1 MAY 2008 Vol. 73 No $1.00 Christos Anesti! D. PANAGOS Sharing the Light of Christ At the Resurrection service at Holy Trinity Archdiocesan Cathedral, Archbishop Demetrios, Fr. Frank Marangos, dean, and assistant priest Fr. Vasilios Bassakyros light the candles of several of the faithful shortly after midnight. The scene is repeated thousands of times throughout the world as Orthodox Christians come together to celebrate Christ s victory over death. The service was broadcast live to six European nations, including Greece. (More coverage of Holy Pascha on pages 8-9). Throughout the six-day visit of Pope Benedict XVI, April 15-20, the presence of Orthodox Christianity was in full view through the person of the Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Archbishop Demetrios of America. Although not trumpeted in any way, from the very first days of the announcement of the visit of Pope Benedict, the Roman Catholic Church in the United States, through the two Archdioceses of Washington and New York that the Pope was to visit, as well as through the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Archdiocese was involved in planning the participation of the Orthodox community at various venues. Archbishop travels to Washington Although the Pope arrived in Washington on April 15, the official headof-state welcome by President George Bush took place Wednesday morning, April 16. President Bush invited Archbishop Demetrios to be present at the White House welcome, together with other local religious leaders (the Archbishop was the only national leader invited). The President invited the Archbishop both as Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and as the chairman of the Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA). Archbishop Demetrios was seated on the South Lawn below the Truman Portico, together with the Papal delegation and the leading Cardinals of the United States. Seated directly across were Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and leaders from the House and Senate. As the Marine Corps Band and Chorus ( The President s Own ) played the national anthems of both the United Ecumenical Patriarch Makes Time 100 (RNS) Ecumenical Patriarch tholomew was named in this year s Bar- Time 100 list of the World s 100 Most Influential People, according to the Religion News Service and other reports. The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople was listed in the Leaders and Revolutionaries category in the May 12 issue of Time magazine. The Ecumenical Patriarch was number 11 in its list of the 20 top world leaders. Included in Time s first 11 world leaders are President George W. Bush, Vladimir Putin of Russia and Sens. Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain Known as the Green Patriarch Time magazine describes his vision as Pope Benedict greets Archbishop Demetrios at the ecumenical service. page 4 Archbishop Demetrios Leads Orthodox Delegation for Pope s Visit States and the Vatican, a sea of 13,000 people filled the South Lawn all the way to the Ellipse. Battle Hymn encore Of special note: the Archbishop had been at the White House only three weeks earlier for Greek Independence Day, leading 200 to 300 Greek Orthodox faithful from around the country in a celebration of shared Greek and American values of democracy, freedom, human rights and religious liberty. That day, the musical selection, The Battle Hymn of the Republic, was brilliantly performed by the Metropolitan Youth Choir (children from the Direct Archdiocesan District). On April 16, it was not by coincidence that the Marine Corps Band and Chorus performed the same hymn for the official welcome of the Pope. On Thursday, April 17, Archbishop Demetrios, together with Metropolitan Maximos of Pittsburgh, was the special guest of Roman Catholic Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington at the Papal Mass at the new Nationals Stadium, as representatives of the Orthodox Christian Faith. More than 45,000 attended the Mass, which was exceeded by the Mass at Yankee Stadium on Sunday April 20, where 57,000 people were present. The Archdiocese was also represented at the Yankee Stadium Mass by clergy who were accommodated as special guests of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York. Ecumenical Service in New York The most important event for the Orthodox Church in relation to the Papal visit came at one of the smaller, but highly significant events, the Ecumenical service at St. Joseph s Roman Catholic Church in the Yorkville section of New York on Friday, April 18. This service was to include approximately 300 of the most important Christian religious leaders in the United States, and they did come from around the country to attend. Of special importance to the Roman Catholic Church was the prominence of the Archbishop in the event. This was not a joint service of any kind; rather it was completely conducted by Roman Catholic clergy and laity. All of the ecumenical attendees were guests, not participants. However, last to be seated (security was remarkable!) and first in position and first to greet the Pope was Archbishop Demetrios. The unique roles of the Archbishop, principally as exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, but also as chairman of SCOBA were treated with extraordinary deference and ANA/EPA respect. And not only was this respect given only to the Archbishop, but as a result of the close cooperation between the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and the many Roman Catholic authorities responsible for this ecumenical service, the position of Orthodox Christian and Oriental Orthodox Christian hierarchs was prominent in a way that truly reflected the historical paths of Christianity throughout the world; the diversity of culture, politics, and language that marks this history, and the hope that people of faith and good will can come together in peace and in a spirit of reconciliation, mutual forgiveness and love.
2 2 ARCHDIOCESE NEWS MAY 2008 Archdiocesan Council Holds Spring Meeting NEW YORK Archdiocesan Council members at their spring meeting on May 9 discussed the pros and cons of a proposed plan to change the frequency of the Clergy- Laity Congresses from two to three years to save on the increasing costs of holding the event. The issue that will be taken up by the 39th Congress in Washington in July. They also heard Archbishop Demetrios discuss the congress theme of bringing the unchurched and disconnected to the Church. They reach a point that they need a connection, he said of the nearly 60 million Americans who fall into this category. He said the unchurched are born into a secularized environment and are part of the secularization of society, and Orthodox Christians must reach out to these groups. It opens a tremendous window of opportunity, said His Eminence. They are looking for something. The Archbishop called for the development of methodology to reach out to the unchurched. Archdiocesan Council Vice Chairman Michael Jaharis emphasized the importance of teaching the youth about the influence of Greek culture and its link to the Church. He also noted the role of the Faith Endowment in promoting the teaching of Hellenism in the parochial schools. In the financial report to the Council, Executive Director of the Archdiocese Jerry Dimitriou said the Archdiocese is experiencing an increase in giving through stewardship and other avenues that will help put the Church on a sound financial footing. He singled out the Metropolises of Detroit, Chicago and San Francisco in achieving a 100 percent goal in National Ministries committment to the Archdiocese. In efforts to improve church administration, the Archdiocese has launched a new program on Redefining the Parish Council Ministry, which will involve holding training sessions over the next several years at the parish level to emphasize the roles and responsibilities of the parish council. In other highlights, Theo Nicolakis, director of the Department of Internet Minis- ORTHODOX OBSERVER Archbishop Demetrios addresses the Archdiocesan Council. He is joined by (from left) Vice Chairman Michael Jaharis, Legal Counsel Emanuel Demos, Holy Synod members Metropolitans Iakovos of Chicago, Maximos of Pittsburgh, Methodios of Boston, Isaiah of Denver, Alexios of Atlanta, Nicholas of Detroit, Gerasimos of San Francisco and Evangelos of New Jersey. tries and Information Technology, reported on a new correspondence management system for the Archdiocese, which eventually can be extended to each Metropolis, that will track all correspondence within the Archbishop s Office and help manage the large volume of paperwork the office processes. The system will be financed by a Leadership 100 grant. Council members also heard reports from the following ministries and departments of the Church. Department of Religious Education The department published a 24-page zine in March on the services, meanings and traditions of Holy Week written for sixth graders. Between March 24 and April 11, 10,000 copies were sold to parishes. The DRE has been meeting with teachers for the development of high school resources. Intermarriage Ministries Goals for the upcoming year include improving the Inter-church marriage web site, developing a premarital education program, scheduling more clergy workshops and conducting marital enhancement workshops for spouses, parents and clergy. Communications -- TSD Communications, a Washington-based audit firm is studying the function of communications within the Archdiocese through interviews of individuals representing a cross-section of people involved with communications both inside and outside the Archdiocese. The firm began its work earlier this year and will issue a final report before the Clergy- Laity Congress. Marriage and Family The Center for Family Care has received a Leadership 100 grant to develop a strategic plan in cooperation with the Office of Parish Development for the growth and development of Orthodox families. Young Adult Ministry The department is working with Holy Cross School of Theology to begin a seminary visitation program from successful parish clergy, mission directors and lay workers. The third annual National Altar Boy Retreat and Girls Retreat took place in April at the seminary. Greek Education The department has taken steps for the first time to publish new language books. In conjunction, seminars will take place to provide teachers with more effective instructional skills. Another seminar will occur in cooperation with the University of Cyprus to train teachers who work in Archdiocese parochial schools. The seminar will take place July 19 to Aug. 4. Direct Archdiocesan Office of Education The office holds an annual staff development seminar in collaboration with the School of Education/Department of Literacy at St. John s University. The office also has published the new curriculum for Kindergarten for teaching Greek as a second language to children of this age group. Another major undertaking of this office is the Comprehensive Examination in Modern Greek, which is administered in schools in the state of New York and parts of New Jersey, Connecticut and Virginia. In his closing remarks, Archbishop Demetrios commented on his upcoming official visit to Russia at the end of May at the invitation of the Russian Orthodox Church. He said the Patriarchate of Moscow counts primarily on us in any work we do. His Eminence also noted that the Onassis Foundation would be giving its support to the Greek education effort of the Archdiocese and that the Faith Endowment intends to provide scholarship gifts to every valedictorian and salutatorian of Greek language schools. The Archbishop also expressed his appreciation to the Leadership100 Endowment Fund for providing grants for a number of programs and projects. 8mm Film Reels, Photos Requested USPS ISSN Published monthly except combined issue in July-August by the Greek Ortho dox Archdiocese of America. Editorial and Business Offi ce: 8 East 79 th Street, New York, NY TEL.: (212) FAX (212) Archdiocesan Council members at the opening session on May 9 at the New York Hilton. DIRECTOR & EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Stavros H. Papagermanos EDITOR: Jim Golding (Chryssoulis) PRODUCTION- ADVERTISING: Eleftherios Pissalidis ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT: Soula Podaras COLOR CORRECTION: Abel Montoya CONTRIBUTING EDITOR: Nicholas Manginas ORTHODOX OBSERVER Periodicals postage paid at New York, NY and at additional mailing offices. The Orthodox Observer is produced entirely in-house. Past issues can be found on the Internet, at: Articles do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America which are expressed in official statements so labeled. Subscription rates are $12 per year. Canada $ Overseas Air Mail, $55.00 per year. $1.50 per copy. Subscriptions for the membership of the Greek Orthodox Church in America are paid through their contribution to the Archdiocese. Of this contribution, $5.00 is forwarded to the Orthodox Observer. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: ORTHODOX OBSERVER, 8 East 79 th Street, New York, NY Greek Orthodox Telecommunications is producing a video highlighting the ministry of +Archbishop Michael of blessed memory. GOTelecom is looking for any 8mm film reels of the late Archbishop. Send your reels to: GOTelecom, 8 East 79th Street, NY, NY or call GOTelecom will transfer the reels to DVD free of charge and return the originals and the DVD to you at no cost in return for permission to place the footage in the Archives of the Archdiocese. The Archdiocese Press Office seeks photos and other material relating to Archbishop Michael for an exhibit to be displayed at the upcoming Clergy-Laity Congress. Send photos and other information to the press office at the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, 8 East 79th St., New York, Materials will be returned.
3 MAY 2008 Archbishop Leads Celebration for Metropolitan Nicholas of Amissos JOHNSTOWN, Pa. Archbishop Demetrios led seven Orthodox hierarchs and other clergy in a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the episcopacy of Metropolitan Nicholas of Amissos, primate of the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese of the USA. The Johnstown-based diocese is under the authority of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The hierarchs included Metropolitans Maximos of Pittsburgh and Isaiah of Denver; Bishop Philotheos of Meloa; Metropolitan Constantine, Archbishop Antony, and Bishop Andrej of the Ukrainian Church; Bishop Thomas of Charleston, Oakland and the Mid-Atlantic (Antiochian Archdiocese); and prominent Roman and Eastern Catholic hierarchs at the celebration. Bishop Philotheos presence at the celebration was particularly meaningful, as he is the last remaining co-consecrator of Metropolitan Nicholas. The celebrations took place at the headquarters of the Carpatho-Russian Diocese and were marked by a Divine Liturgy, a banquet and breakfast. More than 50 priests of the Carpatho- Russian Church attended, together with hundreds of faithful, who filled the Cathedral of Christ the Savior to capacity. ARCHDIOCESE NEWS At the evening banquet, Archbishop Demetrios highlighted the lengthy and spiritually prosperous ministry of Metropolitan Nicholas, noting his intense devotion to the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and the person of His All Holiness. Among the many hierarchs who spoke, Bishop Philotheos was especially warmly greeted by the crowd at the banquet, when he took to the podium to add his own message of congratulations and remembrance of the day of the episcopal ordination. Archons Hold Lenten Retreat at St. Basil Academy GARRISON, NY The fifth annual retreat of the Order of St. Andrew-Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate on April focused on Spiritual Renewal and provided the Archons and their spouses an opportunity to study in greater detail the theological meaning of Holy Scripture and to participate in discussion with retreat-master, Bishop Savas of Troas, the Archdiocese chancellor. The retreat, organized by the Spirituality Committee of the National Council of The Order of St. Andrew, was held at St. Basil Academy. Serving as a philanthropic center for the Archdiocese, the academy provides a home for children in need and provides a loving Christian environment, where resident children are nurtured into adulthood. Commenting on the purpose of the retreat in a letter of invitation to the Archons, National Commander Anthony Limberakis remarked, It is how we conduct our lives on this earth, how Christ-like we comport ourselves and how we serve as instruments of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior that will ultimately determine our salvation. Thus, it CLER GY Ordination to the Priesthood Deacon Conan Gill Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver Holy Trinity Church, Dallas 03/30/08 Assignments Fr. Conan Gill Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver Holy Trinity Church, Dallas 04/01/08 Fr. Gregory Hohnholt Holy Trinity Church, Nashville, 03/01/08 Fr. Demetrios Sean Govostes St. Mary s, Minneapolis, 04/01/08 V. Rev. Luke G. Kontgas St. Nicholas, Temecula, Calif. 04/06/08 Offikia Metropolitan Evangelos of New is the healthy and meaningful integration of our hectic daily lives into our spiritual lives that really matters, The retreat began with introductions in St. Basil s Chapel by Fr. Constantine Sitaras, executive director of the Academy. An Akathist hymn service was later celebrated by Bishop Savas. A Lenten meal followed served by the children of the academy. Dr. Limberakis later introduced His Grace who offered introductory remarks and provided an overview of the retreat itinerary. On Saturday morning, April 12, a morning prayer service was celebrated by retreat participants in the chapel followed by breakfast. All participants received the newest edition of The Orthodox Study Bible and the bishop lectured on the remaining time in Great Lent, beginning with Lazarus Saturday through Holy Week and into the Resurrection of Our Lord. He emphasized in detail the relationship and unique perspectives each of the Evangelists wrote and how to take the lessons learned from this into our own daily spiritual lives. U P D A T E Jersey bestowed the office of Protopresbyter upon: Rev. Fr. James A. Tsigounis 09/25/05 Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos bestowed the office of Confessor upon: Rev. Fr. Jon Boukis 02/10/08 Clergy Returning to the United States Fr. Demetrios Sean Govostes, returning from the Metropolitanate of Hong Kong April 2, 2008 Suspended Fr. Ignatios Achlioptas 01/30/08 Suspension Rescinded Fr. Dionisios Marketos 03/21/08 Communiqué of the Holy Eparchial Synod The Holy Eparchial Synod of the Holy Archdiocese of America convened in its regular Spring Session in the Synodal Chamber of the Holy Archdiocese in New York on May 7 and 8. Archbishop Demetrios presided. Present were the following Synodal Hierarchs: Their Eminences Metropolitans Iakovos of Chicago, Maximos of Pittsburgh, Methodios of Boston, Isaiah of Denver, Alexios of Atlanta, Nicholas of Detroit, Gerasimos of San Francisco and Evangelos of New Jersey. Present also was the Chief Secretary of the Synod, the V. Rev. Archimandrite Sebastian Skordallos. The Holy Eparchial Synod deliberated on issues pertaining to the life of the Church. Among them, the following were discussed: 1. Liturgical Issues. A discussion took place and a decision was made regarding the submission of the text of the Divine Liturgy along with Liturgical Guidelines for their approval by the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Said text will be translated into English following its approval. Additionally, the Synod assigned to the Synodal Committee in charge of Liturgical Issues the responsibility to prepare similar texts for Sacred Services, Orthros and Vespers Services. 2. Canonical Issues. The Holy Eparchial Synod discussed canonical issues pertaining to the clergy and made relevant decisions with regard to issues of pastoral and disciplinary nature. Moreover, it discussed the text regarding Regulations of the Holy Eparchial Synod that is in the making, as well as issues of Inter-Orthodox relations and Ecclesiastical presences in America. 3. Educational Issues a. Greek Education. There was a discussion with positive comments expressed, in regard to the new instruction manual for the Greek language designed for kindergarten children, which was published recently by the Department of Greek Education of the Holy Archdiocese. The Hierarchs Registration Open but Space Filling Fast Ionian Village, the travel abroad summer camp program of the Archdiocese, is preparing for its 38th season. Ionian Village combines the classic elements of a youth summer camp program, with excursions to some of Greece s most important religious and cultural sites, offering Greek Orthodox teens from all over the United States an inspiring, educational, and often lifechanging experience of Orthodoxy and Hellenism. Teens are eligible to register once they have completed the 7th grade, and may register through the summer following their senior year of high school. In recent years, Ionian Village has been experiencing a trend of growth, and indications thus far point to two full sessions in Each session is approximately three weeks long. Registration includes round trip airfare from New York to Greece; four meals a day, three nights stay at the Metropolitan Hotel in Athens, transportation and entrance to a number of museums, archeological sites, churches and monasteries. Ionian Village maintains a seven to one camper/staff ratio, and is also staffed by medical professionals. Campers and staff members will make excursions to the churches of St. 3 were briefed and exchanged ideas with respect to the new instruction manuals for the Greek language that are in preparatory stages by the relevant Committee with the collaboration of the well known linguist Professor George Babiniotis. It was also announced that the number of teachers who will attend the 15 day educational seminars in Cyprus in July of this year increased from twenty to thirty compared to last year. b. Religious Education. A new type of reference book planned by the Department of Religious Education of the Holy Archdiocese was presented. During the subsequent exchange of views, the importance of this new type of reference book was emphasized, based on the first published sample with the title Journey Through Holy Week. 4. Clergy-Laity Congress. In reference to the upcoming Clergy-Laity Congress in Washington DC in July of this year, the importance of its theme Gather My People to My Home was underscored, as well as the need for a wider participation of Parishes. A more direct involvement of the members of the Holy Eparchial Synod in the analysis and application of the theme of the Clergy-Laity Congress was planned by means of a special meeting to be convened at its commencement. 5. In addition to the above, there was discussion and decisions were taken with regard to issues pertaining to Youth, Care for the Clergy, Retired clergymen, SCOBA, Leadership 100 and the Special Educational Program for Deacons. After the conclusion of the Sessions of the Holy Eparchial Synod, her members had the opportunity to participate in the subsequent session of the Executive Committee of the Archdiocesan Council, preside over Committees of the Council and participate in the workings of the plenary session of the Archdiocesan Council on May 8 and 9 of this year. From the Office of the Holy Eparchial Synod Dionysios on Zakinthos and St. Gerasimos on Kefalonia. They will ascend to the heights of Meteora s cliff side monasteries, and hike to the summit of the Acropolis. In all, participants will explore over 14 destinations, visiting churches, museums, monasteries, archeological sites, Greece s metropolitan cities and traditional Greek villages. To register, visit org or call the Ionian Village office at
