1 JULY AUGUST 2015 Vol. 80 No $1.00 Assembly of Bishops Response to Supreme Court Ruling The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America strongly disagrees with the United States Supreme Court decision of June 26, Obergefell v. Hodges, in which the Court invents a constitutional right for two members of the same sex to marry, and imposes upon all States the responsibility to license and recognize such marriages. The Supreme Court, in the narrowest majority possible, has overstepped its purview by essentially re-defining marriage itself. It has attempted to settle a polarizing social and moral question through legislative fiat. It is immoral and unjust for our government to establish in law a right for two members of the same sex to wed. Such legislation harms society and especially threatens children who, where possible, deserve the loving care of both a father and a mother. As Orthodox Christian bishops, charged by our Savior Jesus Christ to shepherd His flock, we will continue to uphold and proclaim the teaching of our Lord that marriage, from its inception, is the lifelong sacramental union of a man and a woman. We call upon all Orthodox Christians in our nation to remain firm in their Orthodox faith, and to renew their deep reverence for and commitment to marriage as taught by the Church. We also call upon our nation s civic leaders to respect the law of Almighty God and uphold the deeply-rooted beliefs of millions of Americans. In THIS ISSUE Santiago Calatrava design St. Nicholas Shrine An important component of the project is being offered by a key lay leader of the Archdiocese. P. 5 12,000 meals Philoptochos members in three states take on project to feed hungry kids. P. 7 Family Care A better understanding of our priests P. 24 Archbishop Demetrios joins bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and other dignitaries on the state at TD Arena following President Obama s eulogy. The program lasted for several hours and was attended by a capacity audience in the thousands. The scene was captured on a production computer of the Orthodox Observer from a telecast by Yahoo TV. Archbishop Remains Vigilant for Greek Crisis, Urges Unity by Stavros Papagermanos NEW YORK Responding to the ongoing economic crisis and recent developments in Greece, Archbishop Demetrios has expressed his concern and the boundless love, strong interest and full support of the Greek Orthodox faithful in America for the suffering Greek people. In a press release issued after the interruption of talks between the Greek government and the European Union (June NEW YORK TIME magazine s website published an exclusive article outlining the response of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to the Climate Encyclical Letter of Pope Francis Laudato Si, presented June 18 at the Vatican. The article starts with the words of His All-Holiness as follows: In a series of seminars organized between 1994 and 1998 on the island of Halki off the coast of Istanbul in Turkey, we drew attention to the close connection between ecology and economy. Both terms share the Greek root oikos, which signifies home. It therefore came as no surprise to us that our beloved brother Francis of Rome opens his encyclical, which is being released today in the New Synod Hall of the Vatican, with a reference to God s creation as our common home. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has been the first one in the Christian world to draw the attention of the world community to the seriousness of the ecological problem and the duty of the Church to voice its concern and try to contribute with all the spiritual means 26) on the worsening economic situation, and the referendum held Sunday, July 5, on whether to accept or reject the latest plan offered by Greece s creditors, the Archbishop stressed the need for composure and prudence and maintaining by all means concord and unity in dealing with any difficulties and situations; Always with the help of the Almighty God. Archbishop Demetrios also wrote to to page 19 Ecumenical Patriarch Responds to Pope s Climate Encyclical at its disposal towards the protection of our natural environment, said Metropolitan John (Zizioulas) of Pergamon, who represented the Ecumenical Patriarch at the presentation of the Pope s Encyclical. The issuing of the Encyclical Laudato Si is, therefore, an occasion of great joy and satisfaction for the Orthodox, said Metropolitan John. On behalf of them I should like to express our deep gratitude to His Holiness for raising his authoritative voice to draw the attention of the world to the urgent need to protect God s creation from the damage we humans inflict on it with our behavior towards nature. He said the encyclical comes at a critical moment in human history and will undoubtedly have a worldwide effect on people s consciousness. To read the TIME magazine article go to: To read the full text of Metropolitan John of Pergamon intervention go to: Archbishop Condemns S.C. Church Shooting, Attends Pastor s Funeral CHARLESTON, S.C. In the aftermath of the killing of nine persons by a gunman at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) on June 17, Archbishop Demetrios traveled to Charleston on Jun. 25 to attend the funeral of state Sen. Rev. Clementa Pinckney who was among the victims. The funeral service took place in TD Arena at the College of Charleston. President Obama delivered the eulogy. Because of the change in his schedule, the Archbishop was unable to attend the Pan-Macedonian Association s annual convention opening ceremony in Newton, Mass. Archbishop Demetrios, very saddened by the news of the shooting of nine persons at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston, S.C., on June 17, expressed on behalf of the Archdiocese, deep sorrow, sympathy and prayers for the victims, their families and their community. Issues Condolence Statement On June 19, Archbishop Demetrios issued a statement expressing his sadness and deep sorrow, sympathy and prayers for the victims, their families and their community. His Eminence further stated, I am deeply saddened and distraught by the news of this heinous crime, he stated, which took place in a church, in a sacred place of worship, during a time of Bible study. We, the Greek Orthodox Church in America, mourn the loss of innocent lives and stand in solidarity with the people of the community in Charleston. We pray fervently to God for the repose of the souls of the victims and for strength, comfort and consolation to their loved ones and everyone affected by this unspeakable tragedy. Furthermore, we firmly reiterate the unyielding commitment of the Orthodox Church to all efforts for the elimination of the causes of similar inhuman actions. Attends service The Archbishop took part in a fullday of activities held June 26 at TD Arena, which was filled to capacity by thousands. His Eminence was the only religious leader and hierarch of any other Christian denomination to attend. About 30 bishops and lay leaders of the AME Church were present. Also attending were Vice President and Mrs. Joe Biden, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives John Boehner, Hillary Clinton and other U.S. and state government officials. President Barack Obama arrived later in the program to deliver the eulogy and to page 3
