well as to working with the Archdiocese to inaugurate a series of new opportunities related to its mission and the development of new programs that will support the enrichment and enlightenment of future community members and leaders. The academic scholarship application deadline is June 26. For more information about the Archdiocese scholarship programs, contact the Archdiocese office of Administration at 212-774-0566 or administration@ goarch.org. For application guidelines and forms, visit: www.faithendowment.org. Mission Statement The core mission of FAITH is to promote Hellenism and an understanding of the Greek Orthodox faith through a series of high quality innovative educational programs and cultural initiatives under the auspices of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Founded by a group of Greek American leaders representing a diversity of professional fields and philanthropic values, our first priority is to fund the development and expansion of educational and cultural programs that focus on our Orthodox and Hellenic heritage and cultural legacy. Our mission is to promote a diverse series of educational and cultural programs that will be available to our community.
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IOCC NEWS IOCC NEWS IOCC Monitors Flu Situation IOCC, like many here in the US and abroad, has been monitoring the news about the swine flu outbreak. While the media can draw attention to an issue, it is often helpful to have other sources of information. We would recommend, however, that you consider implementing the following actions: • Practice good personal hygiene – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends: Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth as germs spread that way. Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing by infected people, so avoid contact with infected people. If you get sick, the CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school
and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them. • If you have specific questions about your health, call your physician; • Keep in contact with your local health department - most health departments have informative websites; • For additional information on the swine flu, you may visit the CDC website at http:// www.cdc.gov/swineflu/index.htm • For clergy, lay leaders, and staff of parishes and parish institutions, you may want to download and review a planning booklet (http://www.iocc.org/swineflu)that Lewis Saylor, who has been working with IOCC on emergency/disaster planning, co-authored with the Health Department of Fairfax County, Virginia. The focus of the booklet is to help church leaders think broadly about the impact of public health issues. IOCC will continue to monitor this situation and contact you if the situation warrants. In the meantime, visit our website for further information at www.iocc.org
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MAY – JUNE 2009
by Fr. Luke A. Veronis
Fr. Theodore, an African priest, gathered me and my siblings around him to tell us stories about life in his homeland of Uganda. I was only 6 years old, but I remember his visit in our home. Several years later, Mama Stavritsa, a missionary to Kenya, told us about miracles that she had witnessed in her work in Africa, miracles that sounded as if they were coming straight out of the Bible. Every year, various African students who were studying at Holy Cross School of Theology would visit our home and join our family for the holidays. Although I never traveled outside the United States until I was 21 years old, I thank God that my parents brought the world into our home. Each year, our Annunciation Church would take part in Church World Service’s CROP Hunger Walks. Since my father has been the organizer of this event in, Pennsylvania for the past 40 years, I began “walking for the hungry” at the age of 5. The first year we walked (or in reality, someone carried me) 10 miles. The next year we walked 15 miles. For several years, we actually walked 20 miles during this special Sunday in October. In preparation for this event, we would get sponsors and collect money for the hungry. From a young age I learned about the world around us, and how some people had to walk miles to get food or clean water each day. “We walk, because they walk” was the slogan. I still remember the bowl of mush we ate at the end of that tiring day – a meal so common for a poor villager. In Church, we celebrated an annual Mission Sunday. We tried to fill our mission boxes during Lent. One year we sent up hundreds of helium balloons with the message, “Go and Make Disciples of All Nations”. We wanted to remind people of our Lord’s Great Commission. That year, someone from 150 miles away had received one of our balloons and contacted our church to let us know it had traveled so far. These are only a few memories I have of growing up in a family and in a church community that promoted the spirit of missions. Is it a coincidence, or a consequence, that years later as a college student, I would go on the first summer Orthodox Mission Team in 1987? Did the seeds of faith and missions planted during my formative years help me hear the call-
of the world. May we consciously instill this love for the world into the hearts of our children.
Creating a Missions-Minded Family
ing to follow our Lord to Albania as a longterm Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) missionary? (See Resource 1) God loves the world over, and longs for all people everywhere to know Him! If we believe this, we know He is calling some to “Go forth” and become His witnesses throughout our global village. Yet, Jesus words seem too true - “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.” God calls, but few listen. Maybe one reason why few listen is because they have not been attuned to His voice and will from a young age. Every serious Christian parent would agree that we need to instill in our children, from an early age, an understanding of and love for God. Through daily family prayers, regular church participation, frequent Bible stories and a reading time, and by talking about and relating God to our everyday lives, our children will learn about the Lord and come to love Him. Yet are we instilling in our children a similar love for the world around them? Love for God implies loving the “other.” How can we help our children cultivate compassion for all God’s children throughout the world? How can we instill a mission spirit in our family? Exposure to Christ’s children and servants around the world can be a first step. Have you ever thought of hosting an OCMC missionary in your church and even in your home? Maybe your children could even begin a correspondence with a “Missionary Kid” before they visit your home. Although our own children grew up in the mission field, their main mission-
ary connection today comes through other missionary children. Correspondence, e– mails and visits keep their relationship alive with the world around them. Other exposure can come by inviting an international mission student to your home for the holidays. We have numerous students from different countries studying at our seminaries who have no where to go during Thanksgiving or Christmas break. Invite one to your Church and Sunday School, and have them stay in your home. Their visit may create memories that will stay with your children forever! What about your Church’s annual Mission Sunday? (If your Church doesn’t celebrate this, maybe your family can spearhead the effort.) In our Church, one way we celebrate Mission Sunday is by having a “Luncheon from Around the World.” We ask our Sunday School students and families to make a meal from different countries of the world. Last year we had food from 14 countries! Each family makes a poster with pictures and facts from the country they represent. Children can have a great time researching about a country, discovering what God is doing in that country, collecting pictures and putting together a beautiful poster, and then tasting foods from around the world. As our children get older, one of the most special ways to set their hearts on fire is for them to actually participate in a mission project. As a family, begin by doing something locally – serving in a soup kitchen, visiting a nursing home, or collecting clothing for the homeless shelter. A unique event, though, can be preparing for a cross-cultural mission experience. Thousands of Orthodox junior high and high school kids have experienced missions through Project Mexico, the panOrthodox organization that builds homes for the poor in Tijuana. (See Resource 2) Last year, our Sts. Constantine and Helen Church sent three people to Project Mexico. This year, we have 15 parishioners ready to go. And most of those going are families – a father and son, a mother and her two sons, even an entire family of five! What an unforgettable experience for a family to travel to another part of the world and to share God’s love. And Project Mexico can simply be a first step that leads our children to participate in Orthodox Christian Fellowship’s (OCF) Real Break mission trips (visit www. ocf.net for more information) and OCMC’s various mission teams. As Christians, we have a responsibility to raise our children with a love and an awareness of God and His children around the world. A song I still remember from my childhood years summarizes this spirit: Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world – black and yellow, red and white, they are precious in His sight - Jesus loves the little children
Fr. Luke and his wife Faith served as OCMC missionaries for more than 10 years in Albania, with three of their four children being raised in the mission field. He is the author/editor of two missionary books, “Lynette’s Hope” and “Missionaries, Monks and Martyrs: Making Disciples of All Nations.” Presently, Fr. Luke pastors Sts. Constantine and Helen Church in Webster, Mass. and is an adjunct instructor at Hellenic College and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology.
Resources on Missions • Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) has been sanctioned by SCOBA to help the faithful of North America proclaim the fullness of the Orthodox Christian Faith with the world. Each year hundreds of Orthodox Christians answer the call to make disciples of all nations through one of OCMC’s many initiatives which include Missionary Service, Orthodox Mission Teams, Support a Mission Priest (SAMP) Program, Agape Canister Program and OCMC Ambassador Program. For further information, call 1-877-GO-FORTH or visit www.ocmc.org. • Project Mexico. Since 1988, Project Mexico has been involving young people in the alleviation of suffering by building homes for Mexico’s poor. Hundreds of homes have been built for needy families with the help of nearly 10,000 volunteers. In 1996 their outreach expanded through the opening of St. Innocent Orthodox Orphanage in Tijuana. For further information call (619) 426–4610 or visit www. projectmexico.org. • Various books on missions by Conciliar Press: Lynette’s Hope–Compiled and edited by Fr. Luke Veronis– Lynette Hoppe’s life and death touched hundreds, if not thousands of lives as she served as a missionary in Albania, tragically yet triumphantly succumbing to cancer in 2006. St. Innocent of Alaska: Apostle and Missionary by Sarah Elizabeth Cowie–A chapter book for young adults about this missionary saint who baptized thousands of people into the Christian faith. Drita by Pres. Renee Ritsi–A book for children, Drita is about an Albanian girl who experiences God’s love and discovers her ancestors’ faith through the example of her grandparents and the teachings of missionaries.
Support Orthodox Missions Abroad (SOMA)Crosses SOMA Cross kits are a wonderful opportunity to engage you and your children in a craft, open their minds to Orthodox missions around the world and support OCMC at the same time! Perfect for youth of all ages these kits come with most of the materials needed to complete the cross including a wooden frame, jeweled rocks as well as a lesson on Orthodox missions. SOMA Cross kits cost $5.50 each (plus shipping) and there are many designs and colors to choose from. All profits will support the ministries of OCMC. To order, e–mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 830-522-1447.
MAY – JUNE 2009
Archon Delegation Undertakes Religious Freedom Mission A delegation of Archons visited Central and Eastern Europe during the week of February 21-28, in continuation of the Archons’ Religious Freedom Mission in support of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The five-member delegation traveled to Vienna, Prague and Bucharest and concluded its mission with an audience with His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at the Phanar. National Commander Anthony J. Limberakis, MD, led the delegation which consisted of National Secretary John Halecky, Legal Counsel Christopher Stratakis and Dr. Spiro Macris, member of the National Council. Fr. Alexander Karloutsos, spiritual adviser to The Order of St. Andrew also accompanied the delegation. Victor Dvorak, Czech Republic Deputy Chief of Mission to the OSCE, meets with the Archon delegation Coordinates negotiations with EU candidate nations, including Turkey. In Prague the delegation visited the U.S. Embassy and met with Mary Thompson-Jones, deputy chief of mission; Charles O. Blaha, political officer; and James K. Connell, political officer. Dr. Limberakis briefed the officials on the state of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Deputy Chief of Mission ThompsonJones congratulated the delegation on its EU and OSCE initiatives, and advised the delegation to visit Sweden prior to its acceding to the EU presidency in July of this year. The delegation then went to the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs and met with Dr. Pavel Svitil, Head of Working Group for Enlargement of the EU, for South and South East Europe. Dr. Limberakis briefed Dr. Svitil on the state of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
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In Bucharest, Romania, the delegation went to the U.S. Embassy and met with Charge d’ Affaires and Deputy Chief of Mission Jeri Guthrie-Corn; Political Counselor Theodore Tanoue; and Political Specialist Rodica Barlanescu. Dr. Limberakis briefed the officials on the state of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the specific elements relating to its suppression. The group visited the headquarters of the Organization of Security & Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Vienna. The OSCE consists of 56 participating states from Europe, the Caucasus, Central Asia and North America. It was created during the Cold War as an EastWest forum. Among its many mandates, the OSCE investigates issues such as violations of human rights and religious freedoms, issues which the Order of St. Andrew finds relevant to its mission regarding the protection and promotion of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. In Vienna, the Archon delegation was joined by Metropolitan Emmanuel of France, Director of the Liaison Office of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to the European Union. The delegation met with Kyle Scott, U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission to the OSCE and Thaddeus Kontek, Political Officer of the Mission. Dr. Limberakis briefed the officials on the repressive conditions under which the Ecumenical Patriarchate functions and which threaten its very existence. Mr. Kontek also introduced the delegation to Ms. Winsome A. Packer, who is serving as the representative of the U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe to the OSCE in Vienna. The delegation, accompanied by Mr.
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Metropolitan Methodios Marks 25th Anniversary page 6 ters, are judged worthy to serve at your sacred altar, not for any righteousness or ours–for we have done nothing good on earth–but by virtue of your love and mercy richly lavished on us, we dare to approach Your holy sacrificial altar.’ “Over the last 25 years, I have done nothing other than be the recipient of God’s love and mercy richly lavished upon me. I have done nothing more than what has been expected of me. St. Paul once wrote, ‘If I preach the Gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel.’ (1 Cor.9:15-16). “What may have been achieved in the last 25 years, I owe to the faithful who supported the projects we undertook together. “It is one thing to articulate the needs of our Church for the future generations. It is quite another to be blessed with people whose faith inspires them to make those dreams and visions a reality. It is thanks to the generosity of the faithful that our Metropolis Center, our Philoxenia House, our Camp, our Faith
and Heritage Center and our new Retreat House will impact the lives of young and old alike in the years to come. “I believe that our Church has a bright future. The potential is great. The possibilities endless. If we can channel the great talents of our people, our scientists and educators, businessmen, and philanthropists, we can accomplish miracles! “The frontiers of the future challenge us to prove worthy of our great potential to grow and become even more vibrant Orthodox Christians. May we be worthy to meet that challenge.” Legacy of Achievement, edited by Fr. George Dion Dragas, provides a brief history of the Metropolis of Boston, focusing especially on its first Metropolitan, Methodios of Boston, and his “Legacy of Achievement.” It also includes a selection of addresses, sermons, homilies and interviews of Metropolitan Methodios, and a substantial number of academic contributions by the faculty members of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, as well as other distinguished academics from Constantinople, Greece and the United States.
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MAY – JUNE 2009
Byzantine Chant Institute to Convene in California
New Englanders from many of the Metropolis of Boston parishes took part in the annual Greek Independence Day Parade on April 24. The parade followed Boylston Street, the main thoroughfare of the city’s Back Bay area, where several thousand people lined the route. Participants included four representatives of the Greece’s parliament, Consul General of Greece in Boston Constantine Orphanides, consulate staff members and other dignitaries. (at right) Shown with Metropolitan Methodios, are Grand Marshals Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and local Fox 25TV anchorwoman Maria Stephanou.