4 4 ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATE Ecumenical Patriarch Makes Time 100 page 1 dominated by his concern for the environment. Patriarch Bartholomew, the subject of a profile by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, is noted for his attention to the environment. In a way that is profoundly loyal to the traditions of worship and reflection in the Eastern Orthodox Church, he has insisted that ecological questions are essentially spiritual ones, writes Williams of the patriarch. He is also known for his international mission of peace that secured the first Muslim condemnation of 9/11 as an anti-religious act, said leaders of the Washington-based Coordinated Effort of Hellenes (CEH) organization. The Sacred See in modern-day-turkey of the nearly 2,000-year-old Ecumenical Patriarchate of Bartholomew is where much of the New Testament was codified and the Nicene Creed created. Patriarch Bartholomew is the 269th direct successor of the Apostle Andrew whose brother the Apostle Peter has as his 271st direct successor Pope Benedict XVI. The Patriarch and Pope were bishops of the same church until Today Bartholomew and Benedict head the two largest Christian denominations and have a close personal relationship. The American government has singled out Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in an effort to secure his full religious freedom in Turkey. Unaltered Turkish policies will terminate Bartholomew s Sacred See in the foreseeable future because Turkey requires that. RNS and CEH reports The following is the text of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, that appeared in Time. The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople enjoys a resonant historical title but, unlike the Pope in the Roman Catholic context, has little direct executive power in the world of Eastern Orthodoxy. Patriarchs have had to earn their authority on the world stage and, in fact, not many Patriarchs in recent centuries have done much more than maintain the form of their historic dignities. Patriarch Bartholomew, however, has turned the relative political weakness of the office into a strength, grasping the fact that it allows him to stake out a clear moral and spiritual vision that is not tangled up in negotiation and balances of power. And this vision is dominated by his concern for the environment. In a way that is profoundly loyal to the traditions of worship and reflection in the Eastern Orthodox Church, he has insisted that ecological questions are essentially spiritual ones. He has stressed that a world in which God the Creator uses the material stuff of the universe to communicate who He is and what He wants is one that demands reverence from human beings. Probably more than any other religious leader from any faith, Patriarch Bartholomew, 68, has kept open this spiritual dimension of environmentalism. The title Ecumenical Patriarch historically refers to the Patriarch s pastoral responsibility for the whole inhabited world. The brave and visionary pastor has given a completely new sense to the ancient honorific; his work puts squarely on our agenda the question of how we express spiritual responsibility for the world we live in. N. MANGINAS ISTANBUL Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew welcomed senior European Union officials, Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, accompanied by Olli Rehn, Enlargement commissioner to the Phanar on Friday, April 11, according to wire service and press reports. No statement was made to the press concerning the content of talks between Mr. Barroso and Patriarch Bartholomew, one topic of their discussion focused on the Orthodox Theological School of Halki, which has been closed by Turkish authorities since The Halki Theological School on Heybeliada Island was closed to new students in 1971 under a law that put religious and military training under state control in the predominantly Muslim country. The school closed its doors in 1985, when the last five students graduated. The official argument for the seminary s closure is that a religious institution without government oversight is not compatible with secular institutions of Turkey, a country where all Muslim clerics are trained and paid by the government, and are handed scripts of Friday sermons by a state agency. Patriarch says Ankara refuses to open the seminary because it aims to prevent the church from raising new leaders. The church s leader has to be a Turkish citizen, which makes it difficult for the dwindling Greek community of several thousand to produce any candidates. MAY 2008 Patriarch Bartholomew welcomes senior EU official, Jose Manuel Barroso, commission president, to the Phanar. EU Officials Visit Ecumenical Patriarchate Turkey s reluctance to reopen it stems from a deep mistrust many here feel toward the patriarchate because of its traditional ties with Greece, Turkey s historical regional rival. Turkey does not recognize Bartholomew s international role as spiritual leader of hundreds of millions of Orthodox Christians worldwide. It rejects his use of the title «ecumenical,» or universal, arguing instead that the patriarch is merely the spiritual leader of Istanbul s dwindling Orthodox community. The patriarchate in Istanbul dates from the 1,100-year-old Orthodox Greek Byzantine Empire, which collapsed when Muslim Ottoman Turks conquered Constantinople, today s Istanbul, in A day prior to his meeting with His All Holiness, Mr. Barroso welcomed a recent Turkish decision to return property, such as school buildings, churches and orphanages, seized decades ago from religious minorities, such as Jewish and Christian foundations. The EC president said the move was a welcome step forward to address the difficulties of non-muslim religious communities. It was confirmed that a certain sluggishness continues in the various processes toward religious freedom rights. Barroso said the move was a welcome step forward to address the difficulties of non-muslim religious communities. Turkey had seized the properties in 1974, around the same time it invaded Cyprus after a failed coup by supporters of uniting the island with Greece. Austrian Foreign Minister Meets with Ecumenical Patriarch Editor s note: Austrian Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik met with Patriarch Bartholomew at the Phanar on a visit there April 22. Following their meeting, Mrs. Plassnik issued the following statement: It was important for me, from the very beginning in coming to Turkey, to meet also His All Holiness. I have met him on a number of occasions before. He has been individually, as a person, and also from his function contributing tirelessly to the dialogue of religions, to a better understanding, to a world where people can live without fears, they can live their religion, their faith, or live even without faith. I think this is my interpretation of the freedom of religion that has to be possible in our European societies. It is part of the standards we have in our European N. MANGINAS value system and value basis. This is also part of what we are negotiating with other countries who want to become members of the European Union. For me it was also a gesture of personal appreciation and respect for His All Holiness also with regard to his many activities concerning the environment. He last informed me during his visit in Vienna -this was before the Conference in Greenland. I would have liked to get closer information on the results. I did, unfortunately, not have the time to follow up all the interesting subject matters of interest to both of us that we could have discussed but I am confident that the link will continue, that we will continue to support him and his work, and that we ll meet again and continue to work together.
5 MAY INTER-ORTHODOX ECUMENICAL & INTERFAITH RELATIONS Archpastoral Reflections Constant Renewal in Everyday Life We conclude our series on renewal by addressing the most significant purpose of our spiritual transformation to salvation and eternal life. Over the past few months, we have examined the importance of the renewal of heart, renewal of spirit, and renewal of our lifestyles. These are vital areas in giving us knowledge and direction in the heavenly kingdom. They are also aspects of the complete and saving renewal of our relationship with God. The renewal of this relationship is the ultimate goal of our lives. In the Holy Scriptures and in the message of the Gospel proclaimed by the Apostles and the Church, we know that this relationship was broken and injured by sin. Communion with our Creator and life in His by His Em i nence Arch bish op Demetrios of Amer i ca Rabbi David Rosen presents the Isaiah Award to His Eminence. American Jewish Committee Honors Archbishop Demetrios WASHINGTON The American Jewish Committee presented Archbishop Demetrios with its Isaiah Award at its 102nd annual meeting on April 30. The Archbishop joins the ranks of a select few, including Billy Graham and Edward Cardinal Cassidy, by being the recipient of the prestigious award for interreligious understanding. This honor follows closely on the Archbishop s reception of the inaugural Damaskinos Award bestowed by the American Sephardi Federation and the American Friends of the Jewish Museum of Greece. The award citation reads, in full: Through your ceaseless efforts as a champion of interreligious understanding and human rights, outspoken opposition to bigotry and anti-semitism, and unwavering defense of mankind s most noble values, you have raised high the sacredness and dignity of faith. The Archbishop was presented to the assembly by Rabbi David Rosen, international director of Interreligious Affairs of the AJC. In his introduction, which was followed by a standing ovation in honor of the Archbishop, Rabbi Rosen said, It is an honor and a privilege to present the American Jewish Committee s prestigious Isaiah Award to His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church of America for his great achievements in Interreligious Leadership. Archbishop Demetrios has been a good friend of the Jewish People since his childhood in Thessaloniki before the Second World War when the local Jewish community was thriving and played a major part in the life of the city. In an event held by the American Sephardi Federation and the American Friends of the Jewish Museum of Greece last December, Archbishop Demetrios of America received the inaugural Damaskinos Award for his important work in constructive interfaith endeavors. In his unscripted remarks, Archbishop Demetrios spoke of the humbling nature of such an award, named after the Holy Prophet Isaiah. He thanked the assembly D. PANAGOS and shared with them, both in Hebrew and in English, verses from the Prophet Isaiah that speak to the contemporary human condition of suffering and injustice, yet always tinged with hope for waters in the desert. In his remarks, the Archbishop spoke of the emotional power that this award had for him, noting that in his first year studying theology at the University of Athens, Archbishop Damaskinos was on the throne of the Church of Greece. He also spoke at length of his personal experience in Thessaloniki during WWII, and how his Jewish fellow students disappeared without warning. This very point was made in the keynote address of the evening by the distinguished lawyer, Richard Ben-Veniste. The Archbishop concluded his remarks by emphasizing the important work of the Jewish Museum of Greece which keeps alive the memory of those whose lives were so unjustly taken from them. Among the honorees, the former Consul General of Greece in New York Catherine Bouras, was cited for her extraordinary work in promoting Greek Jewish history in the United States. Throughout the evening, hosted by Alexis Christoforous of CBS News, the enthusiasm of the Greek-Jewish community was evident, from the singing of the national anthems of the United States and Greece by everyone in attendance, to the musical presentation of Nadia Weinberg in Greek, Ladino and Hebrew that concluded the evening. Of special note was a congratulatory message received from and signed by the entire Holy Eparchial Synod, who wrote to the Archbishop: We are proud that Your Eminence is the recipient of the Damaskinos Award presented by the American Friends of the Jewish Museum of Greece and the American Sephardi Federation, and we offer our warmest congratulations. The award recognizes your lifelong dedication to fostering good relations between our Greek Orthodox community and the Jewish community throughout the world, especially in Greece and the United States. divine presence was hindered to such a degree that life itself was overcome by death, and the ability and potential of the divine image within us was held in bondage. After the Fall, this burden was so great and its effects so extensive, that humankind alone was incapable of renewing this relationship of life and peace. Thus, the path to renewal and to a complete restoration of our relationship with God was made possible through Jesus Christ. His life, miracles, teachings, Passion, and Resurrection are a visible witness of the love of God offered to all humanity. His message is an invitation to experience grace through repentance, life through His conquering of death, and renewal through the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6), and it is through our faith in Him and in the mystery and power of what He has accomplished that begins, continues, and perfects the renewal of our relationship with God. The renewal of this blessed relationship is not possible unless we seek God s forgiveness with repentant hearts. This was discussed in our reflection on renewal of the heart. Here we can contemplate the imagery of the parable of the Prodigal Son. God is waiting to receive us, embrace us, to clothe us in righteousness and lead us to the great banquet, to restore us to a place of dignity; but we must recognize the futility of the ways of the world, admit our own failings and sinful passions, and seek His forgiveness. He is calling us to return, to renew a loving relationship if we are willing to move our hearts, minds, and all of our lives away from sin and toward Him. Our relationship with God is renewed as we respond to His grace through prayer and worship. Our knowledge of the truth of life and our experience of His power, holiness, and love lead us to offer Him praise and thanksgiving. This is a continuous response that originates in our hearts, that is guided by the divine services of the Church, and that culminates in lives filled with joy and beautiful communion with Him and one another. Further, our relationship with God is nurtured through daily prayer and times of solitude and contemplation, where we offer to Him our concerns and burdens and receive strength, guidance, and peace to address the challenges and tasks of life. Through prayer we express our trust in Him and our commitment to His will; and His loving presence and faithfulness to our needs gives us the assurance of renewal and of the fulfillment of all of His promises. Finally, our relationship with God is renewed through our knowledge of the truth. Our world is filled with competing philosophies about life, knowledge, being, purpose, and happiness. Yet God has revealed His great love for us and has made known the Truth concerning all things necessary for our salvation and our restoration to communion with Him. Through the presence of our Risen Lord, the Holy Scriptures, the lives of the Saints, and through our prayer and worship of God in spirit and in truth, (John 4: 23) we can forge anew a relationship with God that will perpetually sustain us throughout this life and into His great and glorious presence for all eternity. GET RESULTS advertise GET RESULTS advertise GET RESULTS advertise GET RESULTS advertise Tel.: (212) Fax: (212)
6 6 MAY 2008 OUTREACH and EVANGELISM Outreach is a Person-to-Person Process by Fr. James W. Kordaris First of Two Parts The interviewer asked, How many churches have you converted to Orthodox Christianity? The answer was None. Converting churches is an impressive feat, but even if it occurs often, it is unlikely to revitalize or grow existing parishes. Unless we instill an outreach mindset in our parishes, they will not grow. But with over 600 priests, over 6,000 parish council members, and hundreds of thousands of active parishioners, we have an army of believers, each of whom could invite one or more people to church. If you want to fill a dozen milk bottles, you can t stand back and spray them with a hose. You ll get them wet but you won t fill them. You have to fill them one at a time. Research has shown that 96 percent of the unchurched are at least somewhat likely to attend church if they are invited. In other words, more than nine out of ten unchurched individuals would come to church if invited. We need to invite them, and we need to be ready for them when they walk through out doors. The Department of Outreach & Evangelism provides a number of resources to assist parishes in revitalizing the faith of active Orthodox Christians; reaching out to inactive Orthodox Christians, and offering the Orthodox Christian faith to all who would receive it. OUTREACH-ORIENTED SERMONS The Department of Outreach & Evangelism has collected a large number of outreach-oriented sermons and reflections to assist priests in instilling an outreach mindset among parishioners. These have been offered as sermons and included in parish newsletters. YOUTH LESSONS A large number of outreach oriented youth lessons have been collected to help our parish priests, Catechetical School staff and youth leaders to instill an outreach mindset in the youth of the parish. BROCHURE MINISTRY A large number of educational brochures have been prepared to fulfill our mission of revitalizing the faith of active Orthodox, reaching out to inactive Orthodox and offering our faith to inquirers. Topics covered include many of the sacraments and feast days of the Church, Missions, Parish Council as a Ministry, Interfaith Marriage and more. FAMILY OUTREACH SUNDAY The DOE, in cooperation with National Philoptochos and the Center for the Family, has developed a program for a Family Outreach Sunday in which active church members are encouraged to invite inactive family members and Orthodox Christian friends for a special day of Christian fellowship and spiritual renewal. This is modeled on successful programs carried out in the parishes throughout the Archdiocese. All Orthodox Christians are aware that many of our Orthodox friends and relatives have fallen away from active involvement in the Church. Jesus Christ calls each one of us to engage in active outreach to these relatives and friends. Family Outreach Sunday is a first step in this direction. RESOURCES FOR GREAT LENT, HOLY WEEK AND PASCHA On Easter Sunday in 1999, over 1 million atheists and agnostics in America attended a church service. Each year we may assume that many Americans continue to search for the ancient Christian Church. With church attendance increasing over the Lenten period with its usual peak during Holy Week, this is our greatest opportunity to reach out to our inactive Orthodox and to inquirers about the faith. The Department provides a number of brochures, sermons and other resources by prominent Orthodox theologians and priests on a variety of Lenten topics. Lenten Welcome Banners (3 x 6) are available from the DOE. INTERFAITH MARRIAGE Marriage and Interfaith Marriage are a critical area for outreach efforts. With the number of Orthodox marrying non-orthodox ranging from 50 to over 90 percent in some parishes, it is critical that we minister to the non-orthodox spouse. For this reason, this department is coordinating with Rev. Dr. Charles Joannides, Ph.D., LMFT, of the Department of Interfaith Marriage, to develop parish resources for Interfaith Couples and the clergy who minister to them. PARISH OUTREACH BANNERS To assist parishes in outreach and evangelism, the Department has designed an attractive outdoor welcome banner personalized with parish information. The original 3 x 6 foot vinyl banner in burgundy and gold welcomes people to the parish with the invitation to Find Your Spiritual Home in the Orthodox Christian Church. A Lenten banner with the phrase, Join Us on a Lenten Journey to the Resurrection, has been designed to support parish Lenten outreach efforts. A Nativity season welcome banner is available declaring Christ is Born: Glorify Him! GETTING STARTED A useful starting point for parish councils and outreach committees formulating a parish outreach plan, this booklet outlines basic actions to be taken by the parish to improve parish outreach and evangelism efforts. Copies may be ordered by contacting the DOE THE HOME MISSION PARISH PROGRAM The purpose of this program is to encourage the establishment of new Greek Orthodox parishes. With the generous assistance of the Leadership 100 Home Missions Grant, the Home Mission Parish Program provides assistance to parishes throughout the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America in their critical first years of existence. In special situations assistance may also be provided to parishes that have declined but are in a period of renewal and outreach. There are usually parishes receiving some level of support through the program making it financially feasible for a priest to be assigned. The priest is able to offer much-needed consistency in leadership during the critical stages of parish formation and renewal, increasing immensely the likelihood of the parish becoming self sufficient. MINISTRY PROFILES Research has shown that people are looking to serve others through their church. Ministry Profiles is a program designed to profile exceptional ministries carried out in parishes throughout the Archdiocese with a step-by-step plan of implementation. (Continued next issue)
