NOVEMBER 2012 • Vol. 77 • No. 1280
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Prayers for the Victims
Dimitris Panagos photo
Archbishop Demetrios tours Staten Island on Oct. 30 to view the massive, extensive devastation inflicted by Superstorm Sandy. National Philoptochos President Aphrodite Skeadas and other Archdiocese representatives accompanied His Eminence.
Archdiocese Assessing Effects of Superstorm NEW YORK – In the aftermath of Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy, Archbishop Demetrios of America expressed the concern, prayers and care of the Archdiocese for the life, safety and well-being of the millions of people in the affected areas of the northeastern United States. The Archbishop, through his chancellor, Bishop Andonios of Phasiane, has been in contact with Direct Archdiocesan District clergy to assess and determine the extent of damages on our faithful and parishes in the areas ravaged by the storm. He also spoke on Oct. 31, with Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and thanked him for all that he is doing for New York City during this unprecedented crisis. He pledged the support and assistance of the Archdiocese in the efforts of recovery and reconstruction. The Archbishop also spoke with Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey, who informed him about the damages to the churches and communities of the Metropolis.
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Storm Inflicts Wide–Ranging Devastation on Parishes by Jim Golding
NEW YORK – Among the millions of residents in the eastern U.S. who suffered from the effects of hurricane/Superstorm Sandy at the end of October were thousands of parishioners of the Archdiocese. Hardest hit were parishes in New Jersey, Staten Island and Long Island, N.Y., where an undetermined number of families either lost their homes or sustained very extensive damage, experienced lengthy power outages that some still contended with as the Observer went to press. Several parishioners’ cars were totaled because saltwater from the storm surge at high tide ruined the engines. Further complicating recovery efforts was a snowstorm brought by a nor’easter on the following week. Archdiocese, Metropolis of New Jersey, National Philoptochos and International Orthodox Christian Charities officials responded immediately to assess the situation in the affected region and to identify those parishes and families needing assistance. The storm itself spanned a diameter of more than 1,000 miles and its effects were felt far inland. No fatalities were reported among parishioners of the various church communities that were hit hardest by the storm. (Related articles pages 1, 3,4–5, 6)
Below is an area–by–area account of the extent of the situation and activities associated with the recovery.
Direct Archdiocesan District
Staten Island was in the direct path of the storm surge and at least 41 people were reported killed. Devastation was widespread but Holy Trinity-St. Nicholas Church escaped with little damage. “Our church building only sustained minimal damage,” reported Stacy Petropoulakos, daughter of Fr. Nicholas Petropoulakos, the parish priest. “It’s nothing compared to what others are facing, but we do have some parishioners that lost houses, cars, have power loss since Monday ((Oct. 29), and flooding issues that cannot be solved due to the power loss. Every day we learn of someone else that has experienced devastation. We have a wonderful community that has banded together to help these families and Staten Island as a whole.” Two weeks after the storm, the parish was still collecting food, baby items and cleaning supplies for distribution to local residents. The Kimisis tis Theotokou Church in Island Park, Long Island, sustained extensive damage, and many parishioners either
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Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ, On behalf of the Holy Eparchial Synod of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, I am communicating with you following the devastating landfall of Hurricane Sandy and a very difficult week for New York, New Jersey, and other areas in the northeastern United States. As many of you know, this historic storm caused loss of life and tremendous destruction of homes and businesses. It has also radically altered cities and towns, as flooding and ruin has led to evacuations. Hundreds of thousands more have been challenged by the loss of electricity and access to basic public services. Our first response to this disaster has been fervent prayer to Almighty God Who is our rock and our fortress, and our deliverer in times of great distress and need (Psalm 18:2-4). We continue these prayers, and we ask all the faithful throughout the Church in America to pray fervently for comfort from above. We offer prayers of remembrance for those who perished and of solace for those who lost family members. We pray for the many who have lost their homes, and for those who are facing uncertainty regarding their jobs and livelihood. We continue our prayers for the rescue personnel and many others who are saving lives and offering comfort to those in need. We also pray for the leaders of our communities, cities, states, and our country, who are confronted with numerous crises and challenging decisions in the days to come. As we assess the damages and challenges to our faithful and our parishes throughout the region, we are also responding to the many needs around us. In support of this ministry of compassion and healing, we are designating Sunday, Nov. 11 as a day of prayer and offering on behalf of the victims of Hurricane Sandy. In addition to prayers for those mentioned above, we ask the parishes of our Holy Archdiocese to designate a special collection for the “Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund.” These funds should be sent to the Archdiocese, and we will coordinate relief efforts with our National Philoptochos Society, the Metropolis of New Jersey, the Direct Archdiocesan District, and other local, state, and national efforts that provide direct assistance to those in need. Through your generosity and prayers, many will find hope in the midst of great loss. Through our witness of faith in this trying time, many will see the power of faith and love, and know that the Lord gives strength to His people and blesses them with peace (Psalm 29:11). With paternal love in Christ,
† Archbishop DEMETRIOS of America
A RCHDIOCESE N E WS
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Dimitris Panagos photo
St. Demetrios Vespers – Archbishop Demetrios and several Long Island parish priests celebrate the Great Vespers of St. Demetrios at St. Demetrios Church in Merrick, N.Y., on Oct. 25.
L-100 Conference Speakers Include 20th Century Fox CEO
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NEW YORK – The 22nd annual Leadership 100 Conference, scheduled Feb. 7-10 in Dana Point, Calif., will feature 20th Century Fox Film Chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos as a speaker. Mr. Gianopulos oversees the News Corporation’s motion picture companies, including Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp., Fox 2000, Fox Searchlight Pictures,
How to Contact Archdiocesan Institutions, Metropolises and Related Agencies and Organizations Direct Archdiocesan District 212.570.3500; www.goarch.org Metropolis of Chicago 312.337.4130; www.chicago.goarch.org Metropolis of Boston 617.277.4742; www.boston.goarch.org Metropolis of Denver 303.333.7794; www.denver.goarch.org Metropolis of Atlanta 404.634.9345; www.atlmetropolis.org Metropolis of Detroit 248.823.2400; www.detroit.goarch.org Metropolis of Pittsburgh 412.621.5529; www.pitssburgh.goarch.org Metropolis of San Francisco 415.753.3075; www.sanfran.goarch.org Metropolis of New Jersey 908.301.0500; www.nj.goarch.org Archdiocesan Institutions Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity Tel. 212.288.3215; www.thecathedralnyc.org EDITOR IN CHIEF Jim Golding (Chryssoulis) GREEK SECTION EDITOR Eleftherios Pissalidis
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Fox Animation Studios, Blue Sky Studios, Fox International Productions, and their related entities. He will be introduced by his pastor, Fr. John Bakas, dean of St. Sophia Cathedral in Los Angeles, who will also speak to the conferees. The son of Greek immigrants and a native New Yorker, Gianopulos attended
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the Master’s program at the New York University School of Law, the Fordham School of Law, earning a Juris Doctor in 1976 and Boston University, earning a BA in 1973. He resides in Los Angeles with his wife, Ann, and their three daughters. Other speakers will include awardwinning film director, screenwriter and producer Alexander Payne and Michael S. Johnson of Denver, a member of Leadership 100 and an award-winning petroleum geologist; and Mary J. Mitchell of Omaha, Neb., also a member of Leadership 100 and the author of Drawn to Fashion. The program also includes the traditional Bible study and lecture by Archbishop Demetrios of America
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A RCHDIOCESE N E WS
Storm Victims Relief Fund Established
Archdiocese Gives More Assistance to Greek Families NEW YORK – The Archdiocese has given a $150,000 grant to International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) to assist in providing emergency assistance for the people of Greece who are especially vulnerable as a result of the continuing economic crisis, austerity measures and a collapsing health system. The grant will be directed at efforts to assist the elderly, children and large families with basic necessities for living as the economic situation deteriorates and winter approaches. The support comes from funds already collected by the Archdiocese Relief Fund for the People of Greece. “Even as we reach out to assist to the best of our ability those who have been affected by Hurricane Sandy here in the United States, we remain mindful of the continued needs in Greece and elsewhere” said Archbishop Demetrios. “These funds which had been collected this past year for the relief effort in Greece represent a further expression of the love and concern of the faithful of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America for the suffering of our brothers and sisters in that country.” Previously, the Archdiocese, together with the National Philoptochos Society, has provided assistance of almost $1 million to aid the people adversely affected by the economic crisis in Greece. Specifically, Archbishop Demetrios presented a check in the amount of $500,000 (April 10) from the Archdiocese Relief Fund for the People of Greece to Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece for the special assistance programs of the Archdiocese of Athens. Another $190,000 was disbursed (June 16) from the same fund to assist the metropolises of Crete and the Dodecanese islands. A total of $130,000 was sent to the Archdiocese of Crete and to the eight Metropolises of the Orthodox Church in Crete and the total amount of $60,000 was sent to the five Metropolises of the Dodecanese and the Holy Monastery of Patmos. The National Philoptochos Society, the philanthropic arm of the Archdiocese, granted $160,000 (June 28) to five entities in Greece, which were collected following an appeal for assistance to those in need. The sum of $50,000 was sent to “Apostoli,” the non-governmental, philanthropic organization of the Archdiocese of Athens; $50,000 was sent to the Metropolis of Thessaloniki, $25,000 was sent to the Archdiocese of Crete; $10,000 was sent to “Kivotos tou Kosmou,” an organization devoted to the care of children; and $25,000 to the “Theotokos Foundation,” an organization for children, adults and families with learning and other developmental disabilities. These amounts were in addition to the $25,000 the Philopotchos had initially expedited from their Emergency Fund through IOCC (International Orthodox Christian Charities) that provided medical supplies and food staples.
Kimisis tis Theotokou Church in Island Park collects food for its neighbors whose homes were devastated by the storm.
Broomall Goyans respond to disaster. Following the devastating catastrophe of Superstorm Sandy, St. Luke’s GOYA families in Broomall, Pa., donated health kits of their own and also collected preassembled kits from the St. Luke community at-large. They filled four large cartons (computer-sized) on Sunday, Nov. 4, and collected them again on Sunday, Nov.11. The St. Luke parishioners responded immediately to the appeal and with the promise of more donations to come. (See page 5)
CLERGY UPDATE Ordinations to the Diaconate Daniel John Cunningham – Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco – St. Paul Church, Irvine, Calif. 11/20/11 Ephraim Ehrs – Metropolitan Methodios of Boston – Sts. Constantine & Helen Church, Webster, Mass. 08/26/12 Ordinations to the Priesthood Dn. Ephraim Ehrs – Metropolitan Methodios of Boston – Annunciation Cathedral, Boston, 09/16/12 Assignments Fr. Gregory Trakas – St. Nicholas Cathedral, Tarpon Springs, Fla. 08/29/12 Fr. Soterios Rousakis – Annunciation Church, Pensacola, Fla. 09/01/12 Fr. Panagiotis Sotiras – St. Basil Church, Stockton, Calif. 09/01/12 Fr. James Gardikes – Annunciation Cathedral, Columbus, Ohio 09/30/12 Fr. Christopher Bender – St. Nicholas Cathedral, Pittsburgh 10/01/12 Fr. Jerry Tasikas – Annunciation Church, Rochester, NY (part time) 10/01/12 Fr. Ignatios Achlioptas – St. Demetrios
Church, Bristol, Conn. 10/10/12 Fr. Demetrios Kazakis – St. Nicholas Church, West Babylon, N.Y. 10/10/12 Fr. Michael Kallaur – Holy Cross Church, Pittsburgh 10/15/12 Fr. Panteleimon Maillis – Presentation of Christ, East Pittsburgh, Pa. 10/15/12 Fr. Stylianos Muksuris – Kimisis Tis Theotokou Church, Aliquippa, Pa. 10/15/12 Fr. John Afendoulis – Assumption of the Virgin Mary Church, San Angelo, Texas 11/01/12 Offikia Fr. Peter Thornberg – Office of Economos, bestowed by Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey 04/07/12 V. Rev. Fr. Constantine Bebis – Archimandrite of the Ecumenical Throne, bestowed by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew 10/04/12 Fr. Christopher Bender – Office of Protopresbyter, bestowed by Metropolitan Savas of Pittsburgh 10/07/12 Retired Priests Rev. Fr. James Rousakis 09/01/12
NEW YORK – The Archdiocese has established the Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund and designated Sunday, Nov. 11, as a day of prayer and offering on behalf of the victims of Hurricane Sandy. Archbishop Demetrios, on behalf of the Holy Eparchial Synod, issued an encyclical asking for prayers of remembrance for those who perished and of solace for those who lost family members. The encyclical also asked parishes of the Archdiocese to conduct a special collection for the “Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund,” with proceeds to be sent to the Archdiocese, which will coordinate the relief efforts with the National Philoptochos, the Metropolis of New Jersey and the Direct Archdiocesan District. Donations by check can also be sent directly to the Archdiocese and designated for the Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund or made online at: www.goarch.org/special/hurricanesandy. On Nov. 4, the Archbishop visited Holy Trinity/St. Nicholas Church in Staten Island, N.Y., which was hard hit by the storm. He presided over the Divine Liturgy and offered a Trisagion prayer service for the repose of the souls of those who lost their lives. He also led the congregation in prayer for strength and comfort from God for all the people who lost their homes, their businesses and property and are suffering in the aftermath. After the liturgy he met families who were affected by the hurricane and together with the community’s pastor, Fr. Nicholas Petropoulakos and National Philoptochos President Aphrodite Skeadas surveyed an area of Staten Island that was ravaged by the storm and suffered tremendous damage and loss. The Archbishop was joined by New York State Assemblywoman Nicole Maliotakis, also a member of the parish, who is coordinating relief efforts for her constituency. They met with and spoke to many volunteers, including local AHEPA officials, who were distributing food and supplies or were helping in the cleanup. Fr. Petropoulakos said that many families in the parish had extensive water damage and suffered losses in their homes and business. The church, he added, has relatively minor exterior damage. Fr. Nicholas conveyed that the parish has received many calls and offers for help in kind and offers from volunteers from all over the country, and he explained that the church is serving as a collection and distribution center, funneling relief aid to people in need on Staten Island. For a photo album from the Archbishop’s Staten Island visit the Archdiocese photo gallery: http://www.goarch. org/special/hurricanesandy
Archon Name Not Included The name of Gerald J. Biernacki, Ed.D., Archon Hieromnimon, was not included in the list of Archons of the October issue. He is a member of Holy Trinity Church in Toledo, Ohio.
New Jersey Coastal Parishes Hardest Hit by Storm Most of the damage inflicted by Superstorm Sandy affected many of the parishes along the coast. Once the storm had passed, Metropolis officials, including Philoptochos President Anne Michals, who lost power in her own home, traveled to the hardest-hit locations. (Related story, this page). Metropolis Chancellor Fr. Constantine Mersinas told the Observer that “all church buildings survived the storm, but many parishioners lost their homes.” Power outages occurred along the entire coast. Communities that experienced serious devastation included North Wildwood, in the southern part of the state, where Philoptochos members and youth volunteers fed and clothed 46 families. At Seaside Heights, two trucks with food and clothing were sent to help that community. “There were a lot of tears in that community,” said Fr. Mersinas. “The Church had some minor outside damage, but most of the damage was to the exterior of homes.” In Atlantic City, the priest, Fr Kakhaber Kurtanidze, made sure all his people evacuated, but he chose to stay behind,” continued Fr. Mersinas. “Then the water surge started coming into his home; his car was totaled and his garage filled with water and his home took in water on the
first floor. He evacuated to a shelter, then was picked up and taken to Philadelphia where he proceeded to make calls to his parishioners.” Several lost their homes. He returned to his parish two days later. Elsewhere, the storm had minor effect, mostly power outages lasting several days. “They all did well,” Fr. Mersinas said of parishes in other states. He said there was concern about Ocean City, Md., and the Delaware coast. Parishioners in Ocean City did suffer losses and extensive damage, but the church was unaffected. Elsewhere, the chancellor noted: In Toms River, the St. Barbara Church secretary and eight other parishioners lost their homes. The church opened its gym for children whose parents had to deal with recovering from the storm. One family had to be rescued by boat. Fr. Paul Pappas, the parish priest, has been “very effective and dedicated and pulled the people together there,” the chancellor said. In Ocean Township (formerly in Asbury Park), St. George Church did not sustain damage, but did collected supplies and offered free lunches and dinners for a week to first responders, people without power and those who lost homes. In Perth Amboy, St. Demetrios Church had about a foot of water and sand in its basement and the community center roof was damaged.
Photo courtesy of SIMOUDIS IMAGE DESIGN, NY
Devastation on Jersey Shore – An example of the destruction to the homes along the New Jersey coast.
The Metropolis headquarters in Westfield never lost power, the Fr. Mersinas concluded. “We began monitoring the situation the next day after the storm. Our first priority was to find out how the people were, and how the church buildings fared.” Two weeks later the Metropolis was
continuing to aid the victims. “All the priests, the Philoptochos, the AHEPA and the people in general have come together to help their communities,” said Fr. Mersines. “The massive effort that the Philoptochos ladies have been making has been impressive.”
NJ Metropolis Philoptochos Assists Storm Victims WESTFIELD, N.J. -- The Metropolis of New Jersey Philoptochos has begun the critical work of assessing the toll ‘Superstorm Sandy’ has taken throughout the church communities up and down the coast of Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey and beyond. Philoptochos President Anne Michals has directed all Metropolis Board Members, and any National Board Members living within the five–state Metropolis, to contact each of the 48 local chapter presidents to assess the need for assistance in area churches and communities. Assistance will include normal items that are needed when disaster strikes, such as warm clothing, food, blankets and shelter. The Metropolis Philoptochos have set up a ‘special disaster fund’ within the purview of their Social Service Program to accept donations that will be distributed to individual families who have suffered in the storm’s aftermath. These funds will be disseminated through the procedures that have been carefully put into place by the Metropolis and National Philoptochos guidelines. Anyone wishing to contribute should contact Metropolis President Michals at email@example.com or speak directly to their parish priest. Michals reminds all Philoptochos sisters throughout the country that “the moment a disaster strikes, the relevance of Philoptochos is felt throughout the Greek Orthodox community and beyond. Through our worthy Mission we have the opportunity again to answer the needs of others. We should not wait for others to carry the burden of our brothers. The honor of accepting the task is ours, as it has been for over 80 years,” she said. Following is the report issued by
the New Jersey Metropolis Philoptochos president following her visit to an afflicted area in the state. On a guided tour with St. Barbara of Toms River, N.J., Fr. Paul Pappas, who had just come from a non-denominational meeting of all area clergy from the entire County of Ocean, which has as part of its community, the hard hit towns of Seaside and Seaside Heights, I observed: • Clothing depots are full, with nowhere to move the items before the storm (Nor’easter) that is scheduled to hit us tomorrow night. • Red Cross is at Toms River High School sleeping and feeding between 200 and 400 families, some of whom were happily being moved to hotels in Wildwood, NJ. • IOCC clergy/counselors will be at St. Barbara Church tomorrow for various timeframes during this week and next to help the Orthodox community deal with the trauma. IOCC contacted me. They asked Metropolis of N.J. Philoptochos, and we agreed, to partner with IOCC and AHEPA family on an initiative to purchase and put together ‘cleaning buckets’ for the Ocean County Community. Along with St. Barbara Philoptochos and Father Paul I visited a few families that I anticipate will become part of Metropolis of N.J. Philoptochos Social Service network. In all cases I found that one of the most important and scarce items needed by families that are packing up to leave are these very large ‘plastic container/bins’ in which they can store their salvageable belongings while their homes are being rebuilt. It seems that no where in these areas are they to be found because people
Metropolis of New Jersey Philoptochos President Anne Michals reviews some pictures of the storm damage with Metropolitan Evangelos following her fact-finding, damage-assessment tour of the New Jersey shore.
simple bought them up. I think this is something we will ask chapters to purchase and ship to our area churches for distribution to the community. I really think that if we work on this quickly, it would help in a small but important way. Metropolis of N.J. is already involved with ‘personal care product’ kits. We will add cleaning items to the list and assign some of our chapters to the task of putting these buckets together for the communities that need them. Funds are needed to help people
begin to put their lives back together, especially those who did not have flood insurance. Everywhere I looked, unless the homes have been designated as uninhabitable, people are in their homes throwing their lives out on the street for garbage, working on stripping the insides of their homes down to the studs already and getting ready to rebuild. Those who were outside the flood zones and have suffered water damage will have needs down the road that Philoptochos can help with... especially if they have children.
Storm Damage Wide–Ranging u u from page 1 lost their homes or face extensive repairs. Parish Council President Peter Rizik told the Observer that the church sustained “about four feet of water in the community hall and two feet in the church itself.” Most of the 90 parishioners living in the disaster area had evacuated and many lost their homes, Mr. Rizik said. “For two members, the water was over their apartment. Another member who was wiped out during Irene (August 2011), lost his home.” Island Park lies on an inner bay about a mile from the city of Long Beach, which sits on a low-lying barrier island along the Atlantic. The city had been placed under marshal law following the storm that destroyed nearly everything in its path. Several parishioners with businesses in Long Beach suffered a complete loss. As for the church building, the parish council president said workers have cleaned the pews with bleach, but “major work needs to be done by professionals. We have no choice,” said Mr. Rizik. Though the church had no power, the Divine Liturgy was still scheduled on the following Sunday with candlelight replacing electric lighting. Power may not be restored for weeks. The church was to have its festival the following week and had to get a freezer truck to preserve the food, which was to be cooked with a gas stove. “It’s a trying time,” he said. Other parishes along the south shore of Long Island were also affected in varying degrees. In his message to Archdiocesan Chancellor Bishop Andonios, Fr. Nikiforos Fakinos of St. Demetrios in Merrick said the damage to the church resulted mostly from extreme winds and the high water table; but was contained by volunteers. “We were able to keep the waters from rising high in the basement. There was roof damage that brought water into the Nave but the pews and icons were protected and it was a fight that we fought all night long. Trees fell in the property, fences came apart and the air conditioning units sustained significant damage. Thankfully, the Nave and the Church hall have been secured.” Fr. Nikiforos continued, “Our parishioners were tremendously afflicted. We put together a response team of volunteers to assist with cleanup and removal of debris. We first visited the elderly and we distributed some generators to parishioners with sensitive medical conditions and heaters for those homes that have no functioning boilers. The parish came together and everyone opened their homes for people whose houses were uninhabitable.” Goyans distributed coffee at the long lines at several area gasoline stations, parishioners who are electricians assisted with bringing power back to the homes and many construction companies offered free help to those of limited financial means, Fr. Nikiforos also reported. On the north shore, parishes had power outages for varying lengths of time but none reported serious damage. St. Paraskevi Church in Greenlawn had planned to open its community center for town workers and volunteer electrical crews from other states where they could eat and sleep while trying to restore power. Several parishioners volunteered to help at various relief sites in the area.