2 2 To contact National Ministries Archives Communications Greek Education Internet Ministries Inter Orthodox, Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations Ionian Village Marriage & Family Parish Development Philanthropy Public Affairs Registry Religious Education Stewardship, Outreach & Evangelism Youth and Young Adult Ministries NEXT DEADLINE Deadline for submitting information, articles and photos for consideration in the September issue: Friday, Aug. 28 Photos should be sent as a large format.jpg attachment (300 dpi min.). to: Regular mail: Editor, Orthodox Observer, 8 E. 79 th St., New York, NY USPS ISSN In 2015, published monthly except February March and 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) by Steven Christoforou EDITOR IN CHIEF: Jim Golding (Chryssoulis) GREEK SECTION EDITOR, PRODUCTION & ADVERTISING: Eleftherios Pissalidis GRAPHIC ARTIST: Abel Montoya ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT: Soula Podaras BUSINESS MANAGER: Marissa P. Costidis THEOLOGICAL CONSULTANT: Dn. Eleftherios Constantine ARCHDIOCESE NEWS How to Contact Archdiocesan Institutions, Metropolises and Related Agencies and Organizations Direct Archdiocesan District ; Metropolis of Chicago ; Metropolis of Boston ; Metropolis of Denver ; Metropolis of Atlanta ; Metropolis of Detroit ; Metropolis of Pittsburgh ; Metropolis of San Francisco ; Metropolis of New Jersey ; Archdiocesan Institutions Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity C O N T R I B U T I N G P H O T O G R A P H E R S : Dimitrios Panagos Nicholas Manginas Tel ; Hellenic College Holy Cross School of Theology ; Saint Basil Academy ; St. Michael s Home ; St. Photios National Shrine ; Other key organizations and services National Philoptochos ; Internet Ministries: Orthodox Jobs: Orthodox Marketplace: Online Store for Parishes: freebookstore Orthodox Children s Bible Reader Online: cbr.goarch.org 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: e mail: Articles and advertising do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America which are expressed in official statements so labeled. Subscription rates are $12 per year. Canada $25. Overseas Air Mail, $55 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 is forwarded to the Orthodox Observer. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: ORTHODOX OBSERVER, 8 East 79 th Street, New York, NY JULY AUGUST 2015 Ionian Village Celebrates 45 Years of Youth Ministry VARTHOLOMIO, Greece On June 23, Ionian Village, the international summer camping ministry of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, began its celebratory 45 th anniversary summer. Founded in the 1960 s through the vision of the late Archbishop Iakovos, Ionian Village first summer of camping ministry was in 1970 under the leadership and dedication of Fr. George Poulos. Over the following 44 years, Ionian Village has welcomed more than 17,000 campers through its gates with one simple goal: to provide its campers and staff with a life-transforming experience by bringing them closer to our Orthodox faith and exploring our rich Hellenic culture and history. This summer not only marks the 45 th year of the camp, but also the highest number of registrants in the history of the camp. With over 200 campers in each sold-out session, our incredible team of staff, doctors, and clergy, along with the largest Spiritual Odyssey pilgrimage for young adults in recent history, Ionian Village will host more people this summer than ever before. This success is truly a testament to our young adults who lead our campers throughout the summer. These young adult leaders leave their jobs, their internships, and their summer classes behind and come to Greece for more than a vacation. In a generation that is obsessed with advancing and succeeding, these young adults are focusing not on themselves, but on the next generation, not on making them successful business people, but true Orthodox Christians. It is amazing to see these young adults from every corner of the country come together and lead; they are so much more than camp counselors, they are leading the next generation on this pilgrimage throughout Greece, and ultimately to Jesus Christ, remarked Ionian Village Director Fr. Evagoras Constantinides. Ionian Village is located at the idyllic campgrounds near Glyfa Beach, of the Prefecture of Elia in northwestern Peloponnese. Campers, together with their staff members, travel to numerous sites of historical and religious importance including Ancient Olympia, the islands of Zakynthos and Kefallonia, Patras, the monasteries of Mega Spilaion and Agia Lavra, the island of Aegina, the historic and martyric town of Kalavryta and, lastly, Athens. Session one of Ionian Village runs until mid July, with session two from mid-july to early August, welcoming campers from every metropolis of the Archdiocese. For more information about Ionian Village or to see updates from the 45 th year of summer camping ministries, visit www. ionianvillage.org Youth Ministry Spreads Gospel through Metaphor of Bee The Church has been blessed with many kinds of saints. Some were models of ascetic struggle. Others were exemplars of philanthropy and true love of neighbor. Still others confessed and preached the Faith, with love and joy, to all they met. Following the example of these last saints in particular, the Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministry has been working tirelessly to spread the joy of the Gospel in a clear and understandable way. Much effort has, in particular, been devoted to creating online video resources. Over the past two years, Be the Bee has proven to be a very successful and welcome example of this effort. It is available to all as a free resource at com/y2am and BeTheBee.goarch.org. It is a weekly video series produced by the Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries (Y2AM for short). St. Basil the Great, St John Chrysostom, Elder Paisios, and others developed the beautiful metaphor of the bee, which travels from flower to flower in search only of the good nectar, leaving what is bad behind, so it can make honey and share it with the hive and all who enjoy this sweetness. In fact, a bee does not even notice what is filthy, but is drawn directly to what is sweet. Building on this metaphor, the video series helps people find God in everything, every day, and encourages them to share the gift of the Gospel with all they encounter. In short, being the bee is a saying that simply and clearly expresses our calling as Orthodox Christians. As of July 2015, Y2AM has produced 75 episodes of Be the Bee and is viewed by thousands of people around the world. It is routinely used by Sunday schools, camping programs, youth groups, young adult groups, and families as a tool to learn and grow in the Faith. The official Be the Bee website, BeTheBee.goarch.org, also provides helpful readings and study questions for each episode. In time, it will also provide model JOY and GOYA lesson plans for each video. We pray that you will not simply watch every week, but also help share these episodes every week, and be coworkers and co-evangelists in a world that so desperately needs the truth of Christ and His Church. Steven Christoforou is director of the Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministry. Change of Address To submit a change of address: Contact Soula Podaras at fax: Or regular mail to: Orthodox Observer, 8 E. 79 th St., New York, NY Be sure to include old address, new address and name of parish. Questions about submitting news and photos: Jim Golding (212) ; For advertising or the Greek section: Lefteris Pissalidis, (212) ;