7 MAY The Voice of P hiloptochos National Philoptochos Board Holds Spring Meeting by Christine Karavites The following is a summary report of the National Board s March meeting at Hellenic College/Holy Cross. SPIRITUAL RENEWAL Bishop Andonios, spiritual advisor to the National Philoptochos, opened the meeting and spoke to the Board about the importance of the Lenten period and members responsibilities to be knowledgeable about the Faith and to continually read scripture and the Church s teachings. PRESIDENT S REMARKS President Georgia Skeadas reviewed the past few months accomplishments and thanked the chairmen and Metropolis of San Francisco for their presentation of the Children s Medical Fund Luncheon in November. To date the Children s Medical Fund has received, before expenses, $523,000 and, through the generosity of the sponsors, National Philoptochos has distributed $150,000 to seven children s hospitals and children s programs; $30,000 to the IOCC for the Parktown Medical Clinic in Zimbabwe that serves 200 patients a week; and $20,000 to Autism Speaks/Cure Autism Now, that guest speaker Michael Chiklis accepted on behalf of that organization. Through these funds National Philoptochos launches its Autism Awareness program and asks that all chapters participate in the National Autism Awareness month in April. President Skeadas announced that the National Philoptochos is awarding scholarships to deserving female students at Hellenic College/Holy Cross who meet the same academic and financial requirements as the male GOA seminarians. Other accomplishments include the development of the Philoptochos website that is near completion, the successful Go Red Sunday, the completion of the handbook, and the release of an IOCC video that chronicles Philoptochos work in Woliso, Ethiopia, and Zimbabwe. The National Philoptochos was honored by the Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater New York who has asked Mrs. CONVENTION SCHEDULE SATURDAY, JULY 12 Convention Registration National Board Meeting SUNDAY, JULY 13 Hierarchical Divine Liturgy Delegate Orientation Opening Ceremony Budget Preview Bylaws Review Resolutions Committee MONDAY, JULY 14 Keynote Address by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios Philoptochos General Assembly Philoptochos Banquet TUESDAY, JULY 15 Philoptochos General Assembly Discussion Groups Clergy-Laity Congress Cultural Event WEDNESDAY, JULY 16 Philoptochos General Assembly Awards Presentations Chapter Challenge Ask Philoptochos THURSDAY, JULY 17 A New Look At Compassionate Giving Effective Fundraising Presidents Program: Generations Working Together Grand Banquet Skeadas to represent the entire organization as a grand marshal for the Greek Independence Day Parade in New York. CONVENTION PLANS The 2008 National Convention plans are under way with the theme being Looking Forward: The Future is Something We Create, Not Something We Enter. The president announced that as a first step toward establishing a blueprint for the future, a major component of the spring board meeting would be devoted to a strategic planning session conducted by Jerry Manetos and Laura Paulus from the Archdiocese Office of Parish Development. GREETINGS Fr. Nicholas Triantafilou, HC/HC president, welcomed the National Board to Hellenic College/Holy Cross on behalf of Archbishop Demetrios and the entire community. Fr. Triantafilou presented a beautiful, framed photograph of the Holy Cross Chapel to President Skeadas and asked that it be placed at the National Office. He thanked the National Philoptochos and all chapters for giving more than $1 million since A special keepsake foldout booklet was presented to all the members that highlights the Philoptochos commitment to the School. TREASURER S REPORT Treasurer Aphrodite Skeadas announced that, as of Feb. 29, the ending fund balance, total of all funds, was $1,548,766. A fund disclosure letter for the year ending Dec. 31, 2007 was sent to all chapters. Vasilopita funds are still coming in and exceed previous years. The top three chapter donations to the Vasilopita are Holy Trinity of Dallas, $11,000; Annunciation Cathedral of Houston, $10,118; and Assumption Cathedral of Denver, $6,000. Philoptochos provided $50,000 the Hellenic Red Cross as an immediate first response to the fire devastation and funds collected through the chapter appeal exceed $157,857. Internal Audit Committee Chairman Diane Saphos reported that the committee had met on March 17 and, after careful review of financial records, reported that the Society s records were in excellent and meticulous order. The committee commended the treasurer, assistant treasurer, the entire Finance Committee and national office staff, for upholding the highest of standards and ethics regarding financial transactions. DISBURSEMENTS The National Board approved following distributions: $37,500 Hellenic College/Holy Cross Scholarship Fund for 25 $1,500 scholarships to seminarians $3,000 Hellenic College/Holy Cross Scholarship for two $1,500 scholarships to female students $4,000 Hellenic College/Holy Cross for four $1,000 Special Merit Scholarships $73,500 earmarked from the 2008 Hellenic College/Holy Cross Lenten Fund appeal for Polemanakos Hall to purchase desks and chairs for 160 single rooms and new dormitory entrance and breezeway doors $500 St. Photios for the annual Landing Day $100,000 Ecumenical Patriarchate $15,840 National Philoptochos Hellenic Fires Fund to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese to close the fund $10,000 National Sisterhood of Presbyteres Fund $1,000 In memory of the late Archbishop Iakovos and on the occasion of the three-year memorial to the Archbishop Iakovos Library and Resource Center STRATEGIC PLANNING The Board members engaged in a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) planning process throughout the two-day meeting. Through interactive group discussions the board identified strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to the organization at the local, Metropolis and National levels and prioritized the session outcomes. TRISAGION & HERETISMI SERVICES At the conclusion of day one, Bishop Andonios offered a Trisagion service at National Philoptochos Honors Chapters One of the highlights of the National Philoptochos Biennial Convention is the Awards Program. Under the outstanding leadership of National President Georgia Skeadas and the Awards Committee, the revised Awards Program was overwhelmingly received by the delegates of the 2004 and 2006 conventions. Guidelines for the 2008 National Awards Program remain the same as previously. Noted below are the program categories. A chapter is encouraged to participate in as many categories as it chooses. However, the chapter must submit a separate pamphlet and application form for each category. Chapter awards are not based on size, so small as well as large chapters have as equal an opportunity to be selected. The National Philoptochos wants to recognize the very heartbeat of our society the local chapter - whose commitment to volunteer work, projects and accomplishments is so often overlooked. By submitting projects to the Awards Committee the chapter shares valuable information about its success with every chapter. Deadline for receipt of applications is June 1. Applications must be sent by registered mail to the Awards Committee c/o the National Philoptochos Office, 345 E. 74th St., NY, NY Chapters must follow the directions in submitting only the materials requested. Questions may be directed to Awards Chairmen Elaine Kevgas or Esther Mitchell, or Co-Chair Philippa Condakes at the National Philoptochos office at or Chapter Awards Program Categories Growth and Expansion A first and second place award will be presented to the chapter with the greatest increase in membership between May 1, 2006 and April 30, National Commitments The winner of this category will be determined on a chapter s 100 percent participation in All National Commitments from August 1, 2006 through May 31, Best Practices Chapters submit a short summary and description of a creative, unique successful project that exemplifies the spirit of Philoptochos and that may be replicated by other Chapters. Best Outreach Project Chapters submit a short summary and description of their outstanding community outreach project. Best Newsletter Chapters submit one or two copies of their monthly newsletter. the gravesite of Archbishop Iakovos of blessed memory. President Skeadas placed a wreath of flowers on the Archbishop s grave on behalf of the entire Philoptochos Society. A heretismi service took place at the Holy Cross Chapel. COMMITTEE REPORTS The Convention and Standing committees offered reports including: Children s Medical Fund, Cardiac, Convention Banquet/Program, Ecumenical Patriarchate, Family and Society, Hellenic College/ Holy Cross, IOCC, Membership, OCMC, Public Relations/Philoptochos Website, St. Basil Academy, Social Services/Aging,and UNICEF. President s Message Looking Forward National Philoptochos President Georgia Skeadas issued the following invitation to all chapter presidents and members for the 2008 National Philoptochos Biennial Convention: It is with a great sense of excitement and anticipation that I invite you to attend the 2008 National Philoptochos Biennial Convention, which is scheduled to take place at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington from July 13-18, This convention promises to be a most memorable experience for each and every delegate. Our convention committee chairs have demonstrated creativity, innovation and initiative in preparing a program that will be filled with exciting, educational and informative sessions. Each of these sessions will offer you a unique forum for Looking Forward to the future Philoptochos a new vision a new spirit a new day a new opportunity. We will create a blueprint for the future of Philoptochos and our philanthropic work, as we start on the next great chapter in the accomplishments of Philoptochos history. The program has been designed around your input and feedback to ensure high quality content and interaction and to maximize the opportunity for building relationships across our Philoptochos Society, as you exchange your thoughts, your ideas and your experiences. Our new and varied sessions will allow you the chance to further increase the knowledge necessary for the effective and responsible operation of a not-for-profit organization. I am confident that each delegate will find this convention to be truly exceptional. I urge each of you to make every attempt possible to attend the 2008 National Philoptochos Convention. Please remember that it is the responsibility of each chapter to be represented at our convention, as this occasion provides a very special opportunity for the entire Philoptochos Society, to share the collective wisdom, talents and experiences of our more than 480 chapters across the nation, as part of our Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. I look forward to welcoming you to Washington, An American Experience, as we celebrate a week of summer, filled with fellowship, fun and camaraderie in our nation s capital.
8 8 Why Easter is Greek to Me: Xristos Anesti! MAY 2008 by Rita Wilson Once every few years, Greek Easter falls the same week as American Easter, as it was called when I was growing up. In order for Greek Easter to be celebrated the same week as American Easter, Passover has to have been celebrated already. We Greeks don t do Easter until after Passover, because how can you have Easter BEFORE Passover. Jesus went to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover, after all. Unless it is one of the years when the two holidays align. Like last year. Here are some of the things that non-greeks may not know about Greek Easter: We don t do bunnies. We don t do chocolate. We don t do pastels. We do lamb, sweet cookies, and deep red eggs. The lamb is roasted and not chocolate, the sweet cookies are called koulorakia and are twisted like a braid, and our Easter eggs are dyed one color only: blood red. There is no Easter egg hunt. There is a game in which you crack your red egg against someone else s red egg hoping to have the strongest egg, which would indicate you getting a lot of good luck. Holy Week, for a Greek Orthodox, means you clear your calendar, you don t make plans for that week at all because you will be in church every day, and you fast. Last year, in addition to not eating red meat and dairy before communion, my family also gave up sodas for the 40-day Lenten period. During one particularly stressful moment, there were many phone calls amongst our kids as to whether or not a canned drink called TING, made with grapefruit juice and carbonated water was, in fact, a soda and not a juice, which our then 10-year-old decided it was, so we had a Ting-less Lent. No matter where I find my self in the world I never miss Easter, or as we call it, Pascha. I have celebrated in Paris, London, New York City, Los Angeles, and in Salinas, Calif., at a small humble church that was pure and simple. When we were kids, our parents would take us, and now as parents ourselves we take our children to many of the Holy Week services including the Good Friday service where you mourn the death of Jesus by walking up to the Epitaphio, which represents the dead body of Christ, make your cross, kiss the Epitaphio, and marvel at how it was decorated with a thousand glorious flowers, rose petals and smells like incense. Some very pious people will crawl under the Epitaphio. I have always been so moved to see this. There is no self- consciousness in this utter act of faith. There is no embarrassment to show symbolic sorrow at the death of our Savior. At a certain point in the Good Friday service, the Epitaphio is carried outside by the council members of the church, as if they are pall bearers, followed by worshippers carrying lit candles protected from dripping on your clothes and on others by having a red plastic cup that sits below the flame to catch the wax drippings. Every Greek person knows all too well the smell of burning hair. One time, in London, I smelled something and turned to look at where the smell might be coming from, only to be horrified that it was coming from me and my head was on fire. But I digress. It is somber and quiet as we follow the Epitaphio, in candlelight, from the altar to the outdoors, in order for it to circle the church before it returns to the altar. We sing beautiful lamentations that make your heart break with their pure expression of sadness and hope. One of my favorite services during Easter is Holy Unction. This happens on the Wednesday of Holy Week. Holy Unction is a sacrament. It is for healing of our ills, physical and spiritual. It is preparing us for confession and communion. This sacrament has always been so humbling to me. When you approach the priest for Holy Unction, you bow your head and as he says a prayer and asks you your Christian name, he takes a swab of blessed oil and makes the sign of the cross on your forehead, cheeks, chin, backs of your hands and palms. It is a powerful reminder of how, with faith, we can be healed in many ways. The holy oil is then carefully dabbed with cotton balls provided by the church so you don t leave there looking as if you re ready to fry chicken with your face, and before you exit the church, you leave your cotton balls in a basket being held by altar boys, so as not to dispose of the holy oil in a less than holy place. The church burns the used cotton balls. There have been times when I have left church with my cotton ball and have panicked when I am driving away. At home I take care of it. Imagine a grown woman burning cotton balls in her sink. But that is what I do. The midnight service on Saturday night going into Sunday morning is the Anastasi service. We will arrive at church at around 11 p.m., when it starts, and listen to the chanter as he chants in preparation for the service. My kids, dressed in their suits and having been awakened from a deep sleep to come to church, groggily sit and wait holding their candles with red cup wax catchers. As the service progresses, the moment we have all been waiting for approaches. All the lights in the church are turned off. It is pitch black. It is dead quiet. The priest takes one candle and lights his candle from the one remaining lit altar candle, which represents the light of Christ. From this one candle, the priest approaches the congregation and using his one candle he shares his light with a few people in the front pews. They in turn share their light with the people next to them and behind them. In quiet solemnity, we wait until the entire church is lit with only the light of candles; the light that has been created by one small flame has now created a room of shared light. And at a moment that can only be described as glorious, the priest cries out, Xristos Anesti! Christ is Risen! We respond with Alithos Anesti! - Truly, He is Risen! We sing our glorious Xristos Anesti with the choir. That moment, which happens about an hour, to an hour and a half into the service and seems as if the service is over, actually marks the beginning of the service. The service then continues for another hour and a half. When I was a kid, after the service was over, we would go to the Anastasi dinner that the church would throw in the church hall, where we would break our fast, drink Cokes at 2:30 in the morning, dance to a raucous Greek band and not go home until our stomachs were full of lamb, eggs, koulouraki, and we saw the sun rise. Or was it the Son rise? But usually now, after midnight Liturgy, we drive home with our still-lit candles. I always love seeing the looks on people s faces as they pull up to our car seeing a family with lit candles calmly moving at 65 m.p.h. down the highway. When we get home, we crack eggs, eat cookies, drink hot chocolate (so not Greek) and I burn a cross into our doorways with the carbon from the candle smoke to bless our house for the year. There have been many times when painters touching up the house have wondered why there was this strange black cross burned in to our doorways. The next day is usually followed by a late sleep in, then getting up and doing the same thing you just did but in the daytime at the Easter picnic, usually held at a local park. I have to say, the Greeks know how to do Easter. Make no mistake. This is the most important holiday in our Church. It is a beautiful week. I haven t even begun to touch on what the week is really like. This is a sampling of a sampling of what it is like. It is so much more deep, so much richer than I have written here. But one thing is clear. It is a powerful, beautiful, mysterious, humbling, healing and moving week. It is filled with tradition and ritual. It is about renewal and faith. Xristos Anesti! Alithos Anesti! (Editor s note: This article is reprinted with permission from actress Rita Wilson. It was previously published in a recent edition of the On Faith section of the Washington Post. Ms. Wilson, whose mother and father both were born in Greece, and her husband, Tom Hanks, are members of St. Sophia Cathedral in Los Angeles.
9 MAY Holy Week Around the Archdiocese Metropolitan Iakovos lights the candle of this young parishioner during the Easter Sunday Agape service at St. Demetrios Church in Chicago. Metropolitan Methodios at the Apokathelosis service on Good Friday afternoon at St. John the Baptist Church in Boston. (Alex Mavradis Photography) Metropolitan Maximos, assisted by priests at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Pittsburgh, blesses the red eggs following the Resurrection service. Also shown (From left) Cathedral Dean Fr. Sarantos Serviou, Deacon Euripides Christulides and Fr. Stylianos Muksuris, assistant to the Metropolitan. At the Agape service on Easter Sunday at Ascension Church in Fairview, N.J., Metropolitan Evangelos holds 5-year-old Irene Arvanites, a cancer patient undergoing testing at Sloan /Memorial Hospital in New York. They are shown with her family, who came from Greece to get medical care for their daughter, one of ten children. Archbishop Demetrios places flower petals on the Epitaphios at the Good Friday Lamentations service at Holy Trinity Archdiocesan Cathedral in New York. Metropolitan Isaiah at the Lamentations service at Denver s Assumption Cathedral on Good Friday. At right, Cathedral Dean Fr. Apostolos Hill. Metropolitan Nicholas blesses a young parishioner at the Agape Service at Sts. Constantine and Helen Church in Westland, Mich. Metropolitan Gerasimos presents a palm cross to this little boy at the Palm Sunday service at St. John the Baptist Church in Las Vegas. Metropolitan Alexios leads the Nymphios service on Palm Sunday evening at St. Sophia Church in Winter Park, Fla., assisted by the pastor, Fr. Dean Photos and the psalti, Niko Mallas.
