FEBRUARY – MARCH 2011 • Vol. 76 • No. 1263
President Appoints Archbishop to Advisory Council
Holy and Great Lent
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama has named Archbishop Demetrios and 14 other top U.S. church leaders to an advisory council on faith-based programs. The President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships brings together religious and secular leaders as well as scholars and experts in fields related to the work of faith-based and neighborhood organizations in order to make recommendations to the government on how to improve partnerships. The President will announce additional members to this Council at a later date. The Council consists of 25 members who serve for a one-year term. The group will hold three or four meetings in person during the year to discuss issues relating to interfaith dialogue and and hold regular conference calls every four to six weeks. The advisory council’s activities will include creating task forces to develop the specific recommendations. In making the appointments, President Obama said, “I am pleased to announce that these experienced and committed individuals have agreed to join this administration, and I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead.” The first panel of 25 members completed its work last March. The president signed an executive order in November that reflects some of the first group’s recommendations for reforming the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
Archdiocese, Church Sue Port Authority Statement of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and St. Nicholas Church, announcing Federal Suit Against The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. NEW YORK – On February 14, 2011, St. Nicholas Church and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America filed a lawsuit in federal district court in Manhattan against the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey as well as other agencies and individuals, in order to foster the rebuilding at Ground Zero of the only house of worship destroyed by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The parish and the Archdiocese would have preferred to rebuild the church without litigation. However, they have been
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For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance… (Matthew 25:29) 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
ENCYCLICAL Feast of the Annunciation Day of Greek Independence 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, During this season of Great and Holy Lent, we are blessed with the joyful celebration of the Feast of the Annunciation of our Most Holy Lady, the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary. It is an occasion for joy, as this Feast comes during a time of
intense reflection and prayer and offers a witness of the power of faith through the life of a uniquely holy woman who was committed to the will of God. The power of faith through the witness of the Theotokos is very evident to us during Great Lent through the chanting of the Salutations of the Akathist Hymn. In these beautiful verses of veneration, we sing of the magnitude and meaning of the Virgin Mary becoming the Mother of our Lord, of being the womb in which God became incarnate. In faith she received the announcement of the Archangel and voiced her acceptance of God’s will. In faith she became the “initiator of spiritual renewal” and the “doorway of sacred
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Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ, We are truly blessed and filled with anticipation as we enter into the holy and reflective season of Great Lent. It is blessed because it is an intense time of prayer, fasting, worship and service, which leads us into greater communion with our Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer. It is also a time of reflection when we examine our entire being—mind, body, and soul—and seek spiritual victory through the power and grace of God over anything that separates us from Him. Holy and Great Lent is also a time of spiritual preparation and growth. During the Triodion period we have heard the words of our Lord in the parables of the Publican and Pharisee, the Prodigal Son, and the Last Judgment. Through this focus on repentance, grace, and forgiveness, we have been challenged to consider the spiritual state of our lives and our readiness to stand before our Lord when He comes in His glory. Now, we enter into a quiet and contemplative time that helps us to grow from where we are into a deeper relationship with God, toward a greater understanding of His wisdom and truth, to heights of joy and peace that we have not known, and into an unhindered awareness of the needs of others. This is a time of spiritual prosperity. It is a time, as in the parable of the talents in the Gospel of Matthew, when we take the treasure of our lives and souls given to us by our God, and labor diligently to strengthen our spiritual well being. As good and faithful servants we strive through worship and prayer to attain higher levels of spiritual maturity in the kingdom of God. It is a time when we deny our selfish desires through fasting, overcoming the danger of following the attitude of the lazy and unprofitable servant, and heed the words of our Lord, “For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he
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Navy Chaplains Honor Captain Bartz
He made numerous visits to the RepubWASHINGTON -- U.S. Navy Capt. William J. Bartz was chosen by his fellow lic of Georgia providing advice and personal Captain-Chaplain colleagues as the 2010 mentoring to key Georgian Army leadership recipient of the John H. Craven Servant and to the Patriarchate of Georgia. The establishment of this Chaplain Leadership award. Chaplain Bartz was officially recognized by the Chief of Navy Chap- Corps was a key part of European Comlains Rear Admiral Mark Tidd in an award mand Phase Zero initiatives. ceremony at the Chaplain Senior Leadership Symposium in Columbia, S.C., on Jan. 27. The John H. Craven Servant Leadership Award is a peer nomination-based award that acknowledges the signifiD. PANAGOS cant service of a Navy chaplain who has earned the rank of Captain. Leadership 100 Endowment Fund Chairman Constantine G. Caras addresses the board of trustees The Craven Award recipimeeting at their 20th annual conference in Palm Beach, Fla., in late February. Also shown (l. to r.) ent is one who epitomizes the Leadership 100 founders Andrew A. Athens and Arthur C. Anton, with Archbishop Demetrios at Chaplain Corps motto, “Called right. Story on page 6. to Serve.” Only one award is given each year. According to the Navy citation, Chaplain Bartz was nominated and selected by his peers for the immense impact the region’s small farms. by Mark Hodde on the lives of hundreds of “Many of the young farmers I spoke junior officer chaplains servBALTIMORE, Md. — A $300,000 grant to following the fire were determined to ing in Marine Corps units. His from the Greek Fire Relief Fund of the restore the land and adopt new techniques standards were always high Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America that will help them to become more comand his expectations of his to International Orthodox Christian Chari- petitive in a global economy,” said Bishop chaplains were always great. ties (IOCC) aims to help young families in Andonios of Phasiane, the Archdiocese His wise counsel and sage adthe Prefecture of Ileia to modernize their chancellor, who visited the region soon vice to them has had a significant impact in raising up the Chief of Navy Chaplains Rear Admiral Mark Tidd presents the small family farms and help them become after the fires. “This grant will provide the economically viable. The six month proj- opportunity for farming families to implenext generation of chaplains, Craven Award to Capt. William J. Bartz (left). serving in the United States Marine Corps. Fr. Bartz also led the St. Nicholas Or- ect will focus on the areas around Zacharo, ment some of these changes and build upon the assistance they have received previously Fr. Bartz has also been a compassionate thodox Chapel at Camp Lejeune, N.C., the Oleni, Pinia, Andritsena, and Alifira. Wildfires that swept through southern from our Archdiocese and the Greek Orthoand dedicated mentor to junior Orthodox St. Nicholas Orthodox Chapel at Camp Fospriests. His eye has always been set on the ter Okinawa Japan, and the St. John of Kro- Greece in 2007 claimed 84 people, over dox faithful of America to recover their farms 25,000 cattle and sheep and destroyed more and maintain their way of life.” greater overall good and service to the ser- nstadt Orthodox Chapel at Quantico, Va. Two hundred young farmers and vice members’ spiritual and religious needs. He also initiated and coordinated the than 667,000 acres of farmland, homes and He has guided and encouraged Orthodox establishment of an Archdiocese registry of forests. small family farms on the Pelo- their families in Ileia will receive grants to chaplains into the billets that first serve all sacraments officiated by Greek Orthodox ponnesus may become the next victims assist them in meeting short-term agriculthe needs of the Navy and Marine Corps, priests on federal military reservations for of the disaster as Greece’s economic tural needs or in improving their farming yet still develop the individual chaplains’ U.S. military personnel and their family struggles and the difficult farming conditions challenge the economic viability of professional careers. members. to page 5 Furthermore, he spearheaded the effort among the Navy chaplains with the American Bible Society to publish and print a pocket-sized Orthodox New Testament, Psalms, and commentary (to which he was Since the last issue of the Orthodox Observer, the Donors a contributor) for Orthodox Christians. names of the following contributors have been added to Charles Kapetanakis, Dedham, MA; Mary Danatos Lake, Sewaren, As the chaplain at Marine Corps Forces the list of “Support Your Orthodox Observer Campaign N.J.; Theodore Sarantos, Lowell, MA; Alice Karacostas, Henderson, Command, he led a team of chaplains and for 2010-11. NV; Magdalen Stephenson, Cliffside Park, N.J; Joan Arabatzis, Cloreligious program specialists that made rouvis, CA; Persa Kusserow, Appleton, WI; Peter Corvallis, Portland, tine deployments to Operations Iraqi FreeOR; Bill and Vange Malachias, Mandeville, LA; Argyrios Apostolou dom and Enduring Freedom. He traveled Special Patrons Tsifutis, St. Louis; Mr. and Mrs. Argirios Getsos, Harrington Park, to the Middle East, offering the sacraments Mrs. Alexander Maillis, Nassau, Bahamas; William (Basil) Wolff, N.J.; Mr. and Mrs. Elias Bamihas, Worcester, MA; Milton Stollis, to Orthodox Christian men and women in Canton, MI.; Ken and Edi (Elpida) Yerington, Coralville, IA; Victoria, TX; Marcenea and Kathrn Morris, Bolton, CT; George Kuwait and Iraq. Anonymous; George Markantonis, Houston. Baskos, Longmont, CO; Katherine Perros, Silver Spring, MD; DimiFr. Bartz also was directly involved in trios Pantelaras, Toms River, N.J; r. and Argereos Giannikos, San the establishment and maturation of the Patrons Leandro, CA; Nicholas Kafkas, San Francisco; VMC , Chicago, IL; Georgian Army Chaplain Corps. Thomas Plakidas, Pittsburgh; Ms. Anna Lahiri, Kennewick, WA; John Sfondilis, Timonium, MD; Matthew Ford, Wheat Ridge, CO.
Leadership 100 meeting
IOCC Receives $300,000 Archdiocese Grant to Aid Greek Family Farms
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Archdiocese, Church Sue Port Authority from page 1
unable to do so since the Port Authority renounced a long-standing agreement with the church to rebuild at Ground Zero, seized the church’s land, barred the church from access to it, and has refused to talk or meet with the church or the Archdiocese. This legal action has been taken not only as a last resort to restore the property and rebuilding rights of St. Nicholas Church, but also to fulfill the common vision of civil and church authorities that the church be rebuilt as a place of prayer and meditation at Ground Zero for all people. While the Port Authority has claimed publicly that it is currently in discussions with the Archdiocese in order to foster the rebuilding effort, in fact, in March of 2009 it summarily disavowed its agreement with the Archdiocese to rebuild St. Nicholas at 130 Liberty Street, a site chosen by the Port Authority, which is adjacent to the original location. Since that time, the Port Authority has rebuffed all efforts by the church to work with it regarding the rebuilding. Contrary to working cooperatively with the Archdiocese and the parish, a posture which had prevailed between 9/11 and the Port Authority’s abrupt turnabout in March 2009, the Port Authority –without permission, notice, or any legal justification whatsoever– has sent its bulldozers onto both the land still owned by the church at its original site at 155 Cedar Street, and the land provided to the church at 130 Liberty Street pursuant to its agreement with the Port Authority. The Port Authority has conducted extensive excavation and other construction work that has kept the church off of its own property, and has rendered both sites unbuildable by the church without substantial remedial work. The parish and the Archdiocese hope that through this lawsuit, just and fair rulings will be made allowing for the prompt reconstruction of St. Nicholas at Ground Zero, not only as a church serving its flock, but also as a greater ministry bringing peace, reconciliation and a sacred space of recollection and remembrance for all people visiting Ground Zero.
Archbishop and his Brother Establish Fellowship in their Parents’ Honor The Chancellor’s Office of the Archdiocese announces the establishment of a new fund, The Christos and Georgia Trakatellis Fellowship Fund set up by Archbishop Demetrios and his brother, Professor Antonios Trakatellis, in memory of their parents, Christos and Georgia. The fund will offer fellowships to Holy Cross School of Theology graduates planning to continue their studies in the Greek language, Hellenic culture and liturgical practice at the masters or doctoral level, or as part of a structured free program. Candidates shall be chosen based on merit and need. The amount of the Fellowship is $3,000 per semester for up to two semesters. Fellowships will be awarded annually. To apply, candidates must contact the Chancellor’s Office (by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (212) 774-0513) and request an application. The application needs to be completed in full and together with all the necessary documentation, sent to the Chancellor’s Office by April 15, 2011.
Secretary of State Responds to Archbishop on Cyprus Incident WASHINGTON – Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has responded to Archbishop Demetrios’ letter of Dec, 30 in which he expressed concerns about the “disturbing and painful” Christmas day action by Turkish Cypriot authorities at St. Synesios Church in Rizokarpaso in northern Turkish-occupied Cyprus. (January 2011 issue) Following is the text of her letter dated Feb. 1. Your Eminence, Thank you for your letter regarding the incident on Christmas day in Rizokarpaso. I appreciate your reaching out to me and, as always, value your insights. As you know, protecting and promoting religious freedom worldwide is a priority of this Administration, and we take incidents such as the one at Saint Synesios very seriously. This incident is especially unfortunate given the need for all sides to foster a positive and conciliatory bi-
communal atmosphere in Cyprus in the context of the ongoing efforts to reunify the island. Our embassies in Nicosia and Ankara have conveyed our deep concern to the appropriate parties, and my Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, Philip Gordon, discussed the issue with President Christofias and Mr. Eroglu during his recent visit to Cyprus. We have strongly conveyed our position that all efforts should be made to ensure this does not happen again. Our embassy in Nicosia will remain in contact with religious leaders on the island and with the Greek and Turkish Cypriots regarding this and other questions of religious freedom. Thank you again for raising your concerns with me. I also want to thank you for your kind wishes to me and my family, and extend to you and the Church my best wishes for the coming year. Sincerely yours, Hillary Rodham Clinton
Holy and Great Lent from page 1 has will be taken away” (Matthew 25:29). The days of Great Lent which are before us have been given to us by our Lord for our spiritual prosperity. We have the opportunity for a tremendous investment of prayer, contemplation, and service which will lead us to an abundant harvest of spiritual gifts and blessings. Use this time through the services of Great Lent to open the spiritual eyes of your hearts and minds, to be watching and ready to receive the Bridegroom and enter into the great feast. Cultivate and nurture your lives through daily prayer and engagement with the resources of our faith, so that when the Master returns He will say, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things” (25:23). In offering and service to the needs of others, be a living witness of the love of Christ, so that when the Lord comes in His glory He will say to each of us, “Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (25:34). At the inception of this holy and blessed season, I offer to you my prayers and deepest wishes for a time of spiritual growth, illumination, and abundant blessings through the presence and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. With paternal love in Him,
† Archbishop DEMETRIOS of America
Obituary Fr. Emmanuel Metaxas
ORTHODOX OBSERVER photo
Archbishop Demetrios received Archpriest Alexander Abramov of the Moscow Patriarchate at Archdiocesan headquarters on Feb. 10 who was on a visit to New York.
CLERGY UPDATE Ordinations to the Diaconate
Coman, Ion – by Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco at St. Nicholas Church, San Jose, Calif. 12/05/10 Afendoulis, John – Metropolitan Gerasimos – St. Spyridon, San Diego 12/12/10 Howard, John L. – Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta – Annunciation Church, Fort Myers, Fla. 12/12/10 Chrysostomos (Christopher) Gilbert – Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver – Assumption Cathedral, Denver 01/09/11 Chelpon, Haralambos – Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey – St. Katherine Church, Falls Church, Va. 01/09/11 Spaliatsos, Haralambos – Metropolitan Isaiah – St. John the Baptist Church, Omaha, Neb. 01/30/11 Ordinations to the Priesthood
Deacon Dimitrios Lee – Archbishop Demerios of America – St. Sophia Ca-
thedral, Washington 01/09/11 Assignments
Fr. David Smith – St. Sophia Church, Syracuse, N.Y. 09/10/10 Fr. Vasilios Tragus – Greek Orthodox Mission of South Orange County, San Juan Capistrano, Calif., 03/01/11 Offikia
Fr. Andrew Koufopoulos – Office of Protopresbyter, bestowed by Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta 06/13/10 Fr. Panteleimon Dalianis – Office of Confessor, bestowed by Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago 01/01/11 Fr. Steven Zorzos – Office of Protopresbyter, bestowed by Archbishop Demetrios 01/09/11 Fr. John Tavlarides – Office of Protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Throne, bestowed by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew 01/27/11
WATERTOWN, Mass. – Fr Emmanuel S. Metaxas, 85, a retired priest and pastor emeritus of Taxiarchae-Archangels Church, died Wednesday, Feb. 23, in Watertown. He was born in Agrinion, Greece, in 1925, the sixth child of five brothers and three sisters. His father was also a priest in Agrinion. When he was 12 years old, his family moved to Athens where his father was a priest at St. Demetrios Church in Kifisia. In 1941, and after his mother had died, his family moved to Kallithea, Athens, where his father was appointed priest to St. Nicholas Church. He finished his high school education in Kallithea and, in 1944, he entered the School of Theology at the University of Athens. In March 1947, he received an invitation from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese to come to Holy Cross Theological School in Brookline to further his education for the priesthood and to serve the Church in America. He graduated from Holy Cross in June 1951 and continued his theological studies at Andover-Newton Theological School. In 1953, he received a Master of Divinity degree. He was married in 1949 to Penelope (Penny) Manekas of Lowell, Mass. They had three children, Stanley, Margaret and Stella. He was ordained a deacon on Feb. 10, 1951 and, on June 24 of the same year, he was ordained a priest by Bishop of Boston
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Photos: Archon D. PANAGOS
Archbishop Demetrios with Archons National Council members, presents a plaque honoring Ambassador Kaskarellis. From left, Archons Alex Pritsos, John Halecky Jr., National Commander Anthony J. Limberakis MD, and James Fountas.
Archons Honor Ambassador of Greece Vassilis Kaskarellis NEW YORK – Greece’s ambassador to the United States, Vassilis Kaskarellis was feted by members of the Archons-Order of St. Andrew the Apostle Feb. 17 for his efforts in working for the rights of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. He is also the recent recipient of the Ambassador of the Year Award presented by the Washington Diplomatic Corps. Ambassador Kaskarellis previously served as ambassador and permanent representative of Greece to the European Union in Brussels, permanent representative of Greece to NATO and deputy permanent representative to the United Nations. Archons National Commander Dr. Anthony Limberakis called Ambassador Kaskarellis “a champion of human rights and the rights of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.” Archons Regional Commander Andrew Manatos said that “Greece is extremely well represented in our country” by the ambassador. In his address to the gathering of about 40 Archons at the Carlyle hotel, Ambassador Kaskarellis spoke of the importance of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. “The patriarchate is our history, part of our collective Greek psyche,” he said. “It is the custodian of our collective Greek consciousness.” Archbishop Demetrios noted that “encouraging progress has been made” regarding the Ecumenical Patriarchate
“due to the efforts of the Archons.” He cited the examples of the service that the Turkish government permitted at the Church of Panaghia Soumela in Pontus and the visit in January to the Patriarchate by the Turkish deputy prime minister.
His Eminence noted there are several “unresolved issues” such as the recognition of the legal personality of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the right to “manage its affairs and property rights.” Those attending the event included the Ambassador of Panama to the U.N., Pablo Thalassinos, AHEPA Supreme President Nicholas Karakostas, National Philoptochos President Aphrodite Skeadas and Archon Andrew Athens of Chicago.
Archons to Hold National Retreat in NJ, March 25-26 The Order of St. Andrew-Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate will hold its 8th annual National Lenten Retreat on the theme “An Ancient Faith for a Modern World, ” National Commander Anthony J. Limberakis, MD., announced recently. Location for the March 25-26 event will be the headquarters of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Somerset, N.J. Retreat master will be the Rev. Dr. John Chryssavgis, a noted scholar and author of books on Orthodox spirituality and the Church Fathers. The retreat will begin at 6 p.m. with
services at St. Andrew Memorial Church followed by a Lenten Fellowship Dinner at the Ukrainian Cultural Center. On Saturday, March 26, participants will convene in the church at 8:30 a.m. for Divine Liturgy, a light breakfast and the retreat session. The event will conclude about 6 p.m. with Great Vesper Services at the church. Archon Hieromnimon Peter Skeadas, who has succeeded longtime Spirituality Committee Chairman Archon Kastrinsios James Speros, is organizing this year’s retreat.
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St. Photios Shrine Board Metropolitan Alexios attended the Feb. 5th annual meeting of the St. Photios Foundation. Board of Trustees of the St. Photios Foundation include: (seated) Fr. George Ioannou (Shrine chaplain), Polly Hillier, Manuel Tissura (1st vice president), Metropolitan Alexios (president), Rev. Dr. Nicholas Louh (executive director), Fr. Peter Balkas (Chicago), Fr. Joseph Samaan (Daytona Beach), Fr. Nicholas Pathenos (Detroit). (standing): Nicholas Stamatogiannakis, Bill Toundas, George Stratigos (San Francisco), Anthony Megas (2nd vice president), Rose McGrath (Boston), Sophia Nichols Karakoglu (New Jersey), Angelo Koukoulis (Pittsburgh), Vannette Carousis (New Jersey), William Bisbikis (Detroit), Ted Pappas, Maria Carantzas (treasurer), Peter Bouras, Leslye Phillips (secretary), Joanne Stavrakas (Chicago) and Harry Tom Cavalaris (emeritus vice president).
IOCC Receives $300,000 Archdiocese Grant to Aid Greek Family Farms from page 2 equipment. The grants will be repaid through in-kind support provided by the farmers to meal distribution centers of the Church of Greece and the Municipality of Athens. The advanced age of many farmers in the Peloponnese region discourages them from investing in their farming facilities and from adopting new practices, which are critically needed in order to meet the demands of international markets for farming products. By providing assistance to young people with families, the grants are intended to help families maintain their farms rather than being forced to migrate to urban areas. In addition to the grants, farmers in fire-stricken areas will receive assistance through soil analysis. Priority will be given to farmers who produce olives, grapes and vegetables. Technicians will take samples
from the farmers’ fields and perform the tests. Using data gathered through the soil tests, technicians will provide instruction to farmers on how to use the data to improve their yield. The soil laboratory, constructed by IOCC beginning in 2008 in Pyrgos, capital of the prefecture, was funded through a grant from the Archdiocese and The Pancretan Association of America. It has been in operation since the middle of 2009 to provide for reliable, local testing of soils for farmers in the region. To date the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese has provided a total of more than $3.6 million to fund projects carried out by IOCC following the fires in Greece. In addition to the soil lab, emergency provisions of animal feed and forage seed were provided to more than 2,000 Greek farmers in the provinces of Ileia and Arcadia who lost livestock and pasturelands in the fire. New equipment was also provided to firefighters in the region.
Obituary from page 3 Ezekiel Tsoukalas. His first assignment as a priest was to the Annunciation Church in Woburn, Mass., where he served for two years. Fr. Metaxas was then transferred to the Taxiarchae Church in Watertown in September 1953. He retired July 1, 1999. During his 54 years at the Taxiarchae Church, Father Metaxas performed over 2,800 baptisms, 1,660 marriages and 1,350 funerals. From 1960-1965, he served as chaplain for the Orthodox workers at the U.S. Arsenal in Watertown. From 1965 to 1976, he served as chaplain at Boston University for all the Orthodox students. He also served as assistant to the Orthodox chaplain for the Brockton and Bedford veterans hospitals for 20 years. Fr. Metaxas has received the following Pastoral honors from the Archdiocese. On Feb. 26, 1956, Archbishop Michael bestowed on him the officium (title) of Sakellarios. On June 22, 1958, Bishop Athenagoras appointed him as Father Confessor. On Nov. 8, 1970, Archbishop Iakovos bestowed on him the officium of Economos and on May 20, 1976, Archbishop Iakovos also
bestowed on him the officium of Protopresbyter. On Dec. 1, 1983, he was recognized as “Man of the Year” in Middlesex County. In 1959, the Taxiarchae community celebrated the burning of the mortgage with Archbishop Michael presiding. The community became debt-free. In 1984, the parish embarked on a new expansion program and, on Oct. 29, 1989, the grand opening of the Hellenic Cultural Center took place. It was dedicated in honor of Fr. Metaxas. In January 1994, Watertown dedicated Coolidge Square next to the Church in his honor. When Father Metaxas first arrived at the Taxiarchae Church in 1953, there were 325 families in the community. Throughout the ensuing years, the membership steadily grew even though three new churches were established in the area. At this time, the Taxiarchae community is blessed with 800 families. Fr. Metaxas is survived by Penny, their three children, Stanley, Margaret and Stella and three grandchildren. Funeral services took place Tuesday, March 1, with Archbishop Demetrios officiating and Metropolitan Methodios of Boston and many priests participating.
Leadership 100 Conference Reports Rebounds in Growth, Grants Awards by George Schirra
PALM BEACH, Fla. – Leadership 100 Endowment Fund Chairman Constantine G. Caras delivered the good news to more than 400 members and guests at Leadership 100’s 20th annual conference at the Breakers Feb. 24-27. The organization has rebounded with growth in membership, contributions and the value of its portfolio, allowing for an increase in grants. Mr. Caras said Leadership 100 continues to grow despite challenging economic conditions. He cited the increase of membership to 863, an increase of 34 new members, which included a total of 95 enrolled as Leadership 100 Partners Program and 5 enrolled in the Junior Partners Program, as well as 447 fulfilled members. “Most significantly, the portfolio reached $67,826,000 at the end of last year and our Grants Program was reborn with vigor and purpose, totaling $1,031,600 for 2010, principally to the Hellenic College/Holy Cross School of Theology scholarship program, with additional commitments of $1,331,600 scheduled to be awarded in 2011, totaling $30.4 million in grants since the inception of Leadership 100,” he said. “Last year we again sustained Hellenic College/Holy Cross School of Theology with our scholarship program for seminarians preparing to enter the priesthood. Without dynamic young priests, we will lose our youth. That is why the School remains our number one priority,” he added. Another $1 million will have gone to the scholarship program in 2011 while a $250,000 final payment on the four-year $1 million grant for Information Technology and a $50,000 payment for the third installment of a five-year $250,000 grant for Vocation Ministry, have also gone to Hellenic College/Holy Cross. Maria Allwin, the conference chairwoman, told conferees that this year’s conference required careful and detailed planning to control costs. The inspiring program, included a traditional Bible study and lecture by Archbishop Demetrios. The featured speakers included Ted Leonsis and Dr. Peter Diamandis, both of whom were honored with the Archbishop Iakovos Leadership 100 Award for Excellence, John McKesson Camp II, noted classical archaeologist and Michael Psilakis, the executive chef, both of whom were given the Archbishop Iakovos Leadership 100 Award for Achievement. A special tribute
(Clockwise from upper left) John McKesson Camp II, Dr. Peter Diamantis, Michael Psilakis and Ted Leonsis.
was paid to Dr. Constantine “Takis” Papadakis, of blessed memory, a member of Leadership 100, in recognition of his many innovative contributions to education in the United States and to Hellenic ideals. The award was accepted by his wife, Eliana Papadakis, and their daughter, Maria Papadakis. In addition, Caras read a congratulatory letter from Prime Minister of Greece George Papandreou, who wrote, in part: “In the twenty-seven years since its inception, in 1984, Leadership 100 has more than surpassed Archbishop Iakovos’ vision. With the hard work and dedication of all of you, the members, staff and volunteers, Leadership 100 has become an invaluable ally to Archbishop Demetrios’ unremitting efforts
to advance Orthodoxy and Hellenism in America.” In accepting the Leadership 100 Award for Excellence, Ted Leonsis, a Leadership 100 member, characterized the organization as “A network of individuals who approach life with a double bottom line pursuit-we all want to do well by doing good.” He also said of philanthropy, “Getting out of the ‘I’, and into the ‘WE’ via volunteering and giving back is a proven tenant for developing personal happiness and self actualization. It is one of the great gifts to leave behind to your children; the ability to serve others less fortunate than yourself. Leonsis, a member of Leadership 100, is the founder, chairman and majority owner of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, which comprises three professional sports teams – the Washington Capitals (NHL), the Washington Wizards (NBA) and the Washington Mystics (WNBA) – as well as Verizon Center and the Baltimore-Washington Ticketmaster franchise. He retired from active management of AOL in 2006, where during the previous 13 years he held a number of senior positions, including vice chairman and president. He retains the position of vice chairman emeritus. Dr. Peter Diamandis, the other recipient of the Leadership 100 Award for Excellence, who is the founder, chairman and CEO of the X PRIZE Foundation, in addressing the conference banquet on Feb. 26, described the impact that exponentially growing technology has on companies, governments, and humanity and of the potential of creating a world of abundance, and the empowerment of small groups of “do-it-yourself” technologists to do what only governments or large corporations could do before. To a rapt audience, he outlined humanity’s future in space -- how we will travel there, build industries and launch future civilizations. The new board members announced at the conference were: Lily Bentas of the Boston Metropolis; Tom Jordan of the Detroit Metropolis; John Moutsanas of the San Francisco Metropolis; Christopher Pappas of the Denver Metropolis; James A. Regas of the Chicago Metropolis; George E. Safiol of the Boston Metropolis; Kyriakos Tsakopoulos of the San Francisco Metropolis; and Theodore K. Zampetis and of the Pittsburgh Metropolis. Upon the recommendation of Archbishop Demetrios, acting Director of Leadership 100 Paulette Poulos was named as the organization’s executive director.