3 JULY AUGUST 2015 ARCHDIOCESE NEWS 3 Meeting at the Phanar Present at the meeting with the Ecumenical Patriarch and Elder Metropolitan John of Pergamon were the following members of the Executive Committee: Archbishop Demetrios (Ecumenical Patriarchate, Assembly Chairman), Bishop John (Moscow Patriarchate, Second-Vice Chairman), Metropolitan Antony (Treasurer), Bishop Longin (Patriarchate of Serbia), Archbishop Nicolae (Patriarchate of Romania), Metropolitan Joseph (Patriarchate of Bulgaria), Bishop Saba (Patriarchate of Georgia). Also present were Bishop Maxim (Coordinator for Committees) and Metropolitan Tikhon (OCA). Archbishop Demetrios, Bishop John, Metropolitan Antony, Bishop Longin, Archbishop Nicolae, Metropolitan Joseph, Bishop Saba, Bishop Maxim, and Metropolita Tikhon. Assembly of Bishops Executive Committee Meets with Ecumenical Patriarch ISTANBUL On Tuesday, June 16, 2015 Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew received the executive committee of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America at the Phanar in Constantinople. During the meeting, which took place in a spirit of open exchange in the personal office of the Ecumenical Patriarch, the hierarchs reviewed with His All-Holiness the work of the Assembly of Bishops, especially as it relates to the overall work of its committees. Particular attention was given to the work of the Committees for Pastoral Practice and Canonical Regional Planning. The hierarchs also discussed a number of challenges and opportunities in the formulation of a proposed plan for the restructuring of the Orthodox Church in the United States. Joining the Ecumenical Patriarch, Elder Metropolitan John of Pergamon from page 1 led in the singing of the Protestant hymn Amazing Grace. Following the event, which began about 10 a.m. and lasted until about 3 p.m., the Archbishop joined other dignitaries and AME clergy to visit the scene of the murders at the Emanuel AME Church, including the basement where the Bible study was taking place at the time of the shootings. Archbishop Demetrios completed the day with an unscheduled visit to Charleston s Greek Orthodox church, Holy Trinity, where a wedding rehearsal was under way. After blessing the future bride and discussed the mission of the Assemblies of Bishops as originally envisioned at their inception in Chambésy in Both the Ecumenical Patriarch and Metropolitan John commended the efforts of the US hierarchs, and acknowledged their work as a model for inter-orthodox cooperation. Present at the meeting with the Ecumenical Patriarch and Elder Metropolitan John of Pergamon were the following members of the Executive Committee: Archbishop Demetrios (Ecumenical Patriarchate, Assembly chairman), Bishop John (Moscow Patriarchate, second-vice chairman), Metropolitan Antony (treasurer), Bishop Longin (Patriarchate of Serbia), Archbishop Nicolae (Patriarchate of Romania), Metropolitan Joseph (Patriarchate of Bulgaria), Bishop Saba (Patriarchate of Georgia). Also present were Bishop Maxim (coordinator for committees) and Metropolitan Tikhon (OCA). Archbishop Demetrios Condemns S.C. Church Shooting, Attends Pastor s Funeral groom, he departed for New York. The AME Church is one of the oldest denominations in the United States. It has its roots in the Free African Society established by free blacks in Philadelphia in 1787 as a result of racial discrimination experienced in mainstream congregations. It officially began in 1816 and major congregations were established in major cities in the north from Boston to Cincinnati and reached the West Coast by the 1850s. Currently, the AME Church has about 7.5 million members in 12,000 congregations. South Carolina alone has about 600 congregations. To the Most Reverend Hierarchs, the Reverend Priests and Deacons, the Monks and Nuns, the Presidents and Members of the Parish Councils of the Greek Orthodox Communities, the Distinguished Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Day, Afternoon, and Church Schools, the Philoptochos Sisterhoods, the Youth, the Hellenic Organizations, and the entire Greek Orthodox Family in America Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ, The annual celebration of Independence Day in this country is an opportunity for all to reflect on the value of freedom, its role in the history of the United States of America, and the opportunities it provides for relationships, life, and well-being. The value and priority of freedom is evident in the history of this country, both through the struggles to achieve it for all persons as well as in the great accomplishments and progress that have been made from the freedom to think, speak, move, invent, and succeed. As Greek Americans and Orthodox Christians we celebrate this freedom. We recognize the blessings that freedom has provided to our families and ourselves as we live, work, and worship in this country. We also recognize the value of freedom in emphasizing our heritage and identity. We are free to share this cherished heritage in an environment that values freedom of expression and the open Encyclical Independence Day sharing of ideas and diversity. We have much to offer from our heritage. As members of this society and as Orthodox Christians we know we are truly free when our pursuits and goals are not for ourselves but for the benefit and spiritual well-being of others and for the honor and glory of God. Our freedom to speak is an opportunity to proclaim the Gospel. Our freedom to live securely is freedom to keep our ultimate trust in God. Our freedom to move is our opportunity to follow our faith with praxis in the care of those in need. Our freedom to achieve is the opportunity for spiritual growth in communion with God and to guide others to do the same. Our freedom to believe is our opportunity to be a constant and beautiful witness through our worship in truth and love. As we join with family, communities, and as a nation in the observance of Independence Day and the celebration of freedom, may we affirm our commitment to sharing the true freedom we have in our Lord Jesus Christ, and may we lead others to see the abundant life and tremendous blessings that this freedom offers to all people. With paternal love in Christ, Dimitrios Panagos photos DEMETRIOS, Archbishop of Amer i ca
4 4 ARCHDIOCESE NEWS JULY AUGUST 2015 Pasadena Hosts 32 nd National Oratorical Festival PASADENA, Calif. Eighteen young people from throughout the Archdiocese successfully talked their way through the parish, district and metropolis levels of the St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival since March to qualify for the national event taking place June 4-6. They and their families were welcomed upon their arrival in Southern California by the host committee headed by Irene Albeck, Judith Christopoulos and Athena Dallas. Senior participants (above) and juniors with Metropolitan Gerasimos, Bishop Apostolos and oratorical festival organizers. (Allen Altchech photos) After a paraklesis service with Fr. Peter Stratos, pastor, and ice-breaker social with a cast member of The Goldbergs TV show (Stephanie Yallourakis Grant), they were greeted by Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco. At the Saturday morning competition, one of the most popular topics in the junior division related to Malala Yousafzai, an inspirational example of fighting fearlessly for a noble cause in spite of threats against her life under the