Dimitris Panagos photos
On his tour of Staten Island, Archbishop Demetrios greets several marathoners who, unable to run in the New York Marathon which had been canceled, donned their orange race shirts and carried food and supplies to Staten Island, then stayed to help desperate homeowners reclaim flooded houses. At right is state Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis who accompanied His Eminence on his visit to the devestated area.
Lower Manhattan was directly affected by the storm surge and several Greek-owned restaurants were reported to be heavily damaged. The Archdiocese headquarters, located on high ground in the middle of the island did not sustain damage but was officially closed until Monday, Nov. 5. A few staff members residing in Manhattan and Queens did manage to come to work on Thursday and Friday the week of the storm. There were telephone and Internet disruptions for several days. The first part of the Direct Archdiocesan District to experience the storm when it was still Hurricane Sandy was Annunciation parish in Nassau, Bahamas. Fr. Theodore Roupas said the church roof sustained some damage. He reported that parishioners of the island of New Providence (Nassau) experienced some flooding in their neighborhoods (and in their very own homes). Many people lost power and water. Some beach roads were washed away. “Needless to say, the hurricane proved to be stronger than originally anticipated,” he said.
Metropolis of Boston
For the most part, parishes on the southern coast of New England were on the out edge of the storm. However, two parishioners of St. Sophia Church in New London, Conn., had damage to their homes and one family lost their home to the raging waves. Fr. Dean Panagos told the Observer that church had no electricity and the storm hit just as the parish was preparing to hold its Greek festival on Nov. 6. Metropolis officials were in contact with parishes in the affected area but received no other reports of damage or injuries. Elsewhere there were extensive power outages, high winds, fallen trees and rain in Massachusetts.
One of the many homes on Staten Island destroyed by Superstorm Sandy.
Metropolis of New Jersey
We were spared and were very fortunate,” said Steve Sellas, parish council president and Metropolis Council member. He did say that one parishioner living about an hour and a half east of Clarksburg was affected by the storm and heavy snowfall and lost power for a week.
Metropolis of Pittsburgh
Detroit and Chicago Metropolises
The Metropolis parishes along the Atlantic coast were especially hard hit, although only a few churches had damage. (Stories on previous page)
While high winds and storm surge flooding battered the East Coast, the Appalachian region that comprises a large part of the metropolis received record snowfall amounts. The area of eastern West Virginia was hard hit, but no problems were reported at the closest parish of St. Spyridon in Clarksburg. “
Television coverage showed huge waves produced by the storm as it hit Lake Michigan, but staff members at both metropolises said other than high winds in the region, there were no reports of damage to churches or individual parishioners.
Chancellor Monitors Parishes Editor’s note: In the days following the storm, Archdiocese Chancellor Bishop Andonios of Phasiane kept in close touch with clergy and parishes in the affected areas. Below are three messages apprising clergy of the situation in the Direct Archdiocesan District and asking for information as to their community’s needs.
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Good Morning, Good Fathers... First, let me thank those brothers who are so passionately working to assist those impacted by Sandy....very proud of all you and all that you are doing to help!!! I will be touching base with some of you to see how the District can recruit the assistance (water, food, clothing, etc) of all our parishes to support what you are doing in your respective areas so devastated by the storm... especially Staten Island, the Far Rockaways and elsewhere. In this e-mail, I want to communicate with you regarding the elderly in your respective communities. No doubt, many of them have been impacted by the storm. Some may have lost housing; others may be without power...something especially dangerous for the elderly in light of the cold temperatures. Please know that St. Michael’s, as always, is available to “temporarily” house these individuals. The Department of Health has granted special permission to all the facilities in the State to immediately take in those individuals (without going through the required admissions process) as well as to exceed our licensed occupancy of 60. So...if you are aware of someone who needs immediate housing, please contact St. Michaels at 914-476-3374. I am sure that our administrator, Dr. Urania Poulis, and all our staff will do their utmost to facilitate you and to expedite the admission of those elderly who need a warm place to live! Certainly, we will waive any boarding fees during this time of crisis! God bless and keep you all... +Bishop Andonios of Phasiane Chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America My dear Fathers, I wanted to follow up my email of Wednesday to inform you of the following: according to the reports we have received so far, many of our churches fortunately have not sustained major damage except for Island Park which as of yesterday had two feet of water in the church (there does not appear to be structural damage and we are hopeful that they will recover quickly). On the other hand we know that many of our parishioners, like countless individuals in the community-at-large, have suffered significant losses of homes and possessions. (Our podiatrist at St. Michael’s, a GreekAmerican woman, lost her home and two cars in Brooklyn and showed up at the Home on Thursday in a U-Haul, which was all she could find to lease, so that she could to treat our residents.) We are working today to coordinate relief efforts (already we are arranging with the Office of the Mayor and IOCC to hopefully use our church on Staten Island as a staging area to distribute food and water). Next week the Archdiocese will initiate a major fund raising effort to offer assistance to those impacted by Hurricane Sandy. As you know this Sunday the annual collection by the Philoptochos Society will occur for the needs of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Please assure that this does
take place but also share with your communicants the above mentioned information, i.e. that as of Monday we will be collecting to assist victims of Sandy. My concern is that our parishioners not think that we are ignoring the need in our own backyard. Hopefully a special collection will be made on Sunday the 11th of November (I shall ask the Archbishop to forgo the annual tray for St. Michael’s which takes place the Sunday after the Home’s Name Day). No doubt I will be communicating with you as we learn more information and determine how our community can offer greater assistance following this unprecedented disaster in our area. Phones and fax lines are still not functioning at the Archdiocese, hence the need to communicate with you through email. I know that some of you, like myself, still do not have power in your homes and churches and I trust that electricity will be quickly restored Please remember in prayer the victims, both those who lost their lives as well as those suffering following the hurricane. Do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of assistance to you. I convey the paternal blessings and love of His Eminence. God bless and keep you all and may He help us to quickly recover from this disaster. Bishop Andonios Morning, Good Fathers... I just wanted to touch base with you following the series of emails which I sent over this past weekend. We are now in recovery/assistance mode following Hurricane Sandy. As many of you know, so far the only church that reported substantial damage was Island Park (they had a few feet of water in the church and more flooding in the community center). Hopefully they will be able to clean up this Saturday so that they can celebrate Liturgy on Sunday...I know it would do much to lift the spirits of their faithful who were hit by the storm. Unfortunately, the news is not so positive regarding Sandy’s impact on our beloved faithful. A number of clergy have already reported that parishioners have sustained heavy losses i.e, destroyed homes, severe damage to residences, destruction of automobiles, loss of material possessions not to mention, as a result, the tremendous hardships especially without electricity and above all, heat! Along with the Philoptochos, we are coordinating the Archdiocese/District efforts to assist those individuals and it would be greatly appreciated if those of you who have parishioners who have sustained heavy losses could compile and submit to my office a list of those individuals, the extent of their damages, contact information and any other details you deem appropriate/helpful! This will facilitate us reviewing those cases and expedite getting them some assistance from the Relief Fund established for this purpose... Please feel free to call upon me if further clarification is needed regarding the above. Also, if your parish is offering assistance to your surrounding community and could use some support or supplies (food, cleaning products, etc) from the parishes of the DAD, please let me know and I will communicate that information to the brothers. Our good people are looking for ways to help in this crisis. Bishop Andonios
The Voice of Philoptochos
Archbishop Reappoints Aphrodite Skeadas National President by Christine Karavites
NEW YORK -- Following the affirmation of office administered to the 2012-14 National Philoptochos Board on Oct. 19, Archbishop Demetrios reappointed Aphrodite Skeadas to a third term as National Philoptochos President and commended her for her leadership and accomplishments during her previous two terms. Board members also approved the following slate of national officers: First Vice President Arlene Siavelis; Second Vice President Maria Stavropoulos; Third Vice President Kathy Gabriel; Treasurer Joanne Kakoyiannis; Secretary Elaine Cladis; and Assistant Treasurer Martha Stefanidakis. Mrs. Skeadas made the following appointments: Anita Kartalopoulos, legal advisor; Kassandra Romas, parliamentarian and Haeda Mihaltsas, protocol officer. President Skeadas offered her remarks and stated, “We, the National Board of Philoptochos, for the term 2012–14, humbly, gratefully and respectfully accept Your Eminence’s charge to represent the Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. We do so in thanksgiving of the Lord’s blessings and pledge our assistance to those less privileged. We shall minister with compassion and dignity to the vulnerable and provide lifting to the disadvantaged and friendship to the disenfranchised. Our choices and actions on earth will be how we are judged by God to be with Him in the Heavenly Kingdom. And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me’. Matthew 25:40 The focus of Philoptochos is its mission. We are principled to foster love, endorse good will, and sustain the inherited noble Philoptochos tradition by creating programs in response to newly arisen social crises we face in contemporary society.” President Skeadas further noted, “As idealistic women, the National Board stewards are realistic with their goals while rising attentively to the confronting challenges. As gallant heroes, the National Board stewards build on their strengths, fortify their position and advance their cause. As ordinary people, the National Board stewards choose to answer the call. The National Board stewards impact positively their environments and cheerfully contribute hospitality, brightness and authenticity to those whose lives they touch. It is the profound desire of the National Board stewards to make a difference, navigate the uncharted waters and, in a display of courageous unity, be
a compelling force. The passion of this body and that of our stewards throughout the country has grown this loving and devoted organization as reported to the delegates of the 2012 National Philoptochos Convention in Phoenix, Ariz., where Archbishop Demetrios called upon the “Chosen and appointed by God to go and bear fruit.” Remarkably, even in the worst economic downturn since the depression, National Philoptochos surpassed donations from previous years. This banner outcome was performed in complete transparency, full disclosure and with both internal and independent auditing. It is easy to report the metrics of our giving. What is inexpressible and cannot be measured is the good offered by our army of women throughout the nation. It is this intense caring and agape that bears the fruit.” President Skeadas stated that Philoptochos operates within boundaries but functions without borders and this is a new beginning. “Our honorable organization will have a home of its own for all our chapters and all our stewards at the Philoptochos Center of Philanthropy in its own humble Manhattan brownstone. There, Philoptochos will initiate new programs. There, Philoptochos will offer good works. There, Philoptochos will be the heart of life with action. The Philoptochos Center of Philanthropy is an endorsement of the forward thinking by Archbishop Demetrios that is being realized by your great cooperative efforts, the respectful support of the 485 chapters throughout the United States and the latest magnanimous gesture of longtime Philoptochos steward and philanthropist Mary Jaharis.” For complete text visit www.philoptochos.org
Metropolis of Boston Philoptochos Distributes National Grants Metropolis of Boston Philoptochos President Philippa Condakes was joined by National and Metropolis Board members to present checks to the following organizations receiving National Philoptochos grants. Hellenic Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Canton, MA: The National Philoptochos awarded the Center $15,000 from the 75th Anniversary Founders Fund that supports continuing care for facilities serving the aging Greek population of the US. The funds will be used for the refurbishment of the Alzheimer and Dementia unit. National Board members and past Metropolis Philoptochos Presidents Christine Karavites and Elaine Kevgas presented the check to Vicky Kechris, president of the Hellenic Women’s Benevolent Association who expressed gratitude to Philoptochos for its generous support of the Home that has served the ethnic, spiritual and cultural needs of the Greek Community since 1954. Also present were Eleni Stamboulidis and Frances McInnis from the Metropolis board. President Condakes presented grants to the following organizations that were awarded by National Philoptochos from its Autism Awareness Fund and the
Children’s Medical Fund: Margaret Murphy Center for Children, Auburn, Maine: Received $5,000 to purchase and install commercial grade playground equipment to aid in the development of muscle tone and promoting activity. The Center is dedicated to providing high quality educational services within a positive and meaningful learning environment. West Elementary School, Andover, Mass: Awarded $3,500 to purchase iPads as motivational and educational tools for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. President Condakes was joined by National Board member Yiota Simoglou and Effie Brickman, Andover Philoptochos, to present the check. Community Connection, South Yarmouth, Mass: Awarded $3,500 to provide specialized staff training as well as purchase electronic equipment and materials for this program that addresses adult autism needs through day programs, employment and family support. North Shore Educational Consortium, Beverly Mass: The Kevin O’Grady School received a grant for $5,000 to purchase iPads for use in its programs which serve 50 students on the Autism spectrum.
Giving Tree Campaign ‘Open the Doors’ of Our Home Philoptochos chapters nationwide are responding with $1,000 for a Chapter Leaf to reserve their Chapter name on the beautiful , Philoptochos Chapter Giving Tree that will be placed prominently in the new Philoptochos Center of Philanthropy. National Philoptochos is honored that a successful Chapter Giving Tree Campaign will be matched by Mary Jaharis and the Mary Jaharis Challenge Gift that will match every $1,000 leaf with another $1,000 up to a total of $500,000. The Chapter Leaves and the Challenge Gift will generate the $1 million needed to complete the purchase of the Philoptochos Center of Philanthropy. Chapters are encouraged to act now to be part of this important milestone in the history of National Philoptochos. The Philoptochos Center of Philanthropy is your home. It will serve every chapter
in America. Every chapter’s name will be permanently displayed at the Center; Every chapter will be proudly represented on the tree; Every chapter’s donation will be exactly the same, $1,000 per leaf. Chapters may reserve their Chapter Giving Tree Leaf by completing the forms on line at www.philoptochos.org or by contacting National Philoptochos at firstname.lastname@example.org or 212.977.7770.
Philoptochos Collaborates With Author Nick Katsoris To Promote Literacy and ‘Make a Difference’ Philoptochos and Loukoumi teamed up to make a difference by participating in the National Make A Difference Day on Oct. 27. Philoptochos chapters across the country participated in the program to gather young people and adults to encourage literacy and to discuss with the children good deeds they can perform on National Make A Difference Day. Nick Katsoris launched the Loukoumi and Philoptochos Literacy Campaign on Sunday, Oct. 7 with a visit to the Holy Trinity Philoptochos chapter in Orlando, Fla.
where Nick had a wonderful time reading the books to the JOY children. Other Philoptochos chapters are also engaging in Literacy Awareness activities where the Chapter holds a reading program and is able to select a charitable organization to receive Loukoumi books from Nick Katsoris. In addition, for each Loukoumi book sold through the Literacy Awareness Campaign, Nick Katsoris will donate $4 to National Philoptochos. Ina Cernusca of the St Luke the Evangelist Philoptochos chapter in Columbia,
Mo., thanked National Philoptochos and Mr. Katsoris, “for providing the opportunity to participate in the program. The books are great and the program is so meaningful. I read all the books and I enjoyed them very much. I am sure the children enjoyed them too. We are a small Philoptochos chapter in Columbia, but we were happy to be able to participate. We ordered some books for the church library so more children can be exposed to the books and enjoy them. Thank you also for the opportunity to share the books with a
local organization. I am glad that Ronald McDonald House appreciates your gift of love.” Be part of the Literacy Campaign Chapters may schedule a Literacy Awareness program that will have a positive impact on children and adults. Visit www.philoptochos.org for more information and guidance on launching a Literacy Awareness program or contact National Philoptochos at email@example.com or 212.977.7770.
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Metropolis News Metropolitan Iakovos Honored CHICAGO -- Metropolis faithful celebrated the St. Iakovos Feast Day on Oct. 23 at Annunciation Cathedral where they also honored Metropolitan Iakovos. The Metropolitan and Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos served the Divine Liturgy, assisted by many area clergy. The Chicago League of Chanters offered hymns to God that morning. That evening the Chicago Clergy Syndesmos hosted a dinner in Addison, Ill., where more than 550 faithful from six states and many church communities. The evening’s program focused on his vision for the St. Iakovos Retreat Center. Board members spoke about the 137-acre site in Kenosha County, Wis., where a 25–room full–service lodge and two independent cabins will be built next spring. This natural setting has 35 acres of woods and hills, an eight-acre lake, streams, tree-lined paths and a bountiful apple orchard. They discussed “The Righteous Path” on the grounds. These are two separate paths, covered with wood chips leading to 15 proskynetaria (covered icon stands) that commemorate 15 saints and feast days. One path is about a half-mile long, the other is one and a half miles. One can either walk the paths or take a golf cart. Visitors can follow the paths to venerate, to think, to pray about one’s life away from civilization with no cell phones, no
Connecticut Church Celebrates ‘Thiranoixia’ for New Chapel by Christine DiGrazia
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TV, no Internet, but a place full of the peace that comes from God. Metropolitan Iakovos concluded the evening by challenging attendees to discover the wonders of the Lord of Creation through an intimate and special connection with this special and sacred retreat center, and to seek and find God in the midst of His glorious creation. The dinner’s proceeds will benefit the St. Iakovos Retreat Center and the Chicago Clergy Syndesmos ministries.