10 10 MAY 2008 A Dialogue between War and Peace by Rev. Dr. Miltiades B. Efthimiou It was a cold December evening when the fierce but revered Sir War and the equally distinguished but humble Rev. Peace decided to hold a discussion relative to their respective positions on who controls the fate of the planet Earth. The discussion took place at the grand estate of Sir War as the pendulum of time moved ever closer to the climax of the Middle East crisis when two great armies were planning to annihilate each other. Sir War was very rich and, because of his great fortune, lavished his guest with sumptuous hospitality. Rev. Peace lived in humble surroundings, and could never afford to entertain on the scale of Sir War. After his arrival, Peace and War sat near a crackling fireplace and began their dialogue: There really isn t much point to our conversation, is there, my friend? Rev. Peace s eyes were downcast as he replied, Well, Sir War, I guess there isn t since it is inevitable that soon many will call upon you and invoke your name! Yes, it is true, the powerful do not respect me! Each day that goes by, I feel that something in me dies. I m afraid my last days are coming soon. If there is a conflict in the Middle East, perhaps my name will become just a Concern for country Editor, I m hoping and praying with all the religious leaders and experts who write columns for the Orthodox Observer that someone can answer my questions about this now unholy world. I do not believe that I am the only one who can see what s happening to our once beautiful land of America. Once we allowed God to be removed from our government sessions and from our school affairs, we have seen a real no-care attitude in our people, old and young alike. Whether it s our elected officials, our company executives and even many clergy, their only reason for living, is to accumulate dollars, the more the better and, yet, when we leave this earth, no dollars can we take. Does anyone realize we seldom see anyone who will stand up for what is legal and what is right? If someone tells them they can get what they want, by just a little white lie they think nothing of saying Okay that s the way I will do it. I need what I need and if that s faster, that s what I want right or wrong. I can t even imagine a neighbor telling my granddad he could get money form the government if he lied on this tax return. I do believe he would have shown him to the door. Those were the years when we respected our elected officials and thanked God for what we had. Our homes were our biggest investment and, live or die; we stayed honest in all our dealings with everyone. Today, due to so much public information between TV, radio, Internet, newspapers, each form of entertainment has become more and more lacking in decency. Once it was a few snide remarks, memory. It was obviously what Sir War was waiting to hear, except for the fact that Rev. Peace added this: But look at you! Time has not been kind to you for you are looking ragged, and hate has turned you ugly and you have grown fat by the misery of others. You re dressed in the finest silk, and you are adorned with rubies and diamonds. Rev. Peace scanned the eyes of Sir War and said, Look at your house! It s not a normal house; it s a gigantic castle built on the sands of time with the monies derived from all the wars fought in your name from the beginning of time. The Lord even spoke about you in one of His parables, The rich man and poor Lazarus. Well, let s look at you, sneered Sir War with a look of contempt. Your simple garb reflects the humanity of the lower class of all ages. Of course, you live in humility, for you roam the world like your Lord, trying to gather followers to your hopeless cause of peace. Your efforts are useless. No one listens to you! And with a haughty and defiant stare at his guest, he haughtily proclaimed: No matter what my appearance is, I have statesmen, kings, dictators, presidents and the powerful who worship me. War is a thriving en- Heroes' holiday page 11 then it was a little bit of nudity, then the filthy language was okay at times. Now each and every form of public entertainment thinks nothing of allowing sex and violence to be seen by everyone, no matter the age. Everyone would rather just let it go than to make a fuss over anything indecent or violent. How can parents who labored to bring a child into the worked not care about what they become as they grow up? If we fail to give them direction then their sin will be on us, not on them. When we decide to become parents we better realize it s our duty to follow His word and raise them right. Too many times parents tell their children what to do but when it comes to their (own) behavior, they do as they please, even if it s a detriment to the children? We have become the ME generation even though we are in the middle of a war and our sons and daughters are dying each and every day. As we see today, even our government does not enforce the laws that are already on the books. We should stand up for our rights, but only when our rights are truly right. We must set the example as adults. We cannot blame our elected government officials until we learn to stand up for what is right and stop allowing anything goes to be our way of life. Fran Glaros-Sharp Clearwater, Fla. Archpastoral Notes Gather My People to My Home Editor, We remember this month those brave men and women who made the supreme sacrifice to that others might live. We re- member and lament the loss of our fellow Americans, who because of their sacrifice will never again see the dawn of a new day or watch the world tiptoe towards darkness. It is altogether proper that we as a nation should remember these dead, for these honored dead died to make men free. They have lit forever the eternal and sacred flame of freedom. We remember Theme for the 39th Biennial Clergy-Laity Congress of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America Christ is Risen! It is in the joy of the Risen Christ that I greet you and invite you to reflect on the theme of our 39th Biennial Clergy-Laity Congress which will convene in Washington DC, July 13-18, In this blessed Paschal season, we are celebrating the splendid and unending life given to us by the Lord. This summer we will celebrate our unity as His Body. We will also demonstrate our strong spiritual bond through fellowship and renewed commitment to the work of ministry. We will be meeting at a very critical time, as people, families, and communities throughout this country, when the world faces serious challenges and struggles. The people are in need of love and communion with God. They are in need by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America of a spiritual home within the Church, where they can experience the healing and transformative power of faith, hope, truth, and love. The theme for our Congress is Gather My People to My Home. This theme is based on Deuteronomy 4:10, but it also reflects truths found throughout the Holy Scriptures, especially in the teachings of Christ. The words from Deuteronomy, Gather the people to me, and let them hear my words, reflect the nature and depth of the relationship that God was seeking with His chosen people. He rescued them from bondage in Egypt, and He guided them through trials to the promised land. He called them to live in holiness as a witness to the world of His power and love, and He nurtured their trust and faith in the true God who desired to give them life. To those who believed and followed His will, God made a covenant that offered a spiritual and eternal home of peace and blessing. This same covenant and home has been offered to all humanity through our Lord Jesus Christ. His Incarnation, death, and glorious Resurrection revealed the power of God over sin and death. Through Him, the great mercy of God is made known so that every person may return to full communion with the One who has Created us for fellowship and life. Thus, our theme recognizes the value of each and every person, created in the image and likeness of God for eternal life and communion with Him. As our Lord taught in the Parable of the Great Banquet (Luke 14), God desires that His house be filled. He invites everyone to participate in the great feast of joy and life. He has extended the invitation to all to come to His table, to His home. Our theme acknowledges that many people are struggling and are seeking a spiritual home where they can find true peace and hope, and where they can experience an illuminating and transforming faith that offers them perfect truth and the loving presence of God. Many people are burdened with the challenges and instability of our contemporary world. Many more have placed their hopes in empty promises, vain goals, and perishable treasures. Others have been misguided by those whom they trusted to give them better lives and happiness. Many are like the Prodigal Son (Luke 15), who having journeyed far from home in the pursuit of pleasure and power, now find their souls in despair. The beautiful image of the father waiting for the prodigal son, receiving him with open arms and rejoicing in his return home, is one that calls all to return to our Father s Home. Finally, our theme is an affirmation of our calling to find the lost sheep, to bring home the unchurched, and to help others renew the bonds of their faith. Our theme affirms our calling to strengthen the unity of the family, to proclaim the necessity of the Gospel to new generations, and to guide all into the spiritual haven of the Church, into the blessings of worship and faith that offer to each and every person a foretaste of our eternal home with God. In our homes, occupations, families, communities, and through our parishes, Metropolises, and the entire Archdiocese, we are called to be engaged in the divine vocation of gathering God s people, which means everyone, to His home. Our message should help the unchurched and the lost understand and experience the communion with God and life within the community of faith, as an experience of love, acceptance, spiritual security, and healing. As we prepare for our Congress, may we rejoice in the home that we have in God through our faith in Jesus Christ. May we be thankful for the meaning and purpose that He grants to us through our communion with Him. Let us also be mindful that there are many more to gather to His home. We do not have to look far to see the many who have never experienced life in the Church or who are struggling to find answers and direction. In our preparations and through our commitment to God and to His Church, let us work to make every effort to hear the calling of our Lord and gather His people to His home. them today and always as our eyes turn towards heaven in sober testimonial. John A. Micklos Baltimore Remembers student Editor, Six decades ago I had a bright, sensitive youngster in my seventh grade class. I speak of Rev. Dr. Efthimiou. Even then he was questioning, search-
11 MAY A Dialogue between War and Peace page 10 terprise! My coffers are full, I am never hungry and I eat the best and most expensive food, wear the best clothes, I am warm in winter and cool in summer, and I say to myself every night, Soul, soul, you have many, many riches...! And then Sir War took Rev. Peace by the hand and looked into the fire and said: Have I not made freedom and democracy my slave? And then from the fire, he looked into Rev. Peace s eyes and said, Can I not make you one of my slaves also? You will never hunger nor will you ever feel the icy winds of winter, nor the hot rays of the summer sun! Stunned by the reality of what Sir War was saying, Rev. Peace slumped in his chair, yet in his own defiant way, replied in a whisper, Never! Never will I succumb to you, for I have hope and faith that one day you will be defeated, and that the world will come to its senses and destroy all the pain and suffering you cause! It may be a pipe dream, but I will continue to speak out so that people; on this planet, once and forever, will make me, Peace, their philosophy to live by. I, defeated, are you mad? Impossible! as Sir War roared with laughter. Even though I am much older than you, said Sir War, I shall live until the end of time, for I share power with Satan, while your power is just a faith in a Higher Being! Sir War took Rev. Peace to the window, and looking out into the darkness, said: Who loves you? No one, but insignificant souls who don t matter in this life anyway! Rev. Peace took him back to the fireplace so that Sir War could see his eyes flickering in anger as he replied softly, but with conviction: You are wrong! Most of the world loves me! Little children sing songs to me and all the good people in every country around the world praise my name and yearn for my presence! Ridiculous! Gibberish! What are the miserable populace of the world anyway? They are not important! What power do they give you? What does your Bible do for them? What have you and your God done to improve civilization? Sir War demanded. My God has done everything! In His name, neighbors love each other, according to the new commandment that He has given us. In my name, families live together, children are brought forth in love, cities are built, crops are planted, His creation is respected, and love is spread among nations throughout the world! What good have you accomplished, Sir War? Sir War s face became distorted and said, You speak nonsense! I spread hate and evil. Do you think I grew rich and fat spreading goodness and love? In my name, new weapons are invented to destroy each other. Who cares for the good will of neighbors? Who needs peace and love? Strengthened by his cause, his voice grew sharper as he continued, I make the rich richer. I give power to ruthless dictators, and I live by the tenet that the weak should be ruled by their lords and that poverty, despair and ignorance must rule the world. With these disturbing thoughts, Rev. Peace began to realize: But the more power you have, the closer you come to destroy the whole world. What, then, will you do without the world to keep you rich and fat? There can be no more wars if there aren t more people left to fight. Will you then become humble and lowly like me and even die? No, you idiot! There will always be a world, said Sir War. Many will die, but many will yet survive and my power will increase. I will continue to build my castle bigger on the bones of the dead. Those who survive will be my slaves. It is you, Peace, who are dying. I have hatred and evil to fight my battles and they are much stronger than the Bible, compromise, peace and love. Don t forget! Monuments have been erected in my name, and widows and orphans have cried at my tombs. Rev. Peace looked Sir War in the eyes and said: If you prevail in the Middle East and the powers that govern have their way, there will not be much of a world left, for poverty, despair and starvation will be the plague of the Middle East, and eventually, the world. Rev. Peace stood up and stretched out both hands and said: Is it too late to make a partnership of peace and love and plant our beliefs like beautiful flowers throughout the world? You can grow accustomed to the laughter of little children and be pleased by the smiles of happiness on the face of people! Won t you consider it? Never! said Sir War. As you cannot join me, neither can I join you. As I said in the beginning, our conversation is useless. Sir War turned his head in disgust and clapped his huge hands which jangled with the sound of gold and said, Slaves of the world, bring me my supper, I am ravished and hungry! He then turned his head back again to ask Rev. Peace to join him, for War was always hospitable and never turned guests away hungry. But, Peace was gone. Left was only an empty fireplace where the former flames curled up in black clouds of smoke which filled the great hall of the castle. Peace had disappeared, and War seemed lifeless and empty. And, War thought, had Peace ever been there? Did Peace ever really exist? Or is Peace just a figment of one s imagination? The Rev. Dr. Miltiades B. Efthimiou, a retired protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, served as ecumenical officer for the Orthodox Churches in the Americas, and has authored several books, as well as articles, on the Christian Churches in the Middle East. He resides in New York. This was written on an airplane enroute to New York from Baghdad, after the writer had attended a Peace Mission with 18 other clergymen representing 60 million Christians, living in the Americas. It took place right before Desert Storm in Iraq and was sponsored by the National Council of Churches. Areas visited were Cyprus, Jerusalem, Lebanon, Damascus, Amman and Baghdad. ing and recording events that he found interesting and challenging. In his letter to the editor, speaking about Byzantine Orthodox churches, he reveals once again his beautiful, probing mind. You can imagine the feeling of this octogenarian as I read his letter. Helen Christ Arvanitis Somers, N.Y.