topic Discuss a young saint or person from the Bible who illustrates such courage. Two of the current topics in the senior division were: The Lord said, I was in prison and you came to me (Matthew 25:36). What does this teach us about our attitudes toward those in jails and imprisoned? and Psalm 50 (51) begins, Have mercy on me, O Lord It is considered the psalm of repentance. Discuss how praying this psalm might affect our understanding of repentance, confession, and forgiveness. At the awards luncheon, master of ceremonies Archon Mike Emanuel, chief congressional and senior news correspondent for FOX News spoke of his participation at his parish s oratorical festival many years ago. Metropolitan Gerasimos spoke of how he was moved by the boldness of the speeches, challenging the audience, including the leadership of the Church to listen to the voice of our young people, their concerns, and their ideals for the future. National Oratorical Festival Chairman Presvytera Margaret Orfanakos, invited junior division finalists for the presentation of plaques recognizing their participation in the national festival, and a certificate signed by Archbishop Demetrios and a scholarship from FAITH: An Endowment for Orthodoxy and Hellenism Award. Junior Division The following received honorable mention, and a $500 monetary award (metropolises in parenthesis): Marika Reynolds-Archangel Michael Church, Port Washington, N.Y. (Direct Archdiocesan District); Alexandra Nichols-Annunciation Church, Cranston, R.I (Boston).; Anastasia Therianos-Assumption Cathedral, Denver (Denver); Metropolis of New Jersey: Kyriaki Melizanis-Ascension Church, Fairview, N.J. (New Jersey); Alexander Salem-Annunciation Church, Akron, Ohio (Pittsburgh); Ruth Hailey-St. John the Baptist Church, Beaverton, Oregon (San Francisco). Third place winner, receiving a $1,000 college scholarship: Christian George from St. Nicholas Church, Troy, Mich. (Detroit); Second place and a $1,500 college scholarship: Dennis Polite, St. Andrew Church, Chicago, (Chicago). First place and a $2,000 college scholarship: Sophia Hagen from Sts. Rafael, Nicholas and Irene Church, Cumming, Ga. (Atlanta). Senior Division Honorable mention: Pauline Pedas- St. Sophia Cathedral, Washington, (Direct Archdiocesan District); Nickolas Eliadis- Dormition of the Virgin Mary Church, Somerville, Mass. (Boston); Maria Kardasis- Sts. Peter and Paul Church, Glenview, Ill. (Chicago); Kalliope Elliott-Annunciation Church, Kansas City, Mo. (Denver); Jordan George-St. Nicholas Church, Troy, Mich. (Detroit); Timothy Kaelin-St. George Church, Eugene, Oregon (San Francisco). Third place and a $1,000 college scholarship: Dimitri Godur, St. Sophia Cathedral in Miami, (Atlanta). Second place and a $1,500 college scholarship: Alexandra Birbilis, St. Thomas Church in Cherry Hill, N.J. (New Jersey). First place and a $2,000 college scholarship: Elena Bilotto, Kimisis Tis Theotokou Church, Aliquippa, Pa. (Pittsburgh). After the program, finalists, their families, Metropolitan Gerasimos, Metropolis Chancellor Bishop Apostolos of Medeia, and Fr. Peter, toured Universal Studios. Sunday morning Hierarchical Liturgy featured Metropolitan Gerasimos and Bishop Apostolos as co-celebrants in the absence of Archbishop Demetrios, who flew to Washington for the funeral of Vice President Joe Biden s son. The weekend concluded with the presentations of the two winning speeches before the entire congregation and a lunch with remarks from parish council Vice President John Vidalakis, Metropolitan Gerasimos and other speakers.
5 JULY AUGUST Dimitrios Panagos photo Support for St. Nicholas at WTC Church of Our Saviour in Rye, N.Y., recently presented $65,000 to Archbishop Demetrios for St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine from donations by parishioners. With His Eminence, from left: Michael Psaros, parish council President Rob Augustinos and Fr. Elias Villis, parish priest. Metropolis of Chicago Philoptochos Board Raises Over $20,000 for St. Nicholas Initiative The Agape dinner Relight, Rebuild and Resurrect, to benefit the Philoptochos St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine initiative was sponsored by the Metropolis of Chicago Philoptochos Board on April 23. More than 150 Philoptochos members and guests participated in a fun-filled evening to raise funds for this important cause. Angelo and Juliana Mourelatos, the emcees, entertained the guests during a reverse raffle for which 289 tickets were sold. Along with a delicious dinner, the Metropolis Board and chapter members enticed the guests with delectable homemade sweets. Metropolis board members Pam Argyris, Marilyn Tzakis and Pat Gerbanas Donations (as of June 26) Pledges committed: $34,650,241 Pledges received: $15,508,555 Pledges outstanding: 19,141,685 served as co-chairs of this thoroughly enjoyable event, with all Metropolis board members participating in different capacities as committee members. The highlight of the evening was the announcement that Annunciation Philoptochos chapter of Kankakee, Ill., one of the smallest chapters in the Metropolis, won the $3,000 grand prize, a portion of which the chapter donated back to the event proceeds. The Metropolis hopes the funds will help this small chapter to grow and flourish. The evening was a resounding success, as net profits exceeded $20,000, with everyone in attendance contributing to help Relight, Rebuild and Resurrect St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine at the World Trade Center. Church Holds Golf Benefit CARMEL, Fla. Holy Trinity Church held a charity golf outing June 22 at Prairie View Golf Club to benefit the reconstruction of St. Nicholas Church at the World Trade Center. Golf for Ground Zero organizers raised more than $8,000 in donations for the new church. It s part of the healing process, Duane Hostetler, a member of the HTGOC golf charity committee said. St. Nicholas, founded in 1916 by Greek immigrants, was the only church destroyed during the 2001 attacks. The movement to restore the church has seen a number of delays over the past decade due to disagreements between Greek Orthodox Church leaders and Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the World Trade Center site. When thousands of visitors ascend upon the completed St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine, they will admire its luminescent exterior, take solace in its visitors center and devoutly light their candles in memory of loved ones and others memorialized at the World Trade Center. They will do so in year-round comfort they take for granted in the summer heat and winter cold through the stateof-the-art heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system installed by Peter J. Pappas, of P.J. Mechanical Corp., one of the Archdiocese s most dynamic lay leaders. Pappas is chairman of the board of P.J.M Holdings Group that consists of P.J. Mechanical Corp., and three other related companies. P.J. Mechanical is New York City s largest air conditioning contracting company and ranks among the top 10 nationally. In addition to being the lead benefactor in the establishment of the church and shrine at the World Trade Center, he is committing more than $1 million in HVAC equipment and mechanical work that his company will perform during the church s construction. Pappas has been actively involved with the national Church for many decades, including membership on the Archdiocesan Council for about 30 years, as an Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate for 20 years and an Archbishop Iakovos Leadership 100 Endowment Fund member, serving on its executive board. His connection to St. Nicholas Church goes back to early childhood. Of Greek and Cypriot background, he was born and raised in Manhattan s West Side and grew up attending St. Eleftherios Church, a few blocks north of St. Nicholas. I visited the church many times as part of my upbringing, Pappas said, especially the Epiphany celebration which was very big. Hundreds of faithful would gather each Jan. 6 for the tossing of the cross into the Hudson River. Later, he attended New York University and studied business and worked at a summer job with an air-conditioning company. I took a leave of absence from NYU and remained with the company PETER J. PAPPAS Orthodox Observer photo P.J. Pappas Efforts Address Shrine Visitors Comfort 10 years, studying all aspects of cooling, heating and design. In 1971, he started his own company, P.J. Mechanical. During this time he also became involved at St. Demetrios Church, then located in Freeport on Long Island. He was active in promoting the construction of a new church when the parish relocated in Merrick in the early 1980s. In addition to his membership at St. Demetrios, he also is a parishioner of St. Paul Cathedral in Hempstead and Church of the Resurrection in Brookville, for which he provided all the HVAC system as well. After the destruction of St. Nicholas Church in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, he did not become involved in the lengthy political process that eventually resulted in the approval of the relocation site of the church, but later was named to the committee that selected the building s design. As the process moved forward, Pappas said he realized there was an issue that I could be involved with and offered his expertise needed to resolve a serious issue that existed with building the church that had to do with the mechanical equipment needed for cooling and heating. He felt that the selection of the systems could be improved in terms of getting the most value. He already was familiar with the situation in the area because his company currently is doing work for a variety of clients on the site. Pappas determined that considerable savings could be achieved by connecting the church to the Port Authority s building services, and met with the architect, Santiago Calatrava, and Port Authority officials to persuade them to allow the use of the below-ground connections that serve the entire ground zero site facility. He explained that, by piping chilled water from the underground facility s system, the need for motor-driven compressors is eliminated, resulting in less costly installation and operations and a great reduction in noise that will result in enhancing the area around the church. The HVAC installation will be completed in stages as the construction of the to page 10
6 6 Do you know of a family in need? Saint Basil Academy is a safe haven and home for Orthodox children, offering a nurturing environment while attending to the child s developmental, educational, spiritual, and material needs. RIZOS JEWELRY Street Flushing, NY tel.: fax: NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR SEPTEMBER ADMISSION IF YOU KNOW OF A FAMILY/CHILD IN NEED PLEASE CALL US AT (845) ALL CALLS HELD IN THE STRICTEST CONFIDENCE. Please visit our website and check our wonderful collection Chris Rizos the one and only jewelry store in the USA that designs and manufactures christening crosses. ΕΜΠΝΕΥΣΗ ΤΕΧΝΗ ΠΡΩΤΟΤΥΠΙΑ WE ARE PROUD TO SERVE THE GREEK AMERICAN COMMUNITY ALL OVER THE COUNTRY SINCE 1972 JULY AUGUST 2015 Ecumenical Patriarchate Halki Summit II Focuses on Environment Reflection by: Katerina Pekridou and Nikolaos Dimitriadis Halki Summit II took place from June 8-10 on the Island of Heybeliada, Turkey. Organized under the auspices of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and co-sponsored by the Ecumenical Patriarchate and Southern New Hampshire University, Halki Summit II focused on Theology, Ecology and the Word and was a conversation on the Environment, Literature and the Arts. In the line of five educational seminars, eight international symposia and the successful Halki Summit I, which discussed the environment in relation to ethics and innovation, Halki Summit II brought together world-renowned literary and environmental leaders, artists, intellectuals, educators and theologians. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew opened the summit on June 8 at the Theological School of Halki, calling participants to consider how to inspire one another to love and good works (Heb. 10:24), and to listen how the heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament proclaims the creation of His hands (Ps. 19:1). He reminded that people who serve the arts are images of divine creativity and godly compassion, who can assist the world to discern the sacred mystery as well as the exceptional harmony and balance that unfolds in creation. The Rev. Dr. John Chryssavgis, secretary of the organizing committee, commented on the tense, albeit creative relationship between science and art, underlining how the ecological initiatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate have focused on reconciling the science of climate change with the religious approach of creation while promoting an organic view of the world. This alternative vision is more than a political conviction or fashionable statement; it needs to become a way of living, and this is where the arts can be of assistance to both religion and science. On June 9, keynote speaker Terry Tempest Williams, poet and author, together with her student, Alisha Anderson, highlighted the importance of word and story, art and ritual, covenant and connectivity in dealing with environmental problems through narrating the story of the Oquirrh Mountains in Salt Lake Valley. Ms. Williams thanked Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew for his inspiring leadership in addressing the ecological crisis and the spiritual dimension of the problem. She urged for spiritual activism and described the wild in nature as a movement of direct action; similarly, she depicted religion and faith as a movement of direct action. Ms. Anderson presented her film on the loss of the mountains due to Rio Tinto s copper mine and underlined the importance of place and locality in talking about the environment. Terry Eagleton, literary theorist and critic, suggested a dialectical approach to art. After exposing the audience to different historical and sociological definitions of art, Prof. Eagleton concluded that each one deconstructs itself based on its very definition. In his exposition of the relationship of faith, nature and art, he called attention to the multiple meanings of experience, culture, love and imagination. Mountaineer and photographer James Balog presented his award-winning documentary Chasing Ice that captures a record of the world s changing glaciers. Through his artistic work that registers the history of ancient mountains of ice rapidly disappearing, Mr. Balog stressed the concept of Anthropocene, the idea that a new epoch has begun when human activity has an impact on earth s ecosystems, and emphasized the importance of evidence over belief when it comes to the destruction of the environment, urging the audience to use their voices in order to bring about urgent change. On June 