The Voice of Philoptochos
Chicago Philoptochos Supports Center of Philanthropy The Metropolis of Chicago Philoptochos, under the spiritual leadership of Metropolitan Iakovos, and President Joanne Stavrakas, welcomed National Philoptochos President Aphrodite Skeadas, national board members, metropolis past presidents, chapter presidents, members and friends at a special event to benefit the National Philoptochos Center of Philanthropy. Each metropolis is hosting an event to benefit the center and the Chicago Metropolis rolled out the red carpet for its ”Agape Dinner and Raffle,” on Feb. 15. Nearly 300 guests heard Metropolitan Iakovos and National President Aphrodite Skeadas describe the importance at this time in the history for National Philoptochos to establish a permanent home as a legacy for the future. Irene Arsoniadis and Pam Argyris served as the event chairwomen. Since 1931 the Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society has faithfully assisted those in need with love and compassion, spreading kindness and providing assistance through its various ministries. At the 2010 Philoptochos National Convention in Atlanta, it was unanimously decided to establish the Philoptochos Center of Philanthropy, a permanent home for the society with expanded services.
Houston Cathedral Welcomes St. Basil Graduate
HOUSTON -- On a cold and rainy January weekend, the Annunciation Cathedral Philoptochos and parish welcomed Saint Basil graduate Stella Virgadamo to speak to the community about Saint Basil Academy in Garrison, N.Y. As has been the custom, the cathedral’s annual Vasilopita celebration was held in the S.P. Martel Hall following both Divine Liturgies. Over the past decade, Annunciation Cathedral has been in the forefront of supporting this worthy ministry of Philoptochos. Through the generosity of this parish, $35,000 was raised for the Academy. Members of the parish participated in the auction by Houston Philoptochos members and cathedral members (right) Martha Stefanidakis, Niki Vaughn, baking or purchasing the Eleni Kyriazis, Fr. Michael Lambakis, Mary Poulos, Saint Basil graduate Stella Yapp Virgadamo, Ann Poulos and Monique Pappas. Vasilopites.
Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society • January 1 - December 31, 2010 Donations A total of $ 1,373,333 was donated in the 2010 calendar year from the following National Philoptochos Ministries/ Commitments/Programs and Special Collections: Saint Basil Academy Vasilopita – $350,000 Includes $25,000 monthly for operational expenses and a special $50,000 additional donation. Sisterhood Fund - $56,187 – Includes $50,000 for sewer system repairs; $2,950 - graduation awards and Christmas gifts and $3,237 for graduation expenses. Zoe Cavalaris Education Fund $14,079 - Designated for tutors Hellenic College Holy Cross Scholarship Fund - $65,600 – Includes $61,600 in scholarships for 28 students and $4,000 for four Students for Special merit award scholarships Lenten Event - $83,000 – includes $60,000 for the Polemanakos Dormitory Carpeting and $23,000 for a new freezer in the cafeteria. Administration - $3,500 - To the Orthodox Christian Network to purchase a camera and computer equipment to record and broadcast the Religious Freedom Conference of the Ecumenical Patriarchate held in Brussels, Belgium. HIV/AIDS Walkathon - $ 2,238 - To IOCC for the orphans in Ethiopia. Autism Assistance Fund - $33,600 – Includes $15,000 to the Marcus Autism Center, Atlanta; $15,000 to Autism Society of Middle Tennessee, Nashville, towards the School Family Partnership Program to support children and their parents, and $3,600 assistance to individuals. Social Services - $82,948 – Includes $67,948 for assistance to individuals, $10,000 to Blessings-in-a-Backpack in honor of Stan Curtis, director and founder and 2010 National Philoptochos Biennial Convention guest speaker, and $5,000 to Family Promise, Stroudsburg, Pa., towards food, shelter and support services for homeless families and advocacy for at-risk families to prevent homelessness. Cancer Fund - $ 61,727 – Includes $31,727 for assistance to individuals; $15,000 to Lea’s Foundation for Leukemia Research, Inc, Hartford, Conn., towards the financial assistance of 10 pediatric patients affected by leukemia and similar blood related diseases; $15,000 to Banner Health Foundation, Cardon Children’s Medical Center, Mesa, Ariz., towards the Pediatric Hematology Oncology Dept. to help with the medical care of the poor, uninsured and for the young adult room for support sessions and lectures. Children’s Medical Fund - $ 28,967 – Includes $15,000 to the University of Illinois Rush Stroger Hospitals, Chicago for continuing support of the Department of Pediatrics and the Pediatric Oncology Social Work Program; $10,000 to Akron Children’s Hospital, Akron, Ohio for the Psychiatric Intake Response Center towards psychiatric/psychological
help for abused children; $3,967 to Laine’s Angels Foundation, Edison, N.J., towards the ongoing support to families of children with cancer and blood disorders. Children’s Medical Fund 2009 - $ 26,067 – Includes $15,000 for the Wolfson Children’s Hospital, Jacksonville, Fla., towards the Giraffe Omnibed for Newborn ICU; $5,000 for the Ronald McDonald House of Charities of Norfolk, Va., supporting families with children facing medical challenges and programs that directly improve the health and well being of children who are receiving treatment in area hospitals; $1,033 to Laine’s Angels Foundation, Edison, N.J. for ongoing support to families of children with cancer and blood disorders, and $5,034 for assistance to individuals. Ecumenical Patriarchate - $100,000 general donation for patriarchal ministries. General Medical Fund - $15,000 to the University of Colorado Hospital, Aurora, Colo. towards the purchase of 300 blood pressure units to be distributed to heart patients in need, throughout Colorado. Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund - $83,420 – To IOCC Haiti Relief Fund for education and environmental programs. International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) - $57,500 – Includes $40,000 general donation; $10,000 for the pilot program of podoconiosis, supplying shoes in partnership with Tom’s shoes for women and children in Ethiopia and $7,500 for two shipments of cholera kits with pharmaceuticals and supplies to treat the victims of cholera and dysentery due to the Pakistani floods. National Emergency Fund - $42,500 – Includes $20,000 to IOCC for the victims of the Haiti earthquake in need of safe drinking water and shelter; $15,000 to the Metropolis of Detroit for the Nashville Flood Relief efforts; $7,500 to IOCC to cover two shipments of cholera kits to treat the victims of cholera and dysentery due to the Pakistani floods. National Sisterhood of Presbyteres Benevolent Fund (NSP) - $35,000 – Provides assistance to priests, presbyteres and their families. Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) - $15,000 - General donation. Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC)- $40,000 – Includes $35,000 general donation and $5,000 in honor of Nathan Hoppe, OCMC missionary serving in Albania and guest speaker at the 2010 National Philoptochos Biennial Convention. Support a Mission Priest - $40,000 - general donation. Retired Clergy and Widowed Presbyteres Benevolent Fund - $12,000 - general donation. 75th Anniversary Founders Fund - $65,000 – Includes $20,000 to the Hellenic Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Canton, Mass. to refurbish two rooms; $20,000 to the Greek American Rehabilitation and Care Center, Wheeling, Ill., for their memory loss program; $20,000 to Holy Trinity Nursing and Rehabilitation Center; Worcester, Mass., to renovate their tub room; $5,000 to St. John the Baptist
Orthodox Adult Medical Day Care Center, Hunt Valley, Md., to provide financial assistance to Orthodox Christians who are unable to pay. St. Photios Shrine - $35,000 - general donation. UNICEF - $25,000 - For the Haiti earthquake relief efforts.
‘An Afternoon with Vefa’
to Highlight Detroit Benefit The Metropolis of Detroit Philoptochos will hold its major fundraising event, “An Afternoon with Vefa” to benefit the National Philoptochos Center of Philanthropy on Saturday, April 2, in Troy, Mich. President Eleni Zaferes and the entire Detroit Philoptochos invited members and friends of Philoptochos to attend. National Philoptochos President Aphrodite Skeadas and the National Board members from across the country will join the Detroit Philoptochos for this special fundraiser and will hold its spring National Board meeting there on April 1. Spend “An Afternoon with Vefa” the internationally renowned author and “Grande Dame” of Greek cuisine. Vefa Alexiadou will travel from Athens, Greece to present her Greek Cuisine and Traditions with a creative cooking demonstration. A prolific author, scholar, and television personality, “Kyria Vefa” has set the standard for books on Greek cuisine. With a degree in chemistry from the Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, she combined her culinary talents with scientific principles to modernize Greek cooking without sacrificing authentic character and flavor of the traditional cuisine. Kyria Vefa has appeared on Greek television programs that have aired in Europe and Australia and continues to pass the Greek food traditions to hundreds of thousands of households. The luncheon will feature a book signing of Vefa’s newest Greek book release Greek Cuisine and the bestseller, Vefa’s Kitchen released in English by Phaidon Press. Vefa appears frequently with her daughter, Alexia who will join her for the benefit. Alexia holds an MBA in economics from City University, London and follows her family’s shared passion for cooking. She is the author of many bestsellers, is a popular contributor to several Greek magazines and newspapers and frequently appears on TV. She publishes the popular, monthly food and lifestyle periodical, Real Food that circulates throughout Europe. For reservations contact luncheon Chairwoman Maria Stavropoulos at (248) 613.7818. Donation is $65 per person. Doors open at 11 a.m. for the grand drawing and book signing.
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Commentaries and Reflections
Tucson Priest’s Sermon After the Tragic Shootings Editor’s note: On Saturday, Jan. 8, a mass shooting occurred near Tucson, Ariz., in which. 19 people were shot, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (six of them fatally) with one other person injured at the scene during an open meeting tin a supermarket parking lot with members of her constituency. The day following the shootings, Fr. Earl Contos, pastor of St. Demetrios Church in Tucson, delivered a sermon to his congregation during the Divine Liturgy addressing the tragedy. At the request of the Observer, Fr. Contos provided the text of his homily that appears below. by Fr. Earl Contos
In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Today is the Sunday after Epiphany and we heard the Gospel according to St. Matthew 4:12-17. In the wake of the tragedy that took place here in Tucson just 24 hours ago, these verses are very applicable. This reading tells us how our Lord and Savior responded when the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali ‘sat in darkness’. In verse 17 Jesus Christ tells those communities, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” I know that everyone here in this church believes that prayer has power. I know that everyone here right now prays and then anticipates change and expects an answer to their prayer. In a little while we will be praying for Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and all the victims of this tragic shooting. But first, let’s look at prayer and what it is and how it works? A typical prayer begins when a believer (from an internal place of peace and love) unites his soul and heart together with his mind to speak his prayer request using his
More religious education Editor, I am an 80-year-old parishioner who served the altar when Archbishop Athenagoras was at his prime. I still remember the time when he visited our church and blessed me along with the others in the altar. I read the Observer on regular basis, and thought that for the good of the Church, and as a typical engineer who is on the search for problems to solve, I would pass on some of my observations relating to the Church. I find that most parishioners, both young and older, lack a religious education which the Church has and is not providing. Priests should teach religion to parishioners. This can be easily manifested by engaging typical parishioners in religious discussion. Many Greek Orthodox churches provide voluntary Bible and religious classes which few parishioners attend. Too much time is spent on the typical Sunday service parishioners go through, with little, if any, religious education. I consider this to be a major weakness in the Church. I was told by a few of the priests that the Church is based on tradition,
physical body by way of his vocal cords, tongue, and lips. The believer – you – give the words of your prayer ‘life and power’ in this way. The words (now given life and power) are sent out into the shared space around us to impact those for whom we pray and to impact all those with whom we share the space. In other words, the believer who uses his whole being (soul, mind, and body) in a state of peace and love has sent out power that will effect great change. Double blind studies have consistently shown that people who are the recipients of prayer (even if they do not know they are the subject of someone’s prayer) recover from illness faster than those who are not the recipients of prayer. This reality is understood by churches and by hospitals. Words have power. Prayer has healing power. So far, I think we have all agree that when we unite our souls, minds, and bodies with peace and love in order to produce words that we put out into the society around us; then there are positive changes for all. Therefore we can agree that words of prayer have power and do change the future. So then, it is only logical that when we unite our souls, minds, and bodies with anger and hatred in order to produce words that we then put out into the society around us; there are negative changes. For words have power and change the future regardless if they be prayers or curses. Anger and hatred have creeped into our daily lives and even our prayer lives. When we sit in front of our televisions or in coffee shops and from a place of anger, hatred or disgust we unite our souls and hearts and minds to send out these words and thoughts into the shared space
and the services should not be modified or adjusted based on a recommendation to set aside a short period of time for mandated, religious teaching, during the Sunday service. But this answer does not make sense- as the Bible tells us that the Apostles spent most of their time as teachers, and not as priests holding religious services. The Archdiocese should consider the following to strengthen the Church: Mandate that priests prepare a formal lesson plan - guided by the Archdiocese, to be incorporated in the Sunday Service, which effectively teaches a religious topic - alternating with effective teaching of the Bible. The typical Sunday Service to be modified-shortened if need be - to educate parishioners which should be the primary ecclesiastical mission. Parishioners should depart the service with something learned, and not merely having to stand through it as they do most of the time. Have Archdiocese representatives conduct periodic assessments as to the effectiveness of the teachings. Nicholas Patsis Southbury, Conn.
around us; then we too are complicit in the acts of violence and acts of anger that occurred yesterday here in Tucson and that occur daily around the United States. Jesus said to “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” How can repenting change anything? How does any true change in society take place? How does any true change in your home take place? It starts with you and not with the other guy. It starts with first recognizing your sin, then desiring to change, then changing or stopping the action. Repentance in Greek is metanoia and literally means a “change of mind and heart,” and that you stop doing this destructive behavior. Metanoia is not merely regret or feeling badly, but recognition by a person of a sinful condition that has been separating them from God. True repentance includes an action of change thereby reuniting the person with God. In Genesis 18, Abraham intercedes and pleads with God of behalf of Sodom. Abraham and God debated on how many righteous people were needed to save a city from destruction. If we want to save America from destruction, then we need to change ourselves and become righteous. We need to be fasting. We need to be praying. We need to be going to confession. We need to be living in an internal place of peace and a place of love. This is not simply the other guy’s fault. Yes, one madman pulled the trigger. But you and I helped to set the stage for this despicable act of murder and mayhem. You and I are called to repentance and to righteousness and our numbers must grow if we are to have any hope. You and I need to change our hearts. First you and I, and then society must stop blaming someone on the political right or someone on the political left for the sinfulness of our society. It is our sin that is the problem! We need to be able to stand before God and show how the words out of our mouths produce peace and love and not anger and hatred. If you are angry and unforgiving, then you are producing rage in society. If you are peaceful and loving then you are producing mercy and contentment in society. Let us not waste our time any longer. If we want to stop such vicious acts of violence, then we need to start by taking anger out of our own lives. Make a commitment today that when you watch the news you calm down, and in a state of peace and love, pray for everyone in every news story; both the victims and the perpetrator. Pray as you drive, pray as you go through your daily chores, pray for everyone you meet throughout the day. Stop blaming others and accept responsibility for your own actions. Let God look upon our Church, our community and our nation and say “Yes there are righteous men and women living there. I will save them.” Last night before Vespers and during Vespers some of you gathered as a community here at church. We prayed for the congresswoman and those Tucsonans who have been shot and for those who have reposed in the Lord. Please rise with me now. Let us lift up our minds, our bodies and our souls in peace and love as an offering for all of these victims who are His creation. Let our words today we words of power for their healing and salvation and for our own as well. In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit……. Glory to God! Glory Forever!
Saint Photios National Shrine Day 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, On this blessed feast of St. Photios the Confessor and Patriarch of Constantinople, it is our annual tradition to recognize and support the work of our St. Photios National Shrine in St. Augustine, Fla. We do this because the National Shrine has a significant role in the ministry of the Greek Orthodox Church in America. This past year over ninety thousand visitors came to the Saint Photios Shrine and experienced the way that this beloved institution of our Archdiocese offers a remembrance of our heritage, a witness of our Orthodox faith, and illumination through the grace of God. For over three decades through the efforts of its founders, supporters, directors and staff, the St. Photios Shrine has been a place of remembrance. The Shrine’s location is a place of history, tied directly to the Greek immigrants who came to North America in the late 1700s. Along with preserving the knowledge, struggles, and identity of these early pioneers, the Shrine has expanded its role and work to include numerous aspects of our Greek American history and identity offering an unique and essential educational experience to our Omogenia, to area students, and to visitors from throughout the United States and the world. The St. Photios National Shrine is also a place of witness. In addition to preserving and teaching the Greek American experience, the Shrine offers a genuine witness of the depth, beauty, and holiness of our Orthodox Christian faith. Through the chapel, programs, bookstore, and exhibits the Shrine shares with visitors both the strong relationship between our heritage and faith, as well as invites all who enter to engage with the sanctity of our worship and contemplate their faith and relationship with God. This is why our St. Photios Shrine is also a place of illumination. Over the years many have had a deep and transforming experience of the presence of God, a spiritual prompting by the Holy Spirit to seek more, to encounter Christ, and to open their hearts and minds to faith. For many their visit to the shrine was the beginning of a journey into the Orthodox Church and into a greater experience and understanding of the grace of God. With our prayers and support our St. Photios National Shrine will continue to open the spiritual eyes of visitors to the way of life and truth that is offered and nurtured through our Orthodox faith. It will also continue to be a place of remembrance and witness, serving a vital role in the preservation, teaching, and exploring of our heritage as Greek Americans. I encourage you to offer your support to our National Shrine on this day by remembering the directors and staff in your prayers, giving generously to the programs of the Shrine, and planning a visit
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Feast of the Annunciation Day of Greek Independence from page 1 mystery.” Through the power of faith, she became the “bridge leading from earth to heaven,” the “key to the doors of Paradise,” and the “gate of salvation.” The faith of the Theotokos brought great blessings to her and to all humankind. In the insightful verses of the Akathist Hymn we acknowledge her as the one “through whom joy shall shine forth,” “through whom the curse shall vanish,” and “through whom we are vested in glory.” Christ accomplished all of this for us, because the faith and willingness of the Theotokos provided the means by which He entered humanity for our salvation. This witness of the power of faith brings encouragement and hope to our lives. It is a supreme example of what can be accomplished by faith, of the power of God to transform our lives, of the joy in following His will, and of the assurance of His grace and promises. It reveals to us through the life of a woman chosen by God for a most sacred task, that faith initiates and guides our spiritual renewal and opens our hearts and minds to the mysteries of His love and wisdom. Through the example of the Most Holy Theotokos we see that faith in God leads us on the path to Heaven, reveals the way to Paradise, and opens the gate of salvation so that we can live in eternal communion with Him. On this Feast of the Annunciation, we as Greek Orthodox Christians commemorate a day and events that also revealed the power of faith. This Day of
Greek Independence is joined to our festal observances for historical reasons related to the revolution in 1821 and the struggle for freedom of our honored fathers and mothers. But it is also a commemoration that has a tremendous spiritual significance. The struggle for Greek Independence came after centuries of oppression during which the power of faith united families and communities, preserved and nurtured identity, and engendered hope. In the fight for independence, it was faith in God that engendered courage in the face of injustice, affirmed the priority of human dignity, and emboldened the effort for liberty as an essential quality of human life and potential. Thus, this day, being both the Feast of the Annunciation and the Greek Independence Day, offers a true and enduring witness of the power of faith: faith which connects and nurtures our hearts and minds in truth leading us to stand against any oppressive force which destroys life and diminishes human dignity; and faith which leads us to Christ, brings the grace of God, and grants to us a blessed and abundant life on our earthly journey towards eternity. On this sacred Feast of the Annunciation and in commemoration of Greek Independence Day, may your faith be strengthened through our worship and observances. May you contemplate and treasure the examples of faith of the Most Holy Theotokos and of our Hellenic forebears, and may the power of faith lead you to the hope, grace, and salvation offered by our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Basic Lenten Disciplines: Pray, Fast, Do Good, Learn by Tony Vrame, Ph.D.
With just a few words, we can see what our life during Great Lent ought to contain. These are the four basic disciplines of Christian living, things we should be doing regularly all year long. During Great Lent, we intensify our involvement with them to prepare for Holy Week and our celebration of Christ’s Resurrection. In the early Church, those who were going to be baptized at the Vigil of the Resurrection (in Greek Orthodox practice today, that service is celebrated on Holy Saturday morning), were taught to pray – mainly by learning to recite the Lord’s Prayer, to fast – and in those days it meant no food at all for a few days, and to do charitable acts – usually giving money and goods to the poor. They would also spend a great deal of time studying the Bible, mainly the Old Testament (there was no collection called the New Testament until the mid-fourth century), to learn about the Messiah. Most of us have been told this before. Most of us know what we are supposed to do. At the same time, we might want to “vary the mix” a little, doing something new or different from other years. With guidance from our parish priest, we might want to explore deepening our rule about prayer, attending church services more regularly, observing the fast more strictly, studying a new book, or
taking time to serve in our community. Young people though might need encouragement to see how all this connects with their lives more directly. And they may need to think more creatively about how to live the Lenten disciplines. You might consider giving your students time to reflect about each of these disciplines independently and then allowing them time to brainstorm new ways of following them this year. • Make each way as “catchy” as possible, in a few words that are easy to remember. • Write the ways on posterboard and hang them around the classroom. • List them on smaller sheets of paper and allow the students to take them home. • List them individually on pads of sticky notes so the young people can place them in a notebook, on a calendar, in their lockers, etc. From week to week, classes can discuss them, journal about them, and share their experiences following the Lenten disciplines. Some examples: Fast from texting. Help someone you don’t have to. Pray for peace. Read the Gospel, before church. Do without. Go to Confession. Be thankful. Listen to others. Listen for God. This is the season to being to work on developing our basic disciplines of Christian living. Dr. Vrame is director of the Archdiocese Department of Religious Education.
Pascha: P ascha: The Resur Resurrrrection ection of Christ
New Home for hellenicare’s Medical Center in Armenia CHICAGO.– With the support of a special grant from the U.S. Department of State, Office of Humanitarian Assistance and the free use of a building donated by the Alaverdi City Council in Armenia, hellenicare has begun renovation of its new medical center in Alaverdi, Armenia. ‘hellenicare’ celebrates the 10th anniversary of providing medical care and humanitarian assistance in the Lori Marz region of Armenia. The program began in 2001 with the establishment of a satellite clinic located in the Alaverdi Polyclinic. “We are grateful to the U.S. Department of State for their continued support. This special grant gives us the means to create a permanent home for our medical program from which to build self-sustainability,” said Andrew A. Athens, president and founder. We also express our appreciation to the Alaverdi City Council for donating the free use of this new building that will provide our patients with better access to medical care. The partnership that hellenicare has established with the U.S. Department of State and the Alaverdi
city government demonstrates our continued commitment to improving the lives and living conditions of vulnerable populations in this region of the world,” continued Mr. Athens. The renovation is expected to be completed in May. hellenicare will host a 10th anniversary celebration with the opening and dedication of the new medical facility. More information will be forthcoming. Alaverdi is a small town with 15 surrounding villages nestled in the Caucasus Mountains. For centuries, Alaverdi was one of the centers of Hellenism in Asia Minor. Although the number of Hellenes has dwindled over the years, those who remain proudly celebrate their Hellenic heritage. hellenicare is a non-profit, humanitarian organization that has served more than three million Hellenes and their neighbors in the former Soviet republics and the Republic of Albania. Over $155 million worth of medical care, medicines, supplies, equipment and other aid has been distributed. For more information, please call 312-775-9000.
Pennsylvania Community Breaks Ground for New Church JEFFERSONVILLE, Pa. – St. Sophia Church held a groundbreaking service on March 6 for a Byzantine–style church in Jeffersonville, Pa., with Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey officiating. The church will seat more than 450 people. The architect is CJK Design Group of San Francisco. The entire complex, which will
include an education center, offices, a library and walkways, will be constructed in four phases at a total cost of $3.3 million. The community of St. Sophia serves more than 200 families in the Norristown and Valley Forge region, near Philadelphia. Fr. Peter Thornberg is the pastor.
S.F. Clergy Attend 2nd Pan-Orthodox Retreat DUNLAP, Calif. -- Nearly 100 priests and deacons recently joined with their respective hierarchs for the second annual West Coast Pan-Orthodox Clergy Retreat at St. Nicholas Ranch and Retreat Center. Metropolitan Gerasimos of the Metropolis of San Francisco, Bishop Joseph of the Antiochian Diocese of Los Angeles and the West, Bishop Maxim of the Serbian Orthodox Western American Diocese, and Bishop Benjamin of the Orthodox Church in America Diocese of the West. This year’s guest speaker was the Very Rev. Archimandrite Meletios Webber, abbot of the St. John the Wonderworker in Manton, Calif.. The retreat theme was “Physician Heal Thyself: Orthodox Steps
of Spiritual Transformation.”Fr. Webber addressed several important topics including the assaulting thoughts of the evil one, addictive behaviors, and developing spiritually healthy habits for Orthodox priests. Fr. Webber emphasized the need for clergy to acknowledge their own need for healing before they can help others. Each evening, the hierarchs each led a discussion group based on the presentation of the day, allowing time for dialogue and fellowship. During the three days, the hierarchs and clergy worshiped together in the magnificent katholikon of the Monastery of the Theotokos the Life-Giving Spring, adjacent to St. Nicholas Ranch.