Boston’s Greek Independence Day Parade
DUNLAP, Callif. – The St. John Koukouzelis Institute for Liturgical Arts will present an intensive workshop in Byzantine Chant and Liturgy, to take place at St. Nicholas Ranch and Retreat Center, June 14-20. Students of all levels will spend the week immersed in Byzantine Music and in the liturgical life of the Church. The workshop’s daily schedule includes two instruction sessions, chapel services and a lecture each evening by one of two guest scholars, Archimandrite of the Ecumenical Throne the Very Rev. Ephrem (Lash) from London and Ethnomusicologist Dr. Alexander Khalil from the University of California, San Diego. Instruction in Byzantine Music and liturgical rubrics, both in the original Greek and in translation, will be directed by John Michael Boyer, Protopsaltis (First Cantor) of the Metropolis of San Francisco, along with Protopsaltis Stelios Kontakiotis of the Shrine to the Mother of God on the island of Tinos, Greece; Dr. Constantine Kokenes from the Cathedral of the Annunciation in Atlanta; and Dr. Alexander Khalil, Left Cantor at St. Spyridon Church in San Diego. Fr. Ephrem, the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s official translator for the English Language and an expert in liturgics, will address topics of music, liturgy, language and translation, and the role of Church musicians. His writings and liturgical translations can be found at www.anastasis.org.uk and his book On the Life of Christ: Kontakia, a translation of the Kontakia of Romanos the Melodist, is in wide circulation. His translation of the Orthodox Psalter is forthcoming from St. Vladimir Seminary Press. Dr. Khalil is an expert in a wide variety of world music. His dissertation explores the phenomenon of the“Patriarchiko Yphos,” the tradition of the current
chanters of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. Registration fees covering tuition, materials, meals and lodging for six days and five nights range from $575 to $625 per person, depending on accommodations. Spaces will be limited: register today! Registration forms are available at www. koukouzelis.org. For more information, contact Protopsaltis John Michael Boyer at (510) 717-1248, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Let in the rolling hills of California’s Central Valley near King’s Canyon National Park. St. Nicholas Ranch and Retreat Center is home to the Monastery of the Life-Giving Spring (Zoodochos Pigi) www. stnicholasranch.org Focusing on the artistic elements of Greek Orthodox Liturgy, the Koukouzelis Institute was founded to provide the faithful of the Metropolis of San Francisco with the tools to cultivate full and strong liturgical programs in parish life, and to promote a greater understanding and appreciation of the liturgical life of the Church.
Boston Cathedral Remembers Its War Veterans BOSTON – A large contingent of veterans, past and present, from Annunciation Cathedral of New England recently took part in a ceremony honoring their military service in conflicts from World War I to Iraq and Afghanistan. A 200-page memorial album containing names and photographs of many of the veterans was published in conjunction with the event. Each page contains six photos of individual veterans, their branch of service and a list of the medals they received. There also is a listing of those from the Cathedral community who were killed in action and a paragraph describing each. A memorial service took place for more than 450 deceased veterans from the Cathedral community, which was conducted by Metropolis Chancellor Fr. Theodore J. Barbas and Fr. Alkiviadis Calivas. Participating in Ceremony Among those participating in the ceremony were a contingent of flag-bearers and a color guard from Hanscom Field Cadet Color Guard, a member of each branch of the military, the George K. Menichios Post No. 324 American Legion and Greek evzones from the New England Hellenic American Association. The moving ceremony ended with “taps” and patriotic musical selections from the Cathedral choir.
(top) Participants in the ceremony at the Annunciation Cathedral of New England honoring the veterans. (top right) The cover of the commemorative album. The album was produced by Christopher G. Gussis (editor), Alex Mavradis (photographic/album editor), Chris Dracopoulos (special assistance), Julie Geanakakis (album content editor), and Brian O’Connor (jacket cover graphic designer).
Highlighting the program was the unveiling of a historic plaque containing the names of more than 800 Cathedral veterans and the viewing of the memorial Commemorative Album. There were 26 who were killed in action, 62 Purple Heart honorees and
other events. The Cathedral Veterans Committee organizers included Dr. Christopher Gussis, chairman; and Damon Bakos, Chet Block; Nicholas Chigaris, John C. Dimitrakis, Chris Dracopoulos, George H. Gennis (deceased), Charles Georgennes, Harris
P. Jameson, Christos and George Kotros, James P. Lemonias, Alex Mavradis, Arthur Pappas, Paul Stamatos, Harry Triantos and Theodore P. Vallas (both deceased), John C. Yanakis and Nicholas Zevitas. The event concluded with a reception in the fellowship hall.
MAY – JUNE 2009
Texas Parish Hosts Metropolis of Denver Oratorical Festival EULESS, Texas – The Metropolis of Denver held its 2009 St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival March 27–29, 2009. The parish honored to host this wonderful event was St. John the Baptist Church in Euless. Sixteen Senior Division and 14 Junior Division participants representing 16 parishes from throughout the Metropolis enthralled the clergy, judges and families with their inspiring presentations. During an unusually cold and windy Texas weekend, hearts were warmed by the eloquence of our young people. After the program the participants enjoyed an outing together in nearby Fort Worth. That evening the speakers and their families returned to the parish where they were joined by clergy and laity from the Dallas/Fort Worth area for the awards dinner. Along with the oratorical certificates, which were presented by Metropolitan Isaiah, each speaker was given a book donated by the Metropolis Philoptochos Society. As well, the top three finalists in each division were given scholarships by the Metropolis Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries in the amounts of $1,000, $500, and $250. Metropolitan Isaiah stated he was so pleased with the quality of the talks that if he could, he would arrange to have each of the speakers visit parishes with him to present the homily. Following the presentation of the
Metropolitan Isaiah with participants in the Metropolis Oratorical Festival.
awards His Eminence held an open forum with the young people fielding questions on various topics. As well, throughout the weekend they practiced hymns which they
Church Escapes Fire Danger SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The wildfires that erupted in a nearby mountainous area on May 5 and forced the evacuation of 30,000 people, destroyed some 80 homes and burned at least 8,500 acres, came to within a mile of the St. Barbara Church property, but the church was spared. The “Jesusita Fire,” as it was dubbed, crossed the highway near the church campus about 1:30 a.m. on May 7, forcing Fr.
Simon Thomas and two parishioners to evacuate the church of its sacred items, including icons. About 50 percent of St. Barbara parishioners had to evacuate their homes. Through the efforts of hundreds of firefighters, the church and surrounding area of Santa Barbara were saved from
Girls Win Championship
sang together during Sunday’s Hierarchical Divine Liturgy. The finalists to the Archdiocesan St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival, which will be held in Minneapolis, were
Senior Division speaker Megan Dolan from St. Sophia Church in San Antonio and Junior Division speaker Anastasia Zavitsanos of Annunciation Cathedral in Houston.
San Antonio Teacher Honored Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver recently honored Dorothy Bellos Sawyer on the occasion of her 50 th anniversary as a Sunday School teacher at St. Sophia church in San Antonio. The Metropolitan presented Ms. Sawyer with the St. Paul Medal, the highest honor the Archdiocese bestows on a lay person. The parish council also placed a brass plaque on her room, naming it “Miss Dorothy’s Classroom.” She also received congratulatory letters from local, state and national officials, along with a Texas flag flown over the state Capitol in Austin and a U.S. flag flown over the Capitol building in Washington.
GAPA Plans a National Archives by Sophia Alexiades
The Annunciation Church Girls Volleyball and Boys Basketball teams of Stamford, Conn., competed in the statewide championships of the CEOVL-Connecticut Eastern Orthodox Volleyball League and the CEOBL-Connecticut Eastern Orthodox Basketball League and the girls volleyball team won the 2009 State Championship. This year the girls had an undefeated season against the teams in the league from throughout the state. Standing in the second row from left to right are: Marianna Capomolla –head coach, Petula Tournas, Christina Beratis, Amanda Glekas, Rania Papaioannou, Nikki Spantidos who is also the League MVP, Sophia Capomolla, Eleni Spantidos-Assistant Coach and Rev. Fr. Constantine Mathews, pastor. First row: Filitsa Katsantzidis and Jen Philips.
PITTSBURGH – The Greek American Progressive Association, otherwise known, as GAPA, is one of the oldest Hellenic Fraternal organizations in the United States. It is the story of Greek immigrants who endured hardships, shared their strengths, conflicts, aspirations, and possessed a keen desire to become a member of the American middle class. Currently, the GAPA is seeking to establish a National GAPA Archives. As Hellenes of the 21st century, it is our responsibility to preserve a small segment
of our culture by becoming stewards of our past. By archiving and displaying our cultural treasures, a Hellenic legacy will unfold for our children. We are asking for any documents, pictures, manuscripts and other memorabilia historically significant to GAPA, that you you would like to donate or share with the GAPA. If you wish, we can also photocopy photographs and/or documents and return them to you. Send these artifacts to Sophia Alexiades, 2941 Voelkel Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pa., 15216 or call Joanne Melachrinos at (412) 563 4609.
MAY – JUNE 2009
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A Real Break participant restores a gravestone.
OCF 2009 Real Break page 11 us at the cemetery, we showed him the chapel. As he entered, the students were singing praises and His All Holiness stood there in silence, moved by the beautiful hymns to God. Our beloved Patriarch told me that the students sounded like angels. Beneath the wall we found a large cement monument where the Constantinopolitan Chanters were memorialized. The plaque was black from dirt and smoke over the years of neglect. One student spent two days working on this one single monument. The name of Peter Peloponnesios was the first listed, who lived from 1730-1777. The monument now stands erect as a beautiful tribute to the chanters and is clearly seen throughout the grounds. Tree stumps were removed, tombstones cemented, weeds pulled, shrubs pruned, fences mended and painted, ugly roots dug up, trees pruned, crosses repaired and put back into their proper place; these historical and living memories were restored by our Real Break young people. The mausoleum, which stood next to the church, was refurbished to its original state. Throughout our time at the cemetery, two or three Orthodox families visited. And the students were willing to assist and restore before their eyes the graves of their loved ones (Charalambides, Bergidis and Diamantopoulos) The local hierarch, Bishop Dionysios, visited us daily and brought us lunch (bread, fruit and peanut butter). He requested that we clean and restore the graves of the clergy buried there (Fr. Panagiotis, Fr. and Presbytera Garofalidis and Fr. Michalopoulos). The students worked tirelessly to bring dignity once again to these clergy graves. We worked with inanimate objects: tombstones, graves, dirt, mud, and rocks. We spent a good part of the week in prayerful silence completing the tasks at hand. We saw the names of the people listed, sometimes barely legible, and restored dignity to a sacred place with memories of the past. We cared for the graves as if they were our own family’s graves. The deceased forefathers had no one to care for their earthly remains; they were forgotten and abandoned; their tombs were desecrated, destroyed, urinated upon for years, until our caring Patriarch directed us and we followed his instructions to restore dignity to that sacred ground. I was so proud of these students, because they came to realize that these “remains” were indeed their Orthodox extended family. They developed strong bonds with each of those laid to rest in the
cemetery. All these names had real people connected with them: mothers who have lost children; fathers who were murdered; children who died at very young ages; godparents, aunts and uncles. They are real! On the last day, we offered a memorial service for those faithful who had fallen asleep in the Lord and laid to pious rest. We began in the Chapel and processed through the cemetery praying for their souls. As we exited the chapel, the sound of the Muslim call to prayer rang loudly throughout the cemetery. Instead of getting disturbed, the students began chanting the beautiful Trisagion hymn, “Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us”, and piously and prayerfully continued the procession. Upon completing our task of restoring the cemetery, we were driving back to the hotel filled with mixed emotions: glad to be finished, yet sad that we may never return and questioning whether our work would be vandalized again. But overall, there was a sense of joy and satisfaction over our contribution and pride in our work. A place that had been neglected for more than five decades was transformed into a beautiful living memorial representing all Orthodox Christians throughout the world. Because of the hard work, sacrifice, dedication and love of these students, the memory of those buried in that sacred ground continues on earth; they are not forgotten; their earthly tombs are not in turmoil and chaos; but a true place of rest with the spirit of St. Kyriakos interceding for them. This was truly a Break to remember! For more information on OCF and the Real Break program, visit www.ocf.net. Fr. Mark A. Leondis is the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries. He serves as the Chairman of the Board for Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF).
MILITARY BIBLE page 12 The Orthodox Military Edition was formally presented to the American Bible Society’s Board of Trustees on May 15 by Fr. Mark Arey, general secretary of SCOBA; U.S Navy Capt. Fr. William Bartz, the seniorranking Orthodox Christian chaplain in the Armed Forces; and Theo Nicolakis, the Archdiocese representative to the ABS. The Military Edition of the New Testament and Psalms was formally launched in Greek Orthodox parishes starting May 31 and will be given to service men and women in active duty. To obtain a copy go online to either: www.goarch.org or www.scoba.us/military.