10, Raj Patel, author and activist, spoke on ecology, love and the art of food. He demonstrated how ecology involves a broad set of human relationships, how gender roles and power relate to it, and talked about different ecological technologies and how they affect community living. The example of a small community in Malawi whose life was transformed, demonstrated how the art of making food using ecological methods can redefine relationships between men, women and children in the community. Timothy Gorringe discussed the role of art in transforming culture with regard to climate change. He described art as an expression which it is not isolated and does not lift humans out of their history. In his view, art does not provide us with the meaning of human existence; it is not our Savior but rather reveals our degradation. Its role is to teach us about tension, which is seen as the ground of both love and prayer. Apart from the keynote speakers, the discussion facilitators and other participants contributed to the conversations with their expertise, fruitful reflections and questions. During the last session of the summit, the group of student participants from the Southern New Hampshire University took the floor to speak on how their generation views the relationship of the environment with literature and the arts and offered their reflections, thus contributing to the conversation. The summit concluded with an artistic evening of reciting poetry, music and singing together with an official dinner and closing remarks by President Paul LeBlanc of Southern New Hampshire University. On 11 June, the feast of the Holy Apostles Bartholomew and Barnabas, name-day of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, participants of Halki Summit II visited the Ecumenical Patriarchate. A guided tour was also provided to the Chora Monastery and Haghia Sophia, both masterpieces of religious art. See also: NY Times Article: nytimes.com/2015/06/20/opinion/climate-change-and-moral-responsibility. html?referrer&_r=0 TIME Mag Article: com/ /pope-francis-encyclicalpatriarch-bartholomew/ Statement on World Water Day: https://www.patriarchate.org/-/his-all-holiness-issues-statement-on-the-occasionof-world-water-day Statement on Earth Day: https://www. patriarchate.org/-/message-by-his-all-holiness-ecumenical-patriarch-bartholomewon-the-occasion-of-earth-day Statement on World Ocean Day: https://www.patriarchate.org/-/messageby-his-all-holiness-ecumenical-patriarchbartholomew-for-world-oceans-day Article on History of Green Patriarch : https://blogs.goarch.org/blog/-/ blogs/bartholomew-and-the-environmentthe-origins-and-background-of-the-greenpatriarch-
7 JULY AUGUST The Voice of Philoptochos 12,000 Children Receive Meals through NY, Conn. and Pa. Members Efforts The National Philoptochos calls upon its chapters, faithful stewards and friends to support the Nepal Disaster Relief Fund and to renew efforts in its Aid to Greece and Cyprus Campaign. On April 25, a major earthquake hit Nepal, killing more than 8,150 people and injuring more than 17,860 as it flattened mountain villages. While the Nepalese mourned their dead and were beginning to recover, a 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck on May 12, followed by a 6.3 magnitude seismic event and numerous smaller aftershocks. The resulting loss of life and destruc- NEW YORK In recognition of World Hunger Day, 30 Philoptochos members from New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania, joined with 20 Holy Trinity Archdiocesan Cathedral Middle School students, and teamed with the Feeding Children Everywhere organization to package more than 12,000 meals for hungry children in the United States. The event took place May 27 at the cathedral community center in Manhattan. The Philoptochos members and students formed four assembly lines in a competition to see which table would package the most meals in an hour. Four ingredients: lentils, white rice, dehydrated vegetables and pink Himalayan salt, were measured out, carefully put through a funnel into a labeled plastic baggie, weighed, sealed and boxed by the volunteers. Each bag contained six healthy and nutritious, all-natural meals, and the volunteers packaged 2,016 bags totaling 12,096 meals in slightly over one hour. Feeding Children Everywhere will deliver the meals to the hungriest children, as identified by the Philoptochos workers. Visitors passing the workroom heard the sound of upbeat music and the happy voices of the volunteers, That was the second, third, sixth box our table completed! They witnessed a sea of determined but smiling workers wearing red hairnets and moving at optimum speed. What a rewarding, enjoyable and gratifying day it was to be with fellow Philoptochos sisters and exuberant school children, working together to accomplish an important task, all while having such a good time! Everyone involved voiced the same enthusiasm, This was so much fun! I would have never believed that we could package all those meals in such a short amount of time! I was elated, energized. This is a day I ll never forget! This event was part of National Philoptochos Feeding the Hungry Program, which was initiated this past January by National President Maria Logus. The program emphasizes handson philanthropy and the teamwork of Philoptochos members with their parish communities. National Philoptochos hopes this will inspire additional chapters to introduce similar programs, with the ultimate goal of establishing this type of outreach in every chapter and parish throughout the country. Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? Assuredly I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to ME. Matthew 25:37, 40 International Relief Efforts Expand tion were devastating. Through its Emergency Fund, the National Philoptochos Society immediately responded with $20,000 in aid that was forwarded to International Orthodox Christian Charities to address the emergency need for water, food, shelter and medication. However, long-term assistance and aid will be required in Nepal. Thus, the Nepal Disaster Relief Fund has been created to support this effort. Three years ago, the National Philoptochos turned its hearts and eyes to victims in Greece and Cyprus who were stricken by a financial crisis that continues. Greece has suffered six years of recession and record unemployment. The poorest households have lost nearly 86 percent of their income, as benefits have been drastically reduced; wage cuts were put into effect; and taxes have increased significantly. Volunteer organizations and churches are stretched beyond their capacity to provide meals for the elderly and families. The government is National Philoptochos photo no longer able to distribute milk in school, and children go without this fundamental nourishment. Similarly, in Cyprus, the domestic situation remains grim. The National Philoptochos calls upon its members and friends to again assist the thousands of suffering Orthodox Christians in Greece and Cyprus. The Philoptochos Society has already distributed $482,000 to aid those who are suffering in Greece and Cyprus, $450,000 from the Aid to Greece and Cyprus Fund, and an additional $32,000 from the National Philoptochos Emergency Fund and General Medical Fund. Atlanta Metropolis Sponsors First Autism Camp by Despina Koulianos ATLANTA The Metropolis Philoptochos held a Family Camp for Special Needs over Memorial Day weekend focusing on children with Autism. This