METROPOLIS NEWS And the Truth Will Make You Free
(John 8.32) by Metropolitan Methodios of Boston
(Below) Clergy of the Direct Archdiocesan District met on Feb. 1 with Archbishop Demetrios at the headquarters of the Archdiocese. The Archbishop hosted a luncheon and held a Vasilopita cutting for the priests.
San Francisco Metropolis Young Adults Attend Sixth Annual Retreat LAKE TAHOE, Calif. - The sixth annual Metropolis of San Francisco Young Adult Ski Retreat was held Jan. 14- 17 at Lake Tahoe on the theme “CTL: Christ the Lord.” Thirty-five young adults from eight parishes participated in daily prayer services, discussion sessions, and recreational activities including skiing on the beautiful slopes of Lake Tahoe. Discussion groups focused on two topics: a recent TIME Magazine article, “Marriage: What’s it Good For?,” and an Orthodox Christian understanding of stewardship. Leading the retreat were Fr. Timothy Robinson of Annunciation Church in Sacramento, Calif., who served as chaplain, and Deacon Niko Bekris, metropolis youth director, who coordinated the overall retreat and facilitated the discussion groups and activities during the weekend.
Various stories are circulating in the press and on the Internet, both here and throughout the world, dealing with the unfortunate developments in the St. George parish in Lynn, Mass. They are fraught with misinformation and crafted to seed division among the clergy and laity of our Archdiocese. The Archdiocese never “demanded $20,000 more than last year’s assessment of $68,000.” The amount assessed to the parish has not increased in four years. In fact, the Archdiocese forgave nearly $50,000 due in past assessments dating back from 2007-2009. It did so in good faith in order to help the parish. The Lynn assessment of $88,000 for the year 2010 was not an arbitrary “demand” made by the local Metropolitan or someone sitting in an office in New York. The financial assessment which every community contributes to the national ministries is determined by a formula voted by the delegates who attend Biennial Clergy Laity congresses. As you surely know, every community has the right to be represented by four delegates, its priest and three laymen. Article 4, Section 15 of the Uniform Regulations is clear: “Following approval, the decisions must be faithfully and firmly adhered to by the Archdiocesan District/Metropolises as well as all parishes, whether or not they were represented at the Congress and regardless of whether they voted with the minority or abstained.” The parish council in Lynn was not repre-
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Things to Read While Traveling through Great Lent by Bishop Savas of Troas
Congratulations to the recent graduates of St. Stephen’s Course in Applied Orthodox Theology upon their ordination into the Holy Diaconate
Rev. Deacon John Mamangakis at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, New Rochelle, NY, with the laying of Hands by His Grace Andonios of Phasiane, Chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America on May 4, 2010
Rev. Deacon John Howard at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, Fort Myers, FL, with laying of Hands by His Eminence Metropolitan Alexios of the Metropolis of Atlanta of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America on December 12, 2010
Rev. Deacon Chrysostom Panos at St. Paraskevi Greek Orthodox Church with the laying of Hands by His Grace Andonios of Phasiane, Chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America on November 13, 2010
For the past 31 years the St. Stephen’s Course in Applied Orthodox Theology has been educating men and women – Orthodox and non-Orthodox- from all parts of the world. It is a “Theological School without walls” – a directed distance reading program with an integrated three year program. The students are from Ireland, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, the Middle East, Greece, Japan, Hong Kong, China, Australia, New Zealand, Sierra Leone, Thailand, Mauritius, Central and South America. These students have had a strong desire to learn more about the Greek Orthodox Church, its Faith, Doctrine and Traditions. They are not, or were not able to attend an Orthodox Seminary or an Orthodox Theological School due to pursuing a secular career or family obligations, etc. There are over 1,000 graduates who now serve, not only as Deacons, but also the local parish as Church School directors, teachers, youth ministers, etc. If you are interested in learning more about the program, fill out the form below or contact the St. Stephen’s Office at 201 569 0095 or email@example.com for a catalogue. NAME_________________________________________________________please print ADDRESS________________________________CITY___________________________ STATE_______________ZIP CODE__________COUNTRY________________________ TELEPHONE_____________________E-MAIL ADDRESS________________________
Mail to: St. Stephen’s Course, 385 Ivy Lane, Bergenfield, NJ 07621
As my friends can tell you, I like to ask them, shortly into any conversation, “So what are you reading?” I’m always on the lookout for the “next good book,” just as I’m always looking to recommend my “last good one.” The pleasures of a book, as a wise person once observed, are doubled when shared. Thank God, the Church doesn’t ask that we give up reading during fasting periods, or I’d never make it! It is certainly in the spirit of the Great and Holy Lent, however, to avoid certain kinds of books (say, crime fiction, an escapist romance or a celebrity “bio”) to make mental space for more sober and edifying fare. With that in mind, I write to suggest a book or two for your Lenten consideration. It’s always good, whatever the time of year, to read the Holy Scriptures along with the Church. Every day outside of the Great Fast, the Divine Liturgy is celebrated somewhere, and for every Liturgy the Church designates a reading from the writings of the Apostles and one from one of the Four Gospels. In Lent, however, there are no weekday celebrations of the Divine Liturgy, and so the daily Scripture readings are taken from the Old Testament, and specifically from the books of Genesis, the Prophecy of Isaiah, and the Proverbs. There is also an increased use of the Church’s prayer book, the Book of Psalms. So start there. Read the Scriptures on a daily basis. If you’re not sure what the readings are for a particular day, go to www.goarch.org and click on the “Online Chapel” tab. When the Apostle Philip heard an Ethiopian pilgrim traveling home from Jerusalem by the Gaza road reading the
prophet Isaiah, he asked him, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And the Ethiopian said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” (Acts 8:30-31). Here are a few guides. For the Book of Genesis, I recommend Sister Nonna Verna Henderson’s translation of selected homilies of St. Basil the Great, On the Human Condition, in St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press’s Popular Patristics Series, and St. John Chrysostom’s Eight Sermons on the Book of Genesis, translated by Robert C. Hill for Holy Cross Orthodox Press. For those of a more scholarly bent, Peter C. Bouteneff’s Beginnings: Ancient Christian Readings of the Biblical Creation Narratives (Baker Academic) is an illuminating analysis of the various ways the opening chapters of Genesis have been understood by some of the Church’s greatest thinkers and saints. Consider also Robert Hill’s three-volume translation of St. Cyril of Alexandria’s, also on Holy Cross Press. If you do nothing more than acquire a greater familiarity with the Psalms this Lent, you will have done well. The Psalms are at the heart of Christian worship. There isn’t an Orthodox service that doesn’t draw from the Psalms, to express joy, to ask for forgiveness, to seek enlightenment, to beg for mercy, to make our needs known to God. And there are no more fitting Psalms to accompany us in our upward climb to the Holy City for Holy Week than the Psalms of Ascent, a group of 15 psalms that are numbered either Psalms120 to 134, in most Bibles, or Psalms 119 to 133, in translations from the Septuagint (Greek) Old Testament.
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KRISTEN BRUSKAS photo
San Francisco Metropolis Philoptochos attending the fund-raising luncheon, shown with Metropolitan Gerasimos.
San Francisco Metropolis Philoptochos Supports Students by John Papson
BROOKLINE, Mass. – The Bishop Anthony Philoptochos Student Aid Endowment Fund for seminarians and other students at Hellenic College and Holy Cross School of Theology is a tangible effort to secure the future of our faith and culture in the Metropolis of San Francisco. This fund was established by the Metropolis Philoptochos under the spiritual leadership of Metropolitan Anthony of blessed memory. It is now nurtured by Metropolitan Gerasimos as a treasure of the Metropolis Philoptochos. The Metropolis Philoptochos has been the fund’s guardian angel since its inception. The fund pays a substantial portion of the tuition and fees of students, and especially seminarians, at Hellenic College and Holy Cross from the Metropolis of San Francisco, so they can graduate as debt free as possible. Twenty–three students from the metropolis at HC-HC at this time. This financial support over the years has been a comfort to them. They are not alone in their chosen path but are being nurtured by Christian fellowship. A number of the seminarians come to their calling with families. They make tremendous sacrifices when they go to seminary and this moral and financial support helps them in their spiritual journey at the school. This essential service is provided in the hope it will encourage others to consider becoming priests so that succeeding generations will continue to be spiritually nurtured by the church. The support of each and every Philoptochos chapter of the metropolis enables this ministry to continue to flourish. Fundraising efforts are especially coordinated to occur during the spirit of giving prevalent in the Christmas season. Three holiday brunches are held in Northern and Southern California and in Arizona. This very worthwhile ministry is able to flourish in Metropolitan Anthony’s memory because of the underwriting and sponsorship of Philoptochos chapters and individuals. The fund was established in 1980. One of its original purposes was to assist young men from the San Francisco Diocese who were studying for the priesthood. Today, the fund helps all metropolis students enrolled at HC-HC, with priority
consideration given to those studying for the priesthood. The fund’s principal remains intact and the interest, along with money raised annually by the metropolis Philoptochos is disbursed to students. Funds came initially from another project called the “Parade of Homes” and other events such as the buffet/dinner auction in Washington state and the spirit teas held throughout the metropolis. A major gift came from the estate of Maria Casterline on Dec. 26, 1991. Bishop Anthony gave each seminarian $100 upon graduating at that time. Today, the seminarians receive a substantial amount, and other students varying amounts, to help them reduce their debt upon graduation. Each parish also participates in the Adopt–a–Seminarian program. Philoptochos members in each parish choose a seminarian, always from another parish, thus establishing relationships across parish lines. Members of the parishes assist the students and their families throughout the year, sometimes with care packages, at other times with cards and communication from well wishers, but always with the intent of expressing Christian love to those who would serve the faith. Seminarians, and other students from the metropolis, are grateful for this support, knowing that there are Orthodox Christians who love them and appreciate their efforts of financial and emotional support. Seminarians and other HC/HC students reach out, too, to serve the metropolis while in school. This year several attended the Folk Dance Festival to bring to families and prospective college students and seminarians information about the schools. They have also assisted at Camp Agape in Arizona with computer and website expertise. The Metropolis of San Francisco Philoptochos expects to continue to provide this very valuable service to the students and seminarians of HC/ HC in the hope it will help the students to be able to focus more on their studies and spiritual development. They will thus be well prepared to assist in the metropolis parishes as well as exhibit an Orthodox Christian presence in our society. John Papson is events coordinator at HC-HC.
14 Direct Archdiocesan District
Archangel Michael Church, Port Washington, NY•Annunciation, New York, NY•Cathedral
of the Holy Trinity, New York, NY•SS Anargyroi, New York, NY•St Barbara, New York, NY•St Eleftherios Church, New York, NY•St George•St Demetrios Church, New York, NY•St George Tropeoforos Church, New York, NY•St Gerasimos Church, New York, NY•St John the Baptist, New York, NY•St. Spyridon Church, New York, NY•St Demetrios Cathedral, Astoria, NY•St John’s, Blue Point, NY•Zoodohos Peghe Church, Bronx, NY•Kimisis tis Theotokou, Brooklyn, NY•Holy Cross Church, Brooklyn, NY•St Const & Helen Cathedral, Brooklyn, NY•Three Hierarchs, Brooklyn, NY•St. Nicholas Shrine Church, Flushing, NY•St. Demetrios Church, Merrick, NY•St Paraskevi, Greenlawn, NY•St. Paul Cathedral, Hempstead, NY•St. Demetrios Church, Jamaica, NY•Holy Trinity Church, New Rochelle, NY•Assumption, Port Jeﬀerson, NY•Church of Our Saviour, Rye, NY•Holy Trinity, Staten Island, NY•Prophet Elias Church, Yonkers, NY•St. Sophia Church, Albany, NY•St. George Church, Kingston, NY•KimisistisTheotokos, Poughkeepsie, NY•St Constantine & Helen, West Nyack, NY•St. George Church, Schenectady, NY•Assumption Church, Windham, NY•The Transfiguration, Mattituck, NY•Holy Trinity Church, Hicksville, NY•Holy Resurrection, Brookville, NY•Kimisis Tis Theotokou Church, Island Park, NY•St. Petros Church, Bronx, NY•Holy Cross Church, Middletown, NY•Assumption Church, Danbury, CT•Annunciation Church, Stamford, CT•Archangels Church, Stamford, CT•Holy Trinity Church, Waterbury, CT•St. George Cathedral, Hartford, CT•St. Demetrios, Bristol, CT•Saint Basil the Great Church, New Haven, CT•St. George Church, New Britain, CT•St. Sophia Cathedral, Washington, DC•SS Constantine & Helen, Washington, DC•Annunciation•Nassau, NP, Bahamas.
Metropolis of Chicago
St . D e m e t r i o s C hu rc h , C h i c a g o, IL•Assumption Church, Chicago, IL•Holy Trinity Church, Chicago, IL•St. Andrew Church, Chicago, IL•St. Basil Church, Chicago, IL•SS Constantine & Helen Church, Palos Hills, IL•St. George Church, Chicago, IL•St Spyridon Church, Palos Heights, IL•Holy Taxiarhai, Niles, IL•St. Athanasios Church, Aurora, IL•Three Hierarchs Church, Champaign, IL•Assumption Church, Orland Park, IL•St. Demetrios Church, Elmhurst, IL•Annunciation Church, Decatur, IL•St John the Baptist Church, Des Plaines, IL•Assumption Church, East Moline, IL•SS Constantine & Helen Church, Swansea, IL•St. George Church, Dekalb, IL•SS. Peter & Paul Church, Glenview, IL•Assumption Church, Hegewisch, IL•All Saints Church, Joliet, IL•Annunciation Church, Kankakee, IL•St. George Church, Rock Island, IL•St. Nicholas Church, Oak Lawn, IL•All Saints Church, Peoria, IL•SS Constantine & Helen Church, Rockford, IL•St. Anthony Church, Springfield, IL•Holy Cross Church, Justice, IL•St. Demetrios Church, Libertyville, IL•Holy Apostles Church, Westchester, IL•St. Nectarios Church, Palatine, IL•Saint Sophia Church, Elgin, IL•Annunciation Cathedral, Chicago, IL•Ascension of Our Lord Church, Lincolnshire, IL•St. George Church, Schererville, IN•SS Constantine & Helen Cath, Merrillville, IN•St. Demetrios Church, Hammond, IN•St. Andrew Church, South Bend, IN•St. Iakovos Church, Valparaiso, IN•St. John the Baptist Church, Cedar Rapids, IA•St. George Church, Des Moines, IA•St. Elias The Prophet Church, Dubuque, IA•Transfiguration of our Lord Church, Mason City, IA•Holy Trinity Church, Sioux City, IA•St. Demetrios Church, Waterloo, IA•The Twelve Holy Apostles Church, Duluth, MN•St. Mary’s Church, Minneapolis, MN•Holy Anargyroi Church, Rochester, MN•St. George Church, St. Paul, MN•Assumption Church, Town & Country, MO•St. Nicholas Church, St. Louis, MO•St. Luke the Evangelist Church, Columbia, MO•St. Nicholas Church, Appleton, WI•Holy Trinity Church, Fond Du Lac, WI•Assumption Church, Madison, WI•Annunciation Church, Milwaukee, WI•SS Constantine & Helen Church, Wauwatosa, WI•Kimisis Tis Theotokou Church, Racine, WI•St. Spyridon Church, Sheboygan, WI.
Metropolis of Pittsburgh
Annunciation Cathedral, Colum-
THE GREEK ORTHODOX ARCHDIOCESE OF AMERICA and the Finance Committee of the Archdiocese extend their gratitude to all of the parishes listed which have faithfully supported and completed the 2010 NATIONAL MINISTRIES COMMITMENT PROGRAM as of January 15, 2011
“OUR LORD CONTINUES TO BLESS US ALL”
bus, OH•Annunciation Church, Akron,
OH•Archangel Michael Church, Campbell, OH•Holy Trinity Church, Canton, OH•St. Haralambos Church, Canton, OH•SS Constantine & Helen Church, Cleveland, OH•Zoodochos Peghe Church, Martins Ferry, OH•St. Paul Church, North Royalton, OH•Holy Trinity Church, Steubenville, OH•St. Demetrios Church, Warren, OH•St. John Church, Youngstown, OH•Kimisis Tis Theotokou Church, Aliquippa, PA•Holy Trinity Church, Ambridge, PA•All Saints Church, Canonsburg, PA•Annunciation Church, Lancaster, PA•St. Spyridon Church, Monessen, PA•Holy Cross Church, Pittsburgh, PA•Holy Trinity Church, Pittsburgh, PA•St. Matthew Church, Reading, PA•Annunciation Church, York, PA•Holy Cross Church, Stroudsburg, PA•St. John Church, Charleston, WV•St. Spyridon Church, Clarksburg, WV•Assumption Church, Morgantown, WV•All Saints Church, Weirton, WV.
Metropolis of Boston
Holy Trinity Church, Danielson, CT•Saint Sophia Church, New London, CT•Holy Trinity Church, Norwich, CT•St. Nicholas Church, Enfield, CT•St. George Church, Bangor, ME•St. Demetrios Church, Saco, ME•Holy Trinity Church, Lewiston, ME•Holy Trinity Church, Portland, ME•St. Athanasius Church, Arlington, MA•Annunciation Cathedral, Boston, MA•St. John The Baptist, Boston, MA•Annunciation Church, Brockton, MA•SS Constantine & Helen Church, Cambridge, MA•SS Constantine & Helen Church, Chicopee, MA•St. Nicholas Church, Clinton, MA•St. Demetrios Church, Fall River, MA•Holy Trinity Church, Fitchburg, MA•Holy Apostles Peter and Paul Church, Haverhill, MA•Holy Trinity Church, Holyoke, MA•St. George Church, Centerville/Hyannis, MA•Assumption Church, Ipswich, MA•SS Constantine & Helen Church, Andover, MA•St. Nicholas Church, Lexington, MA•Assumption Virgin Mary Church, Dracut, MA•Holy Trinity Church, Lowell, MA•St. George Church, Lowell, MA•Transfiguration Church, Lowell, MA•SS. Anargyroi Church, Marlboro, MA•St. George Church, Dartmouth, MA•Annunciation Church, Newburyport, MA•St. Demetrios Church, Weston, MA•St. Vasilios Church, Peabody, MA•St. George Church, Pittsfield, MA•Dormition of the Virgin Mary, Somerville, MA•St. George Church, Southbridge, MA•St. George Cathedral, Springfield, MA•Taxiarchae Church, Watertown, MA•SS Constantine & Helen Church, Webster, MA•Annunciation Church, Woburn, MA•St. Catherine Church, Braintree, MA•St. Spyridon Cathedral, Worcester, MA•St. Nectarios Church, Roslindale, MA•St. Luke Church, East Longmeadow, MA•Panagia Greek Orthodox Church, Cohasset, MA•St Greogory Theologian, Mansfield MA•Holy Trinity Church, Concord, NH•Annunciation Church, Dover, NH•St. George Church, Keene, NH•Taxiarchai Church, Laconia, NH•Assumption Church, Manchester, NH•St. George Cathedral, Manchester, NH•St. Nicholas Church, Manchester, NH•St. Philip Church, Nashua, NH•St. Vasilios Church, Newport, NH•St. Nicholas Church, Portsmouth, NH•Dormition of the Virgin Mary Church, Somersworth, NH•St. Spyridon Church, Newport, RI•Assumption Church, Pawtucket, RI•Annunciation Church, Cranston, RI•Dormition of the Mother Of God, Burlington, VT.
Metropolis of Denver
Archangel Michael Church, Colorado Springs, CO•Assumption Cathedral, Denver, CO•St.Nicholas Church, Grand Junction, CO•St. John The Baptist Church, Pueblo, CO•St. Spyridon Church, Fort Collins, CO•SS. Peter & Paul Church, Boulder,
CO•St. Catherine Church, Greenwood Village, CO•St. John the Baptist Church, Craig, CO•SS Constantine & Helen Church, Boise, ID•Assumption Church, Pocatello, ID•St. Dionysios Church, Overland Park, KS•Holy Trinity Church, Wichita, KS•St. George Church, Shreveport, LA•Annunciation Church, Kansas City, MO•Annunciation Church, Missoula, MT•Annunciation Church, Lincoln, NE•St John the Baptist Church, Omaha, NE•Assumption Church, Bridgeport, NE•Greek Orthodox Church of Greater Omaha, Omaha, NE•St. Elias the Prophet Church, Santa Fe, NM•St. George Church, Albuquerque, NM•St. George Church, Oklahoma City, OK•Holy Trinity Church, Tulsa, OK•Transfiguration Church, Sioux Falls, SD•St. John the Prodromos Church, Amarillo, TX•St. Nicholas Church, Corpus Christi, TX•Holy Trinity Church, Dallas, TX•St. Demetrios Church, Fort Worth, TX•Assumption Church, Galveston, TX•Annunciation Cathedral, Houston, TX•Assumption Church, San Angelo, TX•Saint Sophia Church, San Antonio, TX•Holy Cross Church, Wichita Falls, TX•St. Nicholas Church, Waco, TX•St. Andrew Church, Lubbock, TX•St John the Baptist Church, Euless, TX•St. Nicholas Church, El Paso, TX•Transfiguration Church, Austin, TX•Saint Basil The Great Church, Houston, TX•Transfiguration Church, Ogden, UT•Assumption Church, Price, UT•Holy Trinity Church, Casper, WY•SS Constantine & Helen Church, Cheyenne, WY•Holy Trinity Church, Rock Springs, WY
Metropolis of Atlanta
Holy Trinity/Holy Cross Cathedral, Birmingham, AL•Holy Cross/ Sts. Constantine & Helen Church, Huntsville, AL•Annunciation Church, Mobile, AL•Annunciation Church, Montgomery, AL•Holy Trinity Church, Clearwater, FL•St Demetrios Church, Daytona Beach, FL•St. Nicholas Church, Ft. Pierce, FL•St John the Divine, Jacksonville, FL•St. Sophia Cathedral, Miami, FL•St Stefanos Church, St. Petersburg, FL•Holy Mother Church, Tallahassee, FL•St. Nicholas Cathedral, Tarpon Springs, FL•St Catherine Church, West Palm Beach, FL•Sts.. Markella Church, Ft. Walton Beach, FL•St. John The Theologian Church, Panama City, FL•Annunciation Church, Pensacola, FL•St. George Church Church, Hollywood, FL•St. Barbara Church, Sarasota, FL•St. Elizabeth Church, Gainesville, FL•St. Andrew Church, Miami, FL•St. Katherine Church, Melbourne, FL•Annunciation Church, Ft Myers, FL•St. Michael the Archangel Church, Inverness, FL•St. George Church, New Port Richey, FL•St. Katherine Church, Naples, FL•St. Sophia Church, Winter Haven, FL•Christ the Savior Church, Spring Hill, FL•Holy Trinity Church, Port Charlotte, FL•SS Raphael, Nicholas Church, Palm Harbor, FL•St John Chrysostom Church, Stuart, FL•Greek Orthodox Mission, Ocala, FL•Annunciation Cathedral, Atlanta, GA•Holy Trinity Church, Augusta, GA•St. Paul Church Church, Savannah, GA•St. Philothea Church, Watkinsville, GA•Holy Cross Church, Macon, GA•SS Raphael, Nicholas & Irene Church, Cumming, GA•Holy Transfiguration Church, Marietta, GA•Holy Transfiguration Church, Columbus, GA•St. Christopher Church, Peachtree City, GA•Holy Trinity Church, Asheville, NC•Holy Trinity Cathedral, Charlotte, NC•St. Barbara Church, Durham, NC•SS Constantine & Helen Church, Fayetteville, NC•Dormition of the Theotokos Church, Greensboro, NC•St. George Church, High Point, NC•Holy Trinity Church, Raleigh, NC•St. Nicholas Church, Wilmington, NC•Annunciation Church, Winston•Salem, NC•St. Katherine Church, Burlington, NC•St. Nektarios Church, Charlotte, NC•St Luke’s Church, Mooresville, NC•Holy Trinity Church, Charleston, SC•Holy Trinity Church, Columbia, SC•Transfiguration Church, Florence, SC•St. George Cathedral, Greenville, SC•St. Nicholas Church, Spartanburg,
FEBRUARY–MARCH 2011 SC•St. John Baptist Church, Myrtle Beach, SC•Holy Resurrection Church, Hilton Head, SC•St. George Church, Knoxville, TN•Holy Trinity Church, Bluﬀ City TN•Holy Trinity Church, Baton Rouge, LA•Holy Trinity Cathedral, New Orleans, LA•Holy Trinity Church, Biloxi, MS•Holy Trinity & St. John Church, Jackson, MS.
Metropolis of Detroit
Zoodochos Peghe Church, Hot Springs, AR•Annunciation Church, Little Rock, AR•Holy Trinity Church, Fort Wayne, IN•Holy Trinity Church, Carmel, IN•Panagia Pantovasilissa Church, Lexington, KY•St. Nicholas Church, Ann Arbor, MI•Annunciation/ Agia Paraskevi Church, New Buffalo, MI•SS Constantine & Helen, Westland, MI•St. Nicholas Church, Troy, MI•Holy Cross Church, Farmington Hills, MI•Assumption Church, Flint, MI•Annunciation Church, Kalamazoo, MI•Holy Trinity Church, Lansing, MI•St. George Church, Southgate, MI•Annunciation Church, Muskegon, MI•St. Demetrios Church, Saginaw, MI•Nativity Church, Plymouth Township, MI•St John Church, Sterling Heights, MI•Holy Spirit Church, Rochester, NY•Annunciation Church, Buﬀalo, NY•Annunciation Church, Rochester, NY•St. Vasilios Church, Watertown, NY•Saint Sophia Church, Syracuse, NY•St. Athanasios Church, Elmira, NY•Annunciation Church, Vestal, NY•St. Catherine Church, Ithaca, NY•SS. Theodoroi, Gloversville, NY•Holy Trinity Church, Cincinnati, OH•Annunciation Church, Dayton, OH•SS Constantine & Helen Church, Middletown, OH•Assumption Church, Springfield, OH•Holy Trinity Cathedral, Toledo, OH•Annunciation Church, Chattanooga, TN•Annunciation Church, Memphis, TN•Holy Trinity Church, Nashville, TN•Traverse Mission, Traverse City, MI.