ORANGE, Conn. -- On Sunday, Oct. 14, Archbishop Demetrios stood in front of the new Holy Trinity Chapel at St. Barbara Church and joined his Holy Cross with sprigs of fresh basil. He immersed both in Holy Water and sprinkled the new chapel’s closed doors, sides, and the hundreds of St. Barbara’s and Holy Trinity parishioners gathered for the thiranoixia, or “Opening of the Doors,” service. He chanted: “Lift up your gates, you rulers; and be lifted up you, eternal gates, and the King of Glory will enter!” After answering three times the question asked from inside the chapel, “Who is this King of Glory?” Archbishop Demetrios opened the chapel doors and blessed the structure with the words, “O, Lord, make firm this House.” The dedication of the new chapel and luncheon afterward, attended by 350 people, was the culmination of three years of devotion, determination and donations by the former members of Holy Trinity Church in Ansonia, Conn., which closed in 2009, to preserve the spirit and memory of their tiny, 90-year-old parish. The church, which at its height had about 150 families as members, closed because the congregation had dwindled to fewer than 20 families as older members passed away. On this special day, about 80 former Holy Trinity members from the tri-state region reunited and were joined in love and respect by hundreds of St. Barbara’s members for this historic and joyous event. The pride of the former Ansonia parish and the gratitude they felt toward
the St. Barbara community was evident in the faces of youngest and oldest members alike. “I told my children that we are making history here today,” said Lisa Stamos Herdt, a former member of Holy Trinity Church, who attended the event with dozens of members of her extended family, some of whom, including her late uncle, Jeremiah “Jerry” Vartelas, initiated the project and shepherded it through years of planning, fund-raising, and building. The official ceremony was attended by several local, state and national officials, including U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut state Rep. Themis Klarides, a member of both St. Barbara and Holy Trinity, and Orange First Selectman James Zeoli. Fr. Peter Orfanakos, pastor of St. Barbara, and The Rev. Joel McEachen, pastor of Holy Trinity, assisted in the ceremony together with Rev. Steven Sarigianis, Rev. John Orfanakos, Archdeacon Panteleimon and Deacon Aristidis. Helping to cut the ribbon prior to opening the doors were Helen Vartelas, wife of Jeremiah, and St. Barbara parishioner and Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Greg Stamos, nephew of Jermiah, all former Holy Trinity parishioners. The new chapel, renovated from a former garage and kitchen on the grounds of St. Barbara Church, contains the precious icons, bishop’s throne, the epitafio, the cloth depicting the body of Jesus carried by Holy Trinity parishioners on the kouvouklion, pews and many other liturgical items from the
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In the Tradition of St. Paul: Fr. Christos Angelopoulos by William H. Samonides, Ph.D
The Right Rev. Christos Angelopoulos, Archimandrite of the...Greek Orthodox Church, died on Sunday (January 8) in Atlantic City, N.J., where he was organizing a congregation. He was born in Argos, Greece, on March 22, 1867, and was ordained in 1894. He came to the United States in 1903. Among many others he founded the Church of St. Spyridon on Washington Heights, Manhattan. This brief obituary, which appeared in the Jan. 11, 1933 New York Times, only begins to tell the story of an important priest who served the early church in North America. When Fr. Angelopoulos arrived in this country in 1903, he was a 37–year-old veteran priest with nine years’ experience in his native Argos. He was one of the first dozen priests to arrive in America. At the time, there were fewer than 10 Greek Orthodox parishes in this country. He was the founding priest of the Annunciation parish in Atlanta. After leaving Atlanta for Greece in 1906, he returned in 1907 to become the founding priest of the Annunciation in Memphis. He would serve the American Church for the remaining 26 years of his life at 16 parishes throughout the country, from Florida to Utah to Connecticut, with many stops in between. He had two stints at the short-lived Archdiocesan St. Athanasios Seminary in Astoria, N.Y., and served twice at the Annunciation in Baltimore. He stayed longest at the Annunciation in Philadelphia (1912-18). His briefest stay was at St John the Forerunner in Youngstown, Ohio, where he served a few months in 1932. Demand for priests was growing. Many Greeks who came to North America had only planned to make money to help their families, not to settle down. Their stay was, however, extended by World War I, which made the seas unsafe and an early return home impossible. As more and more Greeks decided to settle permanently, the number of parishes increased. Although the number of priests immigrating also increased, there were still not enough to meet the needs of the new parishes. In addition, political passions were at their height in the 1920’s. Parishes everywhere became embroiled in disputes between supporters of King Constantine and Prime Minister Venizelos. Fr. Angelopoulos’ stay at Annunciation in Baltimore and at Holy Trinity in Salt Lake City was tumultuous. The situation in Salt Lake City was especially difficult, because the problems resulted in the temporary closing of the church during Great Lent. Fr. Angelopoulos demonstrated courage and determination, continuing to perform his duties as spiritual leader of the community while partisans battled. In time, the excessive intrusion of politics into the church abated. Fr. Angelopoulos did not have his family with him in Salt Lake City. His wife, Ecaterina, and their six children had all joined him in America, which was unusual for a priest’s family. Ecaterina had been the last to arrive, joining him in 1914 after a separation of seven years. Their time together was brief. Ecaterina died in Philadelphia in 1917, but she lived long enough to see the births of her first three grandchildren; there would be eight more. In 1923, Olga, their oldest child, passed
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Three generations of Yiayia’s, one recipe, capturing the essence of Greece An Assortment of Yummy Sweets Delicious, Beautifully boxed & bowed! away at age 36. Chris Brous, the youngest of Olga’s children, was only four years old. Now 93 years old, Chris was elevated in 2001 to Archon Architekton. He and his wife of 65 years, Elsie, live in Farmington, Conn., and are members of St. George Cathedral in Hartford. Fr. Angelopoulos was a frugal man who, when in New York City, always traveled by subway. Dressed in a black suit and with a long beard covering his collar – he was often mistaken for a rabbi. Chris’ earliest memory of his grandfather is the feel of that thick beard. The beard and garb of the Greek Orthodox priesthood were, however, not as conspicuous in cosmopolitan New York as elsewhere. In cities like Atlanta and Memphis, where Greek Orthodox churches were established very early, priests attracted considerable attention. Throughout the country, newspaper articles focused on the unusual appearance of priests as much as they discussed differences in the calendar and in ritual. Fr. Angelopoulos moved to New York by 1931. He served as first priest at Saint Spyridon in Washington Heights, and his son, Socrates, was one of the six who signed the certificate of incorporation. Chris recalls that when he and another grandson were asked to serve as altar boys for Divine Liturgy, they acted up, and their dignified grandfather had to dismiss them before the end of the service. At the time, the parish was using the Gem Theater on West 181st Street, the first of several temporary sites that served until a church was purchased. Father Angelopoulos remained a devoted, hard-working servant of the Church to the end. According to the obituary that appeared in the Atlantic City Press, he had been “granted a contract to start operations on the building of a new church” in Atlantic City just two days before he died. While Father Angelopoulos lay in state, members of the family stayed with the casket. For Chris, who was 13, it was unnerving to be in the cavernous, nearly-empty church at night. The funeral service was impressive, performed by a hierarch assisted by over two dozen area priests. Fr. Angelopoulos was in death, as he had been in life, a man of God whose presence commanded respect. William H. Samonides, who received his doctorate from Harvard in 1991, invites readers to share their thoughts and learn more about Fr. Angelopoulos by contacting him at email@example.com
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Metropolis News Metropolitan Isaiah Reflects on His Ministry of 50 Years
Symbol of victory – Metropolitan Isaiah, a former U.S. Marine, places the cross atop the newly built Metropolis Center upon its successful completion 10 years ago; reminiscent of the heroic act of a group of Marines in World War II who hoisted the American flag following their victory on Iwo Jima. (Photo courtesy of Christ Kamages)
During the celebration of Metropolis of Denver Center’s 10th anniversary and the commemoration of Metropolitan Isaiah’s 50 years in the priesthood and 20 years as head of the Denver Diocese/Metropolis, the Metropolitan sat down in an interview with the Orthodox Observer to offer some thoughts on a ministry that has spanned five decades. Q. Your Eminence: What are some of your most vivid memories of your 50
years in the priesthood? Metropolitan Isaiah: I can’t point to any specific events, but I am ever grateful to God that he has allowed me to serve Him and His Church because I can think of nothing better that I could have done with my life. Q. What was your church experience growing up in New Hampshire? A. I was baptized at St. Nicholas Church in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and grew up at St. George parish in Manchester. In addition to attending afternoon Greek school, I was in the choir and, as I became older, organized a youth group, “Elliniki Orthodoxos Neolaia.” This was years before GOYA was established. We were all high school students. Q. Why did you decide to enter the priesthood? A. In 1952 we moved from New Hampshire to Los Angeles where we were members of St. Sophia parish. I joined the Marine Corps because I didn’t know what to do with my life. In the Marines I was a radio operator with a howitzer unit. My group wasn’t sent to Korea. We went to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. I spend a total of eight years in the Marines, two years of active duty and six years in the reserves. After I got out of active service, a friend who had graduated from the seminary suggested that I go there. Once I went, I liked it and stayed. It was a six-year course. I was discharged from the Marine Corps in 1960 and
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graduated that year. Then I went to Halki Seminary for a year. In 1961, I saw Archbishop Iakovos and told him I was hoping to be ordained and to serve the Church. (Metropolitan Isaiah’s early career in the clergy began in February 1962, when Archbishop Iakovos read the prayer of a monastic over him and changed his name to Isaiah at St. Spyridon Church in San Diego. He was ordained a deacon on Feb. 25 and became a priest in March 1962. His first assigned was as assistant priest at Holy Trinity Church in Salt Lake City, then as parish priest in Youngstown, Ohio, from 1964-71. He served as dean of students at Holy Cross School of Theology from 1971-79, and as chancellor of the Diocese of Chicago from 1979-86. He was ordained a bishop in May 1986 and served as Chancellor of the Archdiocese from 1986-92 AXIOS! In appreciation – Fr. Christopher Constantinides, president of when he became Bishop the Metropolis of Denver Clergy Syndesmos, presents Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver). with a gift from the clergy of a epetrahilio and omorphion that is adorned Q. What have been with icons that represent every parish and monastery of the metropolis in some of the challenges honor of his 20–year-ministry in Denver. (Orthodox Observer photo) and progress over the A. In regard to the military chaplaincy; past 20 years in the Metropolis? A. It wasn’t that well organized in the there are several endorsing agents in Orbeginning. I attribute the main reason as thodoxy now and the impression of the being the parishes are distant from one Department of Defense now is that the another. Priests assigned to parishes had Orthodox are like the Protestants and allow difficulty comparing notes on services and chaplains from various jurisdictions and administrative details. The perpetual dif- presently there are two or three that are ficulty is that some parishes very small and not canonical Orthodox. The consensus of the recent Assembly can’t afford a full–time resident priest. We try to send priests who are retired, espe- of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North cially during Lent and Holy Week. We’ve and Central America is there should be one endorsing agent for Orthodoxy, but it hasn’t had good success in last 20 years Q- How do you cover such a large come about yet. Q. Some of these changes make geographic area and how do you deterit extremely difficult to witness to the mine your visitations? A.I have to travel by air because the Faith in the military. Do you think it distances are too large; I’ve traveled about a will discourage any potential candidates million air miles from one parish to another. to the chaplaincy to the point where It’s very difficult for all the parishes to come there may no longer be any Orthodox together. If we get 20 of 48 parishes, we’re chaplains? A. If we see anything that is radically doing well. Some parishes cannot afford to send a representative to a retreat or assem- different; such as forcing the clergy to perbly, because of large distances. This is why I form same sex marriages; first and foremost cannot visit parishes on a regular basis. I try we have to abide by the teachings of the to duplicate pastoral visits to the 10 largest Church. The State has never interfered in parishes. During Holy Week I restrict my- the Church until now in society. I don’t self to the six parishes between Cheyenne know yet if that will have a ripple effect on (Wyoming) and Colorado Springs so that the chaplaincy. Q. Any concluding thoughts on the I can be present for morning and evening services. Otherwise I would miss some events of this weekend? A. I am very overjoyed that this weekservices because of having to travel to more end we had the presentation of eight murals distant communities. Q. Speaking of Cheyenne, there in the Metropolis Center that portray imhave been reports of a “tearing icon” at migrants coming to this part of the country. The impact has been fantastic, beginning Sts. Constantine and Helen parish. A. I haven’t visited there yet, but it is an with depicting how they came and worked icon of Virgin Mary that is exuding moisture and built up enterprises, and ending with from the hands and eyes. It is oil, not tears. Archbishop Tikhon, who started the first As the church teaches oil is a sign of healing. Greek Orthodox churches in this part of the country; and also Archbishop Athenagoras , There is an aroma. Q. You served in the Marines in the who organized the Church in America and early –60s; as the Military Ordinary for established the Philoptochos Society that the Archdiocese; how have the many sig- helped thousands during the Depression. nificant changes in the military affected It’s a wonderful pictorial presentation of Greek Orthodoxy. the role of the Orthodox Chaplaincy?
Metropolis News Denver Metropolis Center Projects Ancient Faith on a New Frontier PA N- ORT HODOX N E WS
by Fr. Luke A. Veronis
by Jim Golding
DENVER – Faithful of the Metropolis of Denver gathered on Nov. 9-11 to mark the milestones of Metropolitan Isaiah’s 50th year of ordination and 20th as head of the Metropolis, and the first decade of the Metropolis Center, which culminated with the unveiling of eight murals by Pietro Angel Palladini, that depict the immigrant experience in America beginning in the late 19th century. Anniversary celebration Chairman Elaine Cladis said the weekend events “exceeded expectations.” She also chaired the banquet attended by 33 priests from 26 parishes of the Metropolis. Hundreds of laypersons, some from as far as Corpus Christi, Texas; Shreveport, La., and Idaho, were also in attendance. The program, emceed by Fox News Chief Congressional Correspondent Mike Emanuel, included video highlights of the parishes in the 14 states of the Metropolis, a performance by Constantine Pappas, son of Fr. Jim and Donna Pappas of Fresno, Calif., who also performed at the Phoenix Clergy-Laity Congress. He sang “Coming to America” by Neil Diamond, and “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” during the acknowledgement of veterans in honor of Veterans Day. Clergy Syndesmos President Fr. Christopher Constantinides of Holy Trinity Church in Dallas, presented the Metropolitan with a gift of vestments, an omophorion with embroidered icons representing each parish and monastery of the Metropolis, and an epitrachelion. Mrs. Cladis and Dr. Louis Roussalis, vice chairman of the Metropolis Council also made a presentation and announced a donation of $72,500 from the parishes for the Metropolis Center. In his comments, Metropolitan Isaiah discussed how his father came to America as teenager before World War I and worked on the railroad in Iowa. He returned to Greece to fight in WWI, then returned to the U.S. and married the Metropolitan’s mother. “It was an arranged marriage,” he said. My father and mother didn’t know each other. But God married Adam and Eve, and they didn’t know each other.” He told the audience that “All of you represent the original spirit of America and presered it in our teachings and traditions,” which is something the Metropolis
The Metropolis of Denver Center is described by its architect Christ Kamages as “Mount Athos meets Rocky Mountain High” as its chiseled roofline of layered peaks ascend to the chapel’s copper dome. Located on a plateau in the southeastern part of Denver, the 17,000-square-foot building with 10,000 square feet on the main upper level which includes the great hall, the chapel, the meeting rooms, the library and the youth, education, choir and Philoptochos offices. Another 7,000 square feet on the lower level include meeting rooms and hierarchical quarters. In the distance is the snow-capped front range of the actual Rockies.
Center will reflect. The next day, Nov. 10, a reception took place at the Center where the eight murals were dedicated. Mr. Palladini, the muralist, discussed at length his procedure for creating the murals, which are oil on canvas. The project took 2 ½ years to complete. In addition to the four described below, the other murals depict coal miners and steel workers, the Ludlow Massacre, a watershed event in American labor history in which 19 striking miners, many of them Greeks and other immigrants, were killed by the Colorado militia on April 20, 1914, Orthodox Easter Sunday; and two murals reflecting the spirit of entrepreneurship and business success of the immigrants. Other speakers included octogenarian Theano Peros who spoke of her early memories of growing up in Denver, and the Rev. Paul Fedec, an
The dedication of the eight murals unveiled on Nov. 10 took place in the Entrance Hall of the center, which is reminiscent of the Great Hall at Ellis Island. More than 100 faithful attended the program.
OCA priest, who discussed the role of Metropolitan (St.) Tikhon in developing the first Greek Orthodox churches in the region. A trisagion by the Metropolitan and other clergy including Chancellor Luke Uhl and Fr. Louis Christopulos followed the presentations. A concert by pianist George Skaroulis of Atlanta followed at the Jewish cultural center located near the adjacent Assumption Cathedral complex. A vespers at the cathedral ended the day’s events. The weekend celebration concluded with the hierarchal Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning at the cathedral. ORTHODOX OBSERVER PHOTOS
At right (top to bottom) are four of the eight Ancient Faith–New Frontier–themed murals that highlighted the celebration of the 10 th anniversary of the Metropolis Center. Mural One: “Coming to America–First Steps”, a family sets out from Greece to America; Mural Two: “Building the Railroad”, workers from Greece were among those who built the western railroads in the early decades of the 20th century; Mural Three:“Flourishing of Traditional Social Life”, depicting the beginnings of the Greek festivals and the first college-bound generation; Mural Four:“Saints and First Parishes”, shows two key figures in the development of the Church in America: Metropolitan Tikhon (later Patriarch of Moscow who died a martyr’s death under the communist regime) who helped Greeks in the West to establish their churches, including St. John the Baptist in Pueblo, Colo., the first in the region; and Archbishop (later Ecumenical Patriarch) Athenagoras, who united the parishes of the Archdiocese and established the Philoptochos Society.
Encyclicals, Commentaries and Reflections Feast of the Holy Unmercenaries Saints Cosmas and Dam ian To the Most Reverend Hierarchs, the Reverend Priests and Deacons, the Monks and Nuns, the Presidents and Members of the Parish Councils of the Greek Orthodox Communities, the Distinguished Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Day, Afternoon, and Church Schools, the Philoptochos Sisterhoods, the Youth, the Hellenic Organizations, and the entire Greek Orthodox Family in America
Thanksgiving Day Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (I Thessalonians 5:18) To the Most Reverend Hierarchs, the Reverend Priests and Deacons, the Monks and Nuns, the Presidents and Members of the Parish Councils of the Greek Orthodox Communities, the Distinguished Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Day, Afternoon, and Church Schools, the Philoptochos Sisterhoods, the Youth, the Hellenic Organizations, and the entire Greek Orthodox Family in America Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ, The vibrant tradition of the Thanksgiving holiday in this country is a special opportunity for the Church to offer a witness of the priority of thankfulness in our relationship with God and as a foundation for our lives in this world. As Orthodox Christians we bring an offering of thanksgiving to God when we gather for worship, praising and honoring Him as Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer. We commune with Him and express our faith in His grace and power through our participation in the Holy Eucharist, an act of thanksgiving for His mercy and salvation. The priority of thankfulness in our worship and faith guides us to offer thanksgiving all the time, to live in gratitude in all of the circumstances of life. This is the true witness of Thanksgiving and of the power of God’s presence. Even in the midst of very challenging experiences and conditions, we express a gratitude to Him that comes from our deep faith in His promises and from the comfort of His love. This was in the mind of the great Apostle Saint Paul when he urged the Christians in Thessalonike: Give thanks under all circumstances (I Thessalonians 5:18). This has been the witness of so many Saints and Martyrs down through the ages who
offered praise to God in the face of persecution and death. It was the witness of the Pilgrims, in citing the heritage of this holiday, who gave thanks as they faced tremendous challenges in forging a new life in this land. It was the hope of President Abraham Lincoln when he established a Day of Thanksgiving, seeking to focus the hearts of a wounded nation on a greater, spiritual power who offered healing. Thanksgiving is also our witness of hope and the power of God. We can easily be thankful for material blessings, for our health, or for a life free from conflict and stress. However, we know these are not constant, and the true challenge is being thankful in the midst of crisis and struggle. When we are thankful in the most challenging circumstances of life, when we bring a sacrifice of thanksgiving to God even when so much has been taken away, when we continue to follow His will living in holiness and faith, others will see that our gratitude is not dependent on the temporal success and security of this earthly life, but on the promises and salvation of God! As we give thanks on this day, may we be thankful for our families and friends, for our communities, and the many blessings and provisions that enhance our quality and experience of life; but may we first give thanks to God for His great love for us. May we deepen our gratitude to Him, a thankfulness that comes from our souls, knowing that His promises will be fulfilled, His love endures forever, and we will have life in Him for eternity. With paternal love in Christ,
† Archbishop DEMETRIOS of America
Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ, The Feast of the Holy Unmercenaries, Saints Cosmas and Damian, commemorates the Apostolic ministry of these two champions of faith and love and calls each of us to follow the exhortation of Christ in our service to others. When our Lord sent out His disciples early in His ministry, He said to them, “As you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:7-8). The disciples had received the grace of God. They had been given the power and ability to do miraculous deeds. With these divine blessings, our Lord directed them to go and give freely to anyone in need. This foundation of true ministry in the name of Christ has been the mission of the Church and her faithful down through the centuries. In following the command of our Lord, Saints Cosmas and Damian cast out demons and healed the sick by the power given to them through the Holy Spirit. They gave freely, regardless of the wealth or standing of the person in need. Their care extended to all of God’s Creation, even to animals, and through their offering souls and bodies were healed, and many found comfort through faith. The witness of the Apostles and of these Saints guides our response to the Lord’s command, Freely you have received, freely give. As our Creator, He has freely given to us life and great
potential. As our Redeemer, He freely offered Himself so that we might be victorious over sin and death. As our Lord, He freely gives to us the power to offer a witness of His grace and to see the blessed fruit of faith produced in the lives of others. As Christ freely gives to us, we freely offer to others without hesitation, without conditions, but with a deep and genuine love for their life and well-being in relationship with God. This offering of service and the focus on bringing healing and comfort to others is the mission of the philanthropic ministries of our Ecumenical Patriarchate. In a very challenging environment the Ecumenical Patriarchate, our Mother Church, cares for the needs of the elderly, the sick, the poor and orphans through the Baloukli Hospital and elder center and through other ministries and programs. This vital work is supported by our National Ladies Philoptochos Society through a special appeal, and on Sunday, November 4 our local Philoptochos chapters will lead our parishes in collecting an offering for the philanthropic ministries of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. This is a blessed opportunity to offer freely of the material blessings we have received from God, so that others may receive the spiritual and physical healing they need. I ask you kindly to give generously in response to this appeal. Through your offering of love and assistance, the Apostolic witness of our Ecumenical Patriarchate will be strengthened and the level of care will be expanded and enhanced. May your answer to this specific call always reveal your willingness to give freely just as Christ has given so much to all of us. With paternal love in Him,
† Archbishop DEMETRIOS of America
IOCC SUNDAY “Live in Christ, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving” (Colossians 2:6-7) To the Most Reverend Clergy, Venerable Monastics and Devout Faithful of the Holy Orthodox Churches in the Americas: Dearly Beloved in the Lord, On this Sunday before Thanksgiving, we look to God with gratitude and humility for blessing us with abundance. The week ahead will bring together families and friends, filling the seats around our dinner table to share with those we love. Our attention must also turn to our brothers and sisters who did not reap a season of bounty because drought, disease or manmade conflict denied them the fruits of their labor. For these most vulnerable, we must do more than just remember. It is the mission of International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), the
humanitarian agency of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America, to respond to Christ’s call to help our neighbors in need. Every year, we designate this day among the Orthodox community as IOCC Sunday, and join in common purpose to lighten the burden of poverty stricken families, rebuild the lives of mothers and children fleeing war torn homes, and restore the dignity of the infirm. Since 1992, IOCC has represented the Orthodox faithful of North America in its tireless humanitarian efforts around the world. On your wings of support, families and communities in 50 countries have been uplifted by more than $400 million in emergency relief and assistance. From its first humanitarian airlift to the former Soviet Union, to its current efforts to deliver food and bedding to displaced Syrian families, IOCC demonstrates daily what is possible through our united effort.
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Υπέρ Ανακουφίσεως και Παρηγορίας των Πληγέντων του Θανατηφόρου και Καταστροφικού Τυφώνος Σάντυ 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. Προσφιλεῖς Ἀδελφοί καί Ἀδελφές ἐν Χριστῷ, Ἐξ ὀνόματος τῆς Ἱερᾶς Ἐπαρχιακῆς Συνόδου τῆς Ἑλληνικῆς Ὀρθοδόξου Ἀρχιεπισκοπῆς Ἀμερικῆς, ἐπικοινωνῶ μαζί σας μετά ἀπό τήν καταστρεπτική ἐπέλαση τοῦ Τυφῶνος Sandy καί μιά πολύ δύσκολη ἑβδομάδα γιά τήν Νέα Ὑόρκη, τήν Νέα Ἰερσέη καί ἄλλες περιοχές στίς βορειο-ανατολικές Ἡνωμένες Πολιτεῖες. Ὅπως πολλοί ἀπό σᾶς γνωρίζετε, ὁ φοβερός αὐτός τυφώνας προκάλεσε ἀπώλειες ζωῆς καί τεράστιες καταστροφές σέ σπίτια καί ἐπιχειρήσεις. Προκάλεσε, ἐπίσης, ριζικές ἀλλαγές σέ πόλεις καί κωμοπόλεις καθώς οἱ πλημμῦρες καί τό εὖρος τῆς καταστροφῆς ὁδήγησαν σέ ἐκκενώσεις πληθυσμῶν. Ἐπί πλέον ἑκατοντάδες χιλιάδες ἀνθρώπων δοκιμάσθηκαν ἀπό τήν διακοπή ρεύματος καί τήν μή πρόσβαση σέ βασικές δημόσιες ὑπηρεσίες. Ἡ πρώτη μας ἀπάντηση σ’ αὐτή τήν καταστροφή ἦταν νά προσευχηθοῦμε θερμά στόν Παντοδύναμο Θεό ὁ Ὁποῖος εἶναι στερέωμά μας καί καταφυγή μας, καί ῥύστης μας σέ στιγμές μεγάλης θλίψεως καί ἀνάγκης (Ψαλ. 18:2-4). Ἐξακολουθοῦμε νά προσευχόμεθα καί καλοῦμε ὅλους τούς πιστούς τῆς Ἐκκλησίας ἀνά τήν ἐπικράτεια τῆς Ἀμερικῆς νά προσευχηθοῦν θερμά γιά ἄνωθεν παρηγορία. Προσευχόμεθα ὑπέρ αἰωνίας μνήμης αὐτῶν πού σκοτώθηκαν καί παρακαλοῦμε τόν Θεό νά παρηγορήσῃ αὐτούς οἱ ὁποῖοι ἔχασαν μέλη τῆς οἰκογενείας των. Προσευχόμεθα ἐπίσης ὑπέρ τῶν πολλῶν πού ἔχασαν τά σπίτια των καί ὑπερ αὐτῶν πού ἀντιμετωπίζουν ἀβεβαιότητα σέ σχέση μέ τήν ἐργασία καί ἐπιβίωσή των. Συνεχίζουμε νά προσευχόμεθα γιά τά σωστικά συνεργεῖα καί πολλούς ἄλλους πού σώζουν ζωές καί προσφέρουν ἀνακούφιση σέ αὐτούς πού ἔχουν ἀνάγκη. Προσευχόμεθα, ἀκόμη καί γιά τούς ἡγέτες τῶν κοινοτήτων, τῶν πόλεων, τῶν πολιτειῶν καί τῆς χώρας μας, πού ἀντιμετωπίζουν πολλαπλές κρίσεις καί καλοῦνται νά λάβουν δύσκολες ἀποφάσεις μέσα στίς ἑπόμενες ἡμέρες.