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Spanakopita Tyropita with the highest qual i ty in gre di ents Courteous Service WE SHIP EVERYWHERE in the US & CAN A DA Exclusive Distributor for USA & CANADA of TRIKOMITES HALOUMI MAY 2008 HC/HC NEWS Archbishop Demetrios praises Dr. Patsavos service to the Church. HC/HC Honors Dr. Lewis Patsavos BROOKLINE, Mass. -- Hellenic College-Holy Cross School of Theology recently held a reception to honor Dr. Lewis Patsavos upon the publication of his new book A Noble Task: Entry into the Clergy in the First Five Centuries. Those attending included Archbishop Demetrios, Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco, school trustees, clergy from surrounding communities, faculty, and others. In his remarks, Archbishop Demetrios referred to his collegial relationship with the honoree dating back to the time of his own tenure as a member of the Holy Cross faculty. He expressed gratitude for Dr. Patsavos many years of service to Holy Cross as a professor and to the Archdiocese as a consultant on canonical affairs. Other speakers included HC/HC President Fr. Nicholas Triantafilou and Holy Cross Dean Fr. Thomas Fitzgerald. In his response, Dr. Patsavos expressed his deep appreciation for being honored. He then referred to his book, A Noble Task, which takes its title from St. Paul s instruction to his spiritual son WASHINGTON The National Sisterhood of Presvyteres (NSP) National Board, led by President Cynthia Paleologos, at its recent meeting here reviewed reports from standing committees and metropolis representatives, discussed programming for the upcoming Clergy Laity Congress, announced plans for its biennial retreat in October 2009, and discussed other concerns. The NSP conference will be held July at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel. The event will feature an icebreaker/ tea, lunch at the Greek Embassy, clergy couple wellness seminars, a clergy family dinner, business meetings and election of officers for the term. Child care will be provided at a cost. Child care reservations must be made in advance, no walk-ins will be accepted. Plans are underway for the 2009 National NSP Retreat. Timothy: If anyone aspires to the office of bishop, he desires a noble task (1 Tim 3:1). Commenting on these words, Dr. Patsavos stressed that, although they speak of the office of bishop, all ministry exercised in the name of Christ is noble. The purpose of the work is to provide those aspiring to the high office of the priesthood with an account of the virtuous life which should be their goal. The exemplary lives portrayed as models of emulation especially for the clergy are also admirable examples for anyone aspiring to live the Christian life. The author expressed hope that the book will serve as a valuable spiritual resource both for the clergy and for the average layperson. Dr. Patsavos began his fulltime teaching career at Holy Cross School of Theology in 1974 after years of study in Greece, Germany and Italy. Since then, he has taught Orthodox canon law and directed the practical training of students through the Field Education Program at Holy Cross. NSP Board Meets in Washington This biennial retreat will be Oct. 9-12, 2009 at the Bon Secours Spiritual Center in Marriottsville, Md. The Metropolis of New Jersey Sisterhood is hosting the retreat. The NSP National Board officers are Cynthia Paleologos, president; Stephanie Panagos, vice president; Jeannie Monos, corresponding secretary; Alice Noplos, recording secretary; and Maria Kerhulas, treasurer. Metropolis representatives are Terry Calogredes, Archdiocesan District; Georget Photos, Atlanta; Katina Pantelis, Boston; Tulla Poteres, Chicago; Katina Gartelos, Denver; Ginny Emroll, Detroit; Pauline Pavlakos, New Jersey; Zoe Denas, Pittsburgh; and Barbara Retelas, San Francisco. Other representatives included Flora Chioros, Past President/Advisor; Renee Lambakis, Sister to Sister; Alexandra Poulos, Caregivers; Ione Filandrinos, Retired Presbyteres; Mary Scoulas, Widowed Presbyteres; Anastasia Jonas, Historian; Kathryn Patitsas, The Listening Connection; and Pauline Pavlakos, Web Site. Also in attendance was Assistant Chancellor of the Archdiocese Fr. Michael Kontogiorgis. For more information, visit the NSP website at
13 ΜΑΙΟΣ 2008 ΕΤΟΣ 73 ΑΡΙΘΜΟΣ 1239 Εαρινή Σύνοδος του Αρχιεπισκοπικού Συμβουλίου Αρχιεπίσκοπος Β. & Ν. Αµερικής Μιχαήλ ( ) Κατά τη διάρκεια της Εαρινής Συνεδρίας του Αρχιεπισκοπικού Συμβουλίου το οποίο έλαβε χώρα σε ξενοδοχείο της Νέας Υόρκης συζητήθηκαν τα υπέρ και τα κατά του προτεινόμενου σχεδίου να πραγματοποιείται η κληρικολαϊκή συνέλευση ανά τρία και όχι δύο έτη, όπως ισχύει σήμερα, με σκοπό τη μείωση του κόστους. Το θέμα αυτό πρόκειται να συζητηθεί κατά τη διάρκεια της επερχόμενης 39ης Κληρικολαϊκής Συνελεύσεως τον Ιούλιο τ.ε. στην Ουάσινγκτον. Τα μέλη του Αρχιεπισκοπικού Συμβουλίου άκουσαν τις απόψεις του Αρχιεπισκόπου Δημητρίου αναφορικά με το θέμα της εφετινής Κληρικολαϊκής Συνελεύσεως σχετικά με την επιστροφή στην Εκκλησία των μη εκκλησιαζομένων και αποκομμένων απ αυτήν. «Φτάνουν στο σημείο να έχουν ανάγκη σύνδεσης», είπε ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριος για τα περίπου 60 εκατομμύρια των Αμερικανών οι οποίοι ανήκουν σε αυτή τη κατηγορία. Ανέφερε, επίσης, ότι οι μη εκκλησιαζόμενοι έχουν «γεννηθεί μέσα σε ένα κοσμικό περιβάλλον και είναι μέρος της κοσμικότητας της κοινωνίας». Συνεχίζοντας, είπε ότι «οι Ορθόδοξοι Χριστιανοί θα πρέπει να ενισχύσουν και να βοηθήσουν αυτές τις ομάδες, καθώς η πραγματικότητα αυτή προσφέρει μία εκπληκτική ευκαιρία».«ολοι κάτι περιμένουν», κατέληξε. Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος, επίσης, ζήτησε την ανάπτυξη πρακτικών μεθόδων βάσει των οποίων θα προσεγγισθούν οι μη εκκλησιαζόμενοι. Ο Αντιπρόεδρος του Αρχιεπισκοπικού Συμβουλίου, κ. Μάικλ Τζαχάρης, τόνισε την αναγκαιότητα να διδάσκονται οι νέοι την σπουδαιότητα της επίδρασης της Ελληνικής Παιδείας και της σχέσης της με την Εκκλησία. Επίσης, τόνισε το ρόλο του οργανισμού «Κληροδότημα Πίστης» στην προώθηση της διδασκαλίας του Ελληνισμού στα κοινοτικά σχολεία. Από την πλευρά του, ο Εκτελεστικός Διευθυντής της Αρχιεπισκοπής Αμερικής κ. Τζέρι Δημητρίου στην οικονομική έκθεση που κατέθεσε στο Αρχιεπισκοπικό Συμβούλιο ανέφερε ότι η Αρχιεπισκοπή απολαμβάνει αύξησης εισφορών μέσω των μελών των εκκλησιών και άλλων οδών οι οποίες θα βοηθήσουν την Εκκλησία να OΡΘΟΔΟΞΟΣ ΠΑΡΑΤΗΡΗΤΗΣ σταθεροποιήσει την οικονομική βάση της. Επίσης, έκανε αναφορά στις Μητροπόλεις Ντητρόϊτ, Σικάγου και Αγίου Φραγκίσκου οι οποίες κατάφεραν να εκπληρώσουν εκατό τοις εκατό τις υποχρεώσεις τους προς την Αρχιεπισκοπή. Στα πλαίσια των προσπαθειών για καλυτέρευση της εκκλησιαστικής διαχείρισης, η Αρχιεπισκοπή ξεκίνησε ένα νέο πρόγραμμα «Επαναπροσδιορισμού του ρόλου του Κοινοτικού Συμβουλίου» το οποίο θα συμπεριλαμβάνει εκπαιδευτικά σεμινάρια σε επίπεδο κοινοτήτων μέσα στα επόμενα χρόνια, με σκοπό να τονισθεί ο ρόλος και οι υπευθυνότητες του κοινοτικού συμβουλίου. Σύμφωνα με την έκθεση που κατέθεσε ο Theo Nicolakis διευθυντής του τμήματος Διαδικτυακών Υπηρεσιών και Πληροφορικής της Αρχιεπισκοπής Αμερικής, έχει δημιουργηθεί ένα νέο σύστημα αλληλογραφίας το οποίο θα επεκταθεί με την πάροδο του χρόνου σε όλες της Μητροπόλεις. Το σύστημα αυτό θα μπορεί να ελέγχει όλο το εύρος της αλληλογραφίας που διακινείται μέσω του Γραφείου του Αρχιεπισκόπου και ταυτόχρονα να διαχειρίζεται τον μεγάλο όγκο αλληλογραφίας και εντύπων τα οποία προωθούνται από το Γραφείο αυτό σε καθημερινή βάση. Το σύστημα αυτό χρηματοδοτείται από δωρεά της «Ηγεσίας των 100». Άλλες εκθέσεις Τμήμα Θρησκευτικής Εκπαίδευσης: Το τμήμα αυτό εξέδωσε ένα 24σέλιδο περιοδικό τον περασμένο Μάρτιο το οποίο συμπεριέλαβε τις λειτουργίες, τις έννοιες και τα παραδοσιακά έθιμα της Μεγάλης Εβδομάδος γραμμένα ειδικά για παιδιά της 6ης δημοτικού. Στο χρονικό διάστημα μεταξύ 24 Μαρτίου και 11 Απριλίου το εν λόγω περιοδικό πούλησε 10,000 αντίτυπα στις κοινότητες. Τμήμα διακονίας μελών μεικτών γάμων: Στους στόχους για το τρέχον έτος συμπεριλαμβάνεται η καλυτέρευση και οργάνωση του διαδικτυακού τόπου το οποίο προσφέρει πληροφορίες επί θεμάτων μεικτών γάμων, δημιουργίας προγραμμάτων προγαμιαίας εκπαίδευσης και εν γένει μιας πιο δυναμικής παρουσίας Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Β. και Ν. Αμερικής Μιχαήλ (τρίτος από δεξιά) σε εκδήλωση το 1951 παρουσία του τότε Κυβερνήτη της Πολιτείας της Νέας Υόρκης Αβεριλ Χάριμαν. Παρόντες επίσης ήταν ο Πρέσβης Μάικλ Σωτήρχος (αριστερά), Περικλής Λαντζούνης, ένας ανώνυμος συνεργάτης του Κυβερνήτη, ο π. Βασίλειος Ευθυμίουκαι ο π. Καζαράς. Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Μιχαήλ, κατά κόσμον Θουκυδίδης Κωνσταντινίδης, εγεννήθη το 1892 στη Μαρώνεια της Κομοτηνής. Το 1907 εισήχθη στην Θεολογική Σχολή της Χάλκης και απεφοίτησε το 1914 με άριστα. Εδίδαξε στην ίδια για ένα χρόνο και έκανε μεταπτυχιακή εργασία στην ιστορική Θεολογική Σχολή του Λένιγκραντ και Κιέβου ( ). Το 1919 εχειροτονήθη ιερεύς και διορίσθη στο ναό του Αγίου Στεφάνου της Κωνσταντινουπόλεως. Το 1923 διορίσθη Πρωτοσύγκελλος της Αρχιεπισκοπής Αθηνών και πάσης Ελλάδος, όπου και υπηρέτησε για τέσσερα χρόνια. Το 1927 εξελέγη πρωτοπρεσβύτερος του Καθεδρικού Ναού της Αγίας Σοφίας στο Λονδίνο όπου και παρέμεινε μέχρι το Το 1939 εξελέγη Μητροπολίτης της αρχαίας ιστορικής Επισκοπής Κορίνθου όπου και παρέμεινε μέχρι το Τον Οκτώβριο του 1949, η Ιερά Σύνοδος του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου τον εξέλεξε Αρχιεπίσκοπο Βορείου και Νοτίου Αμερικής. Ξεκίνησε τα καθήκοντά του στις 15 Δεκεμβρίου 1949 ως διάδοχος του Αθηναγόρα Ι, ο οποίος εξελέγη Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης. Θεωρείται εκ των λογιωτάτων ιερωμένων της Ανατολικής Ορθοδόξου Εκκλησίας. Γνώριζε Ελληνικά, Αγγλικά, Γαλλικά, Τουρκικά και Ρωσσικά. Έχει συγγράψει περισσότερα από 25 βιβλία σχετικά με τη διοίκηση, διεύθυνση και διδασκαλία της Ελληνικής Ορθοδόξου Πίστεως. Τον Ιούλιο του 1958, κατά την διάρκεια της 14 ης Κληρικολαϊκής Συνελεύσεως στο Σόλτ Λέϊκ Σιτι της Γιούτα αρρώστησε και εισήχθη στο νοσοκομείο. Η κατάστασή του χειροτέρευσε και μετεφέρθη σε νοσοκομείο της Νέας Υόρκης όπου και υπεβλήθη σε εγχείρηση. Απεβίωσε την 13 ην Ιουλίου του ΑΡΧΙΕΠΙΣΚΟΠΟΣ ΑΜΕΡΙΚΗΣ Στις 11 Οκτωβρίου 1949, εξελέγη από την Ι. Σύνοδο του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου Αρχιεπίσκοπος Βορείου και Νοτίου Αμερικής, παρά την προσωπική αντίθεση του Πατριάρχου Αθηναγόρα. Συνειδητοποιώντας ότι ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής δεν είναι μόνον ποιμενάρχης ενός εκατομμυρίου αποδήμων Ελλήνων, αλλά συγχρόνως και πρεσβευτής της Ελλάδος κατά την Αμερικανική κοινή γνώμη, δεν έχανε την ευκαιρία να γνωστοποιεί στο λαό της Αμερικής τα εκάστοτε προβλήματα που απασχολούσαν την πατρίδα, προεξάρχοντος του Κυπριακού. Το 1953 κινητοποίησε την ομογένεια για την προσφορά χρηματικής βοήθειας προς τους σεισμόπληκτους των Ιονίων νήσων, όρισε πανομογενειακό πένθος για τους βανδαλισμούς και το πογκρόμ των Ελλήνων της Κωνσταντινουπόλεως και της Σμύρνης, διαμαρτυρήθηκε για την απόλυση του Αρχιεπισκόπου Κύπρου Μακαρίου, έστειλε επιταγή $ στους σεισμοπαθείς της Θεσσαλίας. Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Μιχαήλ έδωσε νέα ώθηση στα ημερήσια και απογευματινά σχολεία, αναδιοργάνωσε το Γραφείο Παιδείας και είχε όραμα την ίδρυση περισσότερων ημερησίων και απογευματινών σχολείων. Πίστευε πως η νέα γενιά έπρεπε να ενστερνισθεί την εθνική συνείδηση των γονιών της για να εξασφαλισθεί η επιβίωση του ελληνικού στοιχείου και να αποκτήσει συνείδηση της φυλετικής και πολιτιστικής κληρονομιάς της. Αναδιοργάνωσε τα Κατηχητικά σχολεία. Για πρώτη φορά εξέδωσε εγχειρίδια Κατηχητικού για διδάσκοντες και διδασκομένους. Ενίσχυσε τη Θεολογική Σχολή του Μπρουκλάιν και πίστευε ότι έπρεπε να ενδυναμωθεί με κάθε θυσία ώστε οι φοιτητές εξερχόμενοι να είναι θεολογι- óåë. 14 óåë. 20
14 14 ΟΡΘΟ ΟΞΟΣ ΠΑΡΑΤΗΡΗΤΗΣ Επίσκεψη Αρχιεπισκόπου Ιερωνύμου στο Φανάρι Μακαριώτατε, Ἱερώτατοι ἀδελφοί, Ἐξοχώτατε κ. Πρέσβυ, Πρό ὀλίγου ἐν τῇ Εὐχαριστίᾳ περί τήν «Τράπεζαν τοῦ Κυρίου» συνιερουργήσαµεν καί ἐγεύθηµεν τοῦ αὐτοῦ Ἄρτου καί ἐπίοµεν ἐκ τοῦ αὐτοῦ ποτηρίου σωτηρίου, συµµετέχοντες εἰς τό µυστήριον τῆς ἀγαπητικῆς «κοινωνίας» ἐντός τῆς µιᾶς πίστεως, διά τῆς µιᾶς ἱερωσύνης, ἐν τῷ ἡγιασµένῳ τόπῳ µιᾶς ἱστορικῆς Μονῆς τῆς Μεγάλης τοῦ Χριστοῦ Ἐκκλησίας. Μετά τήν ἐκ τῆς ἱερουργίας ἔξοδον καί τήν πλήρωσιν δι ἁγιασµοῦ τῆς ὑπάρξεως ἡµῶν, κυκλοῦµεν εἰς «καιρόν ἀρίστου» ὡς «νεόφυτα ἐλαιῶν» τήν «τετανυσµένην εἰς µῆκος» Πατριαρχικήν Τράπεζαν διά νά «ἀριστεύσωµεν» βρῶσιν καί πόσιν καί πάλιν ἐν ἀγαπητικῇ «κοινωνίᾳ», ὡς ἀδελφοί πρός ἀδελφούς. Καί ἡ «κοινωνία» αὕτη διά τήν µετάληψιν τῶν καρπῶν τῆς γῆς πρός πλήρωσιν τῆς φυσικῆς ἀναγκαιότητος ἐνέχει ἰδιαιτέραν σηµασίαν διότι διεξάγεται κατά τήν παλαιάν µοναστηριακήν τάξιν µετά τό «Κυριακόν εῖπνον» καί µάλιστα ἐντός χώρου ἱστορηµένου µέ σειράν ἱερῶν «φιλοξενιῶν» ἐκ τῶν δύο ιαθηκῶν, καθώς καί µέ τό πρωτοχριστιανικόν «δεῖπνον ἀγάπης» καί µέ τήν «σύναξιν» τῶν σοφῶν τοῦ Γένους ἡµῶν. Τήν κορυφαίαν θέσιν τοῦ προεξάρχοντος συνδαιτυµόνος ἐν τῇ τραπέζῃ ταύτη ἐν µέσῳ ἡµῶν κατέχει ὁ Κύριος µέ τόν ἀναπεσόντα «ἐπί τό στῆθος» αὐτοῦ ἠγαπηµένον µαθητήν Ἰωάννην, τοῦ ὁποίου τήν κληρονοµίαν ἀνεδέχθη καί στερρῶς φέρει µετ ἐκείνην τοῦ Πρωτοκλήτου Ἀνδρέου ἡ Ἀποστολική αὕτη Καθέδρα τῆς Ἐκκλησίας, ἥτις καί µετεβιβάσθη ἐκ τῆς καθ ἡµᾶς Ἀνατολῆς καί εἰς τήν καθ Ἑλλάδα Ἐκκλησίαν. Ὡς συνδαιτυµόνες «ἀριστηταί» εἰς χῶρον µνηµονεύοντα τοσούτων γεγονότων τῆς Ἱερᾶς Ἱστορίας τῆς Ἐκκλησίας καί τοῦ Γένους ἡµῶν, ἐνθυµούµεθα καί τήν πολλήν µέριµναν τῶν ἁγίων πατέρων ἡµῶν διά τήν κατά τάξιν παράθεσιν τῶν «τραπεζῶν ἀγάπης» τῆς Ἐκκλησίας, ὅπως ἐµφαίνεται ἐκ σχετικοῦ κειµένου τοῦ Μ. Βασιλείου γράφοντος: «Πῶς δεῖ περί τάς καθέδρας καί τάς κατακλίσεις ἐν καιρῷ τῶν ἀρίστων ἤ τῶν δείπνων ἔχειν» (Migne, P.G. τ. 31. στ. 976). Ὁ Ὅσιος Λουκᾶς, ὁ ἐν Στειρίῳ, ἐπισκεφθείς τόν Θ αἰῶνα ἄρχοντα ἐν Θήβαις, τόν ψέγει «ἐπεί ἀρίστου καιρός ἦν» καί ἦτο «ἐπί στρωµνῆς ὕπτιος ἀνακείµενος» ὑποτιµῶν τούς «µετ αὐτοῦ ἑστιωµένους». Ἀλλά ἀπό τῆς ἀρχῆς τῆς δευτέρας χιλιετίας καί ἐντεῦθεν παρῆλθον τά ἀρχαῖα ἑλληνικά ἤθη περί τῶν γευµάτων καί «ἀνεκλίθησαν» ἀπό τάς «κατακλίσεις» οἱ ἐν Χριστῷ ἀδελφοί, ὥστε ὡς συνδαιτυµόνες νά παρακάθηνται εἰς τήν τράπεζαν εἰς µίαν διαπροσωπικήν στάσιν ἐπικοινωνίας ὡς «ἐνώπιοι ἐνωπίοις». Καί ἰδού, ἡµεῖς ἱστάµεθα σήµερον, Μακαριώτατε, «ἐνώπιοι ἐνωπίοις» ζῶντες N. MΑΓΓΙΝΑΣ ΜΑΙΟΣ 2008 Εαρινή Σύνοδος του Αρχιεπισκοπικού Συμβουλίου óåë. 13 μέσω νέων και σύγχρονων σεμιναρίων απευθυνομένων σε λαϊκούς, γονείς και κληρικούς. Επικοινωνίες: Ένας εξωτερικός οργανισμός, η TSD Communications, με έδρα την Ουάσινγκτον μελετά τον ρόλο των επικοινωνιών μέσα στην Αρχιεπισκοπή μέσω συνεντεύξεων με άτομα από κάθε τομέα της Αρχιεπισκοπής τα οποία έχουν σχέση με το Τμήμα Επικοινωνιών. Γάμος και οικογένεια: Το Κέντρο «Οικογενειακή Μέριμνα» έχει δεχθεί χρηματική δωρεά από την «Ηγεσία των 100» με σκοπό την ανάπτυξη στρατηγικού σχεδίου για την περαιτέρω ενίσχυση και ενδυνάμωση των Ορθοδόξων οικογενειών, με την συνδρομή του Τμήματος Κοινοτικής Ανάπτυξης. Τμήμα Διακονίας Ενηλίκων: Το συγκεκριμένο Τμήμα συνεργάζεται με τη Θεολογική Σχολή του Τιμίου Σταυρού με σκοπό την έναρξη προγράμματος στα πλαίσια του οποίου θα πραγματοποιούνται επισκέψεις επιτυχημένων ιερέων διαφόρων κοινοτήτων, διευθυντών ιεραποστολών αλλά και λαϊκών. Γραφείο Ελληνικής Παιδείας: Το Τμήμα αυτό ξεκίνησε διαδικασία συγγραφής βιβλίων με ανανεωμένη διδακτική ύλη καθώς και πραγματοποίησης σεμιναρίων για δασκάλους με σκοπό την καλυτέρευση των εκπαιδευτικών ικανοτήτων τους. Επίσης, κατά το χρονικό διάστημα μεταξύ 19 Ιουλίου και 4 Αυγούστου τ.