MAY – JUNE 2009
HC/HC NEWS Hellenic College-Holy Cross Holds 67th Commencement by Erica Soper
BROOKLINE, Mass. – Hellenic College and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology held its 67th commencement on May 16, which was attended by nearly 500 people including Archbishop Demetrios, Metropolitan Maximos of Pittsburgh, Metropolitan Methodios of Boston, Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos, Bishop Anthimos of Olympos and members of the Board of Trustees. At the ceremony, Hellenic College graduated 13 individuals, several of whom will be continuing their education at Holy Cross. The School of Theology conferred upon 37 masters degrees in Theological Studies, Theology and Divinity. Of the 29 graduates who received a Master of Divinity degree, 21 of them will eventually serve as clergy in the Church. Archbishop Demetrios presented the invocation and also presided over the Orthros and Hierarchal Liturgy earlier that morning where the now Rev. Jason Roll was ordained into the priesthood. His Eminence was also the celebrant at Great Vespers and Stavrophoria the night before, where seniors received their crosses. Fr. Nicholas C. Triantafilou, president of Hellenic College-Holy Cross, greeted those in attendance and addressed the graduating class, saying, “We know that parishes across our Archdiocese and Metropolises will welcome your offerings as clergy and lay leaders. Educational, service and business professions and organizations, as well, look forward to your joining their missions. Please accept our joyous expression of congratulations for your achievement in reaching the goals of your spiritual and academic pilgrimages.” National Philoptochos Society President Aphrodite Skeadas announced a gift of over $46,000 to support the school through student scholarships. The Valedictorian addresses were given by Brittany Anne Kearns of Hellenic College and Sokratis Dimitriadis of Holy Cross, whose messages reflected the statement, “This School is one of the greatest assets of our Church. And the greatest asset of this school is its students… With students of such qualities, I cannot be but very optimistic for the future of our Church.” Lily Haseotes Bentas, CEO of Cumberland Farms Inc., received an honorary doctorate of humanities and gave the commencement address for Hellenic College, and an honorary Doctorate of Divinity degree was conferred upon Rev. Dr. Alkiviadis C. Calivas, who presented the commencement address for Holy Cross. Earlier in the week the Alumni Association held several events to honor the classes of 1959 and 1984 in celebration of their 50th and 25th anniversaries.
GEORGE PEET photos
Holy Cross School of Theology graduates (above) and graduates of Hellenic College (below) with Archbishop Demetrios, Metropolitans Maximos of Pittsburgh and Methodios of Boston, Bishops Demetrios of Mokissos and Anthimos of Olympos, Fr. Triantafilou, Rev. Dr. Thomas FitzGerald (Holy Cross dean), Dr. Lily Macrakis (Hellenic College dean) and Dr. Thomas C. Lelon, Board of Trustees vice chairman.
(Left) Lily Haseotes Bentas receives an honorary doctorate at the May 16 commencement. (Right) HC/HC President Fr. Nicholas Triantafilou presents honorary doctorate to Rev. Dr. Alkiviadis Calivas. Along with Archbishop Demetrios and Dr. Lelon, also show is Dr. Lewis Patsavos.
List of Students Receiving Degrees at the May Graduation Ceremony The following students of Holy CrossHellenic College received degrees at the May 16 commencement exercises. Bachelor of Arts Nicholas Anton, Illinois; John Codis, New York; Angeliki Constantine, Ohio; Donnal Elias, Florida; Alexandra Eliopoulos, New Jersey; Brittany Kearns, Maryland; V. Rev. Anthimos Konstantopoulos, Greece; Lambrini Lambrinou, Greece; James Milner, Massachusetts; Vincent J. Minucci, New York Lydia Reese, Florida; Jonathan Mi-
chael Resmini, Massachusetts; Leontios Vafeiadis, Greece. Master of Theology Jessee Macharia Githui, Kenya; Simon Najm, Lebanon; George Elias Sarraf (in absentia), Illinois. Master of Theological Studies Rev. Peter Day, New Hampshire, Sarah Hughes, Massachusetts; Ivan Vuksanovic (in absentia), Serbia Robert Willard (in absentia), New York; Michael Wissa (in absentia), California.
Master of Divinity Andrew Aliferakis, Indiana; Allan Boyd, Arizona; Mindy Brand, New York; Priscilla Callos, Ohio; Mary Danckaert, Indiana; Sokratis Dimitriadis, District of Columbia; Jeffrey Frate, New York; Aristidis Garinis, Illinois, Peter Vasilios Gikas *, Illinois; Dn. Thomas Guerry, Georgia; Christos Kanakis, California, Christos Kostouros, Indiana; George Lamberis, Illinois; Andrew Lentz, Ohio; Georgios Livaditis, Pennsylvania; Vasilios Louros; * Rev. Athanasios Nenes, New Hampshire; Elizabeth
Nichols, Tennessee; Nebojsa Pantic, Illinois; Dn. Philemon Patitsas; Texas; David Petrovich (in absentia), Michigan; Theodore Pritsis, Massachusetts; Mikhael Razzouk, Canada; Dn. Jason Roll, California; Borislav Sabchev, Bulgaria; George Scarmoutzos, Massachusetts; Matthew Smith * (in absentia); Connecticut; Rev. Bogue Stevens (in absentia), Alabama; Constantin Ursache, Romania. * Requirements to be completed by December 2009.
MAY – JUNE 2009
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MAY – JUNE 2009
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE
Like so many others, I am a huge fan of the X-Men but was disappointed in XMen: Last Stand, so I was looking forward to learning about Wolverine’s unknown past in Origins. Although I found the movie to be pretty entertaining in a summer blockbuster sort of way, it left me wishing for less violence and more character development. There might have been two scenes in the whole movie that didn’t include fighting of some sort, and I never really got why Wolverine decided to get the “surgery” where he gets the “Adamantium” injected into this body. We’re made to believe that it was all about his sadness and lust for revenge after his girlfriend died, but that doesn’t really explain why he’s such a withdrawn, sullen guy in the other three movies. (Especially since he has no memory of the wars he fought in, or the girlfriend’s death). It also left some other questions unanswered like, how he and his brother both ended up as mutants, why he stopped aging at the time he did, and how come when he meets Sabretooth in the future there was no mention of the whole brother thing? The film is rated PG-13 and has a lot of fighting and violence (lots of stabbing and slicing, at one point a mutant is decapitated, but there is little to no blood), as well as partial nudity. It has quite a bit of profanity, but no more than you might find in other PG-13 movies. Things to talk about: When Wolverine decides to seek revenge and violence he says it’s because his choice “was taken away from me”. Do you think this is true? Are we ever really left without
a choice? We have been given free will to decide how to use or squander the talents we have been given. Was it right of Wolverine to use his powers for revenge? It ended up costing him his girlfriend and his memory. Was it worth it? Would you like to have Wolverines powers? Nothing could really hurt you and you would live forever. The X-Men movies have always highlighted the struggles that go along with being a mutant with special powers. Would it be worth it? Why is the idea of superheroes so appealing to us? They’ve been around forever! With X-Men, it’s cool to think that there are humans who get to have special powers that make them unique. God gives us each special gifts; although they might not include our skin turning to diamonds or being able to move stuff with our minds, they are still pretty incredible. It’s up to use to learn how to use them and help them grow. What are you doing to hone your special skills?
What’s Up with LOVE? by Elisabeth Lourie
Nine times in the Bible we’re told to love our neighbors as ourselves- the word “Love” appears in the Bible 696 times. St. Paul says that love is even more valuable than the ability to move mountains, that even if you give up everything you have to the poor, even give up your own body but you don’t have love, it’s all worthless. Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment of all is and this was His answer: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39) Wow! So we are told that loving God with every part of our being is the most important thing, and loving our neighbor as ourselves is the second most important thing! Love is huge! Love is the key to our faith! The ultimate example of love is the story of Christ’s death and Resurrection. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Jesus gave His own life and the Father gave His only Son, so that we could have eternal life and be saved from our sins- that is true love! We are called to model Christ’s love in our own lives- to give of ourselves for others the way that He did. I challenge you to see Christ’s love in every person you meet, in everyone you come in contact with. Try to see Christ in your little brother or sister when they are driving
you crazy, the homeless person on the street or the bully at school who makes everyone feel bad about themselves. Each of us is called to be a shining example of His love in our everyday lives. So let His love shine through and truly love your neighbor as yourself- that means treating other people exactly as you would like to be treated. It’s easy to love people who love you, but it’s more difficult to love people who annoy you. If you really love your “neighbor” you should pray for them, but also be willing to be the answer to someone’s prayer. As human beings, we’re limited in what we can do. But God’s power and love is unlimited and He can use us to accomplish great things if our hearts are open with love.
Music Spotlight on: Steven Delopoulos Steven Delopoulos is a devout Greek Orthodox Christian and also a successful singer/songwriter. He found commercial success with his band Burlap to Cashmere, selling over half a million records, but left the group to start a solo career. His music has been compared to Bob Dylan and Harry Chapin, but has a distinctive Greek edge to it. His most recent album, Straightjacket is available for download at his website www.stevendelopoulos.com I talked to Steven recently about his art and how it relates to his faith. You can read the full interview online at www.youth.goarch.org/interview What advice can you give Orthodox young people who are interested in going into the performing arts? All I can say is, do it for the right reasons, don’t go into it for the fame and the fortune because that’s going to collapse. At some point you’ll realize it’s not about that. Go into it for the ministry. Ask yourself, why are you alive? Why are you here? The only way is to close your
eyes and quiet your mind. Think to yourself, if I were to die tomorrow, if I had 20 more days to live, what would I do with that time? What kind of art would I make? What would I say? If the essence is pure, if you have the right motivation, you’re going to watch God intervene and things are
going to just click, because it’s not about your personal castle you want to build on earth, and you’re actually listening to what God is telling you to do. How much does the music of the Church influence your music? It’s everything! It’s very important. I took pieces from the services on Holy Monday and put it in the Straightjacket album. I knew I was going to put it on my next record. What can young people learn/take from your music? Hopefully I can inspire people the way I’ve been inspired by other musicians and songwriters, and pass down a passion or desire to do music and theater and surround themselves with the arts. Not everyone is going to exceed at math and science, if I didn’t have arts in my youth, I wouldn’t have made it out of high school. I needed that outlet. Hopefully I can connect with people who like music. My music isn’t for everybody but the people that do connect with it and get it and can find a voice, that’s good. But that’s in God’s hands too; I have no control over what
effect I have on people. How do your parents feel about you being a musician? We’re a very tight family. Both of my parents are musically inclined- my father plays acoustic guitar; my mother was a piano teacher who also majored in theater. My papou played guitar as well so I really grew up surrounded by music. I learned to play guitar early on, but started to play in earnest around ten years old. Because they’re all artists, they see themselves in what I do. They realize it was not a career choice, it’s a lifestyle. It’s something I’m doing out of passion. How did you feel about the Orthodox Church as a teen, and how do you feel about it now? There was mystery back then, the Orthodox Church made God mysterious, made me want to know God. There’s so much mystery and beauty and even as an adult, no matter where my mind is, I can still walk into the Greek Orthodox Church for service and be caught up in that mystery. Who is God, why am I here?
MAY – JUNE 2009
Charleston Observes Year-Long Celebration by Melanie Mathos
NJ Metropolis Honors Archbishop
Photos D. PANAGOS
Metropolitan Evangelos (above) presents Archbishop Demetrios with a special laser –inscribed diptych with a message from the Metropolitan at the Metropolis of New Jersey banquet on the eve of its clergy-laity assembly. The Archbishop was honored for the 10th anniversary of his ministry to the Archdiocese. (See page 33 for NJ Clergy–Laity coverage)
Long Island Parish Celebrating 50th WEST BABYLON, N.Y. – St. Nicholas Shrine Church marks its 50th anniversary this year with several activities. Every month at the Divine Liturgy, on the first three Sundays, the priest, Fr. Nektarios Papazafiropoulos, commemorates a different group of the parish. On the first Sunday, those members
who have been baptized are honored. The second Sunday, those who have been married in the church. Members who have passed away are memorialized on the third Sunday. The cycle is repeated each month. The parish will hold its anniversary dinner on Sunday, Nov. 8.
Home Missions Program Seeks Assistance For more than a dozen years the Leadership 100 Home Mission Parish Grant has been making it feasible for priests to be assigned to newly established parishes and small parishes in a period of renewal. This program has helped many parishes to gain the leadership of a full-time priest and become self-supporting. Administration of the grant is handled by the Department of Stew-
ardship, Outreach & Evangelism, with 100 percent of funds received going to the mission parish priests who have agreed to serve the 13 parishes now in the program. Current economic conditions have not enabled Leadership 100 to fully fund the program for the April 2009-March 2010 period. However,
CHARLESTON, S.C. – The oldest city in the Carolinas now has another chapter to add to its history books. Holy Trinity Church will celebrate its Centennial in January 2010, marking 100 years of faith, heritage and culture. “This joyous occasion commemorates our Holy Trinity parish, our achievements, our involvement in the Charleston community, and our importance in the national Greek-American experience,” said Fr. John L. Johns, priest at the Church. “We are celebrating living in the spirit, with gratitude, faith, and hope.” The celebration of the centennial anniversary of Holy Trinity kicked-off in January with an event honoring The Three Hierarchs, patron saints of the Church’s Rev. Nicholas C. Trivelas Library and Bookstore. It was fitting that the Centennial celebration started in honor of the patron saints and for the late Fr. Nicholas Christ Trivelas, 87, who fell asleep in the Lord on Oct. 4, 2008, in Charleston. Fr. Trivelas served as priest of Holy Trinity Church from 1948 to 1993, and oversaw the construction of the Byzantine-style church on Race Street more than a half-century ago. He retired in 1993 and continued to serve as priest emeritus. During his 47-year ministry, Fr. Trivelas was instrumental in ensuring that the sanctuary of Holy Trinity included authentic Byzantine iconography. He helped commission iconographer Photis Kontoglou who is recognized as the greatest master of Byzantine Art in the modern world, and Kontoglou’s collaborators, George Gliatas, John Terzis, and Emmanuel Tsirtzilakis. As a result, Holy Trinity has the largest collection of Kontoglou icons outside of Greece. The first Greek Orthodox Liturgy was performed in the city in 1908, and 1910, the Grecian Society was established with 70 members for the purpose of building a church. The first Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, located at St. Philip and Fishburne Streets, was dedicated on March 25, 1911. In 1953, construction of the existing church at 30 Race St. was completed and the Church was dedicated. It was the first church in the United States built in the authentic Byzantine style modeled after the Hagia Sophia of the Byzantine Empire.