Ιερά Αρχιεπισκοπή: Ειδικά Μέτρα Ανακούφισης των Πληγέντων από την Υπερ–καταιγίδα Σάντυ ΝΕΑ ΥΟΡΚΗ – Η Ιερά Αρχιεπισκοπή Αμερικής ανακοίνωσε ότι δημιουργεί Ειδικό Ταμείο Ανακουφίσεως Πληγέντων του Τυφώνα Sandy (Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund) και καθορίζει την επόμενη Κυριακή 11 Νοεμβρίου 2012 ως ημέρα προσευχής και προσφοράς προς τα θύματα του τυφώνα Sandy. Ο Σεβασμιώτατος Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής κ. Δημήτριος, εξ ονόματος της Ιεράς Επαρχιακής Συνόδου, εξέδωσε σήμερα ειδική εγκύκλιο διά της οποίας καλεί όλους τους πιστούς της Εκκλησίας ανά την επικράτεια της Αμερικής να προσευχηθούν θερμά για άνωθεν παρηγορία. Προσευχόμεθα υπέρ αιωνίας μνήμης αυτών που σκοτώθηκαν και παρακαλούμε τον Θεό να παρηγορήση αυτούς οι οποίοι έχασαν μέλη της οικογενείας των. Προσευχόμεθα επίσης υπέρ των πολλών πού έχασαν τα σπίτια των και υπέρ αυτών πού αντιμετωπίζουν αβεβαιότητα σε σχέση με την εργασία και επιβίωση των. Η Αρχιεπισκοπική Εγκύκλιος καθορίζει την επομένη Κυριακή ημέρα προσευχής για τα θύματα και όλους όσους υποφέρουν από τις
Επίσκεψη Σεβασµιωτάτου Αρχιεπισκόπου ∆ηµητρίου στις πληγείσες περιοχές του Στάτεν Αιλαντ συνέπειες της καταστροφικής καταιγίδας και ζητά από τις ενορίες της Ιεράς Αρχιεπισκοπής να περιφέρουν την ίδια ημέρα ειδικό δίσκο υπέρ του «Ταμείου Ανακουφίσεως Πληγέντων του Τυφώνα Sandy» και τα έσοδα του να αποσταλούν στην Αρχιεπισκοπή η οποία θα συντονίσει τις ενέργειες ανακούφισης με την Εθνική Φιλόπτωχο Αδελφότητα, την Ιερά Μητρόπολη Νέας Ιερσέης και την Άμεση Αρχιεπισκοπική Περιφέρεια. Δωρεές μπορούν επίσης να στέλνονται διά επιταγής απ’ ευθείας στην Αρχιεπισκοπή με την ένδειξη «για το Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund» ή και στο διαδίκτυο στην σελίδα http://
Φωτογραφία: ΔΗΜΗΤΡΗΣ ΠΑΝΑΓΟΣ
Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριος επισκέφθηκε την Κυριακή 4 Νοεμβρίου τον Ιερό Ναό της Αγίας Τριάδος/Αγίου Νικόλαου του Staten Island, μια περιοχή που υπέστη ισχυρό κτύπημα από τον τυφώνα Sandy. Ο Σεβασμιώτατος χοροστάτησε στη Θεία Λειτουργία και τέλεσε τρισάγιο για την ανάπαυση των ψυχών των θυμάτων του τυφώνα και δέηση υπέρ υγείας, παρηγορίας και ενδυναμώσεως όσων υπέφεραν και υποφέρουν από την καταστροφική καταιγίδα και τις συνέπειες της. Μετά την Θεία Λειτουργία, ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος συναντήθηκε με οικογένειες της περιοχής που υπέστησαν ζημίες και ακολούθως μαζί με τον ιερατικώς προϊστάμενο της ενορίας π. Νικόλαο Πετροπουλάκο και την Πρόεδρο της Εθνικής Φιλόπτωχου Αδελφότητος κ. Αφροδίτη Σκιαδά επισκέφθηκαν τις πλησίον του ναού περιοχές του Staten Island, οι οποίες υπέστησαν τεράστιες καταστροφές και είχαν τις περισσότερες απώλειες. Στην περιοχή συναντήθηκε με τον Αρχιεπίσκοπο και η Ελληνοαμερικανίδα Πολιτειακή Βουλευτής Νικόλ Μαλλιωτάκη, η οποία συντονίζει την παροχή της βοήθειας
στην πληγείσα περιοχή και στους κατοίκους της τους οποίους και εκπροσωπεί στην Πολιτεία της Νέας Υόρκης. Μαζί συνάντησαν πολλούς εθελοντές, μεταξύ των οποίων ήταν και εκπρόσωποι του τοπικού τμήματος της ΑΧΕΠΑ, που διένειμαν τρόφιμα και είδη πρώτης ανάγκης ή βοηθούσαν στο έργο του καθαρισμού και της αποκατάστασης. Ο π. Νικόλαος Πετροπουλάκος δήλωσε την ικανοποίηση του για την παρουσία και την στήριξη του Αρχιεπισκόπου στις δύσκολες αυτές στιγμές. Είπε ότι πολλές οικογένειες της ενορίας του υπέστησαν εκτεταμένες ζημίες από τις πλημμύρες και τους ισχυρούς ανέμους στα σπίτια τους και στις επιχειρήσεις τους. Ο Ναός, πρόσθεσε, έχει ευτυχώς μόνο μικρές σχετικά ζημίες στο εξωτερικό του. Είπε ακόμη ότι ο ίδιος και η ενορία έχει λάβει πολλά τηλεφωνήματα για προσφορές σε είδος και εθελοντική εργασία από πολλά μέρη ανά την επικράτεια. Ο π. Νικόλαος εξήγησε ότι η εκκλησία εκεί βοηθά στη συλλογή και την προώθηση της βοήθειας στα οργανωμένα κέντρα διανομής για όλους τους κατοίκους του Staten Island.
Α Ρ Χ Ι Ε Π Ι Σ ΚΟΠ Ι Κ Η Ε Γ Κ Υ Κ Λ ΙΟΣ – Ἡμέρα των Εὐχαριστιῶν Ἐν παντί εὐχαριστεῖτε. Τοῦτο γάρ θέλημα Θεοῦ ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ εἰς ὑμᾶς.
(Α΄ Θεσσαλονικεῖς 5:18)
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,
Ἡ σπουδαία παράδοση τῆς Ἑορτῆς τῆς Ἡμέρας Εὐχαριστιῶν σ’ αὐτή τήν χώρα ἀποτελεῖ ἰδιαίτερη εὐκαιρία γιά τήν Ἐκκλησία νά προσφέρῃ μαρτυρία τῆς προτεραιότητος τῆς εὐγνωμοσύνης στή σχέση μας μέ τόν Θεό, καί θεμέλιο γιά τή ζωή μας σ’αὐτό τόν κόσμο. Ὡς Ὀρθόδοξοι Χριστιανοί προσφέρουμε εὐχαριστία στόν Θεό ὅταν συγκεντρωνόμεθα γιά λατρεία, ὅταν Τόν δοξάζουμε καί Τόν τιμοῦμε ὡς Δημιουργό, Ὑποστηρικτή καί Λυτρωτή. Ἐπικοινωνοῦμε μαζί Του καί ἐκφράζουμε τήν πίστη μας στήν χάρη καί δύναμή Του διά τῆς συμμετοχῆς μας στήν Θεία Εὐχαριστία, ὡς πράξεως εὐγνωμοσύνης γιά τά δῶρα Του, δῶρα ἐλέους καί λυτρώσεως. Ἡ προτεραιότητα τῆς εὐχαριστίας στή λατρεία καί πίστη μας, μᾶς ὁδηγεῖ νά
προσφέρουμε εὐχαριστία συνεχῶς, νά ζοῦμε νιώθοντας εὐγνωμοσύνη σέ ὅλες τίς συγκυρίες τῆς ζωῆς. Αὐτή εἶναι ἡ ἀληθινή μαρτυρία εὐγνωμοσύνης ἀλλά καί δυνάμεως τῆς παρουσίας τοῦ Θεοῦ. Ἀκόμη καί ἐν μέσῳ δυσχερεστάτων καταστάσεων καί συνθηκῶν, ἐκφράζουμε εὐγνωμοσύνη σ’ Ἐκεῖνον ἡ ὁποία πηγάζει ἀπό τήν βαθειά πίστη μας στίς ὑποσχέσεις Του καί τήν παρηγορία τῆς ἀγάπης Του. Αὐτή εἶχε στό νοῦ του ὁ μέγας Ἀπόστολος Παῦλος ὅταν παρότρυνε τούς Χριστιανούς στήν Θεσσαλονίκη ἐν παντί εὐχαριστεῖτε (A΄ Θεσ. 5:18). Αὐτή ἦταν καί ἡ μαρτυρία πολλῶν Ἁγίων καί Μαρτύρων ἀνά τούς αἰῶνες οἱ ὁποῖοι ἐδόξαζαν τόν Θεό ἀντιμετωπίζοντας
Ἡμέρα των Εὐχαριστιῶν uΣελίδα 13
Υπό την εποπτεία του Δρος Παπαδέα – Με τις ευλογίες του Μητροπολίτη Ντένβερ Ισαία και την υποστήριξη της Ελληνικής κοινότητας του Ντένβερ, οι δερματολόγοι Βασίλης Χρυσοχέρης και Στέλιος Βουδούρης από την Αθήνα εκπαιδεύτηκαν ως επισκέπτες ιατροί στην Ιατρική Σχολή του Πανεπιστημίου του Κολοράντο και στο Εργαστήριο Προηγμένης Δερματολογίας όπου τελειοποίησαν την πρακτική τους, υπό την εποπτεία του ιατρού-δερματολόγου Δρος Γκρέγκορι Παπαδέα.
(φωτογραφία Ορθόδοξος Παρατηρητής)
Επισημαίνοντας την Ιστορία μας στο Ντένβερ – Κατά τη διάρκεια των εορτασμών της
10ης επετείου από την ίδρυση του Μητροπολιτικού Πολιτιστικού Κέντρου, ο Μητροπολίτης Ντένβερ Ισαίας δείχνει στους επισκέπτες Αρχοντες του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου από την Αλμπουκέρκη, N. M. , Jimmy Daskalos και Nick Kapnison, ιστορικές φωτογραφίες της εκκλησίας του Αγίου Ιωάννη του Βαπτιστή στο Πουέμπλο του Κολοράντο, η οποία θεωρείται ως η αρχαιότερη ελληνορθόδοξη εκκλησία σε αδιάκοπη χρήση σε ολόκληρη την Αμερική. Μια φωτογραφία από τις αρχές του 1900 δείχνει 7.000 Ελληνες να έχουν λάβει θέση να φωτογραφηθούν κατά μήκος του δρόμου στην περιοχή του Πουέμπλο, οι οποίοι είχαν μεταφερθεί από την Ελλάδα, από το βιομήχανο John D. Rockefeller προκειμένου να εργαστούν στον κατασκευαζόμενο σιδηρόδρομο και στα χαλυβουργεία.
Α ΡΧ Ι Ε Π Ι ΣΚΟΠ Ι Κ Η Ε Γ Κ Υ Κ Λ ΙΟΣ uΣελίδα 13 Καθώς ὑπολογίζουμε τίς ζημιές καί δυσκολίες πού ὑπέστησαν οἱ πιστοί καί οἱ ἐνορίες μας σ’ ὅλες τίς πληγεῖσες περιοχές, ἀνταποκρινόμεθα καί στίς πολλές ἀνάγκες πού ὑπάρχουν γύρω μας. Στηρί ζον τας αὐτ ή τήν διακονία εὐσπλαγχνίας καί θεραπείας, ἀνακηρύσσουμε τήν Κυριακή, 11 Νοεμβρίου, ἡμέρα προσευχῆς καί προσφορᾶς ὑπέρ τῶν θυμάτων τοῦ Τυφῶνος Sandy. Ἐκτός ἀπό τίς προσευχές ὑπέρ αὐτῶν πού ἀναφέραμε ἀνωτέρω, ζητοῦμε ἀπό τίς ἐνορίες τῆς Ἱερᾶς Ἀρχιεπισκοπῆς νά περιαγάγουν εἰδικό δίσκο συγκεντρώσεως εἰσφορῶν γιά τό «Ταμεῖο Ἀνακουφίσεως πληγέντων τοῦ Τυφῶνος Sandy». Οἱ εἰσφορές αὐτές πρέπει νά ἀποσταλοῦν στήν Ἀρχιεπισκοπή καί ἐμεῖς θά συντονίσουμε τίς προσπάθειές μας μέ τήν Ἐθνική Φιλόπτωχο, τήν Μητρόπολη Νέας Ἰερσέης, τήν Ἄμεση
Ἀρχιεπισκο-πική Περιφέρεια καί ἄλλες τοπικές, πολιτειακές καί ἐθνικές προσπάθειες μέσῳ τῶν ὁποίων παρέχεται ἄμεση βοήθεια σ’ αὐτούς πού τήν χρειάζονται. Διά τῆς γενναιοδωρίας καί τῶν προσευχῶν σας, θά χαρίσετε ἐλπίδα σέ πολλούς ἐν μέσῳ μεγάλων ἀπωλειῶν. Διά τῆς μαρτυρίας τῆς πίστεώς μας σ’ αὐτές τίς δύσκολες ὧρες, πολλοί θά ἀνακαλύψουν τήν δύναμη τῆς πίστεως καί τῆς ἀγάπης καί θά ἀναγνωρίσουν πώς ὁ Κύριος ἰσχύν τῷ λαῷ Αὐτοῦ δώσει, καί εὐλογήσει αὐτόν ἐν εἰρήνῃ (Ψαλ. 29:11).
Μετά πατρικής ἐν Χριστῷ ἀγάπης,
† ὁ Ἀρχιεπίσκοπος Ἀμερικῆς Δημήτριος
διωγμούς καί θανάτους. Αὐτή ἐπίσης ἦταν καί ἡ μαρτυρία τῶν πρώτων ἀποίκων ἐν σχέσει πρός αὐτή τήν ἑορτή, διότι ἦσαν εὐγνώμονες καθώς ἀντιμετώπιζαν τεράστιες προκλήσεις στήν προσπάθειά τους νά ξεκινήσουν μιά καινούργια ζωή σ’ αὐτή τήν χώρα. Ἀκόμη ἦταν ἡ ἐλπίδα τοῦ Προέδρου Ἀβραάμ Λίνκολν ὅταν θέσπισε τήν Ἡμέρα τῶν Εὐχαριστιῶν, μέ σκοπό νά προσανατολίσῃ τίς καρδιές ἑνός τραυματισμένου ἔθνους σέ μία μεγαλύτερη πνευματική θεραπευτική δύναμη. Ἡ ἔκφραση εὐγνωμοσύνης τήν Ἡμέρα τῶν Εὐχαριστιῶν ἀποτελεῖ, ἐπίσης, καί μαρτυρία τῆς ἐλπίδος μας καί τῆς δυνάμεως τοῦ Θεοῦ. Ἄνετα μποροῦμε νά εἴμεθα εὐγνώμονες γιά τά ὑλικά ἀγαθά, τήν ὑγεία μας, καί γιά μιά ζωή ἐλεύθερη ἀπό συγκρούσεις καί ἄγχος. Ὅμως, γνωρίζουμε πώς αὐτά δέν εἶναι μόνιμα καί ἡ ἀληθινή πρόκληση εἶναι νά εἴμεθα εὐγνώμονες ἐν μέσῳ κρίσεων καί ἀγωνιωδῶν προσπαθειῶν. Ὅταν εἴμεθα εὐγνώμονες ἀντιμετωπίζοντας δύσκολες συνθῆκες τῆς ζωῆς, ὅταν προσφέρουμε θυσία εὐχαριστίας στόν Θεό ἀκόμη καί ὅταν βιώνουμε μεγάλες ἀπώλειες, ὅταν ἐξακολουθοῦμε νά τηροῦμε τό θέλημά Του ζῶντας μέ ἁγιότητα καί πίστη,
οἱ ἄλλοι θά διαπιστώσουν ὅτι ἡ εὐγνωμοσύνη μας δέν ἐξαρτᾶται ἀπό πρόσκαιρες ἐπιτυχίες καί ἐξασφάλιση τῆς ἐπίγειας ζωῆς ἀλλά μᾶλλον ἀπό τίς ὑποσχέσεις καί τήν σωτηρία τοῦ Θεοῦ! Αὐτή τήν ἡμέρα, καθώς εὐχαριστοῦμε τόν Θεό, ἄς εἴμεθα εὐγνώμονες γιά τίς οἰκογένειές μας καί τούς φίλους μας, τίς κοινότητές μας καί τίς πολλές εὐλογίες καί ἐφόδια τά ὁποῖα ἐνισχύουν τήν ποιότητα καί ἐμπειρία τῆς ζωῆς. Ἀλλά, πρωτίστως, ἄς εὐχαριστήσουμε τόν Θεό γιά τήν μεγάλη ἀγάπη Του γιά μᾶς. Ἄς αὐξήσουμε τήν εὐγνωμοσύνη μας πρός Αὐτόν, μιά εὐγνωμοσύνη ἡ ὁποία πηγάζει ἀπό τίς ψυχές μας, γνωρίζοντες ὅτι οἱ ὑποσχέσεις Του θά πραγματοποιηθοῦν, ὅτι ἡ ἀγάπη Του διαρκεῖ αἰώνια, καί ὅτι θά ζοῦμε ἐν Αὐτῷ στήν αἰωνιότητα.
Μετά πατρικής ἐν Χριστῷ ἀγάπης,
† ὁ Ἀρχιεπίσκοπος Ἀμερικῆς Δημήτριος
Αμερικανίδα Γερουσιαστής στο Φανάρι του Νικολάου Μαγγίνα
Το συνεχές και αμείωτο ενδιαφέρον της Αμερικανικής Κεντρικής Διοίκησης προς την Πρωτόθρονη Εκκλησία της Κωνσταντινούπολης εξέφρασε η Γερουσιαστής των Η.Π.Α. Jeanne Shaheen η οποία επισκέφθηκε πρόσφατα με συνεργάτες της το Φανάρι όπου είχε συνάντηση με τον Οικουμενικό Πατριάρχη Βαρθολομαίο. Κατά τη διάρκεια της συνάντησης, η οποία διήρκεσε πλέον της μίας ώρας και η οποία διεξήχθη σε θερμό και εγκάρδιο κλίμα, συζητήθηκαν θέματα που απασχολούν το Πατριαρχείο και την Ομογένεια της Πόλης ενώ έγινε ιδιαίτερη αναφορά στο ζήτημα της επαναλειτουργίας της Θεολογικής Σχολής της Χάλκης για το οποίο ο Πατριάρχης Βαρθολομαίος επεσήμανε τη σταθερή αισιοδοξία του παρά την καθυστέρηση στην υλοποίηση των υποσχέσεων από τους αρμόδιους φορείς. Σημείωσε εντούτοις πως κατά τη διάρκεια των τελευταίων χρόνων έχουν καταγραφεί σημαντικά θετικά βήματα από την παρούσα Κυβέρνηση αναφορικά με τις Μειονότητες στην Τουρκία ενώ δεν παρέλειψε να συμπληρώσει πως υπολείπονται και άλλα εξίσου σημαντικά να πραγματοποιηθούν προς αυτήν την κατεύθυνση. Συζητήθηκε μεταξύ άλλων το φλέγον θέμα της Μέσης Ανατολής και ειδικότερα οι συνθήκες διαβίωσης και η
κατάσταση των Χριστιανικών Κοινοτήτων που υπάρχουν στις περιοχές αυτές προς τις οποίες το Οικουμενικό Πατριαρχείο έδειξε τη συμπαράστασή του συγκαλώντας τον περασμένο Σεπτέμβριο στο Φανάρι Σύναξη των Προκαθημένων των παλαιφάτων Εκκλησιών. Ένα άλλο θέμα της συνάντησης ήταν και οι διαχριστιανικοί και διαθρησκειακοί διάλογοι που διεξάγονται από την Ορθόδοξη Εκκλησία με τον συντονισμό του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου με άμεσο σκοπό την ειρηνική συνύπαρξη των διαφορετικών θρησκειών και πολιτισμών ενώ από τη συζήτηση δεν έλειψε και η αναφορά και των οικολογικών ζητημάτων που αντιμετωπίζει στη σύγχρονη εποχή ο πλανήτης με κυριώτερο τη μόλυνση και την αλόγιστη χρήση του περιβάλλοντος από τον άνθρωπο. Η Αμερικανίδα πολιτικός τόνισε τη μεγάλη προσφορά του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου σε διεθνές κοινωνικό και πολιτιστικό επίπεδο και ανέφερε τον ειλικρινή σεβασμό και θαυμασμό της προς το πρόσωπο του Πατριάρχου Βαρθολομαίου. Πριν την αναχώρησή της η Γερουσιαστής επισκέφθηκε τον Πατριαρχικό Ναό του Αγίου Γεωργίου. Κατά τη συνάντηση παρέστησαν ο Γενικός Πρόξενος της Αμερικής Scott Kilner και υπηρεσιακοί παράγοντες του Προξενείου του καθώς και ο εκ των Ελλήνων της Αμερικής Πατριαρχικός Διάκονος Νήφων.