Metropolis of San Francisco
Holy Transfiguration, Anchorage, AK•St. George Church, Bakersfield, CA•Saint Sophia Cathedral, Los Angeles, CA•Annunciation Church, Modesto, CA•St. Anthony Church, Pasadena, CA•St. John the Baptist Church, Salinas, CA•Prophet Elias Church, San Bernardino, CA•Annunciation Cathedral, San Francisco, CA•Holy Trinity Church, San Francisco, CA•St. Basil Church, Stockton, CA•Church of the Resurrection, Castro Valley, CA•Nativity of Christ Church, Novato, CA•SS Constantine & Helen Church, Cardiﬀ•By•The•Sea, CA•St. George Church, Palm Desert, CA•St. Katherine Church, Elk Grove, CA•SS Constantine & Helen Church, Lancaster, CA•St. Anna Church, Roseville, CA•St. Anthony Church, Reno, NV•Saint Sophia Church, Bellingham, WA•Assumption Church, Seattle, WA•Holy Trinity Church, Spokane, WA•St. Nicholas Church, Tacoma, WA.
Metropolis of New Jersey
Ascension Church, Fairview, NJ•St. George Church, Asbury Park, NJ•St. Thomas Church, Cherry Hill, NJ•St. Andrew Church, Randolph, NJ•Evangelism Tis Theotokou, Jersey City, NJ•St Demetrios Church, Jersey City, NJ•SS Constantine & Helen Church, Orange, NJ•St. George Church, Clifton, NJ•St. Athanasios Church, Paramus, NJ•St. George Church, Piscataway, NJ•St. John Cathedral, Tenafly, NJ•St. George Church, Trenton, NJ•Holy Trinity Church, Westfield, NJ•St. Demetrios Church, North Wildwood, NJ•St. Barbara Church, Toms River, NJ•Holy Trinity Church, Wilmington, DE•SS. Peter and Paul, Frederick, MD•St. George Church, Ocean City, MD•St. Theodore Church, Lanham, MD•SS Constantine & Helen Church, Annapolis, MD•Annunciation Cathedral, Baltimore, MD•St. George Church, Bethesda, MD•Evangelismos Church, Philadelphia, PA•St Sophia SS Faith Hope & Agape, Jeﬀersonville, PA•St. Luke Church, Broomall, PA•St. George Church, Media, PA•Annunciation Church, Elkins Park, PA•St. George Cathedral, Philadelphia, PA•The Nativity of theTheotokos, Fredericksburg, VA•St. Elpis Church, Hopewell, VA•St. George Church, Lynchburg, VA•SS Constantine & Helen, Newport News, VA•Annunciation Cathedral, Norfolk, VA•SS Constantine & Helen Cathedral, Richmond, VA•Holy Trinity Church, Roanoke, VA•Dormition Virgin Mary, Winchester, VA•Greek Orthodox Parish of Loudon, Dulles, VA.
ΦΕΒΡΟΥΑΡΙΟΣ – ΜΑΡΤΙΟΣ 2011
ΕΤΟΣ 76 • ΑΡΙΘΜΟΣ 1263
ΑΡΧΙΕΠΙΣΚΟΠΙΚΗ ΕΓΚΥΚΛΙΟΣ Συναντήσεις Αρχιεπισκόπου Δημητρίου με εκπροσώπους της Ελλάδος και της Κύπρου Αγία και Μεγάλη Τεσσαρακοστή ôïõ Óôáýñïõ Ç. Ðáðáãåñìáíïý
ΝΕΑ ΥΟΡΚΗ – Στα πλαίσια των συνεχών επαφών της Ιεράς Αρχιεπισκοπής Αμερικής με τους εκπροσώπους της Ελλάδος και της Κύπρου και την διαρκή αλληλοενημέρωση για τα εθνικά θέματα και τα θέματα ζωής και προόδου της Ελληνοαμερικανικής Ομογένειας, ο Σεβασμιώτατος Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής κ. Δημήτριος δέχθηκε την Παρασκευή 18 Ιανουαρίου τις επισκέψεις του Υπουργού Εξωτερικών της Ελλάδος κ. Δημήτρη Δρούτσα, της Αναπληρώτριας Υπουργού Παιδείας κ. Φώφης Γεννηματά και του Γενικού Διευθυντού του Υπουργείου Εξωτερικών της Κύπρου κ. Νικολάου Αιμιλίου. Με τον κ. Δρούτσα Η συνάντηση του Αρχιεπισκόπου με τον Υπουργό Εξωτερικών της Ελλάδος κ. Δημήτρη Δρούτσα διήρκεσε μία και πλέον ώρα και διεξήχθη σε πολύ εγκάρδιο κλίμα. Έγινε αμοιβαία ενημέρωση και κυριάρχησαν θέματα που αφορούν στις διεθνείς εξελίξεις που επηρεάζουν την Ελλάδα και την Ομογένεια. Μετά τη συνάντηση ο κ. Δρούτσας μεταξύ άλλων δήλωσε: «Κάθε συνάντησή μου με τον Σεβασμιώτατο Αρχιεπίσκοπο Δημήτριο είναι μεγάλη χαρά, τιμή και έμπνευση για μένα. Ο Σεβασμιώτατος είχε την καλωσύνη να με ενημερώσει για το σημαντικό έργο της Αρχιεπισκοπής ιδιαίτερα σε ό,τι
αφορά την Ομογένεια, η οποία είναι τόσο σημαντική για την Ελλάδα. Κι εγώ είχα την ευκαιρία να τον ενημερώσω για τις εξελίξεις στην Ελλάδα ιδιαίτερα για τις προσπάθειες και τις θυσίες του Ελληνικού Λαού αλλά και τις μεγάλες διαρθρωτικές μεταρρυθμίσεις που θα οδηγήσουν την Ελλάδα σύντομα έξω από την οικονομική κρίση που αντιμετωπίζουμε, σ’ ένα λαμπρό μέλλον για την πατρίδα μας». Ανταπαντώντας ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριος ανέφερε: «Ήταν μια θερμή ωραία και ρεαλιστική παρουσία. Ήταν μια συζήτηση γόνιμη όπως πάντα, και σε συνέχεια με αυτό που κάνουμε όλα αυτά τα χρόνια με τους εκπροσώπους της Ελληνικής Πολιτείας που έρχονται εδώ κι έχουμε μια ανταλλαγή απόψεων, ιδεών και αλληλοενημέρωση που είναι αντικειμενική, είναι ειλικρινής και είναι παραγωγική. Σήμερα είχαμε ένα ακόμη ωραιότατο δείγμα αυτής της μορφής συνεργασίας η οποία θα συνιστούσα και θα έλεγα ότι είναι από τα καλύτερα είδη συνεργασίας Εκκλησίας και Πολιτείας σε επίπεδο ουσιαστικής ευγένειας, αμοιβαίου σεβασμού και αξιοποιήσεως αμφοτέρων των πλευρών. Ευχόμεθα στον Ελληνικό Λαό για την έξοδο από μια δυσκολία στην οποία η πατρίδα μας βρίσκεται με την βεβαιότητα ότι ο Θεός θα βοηθήσει όπως πάντα και με την γνώση που έχουμε από την μακρά ιστορία ότι και αυτή η δυσκολία που περνάει η Ελλάς θα περάσει
Σκέψεις από το βίο και την πνευματικότητα των Τριών Ιεραρχών ΝΕΑ ΥΟΡΚΗ.- Στα πλαίσια της εορτής των Τριών Ιεραρχών και των Ελληνικών Γραμμάτων πραγματοποιήθηκε την Κυριακή 30 Ιανουαρίου η εκδήλωση του Γραφείου Παιδείας της Αρχιεπισκοπής στο πολιτιστικό κέντρο του Καθεδρικού Ναού της Αγίας Τριάδος στο Μανχάταν. Η εορτή συμπεριελάμβανε κοπή βασιλόπιτας προς τιμή των διδασκάλων, ομιλία της Αναπληρώτριας καθηγήτριας κ. Δέσποινας Πρασσά με θέμα: «Η αποτελεσματικότητα μιας ολοκληρωμένης παιδείας κατά τον Μέγα Βασίλειο και τον Ιωάννη τον Χρυσόστομο», ως και εκκλησιαστικούς ύμνους από τη βυζαντινή χορωδία της Αρχιεπισκοπής και φοιτητές της Θεολογικής Σχολής του Τιμίου Σταυρού. Ο Διευθυντής Παιδείας Δρ. Ιωάννης Ευθυμιόπουλος πριν προσκαλέσει στο βήμα τον Σεβασμιώτατο Αρχιεπίσκοπο κ. Δημήτριο, απηύθυνε χαιρετισμό και αναφέρθηκε στο νόημα της εορτής της μνήμης των Τριών Ιεραρχών λέγοντας:
Έχουμε αλήθεια σκεφτεί γιατί μια θρησκευτική εορτή της ιεράς μνήμης των Τριών Ιεραρχών ταυτίζεται με την Παιδεία, τη γνώση και την καλλιέργεια του πνεύματος, και τη θεμελίωση της ορθόδοξης χριστιανικής πίστης; Ο συνεορτασμός αυτός δεν μπορεί να είναι συμπτωματικός, ή κάποιο ιδεολόγημα. Είναι απόρροια βαθύτερης πνευματικής και πολιτισμικής σχέσης που στηρίχθηκε στον ορθολογισμό και την Ορθοδοξία, όπως θεμελιώνεται στη διδασκαλία της Καινής Διαθήκης και ερμηνεύεται στα μεγάλα κείμενα της Ορθόδοξης Θεολογίας, στα κείμενα των μεγάλων Πατέρων του Μεγάλου Βασιλείου, του Γρηγορίου του Θεολόγου και του Ιωάννη Χρυσοστόμου. Στην ιερά μνήμη τους μαζί με Αυτούς τιμούμε τα Γράμματα και εορτάζουν οι παράγοντες της Παιδείας, διδάσκοντες και διδασκόμενοι. Υπήρξαν οι ίδιοι φο-
Εορτασμός και Βραβεία Αριστείας Τριών Ιεραρχών από το Γραφείο Παιδείας της Αμέσου Αρχιεπισκοπικής Περιφέρειας
Τῷ γάρ ἔχοντι παντί δοθήσεται καί περισσευθήσεται... (Ματθ. 25:29) 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, Αἰσθανόμεθα τήν εὐλογία τοῦ Θεοῦ καί εἴμεθα γεμᾶτοι μέ προσδοκίες καθώς εἰσερχόμεθα στήν ἁγία καί οἰκοδομητική περίοδο τῆς Μεγάλης Τεσσαρακοστῆς. Μία περίοδο πού εἶναι εὐλογημένη διότι στή διάρκειά της προσευχόμεθα, νηστεύουμε, λατρεύουμε καί διακονοῦμε ἔντονα καί ὁδηγούμεθα σέ μεγαλύτερη κοινωνία μέ τόν Δημιουργό, Ὑποστηρικτή καί Λυτρωτή μας. Πρόκειται, ἐπίσης, γιά περίοδο στοχασμοῦ ὅπου ἐξετάζουμε ὁλόκληρο τό εἶναι μας – διάνοια, σῶμα καί ψυχή – καί ἀναζητοῦμε διά τῆς δυνάμεως καί τῆς χάριτος τοῦ Χριστοῦ τήν πνευματική νίκη ἐπί ὅλων ἐκείνων πού μᾶς χωρίζουν ἀπό τόν Θεό. Ἡ Ἁγία καί Μεγάλη Τεσσαρακοστή εἶναι ἐπίσης περίοδος πνευματικῆς προετοιμασίας καί ἀναπτύξεως. Κατά τήν διάρκεια τοῦ Τριωδίου, ἀκούσαμε τούς λόγους τοῦ Κυρίου μας στίς παραβολές τοῦ Τελώνου καί τοῦ Φαρισαίου, τοῦ Ἀσώτου Υἱοῦ καί τῆς Ἐσχάτης Κρίσεως. Διά τοῦ τονισμοῦ τῆς μετανοίας, τῆς χάριτος καί τῆς συγχωρήσεως, καλούμεθα νά ἀνα λ ογ ι σθο ῦ μ ε τήν πνευματική κατάσταση τῆς ζωῆς μας καί τήν ἑτοιμότητά μας νά σταθοῦμε ἐνώπιον τοῦ Χριστοῦ ὅταν ἔλθει ἐν τῇ δόξῃ Του. Τώρα, εἰσερχόμεθα σέ μία περίοδο ἡσυχίας καί περισυλλογῆς ἡ ὁποία μᾶς βοηθᾶ νά προοδεύσουμε ἀπό ἐκεῖ ὅπου εὑρισκόμεθα σέ μία βαθύτερη σχέση μέ τόν Θεό σέ μεγαλύτερη κατανόηση τῆς σοφίας καί ἀληθείας Του, σέ ὕψη χαρᾶς καί εἰρήνης τά ὁποῖα δέν εἴχαμε γνωρίσει προηγουμένως καί σέ σοβαρή εὐαισθητοποίηση πρός τίς ἀνάγκες τῶν ἄλλων. Πρόκειται περί περιόδου πνευματικῆς εὐημερίας. Εἶναι περίοδος πού θυμίζει τήν παραβολή τῶν ταλάντων τοῦ κατά Ματθαῖον Εὐαγγελίου. Λαμβάνουμε τόν θησαυρό τῆς ζωῆς καί τῆς ψυχῆς μας τόν ὁποῖο μᾶς δίδει ὁ Θεός, καί καλού μεθα νά ἐργασθοῦμε ἐπιμελῶς γιά νά ἐνισχύσουμε τήν πνευματική εὐεξία μας. Ὡς καλοί καί πιστοί διάκονοι ἀγωνιζόμεθα διά τῆς λατρείας καί τῆς προσευχῆς νά ἀποκτήσουμε ὑψηλούς βαθμούς πνευματικῆς ὡριμότητος στή βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ. Εἶναι περίοδος κατά τήν ὁποία ἀπαρνούμεθα τίς ἐγωιστικές ἐπιθυμίες μας διά τῆς νηστείας, ἀποφεύγοντας τόν κίνδυνο νά ἀκολουθήσουμε τήν στάση τοῦ νωθροῦ καί μή παραγωγικοῦ ὑπηρέτη, καί ἀκολουθώντας τούς λόγους τοῦ Κυρίου μας, Τῷ γάρ ἔχοντι παντί δοθήσεταικαί περισσευθήσεται, τοῦ δέ μή ἔχοντος καί ὅ ἔχει ἀρθήσεται ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ (Ματθ. 25:29) Οἱ ἡμέρες τῆς Μεγάλης Τεσσαρακοστῆς οἱ ὁποῖες ἔρχονται μᾶς ἔχουν δοθεῖ ἀπό τόν Κύριο γιά τήν πνευματική ἀνάπτυξή μας. Ἔχουμε τήν εὐκαιρία γιά τεράστια ἐπένδυση προσευχῆς, στοχασμοῦ καί διακονίας ἡ ὁποία θά μᾶς ὁδηγήσει σέ ἄφθονη συγκομιδή πνευματικῶν δώρων καί εὐλογιῶν. Χρησιμοποιεῖστε αὐτή τήν περίοδο μέσα ἀπό τίς ἀκολουθίες τῆς Μεγάλης Τεσσαρακοστῆς γιά νά ἀνοίξετε τούς πνευματικούς ὀφθαλμούς τῆς καρδιᾶς καί τῆς διανοίας σας, καί ἑτοιμασθῆτε νά ὑποδεχθῆτε τόν Νυμφίο Χριστό καί νά προσέλθετε στό μεγάλο Δεῖπνο. Καλλιεργεῖστε καί γαλουχεῖστε τίς ζωές σας διά τῆς καθημερινῆς προσευχῆς καί τῆς ἐνασχολήσεώς σας μέ τίς πηγές τῆς πίστεώς μας, οὕτως ὥστε ὅταν ὁ Κύριος ἐπιστρέψει νά ἀναφωνήσῃ: εὖ, δοῦλε ἀγαθέ καί πιστέ, ἐπί ὀλίγα ἧς πιστός, ἐπί πολλῶν σε καταστήσω (Ματθ. 25:23). Μέ τήν προσφορά καί τήν διακονία στίς ἀνάγκες τῶν ἄλλων, καταστῆτε ζωντανοί μάρτυρες τῆς ἀγάπης τοῦ Χριστοῦ, οὕτως ὥστε ὅταν ὁ Κύριος ἔλθει ἐν τῇ βασιλεία Του νά εἴπῃ στόν καθένα ἀπό μᾶς: δεῦτε οἱ εὐλογημένοι τοῦ πατρός μου, κληρονομήσατε τήν ἡτοιμασμένην ὑμῖν βασιλείαν ἀπό καταβολῆς κόσμου (Ματθ. 25:34). Στό ξεκίνημα αὐτῆς τῆς ἁγίας καί εὐλογημένης περιόδου, σᾶς προσφέρω τίς προσευχές μου καί τίς θερμότατες εὐχές μου γιά μία περίοδο πνευματικῆς οἰκοδομῆς, φωτισμοῦ καί ἄφθονων εὐλογιῶν διά τῆς παρουσίας καί χάριτος τοῦ Κυρίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστο. Μετά πατρικῆς ἀγάπης ἐν Αὐτῷ,
ÿ ὁ Ἀρχιεπίσκοπος Ἀμερικῆς Δημήτριος
ΦΕΒΡΟΥΑΡΙΟΣ – ΜΑΡΤΙΟΣ 2011
Σκέψεις από το βίο και την πνευματικότητα των Τριών Ιεραρχών Αρχαίας Ελλάδος και την καλλιέργησαν μέσα στην πίστη, ένωσαν την κλασική παιδεία με το χριστιανικό ιδεώδες. Είναι οι μεγάλοι Διαφωτιστές του Χριστιανισμού και γι’ αυτό η εκκλησία μας τους ανακήρυξε Άγιους – Προστάτες των Γραμμάτων και της Παιδείας. Ο πνευματικός αποπροσανατολισμός και η πολιτιστική πενία της εποχής μας επιβάλλει να στραφούμε σε καθάριες πνευματικές πηγές, όπως αυτές καλλιεργήθησαν μέσα στην Ελληνορθόδοξη
παράδοση, ώστε να μπορέσουμε να βγούμε από το πνευματικό τέλμα που μας εγκλωβίζει η σύγχρονη απολυτοποίηση της τεχνολογίας. Ο κοινός εορτασμός των Τριών Ιεραρχών αποτελεί το ορατό σύμβολο της ισότητας και της ενότητας των Μεγάλων Διδασκάλων, οι οποίοι εδίδαξαν με τον άγιο βίο τους το Ευαγγέλιο του Χριστού. Η προσφορά τους και η πνευματικότητά Τους ας αποτελέσει για όλους μας σταθμό μετάπλασης Παιδείας και πολιτισμού.
Συναντήσεις Αρχιεπισκόπου Δημητρίου Σελίδα 15 Σελίδα 15 ρείς υψηλής μορφωτικής στάθμης. Έζησαν σε μια συγκεκριμένη ιστορική περίοδο, μια εποχή μεταβατική, εντόνων πνευματικών συγκρούσεων και τριβών, πολεμώντας με αδάμαστο σθένος τις αιρέσεις και συντελώντας όσο λίγοι στην διατήρηση της αγνότητας της θρησκείας μας. Οι τρεις Καππαδόκες Πατέρες κράτησαν, όπως ομολογείται, συνετή στάση μπροστά στις βαρβαρότητες του εθνισμού όπως αποδεικνύεται και από την επιστολή του Γρηγορίου προς τον φίλο του και πρώην συμμαθητή του Ιουλιανό τον Παραβάτη χαρακτηρίζοντας ότι «Το Ελληνίζειν εστί πολυσήμαντον». Η θέση των Τριών μεγάλων πνευματικών μορφών και διδασκάλων της Ορθόδοξης Θεολογίας ήταν προϊόν μιας βαθύτερης, ειλικρινούς και βιωματικής κατάφασης προς τον Θεό, πρώτα και πάνω από όλα με την τριαδική χριστιανική του σύλληψη, προς τον άνθρωπο, το τέλειο δημιούργημα του Θεού, προς το πνεύμα, που κατ’ εξοχή συνδέει τον άνθρωπο με το Δημιουργό του. Στη διδασκαλία των μεγάλων αυτών πατέρων η ορθολογική σκέψη της Δύσης συνδυάστηκε και συμφιλιώθηκε με την Ορθοδοξία της Ανατολής, με την αποκάλυψη της χριστιανικής αλήθειας, στον ανατολικό χώρο, ενώ ο οικουμενικός χαρακτήρας της χριστιανικής πίστης κάλυψε και καλύπτει Ανατολή και Δύση. Η ουσία της Παιδείας είναι η αγωγή και δεν νοείται αγωγή χωρίς «πνευματικά μαθήματα» και «επιμέλεια ψυχής». Η επιμονή των Πατέρων στην αγωγή της ψυχής και μάλιστα κατά Χριστόν, δεν σημαίνει ότι υποτιμούν τη σημασία των γνώσεων ή τη σπουδαιότητα των Γραμμάτων. Σημαίνει διαφορετική ιεράρχηση των αναγκών του ανθρώπου. Πρώτα το πνεύμα και μετά το σώμα, πρώτα η αγωγή και μετά η γνώση. Δεν ήθελαν τους χριστιανούς ανθρώπους χωρίς κριτική σκέψη, χωρίς ευρύτητα γνώσεων, χωρίς γενικότερο προβληματισμό. Τους ήθελαν μέσα στην κοινωνία και τη ζωή, μετόχους των κοινωνικών ανησυχιών και φιλοσοφικών ρημάτων. Ανατρέχοντας σε αναφορές στα κείμενα των Πατέρων θα διαπιστώσουμε πόσο βαθειά τους είχε επηρεάσει η επαφή τους με την αρχαία σκέψη, όπως π.χ. στη χρήση δύο βασικών λέξεων «άνθρωπος» και «έλεος», αφού εκτός από βιβλική άποψη του «ελέους του Θεού» υπάρχει και η έννοια του ελέους στην τραγωδία. Όσο απρόβλεπτη είναι η ζωή κατά τους αρχαίους τραγικούς, έτσι αντιμετωπίζεται και από τους Τρεις Ιεράρχες. Μόνο που αυτοί μεταφέρονται από τον
κόσμο της τραγωδίας στον κόσμο της σωτηρίας, εκεί που το έλεος του Θεού, μπορεί όλα να τα καλύψει και να τα καθαγιάσει. Στην Ορθόδοξη πνευματικότητα υπάρχουν τρεις καθιερωμένες αρχές και αξίες. Τρία βασικά σύμβολα – ή πρότυπα – που βοηθούν να διακρίνουμε την ωραιότητα της κτίσης και την ωραιότητα του Κτίστη, δηλαδή πρώτη η εικόνα, δεύτερη η λειτουργία και τρίτη η άσκηση. Οι Καππαδόκες Πατέρες γνωρίζουν και χειρίζονται άριστα τη Γλώσσα και την προσαρμόζουν στην εποχή τους, αλλά παράλληλα γνωρίζουν και εκτιμούν τις ιδέες και την ομορφιά των αρχαίων κειμένων. Επιζητούν ο λόγος τους να έχει μια «ηθική». Θέλουν δηλαδή τη χρήση της Γλώσσας να ταιριάζει στο ήθος ενός χριστιανού. Και ενώ για τον αρχαίο πολιτικό λόγο τα χαρακτηριστικά είναι η λογοκρατία, το ωραίο, και η δημοκρατικότητα και το πάθος για ελευθερία, η Θεολογία σχετίζεται με το Λόγο του Θεού – είναι η άσκηση της εποχής των Αγίων. Διαλέγεται βαθειά και δένεται αχώριστα με τους λόγους της δημιουργίας παντού και πάντοτε, σύμφωνα με τον Άγιο Μάξιμο τον Ομολογητή. Το πιο παράδοξο είναι ότι ο Λόγος δεν δεσμεύεται από τίποτε. Όντας σε όλη Του τη δημιουργία, βρίσκεται αφενός έξω από το κάθε τι ως προς την ουσία Του, αλλά και μέσα στο κάθε τι με τη δύναμή Του, δίνοντας ζωή στο κάθε τι και στα πάντα, αγκαλιάζοντας ολόκληρη την Κτίση. Με τους Τρεις Ιεράρχες ο Ελληνισμός βαπτίστηκε μέσα στο Χριστιανισμό και μεταμορφώθηκε και συντηρήθηκε και έτσι μεταμορφώθηκε η ζωή. Ό,τι προηγουμένως ήταν απλό γράμμα, τώρα έγινε πνεύμα γεμάτο ζωή. Ό,τι ήταν σχήμα κενό τώρα απόκτησε περιεχόμενο πραγματικό. Δεμένος ισχυρά με την Ορθοδοξία ο Ελληνισμός συνέθεσε νέες μορφές πολιτισμού και πνευματικότητας και επέδρασε δημιουργικά και αποτελεσματικά σ’ ολόκληρη την οικουμένη όχι με φυλετικά, αλλά πολιτιστικά και παιδευτικά κριτήρια. Ο Ελληνισμός συντηρήθηκε, γιατί έθετε πάντοτε τη φύλαξη και την ενίσχυση των πνευματικών του συνόρων, δεμένος ισχυρά με το παρελθόν, με τις ρίζες του, με την Ορθοδοξία, συνθέτοντας νέες μορφές πολιτισμού και πνευματικότητας, επιδρώντας δημιουργικά και αποτελεσματικά σ’ ολόκληρη την οικουμένη. Οι Τρεις Ιεράρχες κατόρθωσαν να εντάξουν τα στοιχεία του Αρχαίου Ελληνικού πολιτισμού στην ευρύτερη χριστιανική προοπτική. Πήραν τη Σοφία της
και όπως είπε και ο κ. Υπουργός θα βρεθούμε και πάλι σ’ ένα επίπεδο που θα είναι το επίπεδο που ταιριάζει στην Ελλάδα, δηλ. επίπεδο διεθνούς, μονίμου και ουσιαστικής ακτινοβολίας παγκοσμίως». Τον Υπουργό Εξωτερικών κ. Δρούτσα συνόδευαν, ο πρέσβυς της Ελλάδος στην Ουάσιγκτον κ. Βασίλειος Κασκαρέλης, ο πρέσβυς της Ελλάδος στον Ο.Η.Ε κ. Αναστάσιος Μητσιάλης, η γενική πρόξενος της Ελλάδος στην Νέα Υόρκη κ. Άγη Μπαλτά, ο διευθυντής του διπλωματικού γραφείου του υπουργού πρέσβυς κ. Χρήστος Παναγόπουλος και ο εκπρόσωπος του υπουργείου κ. Γρηγόρης Δελαβέκουρας. Με την κυρία Γεννηματά Η Αναπληρωτής Υπουργός Παιδείας, Διά Βίου Μάθησης και Θρησκευμάτων κ. Φώφη Γεννηματά, η οποία νωρίτερα είχε επισκεφθεί τα Ημερήσια σχολεία του Αγίου Δημητρίου Αστορίας και του Αγίου Νικόλαου στο Φλάσινγκ, επισκέφθηκε το απόγευμα τον Αρχιεπίσκοπο Δημήτριο και στη συνάντηση που ακολούθησε συζητήθηκαν θέματα Ελληνικής Παιδείας στην Ομογένεια. Έγινε αναφορά στις δυνατότητες της Ελληνικής πολιτείας αφ’ ενός να συνεχίσει την απόσπαση εκπαιδευτικών Ελληνικής Γλώσσας από την Ελλάδα, και αφ’ έτερου να συμβάλει σ’ ένα πρόγραμμα ταχείας εκπαιδεύσεως δασκάλων που θα μπορούσε να λειτουργήσει στο Ελληνικό Κολέγιο στο Μπρουκλάιν της Μασαχουσέτης. Η κ. Υπουργός ενημέρωσε τον Σεβασμιώτατο για τις πρωτοβουλίες που λαμβάνει για την κατάρτιση σχεδίου νόμου και την στρατηγική του Υπουργείου της για την Ελληνική Γλώσσα και την ελληνική ταυτότητα και κάλεσε την Ιερά Αρχιεπισκοπή και τους φορείς της να υποβάλουν προτάσεις και
ιδέες για να συμπεριληφθούν στο σχέδιο νόμου. Η κ. Γεννηματά σε δηλώσεις της μετά τη συνάντηση μεταξύ άλλων ανέφερε: «Είχαμε μια πολύ χρήσιμη, πολύ ζεστή και εποικοδομητική συζήτηση. Είμαστε ανοιχτοί σε κάθε πρόταση και σε κάθε ιδέα που μπορεί να αναβαθμίσει και να βελτιώσει όσο γίνεται περισσότερο την εκπαίδευση των Ελλήνων ομογενών. Γι’ αυτό συναντηθήκαμε και νομίζω ότι υπήρχε σε πάρα πολλά θέματα ταύτιση απόψεων και πιστεύω από δω και πέρα θα έχουμε μια πολύ καλή συνεργασία». Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριος εκφράζοντας τις προσδοκίες του για προσοδοφόρο συνεργασία σημείωσε: «Στη φάση που βρίσκεται ο κόσμος μας σήμερα και στο σημείο που είναι και η Ομογένεια αλλά και η Ελλάδα είναι αναγκαίο οι δυνάμεις οι οποίες μοχθούν για κάτι καλύτερο για το σήμερα και το αύριο να δουλεύουν μαζί με συντονισμό, με μέθοδο και με πάθος. Σήμερα είχαμε αυτή την εμπειρία σε θέματα παιδείας και προσδοκούμε ότι θα έχουμε στη συνέχεια μια στενή και παραγωγική συνεργασία». Με τον κ. Αιμιλίου Ο Γενικός Διευθυντής του Υπουργείου Εξωτερικών της Κύπρου κ. Νικόλαος Αιμιλίου ενημέρωσε τον Αρχιεπίσκοπο Δημήτριο για τις επαφές του στην Ουάσιγκτον και στη Νέα Υόρκη με αξιωματούχους του Ο.Η.Ε. και τις εξελίξεις που διαμορφώνονται στο Κυπριακό, το οποίο μαζί με θέματα της Ομογένειας ήταν οι δύο άξονες της συναντήσεως. Τον κ. Αιμιλίου συνόδευαν οι πρέσβεις της Κύπρου στην Ουάσιγκτον κ. Παύλος Αναστασιάδης και στον Ο.Η.Ε. κ. Μηνάς Χατζημιχαήλ, η Γενική Πρόξενος κ. Κούλα Σοφιανού και ο Πρόεδρος Κυπριακής Ο��οσπονδίας Αμερικής κ. Πανίκος Παπανικολάου.