έ. θα πραγματοποιηθεί σεμινάριο εκπαίδευσης των διδασκάλων της Αρχιεπισκοπής Αμερικής στην Κύπρο, με τη συνεργασία του Πανεπιστημίου Κύπρου. Γραφείο Παιδείας Αμέσου Αρχιεπισκοπικής Περιφέρειας: Το συγκεκριμένο Γραφείο διοργανώνει ετησίως επιμορφωτικά σεμινάρια για τους εκπαιδευτικούς σε συνεργασία με το Πανεπιστήμιο Saint John s της Νέας Υόρκης. Kυκλοφόρησε, επίσης, νέο οδηγό διδασκαλίας της Ελληνικής Γλώσσας ως δεύτερη γλώσσα για παιδιά Νηπιαγωγείου. Στις ευθύνες του Γραφείου αυτού εντάσσονται, επίσης, οι Εξετάσεις Σύγχρονης Ελληνικής Γλώσσας και Γραμματείας οι οποίες προσφέρονται σε σχολεία της Πολιτείας Νέας Υόρκης, σε τμήματα της Νέας Ιερσέης, του Κονέκτικατ και της Βιρτζίνιας. Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής κ. Δημήτριος ανακοίνωσε ότι το ίδρυμα «Ωνάσης» θα ενισχύσει την προσπάθεια της Αρχιεπισκοπής για την Ελληνική εκπαίδευση και ότι ο οργανισμός «Κληροδότημα Πίστης» σκοπεύει να προσφέρει υποτροφίες στους valedictorians και salutatorians των σχολείων Eλληνικής εκπαίδευσης. τόν σύνδεσµον τῆς ἑνότητος καί τῆς ὁµοφροσύνης ὡς µέλη τοῦ «σώµατος τοῦ Χριστοῦ», τῆς Ἐκκλησίας, εἰς τήν ὁποίαν κεφαλή εἶναι ὁ Κύριος, προσέχοντες νά µή ὑποφέρῃ ἡ κεφαλή ἐκ τῶν ἀδυναµιῶν τῶν µελῶν τοῦ σώµατος, ἐξ ἀτάκτων, ἀκανονίστων καί «κοσµοποιῶν» παραµορφώσεων, ἐφ ὅσον εἴµεθα µέλη ἀλλήλων καί τοῦ αὐτοῦ σώµατος µέ κεφαλήν τόν Ἰησοῦν Χριστόν. Τά κυκλοφοροῦντα Φαρµακίδεια «ἀναπλάσµατα» ἀκόµη καί τά νεώτερα δῆθεν ζηλωτικά «ἐπινοήµατα» ἀποτελοῦν «ἐπίπλαστον µαταιοτεχνίαν» πρός ἀνάφλεξιν κοσµικοῦ χαρακτῆρος ἀντιεκκλησιαστικῶν ἰδεολογη- µάτων, πρός ἀναίρεσιν τῆς κανονικῆς τάξεως ἐν τῇ Ἐκκλησίᾳ καί πρός ἀθέτησιν τῆς ἀπό αἰώνων παγίας οἰκουµενικῆς τακτικῆς καί ἱστορικῆς πορείας τοῦ καθ ἡµᾶς ἱεροῦ Θεσµοῦ διά τήν «καταλλαγήν» ἐν τῇ Χριστιανωσύνῃ. Ὅµως ἡ Ἀποστολική αὕτη Καθέδρα ἄν µεγαλύνεται καί σήµερον «ἐν τοῖς ἐκκλησιαστικοῖς πράγµασι», τοῦτο ὀφείλεται ἀρχικῶς εἰς τήν διαβεβαίωσιν τοῦ Θείου Ἱδρυτοῦ τῆς Ἐκκλησίας, ὅτι «πύλαι Ἅδου οὐ κατισχύσουσιν αὐτῆς». Εἰσέτι µεγαλύνεται καί διά τήν ἐµµονήν εἰς τήν Ὀρθοδοξίαν καί εἰς τήν τήρησιν τῆς κανονικῆς τάξεως, ὡς ἡ περίοπτος κορυφαία φρυκτωρία τῆς Οἰκουµένης ἡ φωτίζουσα καί ὑπερασπιζο- µένη τά κανονικῶς ὁρισθέντα δίκαια αὐτῆς ἐκ τῶν Οἰκουµενικῶν Συνόδων, τά ὁποῖα τήν κατέστησαν ἐπί δεκαπέντε καί πλέον αἰῶνας πηγήν τῶν ἱερῶν θεσπισµάτων διά τήν καθ ἡµᾶς Ἀνατολήν. Ἡ Μήτηρ Ἐκκλησία µεγαλύνεται, διότι παρά τήν µακράν καί µαρτυρικήν αἰχµαλωσίαν αὐτῆς, παρέµεινεν ἀρραγής µέχρι θανάτου ἡ ἅλυσις τῶν κοπιασάντων Ἁγίων προκατόχων ἡµῶν Πατριαρχῶν, οἵτινες ὑπερησπίσθησαν τάς ἀληθείας τῆς πίστεως, τήν γλῶσσαν καί τήν παιδείαν τοῦ κλήρου καί τοῦ λαοῦ τοῦ εὐσεβοῦς ἡµῶν Γένους, ἀλλά καί διά ὀτρηρῶν ἀγώνων διησφάλισαν τήν σποράν τῶν παραδοθέντων εἰς τοῦτο πρός καρποφορίαν ἰδεωδῶν καί ἀρχῶν ἐν τῷ ἡµετέρῳ Πατριαρχικῷ κλίµατι καί εἰς τάς ἐξ αὐτοῦ προελθούσας ἀδελφάς Αὐτοκεφάλους Ἐκκλησίας, ἀλλά καί εἰς ὅλην τήν Ὀρθοδοξίαν. Ἡ «τελεία» ἀγάπη ἔξω βάλλει τόν φόβον», κατά τόν Εὐαγγελιστήν Ἰωάννην (Α Ἰω. δ 18), καί ὁ ἀγαπῶν καί µόνον εὐαρεστεῖ τόν Κύριον ἐπειδή διά τῆς ἀγάπης ἐκπληροῦται τό θέληµά Του «ἵνα ὦµεν ἕν» ἐν Αὐτῷ. Ἡ «ἑνότης» τῆς Ἐκκλησίας εἶναι ρητή ἐντολή τοῦ Σωτῆρος Χριστοῦ διότι «ἀδελφός ὑπό ἀδελφοῦ βοηθούµενος ὡς πόλις ὀχυρά καί ὑψηλή, ἰσχύει δέ ὥσπερ τεθεµελιωµένον βασίλειον» (Παρ. ιη 19). Ὡς γνωστόν, εἰς τόν Πάνσεπτον Πατριαρχικόν Ναόν τό Γένος περιβάλλει µέ µεγάλην τιµήν ἀπό αἰώνων τό ἱερόν λείψανον τῆς Ἁγίας Σολοµονῆς, µητρός τῶν Μακκαβαίων, ὡς παραδείγµατος διδαχῆς µητρός τῆς ἐγκαρτερήσεως, τῆς συνεπείας, τῆς µακροθυµίας καί τῶν λοιπῶν ἀρετῶν πρός τά ἑαυτῆς τέκνα διά τήν ὑπεράσπισιν τῶν ἀξιῶν καί τῶν δικαιωµάτων τοῦ ἀνθρώπου. Ὁ Μ. Βασίλειος σχολιάζων τό Μακκαβαϊκόν σθένος ἀντιστάσεως ἐξαίρει εἰς τάς τάξεις αὐτῶν τῶν πολεµιστῶν τήν θαυµαστήν ὁµοψυχίαν καί ἑνότητα, ἐπειδή ἐβάδιζον µέ µίαν ψυχήν καί µίαν θέλησιν ὡς εἷς ἄνθρωπος καί ἐπέτυχον κατατρόπωσιν τῶν ἐναντίων καί ἐνδόξους νίκας. Ἡ ἀδελφική ἀγάπη δέν συγκατοικεῖ µέ ὑψηγορίαν καί οἰησισοφίαν, κρυψίνοιαν καί πανουργίαν, κουφολόγον ψευδοδοξίαν καί µέ πολυπλανεῖς ἐνεργείας, διότι ἐάν εἰς τά τοῦ κόσµου συµβαίνοντα τῆς «ἀναρχίας µεῖζον οὐκ ἔστι κακόν, αὕτη πόλεις ὄλλυσιν, ἥδ ἀναστάτους οἴκους τίθησι», κατά τόν Σοφοκλῆ, πολλῷ µᾶλλον εἰς τά ἐκκλησιαστικά πράγµατα ἡ ἀθέτησις τῶν θεσµοθετη- µένων εἰς Τόµους καί Πράξεις εἶναι «στασιῶδες πρόκριµα» ἀσεβείας καί ἀναρχίας, καταλύουσα τήν οὐσιώδη ἐκκλησιολογικήν ἀρχήν τῆς ἀγαπητικῆς σχέσεως Μητρός καί θυγατέρων Ἐκκλησιῶν, ἡ ὁποία διά νά συλλειτουργῇ κατά τήν κανονικήν τάξιν «οὐ ζηλοῖ, οὐ ζητεῖ τά ἑαυτῆς». Μακαριώτατε, Αἱ γενόµεναι ἐπίσηµοι ἑστιάσεις εἰς τόν Θετταλόν Τρίκλινον παρά τόν Καθεδρικόν Ναόν τῆς Σοφίας καί τοῦ Λόγου τοῦ Θεοῦ διεξήγοντο κατά µαρτυρίαν µέ τήν µοναστηριακήν τάξιν µέ ἀναγνώσεις πατερικάς. Ἡµεῖς ὅµως τανῦν ἀνταλλάσσοµεν εὐχαριστηρίους προπόσεις καί ἀντιπροπόσεις ὑψοῦντες «κρασοβόλιν»κρατῆρα καί εὐχό- µενοι νά ὑγιαίνετε καί νά µακροηµερεύετε, νά ὁδηγῆτε, νά ποιµαίνετε, νά ἐµπνέετε, µέ τόν λόγον Σας τόν γλυκύν ἀλλά πρό παντός µέ τό εὔλαλον παράδειγµά Σας καί µέ τό ἐκκλησιαστικόν ἦθος καί φρόνηµά Σας. A Father s Last Wish ISBN LOC REAL TRUE STORY-3,500 YEARS HISTORY From the Dorian Greeks to 9/11. It is a personal story/biography containing Memoirs, Historic Events and the Joy of Fatherhood. And a little Mythology. TO ORDER Go to Ebay Bookstore or to: Half of net proceeds go to scholarship fund. Good reading for all who relate to their father s life histories.
15 Archbishop Michael ( ): A Tribute Remembering Michael by Michael Sotirhos Very few people have had an enduring influence on my life. One, however, stands out in my mind and heart Archbishop Michael. In the late 1940s, many parishes in the United States formed youth groups. Many of these groups banded together to form Greek Orthodox Youth Federations. I presided over one such federation in New York that had 14 youth groups as members. Other federations also existed in Chicago and the upper Midwest. When Archbishop Michael assumed leadership of our Church in North and South America, he helped these federations of youth groups unite at the national level in an organization named the Greek Orthodox Youth of America, or GOYA. With Archbishop Michael s encouragement, GOYA had as many as 37,000 members in the mid-1950s. From the membership of GOYA came hundreds of future presidents of local parishes, boards of trustees, for not only a local parish but for archdiocesan institutions and leadership of Philoptochos and its organization. GOYA became a training ground for our Church s future leadership and that leadership helped to broaden Greek Orthodoxy in the United States. The Archbishop had close ties with those of us in New York. He was always supportive, encouraging and helpful in GOYA s progress and success. Many hours were spent in those formative years with the Archbishop. Not only were we building an organization, but we were building friendships and character things that my generation held deeply. Many of those friendships continue to endure today. The Archbishop attended all our national conferences. Feeling poorly, the Archbishop attended the 1958 conference of GOYA in Salt Lake City. None of us knew how ill the Archbishop was. His plan was to attend only the opening session but, to our surprise, he gathered his strength to attend all the important events of the conference. Little did we know that he would soon meet his Maker. I was so fortunate to know this great man He was always ready to advise, to love, to inspire and to motivate our Church s youth. His kindness to all and to me, in particular, was one of his key traits. Further, his good humor and a depth of knowledge enhanced his hard work and success. I was especially honored by the auxiliary bishops who chose me to lay the ceremonial wreath upon his grave at St. Basil s Academy the day of his funeral. We who know you, Your Eminence, pray for you, as we know you pray for us and our beloved Church. Michael Sotirhos is a former U.S. ambassador to Greece and to Jamaica, and is a founder of the New York GOYA. ARCHBISHOP MICHAEL (Archdiocese Archives) Archbishop Michael became the first Greek Orthodox hierarch to deliver a prayer at the inauguration of a U.S. President in 1957 for President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Vice President Richard Nixon. (Archdiocese Archives) Editor s note July 2008 marks the 50th anniversary of the passing of Archbishop Michael, who in his 11 year tenure as head of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America, had a profound impact on the modern church. He was enthroned Dec. 18, 1949, as the third hierarch to lead the Archdiocese, succeeding Archbishop Athenagoras. During the 1950s, Archbishop Michael led the effort to achieve recognition of Orthodox Christianity as a major faith, established the Greek Orthodox Youth of America (GOYA) and helped create a sound financial basis for the operation of the Church. In honor of this outstanding Churchman, who died July 13, 1958 after a lingering illness, the Orthodox Observer dedicates this four page section. A Remarkable Ministry Archbishop Michael, who served as Archbishop of North and South America from 1949 until his death in 1958, was noted as a theologian, a scholar, a pastor, an administrator and an ecumenist. His years as Archbishop of our Church in the Americas were a bridge between the archbishoprics of Athenagoras and Iakovos. He built upon the foundations laid by Athenagoras, who had united American Hellenism and the Church. Michel was able to progressively develop the Church administratively in many ways, especially financially. He placed great emphasis on education, both ecclesiastically and Greek. Archbishop Michael was born Thucydides Constantinides in Maroneia of western Thrace on May 27, 1892, He entered the Halki theological school in1906 and graduated in In 1915 he was sent to Russia for further study at the theological schools of Kiev and St. Petersburg, Russia, were he studied for four yeas on a scholarship from the Ecumenical Patriarchate. He returned to Constantinople after the Russia Revolution and was ordained a priest in 1919 and served parishes in Constantinople. He went to Greece in 1923 and was named chancellor of the Archdiocese of Athens. In 1927 he was appointed the priest to the Cathedral of St. Sophia in London, England, where he remained until 1939, when he was elected Metropolitan of Corinth. During the 12 years of his service in London he was pastorally, theologically and socially very active. During this period he was the author of many theological studies including translations from the Greek, Russian and English. He was at the same time active in ecumenical affairs. He represented the Ecumenical Patriarchate at the Faith and Order meeting in Lausanne in 1927, repreby Paul G. Manolis page B 2
16 B 2 MAY 2008 Church Makes Progress in the Decade of the 1950s by Peter Kourides The second modern era of our Church began with the arrival of Archbishop Michael on Dec. 15, For a decade, he had been the Metropolitan of Corinth and for 12 years prior he had been the dean of the Cathedral of St. Sophia in London. Archbishop Michael s personality was totally different from that of his predecessor, Archbishop Athenagoras. He was an intellectual, a deeply learned man, a theologian and an author. He was reserved in demeanor, a very quiet person and literally avoided publicity and personal popularity. His long tenure in Great Britain did not anglicize his approach to his religious assignment in the Americas. His attitude to his new responsibilities was no different than if he had been transferred from Corinth to Thessaloniki. He somehow felt that the United States was just another Greek eparchia assignment. His English was not very fluent and his mentality was entirely Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America It was difficult to believe that this hierarch had lived in Great Britain for so long and yet no part of that experience had been imprinted on him. He was a very pious, spiritual man concerned intensely with the sacramental life of the Church. In succeeding a man of Archbishop Athenagoras stature and charismatic gifts, Archbishop Michael was faced with a great challenge. He made no effort to compete. He was not of competitive nature and felt no need to win the acclaim of the populace. As a result, his reign was particularly low key and totally different from the exciting and vibrant Athenagoras tenure. It is reasonable to conclude that after 18 years of Archbishop Athenagoras, the time had come for a period of consolidating the unity that was gained with so much struggle. Michael s era was the 1950 decade of consolidating and extending the unity and reconciliation that Archbishop Athenagoras attained with so much blood, sweat and tears during the 1930s and the 1940s. Notwithstanding his lack of familiarity with the unique problems that confronted the administration and direction of our Church in the Americas, Archbishop Michael within a few months concluded that it was not possible to fund the archdiocesan responsibilities with the monodollarion. As a result of the 10th Biennial Congress in November 1950 in St. Louis, Missouri, he recommended that the one dollar annual contribution to the Archdiocese be increased to $10 the dekadollarion. To the surprise of many, there was practically no opposition either tin committee or at plenary sessions. By the time of his death eight years later, the annual income of the Archdiocese had increased from $100, during the last year of Archbishop Athenagoras monodollarion, to $585, under the dekadollarion for the 1958 calendar year. Because boom times had come to the U.S. and the Greek American population had matured as citizens and economic units, Archbishop Michael within his short reign was able to increase the revenue of the Archdiocese six-fold. Another significant contribution of Archbishop Michael was the organization in July 1951 of the Greek Orthodox Youth of America, popularly known as GOYA. During his reign, it mushroomed into nearly 250 communities in every part of the page B 3 Visiting President Harry S. Truman in the White House in 1950 (Archdiocese Archives) President Eisenhower takes part in the cornerstone-laying ceremony for St. Sophia Cathedral in Washington on Sept. 30, At right is first lady Mrs. Mamie Eisenhower. (Archdiocese Archives) Proclamation signing Pennsylvania Gov. George Leader signs a proclamation recognizing Greek Orthodoxy as a major faith in his state in October (Archdiocese Archives) Priests retirement Archbishop Michael accepts the first check for the establishment of a retirement fund for priests of the Archdiocese. (Archdiocese Archives) A Remarkable Ministry page B 1 sented the Church of Greece at the meeting of Anglicans and Orthodox in 1920 on the occasion of the Lambeth conference, the Patriarchate of Alexandria on the Anglican Orthodox Committee at Lambeth in 1931 and finally represented the Ecumenical Patriarchate at the Conference of Life and Work at Oxford and Faith and Order at Edinburgh in He wrote extensively on these ecumenical activities, which were published in various ecclesiastical journals. Both the Church of Greece and the Ecumenical Patriarchate named him Great Archimandrite. He was elected Metropolitan of Corinth in 1939, and was a remarkable leader of his people during the war years and German occupation. After his election of Archbishop of the Americas in 1949, he undertook to reorganize the Archdiocese. He began by doubling the number of assistant bishops to help him administer the Archdiocese. He increased the number of parochial and Sunday schools and reorganized the finances of the Archdiocese by instituting the dekadollarion (ten dollar) program instead of the previous monodollarion (one dollar) program. He was the founder of GOYA, which became a vibrant nationwide organization of youth under his leadership. He took great interest in promoting the Holy Cross Theological School and St. Basil s Academy. He reorganized the Orthodox Observer, and founded the Home for the Aged in New York. In 1956 he was invited by President Eisenhower to deliver the invocation at the second Eisenhower inauguration, the first time that an Orthodox churchman was so honored. This established a precedent for future presidential inaugurations. His presence in America strengthened Orthodox presence in international ecclesiastical meetings and especially in the World Council of Churches. Death found Archbishop Michael actively presiding over the 14th Clergy Laity Congress meeting in Sal Lake City in July He was flown to New York and died one week later. Following his funeral in the Holy Trinity Cathedral in New York, he was buried on the grounds of St. Basil s Academy in Garrison, N.Y. Michael was one of the most eminent and prominent ecclesiastical personalities of the Orthodox Church during the first 60 years of the past century. His career at the three great centers, Corinth, London and America left a remarkable reputation. Besides his role as an ecclesiastical leader he was distinguished as an author. His numerous books and almost a hundred theological articles remind us of one of the most learned hierarch of the Orthodox Church in recent times. He is remembered by many for his deep spirituality, his distinctive liturgical presence and his stirring and learned sermons. His strong devotion and emphasis on the youth of the church spawned an entire generation of young people, especially within GOYA, who were devoted to him. Paul Manolis is retired director of the Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute in Berkeley, Calif., was board chairman of the Orthodox Observer when it was transformed into its present newspaper format, and was assistant to a U.S. senator from California in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