“The Centennial Anniversary is an occasion for celebrations filled with gratitude for the founders of our Holy Trinity Church as they strived to maintain their faith, values, traditions, and customs when they had the commitment and vision to establish an Orthodox Church in The Holy City,” said Helen “Nitsa” Demos, Centennial chairperson. “Imagine their pride if they were to see us today and the vital part of the Charleston community that we have become.” The celebration continued in February with the Scouting Awards Sunday, honoring past members of Holy Trinity’s troops; with the celebration of Greek Independence Day at the City of Charleston’s mayor’s office and celebration of The Annunciation of the Virgin Mary in March; and a Palm Sunday Lenten Luncheon benefiting Holy CrossHellenic College in April. Celebration of the Centennial Anniversary of Holy Trinity continues throughout the year with the following events: May 8, 9, and 10 -39th annual Greek Festival, Sunday, May 24 - Sunday School, Centennial Display recalling 100 years of the Church, Saturday, May 30 - Philoptochos Presidents Brunch honoring past presidents, Sunday, June 7 - Holy Trinity Nameday Reception “Sunday of Pentecost” honoring parish past presidents, June 15-19 - Through the Centuries with Christ Bible School, Saturday, June 20 - Family Picnic in the Park including a centennial time capsule, and tree planting, Aug. 15 - Old Fashioned Panageri by Hellas Dancers, Sept. 26 - Reunion Choir Concert in the Park featuring Ann Caldwell and the Magnolia Singers, Oct. 9 and 10 - Spiritual Renewal Seminar—a religious retreat featuring Rev. Dr. Frank Marangos, dean of the Archdiocesan Cathedral in NYC, Nov. 01 – U.S. Armed Services Recognition aboard the USS Yorktown honoring parish veterans, Nov. 15 - Daughters of Penelope Founders Day Reception honoring the founders and past presidents, Jan. 10, 2010 - St. Basil’s Vasilopeta Luncheon, Jan. 29-31, 2010 Centennial Celebration Weekend, Jan. 30, 2010 - Centennial Banquet. For more information on the Centennial events or to learn how you can become a part of the commemorative album, chronicling the 100-year history of Holy Trinity, visit www.holytrinitycentennial.org or call (843) 577-2063.
Parish’s Ministry to the Disabled Has a Home ROSLYN, N.Y. – For nearly 17 years, Archangel Michael Church and its Philoptochos have operated a unique ministry called the “Challenge Liturgy Program” that serves developmentally and physically disabled Orthodox Christians. The program reaches out to these special needs individuals and their families and offers a monthly liturgy and social programs. The community recently acquired a 3,500-square-foot house in Wantagh, near Roslyn that serves as a residence for members of the Challenge Liturgy Group. According to information from the parish, Archangel Michael Church received approval from the state of New York for the joint proposal with the Association of Children with Down Syndrome to establish the residence. Archbishop Demetrios recently officiated at the opening of the facility. “I am offering deep thanks to God and warm congratulations to the Archangel Michael Greek Orthodox Church in Roslyn Heights for their pioneering achievement in establishing a group
residence for the members of the Challenge Liturgy Group,” he said. “This is an accomplishment of major importance for the present and a bright perspective for the future. I pray for a rapid proliferation of similar initiatives all over our Archdiocese.” It features individual bedrooms, living and dining rooms, a den, exercise and recreation rooms and a large in-ground pool. The objective of Hellenos House will be to encourage and enable an independent lifestyle that incorporates adaptive living skills, community inclusion, leisure activities, care of personal finances and the ability to make choices. The program’s Challenge Liturgy offers Orthodox Christians with disabilities an opportunity to worship in a nurturing and accepting environment that accommodates their circumstances. On the third Saturday of each month, Fr. Dennis Strouzas, the church’s pastor, holds a liturgy for about 50 families from nine Long Island and Queens parishes. The program also provides fellowship
Members at Archangel Michael Church, their parish priest Fr. Dennis Strouzas, assistant priest Fr. Evangelos Evangelidis and Fr. Sarantis Loulakis of St. Markella Church in Wantagh, gathered recently with residents of Hellenos House.
after the liturgy and hosts annual events that strengthen the friendships of the participants. The residence is funded by the New
York State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities through a program called Options for People Through Services.
MAY – JUNE 2009
S.F. Clergy Laity Assembly Addresses Current Challenges of Society by Kristen Bruskas
DUNLAP, Calif. – More than 160 clergy and lay delegates attended the Metropolis of San Francisco Clergy–Laity Assembly, May 4-5, at St. Nicholas Ranch and Retreat Center. Theme for this year’s gathering was based on the scripture verse “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” (Rom. 8:18) This theme was selected in response to the current economic crisis facing our society which has brought forth significant spiritual and mental stress amongst the faithful of the Metropolis. Metropolitan Gerasimos presented his keynote address, “The Role of the Church in Challenging Times,” following Vespers and dinner on Monday evening. The Metropolitan pointed out that since last year we have gone “from excitement and energy… to anxiety and at least psychological depression, if still only economic recession. From the carefree attitudes of budgetary growth and increasing wealth, we are now stressed over the worry about shrinking revenues and potential deficits.” Metropolitan Gerasimos went on to say, “This is a time when our Church should be doing more to build up the body of Christ, to serve her people. The measure of our progress as a church today will not be mosaic tiles, and new icons, or even yards of concrete poured – as needed as they are in parish life. We have a far more challenging task: caring for the people in the parishes, which is a much more difficult ‘building program,’ but a far more rewarding one.” Metropolitan Gerasimos concluded his remarks by stating, “We are certainly at a challenging time in the life of our Church and Metropolis. The economic situation has brought many of them to light – and is obligating us to face them directly. It is easy to be overwhelmed by the challenges. It is easy to become depressed or negative about our future. We should recall that immediately after the crucifixion of our Lord, the disciples hid themselves, because they were afraid. I would suspect that they figured their movement was over. However, in death and apparent defeat, our Lord triumphed by rising from the dead and destroying the forces of darkness. As we proclaimed at our Paschal vigil: ‘Let God arise, let His enemies be scattered; let those who hate him flee before him! As smoke is driven away, so drive them away; as wax melts before fire, let the wicked perish before God’ (Psalms 67:1-2). When we light our paschal candles, a simple act that we do every time we enter a church, we proclaim our faith that God’s light – the light of Christ’s resurrection – cannot be overcome by darkness – it does not fade and cannot be extinguished.” Following the keynote address, Metropolis Council Vice President Fanis Economidis presented a summary of his trip to Warsaw, Poland, to represent the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to discuss the plight of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Mr. Economidis made two presentations to the Organization for the Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in October 2008. The OSCE is comprised of 56 European nations including the U.S., Canada and the Vatican and meets annually with the Ambassadors of each nation, their staff and officials from all over the world to review the state of human rights and religious freedom in Europe as part of the Helsinki Accords. The Assembly continued on Tuesday with a panel presentation led
by four respected leaders: Phil Economopoulos, senior vice president, private client services with Howe Barnes Hoefer and Arnett. Economopoulos also manages the investment accounts for the Metropolis; John Demetropoulos, senior vice president with Morgan Stanley where he has worked for 34 years. Demetropoulos also serves as a member of the Metropolis Council and is an Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. George Papageorge, licensed marriage and family therapist, Fr. Anthony Savas, pastor at St. Nicholas Church in Northridge. The panel offered a brief overview focusing on the following two areas: “How to Manage your Investments,” and “Health and Wellness – Mental, Physical and Spiritual.” Mr. Economopoulos and Mr. Demetropoulos advised the delegates to “go back to the basics” – follow a personal budget, reduce and eliminate debt, use the services of a reputable financial advisor, control credit card spending, and save by paying yourself first each month. In their presentation they also suggested churches currently involved in capital campaigns review the timing of their project and consider extending the duration of the campaign to allow people more time to fulfill their pledges based on the current economic trends. Mr. Papageorge and Fr. Savas discussed maintaining mental, physical and spiritual wellness during these difficult times. Mr. Papageorge encouraged stress management through a balanced life that is especially plentiful in prayer. Fr. Savas talked about the disciples walking on the road to Emmaus and how their stress and anxiety mirrors what we are going through today. They were alone, confused and despondent; yet, like many of us, they were looking for Christ, not realizing he was walking along side of them. We must remember that even through the darkest of times, the Lord is with us and gives us strength to endure. Following the panel presentation and the approval of the Metropolis budget, the Assembly delegates walked to the lake where Metropolitan Gerasimos led an Agiasmos service. Due to damages sustained in a storm over three years ago, the signature lake on the Ranch property was destroyed as the dam gave way and all the water was lost, leaving a large barren area where once was a place for reflection and serenity. Through the generosity of Peter and Thelma Karagines, the lake restoration was recently completed following three years of extensive work to return it to its natural beauty. The celebration culminated with the naming of the lake and surrounding area that will now be known as the Peter and Thelma Karagines Recreation Area. Following the service, Metropolitan Gerasimos, along with Bishop Anthimos of Olympos, released hundreds of fish into the lake. A traditional Greek barbecue was held at the lake complete with lamb on the spit and live music in a true Greek village atmosphere. St. Nicholas Ranch and Retreat Center is one of many vibrant ministries within the Metropolis of San Francisco. Spanning more than 300 acres, the Ranch is a full-service retreat and conference center which hosts many groups throughout the year including Elderhostel, Family Camps, retreats for clergy, youth, presbyteres and Philoptochos, as well as serving as home of the Metropolis Summer Camp for over 25 years.
LAKE DEDICATION – (above) Metropolitan Gerasimos, with (l) Deacon Niko Bekris and (r) Bishop Anthimos of Olympos at the Agiasmos service at the lake. (below) KARAGINES FAMILY (from left, seated): Thelma and Peter Karagines with Metropolitan Gerasimos, surrounded by members of the Karagines family.
LAKE BBQ – Metropolitan Gerasimos serves lunch to the Clergy–Laity Assembly delegates.
MAY – JUNE 2009
Archbishops Dedicate New OCMC Administrative & Training Center Fr. Dimitri Leussis, a former long-term missionary and currently the pastor of Sts. Constantine and Helen Church in Monroe, La. Mr. Argue said that Fr. Leussis also “played a major role in shaping the design” and who “tried to give it the look and feel of an administrative building at a monastery on Mount Athos.”
page 4 Christian Radio Network, Archbishop Demetrios commented on the importance of the new center. “The building is very significant to all Orthodox,” he said. “It will serve as a witness to Orthodoxy as a religion and as a Church. It is a product of pan Orthodox unity.” He said the Church “has to be an open bridge” and a “visible indication of the work of the Church.” In addressing the attendees at the concluding luncheon after the dedication, Archbishop Demetrios cited several biblical passages that serve as the scriptural foundation for the missions program, including Acts, in which Jesus, on the day of Ascension, tells his disciples they will be His “witness in Jerusalem, Samaria...all Judea and to the ends of the earth,” from Matthew, where Jesus tells his disciples to “Go to all nations”…and to “make disciples of all nations.” Seeds planted decades ago For Archbishop Demetrios, whose association with Archbishop Anastasios dates to their childhood, the dedication of the building that contains both their names was a profound experience. “There are no words to express this very sacred moment, with the two names together,” His Eminence said. “This is a building whose ultimate goal and purpose is to give glory to God.” For both hierarchs, this event represented a kind of coming about full circle and also a coming together of several key individuals’ experiences and efforts in missions work. The seeds for the eventual establishment of this missions center could be said to have had their origin in the late 1940s and early 50s, Demetrios Trakatellis and Anastasios Yiannoulatos were college students with a deep concern for the suffering of many Greeks in the aftermath of World War II and the Greek civil war. They and other like-minded young people joined the organization “Zoe,” whose emphasis was on the spiritual renewal of the people. What resulted was an “internal missions” movement. They would go to the war-torn villages of northern Greece to witness to the people. Anastasios went on to promote the idea of missions in his scholarly writings and through the founding of a publication, Panta Ta Ethni. In 1958, both future hierarchs began promoting the need for an external missions program by the Church of Greece. In 1960, at his ordination, the future Archbishop of Albania profoundly influenced a young recently ordained priest from the United States, Fr. Alexander Veronis, who at the time was a student at the University of Athens. Fr. Veronis carried the Archbishop’s vision back to his parish of Annunciation in Lancaster, Pa. He also maintained contacts with students from Africa that he met in Greece and encouraged his parishioners to help fund a scholarship at Holy Cross School of Theology for foreign students. This soon led to the creation of the “Lenten Self-Denial Club” at the parish, which channeled more financial support for foreign Orthodox students. Among his strongest supporters were George and Helen Nicozisis who eventually went on to serve as presidents of the Orthodox Christian Mission Center Board, as did Fr. Veronis, who now has the title president emeritus. It was under their leadership that the effort to build this center got under way in 2001 with the blessings of Archbishop Demetrios.
Front view of the administration and training center, complete with landscaping. (below) The training room for the center which also serves as the chapel. The icons were created by Fr. Dimitri Leussis who had a major influence in the building’s design.