ΟΙΚΟΥΜΕΝΙΚΟΝ ΠΑΤΡΙΑΡΧΕΙΟΝ • ΑΝΑΚΟΙΝΩΘΕΝ Συνῆλθεν, ὑπό τήν προεδρίαν τῆς Α. Θ. Παναγιότητος, ἡ Ἁγία καί Ἱερά Σύνοδος εἰς τάς τακτικάς συνεδρίας αὐτῆς τῇ Τετάρτῃ, 2ᾳ Μαρτίου, καί τῇ Πέμπτῃ, 3ῃ ἰδίου, καί ἐξήτασεν ἅπαντα τά θέματα τῆς ἡμερησίας διατάξεως. Κατά τήν συνεδρίαν αὐτῆς τῆς σήμερον Πέμπτης, 3ης Μαρτίου ἐ. ἔ., ἡ Ἁγία καί Ἱερά Σύνοδος, προτάσει τῆς Α. Θ. Παναγιότητος, ἐξελέξατο παμψηφεί τόν μέν Μέγαν Πρωτοσύγκελλον κ. Στέφανον Μητροπολίτην Καλλιουπόλεως καί Μαδύτου, τόν δέ Ἀρχιγραμματέα αὐτῆς κ. Ἐλπιδοφόρον Μητροπολίτην Προύσης. Τό Μικρόν καί τό Μέγα Μήνυμα ἀμφοτέρων ἐγένοντο αὐθημερόν, οἱ δέ οὑτωσί ἐπαξίως προαχθέντες ἐδέχθησαν τά συγχαρητήρια τοῦ Πατριάρχου, τῶν ἁγίων Ἀρχιερέων, τῆς Πατριαρχικῆς Αὐλῆς καί τῶν καθευρεθέντων πιστῶν. Ἡ χειροτονία τοῦ μέν Θεοφ. Ἐψηφισμένου Καλλιουπόλεως καί Μαδύτου γενήσεται τῇ Κυριακῇ τῆς Ὀρθοδοξίας, 13ῃ τ. μ., τοῦ δέ Θεοφ. Ἐψηφισμένου Προύσης τῇ Β’ Κυριακῇ τῶν Νηστειῶν, 20ῇ ἰδίου, ἀμφότεραι ἐν τῷ Πανσέπτῳ Πατριαρχικῷ Ναῷ. Ἐξ ἄλλου, μετά τήν εἰς ἀρχιερέα ἀνύψωσιν τοῦ μέχρι τοῦδε Ἀρχιγραμματέως αὐτῆς, ἡ Ἁγία καί Ἱερά Σύνοδος προήγαγεν εἰς διαδοχήν αὐτοῦ τόν μέχρι τοῦδε Ὑπογραμματεύοντα Πανοσιολ. Ἀρχιμανδρίτην κ. Βαρθολομαῖον Σαμαρᾶν καί ὠνόμασεν Ὑπογραμματέα μέν αὐτῆς τόν Κωδικογράφον Πανοσιολ. Διάκονον κ. Ἰωακείμ, νέον δέ Κωδικογράφον εἰς τήν θέσιν αὐτοῦ τόν Πανοσιολ. Διάκονον κ. Παΐσιον. Ἐκ τῆς Ἀρχιγραμματείας τῆς Ἁγίας καί Ἱερᾶς Συνόδου
ΦΕΒΡΟΥΑΡΙΟΣ – ΜΑΡΤΙΟΣ 2011
«Και η Αλήθεια ελευθερώσει υμάς»
(Ιωάν. 8.32) Διάφορες ιστορίες κυκλοφορούν στον Τύπο και στο Διαδίκτυο, και εδώ και ανά τον κόσμο, που διακωμωδο ύ ν τις ατυχείς εξελίξεις στην Ενορία του Αγίου Γεωργίου στο Lynn της Μασσαχουσέττης. Είναι γεμάτες οι ιστορίες αυτές από παραπληρoφόρηση, ως και κατασκευασμένες, έτσι ώστε να ενσπείρουν την διαίρεση ανάμεσα στόν κλήρο και στον λαό της Αρχιεπισκοπής μας. Η Αρχιεπισκοπή ουδέποτε «απαίτησε $20,000 δολλάρια πέραν του προσδιορισμένου ποσού των $68,000» του περασμένου έτους. Το ποσόν που προσδιορίστηκε για την εν λόγω Ενορία δεν αυξήθηκε για 4 χρόνια. Στην πραγματικότητα, η Αρχιεπισκοπή χάρισε $50,000 δολλάρια από τα οφειλόμενα από το 2007 έως το 2009. Το οφειλόμενο ποσόν από το Lynn για το έτος 2010 δεν ήταν αφθαίρετη απαίτηση του τοπικού Μητροπολίτη, ή κάποιου γραφειοκράτη από την Νέα Υόρκη. Η ετήσια οικονομική εισφορά που καταβάλλει κάθε κοινότητα για τις κοινές διακονίες της Αρχιεπισκοπής καθορίζεται από μιά διαδικασία την οποία ψηφίζουν οι αντιπροσωπείες των ενοριών που λαμβάνουν μέρος στις ανά διετία Κληρικολαϊκές Συνελεύσεις. Όπως είναι γνωστό, κάθε κοινότητα έχει το δικαίωμα να αντιπροσωπεύεται από τετραμελή αντιπροσωπεία, δηλαδή από τον ιερέα της και τρείς λαϊκούς ενορίτες. Το άρθρο 4, κεφ. 15 των Ομοιόμορφων Ενοριακών Κανονισμών είναι ξεκάθαρο: «Μετά την έγκρισή τους, οι αποφάσεις πρέπει να τηρούνται πιστά και σταθερά από τις Αρχιεπισκοπικές Περιφέρειες/Μητροπόλεις και από όλες τις Ενορίες, ανεξάρτητα από το άν συμμετείχαν ή όχι στις Συνελεύσεις, ή αν ψήφισαν με την μειοψηφία, ή δήλωσαν αποχή.» Η ενορία του Lynn δεν συμμετέσχε στις Κληρικολαϊκες Συνελεύσεις γιατί αξίωσαν «ότι τα έξοδα ήταν πολλά.» Σκεφθείτε το: μία από τις μεγαλύτερες ενορίες της Μητροπόλεώς μας αδυνατεί να στείλει έστω και έναν αντιπρόσωπο! Ούτε βεβαίως έστειλαν αντιπρόσωπο στις τοπικές Μητροπολιτικές Συνελεύσεις για τον ίδιο λόγο. Στις συνελεύσεις αυτές, οι ενοριακοί ηγέτες του Lynn θα είχαν την ευκαιρία να προτείνουν τη δική τους διαδικασία στις άλλες ενορίες. Σύμφωνα με το άρθρο 34, κεφ. 8 των
ΟΡΘΟΔΟΞΟΣ ΠΑΡΑΤΗΡΗΤΗΣ ORTHODOX OBSERVER
Ομοιόμορφων Ενοριακών Κανονισμών, κάθε κοινότητα έχει το δικαίωμα να ζητήσει την αναθεώρηση του ποσού το οποίο οφείλει να καταβάλει. Διάφορες κοινότητες της Μητροπόλεως Βοστώνης ακολούθησαν αυτήν την πορεία. Το Lynn είναι η μόνη από τις 63 κοινότητες που δεν εκπλήρωσε την υποχρέωσή της. Ο Ιερέας και το Ενοριακό Συμβούλιο εκκλήθησαν να προσέλθουν στην Μητρόπολη από εμένα προσωπικώς προκειμένου να συναντηθούμε και να επιλύσουμε το ζήτημα. Στις συζητήσεις που έγιναν, οι Μητροπολιτικές και Αρχιεπισκοπικές οικονομικές επιτροπές δεν μπόρεσαν να καταλάβουν πως οι ηγέτες της Ενορίας του Lynn, που επένδυσαν $3 εκατομμύρια σε ένα οικοδομικό έργο ανακαινήσεως της εισόδου του ναού τους, δεν μπόρεσαν να βρούν $20,000 δολλάρια για να εκπληρώσουν την υποχρέωσή τους. Η συνάντηση διακόπηκε απότομα από το Ενοριακό Συμβούλιο το οποίο δήλωσε απερίφραστα ότι δεν θα αναθεωρήσει την απόφασή του. Δεν είναι η Αρχιεπισκοπή που «απαιτεί» παράλογες αποτιμήσεις. Αντίθετα, είναι η ηγεσία της κοινότητας του Lynn που αυθαίρετα αποφασίζει το ποσόν της λογίας και απαιτεί από την Αρχιεπισκοπή να το δεχθεί «της αρέσει δεν της αρέσει.» Νομίζω ότι θα συμφωνούσατε, ότι άν κάθε Επίσκοπος, ή ιερέας, ή λαϊκός, είτε μέλος ενοριακού συμβουλίου, είτε άρχων, είτε μέλος της Ηγεσίας των 100 (άσχετα με το πόσο δυνατός θεωρεί ότι είναι, ή πόση επιρροή νομίζει ότι ασκεί) αποφάσιζε να παραβλέψει τις διατάξεις του Πατριαρχικού Καταστατικού Χάρτη και των Ομοιόμορφων Κανονισμών, η Εκκλησία μας στην Αμερική θα κατέληγε σε μιά κατάσταση χάους. Προσεύχομαι, να δουν το λάθος των αποφάσεών τους οι ηγέτες του Lynn, ώστε να μήν επιβεβαιώσουν αυτό που είναι γραμμένο στήν Αγία Γραφή: «βλέποντες, ου βλέπουσι, και ακούοντες, ούκ ακούουσιν, ουδέ συνιούσι» (Ματθ. 13:3). Ελπίζουμε, ότι δεν θα επιβεβαιώσουν το λαϊκό ρητό, «στου κουφού την πόρτα όσο θέλεις βρόντα.» + ο Μητροπολίτης Βοστώνης Μεθόδιος Φεβρουαρίου 17, 2011
Συνάντηση διευθυντών – Αρχιεπισκόπου
ΑΡΧΙΕΠΙΣΚΟΠΙΚΗ ΕΓΚΥΚΛΙΟΣ Ἑορτή τοῦ Εὐαγγελισμοῦ τῆς Θεοτόκου καί Ἡμέρα Ἐθνικῆς Ἀνεξαρτησίας 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, Κατά τήν διάρκεια τῆς Ἁγίας καί Μεγάλης Τεσσαρακοστῆς, ἔχουμε τήν εὐλογία τοῦ χαρμόσυνου ἑορτασμοῦ τῆς Ἑορτῆς τοῦ Εὐαγγελισμοῦ τῆς Ὑπεραγίας Θεοτόκου καί Ἀειπαρθένου Μαρίας. Πρόκειται περί γεγονότος χαρᾶς καθώς ἡ Ἑορτή αὐτή συμπίπτει μέ μία περίοδο ἔντονης περισυλλογῆς καί προσευχῆς καί προσφέρει μαρτυρία τῆς δυνάμεως τῆς πίστεως διά τῆς ζωῆς μίας μοναδικά ἁγίας γυναικείας μορφῆς ἡ ὁποία ἀφιερώθηκε στό θέλημα τοῦ Θεοῦ. Ἡ δύναμη τῆς πίστεως διά τῆς μαρτυρίας τῆς Θεοτόκου ἀποκαλύπτεται ἐντονώτερα μέσα στή Μεγάλη Τεσσαρακοστή διά τῶν ἀκολουθιῶν τῶν Χαιρετισμῶν τοῦ Ἀκάθιστου Ὕμνου. Στούς στίχους τοῦ ὑπέροχου αὐτοῦ ὕμνου διακηρύσσουμε τό μέγεθος καί τήν σημασία τήν ὁποία ἔχει γιά μᾶς τό γεγονός ὅτι ἡ Παρθένος Μαρία ἔγινε ἡ Μητέρα τοῦ Κυρίου μας, διά τῆς ὁποίας σαρκώθηκε ὁ Θεός. Ἡ Παναγία μέ πίστη ἐδέχθη τήν ἀναγγελία τοῦ Ἀρχαγγέλου καί ἐξέφρασε τήν ἀποδοχή τοῦ θελήματος τοῦ Θεοῦ. Μέ πίστη ἡ Θεοτόκος ἔγινε ἡ ἀρχηγός τῆς νοητῆς ἀναπλάσεως καί ἡ θύρα τοῦ σεπτοῦ μυστηρίου. Διά τῆς δυνάμεως τῆς πίστεώς της ἔγινε ἡ γέφυρα μετάγουσα τούς ἐκ γῆς πρός οὐρανόν, τό ἀνοικτήριον Παραδείσου θυρῶν, ἡ πύλη τῆς σωτηρίας. Ἡ πίστη τῆς Θεοτόκου ἔγινε τό μέσον μεγάλων εὐλογιῶν γιά τήν ἰδία καί γιά ὁλόκληρη τήν ἀνθρωπότητα. Στίς ἐμπνευσμένες στροφές τοῦ Ἀκάθιστου Ὕμνου, ἀναγνωρίζουμε τήν Παναγία ὡς ἐκείνη δι’ ἧς ἡ χαρά ἐκλάμψει, καί δι’ ἧς ἐνεδύθημεν δόξαν. Ὁ Χριστός διενήργησε ὅλα αὐτά γιά μᾶς, διότι ἡ πίστη καί ἡ προθυμία τῆς Θεοτόκου παρεῖχε τό μέσον διά τοῦ ὁποίου Ἐκεῖνος ἔγινε ἄνθρωπος γιά νά μᾶς σώσῃ. Ἡ μαρτυρία τῆς δυνάμεως τῆς πίστεως προσφέρει ἐνθάρρυνση καί ἐλπίδα στίς ζωές μας. Ἀποτελεῖ ὑπέρτατο παράδειγμα τῶν ἐπιτευγμάτων τῆς πίστεως, τῆς δυνάμεως τοῦ Θεοῦ νά μεταμορφώνῃ τίς ζωές μας, τῆς χαρᾶς ν’ ἀκολουθοῦμε τό θέλημά Του, καί τῆς διαβεβαιώσεως τῆς χάριτος καί τῶν ὑποσχέσεών Του. Μᾶς ἀποκαλύπτει μέσῳ τῆς ζωῆς μίας ἁγίας γυναίκας τήν ὁποία ἐπέλεξε ὁ Θεός γιά μία ἱερώτατη ἀποστολή, ὅτι ἡ πίστη ἐγκαινιάζει καί καθοδηγεῖ τήν πνευματική ἀνάπλασή μας καί ἀνοίγει τίς καρδιές καί διάνοιές μας στά μυστήρια τῆς ἀγάπης καί τῆς σοφίας Του. Διά τοῦ παραδείγματος τῆς Θεοτόκου διαπιστώνουμε ὅτι ἡ πίστη στόν Θεό μᾶς κατευθύνει στήν ὁδό τοῦ Οὐρανοῦ, μᾶς ἀποκαλύπτει τήν ὁδό τοῦ Παραδείσου καί μᾶς ἀνοίγει τήν πύλη τῆς σωτηρίας ἔτσι ὥστε νά μποροῦμε νά ζοῦμε σέ αἰώνια κοινωνία μαζί Του. Σ’ αὐτή τήν Ἑορτή τοῦ Εὐαγγελισμοῦ, ἐμεῖς, ὡς Ἕλληνες Ὀρθόδοξοι Χριστιανοί τιμοῦμε μία ἡμέρα καί τά γεγονότα της τά ὁποῖα ἐπίσης φανέρωσαν τήν δύναμη τῆς πίστεως. Ἡ Ἡμέρα τῆς Ἐθνικῆς Ἀνεξαρτησίας συμπεριλαμβάνεται στίς ἡμέρες ἑορτῆς λόγῳ ἱστορικῶν γεγονότων σχετιζομένων μέ τήν ἐπανάσταση τοῦ 1821 καί τόν ἀγώνα γιά ἐλευθερία τῶν τιμημένων πατέρων καί μητέρων μας. Ἀποτελεῖ ὅμως καί ἑορτασμό ὁ ὁποῖος ἔχει τεράστια πνευματική σημασία. Ὁ ἀγώνας γιά τήν Ἑλληνική Ἀνεξαρτησία ἔγινε μετά ἀπό αἰῶνες καταπιέσεως κατά τούς ὁποίους ἡ δύναμη τῆς πίστεως ἕνωσε οἰκογένειες καί κοινότητες, διετήρησε καί καλλιέργησε τήν Ἑλληνική ταυτότητα καί γέννησε ἐλπίδα. Στόν ἀγώνα γιά ἀνεξαρτησία, ἦτο ἡ πίστη στόν Χριστό ἡ ὁποία γέννησε τό θάρρος στήν ἀντιμετώπιστη τῆς ἀδικίας, ἐπιβεβαίωσε τήν προτεραιότητα τῆς ἀνθρωπίνης ἀξιοπρεπείας, καί ἐνδυνάμωσε τήν προσπάθεια γιά ἐλευθερία ὡς οὐσιαστικοῦ παράγοντος τῆς ἀνθρώπινης ζωῆς καί τοῦ δυναμικοῦ της. Ἔτσι, αὐτή ἡ ἡμέρα τοῦ διπλοῦ ἑορτασμοῦ, τοῦ Εὐαγγελισμοῦ τῆς Θεοτόκου καί τῆς Ἡμέρας Ἐθνικῆς Ἀνεξαρτησίας, προσφέρει ἀληθινή καί διαχρονική μαρτυρία τῆς δυνάμεως τῆς πίστεως. Πίστεως ἡ ὁποία ἑνώνει καί καλλιεργεῖ τίς καρδιές καί διάνοιές μας στήν ἀλήθεια καί μᾶς ὁδηγεῖ νά σταθοῦμε ὄρθιοι ἔναντι οἱασδήποτε καταπιεστικῆς δυνάμεως ἡ ὁποία καταστρέφει τήν ζωή καί μειώνει τήν ἀνθρώπινη ἀξιοπρέπεια. Πίστεως ἡ ὁποία μᾶς ὁδηγεῖ στόν Χριστό φέρνει τήν χάρη τοῦ Θεοῦ καί μᾶς προσφέρει εὐλογημένη καί ἄφθονη ζωή στό γήινο ταξίδι μας πρός τήν αἰωνιότητα. Σ’ αὐτή τήν ἱερή Ἑορτή τοῦ Εὐαγγελισμοῦ καί καθώς τιμοῦμε τήν Ἡμέρα τῆς Ἐθνικῆς Ἀνεξαρτησίας τῆς Ἑλλάδος, εὔχομαι ἡ πίστη μας νά ἐνδυναμωθῇ διά τῆς λατρείας τοῦ Θεοῦ καί τῶν πανηγυρικῶν ἑορτασμῶν. Εὔχομαι νά μελετήσουμε καί νά ἐκτιμήσουμε τά παραδείγματα τῆς πίστεως τῆς Παναγίας Θεοτόκου καί τῶν Ἑλλήνων προγόνων μας, ἀγκαλιάζοντας τήν δύναμη τῆς πίστεως πού ὁδηγεῖ στήν ἐλπίδα, χάρη καί σωτηρία τήν ὁποία μᾶς προσφέρει ὁ Κύριός μας Ἰησοῦς Χριστός. Μέ πατρική ἀγάπη ἐν Αὐτῷ,
ΝΕΑ ΥΟΡΚΗ.- Με τους διευθυντές των ημερησίων σχολείων της Αμέσου Αρχιεπισκοπικής Περιφέρειας συνομίλησε ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριος κατά τη διάρκεια της μηνιαίας συνάντησής τους στην έδρα της Ιεράς Αρχιεπισκοπής Αμερικής.