retreat was held at the Diakonia Retreat Center in Salem, S.C. Nine Orthodox children and their families from within the Metropolis experienced the three-day camp adventure. In all, more than 60 participants including children, their families, clergy, Metropolis of Atlanta Board members and camp counselors attended. Theme was Christ the Good Shepherd who loves and cares for each one of His sheep. This camp was made possible through the collaboration of the Metropolis of Atlanta Philoptochos, Family Life Ministry, and regional autism specialists. The Metropolis Philoptochos Board recognizes that the autistic community is growing, as are services provided in many cities. What is lacking are programs for these children within their local church communities. The faith-based camp s goal was to help these children grow in their relationship Atlanta Metropolis photo Metropolis Board members, Joanna Snider, Presvytera Evi and Fr. Paul Kaplanis from Annunciation Cathedral in Atlanta; Camp Director Despina Koulianos, Board President Dee Nicolaou, Fr. Panayiotis Papageorgiou from Holy Transfiguration in Marietta, Paula Marchman, director of Family Life Ministries, and board member Kiki Rothman. with God. From an inclusion Liturgy, to morning Matins and Vespers, the children served as readers, altar boys, and active participants. For many, this was the first time they participated in these roles. Frs. Paul Kaplanis and Panayiotis Papageorgiou sent in their interactions with families, making sure that each message had a visual representation. There was a one-to-one ratio of counselors and children. Staff training was facilitated by author and Autism Specialist, Catherine Faherty, prior to the beginning of camp. Catherine also held a parent seminar in the evening, as well as a rap session for older siblings. Highlights of our weekend together included bringing a lamb to our Good Shepherd lessons and fishing in the lake at the Retreat Center, where many children caught their very first fish. The kitchen staff fried the fillets for supper on Sunday evening. Campers made iconostasia (wooden boxes to hold icons), and by the end of the weekend, these boxes were filled with tools to help children take their Church home. Inside the iconostasio, campers made an icon of Christ the Good Shepherd and also put together an album containing icons, prayers to read at home, scripture verses, and photographs of the weekend. By far the favorite activity for campers was the evening campfire/sing-along led by Recreation Therapist, Jon Blaylock, who is a master of songs and games without losers for children on the spectrum. It was a glorious and beautiful retreat, and the Metropolis of Atlanta Philoptochos looks forward to hosting this retreat again in the future. To see more photos of our Family Camp, visit the Metropolis of Atlanta Philoptochos Facebook page or www. atlantametropolisphiloptochos.org. Despina Koulianos is Metropolis of Atlanta Philoptochos Youth Ministry chairman
8 8 Metropolis News JULY AUGUST 2015 Leadership 100 Holds Membership Event in Detroit by George Schira DETROIT A Leadership 100 informational dinner was held June 18 at the prestigious Detroit Athletic Club. Among the 25 distinguished guests were clergy and Leadership 100 members. The event was coordinated by Theodore K. Zampetis, host and executive committee member; Thomas G. Jordan, treasurer and executive committee member; and Lou Kircos, audit committee member and master of ceremonies. Metropolitan Nicholas expressed his enthusiasm and gratitude to Leadership 100 for its support to the National Ministries, metropolises, clergy and the theological school. In addition, Ted Zampetis thanked everyone for attending and recognized his beloved granddaughter Marianna who he and his wife, Ann, enrolled as a Leadership 100 Junior Partner at the age of 4, indicating that she is part of the future of Leadership 100. He publicly acknowledged Beck Demery who, together with her beloved husband, Tom, of blessed memory, joined as individual members from the inception of Leadership 100. Tom Jordan spoke about the transparency of Leadership 100 and the assurance that the Audit Committee works in conjunction with the Investment Committee to oversee all financials of the organization. Executive Director Paulette Poulos conveyed on behalf of Chairman George by Maria Stamoolis PITTSBURGH The Metropolis of Pittsburgh s Department of Greek Education held its 3rd annual Greek Language Competition, Art Exhibit and Children s Festival on June 6. This year s competition asked students to write an essay on Why Learn Greek? and or write an original short story pertaining to Greece. The writing was to be in Greek and include a translation. There were two levels for the written competition: Intermediate Level (grades 5-6) and Advanced Level (grades 7-12). The art exhibit included submissions of artwork from all grades K-12. The event was held at St. Nicholas Cathedral. Metropolitan Savas, assisted by Fr. Christopher Bender, cathedral dean, and Deacon Robert Lykos, held an opening prayer service. The Children s Festival was expanded to provide participants an opportunity to learn about Greek culture. The theme was Greece with a focus on Crete. Two musicians explained the Cretan lyre and laouto providing a short history and information on the instruments with their own experiences of getting started, followed by a performance. Other presentation subjects included Greek Cretan costumes emphasized the great variety of Cretan costumes with informative facts; a computer presentation on the Olympics and Knossos; Greek games dances and cultures. Participants learned and played Greek games, the mandilaki and lasticho, and many joined in to learn a Greek dance using mandilakia, from a Metropolitan welcomes the newest Leadership 100 junior partner, Marianna Zampetis. (L-100 photo) Tsandikos, deep appreciation to Metropolitan Nicholas and the hosts and coordinators of the evening. She spoke about the history and mission of Leadership 100 and its vital role in the Church in America. Pittsburgh Metropolis Holds Third Greek Language Competition and Children s Festival former dancer of the Dora Stratou Dance Theater. One exhibit featured sculptures by 4 th grade Greek school students who were inspired by famous contemporary Greek artist Costas Varotsos. Their sculptures were very similar to a number of his famous works. And it was heartwarming to see children thinking about the Greek economy through their artwork. One child drew children selling lemonade to raise money to help Greece. The festival also provided an opportunity for children to learn about the Athena and Phevos characters from the Olympics. Children made crafts of Athena and Phevos dolls, Cretan dolls, and made beaded Greek flags. The event ended with Metropolitan Savas presenting all winners with a trophy, a book from Potamitis Publishing, and monetary awards to the first and second place winners. Winners from the essay contest Why Learn Greek? were for the intermediate level. First-place winner was Alexia Glaros from St. Paul s Church in North Royalton, Ohio; and second place, Dorothea Geroulakos from St. Nicholas Cathedral. The advanced level essay contest winner was Panagiotis Tsarouhas from Annunciation, Akron, Ohio. Story writing winners were: Katerina Tsarouhas, Annunciation, Akron, intermediate level; and Eva Bambakidis, Cleveland Heights, advanced level. Ms. Stamooli is the metropolis Greek Education director.