At the 1964 Clergy–Laity Congress, Fr. Veronis persuaded the body to begin a missions program. With Archbishop Iakovos’ approval, an Office of Missions was established at the Archdiocese. The Congress also established a Missions Committee with Fr. Veronis as vice chairman. Meanwhile, in 1968, a young Air Force officer stationed in South Korea, Clifford T. Argue became interested in mission work while attending St. Nicholas Church in Seoul. (The Church of Korea was then under the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America). After he returned to the U.S., he gave slide presentations on his experiences to parishes in California, the Archdiocesan Council and Hellenic College-Holy Cross. In 1969, Archbishop Iakovos sent a priest to build up the missions program in Korea, Fr. Eugene Pappas, now pastor of Three Hierarchs Church in Brooklyn. Mr. Argue joined the Archdiocese Missions Committee in 1977 and has continued his active participation to the present day, serving as the current OCMC board president. By 1984 the missions program had grown to such an extent that the ClergyLaity Congress established an official Department of Missions, based in St. Augustine, with Fr. Dimitrios Couchell as director. The former editor of the Orthodox Observer had also been appointed by Archbishop Iakovos as director of the St. Photios National Shrine, already located in St. Augustine. Fr. Veronis had been elected as Missions board president. At the time, until the completion of this new facility, the missions center was located in rented facilities in the city. It became known as the Alexander Veronis Mission Center in 1988. Fr. Veronis also inspired his own son, Fr. Luke Veronis, to pursue missions work. He served for several years in Kenya and later in Albania where he taught at the seminary that Archbishop Anastasios
An expression of joy by the two hierarchs for whom the new building symbolizes their efforts and struggles that began in their university years when they ministered to the devastated communities in northern Greece.
established. Previously, the Archbishop had also established the Orthodox seminary in Nairobi, Kenya. In 1994, in a spirit of Pan–Orthodox unity, the center came under SCOBA. Today, the staff and missionaries reflect a wide representation of Orthodox Christians. The capital campaign to raise funds for the new facility began in September 2001 and the groundbreaking took place in 2006. Bishop Dimitrios served as the center’s executive director until he was succeeded by Fr. Martin Ritsi in 1995. Fr. Martin previously had served as a long-term missionary to Kenya and Albania after graduating from Holy Cross in 1987. Looking to the future In a response to e-mail questions from the Observer, Mr. Argue noted that the long-term Master Plan for the center includes future construction of a separate dormitory/dining hall/training facility to accommodate larger group, and a freestanding chapel. Currently, the training room occupies part of one wing of the new building, and also serves as the chapel. The three icons that occupy one wall of the room were painted and donated by
Becoming a missionary Over the years, the Missions Center has sent out more than 100 short-term and long-term missionaries throughout the world. Becoming a missionary is not a matter of showing up at the door with a Bible and suitcase and a willingness to travel. According to information supplied by the board president, there are two types of training. One is for our short-term Mission Teams which usually serve in a mission location for 1 to 4 weeks. Their training is typically 2 to 3 days. The major training effort is for long–term missionaries who serve for 2 years overseas, and often renew for additional terms. There are several training modules which include an evaluation retreat, new candidate orientation and pre–field training. Currently, these short–term programs run about 15 days, but the plan is to ultimately expand the model to at least 20 days. “We have a very rigorous application and screening process for those who want to become long–term missionaries. The process for selection to serve on a short-term mission team is less so, but still quite thorough,” Mr. Argue said. All applicants for OCMC missionary service must also: • Have a devoted spiritual life and a deep desire to witness for Christ. • Have been an active member of a canonical Orthodox Church for a minimum of three years. • Be a Canadian or American citizen. • Be able to work obediently as an OCMC missionary employee under the direction of the receiving hierarch in conjunction with OCMC field leadership. • Be willing to live a simple and holy life within the culture and among the people they serve. • Be willing to learn a new language and culture, and learn from the people God calls them to serve. For information on becoming a missionary, speak with your parish priest and then contact the OCMC Missionary Department at 1-877-463-6784, or e–mail missions@OCMC.org.
His Eminence stands with great benefactor Charles T. Masterpolis of Savannah, Ga., who provided the funding for the communications room of the center.
MAY – JUNE 2009
Metropolitan Evangelos Presides Over NJ Clergy–Laity Assembly by Fr. George Nikas
WESTFIELD, N.J. – Metropolitan Evangelos convened and presided over the highly successful and well attended 2009 Clergy–Laity Assembly and Philoptochos Convention of the Metropolis of New Jersey held at “The Venetian” in Garfield, N.J., on May 3-5. The Cathedral of St. John the Theologian in Tenafly hosted the first Clergy Laity Assembly event on Sunday evening, which commenced with Great Vespers followed by an enjoyable family style dinner and relaxed evening of fellowship, hosted by the Cathedral community. In an atmosphere resonating with the joy of our Lord’s Resurrection, Clergy and Lay Delegates were afforded the opportunity to exchange ideas and expectations regarding this year’s Assembly, which had as its theme, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people He has chosen as His own inheritance.” (Psalm 33:12) Following the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, Metropolitan Evangelos officially opened the Assembly on Monday, May 4 with a prayer service, assisted by the chancellor. He appointed James Fountas, Vice President of the Metropolitan Council, as Chairman, who in turn appointed Fr. Peter Delvizis as secretary. Greetings were given by Fr. Elias Noplos, GOMNJ Clergy Syndesmos president, Vasiliki Drogaris, GOMNJ Philoptochos president and Presbytera Pauline Pavlakos, Presbyteres Syndesmos president. Having welcomed and thanked all present for their continued dedication, love and support to our Holy Metropolis, The Metropolitan offered an inspirational archpastoral exhortation, expounding on the theme of this year’s Assembly: “As this year’s Clergy–Laity theme, ‘Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people He has chosen as His own inheritance,’ (Psalm 33:12) suggests, we are challenged to enthusiastically and actively bear witness to our Orthodox Faith in this great country. Living in a Nation that leads the Free World, ‘under God,’ we have the high privilege and noble duty to ensure that our social responsibilities, morals and virtues are indeed pleasing to God. As Orthodox Christians, we are called upon to live our lives as ‘people He has chosen as His own inheritance.’ Thus, we are reminded that we are created in His image and likeness, that we are Temples of the Holy Spirit, and that we are Americans who must exhibit by our actions and deeds the tenets and morals of our Faith Tradition. We are expected to speak out publicly against injustices to our children, we are expected to speak out publicly when the institution of marriage is being torn asunder, we are expected to speak out publicly when our freedom to pray in schools, to protect the rights of the unborn and many other freedoms and rights are trampled upon…” His Eminence further remarked, “according to a recent survey from the Pew Forum of Religion and Public Life, 47 percent to 59 percent of U.S. adults have changed religious affiliation at least once during their lives. As Orthodox Christians, the Apostolic continuity and the rich Tradition of our Faith allows us to offer a spiritual oasis and a safe and genuine haven of tranquility and peace to those who are seeking the Truth. While countless Americans are turning to atheism, Islam and New Age Religions to fulfill their spiritual emptiness, Orthodoxy
offers a wealth of lasting spirituality and consistent tenets by which we ought to live. While we are not totally immune to the consequences of the aforementioned survey, our Orthodox Faith remains unchanged, our pious Faithful remain steadfast in their faith and our churches continue to grow spiritually and physically.” Several presentations were given concerning the Ecumenical Patriarchate, parish administration, stewardship, youth, religious and Greek Education. Delegates had the opportunity to hear all of the presentations and ask pertinent questions, which of course created a healthy discussion for the benefit of all. The results and constructive suggestions that arose from the Presentations and ensuing discussions will be presented to His Eminence for further study and subsequent implementation where appropriate for the continued improvement of the Metropolis ministries. The highlight of this year’s Clergy–Laity was the 4th annual Awards Banquet held Monday evening, attended by almost 800 people, who, with much joy and euphoria, came to pay tribute to this year’s Metropolis honorees and those of the northern New Jersey Region Communities. It was truly a most memorable evening as those present were honored by His Eminence, who presented each honoree with a beautiful icon/plaque of St. John Chrysostom, patron saint of the Metropolis, with a personalized inscription of thanks for their labor of love and devotion in nobly serving Christ’s Church and their communities. His Eminence also honored members of the Philoptochos, GOYA and secretaries hosen for their service to their parishes. A special moment of the banquet was the presentation by Metropolitan Evangelos of a beautiful laser-engraved 3–D diptych honoring Archbishop Demetrios on the occasion of his 10th anniversary as Archbishop of America. Metropolitan Evangelos thanked the Archbishop for his dynamic service to the Holy Orthodox Church, his unswerving commitment and loyalty to the Ecumenical Patriarchate and for his profound dedication to leading and teaching his flock that has left an indelible mark on our Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Tuesday’s proceedings began with the Divine Liturgy followed by the plenary session and discussion of the financial affairs of the Metropolis. It was made sufficiently
clear that although much has been accomplished, much more support is needed for the Metropolis to meet its expenses, especially the ongoing renovation of the new Metropolis headquarters. Metropolitan Evangelos expressed gratitude to all who had offered generously from their hearts to date and was very optimistic that, with the
continued support of the Orthodox faithful, the timely completion of the headquarters renovation and the official opening will be a most blessed day for all to rejoice. The Very Rev. Archimandrite George Nikas is chancellor of the Metropolis of New Jersey.
Community Volunteers Honored New Jersey Metropolis Honorees Archbishop Demetrios; Vasiliki Drogaris, Metropolis of New Jersey Philoptochos president; and Aspasia Melis, St. John The Theologian Cathedral, Tenafly. Community Honorees Constantine Arianas, St. Demetrios, Perth Amboy; Jean Cainzos, St. Barbara, Toms River; Pantelis Callias, Ascension, Fairview; Dr. Demetrios Coromilas, St. Nicholas, Wyckoff. John Foukas, St. George, Clifton; Richard Frigerio, Holy Trinity, Westfield; George Gines, St. John the Theologian Cathedral, Tenafly; Athanasios Ginis, St. George, Trenton. Evangelos Kontogiannis, Sts. Nicholas, Constantine and Helen, Orange; Nikolaos Kostas, and Lucas Loucopoulos, St. Demetrios, Union; Michael Moushouris, St. Athanasios, Paramus; Christos Neoroutsos, St. Andrew, Randolph; Helene A. Pappas, St. George, Piscataway; Chris Paskalides, St. Demetrios, Jersey City; Eleni Perdikos, and Michael Perdikos, Evangelismos Tis Theotokou, Jersey City; Constantinos Phillipou, Kimisis Tis Theotokou, Holmdel; Gregory Sariotis III, St. George, Asbury Park; Lilyan P. Shepardson, Greek Orthodox Parish of Hunterdon County, Flemington; Maria Varianides and Demetrios Varianides, Evangelismos Tis Theotokou, Jersey City. Philoptochos Honorees Vasilia Harame Azzata, St. John the Theologian Cathedral, Tenafly; Eva Antonacos, Sts. Nicholas, Constantine and Helen, Orange; Anastasia Ballas, St. George, Piscataway; Chrysoula Bohoutsos, St. Demetrios, Jersey City; Constantina Caravoulias, St. Athanasios, Paramus; Helen Catelanos, St. Demetrios; Perth Amboy; Kaliopi Colombaris, St. Andrew, Randolph; Mary Demiris, Holy Trinity, Westfield; Fotini Baba-Floudas, St. George, Trenton; Azouletta Greberis, St. Demetrios, Union; Margaret Kolovos, St. Nicholas,
Wyckoff; Malama Goldie Marousis, St. Barbara, Toms River; Elvira Michals, St. George, Asbury Park; Lucy Milonas, Kimisis Tis Theotokou; Mary Romais, Ascension, Fairview; Panagiota Stilianessis, St. George, Clifton; Anastasia Vlahakes, Parish of Hunterdon County, Flemington. Church Secretaries Honorees Marguerite Arabatzis, St. George, Trenton; Anna Kalcanides Baroutoglou, St. Demetrios, Jersey City; Elaine Catsicas, St. George, Clifton; Maggie Cousoulis, Penelope Dalheimer and Cindy Lobman, St. Barbara, Toms River; Helen Janulis and Mary Theodos Sts. Nicholas, Constantine and Helen, Orange; Eftihia Karayiannidis, St. George, Piscataway. Christine E. Kostantakis, Andrew Georgiou and Aphrodite Raftopoulos, St. John the Theologian Cathedral, Tenafly; Maria Kostas, St. Demetrios, Union; Fotini Stathis-Nicholas, St. Athanasios, Paramus; Irene Panagakos, Holy Trinity, Westfield; Anastasia Perdikos, Ascension, Fairview; Vasiliki Petrakos, St. Andrew, Randolph; and Suzzane Voulgaris, St. Nicholas, Wyckoff.. Goya Honorees John Berbilis, St. George Church, Asbury Park; Alexander Bliziotis, St. George, Trenton; Panagiotis Chantzis, Holy Trinity, Westfield; Maria-Venetia Dugan, St. Athanasios, Paramus; Nicholas Kominos, St. Nicholas, Wyckoff. Steven Marinos, Kimisis Tis Theotokou, Holmdel; George Sardis, St. John the Theologian Cathedral, Tenafly; Vasiliki Sekkas, Ascension, Fairview; Katerina Simionides, St. George, Clifton, Daniel Souritzidis, Sts. Nicholas, Constantine and Helen, Orange; Evagelia Stavrakis, St. Demetrios, Union. Harry Triantafillidis, St. George Greek Orthodox Church, Piscataway; Sofia Tsatsos, Parish of Hunterdon County, Flemington; Nicholas Vosinas, St. Demetrios, Perth Amboy; Marci Xyloportas, St. Barbara, Toms River; Konstantina Zingaro, St. Andrew, Randolph.
MAY – JUNE 2009
For Service, and For Those Who Serve by Fr. John A. Kalantzis
BAGHDAD, Iraq – In the Gospel reading from the second Sunday of Great Lent, Mark 12:1-12, St. Mark writes: “...they came, bringing to Jesus a paralytic carried by four men. And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and when they had made an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic lay. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, ‘My son, your sins are forgiven.’” The image of four friends transporting their paralytic friend to help preaches beautifully to the people of my flock, those brave men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces, who rely on one another for their lives and safety, as they serve our country and safeguard our security and freedom. While reading this passage this year, something new came to mind. The Scripture is very clear in indicating that it was the faith of the four friends to which our Lord was responding when he addressed the paralytic. The faith of the paralytic, his spiritual condition, and his point of view aren’t even mentioned in passing. This is truly awesome! The message is clear: your faith, my faith, our faith, can gain God’s attention on behalf of those for whom we pray, regardless of who they are. Intercessory prayer works! Faithful Prayer The implications are awe-inspiring. We can make a real difference for the entire world, based on our faithful prayer. The Lord is willing to listen. Are we willing to pray? Are we able to look beyond ourselves and our own interests? Oh sure, we may think of our family and friends in prayer. To some extent, though, that’s still self-serving. How far are we willing to go? Where do we draw the boundary between “us” and the “others?” Metropolitan John Zizioulas has written about how fundamental this question is to our Orthodox faith, interpreting that it is in the overcoming of otherness that we find our being. “The essence of sin is the fear of the Other, which is part of the rejection of God. Once the affirmation of the ‘self’ is realized through the rejection and not the acceptance of the Other - this is what Adam chose in his freedom to do it is only natural and inevitable for the other to become an enemy and a threat.