† ὁ Ἀρχιεπίσκοπος Ἀμερικῆς Δημήτριος
Εορτασμός των Τριών Ιεραρχών
ΝΕΑ ΥΟΡΚΗ.- Τους Τρεις Ιεράρχες, προστάτες των Ελληνικών Γραμμάτων, τίμησε και φέτος η Ιερά Αρχιεπισκοπή Αμερικής με σειρά εκδηλώσεων που ολοκληρώθηκαν τη Δευτέρα 31 Ιανουαρίου 2011 με την πανηγυρική Θεία Λειτουργία για τους μαθητές και το διδακτικό προσωπικό των ημερήσιων Ελληνοαμερικανικών σχολείων της μητροπολιτικής περιφέρειας, στον Καθεδρικό Ναό της Αγίας Τριάδας στο Μανχάτταν, προεξάρχοντος του Αρχιεπισκόπου Αμερικής κ. Δημητρίου. Οι εορταστικές εκδηλώσεις ξακίνησαν το Σάββατο 29 Ιανουαρίου με την απονομή των Βραβείων Αριστείας των Τριών Ιεραρχών στους μαθητές και τις μαθήτριες που αρίστευσαν στις Εξετάσεις της Νεοελληνικής Γλώσσας (Regents) τον περασμένο Ιούνιο. Την εκδήλωση διοργανώνει κάθε χρόνο με ιδιαίτερη φροντίδα η διευθύντρια του Γραφείου Παιδείας Αμέσου Αρχιεπισκοπικής Περιφέρειας, Μαρία Μακεδών. Την εκδήλωση παρουσίασε η κ. Άννι Πρόκοπ, διευθύντρια του Ελληνοαμερικανικού Ινστιτούτου, του Ημερήσιου Σχολείου της κοινότητας της Ζωοδόχου Πηγής του Μπρονξ. «Τιμούμε σήμερα τους Τρεις Ιεράρχες και οικουμενικούς διδασκάλους, Βασίλειο το Μέγα, Γρηγόριο το Θεολόγο και Ιωάννη το Χρυσόστομο, γιατί με τη διδασκαλία τους, το συγγραφικό τους έργο και το παράδειγμά τους συνέδεσαν αρμονικά το Χριστιανισμό με τον Ελληνισμό, τη χριστιανική Παιδεία με την ελληνική Φιλοσοφία», τόνισε στο καλωσόρισμά της η κ. Μακεδών. «Βαθείς μελετητές του αρχαίου Ελληνικού Πολιτισμού και επηρεασμένοι από τις ανθρωπιστικές σπουδές, οι Τρεις Ιεράρχες ενδιαφέρθηκαν ιδιαίτερα για την πνευματική ανάπτυξη των παιδιών, την ανατροφή και τη μόρφωσή τους», πρόσθεσε. «Και τα ημερήσια και απογευματινά μ α ς σ χολ ε ί α απ ο σ τολή έ χο υν ν α δημιουργήσουν ανθρώπους ηθικούς, ελληνολάτρεις και περήφανους για την καταγωγή τους. Επιτυγχάνουν δε το σκοπό τους, προσφέροντας ένα άρτιο πρόγραμμα ελληνικών σπουδών με έμφαση στη διδασκαλία της ελληνικής γλώσσας και του ελληνοχριστιανικού πολιτισμού», επισήμανε η κ. Μακεδών. Κύρια ομιλήτρια στην εκδήλωση ήταν η εκπαιδευτικός Μαρία Περδικόγιαννη Ζολώτα, πρόεδρος της σχολικής επιτροπής του απογευματινού σχολείου «Στέφανος και Αρετή Τσερπέλη» της κοινότητας του Αγίου Νικολάου Φλάσινγκ, η οποία ανέπτυξε το θέμα: «Studying Greek Language and Culture – A Pathway for Success» και απευθυνόμενη στους μαθητές τόνισε : «Πρέπει να δουλέψετε σκληρά για να διατηρηθεί η Ελληνική Γλώσσα, η οποία είναι η μητέρα όλων των γλωσσών του κόσμου. Επίσης να διαφυλάξετε τα ήθη και έθιμα, την κουλτούρα μας και πάνω από όλα την Ελληνορθόδοξη θρησκεία μας. Να καλλιεργήσετε αυτές τις σπουδαίες αρχές γιατί αυτές θα φέρουν επιτυχία στη ζωή σας». Για την αξία της Ελληνικής Παιδείας μίλησε η μαθήτρια Μαρία Αβερκίου, απόφοιτη του Ημερήσιου Σχολείου “William Spyropoulos” του Αγίου Νικολάου Φλάσινγκ, τονίζοντας ότι «η Ελληνική Γλώσσα αποτελεί εργαλείο του μεγαλειώδους Ελληνικού πνεύματος». «Το δύσκολο αλλά όμορφο ταξίδι μας στη γνώση μόλις έχει αρχίσει. Αλλά νιώθουμε καθημερινά ότι για αυτό το ταξίδι η βάρκα μας είναι γερά φτιαγμένη. Φτιάχτηκε μέσα από τα Ελληνορθόδοξα σχολεία από δασκάλους άξιους συνεχιστές των Τριών Ιεραρχών», πρόσθεσε. Το πρόγραμμα περιελάμβανε μουσικό διάλειμμα με τους μαθητές του Λυκείου της κοινότητας Αγίου Δημητρίου Αστόριας Καλλιρόη Χαλκιά, Χριστίνα Τσαγκούρη και Γιώργο Βαρντάρο στο βιολί, υπό την διεύθυνση του Βαγγέλη Χαζίρογλου. Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριος συνεχάρη τους μαθητές τονίζοντας ότι «η Ελληνική
Γλώσσα είναι αναντικατάστατη». «Είναι πάρα πολύ ωραίο πράγμα οι άνθρωποι να είναι πολύγλωσσοι. Για κάθε γλώσσα που μαθαίνετε προσθέτετε έναν πολιτισμό, προσθέτετε ένα εργαλείο σπουδαίο σκέψεως, ένα κλειδί», σημείωσε ο Σεβασμιώτατος. Ιδιαίτερα ευχαρίστησε την κ. Μακεδών, χάρη στις προσπάθειες της οποίας, όπως είπε, διασώθηκαν, παρόλες τις δυσκολίες που παρουσιάστηκαν στο παρελθόν, οι Εξετάσεις Regents για την Νεοελληνική γλώσσα, ενώ συνεχάρη και τους εκπαιδευτικούς για τις προσπάθειές τους. Χαιρετισμούς στην εκδήλωση απηύθυναν η Γενική Πρόξενος της Κύπρου, Κούλα Σοφιανού, η οποία τόνισε ότι «Ελληνισμός και Ορθοδοξία είναι δύο στοιχεία αλληλένδετα, είναι η παράδοσή μας και το μέλλον μας» και ο Πρόξενος της Ελλάδος, Ευάγγελος Κυριακόπουλος, ο οποίος αφού μετέφερε μήνυμα της Γενικής Προξένου Άγης Μπαλτά, είπε στους μαθητές ότι «αξίζει κάθε λεπτό που δίνετε από το χρόνο σας για να σπουδάσετε την Ελληνική Γλώσσα». Στην εκδήλωση παρέστησαν μεταξύ άλλων ο σύμβουλος εκπαίδευσης του υπουργείου Παιδείας της Ελλάδας Γεώργιος Βληκίδης, ο ιερατικώς προϊστάμενος του Αγίου Νικολάου Flushing π. Παύλος Παλεστίδης, η διευθύντρια του ημερησίου σχολείου Αγίου Νικολάου «Β. Σπυρόπουλος Αθηνά Κρομμύδα, ο Αρχων του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου Στέφανος Τσερπέλης, ο πρόεδρος του Καθεδρικού Ναού Αγίου Δημητρίου Αστορίας Κώστας Ηλιάδης, η πρόεδρος του Συλλόγου Ελλήνων Δασκάλων «Προμηθεύς» Βασιλική Φιλιώτη και η πρόεδρος της Ομοσπονδίας Ελλήνων Εκπαιδευτικών Στέλλα Κοκόλη. Παρευρέθηκαν επίσης και οι υπεύθυνοι για την προετοιμασία των μαθητών δάσκαλοι και διευθυντές των απογευματινών σχολείων: Αγίου Δημητρίου Αστορίας Τιμολέων Κόκκινος, Αγίου Νικολάου Flushing Γιώργος Κανελλόπουλος, Σωτήρος Χριστού Rye Δημοσθένης Τριανταφύλλου, Αγίου Δημητρίου Jamaica Απόστολος Φούντας, Καθεδρικού Αγίας Τριάδας Βούλα Μακρινού, Αγίας Τριάδος Hicksville Αντωνία Νικητοπούλου, Αγίου Ιωάννου του Θεολόγου, Tenafly Άννα Μέγαρη, Αγίου Γεωργίου Piscataway Σοφία Αμαξοπούλου, Αγίου Νεκταρίου Μπρούκλιν Εμμανουηλία Παπαμανώλη, πολλοί άλλοι εκπαιδευτικοί και γονείς των αριστούχων μαθητών. ΑΡΙΣΤΟΥΧΟΙ Ημερήσιο Σχολείο Αγίου Δημητρίου Αστορίας Ανδρεόπουλος Νικόλαος- Αντωνιάδη Βασιλική - Βλάχος Ευάγγελος - Γκάρας Ελευθερία - Γούτου Διονυσία ΜαρίαΘεοδωροπούλου – Σινά ΑναστασίαΚαλαϊτζίδη Βασιλική - Κατέχη ΙωάνναΜοδινού Φί λια - Μπαρμπαγιάννης Αλέξανδρος - Παπαδοπούλου Μαρία Παπανικολάου Κυριάκος - Ρουππάνερ (Ruppaner) Σαβίνα - Σιαμίλη Ροδίνη - Τσαγγούρη Παναγιώτα - Τσιρογιάννης Ηλίας Απογευματινό Σχολείο Αγίου Δημητρίου Αστορίας Γρηγοριάδης Άγγελος - Ευσταθιάδη Σταυρούλα - Κατέχης Κυριάκος - Σιδέρη Παυλίνα- Φούντος Μερκούριος «Β. Σπυρόπουλος» Ημερήσιο Σχολείο Αγίου Νικολάου, Flushing Αβερκίου Μαρία - Γκόρο Κλέαρκο - Λινάρη Μαριάνθη- Μολοχίδη Λουίζα - Ρομποτή Άρση - Σπίλκα Ευαγγελία - Τσαμπλάκος Ευστράτιος - Χαγιάς Νικόλαος «Στέφανος & Αρετή Τσερπέλη» Απογευματινό Σχολείο Αγίου Νικολάου, Flushing Κατσιφάς Ιωάννης - Στελλάτου Ελένη «Αργύριος Φάντης» Ημερήσιο Σχολείο Αγίων Κωνσταντίνου και Ελένης, Brooklyn Γεμετζόπουλος Αντώνιος - Κατσένη Ανθούλα - Μαυρογιώργης Χρήστος
Ημερήσιο Σχολείο Αγίου Δημητρίου, Jamaica Λοϊζος Γιώργος Απογευματινό Σχολείο Αγίου Πέτρου, Bronx Μπάμπη Χριστίνα Ελληνικό Απογευματινό Σχολείο Σωτήρος Χριστού, Rye Παναπακίδη Άννα Απογευματινό Σχολείο Αγίας Τριάδας, Hicksville Σίρμας Ιωάννης Απογευματινό Σχολείο Αγίας Τριάδας, New Rochelle Ρήγα Αθηνά Απογευματινό Σχολείο Αγίας Παρασκευής, Greenlawn Ιωάννου Αντρέα - Πάρπα Αλεξία Απογευματινό Σχολείο Αγίας Ειρήνης Χρυσοβαλάντου, Astoria Ζαχαρίου Γεωργία Απογευματινό Σχολείο Αγίου Νεκταρίου, Brooklyn
ΦΕΒΡΟΥΑΡΙΟΣ – ΜΑΡΤΙΟΣ 2011
Φωτογραφίες: Δ. ΠΑΝΑΓΟΣ
Μάστορη Ελευθερία Απογευματινό Σχολείο Αγίου Ιωάννη του Θεολόγου, Tenafly Τζαβέλης Αντρέας - Χασάπης Γρηγόρης Απογευματινό Σχολείο Αγίου Γεωργίου, Piscataway Αυγουστινιάτος Σπυρίδων Βασιλειάδη Αλεξία Ανεξάρτητος Μαθητής Σταματάκης Αντρέας
Παρέλαση Ἐθνικῆς Ἀνεξαρτησίας 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 Νέας Ὑόρκης, Νέας Ἰερσέης, Κονέκτικατ, Πενσυλβάνιας, Ντέλαγουέρ καί Μέρυλαντ. Προσφιλεῖς μου Ὁμογενεῖς, Μέ πολλή χαρά καί ἀγάπη λόγῳ τῶν δεσμῶν πίστεως καί κληρονομίας μας ὡς Ὀρθοδόξων Χριστιανῶν καί Ἑλλήνων, σᾶς ἀπευθύνω θερμή πρόσκληση γιά συμμετοχή στήν ἐτήσια Παρέλαση Ἐθνικῆς Ἀνεξαρτησίας ἡ ὁποία θά πραγματοποιηθῆ ἐφέτος τήν Κυριακή, 27 Μαρτίου, στήν Πόλη τῆς Νέας Ὑόρκης. Αὐτή τήν ἡμέρα θά παρελάσουμε στήν 5η Λεωφόρο τοῦ Μανχάτταν γιά νά γιορτάσουμε τήν ἐλευθερία καί γιά νά προσφέρουμε εὐγνωμοσύνη καί τιμή πρός ὅλους ἐκείνους οἱ ὁποῖοι ἀγωνίσθηκαν καί θυσιάσθηκαν γιά νά εἴμεθα ἐμεῖς ἐλεύθεροι. Ἡ συμμετοχή μας σ’ αὐτή τήν Παρέλαση εἶναι πολύ σημαντική διότι μᾶς συνδέει μέ τήν μοναδική κληρονομία μας καί καλλιεργεῖ τήν κοινή μνήμη τῆς ζωῆς καί τῶν γεγονότων τά ὁποῖα ἐπέδρασαν ἐπί τῆς Ἑλληνικῆς ταυτότητός μας καί τῆς Ὁμογενείας. Πρόκειται, ἐπίσης, περί πανηγυρικῆς ἀποδοχῆς τῆς ἀναγκαιότητος τῆς ἐλευθερίας ὡς οὐσιαστικοῦ στοιχείου τῆς ἀνθρώπινης ὑπάρξεως. Διά τῆς παρελάσεώς μας πανηγυρίζουμε γιά τόν ρόλο τῆς ἐλευθερίας στήν πολύτιμη πολιτιστική κληρονομία μας, καί ἐπιβεβαιώνουμε τήν προτεραιότητά της γιά ὅλους τούς ἀνθρώπους. Ἐπιπροσθέτως, ἀποτελεῖ ἐμφανῆ εὐκαιρία γιά νά ἐκφράσουμε τήν στήριξη καί δέσμευσή μας στό θέμα τῆς ἐλευθερίας τήν ὁποία ἀπολαμβάνουμε ὡς καταγόμενοι ἀπό τήν Ἑλλάδα καί ὡς πολίτες τῶν Ἡνωμένων Πολιτειῶν τῆς Ἀμερικῆς. Παρακαλῶ ὅλες τίς ἐνορίες νά προγραμματίσουν καί νά διευκολύνουν τή συμμετοχή τους στήν ἐφετινή παρέλαση ὥστε νά ἐπιτύχουμε νά συγκεντρωθοῦμε σέ μιά χαρμόσυνη συνάθροιση ἀδελφοσύνης, ἀγάπης καί κοινότητος. Προτρέπω ἰδιαιτέρως τή νεολαία καί τά παιδιά μας γιά εὐρεῖα συμμετοχή καθώς καλλιεργοῦμε τήν ζωή τους μέσα στό χῶρο τῆς πίστεως καί τῆς πολύτιμης κληρονομιᾶς μας. Κάντε κάθε προσπάθεια γιά νά συμμετάσχετε ὅλοι στό μεγάλο γεγονός τῆς παρελάσεως τῆς 27ης Μαρτίου. Εἴθε ὁ παντοδύναμος Κύριος καί Θεός τῆς ἐλευθερίας νά εἶναι πάντοτε μαζί σας στήν ἀτομική, τήν οἰκογενειακή καί τήν κοινοτική σας ζωή.
ΛΟΓΟΣ ΚΑΤΗΧΗΤΗΡΙΟΣ ΕΠΙ ΤΗ ΕΝΑΡΞΕΙ ΤΗΣ ΑΓΙΑΣ ΚΑΙ ΜΕΓΑΛΗΣ ΤΕΣΣΑΡΑΚΟΣΤΗΣ
Ἀδελφοί καί τέκνα ἀγαπητά ἐν Κυρίῳ, «Τό στάδιον τῶν ἀρετῶν ἠνέωκται, οἱ βουλόµενοι ἀθλῆσαι εἰσέλθετε, ἀναζωσάµενοι τόν καλόν τῆς νηστείας ἀγῶνα», ἤ, καλύτερον, πάντοτε εὑρίσκεται ἀνοικτόν, ἀπό τότε πού ὁ Πανοικτίρµων Κύριος τῆς ∆όξης ηὐδόκησε νά λάβῃ τήν ἀνθρωπίνην φύσιν. Ἔκτοτε καλεῖ διά τῆς Ἐκκλησίας Του κάθε ἄνθρωπον νά συµµετάσχῃ εἰς τάς ἀπείρους δωρεάς τῆς Χάριτος τοῦ Παναγίου Πνεύµατος, ἰδιαιτέρως δέ κατά τήν εὐλογηµένην ταύτην περίοδον τῆς Ἁγίας καί Μεγάλης Τεσσαρακοστῆς. Τέκνα ἐν Κυρίῳ ἀγαπητά, Ἡ ἄπειρος ἀγαθότης, ὁ ἐν Τριάδι προσκυνούµενος ἀληθινός Θεός ἡµῶν, ἀπό ἀγάπην καί µόνον ἐδηµιούργησε τό ἀνθρώπινον γένος, διά νά καταστήσῃ τούς ἀνθρώπους, ὅσον εἶναι αὐτό δυνατόν εἰς τήν ἀνθρωπίνην φύσιν, κοινωνούς καί συµµετόχους τοῦ µεγαλείου τῆς θείας ∆όξης Του. Αὐτός εἶναι ὁ ἀποκλειστικός σκοπός τῆς ζωῆς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου εἰς ἑκάστην ἐποχήν. Πρός τήν πραγµάτωσιν δέ αὐτοῦ τοῦ σκοποῦ κατατείνει ὅλη ἡ ἁγία πνευµατοφόρος παράδοσις τῆς Ὀρθοδόξου ἡµῶν Ἐκκλησίας, διδάσκουσα, διερµηνεύουσα καί προβάλλουσα ὅλον τό φάσµα τῆς πνευµατικῆς ζωῆς καί τούς ποικίλους πνευµατικούς ἀγῶνας, εἰς τούς ὁποίους ὀφείλει πάντοτε µέ γενναῖον φρόνηµα νά προχωρῇ ὁ πιστός. Κάθε Χριστιανός διά τοῦ ἱεροῦ µυστηρίου τοῦ Βαπτίσµατος λαµβάνει τήν Χάριν τοῦ Ἁγίου Πνεύµατος. Ἐάν ἀρχίσῃ κανείς µέ ὅλην του τήν διάθεσιν νά ἀγαπᾷ τόν Θεόν, τότε ἡ Χάρις δι’ ἀνερµηνεύτου τρόπου µεταδίδει εἰς αὐτόν ἐκ τοῦ πλούτου τῶν ἀγαθῶν της. Αὐτός, λοιπόν, ὁ ὁποῖος ἐπιθυµεῖ νά κρατήσῃ τήν ἐµπειρίαν αὐτῆς τῆς Χάριτος, προσπαθεῖ µέ πολλήν τήν χαράν νά παραµερίσῃ ἐκ τῆς ψυχῆς του τά παρερχόµενα ἀγαθά τοῦ παρόντος αἰῶνος καί νά καταστήσῃ κτῆµα του τόν κεκρυµµένον θησαυρόν τῆς ἀληθινῆς Ζωῆς. Ἐκ τοῦ βαθµοῦ δέ εἰς τόν ὁποῖον προκόπτει ἡ ψυχή εἰς τόν πνευµατικόν ἀγῶνα, ἐµφανίζει ἀντιστοίχως τό θεῖον δῶρον τῆς Χάριτος, τήν κεκρυµµένην εἰς τά βάθη αὐτῆς χρηστότητα τοῦ Κυρίου, ἡ ὁποία καί γίνεται ἀπλανής
+ΒΑΡΘΟΛΟΜΑΙΟΣ ΕΛΕΩ ΘΕΟΥ ΑΡΧΙΕΠΙΣΚΟΠΟΣ ΚΩΝΣΤΑΝΤΙΝΟΥΠΟΛΕΩΣ, ΝΕΑΣ ΡΩΜΗΣ ΚΑΙ ΟΙΚΟΥΜΕΝΙΚΟΣ ΠΑΤΡΙΑΡΧΗΣ ΠΑΝΤΙ Τῼ ΠΛΗΡΩΜΑΤΙ ΤΗΣ ΕΚΚΛΗΣΙΑΣ ΧΑΡΙΣ ΕΙΗ ΚΑΙ ΕΙΡΗΝΗΝ ΠΑΡΑ ΤΟΥ ΣΩΤΗΡΟΣ ΚΑΙ ΚΥΡΙΟΥ ΗΜΩΝ ΙΗΣΟΥ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΥ, ΠΑΡ’ ΗΜΩΝ ∆Ε ΕΥΧΗ, ΕΥΛΟΓΙΑ ΚΑΙ ΣΥΓΧΩΡΗΣΙΣ ὁδηγός εἰς τό πολυποίκιλον πνευµατικόν ἀγώνισµα. Αὐτός ὁ πνευµατικός ἀγών εἶναι διαρκής διά κάθε πιστόν καί ὡς ἐκ τούτου χρειάζεται νά θέτῃ κανείς ἀρχήν κάθε ἡµέραν, κάθε στιγµήν. «Ἔφθασε καιρός, ἡ τῶν πνευµατικῶν ἀγώνων ἀρχή, ἡ κατά δαιµόνων νίκη, ἡ πάνοπλος ἐγκράτεια, ἡ τῶν Ἀγγέλων εὐπρέπεια, ἡ πρός Θεόν παρρησία». Ὡς µία διαρκής ἀρχή τῆς πνευµατικῆς ἀναγεννήσεως καί ἀνακαινίσεως τοῦ ἀνθρώπου εἶναι καί ἡ Ἁγία Τεσσαρακοστή. ∆ιά τοῦτο καί ὁ ὑµνῳδός τοῦ Τριωδίου µᾶς προσανατολίζει ὀρθῶς πρός τό περιεχόµενόν της λέγων, ὅτι ἡ σωµατική νηστεία διά τῆς ἀποχῆς τῶν τροφῶν, ἐάν δέν ἀκολουθῆται ἐκ τῆς καθαρότητος τῆς προερχοµένης ἐκ τοῦ ἀγῶνος ἀπαλλαγῆς ἐκ τῶν παθῶν, δέν γίνεται ἀφορµή πρός βίου διόρθωσιν καί ὡς ψευδής µισεῖται ὑπό τοῦ Θεοῦ. Ὁπωσδήποτε, τό νά δυνηθῇ ὁ ἄνθρωπος νά συγκεντρώσῃ τόν νοῦν του εἰς τήν ἐργασίαν τῆς γνώσεως τοῦ Θεοῦ καί νά τόν ἐπαναφέρῃ ἐκ τοῦ ἐµπαθοῦς διασκορπισµοῦ του εἰς τά κτίσµατα, ἀποτελεῖ ἔργον κοπιῶδες καί πολυχρόνιον, ὅµως ἀπαραίτητον καί καθοριστικόν διά τήν πνευµατικήν του ὑπόστασιν καί τήν ὅλην κοινωνικήν του ζωήν. Φαίνεται δέ ἡ ὁδός τῆς ἀρετῆς εἰς αὐτούς, οἱ ὁποῖοι τήν ἀρχίζουν, σκληρά καί ὑπερβολικῶς δυσάρεστος, ὄχι ὅµως ἐπειδή εἶναι πράγµατι τοιαύτη, ἀλλά διότι ἡ ἀνθρωπίνη φύσις ἔχει ἐθισθῆ νά συναναστρέφεται µέ τήν εὐκολίαν τῶν ἡδονῶν. Εἰς αὐτούς δέ οἱ ὁποῖοι κατώρθωσαν
καί ὑπερέβησαν τό µέσον τῆς ὁδοῦ ἀποδεικνύεται εὐχάριστος καί ἄνετος. Πολλοί κατά καιρούς ἀγνοοῦντες τό µέγα µυστήριον τῆς εὐσεβείας, θεωροῦν τήν Ὀρθόδοξον ἀσκητικήν Παράδοσιν ὡς ἐπαχθῆ καί ὁδηγοῦσαν τόν ἄνθρωπον εἰς τήν στέρησιν τῆς δηµιουργικῆς φαντασίας, τῆς πρωτοτύπου πρωτοβουλίας, τῆς ἀπολαύσεως τῆς ζωῆς ἐν γένει καί τῆς ἐξ αὐτῆς προερχοµένης χαρᾶς. Οὐδέν τούτου ψευδέστερον. Ὅλα ὅσα ἐδηµιούργησεν ὁ Θεός, τά ἐδηµιούργησε καλά λίαν καί µᾶς τά ἐδώρησε διά νά τά χαιρώµεθα καί νά τά ἀπολαµβάνωµεν καί νά γίνωνται ἀφορµή πρός διαρκῆ δοξολογίαν τοῦ Εὐεργέτου µας. Αἱ ἐντολαί δέ τοῦ Θεοῦ µᾶς ὁδηγοῦν καί µᾶς περιγράφουν τήν ὀρθήν χρῆσιν τῶν δωρεῶν Του, ὥστε, καί τό σῶµα µας καί ἡ φαντασία καί ὅλαι αἱ ψυχικαί µας δυνάµεις µεθ’ὅλων τῶν ὑλικῶν ἀγαθῶν, νά ἀποβαίνουν κατ’ἀλήθειαν χαροποιοί καί εὐεργετικαί διά τήν ζωήν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου. Ἀντιθέτως, ἡ ἐγωϊστική, αὐτόνοµος καί περιφρονητική πρός τόν σκοπόν τόν ὁποῖον ἔθεσεν ὁ ∆ηµιουργός εἰς τά πλάσµατά Του χρῆσις των, πρός στιγµήν ἱκανοποιεῖ τόν παράλογον ἐγωϊσµόν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου, καταλήγει ὅµως εἰς ἀποτελέσµατα τελείως διαφορετικά τῶν προσδοκιῶν του, ὁδηγοῦσα αὐτόν εἰς τήν ἀπόγνωσιν, τό ἄγχος καί τήν δυστυχίαν. Ὁ Σωτήρ ἡµῶν, ὁ ἀληθής Θεός καί ἀληθής ἄνθρωπος, ὁ ἀγνώστως γνωριζόµενος εἰς τούς ταπεινόφρονας καί δεκτικούς τῆς ἀκτίστου Χάριτός Του, ὁ Κύριος τῆς ∆όξης καί Κύριος τῆς
ἱστορίας, ὁ ἐτάζων καρδίας καί νεφρούς, ὁ διά τῆς θείας Αὐτοῦ Προνοίας συνέχων τά σύµπαντα ἀπό τό πλέον µικρόν µόριον τῆς δηµιουργίας Του µέχρι τοῦ ἀσυλλήπτου εἰς τήν ἀνθρωπίνην διάνοιαν σύµπαντος κόσµου, εἶναι διαχρονικῶς ἡ Ὁδός, ἡ Ἀλήθεια καί ἡ Ζωή. Ὅπως ἡ ἐνυπόστατος πηγή τῆς Ζωῆς δέν ἦτο δυνατόν νά κρατηθῇ ὑπό τοῦ θανάτου, ἀλλά τόν συνέτριψε καί ἀνεστήθη, ἔτσι δέν εἶναι δυνατόν νά ὑπάρξῃ ἀνθρωπίνη ζωή, ἡ ὁποία νά ὁδηγῇ εἰς τήν καταξίωσιν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου, χωρίς τήν συµµετοχήν εἰς τό ζωοποιόν Σῶµα τοῦ ἀναστάντος Χριστοῦ, τήν Ὀρθόδοξον Ἐκκλησίαν Του καί τήν Ἁγιοπνευµατικήν της Παράδοσιν. Καί, ἐν συνόψει, ὁ Κύριος µένει εἰς τόν αἰῶνα, ἐνῶ ψευδεῖς αἱ ἐπίνοιαι τῶν ὑπερηφάνων ἀνθρώπων ἤ, ὡς προσφυῶς λέγει ὁ Ἅγιος ∆ιάδοχος, «οὐδέν πτωχότερον διανοίας ἐκτός Θεοῦ φιλοσοφούσης τά τοῦ Θεοῦ». Τέκνα ἐν Κυρίῳ ἀγαπητά, Ἐπί τῇ εἰσόδῳ εἰς τήν Ἁγίαν καί Μεγάλην Τεσσαρακοστήν προτρεπόµεθα πατρικῶς πάντας ὑµᾶς, ὅπως µή δειλιάσητε καί µή ὀκνήσητε νά προχωρήσητε εἰς τό σπουδαιότερον ἔργον τῆς ζωῆς ὑµῶν, εἰς τό τῆς πνευµατικῆς ἐργασίας στάδιον, µετά ἀνδρείας καί δυνάµεως ὁλοψύχου, ὥστε νά καθαρίσητε ψυχάς καί σώµατα ἀπό παντός µολυσµοῦ καί ἐπιτύχητε τῆς Βασιλείας τοῦ Θεοῦ, ἡ ὁποία ἤδη παρέχεται ἀπό αὐτήν τήν παροῦσαν ζωήν εἰς ὅσους εἰλικρινῶς καί ἐκ βάθους ψυχῆς τήν ἐκζητοῦν. Ἡ χάρις τοῦ Θεοῦ καί τό ἄπειρον ἔλεος Αὐτοῦ εἴη µετά πάντων ὑµῶν.