17 MAY 2008 B 3 The Lasting Legacy of St. Michael s Home 50 Years of Quality Care for the elderly With Sunday School teachers at a conference in July 1955 at St. Basil Academy in Garrison, N.Y. (Archdiocese Archives) Being interviewed by Eleanor Roosevelt for a radio program in the summer of (Archdiocese Archives) Archbishop Michael served as a president of the World Council of Churches in the 1950s. He is shown here at a meeting with the other WCC presidents in New Haven, Conn. (Archdiocese Archives) Church Makes Progress in the Decade of the 1950s page B 2 country. It was thee first time that a serious centralized effort had been made to organize our young people under the aegis of our Church. Archbishop Michael continued the efforts that were begun by Archbishop Athenagoras to obtain formal recognition of our Church through resolutions adopted by the state legislatures directing that all references to major faiths, which were heretofore limited to Protestant, Catholic and Jewish, would hereinafter also include the Greek Orthodox. As a result of this concerted action, 27 states adopted the uniform incorporation act or the major faith resolution. The activity was begun in 1943 in New York in an effort to legitimatize Greek Orthodoxy, to blot out its ghettoized disarray during the pre-athenagoras period and to give it sufficient respectability so as to make it a part of the religious and social mainstream of the United States. The crowning event of this effort occurred in 1956 during the 13th Biennial Congress. President and Mrs. Eisenhower not only participated in the dedicatory ceremonies of the Cathedral of St. Sophia in the nation s capital but joined us for nearly two hours in worshipping there. Then Vice President Nixon addressed one of its plenary sessions and Secretary of State John Foster Dulles was the principal speaker at the banquet. There is no record of any other religious conclave in the history of the United States that had been so signally honored by the attendance at its functions of the three highest ranking officers of the nation: President, Vice President and Secretary of State. Peter Kourides for many decades was the legal counsel to the Archdiocese. He is retired and a member of Holy Trinity Archdiocesan Cathedral. This article is excerpted from his chapter Our Three Hierarchs published in History of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, compiled and edited by Fr. Miltiades B. Efthimiou, Ph.D., retired ecumenical officer of the Archdiocese. St. Michael s Home Director Bishop Andonios of Phasiane and board member Nikitas Drakotas welcome Archbishop Demetrios on Good Friday. (Orthodox Observer) by Bishop Andonios of Phasiane In the United States, the month of May has been designated Older Americans Month and it is a celebration of age. How appropriate it is that this month also marks the 50th Anniversary of St. Michael s Home for it was on May 25, 1958 that the late Archbishop Michael opened the doors of this only Archdiocesan institution serving the needs of elderly Greek Orthodox. The facility was known then as the Spiti Tou Protoporou - Home of the Pioneer (the name of the Home was changed in 1966 to honor its founder, Archbishop Michael) since the first residents were the pioneers of the Greek American community in the United States, those individuals responsible for establishing many of the parishes and institutions of our Holy Archdiocese. St. Michael s was the idea of Archbishop Michael who saw the need for such a facility to care for the first wave of Greek immigrants who had reached the golden years of their lives. His Eminence was assisted in this endeavor by the Clergy Syndesmos of the New York Metropolitan area and a Certificate of Incorporation was issued on January 25, During the same year, the first board of trustees was formed, comprised of: Rev. John Poulos, Rev. Demetrios Frangos, George Diamond, Cleon Cosmetto, Rev. Christos Papachristou, Rev. Philip Gialopsos, Rev. George Papadeas, Rev. Neophytos Spyros, Nicholas Stevason, Thomas Bartzos, Rev. Demetrios Stephanopoulos, Theodore Tsolainos, Costas Goulandris, Louis Dukas, Katherine Poulos, Demi Vagelos, Penny Chrisomales, Sophie Megdanes, Calliope Sapounakis and Rev. James Aloupis. On July 17, 1957, the trustees, at a cost of $125,000, purchased a former B nai Brith nursing home and during the next 10 months the building was renovated to accommodate the first Greek Orthodox residents. This monumental undertaking was wholeheartedly supported by the area clergy, parishes, Philoptochos chapters, GOYA and societies but also by individual members of the community and the Home was blessed with its first Great Benefactors, John Athanasiou, Barbara Cosmeto and Efthalia Nicolaou, who made sizable gifts to help underwrite the costs of opening the first Greek Orthodox institution in the Americas serving the needs of the elderly. With the appropriate solemnity and celebration the Home embarked upon its sacred mission and for half a century St. Michael s has been a haven and home away from home for countless men and women. Nestled in a quiet neighborhood 20 minutes from the heart of New York City, the Home is truly one of the hidden treasures of our Archdiocese. At the present time, there are 60 residents, ranging in age from 75 to 98 years old. While most are from the metropolitan area (New York, New Jersey and Connecticut), a growing number of residents are from other areas of the United States and individuals have been admitted from Colorado, North Carolina, Florida and Pennsylvania. Within the confines of the Home, these individuals enjoy the care and comfort they so deserve in a Greek Orthodox environment. While in the past most residents where first generation Greek- Americans (i.e. those who had immigrated to the U.S.) there are a growing number of American-born residents of Greek extraction who opt to live at the Home because of its unique environment. According to the constitution of St. Michael s, ALL residents must be Greek Orthodox. St. Michael s is a New York State Department of Health certified residential adult care facility and provides the elderly with services above and beyond those mandated by the State. The Home is visited weekly by two geriatric specialists, a podiatrist, a psychiatrist, two psychologists (one Greekspeaking and the other English) and by a dermatologist, audiologist and optometrist as needed. A certified nutritionist monthly reviews the diet of the residents and arrangements have been made with the appropriate providers to be able to do blood tests, x-rays, EKG s and other tests within the facility. St. Michael s is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week and provides the elderly with services such as housekeeping, laundry, meals and a well balanced recreation program so that their stay at the Home is enjoyable and carefree. There are resident aides who help the residents bathe, dress and assist with their daily routine since many suffer from dementia while there are health aides who are responsible for overseeing the health page B 4
18 B 4 MAY 2008 Archbishop Michael s Living Legacy The Lasting Legacy of St. Michael s Home page B 3 of the residents as well as distributing their medications. All residents, regardless of the type of room they occupy and the boarding fee they pay, receive the same level of care and attentiveness. At NO time is any applicant expected to turn over his/her assets to the Home nor is anyone denied admission because they cannot afford to pay for their stay. Truly it is a unique adult care facility! Throughout its 50 year history, the Home has been self-sufficient, not receiving subsidies from any outside agencies. To meet its expenses, St. Michael s has two sources of income: the monthly boarding fees which the residents are able to submit and the donations we receive from parishes, the Philoptochos, societies, estates and the many individual friends of the Home. In 2007, our expenses directly related to the care of the elderly were over $1,350,000 while our total expenses were $1,596,000 which included miscellaneous expenditures for fundraising, etc. Our income in 2007 was comprised of about $1,200,000 in boarding fees which the elderly were able to pay, while the balance came from donations. Without this magnanimous support, the quality of life for the residents would be greatly diminished. Constantly looking to enhance its programs and always striving to meet the needs of the Greek Orthodox faithful, the Home is presently aggressively pursuing the expansion of both the number of beds as well as the level of care it provides the elderly. Its current certification from the State as an adult home means that the Home cannot accept or keep individuals who need chronic nursing care or who are no longer ambulatory. In 2007, 14 residents had to be transferred to nursing homes and for this reason, St. Michael s is seeking to either expand the facility into a continuum care facility so that we can retain all of our residents and also accept others who do not meet the present criteria for admission. Without a doubt, St. Michael s provides an environment not found anywhere else. This institution enables the elderly to live out their golden years with dignity and self-esteem. Always treated with love and respect, they can maintain a degree of independence in a safe surrounding where they are provided with the assistance they may need at this point in their lives. Residents and visitors enjoy a Lenten luncheon at St. Michael s Home during the visit of the Archbishop, which was followed by the Apokathelosis service. (Orthodox Observer) This is the unique environment which St. Michael s has provided for five decades and with the assistance of all Greek Orthodox communicants, the Home will celebrate many more milestones in its history...a history of offering quality care to the elderly which is the fastest growing segment of the American population. According to national statistics, the fastest growing segment of the American population is that group 65 years old and older and by the year 2020, over 25 percent of the population will be in this age group. These statistics also indicate that most people in this age group are opting to live in facilities specifically serving the needs of the elderly rather than live with their children. Based on this trend, there will be a much greater need for the services which St. Michael s provides and we trust that the all the parishes and faithful will do their utmost to support the Home in its endeavors. On the occasion of this auspicious celebration, please consider helping St. Michael s observe its 50th Anniversary by making a contribution to the Home at 3 Lehman Terrace, Yonkers, N.Y or by visiting our webpage, for more information or to make an online donation. The tradition continues Both Archbishops Iakovos and Demetrios have maintained close ties with U.S. presidents. Archbishop Iakovos offers a prayer at the inauguration of John F. Kennedy and Archbishop Demetrios talks with President Bush during one of his many visits to the White House. (Archdiocese Archives and Dimitri Panagos) St. Michael s Chapel provides spiritual nourishment. (Orthodox Observer) Still going strong Goyans today take part in many activities that have become an integral part of the organization over the years, whether its sports such as the Olympics, or volleyball or basketball, and spiritual aspects such as retreats and conferences. (Orthodox Observer)
19 ΜΑΙΟΣ 2008 ΟΡΘΟ ΟΞΟΣ ORTHODOX ΠΑΡΑΤΗΡΗΤΗΣ OBSERVER 19 Ο πρωτοβεστιάριος Γεώργιος Σφραντζής ( ), επιφανής στρατιωτικός, πολιτικός και συγγραφέας ευγενούς καταγωγής, υπήρξε αυτόπτης του ψυχομαχητού της Βυζαντινής Aυτοκρατορίας, έζησε τα δραματικά γεγονότα της Αλώσεως, υπέστη την πικρή μοίρα του νικημένου, αιχμαλωτίστηκε, κακόπαθε, είδε τον αυτοκράτορα Κωνσταντίνο να πέφτει στις επάλξεις και γενικά ήπιε ως το τέλος το ποτήρι της ήττας. Στα γεράματά του κατέληξε στην Κέρκυρα, όπου και έγραψε τις πολύτιμες αναμνήσεις του σε μορφή ιστορικού Χρονικού, το οποίο και είναι ένα από τα δραματικότερα κείμενα της υστεροβυζαντινής εποχής. Σημειώνει ο Σφραντζής για την τελευταία Δευτέρα (28 Μαίου 1453), την αρχή του τέλους της Βυζαντινής Αυτοικρατορίας των 11 και πλέον αιώνων: «..