Reconciliation with God is a necessary pre-condition for reconciliation with any ‘other.’” (“Communion and Otherness,” Orthodox Peace Fellowship’s Occasional Paper # 19, summer 1994) Our Lord teaches us that it is His will that we be reconciled, that we overcome otherness and enter into communion with each other and with Him. St. Paul writes that “there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all” (Colossians 3:11). Clearly, we must embrace all people as God’s creatures, made in His image, called to be Temples of the one Holy Spirit. Called to serve What are the practical personal implications of this magnificent Orthodox theology? We are most assuredly not called to be served. Nor are we called to serve our own individual appetites, lusts, desires, dreams, ambitions, fears, insecurities, and other ego-based motivations. Instead, Christians are called to serve one another and the world. We are called to put the needs of others ahead of our own needs: in our families, friendships, marriages, and relationships with all people. We are called to move beyond selfishness into selflessness in Christ. As St. Paul wrote, “it is not I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” (Galatians 2:20) We are called to serve the widest possible circle of our fellow human beings. At the beginning of the Divine Liturgy, we find an example par excellence of intercessory prayer in the series of petitions for the whole world. Our prayer in church is intended to condition our personal prayer and the way we live our lives: for the whole world, for the unity of the faith, for our parish and the faithful parishioners, for our country, for our neighbors, for the sick, the suffering and the captives, for the starving and impoverished and homeless and travelers. Sound familiar? These are the subjects of the Great Litany, present in most of our church services. These are words to live by.
Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry Announces Convocation Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry (OCPM), the official prison ministry of the Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA) announces its 2009 Convocation, which will take place July 28-30 in Denver. The convocation will bring together many Orthodox clergy and laity from throughout North America who participate or are interested in prison ministry. The convocation will be held at the Crowne Plaza Denver Airport at 15500 East 40th Avenue, Denver, 80239. Hotel room reservations may be made by calling the Crowne Plaza at (303) 371-9494. A special room rate of $79.00 per night has been reserved for the convocation.
Registrants should mention that they are with Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry. The special room rate is only available until July 17, 2009. Registration forms for the convocation itself may be downloaded at www.ocpm-scoba.org. Participants may register at www.ocpm-scoba.org or by mailing their form and registration fee to: Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry P.O. Box 22965 Oklahoma City, OK 73123 The registration fee is $125 if received before June 15. If received after June 15, 2009, the registration fee is $150. Financial assistance to cover the registration fee is available to those for whom the fee would impose a financial hardship.
Some of our young people take these words to heart and want to serve. What is the reaction? When a young man suggests an interest in the holy priesthood as a valuable life of service, how do some mothers and fathers react? “Po, po, po! Oh no! That’s not a good living! Too many headaches! Do you want that life? Look what happened to Father X, Father Y and Father Z!” Perhaps a young person might express an interest in community service. How do some of us react? “Why do you want to waste your time helping strangers? We don’t know them. Our family has plenty of work for you to do. Why do you care about the xenoi (foreigners)? What good does it do?” Sound familiar? We want our children to grow up financially secure and socially successful. We want them to make a good living and to be comfortable. Do we seek to teach our children a better way to live, emphasizing their spiritual growth and peace or do we primarily extol the need for large financial portfolios? Our actions speak louder than our words. If we cheat, lie, and steal in the name of their future, what future are we really winning for them? We are leading them, by our example, to sin and death. Or, having achieved worldly success, do we now expect our children to follow in our footsteps, somehow validating the rationalizations and moral compromises that we made to get where we are? Thus, tragically, the sins of the parents are visited upon the children. We have in our midst young people who yearn to live according to the teachings of Christ, serving their fellow human beings as an offering to the Lord. Let us encourage them. Unmercenary Isn’t it time we took stock of our own lives, honestly evaluating the compromises we’ve made. We may discover that much of what we do is simply selfserving. As we re-evaluate, let us focus on helping others, remembering that our effort to give of ourselves is more important than the impact of our giving. Not being overwhelmed by the scope of the need all around us, we look to the examples of the saints, such as the holy volunteer doctors (Agioi Anarguroi) Sts. Kosmas, Damian, Cyrus, and John, who helped others to the best of their ability. The concern should be for our condition in eternity, not in this present world. Self-sacrifice, even unto martyrdom, is the route by God’s grace to the Kingdom. As a community of believers, how do we respond to those who do serve? There are Greek Orthodox parishes in the United States which are very involved in the life of their city or neighborhood: working with the poor and the sick, supporting the police and fire departments, and social work agencies. There are parishes which take an active role in supporting our men and women serving in the military. Many of these parishes have families with a son or daughter who serves. Unfortunately, it seems that if we are
not personally connected, then the sacrifices of these public servants or service members are overlooked. Let us reassess our own attitudes with regard to the men and women in uniform and consider what we can do to support them. Regarding the military, our support should not be contingent on whether or not we agree with government policies on the use of the military. The men and women in the military do not make those decisions. They perform their duty and fulfill their oaths of service. Yes, they receive pay, benefits, training, and opportunities for their service. However, they are clearly motivated by the spirit of self-sacrifice! We are the beneficiaries of their service. They deserve our support and prayers. Serve the country As a beneficiary of the sacrifices of the generations of immigrants who came to America (also in search of pay, benefits, training, and opportunity), we, of all people, should appreciate our country enough to offer something of value in return (not just the paying of taxes). I feel strongly enough about this to choose service in the United States Navy as a way of expressing my personal gratitude for the blessing of American citizenship and all that it entails. As a Greek Orthodox priest, I believe it is my duty to serve these dedicated servants, “whether Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised.” This isn’t a recruiting message. It is a reminder of their service, sacrifice, and selflessness. Take one minute to offer a powerful intercessory prayer for our men and women in uniform and for their families. And moving from prayer into action, look around to see what can be done to support them. The most difficult time for the families is oftentimes when their loved one in uniform is deployed far away for long and frequent periods. Take the time to welcome and get to know military families who may only come into the life of your parish for two or three years before moving on to their next assignment. This honors and acknowledges them and their service. It means so much to us knowing your prayers include us, military men and women who are willing to lay our lives down for you, for one another, for our Nation, and for peace, freedom, and justice everywhere. Remember the faith of the four friends, and intercede in prayer, thought, word, and deed for the life of the world. Ask yourself, “What am I doing as an offering of thanks for the blessings I enjoy.” See how you can intercede for the sake of all people, for the sake of the world. Do it as an offering to the One who came to serve, the One who came to sacrifice Himself for all of us, the One who makes all things possible for the believer, the One who calls each of us to communion with Him and with one another. Glory to the risen Christ, our true God! Fr. Kalantzis, a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy, had been assigned to the Iraq Assistance Group of the Multi-National Command until May 2. He has been reassigned to the Operations and Policy Department of the Chief of Navy Chaplains Office in Washington.
MAY – JUNE 2009
Santa Barbara Church Escapes Fire Danger page 25 the approaching flames. Powerful winds known as “sundowners,” sizzling temperatures and tinder dry brush had combined to create a perfect storm of fire conditions for beleaguered fire crews. All events from May 6-10, including the Sunday liturgy were cancelled or postponed. The evacuation order was lifted on much of the surrounding area on Sunday, May 10 and residents could return to their homes. However, church services could not be held because the area was inaccessible and continued to be in the evacuation zone. Parishioners were advised to attend St. Athanasius Orthodox Church in Isla Vista. Fr. Simon posted updates on the church website www.saintbarbara.net – to advise parishioners of the situation. Kristen Bruskas contributed to this story.
Children’s Leukemia Benefit
Pins4Pauly Bowl-a-thon, the annual event held in Wantagh, N.Y. to raise funds to assist children with leukemia, drew nearly 200 young people and their parents from five Long Island parishes on May 9. It was the largest turnout in the seven years since the event began. Communities represented included St. Demetrios in Merrick, St. Markella in Wantagh, St. Nicholas in West Babylon, St. Paraskevi in Greenlawn and Holy Trinity in Hicksville. Among those in attendance was Bishop Savas of Troas, who made his first visit to the event. Donations and pledges, some from as far as Cyprus, Greece and England as well as several U.S. states, are still coming in, and may exceed $45,000. The Pins4Pauly Foundation has to date helped about 145 children from several states.
MISSION TANZANIA: A Ministry of St. Barbara Church SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – St. Barbara parish, working through the OCMC, is raising funds for improvements for the village of Kazinga near Lake Victoria in western Tanzania. The project includes building a church, digging fresh water wells, building and equipping a medical clinic and funding the community’s school. “The first and most important project involves drilling wells for clean water,” said Alex Haimanis, project chairman. “Health authorities believe that most diseases in Africa are carried through unhealthful, contaminated water.” Mr. Haimanis said the clinic is vital since many easily treated cuts and abrasions turn septic, intestinal upsets from the unsanitary water supply are treatable common ailments, and pre-natal and birthing care will improve women’s health. The new clinic can provide quick attention to avoid life-threatening situations, and will treat villagers from hundreds of miles away. The clinic will also serve as a distribution point for medicines, vaccines and general medical and hygiene education, according to Mr. Haimanis. The project’s overall goal is to raise $250,000. Parishioners and local philanthropists Rose Marie and James B. Towle kicked off the fundraising by pledging $50,000 to
build the church, dig a well, and build a guesthouse. “This is a project of enormous need,” said Ms Towle. “Kazinga is a beautiful community but it lacks clean water sources and a local clinic.” “In America”, she said, “everyone has many opportunities, and many local, state, federal and private programs assist individuals and communities in need. We know we can’t solve all the world’s problems, but it is important to do what we can for those less fortunate. At least we can give them hope and basic health care.” A concert featuring internationally recognized, award-winning Santa Barbara soprano and parish member, Jamie Chamberlin was held at the church in February. Jamie’s generous donation of her talent helped to raise another $25,000. The Mission Tanzania wish list includes a parish house ($25,000), better well drilling equipment ($50,000), a clinic ($37,000), medical equipment and supplies ($34,000) and funding to open the school ($54,000). Anyone wishing to help support these efforts can send their tax deductible donation to St. Barbara Greek Orthodox Church, 1205 San Antonio Creek Road, Santa Barbara, CA 93111. For updates on the project, go to www.saintbarbara.net and click on News and Events.
Alaskans celebrate Parishioners of Holy Transfiguration Church in Anchorage, Alaska, celebrated Greek Independence Day on Sunday, March 22nd with a general assembly meeting, followed by dinner and a program to commemorate the day. The event was hosted by Angelo and Dialekti Lambernakis at their Wasilla, Alaska restaurant, Evangelo’s. The children of the parish presented a program of poems, songs and dances.
Home Missions Program Seeks Assistance page 30 they will fund the program for the next 2½ months. The Home Mission Parish Program is seeking alternative sources to fund this program for the remaining 9 ½ months of this program year to support priests already assigned. No new parishes would be added to the program. This would require $8,550 per month from April 2009 through March 2010. Donations of any amount would allow the Department to keep dedicated priests in these communities.
For more information on the Home Mission Parish Program and to donate online, visit http://MissionUSA.goarch. org and click on the Donate Now button. Donors may also send a check or money order to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America - Mission USA, Department of Stewardship, Outreach & Evangelism, 83 St. Basil Road, Garrison, NY 10524. No administration costs are charged against your donation, but a transaction fee of 3 percent is charged by NeworkforGood.org to process online donations.
Ready for action ‘The Warriors of Thermopylae” living history group were among the many participants in the recent Mid-Atlantic Greek Independence Day commemoration which took place in Baltimore. In the background are priests from Baltimore’s Greek Orthodox churches: Fr. Louis Noplos of St. Demetrios Church, the Very Rev. Archimandrite Constantine Moralis of Annunciation Cathedral and Fr. Michael Pastrikos of St. Nicholas Church.