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WHO’S THE ‘XENO’ by Fr. John S. Bakas
Nothing is more un–Christian and frankly disturbing than to hear someone in church foolishly saying “who’s the ‘xeno’ sitting in the back?” or “what’s that ‘black person’” or ‘Mexican’ doing here, this is a Greek church. They should go to their own church” It makes us uncomfortable seeing these comments in print but many of us Orthodox Christians have heard similar remarks made over the years in some of our parishes. Orthodox Christianity is universal. It has believers of every ethnic and racial background and encompasses a multiculturalism expressed in one true and undefiled faith. It is the “One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church” as clearly articulated in the Nicean-Constantinopolitan Creed we recite in the Divine Liturgy every Sunday. St. Paul states it clearly in his Epistle to the Galatians 3:28: “There is neither Jew nor Greek. There is neither slave nor free. There is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” It was never made clearer to me than in mid-November 1997. I received an invitation from then-Mayor Richard Riordan to attend a reception at his residence honoring Yukiko Sugihara of Japan. It must be a mistake, I thought. What do I have to do with this unknown person and why is the mayor inviting me to an event honoring someone whose name was not a part of my universe? Being new to L.A. and wanting to get involved in the community, I accepted the invitation. It would give me an opportunity to get to know the mayor close-up, since I would need his help with projects I had in mind for the St. Sophia Neighborhood. The mayor greeted me enthusiastically and led me directly to meet Mrs. Yukiko Sugihara. I passed through a crowd of at least 100 people recognizing a few clergy and rabbis I had met on other occasions. Mrs. Sugihara was a dignified elderly lady of small stature with kind, humble eyes and a gentle smile. She spoke no English and, through an interpreter, I was introduced to her as the Greek Orthodox priest of Los Angeles. I extended my hand to her in greeting. She took it and kissed it in the Orthodox manner. I was moved, shocked and at the same time humbled to the core by this act from a person I perceived to be as far away from Orthodoxy as I could imagine. Before I could speak with her, the mayor explained that the reason for the reception was to honor this lady and her late husband, Chiune Sugihara. Mayor Riordan told the following story: In March 1939, Japanese ConsulGeneral Chiune Sugihara was sent to Kaunas, Lithuania, to open a consulate service. Kaunas, the temporary capital at the time, and was strategically situated between Germany and the Soviet Union. Hitler invaded Poland on Sept. 1, 1939 and Britain and France’s declared war. Chiune Sugihara had barely settled down in his new post when a wave of Jewish refugees streamed into Lithuania. They brought with them chilling tales of Nazi atrocities against the Jewish population. They escaped from Poland without possessions or money. One summer morning in late July 1940, Consul Sugihara and his family awakened to a crowd of Polish Jewish
refugees gathered outside the consulate. Desperate to flee the approaching Nazis, the refugees knew their only path lay to the east. If Consul Sugihara would grant them Japanese transit visas, they could obtain Soviet exit visas and race to possible freedom. Sugihara was moved by their plight, but had no authority to issue hundreds of visas without permission from the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo. He wired his government three times for permission to issue the visas and was denied three times. Sugihara had a difficult decision to make. He was a man trained in the strict and traditional discipline of the Japanese and was bound by the traditional obedience he had been taught all his life, but he also was a religious man taught to help those in need. He knew that if he defied his superiors’ orders he would be fired and disgraced and would result in extreme embarrassment and financial hardship for him and his family. Chiune and his wife feared for their lives and those of their children. In the end, they followed their consciences and religious beliefs. For 29 days Mr. and Mrs. Sugihara sat for endless hours writing and signing visas by hand. Hour and hour, day after day, for these three weeks, they wrote and signed more than 300 visas a day, normally a month’s work. Hundreds of applicants became thousands as he worked to grant as many visas as possible before being forced to close the consulate and leave Lithuania. The consul continued issuing documents from his train window until the train departed for Berlin on Sept. 1, 1940. After receiving their visas, the refugees lost no time in getting on trains to Vladivostok. From there, most continued on to Shanghai, China. Thousands of Polish Jews with Sugihara visas survived. As many as 6,000 refugees reached Japan, China and other countries in the following months. They had escaped the Holocaust. Through a strange twist of history, they owed their lives to a Japanese man and his family. The Japanese government unceremoniously dismissed Chiune Sugihara from the diplomatic service. His career as a diplomat was over. For the last two decades of his life, he worked as a manager for an export company. This was his fate because he dared to save thousands of human beings from certain death. More than 70 years after those 29 fateful days in 1940, there may be more than 40,000 who owe their lives to Chiune and Yukiko Sugihara. It was not until 1969 that Sugihara was found by a man he had helped save, Yehoshua Nishiri. Soon, hundreds of others came forward and testified to the Yad Vashem (Holocaust Memorial) in Israel about his life-saving acts of courage. After gathering testimonies from survivors around the world, the Yad Vashem Martyrs Remembrance Authority in Jerusalem, in 1985, bestowed upon him Israel’s highest honor, “Righteous among the Nations.” Being near death and too ill to travel to Israel, his wife and son accepted the honor on his behalf. Forty–five years after he signed the visas, Sugihara was asked why he did it. He liked to give two reasons: “They were
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Connecticut Parish Maintains Successful Youth Programs PEOPLE P A R I S H
New RNC Chairman Elected
A member of Kimisis Tis Theotokou Church, in Racine, Wis., Reince Priebus, a resident of Kenosha, was elected the 64th chairman of the Republican National Committee on Jan. 14. He is the first Greek Orthodox Christian to hold the position. Mr. Priebus, 38, previously served as the state of Wisconsin GOP chairman. He will lead the Republican party through the 2012 elections. He is the son of Richard and Roula Priebus of Pleasant Prairie, Wis., and a lifelong member of Kimissis Tis Theotokou Church in Racine. He and his wife, Sally, have a son and daughter. His parents are of German and Greek background. He is a graduate of the University of Miami law school and became active in party politics as a lawyer at a Milwaukee firm.
Name: Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church Location: Waterbury, Conn. Direct Archdiocesan District Size: about 250 families Founded: 1918 Clergy: Fr. Stephen P. Natsis (B.Div. Holy Cross Seminary 1957, D. Min. St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Seminary ‘86) E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.holytrinitywaterbury.org Noteworthy: Parents are very supportive of the youth HOLY TRINITY GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH WATERBURY, Conn. – Though the economic fortunes of Connecticut’s fifth largest city took a downturn in the years following World War II, Holy Trinity Church continues to thrive and witness to the faith in west central Connecticut. Over the years, the congregation has progressed from renting space from other churches to building its own houses of worship and maintaining a wide range of ministries for its faithful. One of the most active of these is the youth ministry. As has been the experience of many parishes, younger people of the community, mostly in their 20s, do not attend services frequently or even come to church at all. With the proximity of New York and Boston, some have relocated there to find better–paying jobs, Fr. Natsis told the Observer. “The young adults are not that active, but after marriages and children, they start coming back to church,” he said. However, the youth programs that include GOYA and Sunday school are highly successful and well attended. Fr. Natsis credits this to the support of the parents. In general, parishioners take an active part in supporting all the church’s activities. “We’ve done amazingly well for a small community because of people volunteering their talents as well as their treasure,” said Fr. Natsis, the pastor since 1986 and the parish’s longest-serving priest. “Parents are very active in the church because of the children,” he emphasized. The programs include participation in basketball and volleyball leagues of Connecticut’s Eastern Orthodox Churches that involves about 90 boys and girls. GOYA has more than 30 members, Sunday school has some 120 children and there are 30 to 40 Greek school students. Membership consists of second- and third-generation Greek Orthodox. There are some immigrants who arrived in the U.S. following World War II and in the 1960s and ‘70s and there have been many interchurch marriages. The original Greeks who founded the parish began arriving about 1902. Most came from other cities in the Northeast and some from the village of Eptahori in far western Macedonia, southwest of Kastoria. Waterbury was then the leading manufacturing center for brass products and bore the nickname the “Brass City.”
It was also noted as one of the largest producers of clocks and watches. Timex got its start here. During World War II, more than 50 million cartridge cases and mortar shells and more than a billion small-caliber bullets and components for the first atomic bomb, were produced here, according to a Waterbury history on the Internet. It was in these industries and other manufacturing plants that many of the Greeks were employed before branching out as small business owners and restaurateurs. The Greeks joined several other European ethnic groups that comprised nearly half the city’s population in the early 1900s.
Establishing the parish
At first, the small number of Greek immigrants attended a Russian Orthodox church in Waterbury, according to a parish history from Holy Trinity’s 75th anniversary album. They also brought in Greek school teachers for their children. By 1918, efforts got underway to organize the church. From then until 1923 the parish hall of St. John’s Episcopal Church served as their spiritual home. The community then purchased a house near downtown that was remodeled to serve as a chapel and social hall. Fr. Stephen Foutridis conducted the first Divine Liturgy. Shortly afterward, Fr. Thomas Daniel became the first permanent priest, serving from 1918–1920. The community received its charter from the state of Connecticut during this period. In 1923, the Waterbury chapter of AHEPA was established. The parish history notes it was the first chapter in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. It provided much support to the new church. The Great Depression adversely affected Waterbury and Holy Trinity Church, which lost a number of members who left for employment elsewhere. However, the neighboring city of Bristol, with a small Greek community, was permitted to become part of the Waterbury parish after numerous petitions to the Archdiocese. Fr. John Bersentes arrived in 1938 and served for 10 years. After a fire destroyed the church in February 1939 the parish rented space at the Second Congregational Church to hold services. A new Holy Trinity Church was built later that year on the same site occupied by the building that had burned down. Following World War II, the influx of Greek immigrants greatly increased the size of the parish. The children of the original
immigrants began to inter-marry with non-Greeks, a practice “which was previously frowned upon,” the history noted. The feasibility of a new, larger church to meet these growing needs was considered. A young priest, Fr. James Diavatis, arrived at the parish in 1961 and motivated the parishioners to support the churchsponsored activities and ministries, including youth programs and religious education. He served the parish 18 years. Parish membership increased and the need arose for larger facilities. In 1962, the parish general assembly began to plan for the acquisition of a new site, which was achieved in 1968 with the purchase of a 6-acre parcel of land west of downtown, near Interstate 84.
A new church
The new church was completed in 1972 and the liturgy took place on Dec. 31 with Archbishop Iakovos officiating. About the same time, a separate building was constructed to house a social hall, gymnasium, classrooms and kitchen facilities. Archbishop Iakovos consecrated the building, of neo-Byzantine architectural style, in 1983. The church has a capacity of 400 to 500 persons. Since then, the parish has initiated a Greek festival, held every Mother’s Day weekend, and switched from a dues system of membership to stewardship. Fr. Natsis noted that Holy Trinity Church has a very active Philoptochos chapter and choir. The priest conducts a Bible study. The AHEPA chapter actively supports the church. The parish has supported the Orthodox presence at the University of Connecticut at Storrs, helping to build up the Orthodox Christian Fellowship organization and aiding in the construction of a chapel complex there. The priest noted that projects such as the U.Conn. facility and the improvements to the church complex itself have taken place because many parishioners volunteer their time to work toward the betterment of the community. Fr. Natsis also noted that a particular challenge he faces in his ministry is “trying to maintain a Greek Orthodox identity” in the face of an increasing number of intermarriages and encouraging young adults who have not been active churchgoers to return. — Compiled by Jim Golding
Majority leader New York state Sen. Dean Skelos, a member of St. Paul’s Cathedral in Hempstead, recently was elected as majority leader and president pro tem by his Republican colleagues. He is the first person to be elected to lead the Senate in three nonconsecutive terms. Sen. Skelos, 61, has served for 13 terms.
Orphanage film Christiana Thanos, a member of St. Katherine’s Church in Redondo Beach, Calif., and the assistant director of development at the University of Southern California School of Social Work in Los Angeles, has produced a short film about the Greek Orthodox orphanage in India. She plans to use the film to launch a campaign to raise funds for the orphanage to purchase a well. She also is creating lesson plans for church Sunday schools to teach children about the importance of giving. To see the introduction, visit www. theluckygirlsmovie.com/film
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METROPOLIS NEWS A ‘Pound of Love’ by Presbytera Despina Nicoloudakis
“Taking Christian principles as our starting point, it is our belief that the real problem is how we can advance from being merely a community to becoming a communion of Love – or, to use the Greek word, a ‘communion, society, communication, interconnection’ of Love.” (Archbishop Anastasios Yannoulatos “Facing the World – Orthodox Christian Essays on Global Concerns”) Twenty-five years ago, as I sat at a YAL meeting at the home of my pastor in Flushing, N.Y., I was challenged by one point that he emphasized and it made an impact on me. He stated that other Christian denominations looked beyond themselves and ministered to the larger community…. like having hospitals… Now, as a member of St. Matthew’s Greek Orthodox Church, a small mission parish in Reading Pa. (consisting of about 30 families), the challenge has returned. Our church is focused on reflecting Christ’s love not only to ourselves, our church, but to the larger community. A few years ago, I was honored to be allowed to visit the women in our county prison. This gave me opportunity to listen to their hearts and share Christ with them. By God’s grace, two of those women became Orthodox Christians. They have no idea how much they ministered God’s love to me. Soon thereafter, I was joyfully surprised finding I was pregnant with my fifth child. The reality that this new baby would now restrict me from my visits to the women at the prison prompted me to get
creative. So, I explored how we might reach out to the women in the prison together with other Christians in our community. How can we be a small sign of hope, love and healing? As I considered this, I relived many fond memories of arriving home after a long day, and enjoying a freshly baked treat. So, the thought emerged to bake a small pound cake as a sign of God’s love for each of the women in the prison - and a “Pound of Love” was born. Gathering names and telephones from the phone book, I wrote a letter of introduction to other Christian churches and placed an ad in the religious section of our local newspaper. With the help of our neighbors and friends, on Pascha 2009, we disturbed pound cakes to all the women inmates and the local homeless shelter. Last year two churches, West Lawn United Methodist Church and St. Catherine’s Roman Catholic Church, joined St. Matthew’s in this mission and we distributed over 400 loaves of pound cakes to the women inmates, two local food banks, the homeless shelter and HalfWay Church (an outreach to poor people who have been previously in conflict with the law). Lent is here and we will start our 2011 Pound of Love mission. This year our goal is to bake 600 loaves and expand our outreach further. Realizing we are all broken people who need God’s love, we hope and pray that this simple act of mercy will become for each of us an opportunity to taste of Christ’s love, not only to those who make the loaves, but also to those who receive. “As you have done it to the least of these brothers of mine, you have done it to me.” (Matthew 25:40)
Naples, Fla. Church Consecrated St. Katherine Church held its consecration Feb. 25-26. Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta officiated and celebrated the Divine Liturgy. Clergy and dignitaries from throughout the Metropolis of Atlanta attended the event. Archimandrite Constantine Mersinas is the proistamenos. Pastoral assistant is Susan Anderson. The ceremonies took place with the preparation of the relics of three holy martyrs that were deposited into the altar
table the next day. A Great Vesper service then took place. A formal reception followed in the church hall sponsored by the Philoptochos. The Orthros service, followed by the Consecration service and first Divine Liturgy, took place on the newly consecrated altar table. The Consecration Committee is under the leadership of Archimandrite Constantine Mersinas. Dr. John Klemes and Richard Pappas were co-chairmen.
Orthodox Christian Fellowship Launches Strategic Development FISHERS, Ind. – Over the next six months, the Orthodox Christian Fellowship board of directors is taking a thoughtful look at its achievements, goals, and challenges to prepare a course for the future. OCF will study its reach, impact and effectiveness to determine future goals and objectives. Brigham Nahas Research Associates (BNRA), an independent research firm based in Massachusetts, has been engaged to gather data
and perspective, using both stakeholder interviews and a survey of students and alumni involved in OCF. A confidential survey has been posted on OCF’s webpage at www.ocf.net. OCF students and alumni may take this online survey to help set the course for OCF’s future work. Funding for OCF’s strategic development is provided through a matching grant from the Lilly Endowment.
N.J. Parish Honors Founding Priest, Fr. Demetrios Constantelos VINELAND, N.J. – St. Anthony Church honored retired priest and parish founder the Rev. Dr. Demetrios J. Constantelos at the parish’s 37th name day dinner dance. Fr. Constantelos, Ph.D., D.D., is Charles Cooper Townsend Sr. Professor Emeritus of History and Religious Studies, and a distinguished research scholar– in– residence at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey in Pomona. He also is the founding priest of St. Barbara parish, Toms River, N.J. (1972) and Holy Trinity, Egg Harbor, N.J. (1982). He established the Vineland church in 1974. For 40 years, Fr.Constantelos taught at Rutgers University, Hellenic College, Boston College, New York University, and Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. He is the author of several books, many studies, essays and reviews that have appeared in more than 40 periodicals in the United States and abroad.
More than 200 participants attended the event. Fr. Constantelos was presented with a letter of good wishes and blessings from Metropolitan Evangelos, who could not attend the celebration, a proclamation from Congressman Frank Lobiondo, presented by Cumberland County of New Jersey Freeholder Sam L. Fiocchi Sr. and two joint resolutions sponsored by state Sen. Dr. Jeff Van Drew and Assemblymen Nelson Albano and Matthew Milan. Guest speakers included: Fr. George Liacopulos from Holy Trinity Church, Egg Harbor Township; Dr. Tom Papademetriou, associate professor of historical studies and executive director of the Interdisciplinary Center Hellenic Studies, Richard Stockton College. Part of the St. Anthony Name Day Dance proceeds support the Interdisciplinary Center for Hellenic Studies at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey in honor of Fr. Constantelos and Eleftherios Klekos a founding member of the church.
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PA. VFW POST Celebrates 65th Year BROOMALL, Pa. – VFW Post 6633, named “Eleftheria,” meaning freedom, is celebrating its 65th anniversary as an active post in the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) organization. Eleftheria Post 6633’s current post commander is George Baxavaneos, a Korean War Veteran, who served in the U.S. Army. He has held the position of post commander for the last 20 years. The Post’s membership is comprised of veterans primarily of Hellenic descent who served their country during WW II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and most recently the wars in the Middle East: Gulf War I, the War in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the War on Terrorism. VFW Post 6633 is the only post within the VFW whose membership is primarily comprised of Hellenic descent, although membership in the post is open to any eligible veteran seeking to join the VFW. The majority of the post members are from the greater Philadelphia area Greek Orthodox churches within the Metropolis
of New Jersey: The Church of the Annunciation, Elkins Park, Pa., St. Demetrios, Upper Darby, Pa., St. George Cathedral, Philadelphia; St. Luke, Broomall, Pa.; Sts. Sophia, Faith, Hope, and Agape, Jeffersonville, Pa.; and St. Thomas, Cherry Hill, N.J. WWII members comprise the majority of membership in the post. To mark its anniversary, Post 6633 is publishing a book to document its history and its support of the Philadelphia Greek community and its churches in a book titled Honor And Remembrance. The book, dedicated to the memory of fallen comrades, will contain some 80 individual narratives detailing the wartime experiences of men and women who served the nation in its 20th century conflicts beginning with WW II. The book is written for family members, specifically children, grandchildren and great grandchildren since many veterans were reluctant to discuss their wartime experiences with loved ones. The book is scheduled to be published in late 2011.
‘And the Truth Will Make You Free’ from page 11 sented at the Clergy Laity Congress because they claimed “it is too expensive.” Imagine, one of the largest parishes in the Metropolis cannot afford to send even one delegate! They also do not send representatives to the local metropolis conferences for the same reason. At such conclaves, the parish leaders of Lynn would have had the opportunity to propose their own assessment formula for the consideration of the other parishes. In accordance with Article 34 Section 8 of the Uniform Parish Regulations, every community has the right to request a review of the amount of its assessment. Several communities in the Metropolis of Boston went through this process. Lynn is the only one among the 63 that did not fulfill its obligation. The priest and parish council were invited to the Metropolis offices by me personally to meet and resolve the is-
sue. During the discussions, the metropolis and archdiocese finance committees could not understand why the Lynn parish leaders who invested $3 million on a construction project to build a new church entrance could not find $20,000 to fulfill their commitment. The meeting was ended abruptly by the parish council which made it clear that they were not going to change their decision. It is not the archdiocese that “demands” unreasonable assessments. Rather, it is the leadership of the Lynn community that demands the archdiocese “take it or leave it.” I think you would agree that, if every Bishop, priest or layman, whether a parish council member, an archon or member of Leadership 100 (no matter how powerful and influential he may think he is) ignored the provisions of the Patriarchal Charter and Uniform Regulations, our Church in America would be relegated to a state of chaos.
Now in 16th Printing
Direct Archdiocesan District Celebrates Three Hierarchs , Greek Letters NEW YORK – The Greek Letters and the Three Hierarchs celebration served as the focal point of the Jan. 26-27 weekend at Holy Trinity Archdiocesan Cathedral. More than 300 people attended a student awards ceremony and presentation of the Three Hierarchs Award of Excellence on Saturday, the 26th. The event was organized by The Direct Archdiocesan District Education Office Director Maria Makedon. (See related story on this page). At the celebration of The Three Hierarchs on Sunday, Archbishop Demetrios held a Vasilopita cutting for the district Greek school teachers. The program that followed featured a lecture by Despina Prassas, associate professor of theology at Providence College in Rhode Island. Her topic was “Putting Good Education to Good Use: St. John Chrysostom and St. Basil the Great.” Professor Prassas is the daughter of retired priest Fr. George Prassas, former pastor of Holy Trinity Church in Binghamton, N.Y. She holds a Master’s of Divinity degree from Holy Cross School of Theology and a Ph.D. from Washington University. Following her presentation, students of Holy Cross read excerpts from texts authored by the Three Hierarchs. A Byzantine musical interlude featured members of the Holy Cross School of Theology Choir and members of the Archdiocesan Byzantine Choir. Dr. Ioannis Efthymiopoulos, director of the Department of Greek Education, offered an address in Greek. (See page 18). After remarks by Archbishop Demetrios, a reception took place in the Cathedral Center.
Photos by D. PANAGOS
Archbishop Demetrios with the recipients of the Three Hierarchs Award of Excellence. At left of the Archbishop, Consul of Greece Evangelos Kyriakopoulos, Direct Archdiocesan District Office of Education Director Maria Makedon and George Vlikides, education affairs counselor at the Greek Consulate. To the right of His Eminence, Anne Prokop and Cyprus Consul General Koula Sophianou.
Archdiocesan Cathedral Hosts Greek Letters Event by Maria Makedon
In conjunction with the Feast Day of the Three Hierarchs on Jan. 30th and in celebration of Greek Letters, the Direct Archdiocesan District celebrated the Three
Professor Despina Prassas gives a lecture at the January 30th Three Hierarchs celebration.
Members of the Holy Cross and Archdiocesan Byzantine choirs at the Three Hierarchs event.
Hierarchs and Ecumenical Teachers with a series of events that ended with a Divine Liturgy at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Manhattan on Monday, Jan. 31, for the students, teachers, and administrators of the parochial day schools in New York. The celebrations in honor of the Three Hierarchs started on Saturday, Jan. 29, at the Cathedral Conference Center with the students award ceremony. Archbishop Demetrios bestowed the Three Hierarchs Award of Excellence to the students who excelled in the 2010 Comprehensive Examination in Modern Greek. The event was organized by Anne Prokop, principal of the Greek American Institute, Bronx, the mistress of ceremonies. “Today we honor the Three Hierarchs and Ecumenical Teachers, Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, and John Chrysostom, because with their teachings, writings, and life example united harmoniously Christianity with Hellenism,” Mrs Maria. Makedon, director of the Direct Archdiocesan District Office of Education, noted in her welcoming speech. She added “the Three Hierarchs were concerned especially the intellectual growth of children, their upbringing and education.” “And the mission of our day and afternoon schools is to create ethical persons, philhellenes, and persons who are proud for their ancestry. And the schools achieve this goal by offering sound Greek studies programs that emphasize the teaching of the Greek language and Greek Orthodox Christian civilization,” Mrs. Makedon pointed out. Main speaker was Maria Zolotas, board chairwoman of “Stephanos & Areti Cherpelis” Greek Afternoon School at St. Nicholas Church, Flushing. In her speech “Studying Greek Language and Culture - A Pathway for Success,” Mrs. Zolotas advised the students “to preserve the traditions and customs of our culture and above all our Greek Orthodox religion.” A graduate of William Spyropoulos Greek-American School of St. Nicholas, Flushing, Maria Averkiou, spoke on behalf of the honored students and noted “The Greek language is the tool of the magnificent Greek spirit.” Archbishop Demetrios congratulated
the students and noted that “the Greek language is irreplaceable.” He added “For each language you learn, you gain a new culture an important tool of thought.” His Eminence expressed his deep thanks to Mrs. Makedon for “her patience and endurance in keeping the Greek Regents Examination, which went through some obstacles in the past.” “Another person could have given up, because the opposition was strong. Mrs. Makedon stayed and continued, and we have these extremely wonderful results,” the Archbishop noted. The program also featured a musical performance by students of the St. Demetrios High School, Astoria, Kaliroi Halkias, Christina Tsangouri and George Vardaros (violin) with Vagelis Haziroglou, their music teacher conducting. Greetings were given by Consul General of Cyprus Koula Sophianou, who said that “Hellenism and Orthodoxy are two interrelated elements that are our tradition and our future.” Evangelos Kyriakopoulos, consul of Greece, conveyed a message from Agi Balta, the consul general of Greece and addressing the students noted that “it is worth every minute you give of your time to study the Greek language.” The event was attended by 300 people, among them the counselor of educational affairs of Greece, George Vlikides, Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate Stephanos Cherpelis, Rev. Paul Palesty of St. Nicholas, Flushing and the principals of the community’s schools Athena Krommidas (day) and George Kanellopoulos (afternoon), the president of St. Demetrios Cathedral, Astoria, Kostas Eliades, Esq., Vassiliki Filiotis, president of the Greek Teachers Association “Prometheus”, Stella Kokolis, president of the Federation of Greek Teachers and principals, teachers and parents.