ΟΡΘΟ∆ΟΞΟΣ ΠΑΡΑΤΗΡΗΤΗΣ ORTHODOX OBSERVER
Χρονικόν Πατριαρχικής Επισκέψεως εις Μακεδονίαν εις τας Ιεράς Μητροπόλεις Σιδηροκάστρου, Σισανίου και Σιατίστης
Ἡ Α. Θ. Παναγιότης, ὁ Οἰκουμενικός Πατριάρχης κ. κ. Βαρθολομαῖος, ἐπεσκέφθη τάς Ἱ. Μητροπόλεις Σιδηροκάστρου καί Σισανίου καί Σιατίστης κατά τό χρονικόν διάστημα μεταξύ 20ῆς καί 27ης Ὀκτωβρίου, ἀνταποκριθείς εἰς ἀπευθυνθείσας Αὐτῷ προσκλήσεις τῶν Σεβ. Μητροπολιτῶν Σιδηροκάστρου κ. Μακαρίου, ἵνα τελέσῃ τά ἐγκαίνια τοῦ νέου καθολικοῦ τοῦ Ἱ. Ἡσυχαστηρίου Τιμίου Προδρόμου Ἀκριτοχωρίου, καί Σισανίου καί Σιατίστης κ. Παύλου, ἐπ’εὐκαιρίᾳ τῶν ἑορτασμῶν τῆς ἑκατονταετηρίδος ἀπό τῆς ἀνεγέρσεως τοῦ Ἱ. Μητροπολιτικοῦ Ναοῦ τοῦ Ἁγίου Δημητρίου Σιατίστης. Ὁ Πατριάρχης, ἀνεχώρησε δι’ ἰδιωτικοῦ ἀεροσκάφους ἐκ τοῦ ἀερολιμένος τῆς Πόλεως, προπεμφθείς ὑπό τοῦ Σεβ. Πατριαρχικοῦ Ἐπιτρόπου, Μητροπολίτου Καλλιουπόλεως καί Μαδύτου κ. Στεφάνου, Πρωτοσυγκελλεύοντος, καί τοῦ Ἐντιμ. κ. Ἀθανασίου Ἀστρακᾶ, Προξένου τῆς Ἑλλάδος ἐν τῇ Πόλει, συνοδευόμενος ὑπό τῶν Σεβ. Μητροπολίτου Ἰκονίου κ. Θεολήπτου, Πανοσιολ. Ἀρχιμανδρίτου κ. Βαρθολομαίου, Ἀρχιγραμματέως τῆς Ἁγίας καί Ἱερᾶς Συνόδου, καί Δευτερεύοντος κ. Ἀνδρέου, τῶν Ἐντιμ. κ. κ. Νικολάου Μαγγίνα, Δημοσιογράφου - Φωτογράφου, Πέτρου Μπαζγκάρλο, Γραμματέως τῶν Πατριαρχείων, καί Ἰωάννου Γιλμάζ, ἐκ μέρους τῶν νέων τῆς Πόλεως, καί τῆς Εὐγεν. κ. Angela Caliaro, μέλους τῆς ΡΚαθολικῆς Κινήσεως τῶν Focolari. Εἰς Θεσσαλονίκην προσετέθη εἰς τήν πατριαρχικήν συνοδείαν ὁ Θεοφιλ. Ἐπίσκοπος Θερμῶν κ. Δημήτριος. Τόν Πατριάρχην ὑπεδέχθησαν ἐν τῷ ἀερολιμένι τῆς Θεσσαλονίκης ὁ οἰκεῖος Ποιμενάρχης, Σεβ. Μητροπολίτης Νέας Κρήνης καί Καλαμαριᾶς κ. Προκόπιος, καί ἄλλοι Ἱεράρχαι, ὁ Ἐξοχ. κ. Θεόδωρος Καράογλου, Ὑπουργός Μακεδονίας-Θράκης, ἐκ προσώπου τῆς Ἑλληνικῆς Κυβερνήσεως, καί ἄλλοι ἐκπρόσωποι τῶν πολιτικῶν καί στρατιωτικῶν Ἀρχῶν. Καθ’ ὁδόν ὁ Πατριάρχης διῆλθεν ἐκ τοῦ χωρίου Βαμβακόφυτον καί τοῦ χωρίου Ἀκριτοχώριον, ὅπου Τόν ὑπεδέχθησαν οἱ τοπικοί ἄρχοντες καί οἱ κάτοικοι αὐτῶν, ἐκεῖθεν δέ ἀφίχθη εἰς τό Ἱ. γυναικεῖον Ἡσυχαστήριον τοῦ Τιμίου Προδρόμου, ὅπου ἀνέμενεν Αὐτόν ὁ Μακ. Ἀρχιεπίσκοπος Ἀθηνῶν καί πάσης Ἑλλάδος κ. Ἱερώνυμος Β’ μετά τῆς συνοδείας αὐτοῦ καί ἱκανός ἀριθμός Ἱεραρχῶν ἔκ τε τῶν Ἐπαρχιῶν τοῦ Θρόνου τῶν Νέων Χωρῶν καί ἐκ τῆς Αὐτοκεφάλου Ἐκκλησίας τῆς Ἑλλάδος, Ἡγούμενοι Ἱ. Μονῶν τοῦ Ἁγίου Ὄρους, τά μέλη τῆς Ἱ. Κοινότητος καί ὁ πολιτικός Διοικητής αὐτοῦ Ἐντιμ. κ. Ἀρίστος Κασμίρογλου, καί πλῆθος πιστῶν οἱ ὁποῖοι εἶχον κατακλύσει ἀπό ἐνωρίς τούς πέριξ τῆς Ἱ. Μονῆς χώρους. Εἰς τήν εἴσοδον τῆς Μονῆς ὑπεδέχθη τόν Πατριάρχην ἡ Ἡγουμένη Ὁσιωτ. Μοναχή Ἰακώβη, Οὗτος δέ ἐν συνεχείᾳ προέστη Δοξολογίας ἐν τῷ νέῳ Καθολικῷ ἐπί τῇ ἀφίξει Του, τῇ παρουσίᾳ τῶν ὡς ἄνω Κληρικῶν
καί τοπικῶν ἀρχόντων, ἀντιφωνήσας μετά θερμῶν λόγων τούς προσφωνήσαντας Αὐτόν οἰκεῖον Ποιμενάρχην Σεβ. Μητροπολίτην Σιδηροκάστρου κ. Μακάριον καί Ὁσιωτ. Ἡγουμένην Ἰακώβην. Ὀλίγον ἀργότερον ἐχοροστάτησε κατά τήν ἀκολουθίαν τοῦ Μ. Ἑσπερινοῦ καθ’ ἥν ὡμίλησε, προσφωνηθείς φιλοστόργως ὑπό τοῦ Πανοσιολ. Ἀρχιμανδρίτου κ. Ἀλεξίου, Ἡγουμένου τῆς Ἱ. Μονῆς Ξενοφῶντος Ἁγίου Ὄρους, τοῦ καί πνευματικοῦ πατρός τῆς ἀδελφότητος τοῦ Ἱ. Ἡσυχαστηρίου τούτου. Παρέστησαν συμπροσευχόμενοι, ἐκτός τοῦ οἰκείου Μητροπολίτου, οἱ Σεβ. Μητροπολῖται Σταγῶν καί Μετεώρων κ. Σεραφείμ, Ἐλασσῶνος κ. Βασίλειος, Σερρῶν καί Νιγρίτης κ. Θεολόγος, Ζιχνῶν καί Νευροκοπίου κ. Ἱερόθεος, Σερβίων καί Κοζάνης κ. Παῦλος, Πολυανῆς καί Κιλκισίου κ. Ἐμμανουήλ, καί ὁ Πρωτεπιστάτης τοῦ Ἁγίου Ὅρους Ὁσιώτ. Μοναχός Μάξιμος Ἰβηρίτης, Βουλευταί καί ἐκπρόσωποι τῶν Ἀρχῶν τοῦ τόπου. Μετά τό πέρας τοῦ Ἑσπερινοῦ ηὐλόγησε τό ἐν τῇ Ἱ. Μονῇ παρατεθέν δεῖπνον, τῇ συμμετοχῇ τῶν ὤς ἄνω. Τήν ἑπομένην, Κυριακήν, 21ην Ὀκτωβρίου, ἐτελέσθη μετά τῆς δεούσης ἐκκλησιαστικῆς τάξεως καί λαμπρότητος ἡ ἀκολουθία τῶν ἐγκαινίων τοῦ νέου Καθολικοῦ τῆς Μονῆς ὑπό τοῦ Πατριάρχου καί ἐν συνεχείᾳ ἡ Θεία Λειτουργία, συλλειτουργησάντων Αὐτῷ τῶν Σεβ. Μητροπολιτῶν Σταγῶν καί Μετεώρων κ. Σεραφείμ, Ἰκονίου κ. Θεολήπτου, Σερρῶν καί Νιγρίτης κ. Θεολόγου, Ζιχνῶν καί Νευροκοπίου κ. Ἱεροθέου, Σιδηροκάστρου κ. Μακαρίου καί τῶν Θεοφιλ. Ἐπισκόπων Θερμῶν κ. Δημητρίου καί Τανάγρας κ. Πολυκάρπου. Τήν μεσημβρίαν παρετέθη ἐπίσημον γεῦμα εἰς τήν τράπεζαν τῆς Ἱ. Μονῆς, εἰς τό ὁποῖον παρεκάθησε καί ὁ Ἐξοχ. κ. Θεόδωρος Παπαθεοδώρου, Ὑφυπουργός Παιδείας τῆς Ἑλλάδος. Τό ἑσπέρας, ὁ Πατριάρχης ἐπεσκέφθη τό χωρίον Ἄνω Πορόϊα ἔνθα οἱ κάτοικοι
ὑπεδέχθησαν Αὐτόν μετ’ ἐκδηλώσεων τιμῆς καί ἐνθουσιασμοῦ, παρέστη δέ καί ὡμίλησε κατά τήν ἐν τῷ Ἱ. Ναῷ Ἁγίου Δημητρίου ἱερατικήν σύναξιν τοῦ κλήρου τῆς Ἱ. Μητροπόλεως ἀπευθύνας νουθετηρίους πατρικούς λόγους. Ἀκολούθως μετέβη εἰς τό χωρίον Νεοχώριον, ὑπαντηθείς μετά ζωηροῦ ἐνθουσιασμοῦ ὑπό τῶν προσελθόντων πολυπληθῶν πιστῶν, ἐξ ὀνόματος τῶν ὁποίων ὡμίλησεν ὁ ἱερεύς τοῦ χωρίου ὡς καί εἷς ἐκπρόσωπος τῶν μαθητῶν. Τήν πρωΐαν τῆς ἑπομένης, ὁ Πατριάρχης μετά τῆς συνοδείας Αὐτοῦ μετέβη πεζῇ ἐκ τῆς Ἱ. Μονῆς εἰς τό χωρίον Μανδράκιον, ὅπου ἔσχε τήν εὐκαιρίαν νά δεχθῇ τά σεβάσματα τῶν κατοίκων αὐτοῦ καί συνομιλήσῃ μετ’αὐτῶν ἐκ τοῦ σύνεγγυς. Ἀκολούθως μετέβη εἰς Σιδηρόκαστρον ὅπου ἐγένετο παλλαϊκή ὑποδοχή εἰς τήν πλατεῖαν τῆς κωμοπόλεως καί καλωσώρισεν Αὐτόν ὁ Ἐντιμ. κ. Ἀπόστολος Καρύδας, Δήμαρχος Σιντικῆς. Ἐν συνεχείᾳ, σχηματισθείσης πομπῆς, μετέβη εἰς τόν Ἱ. Μητροπολιτικόν Ναόν Ἁγίου Γεωργίου ἔνθα προέστη τῆς ἐπί τῇ ἀφίξει Αὐτοῦ Δοξολογίας καί ἀντεφώνησε τόν προσφωνήσαντα Αὐτόν Σεβ. Ποιμενάρχην. Μετά ταῦτα ἐπεσκέφθη τά γραφεῖα τῆς Ἱ. Μητροπολέως καί τήν ἐπισκοπικήν κατοικίαν, ἐγκαινίασε τό νέον ἐκκλησιαστικόν Μουσεῖον, ἐπεσκέφθη τήν Ἱ. Μονήν Ἁγίων Κηρύκου καί Ἰουλίτης, ἔνθα ἐτέλεσε Τρισάγιον ἐνώπιον τοῦ τάφου τοῦ μακαριστοῦ Μητροπολίτου Σιδηροκάστρου κυροῦ Ἰωάν νου, καί παρεκάθησεν εἰς τό ἐν τῇ Μονῇ παρατεθέν ὑπό τοῦ Δημάρχου Σιντικῆς Ἐντιμ. κ. Ἀποστόλου Καρύδα γεῦμα. Τό ἀπόγευμα συνηντήθη εἰς τούς χώρους τῆς Ἱ. Μονῆς Ἀκριτοχωρίου μετά τοῦ ἐκ Σερρῶν ἐλθόντος ἐπί τούτῳ Ἐξοχ. κ. Ἀλεξίου Τσίπρα, Προέδρου τοῦ ΣΥ.ΡΙΖ.Α., καί ἔσχε μετ’αὐτοῦ ἐγκάρδιον συνομιλίαν καί ἀνταλλαγήν ἀπόψεων. Τό ἑσπέρας, παρεκάθησεν εἰς ἀνεπίσημον δεῖπνον προσφερθέν ὑπό τοῦ Συλλόγου
κυνηγῶν τῆς περιοχῆς. Τήν ἑπομένην, ἡμέραν τῆς ἑορτῆς τοῦ Ἁγίου Ἰακώβου τοῦ Ἀδελφοθέου, καθ’ ἥν ἦγε τά ὀνομαστήριά της ἡ Ὁσιωτ. Ἡγουμένη Μοναχή Ἰακώβη, παρέστη συμπροσευχόμενος ἀπό τοῦ Ἱ. Βήματος κατά τήν ὑπό τοῦ Σεβ. Μητροπολίτου Σιδηροκάστρου κ. Μακαρίου τελεσθεῖσαν Θείαν Λειτουργίαν, ἐν τῷ τέλει τῆς ὁποίας προσεφώνησε τόν Παναγιώτατον ὁ Σεβ. Μητροπολίτης Θεσσαλονίκης κ. Ἄνθιμος ὅν ἀντεφώνησεν Οὗτος καταλλήλως ἀναφερθείς εἰς τήν ἀξίαν τοῦ μονήρους βίου καί ἐξάρας τούς ἀκαταλύτους πνευματικούς καί κανονικούς δεσμούς μεταξύ Μητρός Ἐκκλησίας καί τῶν Ἐπαρχιῶν αὐτῆς τῶν λεγομένων Νέων Χωρῶν, εὐχηθείς δ’ ἐξ ὀνόματος πάντων τά εἰκότα εἰς τήν ἑορτάζουσαν Ἡγουμένην Ἰακώβην. Παρέστησαν συμπροσευχόμενοι οἱ Σεβ. Μητροπολῖται Σταγῶν καί Μετώρων κ. Σεραφείμ, Φιλίππων, Νεαπόλεως καί Θάσου κ. Προκόπιος, Θεσσαλονίκης κ. Ἄνθιμος, Δωδώνης κ. Χρυσόστομος, Μιλήτου κ. Ἀπόστολος, Βεροίας, Ναούσης καί Καμπανίας κ. Παντελεήμων, Θεσσα λιώτιδος καί Φαναριοφερσάλων κ. Κύριλλος, Ἀρκαλοχωρίου, Καστελλίου καί Βιάννου κ. Ἀνδρέας, Ἐδέσσης καί Πέλλης κ. Ἰωήλ, Ἐλευθερουπόλεως κ. Χρυσόστομος, Λαγκαδᾶ Λητῆς καί Ρεντίνης κ. Ἰωάννης, Ζακύνθου κ. Διονύσιος, καί οἱ Θεοφιλ. Ἐπίσκοποι Θεουπόλεως κ. Παντελεήμων καί Ἀβύδου κ. Κύριλλος. Τήν Τετάρτην, 24ην ἰδίου, ὁ Πατριάρχης ἐχοροστάτησεν ἐν τῷ Ἱ. Ναῷ Κοιμήσεως τῆς Θεοτόκου Ἡρακλείας, ἐνῶ μετά τό πέρας τῆς Θ. Λειτουργίας ἐτέλεσε τά ἐγκαίνια τοῦ Ἐπισκοπείου τῆς πόλεως ταύτης, μετέβη εἰς τάς ἐγκαταστάσεις τοῦ Γυμνασίου καί Ἐπαγγελματικοῦ Λυκείου τῆς πόλεως καί ὡμίλησε πρός τούς ἐν τῷ ἀμφιθεάτρῳ τοῦ σχολείου συγκεντρωθέντας καθηγητάς καί μαθητάς. Ἐν συνεχείᾳ, συνηντήθη μετά τῶν συναθροισθέντων κατοίκων τοῦ παραλιμνίου χωρίου Λιθότοπος καί ἐξεναγήθη ἐν πλῷ εἰς τόν ὑδροβιότοπον τῆς λίμνης Κερκίνης. Τό ἑσπέρας ηὐλόγησε τό ἐν τῷ Ἱ. Ἡσυχαστηρίῳ παρατεθέν δεῖπνον, καθ’ὅ ἔσχε πατρικήν ἐπικοινωνίαν μετά τῶν ἐν αὐτῷ ἐγκαταβιουσῶν μοναζουσῶν. Τήν πρωΐαν τῆς Πέμπτης, 25ης ἰδίου, συνηντήθη μετά τῶν μαθητῶν τοῦ Γυμνασίου καί τοῦ Λυκείου Βυρωνείας, εἰς τούς ὁποίους ὡμίλησε διά τήν ἀνάγκην σεβασμοῦ καί προστασίας τοῦ φυσικοῦ περιβάλλοντος καί ἐν συνεχείᾳ περιεπάτησε μετ’αὐτῶν παρά τόν ποταμόν Στρυμῶνα. Μετά ταῦτα μετέβη εἰς τήν περιοχήν τοῦ ὀχυροῦ Ροῦπελ, παρά τήν συνοριακήν γραμμήν Ἑλλάδος-Βουλγαρίας, ὅπου Τόν ὑπεδέχθη ὁ Ἐντιμ. κ. Γεώργιος Σοφιανίδης, Ἀντιστράτηγος, Διοικητής τῆς 1ης Στρατιᾶς, ἔψαλε Τρισάγιον
Χρονικόν Πατριαρχικής Επισκέψεως εις Μακεδονίαν
uΣελίδα 15 ὑπέρ ἀναπαύσεως τῶν ἐκεῖ πεσόντων ἡρωϊκῶς καί ἐξεναγήθη εἰς τούς χώρους τοῦ ὀχυροῦ. Τήν μεσημβρίαν, ὁ Πατριάρχης ἀνεχώρησεν ὁδικῶς εἰς Σιάτισταν ἔνθα ἐπεφυλάχθη Αὐτῷ πάνδημος ὑποδοχή ὑπό τοῦ ἱεροῦ κλήρου, τῶν ἀρχόντων τοῦ τόπου καί τοῦ λαοῦ εἰς τόν πρό τοῦ Δημαρχείου χῶρον. Ἐν συνεχείᾳ, μετέβη ἐν πομπῇ εἰς τόν Ἱ. Μητροπολιτικόν Ναόν τοῦ Ἁγίου Μεγαλομάρτυρος Δημητρίου, τοῦ συμπληρώσαντος ἑκατόν ἕτη ἀπό τῆς ἀνιδρύσεώς του, ἔνθα ἐψάλη Δοξολογία καί ἀντηλλάγησαν προσφωνήσεις ὑπό τοῦ προϊσταμένου τοῦ ναοῦ, τοῦ Περιφερειάρχου Δυτικῆς Μακεδονίας Ἐντιμ. κ. Γεωργίου Δακῆ καί τοῦ Πατριάρχου. Ἐπηκολούθησεν ἐπίσημον δεῖπνον, παρατεθέν ὑπό τῆς Εὐγεν. κυρίας Παναγιώτας Ὀρφανίδου, Δημάρχου Βοΐου, ἀνταλλαγεισῶν μεταξύ αὐτῆς καί τοῦ Πατριάρχου καταλλήλων προπόσεων. Τήν ἑπομένην, Παρασκευήν, 26 ην Ὀκτωβρίου, ἐτελέσθη μετά πάσης ἱεροπρεπείας καί λαμπρότητος εἰς τόν Ἱ. Μητροπολιτικόν Ναόν Ἁγίου Δημητρίου Σιατίστης ἡ Θεία Λειτουργία, προεξαρχούσης τῆς Α. Θ. Παναγιότητος καί συλλειτουργησάντων Αὐτῇ τοῦ Μακ. Ἀρχιεπισκόπου Ἀθηνῶν καί πάσης Ἑλλάδος κ. Ἱερωνύμου Β’, τῶν ἀρχιερέων μελῶν τῆς Πατριαρχικῆς συνοδείας καί τῶν Σεβ. Ἱεραρχῶν Ναζαρέτ κ. Κυριακοῦ καί Ἰόππης κ. Δαμασκηνοῦ, ἐκ τῆς Ἐκκλησίας Ἱεροσολύμων, Καστορίας κ. Σεραφείμ, Χαλκίδος κ. Χρυσοστόμου, Φλωρίνης, Πρεσπῶν καί Ἐορδαίας κ. Θεοκλήτου, Ἐδέσσης καί Πέλλης κ. Ἰωήλ, Σερβίων καί Κοζάνης κ. Παύλου, Κορίνθου κ. Διονυσίου, Σισανίου καί Σιατίστης κ. Παύλου, καί τῶν Θεοφιλ. Ἐπισκόπων Τανάγρας κ. Πολυκάρπου καί Διαυλείας κ. Γαβριήλ, συμπροσευχηθέντων τῶν πολιτικῶν καί πολιτειακῶν παραγόντων καί τοῦ εὐλαβοῦς λαοῦ τοῦ Θεοῦ. Ἐν τῷ τέλει τῆς Θείας Λειτουργίας ἐτελέσθη Τρισάγιον ὑπέρ ἀναπαύσεως τῆς ψυχῆς τοῦ ἀοιδίμου
Πατριάρχου Δημητρίου, μεθ’ ὅ ἐπηκολούθησεν ἡ ἀνταλλαγή προσφωνήσεων καί ἀναμνηστικῶν δώρων μεταξύ τοῦ Ποιμενάρχου καί τοῦ Πατριάρχου. Μετά τήν Θείαν Λειτουργίαν ὁ Παναγιώτατος ἐπεσκέφθη τό Ἐπισκοπεῖον τῆς Ἱ. Μητροπόλεως καί τό παρακείμενον αὐτῷ ἐκκλησιαστικόν μουσεῖον καί ἐτέλεσε τρισάγιον ἐνώπιον τοῦ ἐν τῷ αὐλογύρῳ αὐτῆς εὑρισκομένου τάφου τοῦ μακαριστοῦ Μητροπολίτου Σισανίου καί Σιατίστης κυροῦ Ἀντωνίου. Τήν μεσημβρίαν δέ παρετέθη ἐπίσημον γεῦμα ὑπό τοῦ Ἐκκλησιαστικοῦ συμβουλίου τοῦ πανηγυρίζοντος Μητροπολιτικοῦ Ναοῦ πρός τιμήν τοῦ Πατριάρχου, Ὅστις τό ἀπόγευμα ἐπεσκέφθη προσκυνηματικῶς τόν Ἱ. Ναόν τῆς Ἁγίας Παρασκευῆς καί διαφόρους ἀρχοντικούς οἴκους τῆς πόλεως καί ἀκολούθως ὡμίλησεν ἐνώπιον τοῦ ἱεροῦ κλήρου τῆς ἐπαρχίας ταύτης καί ἀπένειμε τό ὀφφίκιον τοῦ Ἀρχιμανδρίτου τοῦ Οἰκουμενικοῦ Θρόνου εἰς τόν προσφωνήσαντα Αὐτόν Πρωτοσύγκελλον τῆς Ἱ. Μητροπόλεως Πανοσιολ. Ἀρχιμανδρίτην κ. Ἐφραίμ Τριανταφυλλόπουλον. Τό ἑσπέρας τῆς ἰδίας ἐγένετο εἰς τό Τραμπάτζειον ΓυμνάσιονΛύκειον ἑορταστική ἐκδήλωσις μετά μουσικοῦ προγράμματος ὑπό τῆς χορωδίας τοῦ Μουσικοῦ σχολείου Σιατίστης. Ἐν τῷ πλαισίῳ τῆς ἐκδηλώσεως ὁ Πατριάρχης ἀπένειμεν εἰς τόν Ἐντιμολ. κ. Νικόλαον Παπαγεωργίου, μέγαν εὐεργέτην τῆς Σιατίστης, τό ὀφφίκιον τοῦ Ἄρχοντος Ρεφερενδαρίου, ὡς καί τό παράσημον τῆς Ἱ. Μητροπόλεως Σισανίου καί Σιατίστης. Τό πρόγραμμα τῆς ἡμέρας κατεκλείσθη δι’ ἐπισήμου δείπνου, παρατεθέντος πρός τιμήν τοῦ ὑψηλοῦ ἐπισκέπτου ὑπό τοῦ Περιφερειάρχου Δυτικῆς Μακεδονίας Ἐξοχ. κ. Γεωργίου Δακῆ εἰς τό ξενοδοχεῖον «Ἀρχοντικό». Τήν πρωΐαν τῆς ἑπομένης, Σαββάτου, 27ης Ὀκτωβρίου, ὁ Πατριάρχης μετέβη εἰς τό χωρίον Ἐράτυρα ἔνθα ἀνέμενον Αὐτόν, παρά τήν σφοδράν βροχόπτωσιν, πλήθη πιστῶν ὑποδεξαμένων Αὐτόν μετ’ ἐνθέρμων ἐκδηλώσεων συμφώνως πρός τά τοπικά ἔθιμα καί προέστη Οὗτος Δοξολογίας εἰς τόν Ἱ. Ναόν
Ἁγίου Γεωργίου, κατά τήν ὁποίαν προσεφώνησεν Αὐτόν ὁ Πανοσιολ. Ἀρχιμανδρίτης κ. Νικόλαος Ἀλεξίου δι’εἰλικρινῶν καί λίαν συγκινητικῶν λόγων, τοῦ Πατριάρχου ἀντιφωνήσαντος καταλλήλως. Ἐν συνεχείᾳ, ἐπεσκέφθη τόν ἐν ἐρειπίοις κείμενον ἐπισκοπικόν ναόν Σισανίου κία ἐξεναγήθη ἐν αὐτῷ. Εἶτα μετέβη εἰς τήν Ἱεράν Μονήν Ἁγίου Ἀθανασίου Ἐρατύρας, ἐν τῇ εἰσόδῳ τῆς ὁποίας ἐγένετο κατά τό εἰωθός, ἡ ἐπίσημος ὑποδοχή Του, ἐτελέσθη Δοξολογία ἐν τῷ Καθολικῷ αὐτῆς καί ἀντηλλάγησαν προσφωνήσεις μεταξύ τοῦ Ἡγουμένου τῆς Μονῆς Πανοσιολ. Ἀρχιμανδρίτου κ. Νικηφόρου Μητρούδη καί τοῦ Πατριάρχου, ἐτελέσθη δέ ἐν συνεχεία ἁγιασμός ἐπί τῇ θεμελιώσει τοῦ
ἐκκλησιαστικοῦ μουσείου καί τοῖς ἐγκαινίοις τοῦ ἀνακαινισθέντος κτηρίου τῆς Ἱ. Μονῆς. Ἡ Πατριαρχική ἐπίσκεψις εἰς τήν Ἱ. Μητρόπολιν Σισανίου καί Σιατίστης κατεκλείσθη τήν μεσημβρίαν διά τῆς παραθέσεως ὑπό τοῦ Ἐντιμ. κ. Ἰωάννου Σόκκουτη, Ἀντιπεριφερειάρχου Κοζάνης, γεύματος εἰς τό ξενοδοχεῖον «Σιάτιστα», κατά τό ὁποῖον ὁ Πατριάρχης ἐξέφρασε τάς εὐχαριστίας Αὐτοῦ πρός τε τόν Ποιμενάρχην καί πρός τό σύνολον τοῦ ἱεροῦ κλήρου καί τοῦ εὐσεβοῦς λαοῦ τῆς Θεοσώστου ταύτης Μητροπόλεως. Τέλος, ἐγένετο προσκυνηματική ἐπίσκεψις εἰς τήν Ἱεράν Μονήν Κοιμήσεως τῆς Θεοτόκου Μικροκάστρου.