MAY – JUNE 2009
C H O I R N O T E S
DRE, National Forum of Church Musicians to Hold Biennial Summer Institute BROOKLINE, Mass. -- The Department of Religious Education and the National Forum of Greek Orthodox Church Musicians will hold their joint Summer Institute July 30-Aug. 1 on the campus of Hellenic College-Holy Cross School of Theology. The Summer Institute is an opportunity for Church musicians, Sunday Church school teachers, and others interested in various dimensions of youth ministry to grow in their knowledge of the Orthodox Faith and Tradition, to increase their skills as teachers, choir directors, and youth workers, and to join in fellowship with others who hand forward the Orthodox Faith to the next generation in the Church. Speakers and their topics will include
Bishop Savas of Troas, Living on the Logosphere;” Dr. Bradley Nassif, “Desert Wisdom for City Dwellers;” Niko Chocheli, “Storytelling Through Art;” and Dr. Despina Prassas, “St. Maximos the Confessor and the Role of the Teacher.” Workshops will cover Organizing for Youth Involvement in Church Music; Teenagers and the Internet; Understanding Byzantine Liturgy; Building Faith and Summer Fun: Vacation Church School; and a “hands on” experience of making “Ortho-Crafts.” For details about registration, housing, transportation to Boston, and the most up to date schedule, go to the Department of Religious Education webpage, www. goarch.org/archdiocese/ departments/religioused/si
Archon Delegation Undertakes Religious Freedom Mission page 23 Kontek, then met with Greek officials posted to the OSCE: Ambassador Mara Marinaki, ambassador of Greece to the OSCE; Deputy Chief of Mission Dionyssious Kyvetos, Counselor Christos Sofianopoulos and Public Affairs and Press Officer Alexandros Dimitrakopoulos. Dr. Limberakis introduced the Archon delegation and reviewed the objectives of the Archon mission to the OSCE relative to the current status of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Ambassador Marinaki stated that the OSCE worked by consensus of all 56 participating states and had no powers of enforcement or punitive authority. Greece, which holds the chair of the OSCE for this year, 2009, is obligated to preside with total objectivity. Dr. Limberakis stated that all Christians, not just Orthodox, as well as non-Sunni Muslims are discriminated against in Turkey. The delegation’s final meeting in Vienna was with the Czech Deputy Chief of Mission to the OSCE Victor Dvorak and Human Dimension Officer Jara Kalimonova. It should be noted that the Czech Republic currently holds the presidency of the European Union. Members of the Archon delegation traveled by an overnight train and arrived in Prague on Feb. 24, where they met with the head of the Catholic Church in the Czech Republic, Archbishop Miloslav Cardinal Vlk. His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel of Romania received the Archon delegation consisting of Fr. Alex Karloutsos, Archon Christopher Stratakis, National Commander Anthony J. Limberakis, Archons John Halecky and Dr. Spiro Macris In Bucharest, Romania, the most populous Orthodox country in EU, the Archon visitaton reinforced their engagement in the religious freedom process for the Ecumenical Patriachate The delegation met with a number of officials of the Romanian government. Meetings were held with Presidential Adviser Bogdan Tataru Cazaban; at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with Bogdan Aurescu, Secretary of State, and Razvan Rotundu, Director of Human Rights and Council of Europe Division; and at the Ministry of Culture and Religious Affairs, with Adrian Nicolae Lemeni, Secretary of State. The delegation also met Dr. DorinaMaria Nastase, political reporter and head
of the Political Section, and Doina Servan, Coordinator Team Europe and EDC Coordinator, both European Commission Representatives in Romania. Dr. Limberakis discussed the state of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the delegation received a sympathetic hearing. The delegation received the support of U.S. embassy officials in Vienna, Prague and Bucharest in arranging meetings with government officials. Discussions with U.S. officials were both frank and cordial. Meetings with government and OSCE officials in all three cities were informative and the delegation was respectfully received. A briefing packet containing several items of information regarding the mission of the Archons and the present state of the Ecumenical Patriarchate was given to every individual with whom the delegation met -- some 60 packets in all. Dr. Limberakis and the delegation clearly stated at all meetings that the Order of St. Andrew supported the entry of Turkey into the EU, but through it mission hoped to improve the religious freedom of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. No less important than the delegation’s meetings with U.S. and European government and OSCE officials, was the delegation’s meetings with clergy in all three cities visited. In Vienna the delegation attended Divine Liturgy at Holy Trinity Cathedral and met with Metropolitan Michael of Austria. Also in Vienna, the delegation had a meeting with His Excellency Rev. Michael Banach, permanent representative of the Vatican to the OSCE. In Prague the delegation met with Miloslav Cardinal Vlk, Archbishop of Prague and head of the Catholic Church in the Czech Republic. In Bucharest the delegation met with His Beatitude Daniel, Archbishop of Bucharest and Patriarch of Romania. Also present were Metropolitan Ciprian Campineanu and Father Michael Tita, Patriarchal Counselor. The mission of the Archon delegation concluded on Feb. 28 with a meeting with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. Secretary John Halecky reported on the delegation’s meetings in Vienna, Prague and Bucharest. Legal Counsel Christopher Stratakis discussed several issues pending before the Archon Legal Committee. Archbishop Meliton was also in attendance. His All Holiness thanked the Archon delegation for its efforts on behalf of the Mother Church.
Participants in the Youth Choir Conference at Archangel Michael Church.
First Youth Choir Conference Held at Long Island Parish ROSLYN, N.Y. – The Direct Archdiocesan District Federation of Greek Orthodox Church Musicians Youth Choir Conference took place recently at Archangel Michael Church, drawing participation throughout the region. Choir directors, psaltis and organists participated in stimulating workshops at the conference in late January designed to promote a better knowledge of the hymns of the faith. Educational and inspirational workshop presentations were given by Anne Ktorides, choir director of the Assumption Church in Danbury, Conn., Marina Alexander, conductor of The Metropolitan Greek Chorale at Holy Trinity Cathedral in New York, and Georgia Kaufman, youth choir director of Archangel Michael Church. Eleni Rodopoulos Kaufman, the church organist, provided the piano accompaniment for the workshops and played the organ for the Youth Conference Liturgy. Workshop instruction included the
discussion of the value of being part of a youth choir, the study of hymnology and review of what is happening during the Divine Liturgy, Byzantine chant, solfege sight-singing, vocal warm-up exercises, Diaphragmatic breathing techniques and craft creations of cross bookmarks. A choir variety show fostered fellowship among the young conference participants. The hymn “Osi Eis Christon” was played on cello and violin by the Anagnostopoulos sisters from Archangel Michael Church’s Byzantine Youth Choir. A Kenyan African rendition of “Kyrie Eleison” was performed by young people from St Paul’s Cathedral in Hempstead, and directed by youth leader Virginia Pourakis. The Youth Choir sang the Divine Liturgy in melodious harmony. After the service, Parish Council President Barbara Mavro expressed the support of the Youth Music Ministry presenting a plaque and flowers to the Youth Conference coordinator and conductor.
Regional Choir Conference to Sing Detroit Composer’s Liturgy WESTLAND, Mich. -- On July 16 – 19 a delegation of 125 plus Greek Orthodox church choir members from Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana and New York will gather at the 62nd annual convention of the Mid-Eastern Federation of Greek Orthodox Musicians (MEFGOX), to chant the recently completed Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, composed by Detroit area musician, George S. Raptis. Sts. Constantine and Helen Church will be the conference site. Nearly 600 metropolitan Detroit Orthodox are expected to attend the church service and other convention activities. The Sunday morning liturgy, performed in English, begins at 10 a.m. on July 19 and is open to the public. George S. Raptis began his musical career at age 12 as first chair violin in Detroit’s “All City Orchestra.” For over 60 years Raptis, age 81, has served the Detroit and Pittsburgh Metropolises and the Archdiocese of America as a church musician. He has composed and arranged Greek Orthodox liturgical music since the 1950’s. The most significant composition of his life-long career as a church musician is the recently completed Divine Liturgy, chanted for the first time in 2003. The English setting of this liturgy was published in 2007 and will be chanted at this year’s MEFGOX Convention gathering. The 125-voice choir will be directed by Maritsa Madias-Kalasz, a vocal music director for Dearborn, Mich., schools and
the director of the Sts. Constantine and Helen Church choir. Guest organist for the MEFGOX convention is Viola Peponis, whose career as a music teacher in Detroit area schools spanned over 40 years and has served as organist for the Sts. Constantine and Helen Church for 45 years. MEFGOX convention information and registration forms available at http://stcons.org George S. Raptis was invested with the title “Archon Lambadarios and Knight of the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle” by Archbishop Iakovos. The National Forum of Greek Orthodox Church Musicians, in 1985, awarded him their highest honor, the “St. Romano Medallion”, for his exemplary service. In 1996 he received the “Medal of St. Paul” for 50 years of diocesan and archdiocesan service as a church musician. In 1973, the Ford Motor Company – for whom he worked as a technical/ creative writer and editor – honored him with their “Outstanding Service Award” for his long years of service to the Archdiocese of America. More recently, in 2004 the National Religious Music Alliance presented George with their “Award of Distinction” for his many years of church music ministry. Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church is located at 36375 Joy Road, Westland, Mich. 48185. http:// stcons.org
MAY – JUNE 2009
Remembrances of Three Fathers
Presbytera Takes Leap of Faith by Presbytera Stephanie Panagos
You Were Dying” was playing. Really. I arrived in New Orleans and was Since 2006, IOCC has been sending met by an IOCC representative who inhundreds of Orthodox volunteers from troduced me to my team members. He by Fr. Nicholas L. Vieron than his academic background. He also throughout the U.S. to help build new then took us to our new “home” for the possessed a sense of humor which made homes on the hurricane-battered U.S. Gulf week. A simple retreat-like setting where All of us have a story to tell, especially his parea much sought-after. However, it Coast. Presbytera Stephanie Panagos gives we would sleep, cook our meals, and on such occasions. I want to tell you my was his didactic methods that I appreciate a firsthand account of what it was like to enjoy fellowship. Our team consisted of make a difference. To find out more about five Orthodox Christians from various to this day with fond memories. story about my three dads. how you can volunteer for one week of states and one from Canada. We clicked service on the Gulf Coast, go to http:// immediately. It was as if we had known My third “dad” - Bishop Cavadas My first “dad” - my papou each other for years. www.iocc.org/gulfcoast (From 16 to eternity!) (From year one till 10) Our first full day together was spent “Where are you from, Presbytera?” is In 1942, at the age of 16, I graduated First, there was my papou, Paul Metaxas, a simple person, but a man of let- from high school. My priest, Fr Vasilios a common opening question that I often touring New Orleans, specifically the ters. He was not concerned with material Bouterakos, said to me, “Niko, why don’t struggle to answer. I was born in California areas affected by Hurricane Katrina. I am things. He was a simple peanut vendor. you go to that school in Connecticut and lived there for 32 years before marry- pleased to say that Holy Trinity Orthodox When six o’clock in the evening came where you can study to become a priest?” ing a guy named Dean who happened to Church, which was underwater, is today around, I would hear his familiar “cough” An American-born priest? We had not yet want to become a priest. Since becoming restored and beautiful. The homes sur–clearing his throat - as he pulled his push seen one. The Pomfret graduates - Frs An- a presbytera some sixteen years ago, I have rounding the church, however, are still cart into our back yard from a day on the drews, Hondras, Kalpaxis, Pallas, Pappas, packed our household six times. And, I’ve under re-construction. FEMA trailers are everywhere. The smell of mold lingers. corner of Canal and Front streets in New Papadeas, Theodore, Zanetos - were just had to say tearful goodbyes six times. So, where am I from? Where is home? Some houses are vacant; the homeowners Orleans. I would get excited for I knew it getting ordained that summer. In the fall of 1942 I left New Orleans A frame in our family room displays a pic- just walked away. meant that soon I would be hearing anThe next day we awoke early and other story - stories that have stayed with for Pomfret where I came face to face with ture of the four of us from various places drove to the Habitat for Humanity office we have lived and the message, “Wherever that remarkable man, Bishop Cavadas, me to this very day. They we not just Bible stories but also who had the talent of “turning boys into you are, that is home.” I draw strength for our morning meeting and prayer. many Greek dramas. Of course, most of men and men into priests,” as Fr. George from that. God has placed Dean, Eleana Each day starts with the volunteer groups my papou’s stories were Church–related. Poulos would later write in his book, and Chrysanthy by my side – and wherever praying together. Nice. Our group was we are, that is my home. But still, I can’t assigned to Hope Village II. Our foreman At age eight I knew the 50th Psalm by Footsteps in the Sea. However, I was at Pomfret only a help missing my family and friends in explained that we would spend our five heart–didn’t know what I was saying at the time - but it sure served me well when later month when my dad suffered a heart at- California. And, to be honest, sometimes workdays putting in the flooring system and porches on four houses which would at HC I was compelled to recall it. When tack and died at the age of 56. So there I I miss just being Stephanie. Although it isn’t easy to walk into a be finished by volunteer groups later that I was nine I rendered the Epistle reading was, still only 16, leaving the Scoli to bury new church and find your place among month. Needless to say, I was more than a at the Aug. 15 Liturgy with my papou my father. those who have been together for years, little apprehensive as I have no construcWhen I arrived in New Orleans, a standing next to me in that historic Holy Trinity Church in New Orleans - the first consoling letter from that saintly man, the church does offer a place of familiarity. tion experience whatsoever. We worked hard. Really hard. And it Greek Orthodox Church in the USA. I still Fr Ezekiel Tsoukalas, who was teaching And, if you are lucky, the people will be was hot. Really hot. After hammering in recall those words from Phillipians. The at HC was waiting for me, encouraging kind and welcoming. For most people, the opportunity for what felt like the 1,000th nail of the day I following year, 1935, my papou died. I me to return to the Scoli. That letter and was ten. What a blessing that first decade my mother’s exhortations guided me to this fellowship is only experienced on Sun- thought: a simple piece of metal - a nail return to Pomfret at the begining of 1943. day mornings. Have you ever wondered - once changed the world when Christ of my life was! From then until I was ordained on what happens to these newcomers the was crucified. And now, nails pounded by simple sinners like me are changing the October 26, 1948 and even beyond, Bish- other six days of the week? My second “dad” - my father world one at a time. For the first time in I’m pretty sure that I am not alone op Cavadas became my surrogate father, (From age 10 till I was 16) For the next six years my father - my “third dad” so to speak. Many of us dur- in my struggle and longing to belong. a long time, I felt “home.” I was making a Leonides Vieron - was the male guiding ing that “Golden Decade” claimed him. It wasn’t until I took a leap of faith and small difference in this very large world. I light of my life. He taught me, at least he Although he was a strict disciplinarian, traveled with International Orthodox stashed that nail in my pocket, fought back tried to teach me, responsibility by having beyond his elegant austere facade was a Christian Charities (IOCC) to volunteer on tears, and continued until quitting time. As our fifth work day came to an end, me help him at the small Sun Coffee Shop love for his every student. He preached the Gulf Coast that I realized that what I at the foot of Canal Street in the Crescent to us that the greatest joy in life would was looking for wasn’t really found within our team lingered by “our homes” and reCity. His work ethic has remained with me be in serving and pleasing both God and the walls of 200 Hempstead Street. No, flected on an amazing week. We imagined my friends, it is bigger than that. What I the four families sitting together on the to this day. The most tiring thing for me, His people. The seed for the priesthood was learned as I toiled for five days in the blaz- porches we built. Did I find what I was even now, at age 83, is not having something to do. But it wasn’t just his working planted in me at my home, by my priests ing Louisiana sun was that it isn’t enough looking for? I found more. I felt the hand ways that influenced me but also his calm in New Orleans, watered and cultivated to go to church. To really belong, you need of God on my hand with each nail I hammered, each pile of wood I moved, with at Pomfret, pruned by my presbytera, my to be the Church. approach to life. Earlier this year, I clicked on iocc.org each task I encountered. He not only led He never raised his voice; yet, if I family, my fellow clergy, by my parishioand saw an article about IOCC’s “Volun- me to this very challenging experience, He could just read his thoughts, I would want ners, but especially by my “three dads!” teer in the Gulf Coast” program through carried me through it. And He brought five to please him. He also had the knack of Fr. Nicholas L. Vieron, Class of 1947, Habitat for Humanity to build new homes amazing people into my life. We arrived as giving small doses of praise, encouragement that stimulated a young teen-ager to is pastor emeritus of the Memphis An- for families that had been devastated by strangers and left bonded as friends havdo his best. All this made him much wiser nunciation Church and RCA Epistle editor. the 2005 Hurricane season (Remember ing experienced something very powerful together. Oh, and that nail I tucked into Katrina?). Weeks later I mustered the courage my pocket on the jobsite? – I still carry it to send an e–mail to inquire about the as an anchor of strength. details. It was all too easy. Just send a small IOCC, founded in 1992 as the official donation and they would do the rest. So, I had to decide: Do I talk the talk, or walk humanitarian aid agency of the Standthe walk? I mailed the check. An e–mail ing Conference of Canonical Orthodox arrived with my flight details. I was now Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA), has committed, and I couldn’t back out. I was implemented over $300 million in relief headed to the New Orleans area to work and development programs in more than on a new home. That’s pretty much all I 33 countries around the world. The July-August issue of the Orthodox Observer will feature knew. Oh, I was supposed to bring a sleepPresbytera Panagos lives in New Loning bag and my own towels. I kissed my extensive coverage of youth Olympics in the Metropolises of kids and husband goodbye. As I walked don, Conn., where her husband, Fr. Dean, Chicago and New Jersey and the Direct Archdiocesan District into the airport, Tim McGraw’s “Live Like is pastor of St. Sophia Church.