METROPOLIS NEWS th Thousands Attend 35 Folk Dance and Choral Festival on West Coast by Kristen Bruskas
ONTARIO, Calif. – Under the theme “UNITED,” the 35th Metropolis of San Francisco Folk Dance and Choral Festival drew thousands of young people and adults over the Feb. 17-20 weekend. Some 1,100 registered dancers and singers that comprised 105 groups, and more than 30 priests, some from as far as Hawaii and North Carolina, attended this year’s event. At Thursday evening’s opening ceremony, each group paraded across the stage of the Ontario Convention Center carrying their banners and flag. Metropolitan Gerasimos blessed the opening of FDF with an Agiasmos service. He later gave a welcoming address. Six Hellenic College/Holy Cross School of Theology students also attended. Their visit was co-sponsored by the Metropolis of San Francisco Philoptochos. They presented information about educational opportunities and scholarships available at HC/HC. Friday’s schedule lasted 12 hours and included the semi-final dance competition rounds and the choral competition. Judges were Thanos Petrelis, one of Greece’s most famous and award-winning singers, Vangelis Giannopoulos, head of Live and Record Business for The Spicy Effect, representing some of Greece’s most popular performers; and Bessie Stavropoulos, former award-winning dance director from St. John the Baptist Church in Las Vegas. Nine acts graced the stage including solo vocalists, bands, modern and ballet dancers and musical theater presentations. The top three performances were: first place - Emily Laliotis from Sts. Constantine and Helen Church in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Calif; second place – Constantine and Chrysanthe Pappas from St. George Church in Fresno, Calif. singing a musical theater duet “Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life/Falling in Love with Someone” from Naughty Marietta; and third place to Penelope Koulos, a classically trained ballerina who performed a lyrical en pointe dance. Celebrity Judge Thanos Petrelis took to the stage at the end of the evening and gave an impromptu performance which gener-
KRISTEN BRUSKAS photos
Fr. James T. Adams receives the Metropolitan Anthony Humanitarian Award from Metropolitan Gerasimos.
ated tremendous excitement with audience members. Petrelis made his FDF debut two years ago and was eager to return and be a part of this year’s event. Saturday’s final round showcased performances by dancers wearing intricately decorated costumes handcrafted by teams of seamstresses both in the United States and in Greece. Each evening, following the formal festivities, a glendi featured live music from Margarita and the Greek Nite Band, Ziyia, Endasi, and the Olympians. Metopolitan Gerasimos officiated at Sunday morning’s Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, assisted by over 25 metropolis priests. The Advanced Senior Competition finals on Sunday afternoon included eight of the most accomplished groups performing intricate suites from many regions of Greece. After a 22-year hiatus, the parish of Sts. Constantine and Helen Cathedral in Honolulu was represented in a non-competitive exhibition performance by a group that performed a Pontian dance suite. They received a standing ovation. The awards banquet drew nearly 2,300 people who were united in celebration of a very successful FDF weekend. Three special awards were presented at the banquet: the Metropolitan Anthony Humanitarian Award to Fr. James T. Adams, chancellor of the Metropolis and a devoted priest for over 56 years; the Elios Award, to John Gumas for his commitment and dedication to the preservation of Hellenism and the principles of our Orthodox faith; and the Metropolitan Anthony Leadership Award given to FDF Management Team member George Mitsopoulos who has served as the FDF director of security for several years. In his keynote address at the banquet, Metropolitan Gerasimos said that, “Thirtyfive years ago there was a vision – a small seed – planted by His Eminence Metropolitan Anthony of blessed memory, to start a gathering of Greek Orthodox youth in celebration of their faith and heritage through Greek folk dancing. What grew out of this is what you see around you: thousands of Greek Orthodox faithful from all generations, sharing a weekend of faith, dance and fellowship. This celebration tonight is just the beginning of the next generation of FDF. It is time to look forward with an even greater vision, with courage, with faith, and with commitment to the future.” It took thousands of hours and thousands of people to help us reach this 35-year milestone; and it will take even more to take us to the next level. Let us give thanks to all those who brought us here and pray for God’s strength and wisdom for those who will lead this ministry in the years to come.” Top honors at the 2011 Folk Dance and Choral Festival were presented to: Division I Sweepstakes winner – Olympian Dancers, Long Beach, Calif.; Division II Sweepstakes winner – Keravnos, St Sophia Cathedral, Los Angeles, and Choral Sweepstakes Winner – Fotisi Youth Choir from St. George Church in Fresno, Calif. Kristen Bruskas is director of development and administration for the Metropolis of San Francisco and covered the dance festival for the Orthodox Observer. The above story is a condensed version of a more extensive article, along with many additional photos that can be viewed on line and www.sanfran.goarch.org
Metropolitan Gerasimos speaks to the youngest dancers in Division III, prior to leading them in a dance.
The Fotisi Youth Choir from St. George Church in Fresno, Calif, under the direction of Presbytera Donna Pappas, performed a suite of complex choral and folk music which won them top honors at FDF.
His Eminence with the I Parea group from St. George Church in Downey.
Following their Division IV Exhibition performance, Metropolitan Gerasimos joins the Nisiotes from Sts. Constantine and Helen Cathedral in Hawaii on stage
Things to Read While Traveling through Great Lent from page 12 Also known as Pilgrim Psalms, they were sung by Jews as they traveled up towards Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. Jesus and his family and disciples would have certainly known them by heart, and I like to pray them whenever I go to the Holy Land. They are read in three groups of five psalms each at the beginning of the Liturgy of the Pre-sanctified Gifts, a service peculiar to the weekdays of Lent in which Holy Communion consecrated at the previous Sunday’s Liturgy is distributed at the end of a modified form of Vespers. Read those Psalms regularly. I’ve derived a lot of pleasure and insight into these from Eugene Peterson’s A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society. For the Psalms in general, try R. C. Hill’s translation of St. John Chrysostom’s Spiritual Gems from the Book of Psalm (HC Press).
Besides Scripture, there are the Lenten services themselves, and the single best compilation of the hymns of the season in English translation remains The Lenten Triodion by Mother Mary and Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware) of Diokleia. The introductory material alone is worth the cost of the book. The Church offers a variety of prayer opportunities particular to the Lenten season, including the chanting of the Canon of St Andrew of Crete and the Friday evening Salutation Services or the Akathist Hymn. Khouria Frederica Mathewes-Green has written good books about both these services, opening up for the reader the wealth of Scriptural allusions and patristic teachings embedded in the texts: First Fruits of Prayer: A Forty-Day Journey Through the Canon of St Andrew, and the third section of her rather sensationally titled The Lost Gospel of Mary: The Mother of Jesus in Three Ancient Texts, both published by Paraclete Press.
Certain non-liturgical texts are closely associated with Lent in the Orthodox Christian tradition. Chief among these is The Ladder of Divine Ascent by St. John Climacus, whose name means “(author) of ‘The Ladder.’” It is a book made up of teachings on the overcoming of vices and the acquiring of virtues, arranged as 30 steps of a ladder reaching from earth to heaven. This 7th century text was written for monastics and is read aloud to them during communal meals in Lent. It can be a daunting read for laypersons, and for them I recommend John Mack’s Ascending the Heights: A Layman’s Guide to The Ladder of Divine Ascent. An equally beneficial, and perhaps more accessible, collection of mostly short texts on the spiritual struggle is The Sayings of the Desert Fathers: The Alphabetical Collection, a translation of the Apophthegmata
Patrum or Gerontikon by Sister Benedicta Ward for Cistercian Publications. Like a Pelican in the Wilderness: Reflections on the Sayings of the Desert Fathers, by Stelios Ramfos (translated by Norman Russell) is an excellent companion to these endlessly fascinating and profoundly edifying sayings.
Lent is also a good time for coming to a better understanding of Orthodox Christian theology, and there are plenty of excellent overviews available in English these days, on line or in print. I have a special fondness for the classic The Orthodox Church by Timothy (a.k.a. Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia) Ware, and its companion volume, The Orthodox Way, but I’m told that the recently-published Fr John McGuckin’s The Orthodox Church: An Introduction to its History, Doctrine and Spiritual Culture (Blackwell) is also excellent, and I hope to get to know it for myself in the days to come. Of course, Jesus Christ is as at least as much the reason for this season as he is for Christmas, and the point of our annual Lenten journey is come to an ever more profound appreciation and transformative experience of what He accomplished for us through His Death and Resurrection. Recommended: St. Athanasius the Great’s On the Incarnation, (SVS Popular Patristics Series), Bishop Gerasimos of Abydos’ Commentary on the Gospel of St John (Holy Cross Press), Fr John Behr’s The Mystery of Christ: Life in Death (SVS). For those who just can’t get through a work of theology, consider Christian fiction at its finest: Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, or Flannery O’Connor’s The Complete Stories. Feel free to write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know what you’re reading. May God grant us all a spiritually rejuvenating Lenten season, and a glorious Pascha! Bishop Savas is director of the Office of Church and Society at the Archdiocese.
ENCYCLICAL from page 8 to experience this very special place that serves all of us in the Church in America. As we commemorate our father among the saints, Photios the Confessor, may we also follow his example and intercessions to Christ our God in our witness and prayers, so that others will see the grace of God in our lives and seek Him who offers the gift of truth, love and life. With paternal love in Christ,
† Archbishop DEMETRIOS of America
WHO’S THE ‘XENO’ from page 20 human beings and they needed help,” he said. The other reason he gave and he was always fond of saying it, “I may have to disobey my government but I can’t disobey God.” He told the journalist interviewing him that he was a Greek Orthodox Christian. Now I understood why Mayor Riordan had invited me to the reception and why Mrs. Sugihara, Greek Orthodox herself, kissed my hand. Events like these
remind me that there is no such person as a Xeno. God loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have life everlasting. When in L.A., stop by “Little Tokyo” and there you will see a life–sized statue of Greek Orthodox Christian, Chiune Sugihara, dedicated in his honor. Fr. Bakas is dean of St. Sophia Cathedral and a faculty member of Loyola Marymount University, School of Theology.
Activities for Family Time
by Fr. Mark Leondis
Some time ago, my in-laws came to visit my home. With their help, we planted a garden in our backyard. In the garden we planted corn, cucumbers, squash and other vegetables, and a blueberry bush. Over time we have learned that planting was the easy part. We needed to spend time watering our garden making sure that each seed got what it needed to grow to maturity. If we did not make sure that each seed receives the right amount of sunlight and that no animals used them as their food, our garden would not have survived. Just as the seed needs water sunlight, love and attention, so does our family. If we do not spend the proper time nurturing them, spending time making sure they receive the proper light—the light of Christ—then our family will not flourish to maturity. One of the greatest ways that we can nurture our family is by spending appropriate time with them. We live in a busy world. We wake up in the morning rush to get the children ready for school and day care. We hurry off to work—work hard, return phone calls. We experience our days as filled with things to do, people to meet, projects to finish, letters to write, calls to make and appointments to be kept. If we are serious about developing quality family time, we must be willing to look closely at our priorities. We must be willing to turn off our cellular phone when we arrive at home. We must be willing to
Reflections for Families Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord our God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you this day shall be upon your hearts; and you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. — Deuteronomy 6:4-7 The good that you sow in the hearts of your children while they are young will blossom forth in their hearts when they come to full maturity, after enduring the bitter trials of school and contemporary life, which often break off the branches of a good Christian upbringing in the home. — St. Ambrose, 19th century Prayer is a great weapon, a rich treasure, a wealth that is never exhausted, an undisturbed refuge, a cause of tranquility, the root of a multitude of blessings, and their source. — St. John Chrysostom, 4th century These reflections are taken from the Table Top Prayer Guide: Volume II, published by the Center for Family Care. The guide provides a collection of Orthodox prayers and meditations for daily use, for both personal and family prayer time. It can be ordered at www.OrthodoxMarketplace.com
Developing Family Time come home at a decent hour. We must be willing to make our family a priority. In a lifetime, the average American will spend: • six months sitting at traffic lights waiting for them to change. • one year searching through desk clutter looking for misplaced objects. • eight months opening junk mail. • two years trying to call people who are not in or whose lines are busy. • five years waiting in lines. • three years in meetings. • Learn how to operate 20,000 different things from soda machines to can openers. The average person will: • Commute 45 minutes every day. • Be interrupted 73 times every day (every 8 minutes) • Travel 7,700 miles every year • Watch 1,700 hours of television each year.
A Christian Home
A Christian home is modeled on the relationship between Christ and His Church. What is the relationship between Christ and His Church? Christ loved His Church so much, that He ultimately gave up His life for the Church. This is the same in the Christian home—the love that permeates must be self-sacrificial, never ending and unconditional. In a healthy Christian family, all members of the family unit submit themselves to the will of God. How do they do this? By actively seeking what is best for others. By putting others first. By being self-sacrificial. By loving unconditionally. Mother, father, and children, all work together as a healthy unit, as a family. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve had a choice: to live separate from God, or to live with God forever in Paradise. They chose separation from God. As Orthodox families, we have a choice: to live a holy, pure life together, or to succumb to the pressures and realities of this world. We have a choice—to make a covenant with God or not—to put Christ at the center of our lives or to put the world at the center of our lives. We read in the Gospel of Matthew, “When two or three are gathered in my name, I am there.” When a husband and
wife join in His name, Christ is there. When a child comes along and gathers with the father and mother in His name, Christ is also there. There is something sacred about two or three Christians gathering together in His Name. There is something sacred about a family that has placed Christ at the center of their lives, walking together toward salvation.
As we are quickly approaching the beautiful summer months, when children are off from school and when families make time for vacation, I challenge you to develop some quality family time. This family time should be developed and nurtured so that when the busy year begins in September it is carried through. To grow healthy Christian families developing a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is a must. Below are some tips to begin your family time journey. After a dinner with all family members, begin to discuss the following questions: • What does the term family time mean to you? • What are some examples of family time? • How can we make more time in our lives for family? What are some concrete ways that we can develop family time with our families? (turning off the television, prayers, reading the Bible together, going for walks, hikes, etc.) Once you have discussed these questions, create and agree to a family time ritual for your family. We must be fully committed to our Lord not only as individuals, but also as families. We must be willing to make the proper decisions and choices, ones that will affect our future. Once we commit ourselves to our Savior, we create a covenant that will be passed on to future generations. The moment we begin to experience life with others—with our spouses and children—the greater the responsibility we have. Remember in our Orthodox Tradition it clearly indicates that parents are responsible for passing on their faith to their children. May God grant you and your family the peace from above. Fr. Mark Leondis is the director of the Archdiocese Department of Youth and
Family Gospel Lessons—This resource is meant to guide your family through the Church year according to the Sunday Gospel lessons. Each one-page handout (front and back) has the text from the Bible, brief background information, activities (for young children as well as teens), prayers, quotes or stories, and further resources. It is our hope that through this resource, families will make reading the Gospel a priority in their preparation for the Divine Liturgy. You can find this resource at www.family.goarch.org. A board game— Board games are and excellent tools for interaction. Some of our favorites for families are Cranium, Apples to Apples, and Pictionary Music Night—Have each family member play their favorite song and explain why they like it. In addition, you could have everyone share their favorite church hymn and why they like it. Charades—Always fun for the whole family. All you need is some paper and pencil to write down some items. Guaranteed lots of laughs. Walk or hike—It can be just around the neighborhood or somewhere slightly off the beaten path. Cooking—Bake cookies for a neighbor or a surprise meal for grandma. Be creative and try something new like making pasta from scratch or rolling your own sushi. Also, see if your family can make a prosforo for church or offer an artoclasia for the health of your family. Talk to your parish priest for guidance and scheduling. The list is limitless—come up with your own simple ways you can spend more time together as a family and spend more time with God.
Young Adult Ministries. This article was adapted from the May 2002 Orthodox Observer Challenge page. For more information about this ministry, visit www.youth. goarch.org
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MTV and ‘Skins’ by Fr. Mark A. Leondis
Oh MTV, you’ve done it again! You have once again pushed the envelope of programming aimed at “tweens” (pre-adolescents usually between ages 10-12), teenagers, and young adults. Every other year since your inception, you seem to re-create your programming to “push the limit.” I remember vividly in August 1981, MTV launching its first music video by the Buggles titled, “Video Killed the Radio Star.” That day changed the face of music and television forever. The original tag line was “You’ll never look at music the same way again.” Bands of the 80’s began caring as much about videos as they did their music, and music didn’t look the same as incredible amounts of money were spent advertising, creating and offering something quite different for millions of viewers. With the emergence of the Internet and videos being watched on the computer, MTV changed their emphasis from videos to programming. And this programming was methodically planned by marketers and advertisers who cared nothing about the young people themselves, but on how they could make money. MTV and other outlets have continued with this formula. From the animated series “Beavis and Butthead” with its crude and vulgar language, to reality shows such as “Real World” and “Road Rules” where young people continually drink, have sex and get into fights; from game shows like “Singled Out” which make dating all about looks and fashion; to prank comedy shows like “The Tom Green Show” and “Jackass” with absurd stunts making fun of themselves and others; from scripted reality shows like “The Hills,” “Laguna Beach,” and “Parental Control” which make sex and intimacy a joke between young people; to the 2009 popular hit “Jersey Shore,” which portrays young adults who selfishly live consumed lives with little regard for others. Their newest show, “Skins,” is MTV’s “shock and awe” at its best, or shall I say at its worst. Their portrayal of pill-popping, lusty teenage actors as young as 15, is both disturbing and unsettling. Even advertisers, Wrigley, Schick and Taco Bell to name a few, have decided to pull their ads from the show. Although, MTV has “toned down” their content since the premier a few weeks back, they have no plans to cancel the show. Parenting groups are asking Congress and the Justice Department to investigate the show to see if it violates laws on the sexual exploitation of children. Their target audience is 12-34 year olds. You read it right, 12-34-year-olds.
As a parent of a tween I see a problem with the suggestion that my 10-year-old should be watching the same content that a 34-year-old is interested in. For children, the content of the show is purely provocative; while the content borders on child pornography for the older end of the spectrum. The reality is that Madison Avenue has more to do with programming than MTV. Teen marketers understand the child as a customer – not as a person. They look for ways to sell cool, which is their product. A few years back, PBS produced a Frontline series titled “The Merchants of Cool” that accurately describes the relationship between youth culture and the advertising industry. They highlight that youth culture is being created not by the teens themselves, but rather by teen marketers. They look for 20 percent of the young people who are the trendsetters, who then set the stage for the other 80 percent. Teenagers in 2011 are the most marketed group of young people in history. The problem with Skins is it glamorizes the behavior of a small percentage of young people, and not the real demographic. In reality, Skins is just a reflection of the other programs that adults watch on a nightly basis? Skins just imitates its older television siblings like the Bachelor, The Real Housewives, General Hospital and the salacious daily talk shows. At a time when young people are forming and defining their individual identities, what they need most is positive imagery and role models who will guide them along the way. In my 16-plus years of full-time youth ministry, I have seen shows such as this come and go. But the important element in this is to teach our young people that they don’t need to watch these shows to be cool or to fit in, especially when all they do is bring a negative influence to their lives. The bottom line: We must give our young people the necessary tools to become good decision makers. We must teach them to learn to discern. Discern what is beneficial and what is destructive to our souls. Discern what elements make up a healthy lifestyle. Discern the content of the music they listen to, the video games they play and the television shows they watch. We will never be able to stop the industry from producing this negative stuff, but we can empower our youth to recognize its inherent dangers. In so doing we can help them understand the importance of living a pure life, and choosing wisely. Fr. Mark Leondis is director of the Archdiocese Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries. He has served as the Metropolis of Denver youth director and the Direct Archdiocesan District youth director. He also serves as chairman of the OCF board.
Pilgrimage to Constantinople and Asia Minor The National Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries is pleased to announce that registration for the sixth annual National Young Adult Pilgrimage is now open! This year’s Pilgrimage to Constantinople, Ephesus, Smyrna, and Cappadocia will take place from May 27-June 5, 2011, over Memorial Day weekend. Once again, Bishop Savas of Troas, the director of the Archdiocese Office of Church and Society, will lead young adults through sites of great historical and spiritual significance for all Orthodox Christians. The journey will begin in Constantinople, where participants will visit the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the great Cathedral of Hagia Sophia, the Church of Christ at Chora, the Monastery of the Zoodogos Pigi (the Life-Giving Spring), the site of the celebrated shrine of the Panaghia at Blachernae, Topkapi Palace, as well as the great covered bazaar. In Cappadocia, young adults will be visiting some of the 3,500 rock churches identified in the area, along with amazing rock formations and an underground city, Kaymakli. Participants will also be traveling to the ancient city of Ephesus, where
St. Paul founded the church in 53-56 AD, and where he wrote letters to the Galatians, Philippians and to the Corinthians. “We have been offering these pilgrimages over the past few years to give young adults the opportunity to not only grow in their faith, but have a first-hand experience with our historic Church,” stated Fr. Mark Leondis. Details and registration can be found at www.youngadult.goarch.org. Space is limited to 30 young adults and is on a first-come, first-served basis.
Learn to Discern Most people want to make the right decisions. But sometimes the line is blurry and we do not always know what is “right.” It is especially hard when friends have seen that new movie or are listening to a song that doesn’t have the best message, because we do not want to feel left out. When we think of all the media out there, how do we discern what is beneficial to our souls and what is potentially harmful to our spiritual lives? We know that the Holy Scriptures teach us the way to be in the world, but not OF the world. Here are just a few quotations from the Holy Scriptures that help us learn how to discern the messages we receive every day! Galatians 5:16 – But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. Sometimes if we just think before we act, we will know the right thing to do. Many times, we jump into a decision without really thinking about it. So think about what you are hearing, reading, or seeing… Take a moment to critically think about the message that is being sold to you. Is it encouraging you to take a Christian path, or does the message encourage you to be led astray and away from God?
1 John 2:16 – For all that is in the world – the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions – is not from the Father but is from the world. Jesus Christ teaches us very clearly that we are not to worry about the things of this world. He calls us only to love God and to love our neighbor. In addition, He calls all of us to leave the worldly things behind and follow Him. So remember… the media might be teaching that having money, wealth, power, and materials things is important. But those things are temporary… Things like love, patience, charity, and kindness are the eternal things of God. Philippians 4:8 – Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. We cannot deny that there are bad things out there. But instead of supporting or accentuating the negative, listen to and watch things that are uplifting and positive. Typically, those are the things that will also keep us on a Christ-like path. If we fill our minds and senses with negative thoughts, words, and emotions, those will cause us to lose sight of the good things of God.
Into the Desert: Take the 40-Day Lenten Challenge As we approach this Lenten season, we once again are offering “Into the Desert: A 40-Day Lenten Blog” beginning on Clean Monday, designed to motivate, challenge, and inspire young people to grow in Christ during Lent. Young people can utilize the blog for their own personal Lenten journey.
Also, youth groups can incorporate the blog into their youth group meetings and Lenten discussions. Visit www.orthodoxyouthministry.blogspot.com starting Clean Monday to begin the Into the Desert 40-day Lenten Challenge! You can also link to the blog by visiting www.youth.goarch.org
A Weekend of Dancing and Singing in ‘Greekville’, S.C. Junior entry from St. George-Greenville.
Metropolitan Alexios and HDF Chairman Gerry Clonaris. by Jim Golding
GREENVILLE, S.C. – Hundreds of Goyans and their parents representing several parishes of the Metropolis of Atlanta spent President’s Day weekend here participating in the annual Hellenic Dance Festival and choir competition hosted by the 500-member St. George Cathedral community. It was the third time that Greenville’s parish hosted the event and Fr. Tom Pistolis, dean of St. George Cathedral, received a special plaque commemorating the occasion. Activities included attendance at several spiritual workshops interspersed with the dancing schedule. After the competitions ended a new addition to the festival, a talent show, took place Sunday evening. First place winner was Katerina Katsikis, daughter of comedian Basile, who wowed the audience with a powerful rendition of Barbra Streisand’s hit from the movie “Funny Girl,” “Don’t Rain on My Parade.”
Orlando, Fla. Superior Gold: Oi Horiates, Annunciation, Winston Salem, N.C. Asteria, Annunciation, Atlanta Platinum: Hellas, Holy Trinity, Charleston Senior Category Costumes: New Kyma, St. Nicholas, Spartanburg for their Karoti costume Dance Meritorious Bronze: Troupe Adelphia, St. George, Greenville Excellent Silver: Neo Kyma, St. Nicholas, Spartanburg, S.C. Superior Gold: Vasileia, Holy Trinity, Charlotte, N.C.
Platinum: Hara, St. Nektarios, Charlotte Advanced Senior Category Costumes: Klironomia, Holy Trinity, Charleston for their Almopias Macedonia, costume Dance Meritorious Bronze: Eleftheria, Holy Transfiguration, Marietta, Ga. Excellent Silver: Klironomia, Holy Trinity, Charleston Superior Gold: Ta Asteria, Holy Trinity, Charlotte Platinum: Yi, Anemos ke Fotia, Annunciation, Atlanta Adult Category Costumes: Hellas Dancers, Holy Trinity, Clearwater for their Pontos costume Dance
Excellent Silver: Andamoma, OCF, Spartanburg Superior Gold: Hellenic Dance Troupe, Holy Trinity, Orlando Platinum: Hellas Dancers, Holy Trinity, Clearwater Division 1 Diamond Distinguished: Hellas, Holy Trinity, Charleston Division 2 Diamond Distinguished: Hellas Dancers, Holy Trinity, Clearwater, Fla. Choral Enhancement Awards Advanced Junior: Jr. Hellenic Dancers, Holy Trinity, Orlando Senior: Troupe Adelphia, St. George, Greenville Advanced Senior: Ta Asteria, Holy Trinity, Charlotte Adult: Hellenic Dance Troupe, Holy Trinity, Orlando
ORTHODOX OBSERVER PHOTOS
St. Nickolas Spartnburg’s junior entry.
Annunciation dancers Winston-Salem.
more photos and information: www.atlmetropolis.org
Two girls from Orlando.
Dance and choral groups represented the following parishes: St. George, Greenville, S.C; Annunciation Cathedral, Atlanta; Holy Trinity, Charleston, S.C; Holy Trinity, Orlando, Fla; Holy Trinity, Charlotte, N.C; St. Nicholas, Wilmington, N.C; Annunciation, Winston-Salem, N.C; St. Nektarios, Charlotte; St. Nicholas, Spartanburg, S.C; Holy Trinity, Clearwater, Fla; and Holy Transfiguration, Marietta, Ga.
A ‘yiayia’ passes on a tradition. Dancers from Holy Trinity-Charlotte in a cafenio.
The choir from St. Nicholas, Wilmington.
HDF 2011 Awards Junior Category Costumes: Troupe Asteria, St. George, Greenville, for their Epirus costume Dance: Meritorious Bronze: Troupe Asteria, St. George, Greenville, S.C. Advanced Junior Category Costumes: Hellas, Holy Trinity, Charleston, S.C., for their Paros costume Dance Meritorious Bronze: Troupe Olympians, St. George, Greenville Romiosini, St. Nicholas, Wilmington, N.C. Excellent Silver: Junior Hellenic Dancers, Holy Trinity,
Platinium winners the “Hellas” dancers of Holy Trinity, Clearwater.
Two dancers from Atlanta Cathedral.
Junior group Holy Trinity-Spartanburg.
Atlanta Cathedral’s Junior category dancers.
(from right) Metropolitan Alexios, Fr. Tom Pistolis of Greenville and Fr. Constantine Simeonidis of Orlando, HDF’s spiritual advisor.