Ακούγοντας εμείς στην Πόλη την πελώρια κραυγή που έμοιαζε με βρόντο μεγάλο της θάλασσας, αναρωτιόμασταν τι να ήταν άραγε. Σε λίγο μάθαμε σίγουρα ότι για την επαύριο ο αμιράς ετοίμαζε πόλεμο εναντίον της Πόλεως από ξηράς και θαλάσσης, όσο πιο σφοδρό μπορούσε. Εμείς, βλέποντας τόσο μεγάλο πλήθος ασεβών όπως μου φάνηκε εμένα, ήταν περίπου πεντακόσιοι προς έναν, σε σχέση με μας, όλες τις ελπίδες μας τις κρεμάσαμε στο Θεό. Διέταξε, λοιπόν, ο αυτοκράτωρ τους ιερείς, αρχιερείς και μοναχούς, γυναίκες και παιδιά, μαζί με τις άγιες και σεπτές εικόνες και τα άγια λείψανα, να περιφέρονται με δάκρυα στα τείχη της Πόλεως και να ψάλλουν το «κύριε ελέησον», και να ικετεύουν το Θεό να μη μας παραδώσει για τις αμαρτίες μας στα χέρια εχθρών ανόμων και αποστατών και πονηρότατων σε όλη την οικουμένη, αλλά να μας λυπηθεί, ως κληρονόμους του αληθινού Θεού. Και με κλάματα ενθάρρυνε ο ένας τον άλλο να αντισταθούν γενναία στον εχθρό την ώρα της συμπλοκής. Επίσης, και ο αυτοκράτωρ στο ίδιο οδυνηρό βράδυ της Δευτέρας, αφού μάζεψε τους πάντες, άρχοντες και αρχόμενους, δήμαρχους, εκατόνταρχους, πρόκριτους και στρατιώτες, τους είπε τα εξής: «Ευγενέστατοι άρχοντες και εκλαμπρότατοι δήμαρχοι και στρατηγοί, και γενναιότατοι συστρατιώτες, και όλος ο πιστός και τίμιος λαός, ξέρετε καλά πως έφτασε η ώρα που ο εχθρός της πίστης μας θέλει με κάθε τέχνασμα και τρόπο να μας στενοχωρήσει περισσότερο και να μας κάνει πόλεμο σφοδρό, με μεγάλες συγκρούσεις και συρράξεις από στεριά και θάλασσα, για να κατορθώσει και να χύσει το δηλητήριό του, σαν φίδι, και να μας καταπιεί σαν ανήμερο λιοντάρι. Σας λέω λοιπόν να σταθείτε αντρειωμένοι και γενναιόψυχοι, όπως κάνατε πάντοτε ως τώρα εναντίον των εχθρών της πίστης. Σας παραδίνω την εκλαμπρότατη και φημισμένη αυτή πόλη, πατρίδα σας και βασίλισσα των πόλεων. Ξέρετε καλά, αδέρφια, ότι για τέσσερις λόγους οφείλουμε όλοι να προτιμήσουμε το θάνατο παρά τη ζωή: πρώτον, για την πίστη και την ευσέβειά μας δεύτερον, για την πατρίδα τρίτον, για το βασιλέα και το Χριστό και τέταρτον, για τους συγγενείς και φίλους. Λοιπόν αδέρφια, αν οφείλουμε να αγωνιστούμε μέχρι θανάτου για έναν και μόνο από τους τέσσερις αυτούς λόγους, πολύ περισσότερο για όλους μαζί, όπως προφανώς κατανοείτε. Αν για τις αμαρτίες μας παραχωρήσει ο Θεός τη νίκη στους ασεβείς, θα διακινδυνεύσουμε υπέρ της πίστεως της αγίας που μας παραχώρησε ο Χριστός με το αίμα του. Αυτό είναι το σπουδαιότερο απ όλα. Τι θα ωφεληθεί κανείς αν κερδίσει τον κόσμο όλο και χάσει την ψυχή του; Δεύτερον, χάνουμε έτσι μια περίφημη πατρίδα και, Η Αλωση της Πόλης ακόμη, την ελευθερία μας. Τρίτον, χάνουμε την άλλοτε περιφανή και σήμερα ντροπιασμένη, ταπεινωμένη και εξουθενωμένη βασιλεία, η οποία γίνεται έρμαιο του ασεβούς τυράννου. Τέταρτον, στερούμεθα τις προσφιλείς γυναίκες και τα παιδιά μας και τους συγγενείς μας. Ο αλιτήριος αυτός αμιράς έχει πενήντα εφτά ημέρες αφότου ήρθε, και μας πολιορκεί και μας πολεμάει νυχθημερόν, με κάθε τέχνασμα και με όλη του την ισχύ. Χάρη στον παντεπόπτη Χριστό και Κύριό μας, διώχτηκε ντροπιασμένος κακήν κακώς πολλές φορές ως τώρα από τα τείχη. Μη δειλιάσετε και τώρα, αδερφοί, επειδή το τείχος έπεσε σε μερικά μέρη από τα βλήματα και τις εκπυρσοκροτήσεις των τηλεβόλων, γιατί, όπως και εσείς βλέπετε, όπως μπορούσαμε το διορθώσαμε. Εμείς κάθε ελπίδα μας τη στηρίζουμε στην ακαταμάχητη δύναμη του Θεού. Αυτοί έχουν πλήθος όπλα και στρατό και ιππικό, αλλά εμείς έχουμε πίστη στο όνομα του Κυρίου και σωτήρα και, δεύτερον, στα χέρια μας και τη δύναμή μας, που μας χάρισε η θεία πρόνοια. Ξέρω ότι αυτό το αναρίθμητο μπουλούκι των εχθρών, καθώς είναι η συνήθειά τους, θα βαδίσει εναντίον μας με βαναυσότητα και με έπαρση, με πολύ θράσος και βία, για να μας συνθλίψουν, λόγω του ολιγάριθμου της παράταξής μας, και να μας καταπονήσουν με την κούραση, και με φωνές πολλές και ισχυρές να μας φοβίσουν. Τις φλυαρίες τους αυτές τις ξέρετε καλά και δεν είναι ανάγκη να μιλήσουμε γι αυτές. Και σε λίγη ώρα θα τα κάνουν όλα αυτά, και θα πετάξουν πάνω μας σαν άμμο της θάλασσας αναρίθμητες πέτρες, βέλη και βλήματα. Ελπίζω να μη μας βλάψουν με αυτά, γιατί βλέποντάς σας χαίρομαι πολύ και τρέφω τη σκέψη μου με ελπίδες σαν κι αυτή, δηλαδή πως, αν και είμαστε λίγοι, είμαστε ωστόσο πολύ επιδέξιοι, επιτήδειοι, ρωμαλέοι, δυνατοί, ικανοί για μεγάλα έργα, και καλά προπαρασκευασμένοι. Με τις ασπίδες σας καλύπτετε καλά τα κεφάλια σας στις συμπλοκές και τις συρράξεις. Το δεξί σας χέρι, που κρατάει τη ρομφαία, να είναι πάντοτε μακρύ. Οι περικεφαλαίες σας, οι θώρακες και η σιδερέ νια πανοπλία σας είναι πολύ ικανά, όπως και τα άλλα σας όπλα, και στη συμπλοκή θα σας εξυπηρετήσουν πολύ. Οι αντίπαλοι ούτε έχουν τέτοια ούτε γνωρίζουν να τα χρησιμοποιούν. Εσείς είσαστε, επίσης, προστατευμένοι πίσω από τα τείχη, και οι απροστάτευτοι δύσκολα προχωρούν. Γι αυτό γίνετε μαχητές έτοιμοι, ισχυροί και μεγαλόψυχοι, για όνομα του Θεού. Μιμηθείτε τους λίγους ελέφαντες των αρχαίων Καρχηδονίων, που μόνο με τη φωνή και την όψη τους έτρεψαν σε φυγή μέγα πλήθος ρωμαϊκού ιππικού. Και αν είχαν τη δύναμη να τρέψουν σε φυγή ζώα χωρίς λογική, πόσο μάλλον εμείς που είμαστε κύριοι των ζώων αυτοί που έρχονται να μας αντιπαραταχθούν σαν ζώα χωρίς λογική, είναι χειρότεροι απ αυτά. Τα δόρατά μας, οι ρομφαίες μας, τα τόξα μας και τα ακόντιά μας θα στραφούν εναντίον τους. Και φανταστείτε πως παίρνετε μέρος σε κυνήγι αγριόχοιρων, για να καταλάβουν οι ασεβείς ότι δεν αντιμάχονται με ζώα χωρίς λογική, όπως είναι αυτοί, αλλά με άρχοντες, και αφέντες τους, και απογόνους των Ελλήνων και των Ρωμαίων. Ξέρετε καλά πως ο ασεβέστατος αυτός αμιράς και εχθρός της αγίας μας πίστης, χωρίς καμιά δικαιολογημένη αιτία, καταπάτησε την ειρήνη που είχαμε και αθέτησε τους πολλούς του όρκους χωρίς να λογαριάζει τίποτε φτάνοντας ξαφνικά εδώ έστησε οχυρό στο στενό του Ασωμάτου, για να μπορεί να μας βλάπτει κάθε μέρα. Τα χωράφια μας, τους κήπους μας, τα οικογενειακά μας καταφύγια, τα σπίτια μας τα έχει κιόλας πυρπολήσει. Τους αδερφούς μας τους Χριστιανούς, όσους βρήκε, τους θανάτωσε και τους αιχμαλώτισε. Διέλυσε τη φιλία μας και έπιασε φιλίες με τους κατοίκους του Γαλατά, και αυτοί χαίρονται, μη γνωρίζοντας και αυτοί οι ταλαίπωροι το μύθο του παιδιού του γεωργού, που έψηνε σαλιγκάρια και είπε ω ανόητα ζώα και τα λοιπά. Ήρθε λοιπόν, αδερφοί, και μας απέκλεισε, και κάθε μέρα έχει ανοιχτό το αχανές στόμα του για να βρει ευκαιρία να μας καταπιεί, εμάς και την Πόλη που έκτισε ο τρισμακάριστος και μέγας βασιλεύς Κωνσταντίνος, και την αφιέρωσε στην πάναγνη και αειπάρθενη δέσποινά μας, τη Θεοτόκο και τη χάρισε σ εκείνη, ώστε να είναι Κυρία της Πόλεως, αλλά και σύμμαχός της και σκέπη της πατρίδας μας και καταφύγιο των χριστιανών, ελπίδα και χαρά όλων των Ελλήνων, το καύχημα όλων που ζουν κάτω από τον ήλιο. Και αυτός ο ασεβέστατος την άλλοτε περιφανή και ζωηρή σαν ρόδο του αγρού Πόλη θέλει να την υπαγάγει υπό την εξουσία του. Αφού η αυτοκρατορία μας υποδούλωσε, μπορώ να πω, σχεδόν όλη την υφήλιο, και υπόταξε κάτω από τα πόδια της τον Πόντο, την Αρμενία, την Περσία, την Παφλαγονία, Αμαζόνες και Καππαδοκία, Γαλατία και Μηδία, Κολχούς και Ίβηρες, Βοσποριανούς και Αλβανούς, Συρία και Κιλικία και Μεσοποταμία, Φοινίκη και Παλαιστίνη, Αραβία και Ιουδαία, Βακτριανούς και ΣκύΘες, Μακεδονία και Θεσσαλία, Ελλάδα, Βοιωτία και Λοκρούς και Αιτωλούς, Ακαρνανία, Αχαΐα και Πελοπόννησο, Ήπειρο και Ιλλυρικό, τους Λυχνίτες κοντά στην Αδριατική, Ιταλία, Τοσκάνη, Κέλτες και Κελτογαλάτες, Ιβηρία ως τα Γάδειρα, Λιβύη και Μαυριτανία και Μαυρουσία, Αιθιοπία, Βελέδες Σκούδη, Νουμιδία και Αφρική και Αίγυπτο, Τώρα σκέφτεται αυτός να μας υποδουλώσει, και την Πόλη που κυριαρχεί στον κόσμο να την υποτάξει σε ζυγό και δουλεία, και τις άγιες εκκλησίες μας, όπου προσκυνούνταν η αγία Τριάδα και δοξολογούνταν ο Θεός, και όπου οι άγγελοι ακούγονταν να υμνούν τη Θεία και ένσαρκη πρόνοια του Λόγου του Θεού, Θέλει να τις κάνει προσκύνημα της δικής του βλασφημίας και του ανόητου ψευδοπροφήτη του Μωάμεθ, και στάβλο για άλογα και καμήλες. Λοιπόν, αδερφοί και συμμαχητές, θυμηθείτε όλα αυτά, για να μνημονεύουν τη δόξα σας και την ελευθεροφροσύνη σας αιώνια». Στράφηκε τότε στους Ενετούς, που στέκονταν προς τα δεξιά και τους είπε: «Ευγενείς Ενετοί, αγαπημένοι αδερφοί μας εν Χριστώ τω Θεώ, άνδρες ισχυροί και δυνατοί στρατιώτες και δόκιμοι στους πολέμους, εσείς που με τις αστραφτερές σας ρομφαίες θανατώσατε πολλές φορές πλήθος Αγαρηνών, και το αίμα τους έτρεξε από τα χέρια σας σαν ποτάμι, σας παρακαλώ σήμερα την πόλη τούτη, που βρίσκεται σε τόση συμφορά πολέμου, να την υπερασπιστείτε ολόψυχα. Γνωρίζετε πως πάντα την είχατε δεύτερη πατρίδα óåë. 20
20 20 ΟΡΘΟ ΟΞΟΣ ΠΑΡΑΤΗΡΗΤΗΣ óåë. 19 σας και μητέρα σας. Σας λέω λοιπόν άλλη μια φορά, και σας παρακαλώ, αυτή την ώρα να ενεργήσετε ως φίλοι της πίστης, ομόθρησκοι και αδερφοί». Κατόπιν, γυρίζοντας προς τα αριστερά, λέει στους Γενουάτες: «Ω Γενουάτες, αδερφοί εντιμότατοι, άντρες πολεμιστές και μεγαλόκαρδοι και φημισμένοι, ξέρετε καλά και καταλαβαίνετε ότι η δυστυχισμένη αυτή πόλη δεν ήταν πάντοτε μόνο δική μου, αλλά και δική σας, για πολλές αιτίες. Εσείς μας βοηθήσατε πολλές φορές πρόθυμα, και με τη δική σας συνδρομή σώθηκε από τους Αγαρηνούς εχθρούς. Τώρα πάλι έφτασε ο καιρός να δείξετε, βοηθώντας την, την αγάπη σας εν Χριστώ, την ανδρεία σας και τη γενναιότητά σας». Και γενικά, αφού στράφηκε προς όλους, είπε: «Δεν έχω καιρό να πω περισσότερα μοναχά το ταπεινωμένο σκήπτρο μου το αναθέτω στα χέρια σας, για να το διαφυλάξετε με προθυμία. Σας παρακαλώ ακόμα, και ζητώ την αγάπη σας, να είστε πειθαρχικοί στους στρατηγούς σας, τους δημάρχους και τους εκατόνταρχους, ο καθένας κατά την τάξη του, τη θέση του και την υπηρεσία του. Να ξέρετε τούτο: αν από μέσα από την καρδιά σας φυλάξετε τις εντολές μου, ελπίζω στο Θεό ότι θα λυτρωθούμε από την παρούσα δίκαιη απειλή του. Δεύτερον, σας περιμένει στον ουρανό το αδαμάντινο στεφάνι, και η μνήμη σας θα είναι αιώνια και άξια στον κόσμο». Με αυτά τελείωσε τη δημηγορία του, ευχαριστώντας με δάκρυα και στεναγμούς το Θεό, ενώ όλοι, με ένα στόμα, του αποκρίνονταν με δάκρυα λέγοντας: «θα πεθάνουμε για την πίστη του Χριστού και την πατρίδα μας». Τα άκουσε ο αυτοκράτωρ και, αφού τους ευχαρίστησε θερμά, υποσχόμενος πολλές δωρεές, τους είπε τέλος: «Λοιπόν, αδερφοί και συμμαχητές, να είσαστε έτοιμοι το πρωί. Με τη χάρη και την αρετή που μας δώρισε ο Θεός και με τη βοήθεια της Αγίας Τριάδος, στην οποία αναθέτουμε την πάσαν ελπίδα μας. θα κάνουμε τον εχθρό να φύγει κακήν κακώς και ντροπιασμένος από εδώ». 7. Μόλις τ άκουσαν οι δυστυχείς Ρωμαίοι, έκαναν καρδιά λιονταριού και, αφού συχωρέθηκαν μεταξύ τους, ζητούσαν να συνασπιστούν ο ένας με τον άλλο, χωρίς να θυμούνται ούτε αγαπημένα παιδιά ούτε γυναίκες ούτε περιουσία, παρά μόνο ήθελαν να πεθάνουν για να υπερασπίσουν την πατρίδα. Ο καθένας ξαναγύριζε στον τόπο που του είχε οριστεί, και φρουρούσαν άγρυπνα τα τείχη. Ο αυτοκράτορας πήγε και προσευχήθηκε στον πάνσεπτο ναό της Αγίας Σοφίας και μετάλαβε των αχράντων μυστηρίων, πράγμα που έκαναν και πολλοί άλλοι εκείνη τη νύχτα. Κατόπιν ήρθε στα ανάκτορα και, αφού έμεινε λίγο, ζήτησε συγχώρηση απ όλους. Ποιος θα διηγηθεί τους κλαυθμούς και τους θρήνους εκείνη τη στιγμή στο παλάτι; Ακόμα και αν ήταν από ξύλο ή από πέτρα, δεν μπορούσε να μη θρηνήσει. Ανεβήκαμε στα άλογα και βγήκαμε από τα ανάκτορα περιδιαβαίνοντας τα τείχη, για να φιλοτιμήσουμε τους φρουρούς να φυλάνε άγρυπνα. Τη νύχτα εκείνη ήταν όλοι στα τείχη και τους πύργους. Όλες οι πύλες ήταν κλεισμένες ασφαλέστατα και δεν μπορούσε κανείς να βγει ή να μπει. Όταν φτάσαμε στα Καλιγάρια, την πρώτη ώρα του λαλήματος του πετεινού, κατεβήκαμε από τα άλογα και ανεβήκαμε στον πύργο ακούσαμε συχνές ομιλίες και μεγάλο θόρυβο περίεργο απ έξω, και μας είπαν οι φρουροί ότι αυτό κάνουν όλη τη νύχτα. Έσερναν όσα μηχανήματα ετοίμαζαν για την τειχομαχία, κουβαλώντας τα κοντά στο όρυγμα. Ταυτόχρονα, μετακινούσαν από τις ακτές τα μεγαλύτερα σκάφη τους και τα έφερναν κοντά στα τείχη και τις γέφυρες. Κατά το δεύτερο λάλημα του πετεινού, χωρίς κανένα σινιάλο, όπως συνέβαινε να γίνεται τις προηγούμενες ημέρες, άρχισαν τον πόλεμο με μεγάλη βιασύνη και βία. Ο αμιράς είχε καθορίσει προηγουμένως ότι όλοι όσοι δεν είχαν μεγάλη πολεμική πείρα, και μερικοί γέροι και νέοι, αυτοί θα άρχιζαν πρώτοι τη μάχη, και θα συμπλέκονταν για να μας κουράσουν λίγο και κατόπιν οι άλλοι, οι πιο δυνατοί, ανδρείοι και έμπειροι στον πόλεμο, με περισσότερο θάρρος και προθυμία θα βάδιζαν εναντίον μας. Έτσι και έγινε και ο πόλεμος και η συμπλοκή άναψαν σαν καμίνι. Οι δικοί μας έδειχναν γενναία αντίσταση και τους υποδέχονταν σκληρά, γκρεμίζοντάς τους από τα τείχη και κατέστρεψαν αρκετά πολεμικά όργανά τους και σκεύη. Και από τις δυο μεριές έγινε θανατικό, και μάλιστα από την πλευρά των Τούρκων. Μόλις άρχισαν να μη φαίνονται τ αστέρια του ουρανού και ξημέρωσε η αυγή βάφοντας ροδόχροη την ανατολή, όλο το πλήθος των αντιπάλων έγινε σαν κομπολόι, από το ένα μέρος της πόλης ως το άλλο. Τα πολεμικά όργανα, τύμπανα και άλλα πνευστά, ήχησαν, ενώ ακούστηκαν φωνές και αλαλαγμοί ισχυροί, και όλα τα τηλεβόλα ξέρασαν φωτιά. Όλοι μαζί, την ίδια στιγμή, από ξηρά και θάλασσα έκαναν επίθεση και ήρθαν σε πολεμική σύρραξη. Μερικοί θαρραλέοι πολεμιστές ρίχνουν τις σκοινένιες σκάλες, ενώ τα βέλη, πυκνά, στρέφονται εναντίον αυτών που ήταν στους πύργους. Η μάχη κράτησε δυο ώρες, γεμάτη φρίκη και στεναγμούς, και επικράτησαν μάλλον οι Χριστιανοί. Τα καράβια με τις σκάλες και τις γέφυρες αποχώρησαν άπρακτα από τα τείχη προς τη θάλασσα, ενώ τα πετροβόλα μηχανήματα μέσα από την Πόλη σκότωσαν πολλούς Αγαρηνούς. Και από τη στεριά, με τον ίδιο και χειρότερο τρόπο υποδέχτηκαν τον εχθρό. Κι ήταν παράξενο το θέαμα, σαν ένα σκοτεινό σύννεφο που σκέπαζε τον ήλιο και τον ουρανό. Και από τα μηχανήματα έριχναν υγρό πυρ και έκαιγαν τους εχθρούς, και τις εξέδρες και τις σκάλες τις τσάκιζαν, μαζί κι αυτούς που τις ανέβαιναν, ρίχνοντας από πάνω βαριές πέτρες, και τους έδιωχναν με βλητικά μηχανήματα και τόξα. Και όπου έβλεπαν συγκέντρωση πολλών, εκεί και έβαζαν φωτιά με τα τηλεβόλα και χτυπούσαν και σκότωναν πολλούς. Οι αντίπαλοι, από την κούραση του πολέμου και την αντίσταση, είχαν τόσο αγανακτήσει, ώστε ήθελαν να οπισθοχωρήσουν λίγο, για να πάρουν ανάσα. Οι υπαξιωματικοί και οι ραβδούχοι της αυλής με σιδερένιες ράβδους και βούνευρα χτυπούσαν τους στρατιώτες τους για να μη δείχνουν τα νώτα τους στον εχθρό. Ποιος θα διηγηθεί τις φωνές και τις κραυγές τότε, και τις οιμωγές των πληγωμένων που ανέβαιναν ως τον ουρανό, φωνές και κρότοι. Και μερικοί δικοί μας βλέποντάς τους έτσι να πάσχουν έλεγαν μεγαλόφωνα: «Αυτά κάνατε, γι αυτό φάγατε τα μούτρα σας». Κι αυτοί, θέλοντας με τη βία να δείξουν την ανδρεία τους, ανέβαιναν και πάλι τις σκάλες και μερικοί άλλοι τολμηροί, δυνατοί και δραστήριοι, ανέβαιναν ο ένας στους ώμους του άλλου, και τρίτος επάνω στους ώμους του δεύτερου, όπως μπορούσε, για να φτάσουν επάνω στα τείχη. Και κάνοντας όλα αυτά χτυπιού- ΜΑΙΟΣ 2008 Η Αλωση της Πόλης κώς, εθνικώς και χριστιανικώς πάνοπλοι για να υπηρετήσουν την ιερωσύνη. Αγωνιζόταν πάντα υπέρ της Σχολής και προσπαθούσε να εξασφαλίσει την συνεχή οικονομική ενίσχυσή της. Δημιούργησε νέα πτέρυγα, βιβλιοθήκη, αναγνωστήριο και ναϊδριο. Ταυτόχρονα ενίσχυσε και την Ακαδημία Αγίου Βασιλείου με τον καλύτερο δυνατό τρόπο. Προσωπικό του έργο υπήρξε η οργάνωση της νεολαίας G. O. Y. A. Το ενδιαφέρον για το μέλλον της νέας γενιάς είχε καταστεί γέφυρα η οποία ένωνε την Αρχιεπισκοπή Αμερικής με τη νέα γενιά των Ελληνοαμερικανών. Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Μιχαήλ ήταν αυτός που στην κυριολεξία «ανέστησε» τον Ορθόδοξο Παρατηρητή, το επίσημο έντυπο της Αρχιεπισκοπής Αμερικής που είχε ιδρύσει ο Μητροπολίτης Θυατείρων, το οποίο όμως με την πάροδο των χρόνων έπνεε τα λοίσθια. Σύντομα, ο Ορθόδοξος Παρατηρητής με το προσωπικό ενδιαφέρον του Αρχιεπισκόπου Μιχαήλ και μετά από αλλεπάλληλες συσκέψεις, προσέλκυσε νέους συνδρομητές ώστε να καταστεί ανεξάρτητο οικονομικά. Ο Ορθόδοξος Παρατηρητής δημοσίευε άρθρα ελληνιστί και αγγλιστί, γεγονός που προσέλκυσε τη νέα γενιά και σαν αποτέλεσμα κατέστη το δημοφιλέστερο περιοδικό της Ομογένειας. Η εισφορά του ενός δολλαρίου από νται σφοδρά και βίαια στις εισόδους και τις ανόδους γίνεται μάχη φοβερή και τα ξίφη συμπλέκονται τσακισμένα και γίνεται σκοτωμός πολύς κι από τις δύο πλευρές. Και ενώ η μάχη έκλινε προς την παράταξή μας, ο Θεόφιλος Παλαιολόγος και ο Δημήτριος Καντακουζηνός, άνδρες άριστοι, όρμησαν μπροστά και νίκησαν τους Αγαρηνούς, και τους ανέτρεψαν από τα τείχη και από τις σκάλες, και τους γκρέμισαν και τους σκόρπισαν. Τότε έφτασαν και άλλοι, που είχαν διατεθεί ως ενισχύσεις. Εκεί βρέθηκε έφιππος ο αυτοκράτωρ, και ενθαρρύνοντας τους στρατιώτες και διεγείροντάς τους να πολεμούν πρόθυμα, τους έλεγε: «Ω συστρατιώτες μου και αδερφοί, σταθείτε παλικαρίσια σας παρακαλώ, για τους οικτιρμούς του θεού γιατί βλέπω τώρα ότι το πλήθος των εχθρών άρχισε να στερεύει, και σε λίγο θα σκορπιστεί δεν έρχονται όπως έχουν συνήθεια να παρατάσσονται. Ελπίζω στο Θεό η νίκη να είναι δική μας. Λοιπόν, χαίρετε αδερφοί, ο πολύτιμος στέφανος της νίκης ανήκει σε μας, όχι μόνο ο φθαρτός και γήινος, αλλά και ο επουράνιος. Ο Θεός πολεμάει μαζί μας και κάνει να δειλιάζει το πλήθος των ασεβών»... Αρχιεπίσκοπος Β. & Ν. Αµερικής Μιχαήλ ( ) óåë. 13 κάθε ομογενειακή οικογένεια υπέρ της Αρχιεπισκοπής και των ιδρυμάτων της που είχε καθιερώσει ο Πατριάρχης Αθηναγόρας το 1930, δεν αρκούσε πλέον. Επρεπε να συντηρηθεί η Θεολογική Σχολή, η οποία προσέφερε δωρεάν διαμονή και διατροφή στους φοιτητές, η Ακαδημία του Αγίου Βασιλείου, ο Ορθόδοξος Παρατηρητής, όπως επίσης και να χρηματοδοτηθούν οι υπηρεσίες της Αρχιεπισκοπής και τα Κατηχητικά. Ταυτόχρονα έπρεπε να καλυφθούν οικονομικά κατηχητικά βοηθήματα, συνέδρια, ενημερωτικά έντυπα, οργανωτικό υλικό κ.λπ. Ως συνέπεια, μετά από πολ λές αντιδράσεις, επεβλήθη το δεκαδόλαρο. Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Μιχαήλ καθιέρωσε επίσης Εβδομάδα Ελληνικών Γραμμάτων και Τύπου, με την οποία η ομογένεια ενημερωνόταν σχετικά με πολιτιστικά και ιστορικά θέματα με σκοπό τη διάδοση του ελληνικού Πνεύματος. Τον Αύγουστο του 1954, στο Παγκόσμιο Συνέδριο του Evanston, εκπροσώπησε το Οικουμενικό Πατριαρχείο και στις 27 Αύγουστου του 1954 μίλησε ενώπιον της συνελεύσεως αγγλιστί, με θέμα: «Η παρούσα έντασις των σχέσεων των λαών του κόσμου προς αλλήλους και η ενότης ημών εν Χριστώ». Το 1956 συμμετείχε στο συνέδριο της Κεντρικής Επιτροπής του Παγκοσμίου Συμβουλίου των Εκκλησιών.
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