Father’s Day - Sunday, June 21, 2009 - Most of us were blessed with more than one dad. I was blessed with three! At 83 I continue to recall them with gratitude, especially on this their day.
Coming Attractions in the July-August issue
that took place over Memorial Day Weekend. Also to be included will be coverage of the Direct Archdiocesan District Clergy-Laity Assembly, which could not be included because of space limitations, additional report summaries from the May Archdiocesan Council meeting, the St. Basil Academy graduation and the results of the St. John Chrysostom National Oratorical Festival held in Minneapolis.
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.
M e m o r i a m
Constantine Papadakis,Drexel President,Archon PHILADELPHIA – Drexel University President Constantine Papadakis died unexpectedly Sunday evening, April 4. Dr. Papadakis, 63, who was in remission from cancer, died from pulmonary complications. He had requested a medical leave from Drexel on April 2. Archbishop Demetrios conducted the funeral service at St. Luke Church in Broomall, Pa., on April 14, Hoy Tuesday, assisted by several clergy. His Eminence, at the Archdiocesan Council meeting in May, called the passing of Dr. Papadakis “a significant loss.” His Eminence noted that Papadakis “took a university that was nothing and brought it up to level that was the envy of many universities in Philadelphia.” He also called Papadakis, who was a member of the Archdiocesan Council, a trustee of Holy Cross School of Theology and an Archon, “an honor for Orthodoxy and Hellenism.” Papadakis, known as “Taki” by friends, colleagues and loved ones, is survived by his wife of 39 years, Eliana, and daughter Maria, 23, a 2008 Drexel graduate. Known in the national academic community as an innovator and locally as the chief executive who turned around two venerable institutions, Drexel and the former Allegheny University of the Health Sciences, Papadakis was among the longest-serving presidents in higher education today. He was appointed Drexel’s
president in 1995, and his 14-year tenure surpassed 85 percent of current presidents of major American research universities. His impact on Drexel, on Greater Philadelphia and on higher education is likely to be felt for decades to come. He also had been a former Bechtel Corp. executive. When he took over the helm, Drexel ranked 175th among the 3,500 universities in the US, he brought it up to 89th place this year. Papadakis’s arrival at Drexel in 1995 ushered in an era of unprecedented growth and excellence. Papadakis, a professional engineer and executive before his move into academia, famously insisted on measurable goals for his managers at Drexel. So numbers are useful in understanding the University’s growth under his leadership: In 13-plus years, total enrollment at the University grew by more than 130 percent, from about 9,000 to 21,000, with full-time undergraduate enrollment increasing by 144 percent to more than 11,000. At the same time, selectivity increased, with freshman applications growing by nearly 700 percent to 27,500, and the median SAT score of accepted students rising to 1,202. Drexel’s success in competing for students was made possible by the financial stability the University achieved under Papadakis. His commitment to sound fiscal management gained him a
ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP
Students Gather for ‘Just Love’ in Boston BOSTON – On Saturday, March 28, Twenty-four students participated in OCF’s “Just Love” program March 28 that was held in conjunction with the OCF Northeast Regional Retreat at Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church. The day was filled with interaction with the homeless of Boston Commons, as well as educational activities illustrating the complexity of poverty. The students began with an orientation led by OCF Service Learning Director Jordan Henderson in which they prepared for the work they would do that day by reflecting on the nature of poverty and brokenness and confronting stereotypes. The students then boarded the subway and headed to Boston Common where they spent the greater part of the day. The first activity the students participated in was called a “Meal Search”. The students broke up into small groups, spread out, and found homeless people with whom to share a meal. Jesse Dominick, who was among several people visiting from Pennsylvania, says the following of the experience: “Out of all the many OCF retreats I have attended this was one of, if not the, best because we really put our faith into action. It was great to firsthand experience poverty and to be able to
put a smile on the face on someone less fortunate. God-willing we will all continue this work in our daily lives in our own towns.” Following the Meal Search, the students participated in several other activities, which encouraged interaction with the poor and reflection on the causes of poverty and how we are to respond as Christians. “Just Love challenged me to redefine homelessness,” says Alexey Petrides of Penn State. “I found that there is a bit of homelessness in each of us, as homelessness is truly defined by poverty, whether it be in a social, spiritual, financial, environmental or health context. Most of us are not so different spiritually than our brothers and sisters in Christ living on the streets. In fact, with the comfortable, self-satisfying lifestyles we live today we can easily find ourselves carrying less of Christ’s cross than those with simple economic burdens who are burdened by their situation. It was both inspiring and humbling to hear their stories and share a meal with them!” OCF coordinates Just Love events like this in cities throughout North America. To bring Just Love to your city, contact Jordan Henderson at jordan@ ocf.net
national reputation, with The Wall Street Journal opining in a 2005 front-page profile that “few university presidents have a hard-core business style quite like Dr. Papadakis’.” His prudent, cost-conscious management was critical to the repair of Drexel’s finances, as evidenced by four improvements in nine years in the University’s Standard and Poor’s rating: from an unsatisfactory BBB+ in 1997 to A+ with a stable outlook since 2005. Papadakis’ primary strategy for improving Drexel’s financial situation was to encourage smart growth. Since his arrival, the University’s annual operating budget has grown by more than 300 percent, and the size of Drexel’s research enterprise has grown from $15 million to more than $100 million in each of the past three years. Papadakis doubled the size of Drexel’s faculty and grew the University’s total employment to 7,300, making Drexel the seventh largest private employer in Philadelphia Perhaps the most transformative change at Drexel under Papadakis was the increase in the University’s comprehensiveness. In 1998 the University trustees signed a landmark agreement to manage the bankrupt Allegheny University of the Health Sciences, followed by a 2002 merger creating the Drexel University College of Medicine. This bold step, undertaken at Papadakis’s urging, saved 13,000 jobs and the education of 3,000 medical and nursing students in Philadelphia. Just three years later, in 2005, Papadakis made another startling announcement: Drexel would become the first top-ranked doctoral university in the country to open a law school in more than 25 years. By September 2006, a faculty was in place, a building was under construction and a talented inaugural class entered Drexel Law. In short order, the school earned provisional accreditation from the American Bar Association and received a major naming gift from Drexel alumnus Earle Mack. In May 2009, the University will celebrate the first graduates of the Earle Mack School of Law. Prior to Drexel, he headed up Colorado State University’s civil engineering department and served as dean of the University of Cincinnati College of Engineering. Papadakis was the only Greek–born president among 2,900 presidents of fouryear colleges and universities in the United States. He was born in Athens on Feb. 2, 1946, to Nicholas Papadakis, a Greek physician, and Rita Masciotti Papadakis, a native of Italy.
He finished the private high school, Kalpaka (Athens), before entering the National Technical University of Athens, where he studied for five years and graduated with a degree in civil engineering. He arrived in the United States in 1969 and settled in Cincinnati where his then fiancee Eliana Apostolides resided with her parents. Papadakis had met Eliana two years previous while she was vacationing in Greece. The two graduated with master’s degrees from the University of Cincinnati in 1971 and traveled to Athens for their wedding. They moved to Michigan, where Papadakis enrolled at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor and earned his doctorate in civil engineering in 1973. Their daughter Maria, who graduated from Drexel in 2008 with a bachelor of science in business administration, was born in 1985. For his achievements, commitment to higher education and involvement in charitable organizations, Papadakis received 153 awards and honors including the 2008 Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce William Penn Award, the 2008 Union League Business Leadership Award, the Medal of the City of Athens, the Opera Company of Philadelphia Viva La Diva Award, and the 2006 Gold Medal Award of the Philadelphia Public Relations Association. In 2004, Papadakis was Knighted Cavaliere Ufficiale in the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic by President Berlusconi. He was also awarded the Congressional Medal of Ellis Island for his success as an immigrant. Dr. Papadakis was one of the earliest members of the Greek American Chamber of Commerce and Drexel University has been a long–term corporate member of the Chamber. The National Commander of the Order of St. Andrew-Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate Dr. Anthony Limberakis, said “It is with profound sadness, that the Order of St. Andrew, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in America, notes the falling asleep in the Lord of Archon Didaskalos tou Genous, Dr. Constantine Papadakis, president of Drexel University. The untimely passing of Archon Constantine is an unspeakable loss for his family, Drexel University, the Greek and American Communities at-large, and particularly for the Order of St. Andrew. His wisdom, experience, expertise and fellowship will be deeply missed by all. Our prayers and thoughts are with his family and friends” Memorials may be made to the “Constantine Papadakis Fund at Drexel University,” Drexel University, 3141 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19104.
Fr. James Orfanakos
He came to the United States in 1956 and studied at Brooklyn College and City College of New York. He also attended the University of Athens Theological School and was most recently studying under the St. Stephen’s theological studies special program. He was married to Joan Liakopoulos of Athens, Greece. They had two children, Peter and Vicky. He was ordained as a deacon and a priest in November 1984 in Greenlawn by Bishop Kallistos of Zelon. The funeral took place April 24 at Zoodochos Peghe Church in the Bronx.
COMMACK, N.Y. – Fr. James Orfanakos, 74, died April 20. He was a former pastor of Transfiguration Church in Mattituck, N.Y., who continued to serve the community as a supply priest. He had also served as pastor of two other Long Island parishes, St. Paraskevi in Greenlawn as a priest with a lay profession (1984-86), and Resurrection Church in Glen Cove in 1987. He was born Sept. 24 1934 in Xirokampion, Sparta, Greece, and attended elementary and high school in Sparta.
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MAY – JUNE 2009
MOORESVILLE, N.C. – Joshua Waynick, 20, the son of St. Luke Church pastor Fr. Gregory and Presbytera Waynick, died May 3 in a fire that destroyed the Waynick’s home when he entered the house to rescue the family dog. Funeral was May 9 at St. Nektarios
Church in Charlotte. Burial was in Nashville. The Waynick family lost virtually everything in the fire, which destroyed about 80 percent of the home, according to the local newspaper, the Mooresville Tribune. A fund has been established to try to help them at St Luke Greek Orthodox Church, PO Box 1513, Mooresville NC 28115
MAY – JUNE 2009
71 annual Greek Independence Day Parade in New York st
Hellenic Dancers of the Pittsburgh Metropolis.
Archbishop Demetrios, grand marshals, and Greek government officials view the parade.
Thessalians represent their region.
Levendia Dance Group of Tarpon Springs. Students from the University of Connecticut.
Thousands of marchers highlight New York parade
“Kolokotronis” (the one from the Bronx) leads the “assault” up Fifth Avenue.
Nearly 100 groups paraded up Fifth Avenue on a sunny, warm April 26 afternoon for the 71st annual Greek Independence Day Parade with 100,000–plus spectators lining the route. Participation was not limited to New York or even Greek groups. Four Metropolises and six states were represented. The Levendia dance group traveled all the way from Tarpon Springs, Fla. The Hellenic Dancers of the Pittsburgh, along with several New Jersey and Connecticut parishes made their annual appearances. Several high school marching groups from local Catholic high schools and a group of Armenian dancers from New Jersey also participated.
The Patriarchal Monastery of St. Irene Chrysovalantou.
Goyans from Trenton.
Students and principal of Spyropoulos School of St. Nicholas in Flushing, N.Y. Grand Marshal and singer Tony Orlando (Greek on his mother’s side) entertains the crowd.
This all-girl band from Mother Cabrini Roman Catholic High School in Manhattan marches every year.
Parishioners of St. Barbara in Orange, Conn.
Members of the Akhtamar Dance Ensemble from St. Thomas Armenian Church in New Jersey.
The Piscataway parish was one of several New Jersey groups that marched.
The small, but spirited St. George community from Schenectady, N.Y.
Drexel University students honor their president who passed away in early April.
MAY – JUNE 2009
Orthodox Observer - May/June 2009