Tales from L.A. ‘I Think I’m Burned Out’ by Fr. John S. Bakas
A fellow priest called me the other day and invited me to lunch away from his parish. After we caught up on the pleasantries of the day, I noticed tears welling up in his eyes. “I don’t know who to talk to and in whom to confide. Frankly, I think I’m burned out with my ministry. I feel like a ping pong ball, slammed from one end of the table to the other. I’m at my wits end.” I put my hand on his shoulder and encouraged him to keep talking. We hardly touched our food. “Father John, I’m so stressed out. My Presvytera and kids hardly see me because of parish evening meetings and when I get home I’m so emotionally and physically exhausted I retreat into myself and seem to have nothing to offer my family. I would leave the priesthood, but what work could I get? I’m still paying on my loans for my education at the seminary and have financial obligations that I’m constantly juggling. Sometimes, I just want to run away ...and just disappear.” I was so very glad I could be an empathetic sounding board to this brother priest. Just being there and listening and offering some advice seemed to help. In recent years much research has been carried out showing stress and burn-out is one of the major health problems facing people, especially males. Chronic and unrelieved stress, when not recognized can and does have serious physical, emotional, and even spiritual consequences. Such physical ailments as tension or migraine headaches, ulcers, chronic backache, hypertension, stroke, and heart disease are commonly regarded today as stress-related. Spiritually, the toll can include difficulties with prayer, worship and the loss of motivation, joy, enthusiasm and peace. It’s the “burn-out syndrome.” Although priests today may experience the same high stress found among other professional groups, some of the causes are unique to the priesthood. Priests preside over communities of the faithful which must attempt to mediate the Gospel message and Orthodox Christian Tradition to a culture whose institutions are undergoing profound change. These ecclesial communities have also undergone change and growth, and have had their own share of turmoil division and pain. Priests under stress are characterized by “too much” in their lives, even too much of a good thing. Typically the person under great stress has too many deadlines, tries to do too many things at once, can be highly disturbed by delays and generally is characterized by endless “shoulds,” “musts,” “oughts,” and “have to’s” in life. The never ending parish expectations often conflict with the central purpose of the teachings of the church. What does one do first? The priest must be a great liturgist (with commanding voice and presence); he must be a great preacher and motivate the congregation, but never over “ten minutes on the pulpit.” He must be a great administrator (mostly with unpredictable volunteers which include the parish council and various parish committees). He must be a great fund raiser, be a social worker, educator, spiritual father, counselor, politician, be bi-lingual, never lose his temper or raise his voice, must treat everyone alike and show no partiality. He cannot admit to personal problems or difficulties. He must be humble (which some see as weakness in our secular society), must be spiritual and holy but put on a great Greek Festival and now more than ever in this economy, he is expected also to use his office as an employment agency. This list can go on. Every parishioner has his or her own list of what makes
for a good priest. To please everyone and keep the peace, the priest who is suffering with “burn-out” generally works harder, not less. He tends to take on more duties but seems to accomplish less. The work he once did with joy has become a burden, zeal and motivation having given way to compulsion. Because of this, one begins to feel guilty and inadequate, unappreciated and unloved. If a parish priest is to give his best to his ministry it is important that he and the parishioners be aware of the signs of stress that may cause the feeling of burn-out. The result of so many expectations is that parish long-range planning, prayer, quiet reflection, leisure and just a normal pace of life with family and friends seem to elude him and his family. Sometimes a kind of malaise deriving from his sense of having so little to show concretely for his efforts comes into the life of a priest who has worked hard in ministry a number of years. His lay friends and peers by the same point in their lives have “established” themselves and can point to definite achievements: a certain level of advancement in their careers, great salaries and promotions reflecting their years of experience. A serious source of stress and burn-out for a priest is the gap that often develops between the real state of his spiritual life and what he ideally expects of it. He may lose confidence in the genuineness of his own spiritual life, while reaching for the ideals of the Faith seem to elude him. As this gap widens, he may tend to retreat more and more from what is central to his priesthood, the sense of Christ’s love for him. Thus his prayer may become routine or neglected, and gradually his spiritual leadership diminishes. In turn, he may begin to feel a sense of guilt and failure in his ministry. Soon, instead of preaching and ministering from his personal experience of faith, he finds that he preaches abstract homilies and ministers platitudes. The sources of his ministry have dried up in himself. He now finds ministry somewhat alienating, and himself hollow. There are no easy answers to priests’ stress and burn–out. Professionals who deal with these issues will approach solutions holistically and with various therapeutic responses. But from personal experience, parish leaders and the congregation in general, must realize and accept that a priest’s intense and disciplined daily prayer life is primary in his so called “job description.” Without it he becomes a country club manager and social events coordinator. Prayer is not an option. It is the life line to his priesthood. Even the Lord Himself had to frequently retreat for secluded private prayer and fasting. A priest must make time for prayer himself, putting such times in his calendar as he does for other appointments. This includes certain hours or even certain days when he spends time alone in reflective solitude, or with some brother priests of shared prayer and renewal. He is often caught in the crossfire of guilt: he is made to feel guilty if he spends time praying because of urgent pastoral obligations that confront him. Yet he may feel even more guilt if he fails to spend time in personal prayer because of moral imperatives and the promptings of the Holy Spirit. The only real solution to the dilemma of stress and burn-out that plagues many priests is to reassess priorities and begin personal renewal of our spiritual lives as the source of all spirituality…namely personal contact with the life giving, life animating, Comforter, the Holy Spirit Himself. Fr. Bakas is dean of St. Sophia Cathedral, Los Angeles and a faculty member of Loyola Marymount University, School of Theology.
Marriage & Family
New Resources Can Help Intermarried Couples by Fr. Charles Joanides, Ph.D.
Fifteen years ago, our Archdiocese lacked useful resources to help our Metropolises and local churches address the issue of intermarried couples. Today we do. The Interfaith Marriage web site exists. Consider visiting it at www.interfaith.goarch.org. This is one of the leading web sites that deals with intermarriage. It contains volumes of useful information to help dating couples, intermarried couples, clergy and lay leaders address the multifaceted issues associated with this pastoral challenge. Today we have many resources for clergy and lay workers to assist them in reaching out more effectively to this population of couples and families. One such resource is “Ministering to Intermarried Couples and Their Family: A Resource for Clergy and Lay Workers.” Another useful example is a CD, “Attending to Your Marriage: 22 Brochures for Engaged and Married Couples.” These brochures can also be downloaded on the Interfaith Marriage web site. A downloadable brochure, “Pastoral Guidelines for Intermarriage,” is also available. This brochure was produced because most of our young adults and teens are not intimately familiar with the pastoral guidelines used to minister to intermarried couples and their families. We have a mentoring program to help us reach out and create stronger connections with the intermarried couples who visit, marry in and attend our churches. Based on the information that emerged from the Interfaith Marriage Research Project, we know that a significant number of intermarried couples require a mentor or mentor couple to help them form a bond to one of our churches. The brochure, “Mentors and the non–Orthodox Partner,” outlines this program and helps local churches implement it. A resource for engaged and intermarried couples, “When You Intermarry: A Resource for Inter-Christian, Intercultural Couples, Parents and Families,” contains a host of evidencebased information compatible with our faith that can enhance the religious and spiritual well-being of intermarried spouses, couples and family members. A premarital education program, “The Journey of Marriage in the Orthodox Church,” is accompanied by a couple’s manual with the same name. Dr. Philip Mamalakis currently trains workshop facilitators for an interfaith marriage program for couples. If it is not available in your area, it should be in the future. In the interim, couples preparing for marriage can order the couple’s manual and review it with their priest. Many inter-Christian couples who marry in our churches do not return to worship after their marriage, which requires a follow-up. Many resources are available to assist clergy and lay workers with this task. As an example, consider sending a letter after a couple’s marriage along with one of the following downloadable brochures: “Key Challenges that Intermarried Couples Encounter,” “Attending to Your Mar-
riage, Couples Who Pray Together, Stay Together.” These and other resources are located on the Interfaith Marriage web site. Marriage–building retreats are held across the Archdiocese and many address interfaith and inter-Christian marriage concerns. In addition to existing programs, a marriage-building program like the “Journey of Marriage in the Orthodox Church” will become available. Support groups for intermarried couples that meet periodically can prove useful in helping them retain connections to our churches. Many of the resources mentioned in this article can include appropriate topics for these types of encounters. A substantial percentage of interChristian couples might have considered becoming a single church couple if someone had respectfully broached the subject of conversion during the premarital preparation process. Information to facilitate this conversion is located in the resource, “Ministering to Intermarried Couples.” It is not enough for us to minister to the Greek Orthodox partner’s needs. The non-Orthodox partner’s needs are equally important. Once again, information related to this challenge is available in many of the resources mentioned. The resources titled, “Ministering to Intermarried Couples” and the brochure “Mentors and the nonOrthodox Partner” can prove especially helpful in your efforts to minister to the non-Orthodox partners. Youth programs also must be interfaith-marriage friendly. To that end, I have collaborated with The Department of Youth and Young Adults and the Religious Education Department to ensure that programming and resources are interfaith-marriage sensitive. Local communities must do the same. Adult education programs, using more English inside and outside of our services, our ability to celebrate our ethnicity without sounding ethnocentric, and many other useful insights and strategies like these can help efforts in reaching out to intermarried couples who have drifted away and retain a connection with couples who marry in the churches. Conclusion In Jesus’ Parable of the Lost Sheep (Luke 15: 3-6) our Lord alludes to the value of cultivating a spirit of outreach. This parable, along with the counsel that we have received from numerous important saints of our church who valued outreach and evangelism like St. Paul, Sts. Cyril and Methodios, Archbishop Anastasios of Albania and Archbishop Demetrios, provide a strong witness for increased outreach to this population. The reality is that tens of thousands of intermarried couples across our Archdiocese have drifted away from the Church. Readers of this article can think of a handful or more of these types of couples. We must do more to prevent the drifting. Some will not respond, but many will. We have the tools, but do we have the will? Are we willing to make the needed adjustments?
Storm Survivors Receive Help BALTIMORE – At the request of the Maryland Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD), International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) deployed members of its Emergency Response Network “Frontliners” to a Disaster Recovery Center in Princess Anne, Md., to provide trauma counseling to survivors of Superstorm Sandy and to assess the emerging needs of families returning to storm-ravaged homes and coastal communities. As the storm moved further inland, emergency response crews assessed the damage and restored critical services while people tried to return to their normal daily lives. IOCC is still in contact with the Orthodox Dioceses and disaster response networks throughout the East Coast to assess the damage in local communities. IOCC emergency response personnel will continue to monitor the situation and respond with emergency relief to storm survivors in need. IOCC has already received initial requests for anticipated shipments of emergency relief items from its ecumenical partners for communities recovering from Hurricane Sandy. IOCC is urging Orthodox Christian parishes to assist by assembling emergency relief items and by making financial donations. “The scenes of destruction that we have witnessed from this superstorm certainly prompt us to keep all those affected in our thoughts and prayers,” said Constantine M. Triantafilou, IOCC Executive Director. “Now is the time to assemble emergency health and infant kits as well as clean-up buckets which will be sorely needed by storm survivors.” Instructions for preparing Emergency Kits may be found at: www.iocc.org/giftsofheart.aspx
Encyclical u u from page 12 Through its close work with the Church, homeless Greek families are receiving food packages and medical care; Bosnian entrepreneurs are using micro loans to create jobs and community prosperity, and Zimbabwe’s babies have a fighting chance to reach their fifth birthday because of new medical equipment and adequate medicine to treat infections. Every day, wherever people are in need, IOCC puts your faith and compassion to work for the multitudes. We call on you now to share your abundance, heeding the words of St. Paul to “look out not only for our own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4). Through our Lord we will find faith taking deeper root, greater love for others and greater joy in putting that faith into action in the service of others. May this blessed season fill you and your family with the Holy Spirit, and join you in love and harmony as we prepare to welcome His Glorious Nativity in Bethlehem. With paternal blessing and love in Christ, The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America
Students and faculty members of St. Vasilios Greek school in Peabody, Mass.
Mass. Parish Greek School Celebrates 100 Years PEABODY, Mass. – St. Vasilios parish’s Greek school marks its 100th anniversary in 1912. Founded by the early immigrant Greeks who settled along the North Shore, it is one of the longest running schools of its kind in the United States. Determined to preserve their language, religion and culture for their American-born children to ensure their assimilation, they established a day school that offered English and Greek that was accredited by the Massachusetts Depart-
ment of Education. In later years, the Greek school took on its current form as an afternoon school and, in more recent years under the direction of its longtime superintendent, Mary Emeromistis, it thrived and preserved its legacy and tradition. She was succeeded by Emily Korkaris, the school’s former principal. The present Greek school, while maintaining several of its original goals, accommodates the needs of a new gen-
eration of Greek Americans in a changing society and where the Greek language is now less commonly spoken at home. The present faculty of the school has initiated a new curriculum focused on developing speaking skills through a program of total immersion in Greek beginning at the Pre-K level through grade seven where students are encouraged to interact in the language with their teachers and classmates. Current principal is Dina Kalaitzidis.
Connecticut Church Holds ‘Thiranoixia’ for Chapel u u from page 8 former Ansonia church. The original bell that rang for 90 years as members were baptized, married, and eulogized, is preserved on a stone pedestal in a corner of a brick patio. St. Barbara Parish Council President Theodore Nicolakis rang the 420-pound bell spiritedly after the Divine Liturgy in St. Barbara Church to accompany church-goers in a procession to the ceremony outside the little chapel. Those in attendance who viewed the inside of the chapel for the first time said they were amazed at the transformation and awed by its authenticity and beauty. The chapel, which faces an exciting future as a place for special and smallersized services and worship, also has a rich history dating back to its cornerstone-laying ceremony in October 1919. As recognized on a plaque on a wall inside the new chapel, the structure “honors and is dedicated to those courageous pioneers, immigrants from Greece, who established the first place of worship of their Greek Orthodox faith in the lower
Naugatuck Valley” in Connecticut. The first Greek families to immigrate to the Ansonia area arrived in 1894 and quickly started raising families and planting the seeds for a thriving social, economic and education-focused community. In 1917, a church-building fund was established when these immigrants, who soon opened restaurants, grocery stores, and shoeshine parlors, went door to door seeking donations of nickels and dimes. That same year, a property was purchased in Ansonia, Conn., for $750. Two years later, a $7,000 loan at 5 percent interest was secured to build the $14,000 church. In 1919, John Vartelas laid the corner stone on Oct. 19 and the church bell, cast in Troy, N.Y., was purchased from nearby Saints Peter and Paul Ukrainian Church for $150. The first services were held during Great and Holy Week in 1920. Discussions to merge with St. Barbara began in 1966 when the larger church began planning to move from New Haven to Orange. The final Divine
Liturgy was celebrated at Holy Trinity Church in Ansonia in July 2012, attended by the founders’ grandchildren and great-grandchildren, representing fields ranging from law and medicine to education and community service. To thank the Naugatuck Valley community for its acceptance of the earliest Greek immigrants and for many years of kindness and support, Holy Trinity parishioners voted to donate $50,000 from its coffers to the Valley Community Foundation to create a fund that will help pay for charity works in the area. The two parishes combined in what Fr. Orfanakos called a “seamless merger,” while Fr. McEachen said, “When we moved here it didn’t even seem like a move. We feel very welcome and glad to be here.” Looking to the future, Archbishop Demetrios said the merger “is just going to a different level. It’s a small change, location wise, but not in substance. You are achievers producing beautiful things. We are proud of communities like yours and we leave with hearts full of gratefulness and joy.”
Obituaries Fr. George Dimopoulos
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WILKES–BARRE, Pa. – Fr. George Dimopoulos, 83, who had served as pastor of Annunciation Church since October 1998, died Oct. 23. He was born in July 1929 in Kozani, Macedonia, Greece and attended school in Kozani. He studied at the Halki Seminary in Constantinople, at Trinity College of the University of Toronto, and the University of Scranton. He married Thalia Efframidou of Thessaloniki in July 1957 and they immigrated to Canada in September 1958. There were parents of two children, Helen, who died in 2010, and Athenagoras, who survives. He was ordained as a deacon in August 1957 in Constantinople and as a priest in September 1957 at the church of Holy Trinity in Constantinople where he served for one year. His next assignment was Panagia Chalkidos in Thessaloniki for six months before moving to Toronto. He served as a priest there from 1958 to 1964, then was assigned to St. Eleftherios in New York, serving until 1965. He served Annunciation Church in Scranton, Pa., from November 1965 to October 1986, and St. Demetrios Church in Upper Darby, Pa., from November 1986 until September 1998 before being assigned to the WilkesBarre church. Funeral services took place Oct. 27 at Annunciation Church with Metropolitan Savas of Pittsburgh presiding.
Fr. Peter C. Katopis CHICOPEE , Mass. – Fr. Peter C. Katopis, 84, parish priest of Sts. Constantine and Helen for 60 years, died Oct. 16. He was born Sept. 8, 1928 in Lagadia, Gortinias, Greece. After completing elementary and high school in Greece, he came to the United States in August 1947 and enrolled at Holy Cross School of Theology, graduating in 1951. He married Catherine Zioga of Bristol, Conn., in August 1952. She predeceased him. They had three children, Stella, Joanna and Christos. He was ordained in as a deacon in Pawtucket, R.I., and a priest in Chicopee Falls in October 1952 by Bishop Ezekiel of Nazianzos, and was assigned to the Chicopee Falls church. Funeral services took place Oct. 21 at Sts. Constantine and Helen Church with Metropolitan Methodios presiding.
Dr. James Steve Counelis The Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco announced the passing of Dr. James Counelis, Archon Hartoularios, at the age of 85. A resident of Orinda, Calif., Dr. Counelis was a distinguished professor of education and Orthodox Christian scholar, who was also an active steward at the Ascension Cathedral in Oakland, Calif. “Dr. Counelis was a devout Orthodox Christian who was loved and respected by his family, friends and colleagues for his strong work ethic, gentle demeanor, quiet wisdom, and giving heart. “His leadership style was one of unification, for he was always striving to bring people together, encouraging cooperation, collaboration, and above all else, Christian love and respect.
“He led a full and rich life, and is now receiving the reward of eternal rest in the loving embrace of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,” stated Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco. Dr. Counelis was born in Streator, Ill. and began his teaching career in the Chicago public high schools. His career would bring him to the West Coast, where he was professor of education at the University of San Francisco. He instructed numerous graduate courses and conducted academic research in several areas including: organization and leadership; organizational theory, management and general systems theory; postsecondary and higher education; and humanistic, philosophical and social foundations of education. He was recognized throughout the world for his academic research, and was also a prolific writer and author. A unique and admirable trait of Dr. Counelis’ was his desire and ability to utilize his vast academic skills and apply them for the betterment of the Orthodox Church in the United States. He served as the first lecturer in Orthodox Christian Theology at the St. John the Divine Foundation (now known as the Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute) at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, Calif.; as president of the Ascension Cathedral in Oakland, and as a member of the Diocesan Council for the Greek Orthodox Diocese of San Francisco. Dr. Counelis also served two terms as a member of the Board of Trustees of Hellenic College Holy Cross School of Theology. In recognition of his devoted service to the Church, Dr. Counelis was honored as a member of the Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle in 1976. Dr. Counelis is survived by his wife of 49 years, Anna Marakas Counelis, and their two sons: Steve Counelis and Dr. George Counelis and other relatives. He is also survived by his sister, Mabel Argires. Funeral service were held at the Ascension Cathedral in Oakland. Metropolitan Gerasimos officiated. Donations may be made in memory of Dr. Counelis to the Ascension Cathedral Capital Campaign.
Dr. George T. Demos DENVER – Dr. George Demos, 75, assistant director of music at Assumption Cathedral and past president of the Denver Metropolis Choir Federation, died Oct. 12. He was a retired surgeon and had served as editor for the choir federation. He also was the second chairman of the National Forum of Greek Orthodox Church Musicians and directed the Endowment for the Chrysanthos Chair of Byzantine and Church Choral Music at Holy Cross School of Theology. He studied music composition and choral conducting at the University of Denver and Greek Orthodox choral music under Frank Desby, Tikey Zes, Theodore Bogdanos and Perecles Phillips. He also directed choirs in Atlanta, San Antonio and Spokane, Wash. Dr. Demos was the recipient of the St. John of Damascus Award, the St. Romans Medallion and was an Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Survivors include his wife, Angelina; children Theodore and Despina, and grandchildren. Services were held at Assumption Cathedral in Denver.
by Eva Kokinos
But He said, “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” – Luke 11:28 We are quickly approaching Thanksgiving and then we will be one month away from Christmas… It’s hard to focus on the true meaning of Thanksgiving with all that fogs up our minds. We become preoccupied with Thanksgiving meals, football games, decorating, visiting family and friends, the remaining days we have to shop for Christmas gifts and what deals we are going to get on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. In the meantime, while our vision is fogged up by our “food coma,” screaming at our favorite football game, or feverishly reading the Black Friday ads, we miss the true meaning of Thanksgiving. Of course, Thanksgiving is not an Orthodox Christian holiday. However, it is a beautiful American tradition where family and friends gather around a feast, expressing their gratitude for the blessings in their lives. Unfortunately, this “fog” isn’t simply reserved for the Thanksgiving holiday. We find that throughout the year we have our everyday concerns… work, school, family, bills, health, relationships, etc. So with all this fog that obstructs our view… we have to ask ourselves “what are we missing?” Let’s look at the Holy Scriptures, which offer us a glimpse into what happens when we get caught up in the fog of our busy lives and what we think is a priority. In the Gospel of Luke (10:38-42), we read about sisters Mary and Martha. Jesus entered the village and was received into the home of Martha. While Martha worked endlessly to serve the Lord, Mary sat at His feet and was listening to Him teach. Martha, who was working alone, got upset. She even asked Jesus to send Mary away from Him to help her. But Jesus Christ told Martha that she was anxious and worried about so many things. But she only needed one thing. Mary knew that… and that was something that couldn’t be taken away from her. Now, there is nothing wrong with being prepared. We can all appreciate Martha wanting to prepare and offer the best for
Focus on GOD Jesus who was a guest in her home. But what good is our preoccupation with the many, many temporary things of the world if we miss the one thing that is eternal? Imagine inviting family and friends over for Thanksgiving dinner, but never spending quality time with them. But instead, we might be working feverishly in the kitchen to make sure everything is perfect. Unfortunately, we end up missing those special moments we meant to share with those we love. Take a moment to think for a moment about your daily schedule. Most of us are bustling around like Martha, usually with very good intentions. We want to make sure everything else is in order in our lives, and THEN we will settle down to think about God and our faith. However, we forget that Jesus Christ is right here… right now. So in order that we can truly sit at the feet of our Lord, to learn and to grow and to receive His blessings, we must get out of the fog… Instead, we should Focus on God. We must get out of the fog and focus on God by giving God priority on our schedule. Whether it is our time, our talents, or our treasure, we must think of God. We tend to give from our schedules, our gifts, and our pocketbooks to everything else first. Then, with whatever we have left, we offer that to God. But instead, we must focus on God by giving of our first fruits of our labor and our efforts. We must get out of the fog and focus on God by anchoring ourselves in His Word. At the end of Mary and Martha’s story, Christ
says “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” We must continue to learn, to meditate on, and to put into practice the teachings of our Lord. These teachings recalibrate our direction, even if we are blinded by the fog. Like a lighthouse that helps ships find their way through the fog, the word of God guides us to solid ground. Finally, we must get out of the fog and focus on God by being present at the Thanksgiving feast that He has prepared for us every Sunday. Yes, thanksgiving is not just the third Thursday of November. For Orthodox Christians, thanksgiving is every Sunday! It is at this feast during the Divine Liturgy that we all gather to receive the Holy Eucharist. When we come to Divine Liturgy, we should be prepared like Martha, BUT we must be actively listening and learning like Mary to truly experience God in His house. May God grant each and every one a safe and blessed Thanksgiving holiday. May our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who rose from the dead to lead us out of the darkness of sin, offer us that same light to help us navigate through the fog of everyday life. If we can stay focused on God, the incredible gift of salvation will be in our sights and within our reach. Eva Kokinos serves as the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Detroit. She received a Masters of Theological Studies from Holy Cross School of Theology in 2003.
Simple Ways to Celebrate Thanksgiving 1) Attend Church: During these holiday/ vacation weekends, we tend to “slack off” when it comes to our attendance in Church services. However, the Divine Liturgy and other services are the best way to give glory
FOR YOUTH WORKERS AND PARENTS • SAVE THE DATE for the 2013 Annual Orthodox Christian Camp and Youth Worker Conference – Jan. 24-26, 2013 – The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America is hosting this event in Austin, TX. Details are coming soon! • Are you on FACEBOOK? Search for GOYA – Greek Orthodox Youth of America or Greek Orthodox National Young Adult Ministries and BECOME A FAN TODAY!!
and thanksgiving to God. Make it a point to attend Divine Liturgy as a family! 2) Make a “Thank You” List: Sometimes it is hard to really understand how many blessings we have been given. So sit down and make a list of people or things for which you are thankful. Whether you have three or thirty things on your list, say a special prayer on Thanksgiving and every day for those blessings. 3) Volunteer at a homeless shelter: With the incredible feasts that we partake of during the Thanksgiving holiday, it is easy
to forget all those who will go without a simple, hot meal. During Thanksgiving, many homeless shelters serve Thanksgiving meals to those who come. So take the time to volunteer at a shelter that is serving meals 4) Plan a Food Drive: It sounds like an overdone idea. But nearly 17.2 million households in the United States are considered “food insecure.” So even if you have already held a food drive in your youth group or parish, sponsor another one! Contact your local food bank to see how you can help. 5) Simply remember to say “Thank You”: Seems pretty basic, right? But all too often, we find ourselves forgetting to say “thank you” to those who do good things for us. So say “thank you” to your youth group advisors… Say “thank you” to your teachers… Say “thank you” to your parents… Even say “thank you” to someone who holds the door open as you enter a store!
LIVING YOUR FAITH OUT LOUD Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. – Matthew 5:14-16 Last month, four young men known as “The Painted Posse” attended a Louisiana State University game. Although they love their school, LSU will always be second in their hearts. These young men have made it clear that they love God first. During the October 13th game against South Carolina, “The Painted Posse” decorated themselves in paint to show their school pride. This decoration included a cross near their left shoulder, making a personal statement that they are Christian. They happened to be photographed at the game. But when the photo was published, the four fans noticed that the crosses had been digitally removed. The young men were disappointed because they were simply showing their love for God, as well as their beloved LSU team. In an article on www.foxnews.com, one of the young men explained why they chose to add the cross: “’The cross painting is important to me because it represents who I am as a Christ follower. And it reminds me who I need to act like in Death Valley,’ Cooke added, referring to Tiger Stadium’s nickname.” The article continued with a
Witnessing your faith at all times and in all places statement from School spokesman, Herb Vincent, who said they did remove the cross to prevent other students from being offended. There was, in fact, one complaint from a student about the photo. As Orthodox Christians, we have incredible examples of individuals who lived their faith even in the face of critics and those who disagreed. The Holy Martyrs of our Orthodox Christian faith were individuals who, even unto death, stood up for what they believed. If we read their stories, we can gain inspiration to witness our faith in the simplest of ways. Take a moment to think about how YOU express your Orthodox Christian faith in all that you do. You might not need to paint a cross on your shoulders like the gentleman of “The Painted Posse.” However, there are practical ways that one can live their faith and witness what they believe every day. Pray before eating lunch at school, pray before a test or a big game, or simply take a moment to pray if people are getting on your nerves. The fact is… there is no way that anyone can “remove” the image of God from within you when you let it shine through your actions!
‘Spirit of Stewardship’ Honors 20 from Pacific Northwest SEATTLE – The Metropolis of San Francisco held its Spirit of Stewardship Awards Dinner for the northwest region of the Metropolis on Oct. 14. This event was initiated by Metropolitan Gerasimos and the Metropolis Philoptochos four years ago to honor faithful stewards from each community who have gone above and beyond in their service to the church through their tireless and selfless devotion to their communities. “These individuals have lovingly offered of themselves and this is but a small way to honor them for their faithful service to the church,” stated Metropolitan Gerasimos. “Each of these people has brought with them a unique expression of their love for God, and they exemplify the spirit of stewardship through their humility, piety and commitment.” The event was led by Metropolis Philoptochos President Jeannie Ranglas, along with the area Philoptochos parish presidents: Susan Reichmann, chairman (St. Demetrios, Seattle), Mary Lou Barton (Assumption, Seattle), Georgiana Bitzes (Holy Apostles, Shoreline, Wash.); and Sally Hallis (St. Nicholas, Tacoma). Each parish selected up to two individuals for recognition by the Metropolitan and the capacity crowd that greeted each honoree with enthusiasm and gratitude. Fr. Dean Kouldukis of Assumption Church in Seattle served as the committee’s spiritual advisor. His community also hosted the event at their new parish fellowship hall. Proceeds from the Spirit of Stewardship event benefit the Metropolis of San Francisco ministries. This year’s honorees included: Gene Auer and Antigoni Tsircou, Holy Apostles, Shoreline, Wash; Lori Avgerakis and Ann Mehas, Holy Trinity Cathedral, Portland, Oregon; Mary Lou Barton and Theodore Dimitriou, Assumption, Seattle; John Davis and Diane Cherry, St. John the Baptist, Beaverton, Oregon; Thelma Doces and Terry Karis, St. Demetrios, Seattle; Jo Ann Kluge and John Trotogott, Mission, Roseburg, Oregon; Julie Lenkoff and Art and Key Mehas, Eugene, Oregon; Diana Pirotis and Habib Serhan, St. Nicholas, Tacoma, Wash; Spyri-
Metropolitan Gerasimos with the Spirit of Stewardship Award Recipients.
don Southas, St. Sophia, Bellingham, Wash; Artistides Thopoulous (posthumously), Holy Trinity, Spokane, Wash. Also honored for their service to Metropolis ministries were: Marian Palas (Metropolis Philoptochos nominee, St. Nicholas, Tacoma); and Ethel Barbas (Metropolis Church Music Federation nominee, Assumption, Seattle). The program featured eight-year old Nina Maria Christofilis, who sang Schubert’s “Ave Maria,” and “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?” from The Sound of Music. She received a standing ovation at the conclusion of her performance. (right) The Metropolitan with Metropolis and local Philoptochos leaders (1st row from left) Susan Reichmann, St. Demetrios-Seattle chapter president; Metropolis President Jeannie Ranglas; Metropolis First Vice-President Agatha Felactu, Second Vice President Michele Genetos. (2nd row) Tacoma chapter President Sally Hallis; Metropolis Corresponding Secretary Mari Lou Diamond; Metropolis Assistant Treasurer Mary Lou Barton; and Mary Lofton, Assumption-Seattle chapter president.
Northern California Greek Educators Meet SAN FRANCISCO – The Metropolis of San Francisco hosted a meeting of Greek Language Educators from northern California on Oct. 7 that included members of the Metropolis Greek Education and Culture Committee and representatives from eight schools. Following the Divine Liturgy and Artoklasia services at Annunciation Cathedral, the attendees gathered for a reception and luncheon with Metropolitan Gerasimos, Chancellor Archimandrite Apostolos Koufallakis; Cathedral Dean Fr. Stephen Kyriacou and more than 25 teachers from various Greek schools. Theodora Kounalakis, chair, presented an overview of the Metropolis Committee on Greek Education and Culture including: annual workshops
Metropolitan Gerasimos (center) with Greek Language instructors from northern California parishes.
for Greek educators on teaching Greek as a foreign language, the Greek Village Camp, the distribution of textbooks and resource materials from the Archdiocese, and their participation in several events including the celebration of the Three Hierarchs, Greek Independence Day, and OXI Day. Committee member Ioanna Lekkakou presented a report on new developments in teaching Modern Greek. “There is a great need to support and expand the Greek language pro-
grams in all our parishes. This is an important educational opportunity that will benefit our children throughout their lives,” Metropolitan Gerasimos remarked. “Today’s gathering adds a new level of commitment and excitement to the work of our parish Greek schools. The Metropolis remains dedicated in its support of these efforts and looks forward to continued collaboration for the benefit of both students and teachers.” Each parish and school represent-
(Photos courtesy Metropolis of San Francisco)
ed offered a brief overview of their programs and shared ideas to strengthen the collective work of all the Greek language schools in the Metropolis of San Francisco. Parishes and schools represented were: Annunciation Cathedral, Annunciation Church, Sacramento; Ascension Cathedral, Oakland; Fanari Academy, Sunnyvale; Holy Cross, Belmont; St. Katherine, Redondo Beach; St. Nicholas, San Jose; and Prophet Elias, Santa Cruz.
A Community That Offers Orthodox and Southern Hospitality P A R I S H
Name: HolyTrinity Greek Orthodox Church Location: Columbia, S.C. Metropolis of Atlanta Size: about 300 families Founded: 1936 Clergy: Fr. Michael Platanis (Holy Cross ’90; Georgia Tech.University, BS in industrial management, ‘86) E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.holytrinitysc.com Noteworthy: Parish is looked to by greater community for leadership in homeless ministry.
HOLY TRINITY GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH COLUMBIA, S.C. – Orthodox Christianity is not a secret in the middle of South Carolina. Located in the state capital’s downtown, Holy Trinity Church has a broad outreach in the city. “The parish is very involved in the inner city,” said Fr. Michael Platanis, the parish priest since June 2008. He previously served at Assumption Church in Galveston, Texas, and was program coordinator for Ionian Village at the Archdiocese following graduation from Holy Cross. “The city looks to us to work on homeless issues and other churches look to us for leadership because of our expertise in working with the homeless and in law enforcement (there is a homeless center across the street and the former head of the South Carolina Office of Homeland Security is a parishioner, Robert Stewart). Another parishioner, Constantine Pleicones, is a state Supreme Court justice. “The church is a salvific, civic and philanthropic leader in the area,” Fr. Michael added. This local outreach includes the St. Katherine’s Philoptochos chapter that is highly active. “The do a lot locally,” Fr. Michael said. “Philoptochos helps feed those in need every month at a nearby church.” Another means by which the church witnesses to the faith is through its Greek festival, which is not seen as a fund-raiser to help pay the bills, but as an opportunity to reach out to the greater community. It is held the third weekend in September. Fr. Michael said that, after the state fair, the festival is the second largest event in Columbia and attracts more than 120,000 each year. He noted that “11,000 people waited in line just to see the new church,” which was completed in 2011. “The Greek festival donates 10 percent of its annual net revenue to charity,” the priest continued. “This year we gave $40,000 to local charities and the national ministries.” The parish also boosts its membership through the festival as a number of families who attend each year become members. The church ministers to military personnel at nearby Fort Jackson and Fr. Michael is active with the Orthodox Christian Fellowship at the University of South Carolina, located in Columbia, whose president, Dr. Harry Pastides, and provost, Michael Amiridis, are both parishioners. Dr. Pastides, of Greek Cypriot background, is a native of Astoria, N.Y., and holds a Ph.D. from Yale. Internally, Holy Trinity’s stewardship program is described as very successful. “Pledges have gone up over several consecutive years,” said Fr. Michael. “It is very well received.” Parishioners reside not only within
Columbia, but in many outlying cities and towns, with some members driving an hour each week to attend church, which is readily accessible because of its central location. “That’s part of the blessing of being a downtown church, we’re right in the middle,” Fr. Michael said. Among the church’s regular programs are a “very active Sunday School” of about 90 students, a GOYA chapter and adult and youth choirs. Fr. Michael holds a Tuesday morning breakfast where those attending read and discuss various theological and other religious books relating to the Orthodox faith. On Wednesday evenings he holds a paraklesis service and offers periodic theological discussions in six or seven week sessions on various topics that include the Divine Liturgy. The priest added that the parish currently has no Greek school, “but we’re working on it.” Early years Fr. Michael said the parish is now mostly second and third generation, with some Greek immigrants and a number of converts. The first Greek Orthodox to arrive in the area in the early 1900s came mostly from Sparta and Evrytania, with some from Asia Minor, northern Greece and the islands. According to a parish history, several families by the 1920s had settled in Columbia, mostly working in the food business. Two Greek American organizations, GAPA (Greek American Progressive Association) and AHEPA helped form a sense of community and they formally organized in 1936. The families purchased a frame house in 1936 to use as a church and they first called the parish Assumption when it was recognized by the Archdiocese in 1942. The community built its first church in 1949 and became officially known as the Greek Orthodox Church of the Holy Trinity. Archbishop Michael consecrated the church in 1954 under the pastorate of Fr. Homer P. Goumenis. In 1956, the South Carolina General Assembly passed a bill recognizing Eastern Orthodoxy as one of the state’s major faiths. The same year the community began planning for its first community center. Under the pastorate of Fr. Theotokis Pappas, who arrived at the parish in 1963, the community experienced a significant increase in membership, the parish history noted, which continued through the 1970s and ‘80s as more converts and other ethnic Orthodox joined the church. A new Hellenic center was built in 1986 under the pastorate of Fr. George Vaporis, which enabled the parish to begin the Greek festival that is now a hallmark
event in the city. In the 1990s, under the pastorate of Fr. Aris Metrakos, parishioners began to consider building a new sanctuary and additional property was purchased on Main
Street next to the existing church and a capital campaign was started. The church complex now occupies an entire block in downtown Columbia. After the arrival of Fr. Michael, building plans were completed and construction began in 2010 on a 9,500-square-foot church with a capacity of up to 500 worshippers. The church, designed by San Francisco architect Christ Kamages, is modeled after the 6th century church of Sts. Sergius and Bacchus and of Aghia Sophia in Constantinople. After the door-opening service in March 2011, iconographer Dr. George Kordis was commissioned to create the church’s icons. Dr. Kordis, a professor of iconography at the University of Athens, is also a graduate of Holy Cross School of Theology and has decorated churches in many countries. Describing his parish, Fr. Michael noted that “This parish is very responsive to living the life described in the gospels, a sacramental and philanthropic life. It’s very friendly, showing two great types of hospitality-Orthodox and southern. — Compiled by Jim Golding
Archdiocese Assesses Superstorm Effects u u from page 1 Archbishop Demetrios, along with key people in the Archdiocese and the Philoptochos Society worked to assess the situation and offer assistance to the superstorm victims. In response to this historic natural disaster for this area of the United States, His Eminence asks the faithful throughout the nation to offer prayers of remembrance for those who lost their lives and prayers of consolation for the thousands
who have suffered the loss of property and face weeks and months of recovery. He also asks for prayers for the safety of the many rescue personnel and others who are working to save lives and bring solace to those who have been afflicted by this storm. He stated, “Through these sacrificial acts and through the outpouring of our love and generosity may those in need know the presence of the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort the God who will give them strength, healing, and peace.” (II Corinthians 1:4)
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Outreach and Evangelism My Journey to Orthodoxy by Carolyn Niemeck
WEBSTER, Mass.– I was asked to write about my journey to Orthodoxy. I don’t easily put my feelings and thoughts into writing so where do I begin? I once received a tee shirt with the quote: “The path of Life isn’t paved.” The “unpaved path” describes my journey – sometimes bumpy and sometimes getting stuck in the mud, until recently. My Journey to Orthodoxy began with a lot of questions in my youth. My parents not only tolerated the questioning, they encouraged it. My mother was well acquainted with various views of philosophy. When I refused to attend the Catholic Church, my parents insisted that I have religious/philosophical discussions with them. Knowing my mother, I’m sure she worried and prayed a lot for me during these discussions. When I was 17 it was very clear to me that evil is real and active in the world. At the same time, the beauty of nature captivated me, and I realized that we humans are a part of this work of art. Why would the Artist leave such a beautiful work alone with evil present? I prayed expecting an answer, because surely the Creator must care about His beautiful creation. Over time, I became aware that the Lord didn’t leave me alone, but it was I who had left the Lord. The big question…”How do I return?” I began to search for guidance. At the same time, there were many groups
in search of converts. One of them found me and offered answers to my many questions. In fact, they had “answers” that no human could hope to have. For them, everything was “black and white” and nothing was left to mystery. I returned to the key questions of my youth, “How can a human leader be infallible?” and “How can they know the mind of God?” I continued asking questions. It was hard to admit that I had been misled and failed to be logical. At times, I thought I was doing the right thing, and they told me that my questions revealed a lack of faith. So I prayed for faith and guidance. My search continued. I looked at the Lutheran Church, the faith of my mother. After attending that church for a year, I realized that to join I only had to fill out a form. I had a conversation with the minister there about original sin. I didn’t see it their way. He told me that my views were “very Greek. It is more their philosophy,” he stated. This comment stayed in my head. I knew that Jesus called His Apostles, and that Scripture says that Peter is the rock upon which He built His Church. When I pulled away from “organized religion” this thought came back to me. But where was that Church? How do I keep the Sabbath day holy? The Bible has so many translations, yet how do I interpret the Bible? Who can be right, and which Church teaches the truth? We moved to Webster. It was not
long before I noticed flags of different nations flying at the Sts Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church. I thought, though, that this church was only for Greeks, and the Russian Orthodox Church was only for Russians, and that each had a different view of Orthodoxy according to their ethnicity. So, what’s with the flags? And the sign outside the church said “Everyone Welcome,” as well as asking: “Is there something missing in your life?” (A loud ‘YES’ went off in my head!). Then the Greek festival came. My favorite aunt had taken me to Greek festivals before. She reminded me that this was part of my ‘multi–ethnic’ heritage. I had not been to one since she passed away. Surely there would be baklava and other good foods, and maybe someone would even explain those flags flying outside the church. During the festival the church doors were open, like arms wide open. People are curious by nature, and an open door requires a peek. A sign welcomed visitors, and noted times of a church tour. Okay, there was time to eat delicious food, watch the dancers and go back for the church tour. Never before had I been to a Greek festival where the church doors were open. I looked, I listened, and I returned home with several pamphlets and many questions in my head. What little I had heard about icons was a misconception. What little I knew about Orthodoxy was a misconception. My visit and what I heard forced me to view Orthodoxy differently than before. I went to my e-book and downloaded two books – Light from the Christian East and
selections from An Orthodox Prayer Book. The first book explained why the Lutheran minister said that I “thought Greek.” This book compares ancient Roman philosophy and logic to ancient Greek philosophy and logic, and how it relates to the early church. I started to attend the Divine Liturgy. The Liturgy brings me a peaceful feeling. (Even more so when the choir is there.) I was taught about Mary as the Theotokos. The icons were explained. One of the first things I noticed at the church was the timeline on the wall in the Church hall. History has always been interesting to me, but the divide between the Orthodox East and the Catholic West was unfamiliar. It made an impact on me. At Bible study, I received some books to read. During the “Orthodoxy 101” class I read more books. One book I kept coming across was The Orthodox Way by Bishop Kallistos Ware. My family bought this for me, along with Introducing the Orthodox Church by Fr. Anthony Coniaris. These books helped answer many questions. What I realized as well, though, was that some answers could only be found in the Mysteries. This comforted me greatly. One might think that with all my questions, what I wanted was many answers. Yet what I truly wanted was Truth. This was my journey to the Orthodox Church. Of course, my spiritual journey did not conclude with my baptism on June 24th. Unlike the “unpaved path” I had been on, with my baptism I began a journey on the Path of Light. Within the church there is guidance and support to stay on the path.
Kidney Donor Wanted T he s e arch for he a lth and healthy kidneys, hits close to home in the case of New York resident Spiros Catechis. Pol yc ysti c Ki d n e y D i s e a s e (PKD) has hit every generation of Spyro’s family in the era of modernmedical documentation. His grandfather and four greatuncles were claimed by the disease, and three cousins were likewise forced to go on dialysis and ultimately receive transplants. Thirteen years ago, in 1999, both Spiro, at the age of 26, and his mother were diagnosed with the disease. Currently on dialysis, Spiro is on a state-wide list for transplant recipients, with the approximate wait time for a successful transplant in New York state extending to as long as nine years. Time is running out. “Hi, I am Spiros Catechis, 40 years old. I have been forced to take both of my kidneys out due to the complex cysts that my doctors were afraid might turn cancerous. Please, if you can consider testing for me, you will save the last surviving member of a family being wiped out
for three generations. Unfortunately I am running out of time. The dialysis machine is saving my life today but it’s killing my tomorrow. I am deteriorating. The wait list is much longer than my given time to live.” What we are looking for in a potential donor is to be between 25–50, A or O blood group. If they have high blood pressure, other medical conditions they cannot be consider to donate. First step is a simple blood test to determine their blood type. Telling their family that they want to give a gift of life to a person who is in great need is must. Support is the main ingredient to make this happen. “Next is to contact my transplant coordinator Helen Stamy 718-920-8483@Montifiore Hospital which will require to come in for additional testing. If the person who would be interested to donate is outside of the New York Area they will fly him or her in at no cost. Testing and all procedures are covered by my insurance.” Thank you and God Bless…
Such a Lovely, Multi-Purpose Day at Saint Basil’s GARRISON, N.Y. – The Archdiocese institution of Saint Basil Academy, while performing its vital primary role of nurturing children from unfortunate circumstances, performs a broader function and outreach through its existence as a magnet that attracts groups and individuals seeking the peace and tranquility of a day or weekend retreat or visit in the Hudson Valley. Saturday, Oct. 20, was such an example. The Academy offered multiple opportunities for spending a beautiful autumn day that brought together hundreds of visitors and children of Saint Basil’s. More than 200 visitors from throughout the region engaged in a variety of activities, including a walk-a-thon that raised more than $11,000 for the Academy. The parish of St. Demetrios in Merrick, Long Island, a group of Girl Scouts from Holy Cross Church in Whitestone, N.Y., a large family from Tenafly, N.J., the parish council from St. Nicholas Church in Wyckoff, N.J., some individuals from Brooklyn, a group of about 50 Ahepans and Daughters of Penelope and a visiting priest from Estonia all spent the day engaged in a variety of activities. The Ahepans and Daughters of Penelope members held a business meeting, while the parish council members from New Jersey attended a retreat conducted by Fr. James Kordaris, director of the Department of Stewardship, Outreach and Evangelism. The walk-a-thon drew about 140 persons who strolled through a setting of trees whose leaves reached their colorful fall peak, over a one–mile course. Soccer, touch football and just sitting on benches admiring the Hudson Valley drew many participants. “It’s a typical weekend for the fall and spring,” said Fr. Sitaras, the Academy director who welcomed the groups after their arrival in mid-morning. Also welcoming large groups on many weekends is Saint Basil board President Evellyn Tsiadis. She was joined by trustee Kalliope Tsitsipas who baked and sold Greek pastries. Other volunteers prepared lunch for the visitors that included chicken souvlaki, hamburgers and hot dogs. Fr. Sitaras noted that, some of the upcoming activities scheduled over the next two months include the New Jersey Philoptochos retreat on the following weekend, and visits of the Hellenic Club of Fordham University in November, young adult volunteers making gingerbread houses and the annual Christmas program on Dec. 15. In the spring, Boy Scouts from the Eastern Orthodox Committee on Scouting hold a weekend camporee on the Academy grounds, which offer acres of wooded land suitable for campsites. For information on scheduling a group visit to the Academy or to just drop by on an individual basis, visit www.stbasil.goarch. org, or call 845.424.3500.
Fr. Costas Sitaras, the Academy’s director, hands a bowl of aghiasmo to one of the Academy children as Fr. Nikiforos Fakinos chants during the water blessing service before the start of the day’s activities.
This soccer game provided a great opportunity for visiting youth and several children of the Academy to share fellowship and camaraderie. Fr. Nikiforos leads the charge in a successful scoring drive.
Board of Trustees President Evellyn Tsiadis (center) and others get blessed as Fr. Sitaras passes by.
A Girl Scout from Holy Cross in Whitestone, Queens, shows her skill at this ball toss game in which she won a stuffed animal.
Delicious pop corn, a bounce-house, a DJ and games of skill were among the attractions and activities available in the gym.
ORTHODOX OBSERVER PHOTOS
Coming and going – some of the more than 140 walkers who participated in the walk-athon that raised more than $11,000 for Saint Basil’s. More than 60 parishioners from St. Demetrios Church in Merrick, N.Y., made their annual trek to the Academy to enjoy nature, hike and participate in sports. Across the Hudson River behind them, part of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and the color–laden Catskills are visible.
Rock star? Too little to play soccer or football? Not a problem. At Saint Basil’s, there is always the option of using one’s imagination, perhaps by mixing a cup of rocks… on the rocks.
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Center for Family Care - Family Connections
Sharing Our Faith Traditions by Despina Manatos
When I was in 1st grade, I remember my mother coming to my classroom after the New Year with a Vasilopita. She explained the tradition to my class, cut pieces of the bread for everyone, and my classmate who found the coin in his bread, received a blessing for the New Year. I remember thinking it was pretty cool that she shared this fun tradition from our faith and culture with my teacher and my friends. I was very proud that they found my Greek Orthodox tradition so interesting and were very enthusiastic to learn about it. Now that I am a parent, I find it extremely important that my generation continues to pass on such meaningful traditions of our faith and culture to our children. Furthermore, I feel like we need to share them with others in order for us to stay connected to our roots and facilitate our children’s pride in their heritage. Therefore, I always ask parents, are we doing the best we can to keep in touch with our roots and share our faith and traditions with others? How can we do this throughout the year and not merely by inviting our friends to our annual church festival? Think about this: We all have family members or friends who married someone outside the Orthodox faith. It is always nice to share our wedding traditions (the koufeta, the koumbari, the stefana, etc.) with the new spouse and his
or her family. People of other faiths love our traditions because they are steeped in religious meaning and significance. The programs at weddings often explain the intricacies of the Orthodox wedding and the non-Orthodox guests appreciate the explanation. How proud we are to tell others that we are crowned as king and queen of our home with the stefana? It is so beautiful, and it is a part of the wedding ceremony that people love to learn about and witness. So, let’s continue to communicate the rich meanings behind the things we celebrate in the Greek Orthodox faith. Here are three traditions we should be observing, explaining, and sharing with others whenever the opportunity presents itself: 1) – Name days: Our children need to know that they have a name day! They also need to know something about the life of the saint or the story of the feast on the day which they celebrate. Every family should decide how to celebrate name days and our children ought to look forward to them just as they do their birthdays. We should even be teaching our children the name days of other family members and encourage them to give them a call to say “Chronia Polla.” In our schools, when asked about our culture and what kinds of things our children celebrate, we should take that opportunity to explain about name days to the class. The teacher could even provide a list of the names of the children in
the class and we can try to find a name day that corresponds to each name. Kids would love to learn their Orthodox name day! We can even teach the class how to write “Chronia Polla” in Greek. I think our children would be very proud to share this special tradition with their classmates. I can just hear the kids at school telling our kids, “Wow, it is so cool that you get to have a birthday and a name day! Do you get presents for both?” – Vasilopita: Just as my mother brought a Vasilopita to class many years ago, we can also do the same. In a demonstration to the class, we should first tell the children the story of the Vasilopita. I like explaining that the translation of Vasilopita is “Basil’s sweet bread” honoring the saint remembered in this treasured tradition. There are many versions of how and why Saint Basil put the coins into sweet bread, but the most common story is that he was trying to secretly distribute money to the poor. There is also a special order of the cutting of the bread that is followed: Jesus Christ, the Theotokos, Saint Basil, and the Church or the poor. Then, it is cut for the family members, oldest to youngest. As we demonstrate this in class, we can adapt it by starting with the principal or the teacher, then the classroom, then the oldest student to the youngest. Don’t forget to mention that the person who receives the coin in his bread is said to be blessed in the year ahead. This is an easy tradition for us to share
with others, and if it cannot be done at school, maybe you can invite some of your children’s friends over after the New Year and have a special cutting of the Vasilopita. – Cracking eggs at Pascha: The Greek name for this game is “tsougrisma” meaning clinking together. At a spring event of your child’s class, bring some red hard boiled eggs. Next, explain the rules of breaking Pascha eggs to the students and start playing until the last uncracked egg (and winner) is standing. We all know how exciting breaking eggs can be in our own house at Pascha each year so the kids at school will definitely enjoy this game. To make it even more fun, offer a prize for the winner. This past Pascha, my son created a throne for the champion egg by turning a Styrofoam cup over and poking a hole into the bottom. The champion egg was placed on the throne for everyone to admire. I know there are many more unique aspects of our faith and culture that we can share with others. I encourage you to keep adding to this list and paying more attention to what we Orthodox celebrate. Let’s make a point of sharing our traditions so our children can be proud and most importantly, so our wonderful traditions live on. Despina Manatos is the author of “The Name Day Book,” which can be purchased from the Department of Religious Education. Despina is an English teacher and attends St. Barbara Church in Toms
Arming Our Children
Brethren, you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord in whom you also are built into it for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. –Ephesians 2:19-22; 3:1-7
“My children look forward to being ‘armed for battle’ every morning. I make the sign of the cross with holy oil on their foreheads; their armor. I give them each a piece of antidoro (take an extra piece on Sunday and cut into small pieces for the rest of the week) and a sip of holy water; their strength. And we double check to make sure they have their weapons; their cross and prayer rope. Then we leave for school and I have the peace of mind knowing that God and His holy Mother and all the saints are surrounding my children with their protection.”
It is of great significance if there is a person who truly prays in a family. Prayer attracts God’s Grace and all the members of the family feel it, even those whose hearts have grown cold. Pray always. – Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica, Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives: The Life and Teachings of Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica (Compiled by the St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood) The bodies of fellow human beings must be treated with greater care than our own. Christian love teaches us to give our brethren not only spiritual gifts, but material gifts as well. Even our last shirt, our last piece of bread must be given to them. Personal almsgiving and the most wideranging social work are equally justifiable and necessary. The way to God lies through love of other people and there is no other way. At the Last Judgment I shall not be asked if I was successful in my ascetic exercises or how many prostrations I made in the course of my prayers. I shall be asked, did I feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick and the prisoners: that is all I shall be asked. - St. Maria Skobtsova of Paris, Pearl of Great Price: The Life of Mother Maria Skobtsova 18911945 by Sergei Hackel
– From Spiritual Inheritance by Sylvia Leontaritis (Family Connections, September 2011).
A PRAYER FOR THE NATIVITY FAST Lord Jesus, You have come so many times to us and found no resting place, forgive us for our overcrowded lives, our vain haste and our preoccupation with self. Come again, O Lord, and though our hearts are a jumble of voices, and our minds overlaid with many fears, find a place however humble, where You can begin to work Your wonder as you create peace and joy within us. If in some hidden corner, in some out-of the-way spot, we can clear away the clutter, and shut out the noise and darkness, come be born again in us, and we shall kneel in perfect peace with the wisest and humblest of men. Help us to enter into this Christmas Fast with humility, yet with joy. And finally Lord, give us Christmas from within, that we may share it from without, on all sides, all around us, wherever there is need. God help us, every one, to share the blessing of Jesus, in whose name we keep Christmas holy. Amen. – From Daily Meditations and Prayer for the Christmas Advent Fast and Epiphany by Presbytera Emily Harakas and Fr. Anthony Coniaris.
The Metropolis of Boston Revisited Featured Ministry
The Emerging Leaders Ministry BROOKLINE, Mass. -- Metropolitan Methodios and the Metropolis of Boston initiated the “Emerging Leaders Ministry,” funded with a grant from Leadership 100, by creating a steering committee that developed implementation strategies within the framework of four working groups. The outreach and networking team activities include outreach to each district and each parish, district seminars and communication through list serves and all media, particularly social media. Outreach in the Boston area is designed to expand throughout the metropolis with a series of “Orthodoxy on Tap” evenings that draw more than 60 individuals for a short presentation, discussion and networking. The research and education teams partnered to develop an Emerging Leaders survey to ensure programs designed for the contemporary professionals are based on the real needs of the target population and the parishes. The data will inform the design of educational programs that may include topics on lay leadership, ethics issues, studying scripture, planning career and finances, coping with stress and other important topics. The organizational team provides grant oversight, coordinates the grant activities and developed the recordkeeping, communication and grant infrastructure. The metropolis launched its third Parish Leadership Development seminar on Oct. 23 in Fitchburg, Mass., and will convene the seminars monthly throughout the nine metropolis districts. The 2012-13 series theme, “Transforming Parish Leadership/Developing Emerging Leaders,” features keynote speaker Theo Nicolakis, director of the Archdiocese Department of Information Technologies. Recognizing that as Greek Orthodox Christians, nurturing our youth and mentoring our contemporary professionals in parish leadership while helping them balance their faith and life must become a priority of every parish, the seminars examine current and future paradigms to engage our contemporary professionals in parish ministries and leadership. Participants join a 45-minute discussion group on parish leadership, communications, mentoring and Engaging Emerging Leaders and leave with tools, tangible resources and practical knowledge to utilize and adopt within their local communities. The Emerging Leaders discussion included the survey designed to capture data from Contemporary Professionals as a component of the Metropolis of Boston Leadership 100 grant. The Emerging Leaders Ministry is targeted at establishing a Contemporary Professionals Ministry Program that will include a parish outreach and leadership training program and a metropolis mentoring program. Metropolitan Methodios is assisted by Fr. Theodore Barbas, chancellor, and the metropolis staff that includes a group of talented, contemporary professionals who serve an important role in organizing the Emerging Leaders Ministry and outreaching to their peers to expand the program. To develop and implement this ministry, the Metropolis of Boston collaborates with the faculty of Hellenic College Holy Cross School of Theology and several de-
Meet the staff
– Members of the Metropolis of Boston staff are (from left): Anthony Ruggerio, office intern for Internet Technologies; Vaso Christopoulos, executive assistant; Chrysanthi Tiggas, Youth Ministry program coordinator; Eleni Kalioras, chancellor’s office intern; Rev. Theodore Barbas, chancellor; Metropolitan Methodios; Michael Sintros, director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries and the St. Methodios Faith and Heritage Center; George Stephanides, bookkeeper; Cassandra Garibaldi, registry office intern; Foti Papiri, office intern; Andrew Otto, office intern; Helen Perdicoyianni, Greek secretary.
partment directors of the Archdiocese including Internet Ministries, Religious Education, Youth and Young Adults, Office of Parish Development, and the Department of Outreach and Evangelism. The Emerging Leaders Ministry’s primary goal is to engage contemporary professionals in the life and leadership of the Church towards their own personal growth in the faith and in their walk with Christ. The vision for the Emerging Leaders Ministry is to serve as a prototype to address the important parish need of training parish leaders in outreach, and to create the environment that builds a cadre of new leaders to serve their communities.
Metropolis of Boston Metropolis of Boston 162 Goddard Avenue Brookline, MA 02445 617.277.4742 Fax: 617.739.9229 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.boston.goarch.org St. Methodios Faith and Heritage Center Metropolis of Boston Camp 329 Camp Merrimac Road Contoocook, NH 03229 603.746.4400 Fax: 603.746.2142 E-mail: email@example.com www.mbcamp.org
To access the map key for the communities in the graphic above, visit the Archdiocese website, www.goarch. org, then go to news, click on Observer and go to the November 2011 archived edition, page 32.
Philoptochos 162 Goddard Avenue Brookline, MA 02445 617.277.4742 Fax: 617.739.9229 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.boston.goarch.org/philoptochos Philoxenia House 262 Prince Street Jamaica Plain, MA 02130 617.413.4218 www.boston.goarch.org /philoxenia_house Youth and Young Adult Office 162 Goddard Avenue Brookline, MA 02445 617.277.4742 Fax: 617.739.9229 E-mail: email@example.com
November 2012 Edition of the Orthodox Observer