9 JULY AUGUST Metropolis News Southern California Church Opens Its Doors CAMARILLO, Calif. St. Demetrios Church celebrated the opening of their new facility at Woodcreek and Santa Rosa roads May weekend. Several events were held. An open house on May 29 enabled parishioners to welcome neighborhood residents and offer guided tours of the new facility. On May 30, Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco led the community in the Door Opening (thyranoixia) service. Along with St. Demetrios s priest, Fr. Gary Kyriacou, the Very Rev. Spencer Kezios, Frs. John Bakas, Simon Thomas and Paul Wassinen (OCA) the Metropolitan led the faithful into the AGAPE Chapel. Following the Thyranoixia, Great Vespers for Pentecost were celebrated. After the service, Metropolitan Gerasimos bestowed the Medal of St. Paul upon Keith Bartholomew Valle, who served as project development and implementation committee chairman more than seven years. May 31 marked the first Divine Liturgy celebrated in the new structure, with Metropolitan Gerasimos as the celebrant. Fr. Gary Kyriacou, and the faithful of St. Demetrios, celebrated this milestone and continue to raise funds to further erect two more structures on the site. The Agape Building is the first of three buildings to be constructed on the four-acre site. A larger sanctuary and then a grand reception hall are planned for completion by The church was established in 1977 at Camarillo Airport. Since its inception St. Demetrios has become the spiritual home to many desiring a closer relationship with Christ. Both Greek and non-greek parishioners make up the diverse group of worshippers. You don t have to be Greek to be an Orthodox Christian, says Fr. Gary. The next closest Greek Orthodox churches are St. Barbara s in Santa Barbara and St. Nicholas Church in Northridge. For more information, com, or visit St. Demetrios Church photos Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco conducts the aghiasmo service for St. Demetrios Church in Camarillo. He was assisted by Fr. Gary Kyriacou, the proistamenos, and several other clergy from area churches, including Fr. John Bakas of St. Sophia Cathedral in Los Angeles, and retired priest the Very Rev. Spencer Kezios. Illinois Day School Holds Commencement PALOS HILLS, Ill. Commencement exercises took place June 4 for the 99 th Class of graduates from Koraes Elementary School at Sts. Constantine and Helen Church. Koraes is the elementary day school operated by the parish. This celebration was especially honored by the presence of Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago. Also present were the Parish Priests, Father Nicholas Jonas, Father Byron Papanikolaou and Father Tom De Medeiros, as well as parish council President Dr. Neophytos Savide, the Koraes School Board Chairman George Argires, school Principal Diakonissa Mary Zaharis, Ph.D., and other dignitaries. Uplifting speeches were heard from the Valedictorian Georgia Lattas and the Salutatorian Mina Baniewicz. All gave inspiring speeches pertaining to the education they received at Koraes. Keynote address was given by President and Owner of Chevrolet of Homewood, former Koraes Graduate, Mr. Steve Phillipos, inspiring the bright future that the graduates seek ahead. The graduating students of 2015 were: Mina Baniewicz, Christina Cuevas, Georgia Lattas, and Athanasia Spatharakis. For information about any activity at Sts. Constantine and Helen Church, contact the church office, For information about Koraes Elementary School activities, contact the school office, Orthodox Observer photo Ohio Goyans visit Members of the GOYA chapter of St. Demetrios Church in Warren, Ohio, traveled to New York in early June, with Fr. Constantine Valantasis and several adult advisers, where they visited Archdiocese headquarters, the site of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine and other places of interest. They were welcomed by Deacon Panayiotis (right) and later visited with Archbishop Demetrios. FOX News Boston Anchor to Emcee Luncheon BOSTON - News anchor Maria Stephanos of FOX25 news will serve as master of ceremonies for the Children s Medical Fund Luncheon, which this year the Metropolis of Boston will host. The Metropolis of Boston Philoptochos-sponsored event will take place Oct. 31 at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront hotel. Ms. Stephanos holds a Master of Arts degree from Emerson College in Boston and is an Associated Press award recipient for feature reporting. She supports numerous charitable organizations including the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Action for Boston Community Development, the American Heart Association, Rosie s Place, Relay for Life and the Make A Wish Foundation. The Children s Medical Fund Luncheon was inaugurated in 1989 and, since that time, National Philoptochos has distributed nearly $3 million to children s hospitals and medical centers, to universities and special programs that serve the needs of ill and fragile children, and their families throughout the United States and other parts of the world. The Metropolis Philoptochos fund-raising effort, with support from chapters and stewards throughout the country, will aid hospitals, universities and programs that help children in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and parts of Connecticut. Sponsorship information and forms are available at
10 10 JULY AUGUST 2015 Specialists in Travel to Greece, Croatia, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Canary Islands, Turkey, Israel, Egypt, Cyprus & Jordan Tailor made itineraries to any of our unique destinations. European Honeymoon & Wedding specialists. European Family Vacations. Customized European Group Travel. Specialists in Greek Orthodox groups to the Holy Land, St. Catherine s Monastery, Constantinople & Greece. JOIN US ON OUR SPECIAL GREEK ORTHODOX PILGRIMAGES: TURKEY & THE HOLY LAND: Pilgrimage to Constantinople and the Holy Land. September 18 - October 1 st 14 days/12 nights TURKEY & ITALY: Pilgrimage to Constantinople and Rome. October days/8 nights GREECE & TURKEY: Constantinople, Trabzon (Panagia Sumela), Salonika, Meteora, Ioannina & Corfu. Oct days/ 13 nights GREECE: Footsteps of St. Paul through Greece October days/7 nights: Salonika, Meteora, Athens, Corinth and Aegina. Visit us at: Newtown Ave. Long Island City, NY Tel.: (718) Toll Free: Fax: (718) Dimitrios Panagos photo Holy Trinity Archdiocesan Cathedral in New York recently celebrated its 80 th anniversary gala on June 5. Honoree was Dennis Mehiel; and Archon and a founder of FAITH : An Endowment for Orthodoxy and Hellenism. Shown with Archbishop Demetrios is cathedral Dean Fr. John Vlahos, the consuls general of Greece and Cyprus, board President Dean Poll and other board members NEW YORK More than 400 guests gathered at the Lake Isle Country Club in Eastchester, N.Y. June 17 for the Make-A- Difference with Loukoumi Dance Party and Awards Gala in celebration of Loukoumi s 10 th anniversary. Celebrity guests include Oscar winner Olympia Dukakis (Moonstruck), Tony Award nominee Constantine Maroulis (Rock of Ages), FOX-5 anchor meteorologist Nick Gregory and others. The event honored Michael Psaros, KPS Capital Partners, LLP with the inaugural Loukoumi Foundation Inspiration Award. The first annual Loukoumi Make A Difference Awards were presented to the National Philoptochos Society, the Anne Hutchinson School, Bronxville s Chapel School, EIMAI Center for Emerging Young Leaders and seven great kids whose good deeds truly made a difference on Make A Difference with Loukoumi Day. The event also featured the announcement of the winners of the Loukoumi Jillian Nelson photo Award winners (from left) Nick Katsoris, the seven children honored on Make-A-Difference with Loukoumi Day, Michael Psaros and Olympia Dukakis. Loukoumi Foundation Honors Psaros, National Philoptochos Dream Day contest where four Dream days will happen this year as children get to live a day in their dream career. All proceeds from the June 17 th event benefit the Loukoumi Make A Difference Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that teaches children to follow Loukoumi s lead and to make a positive difference in their lives and the lives of others. Upcoming projects include a second TV special on the Discovery Channel and a Make-A-Difference with Loukoumi exhibit at the new Westchester Children s Museum in Rye, N.Y. For tickets and information visit: The Loukoumi Foundation educates children about career choices, helps them give back to their communities, and teaches them about bullying awareness and prevention in conjunction with Pacer s National Bullying Prevention Center. The Foundation also teaches children to be philanthropic by engaging them in programs and events where they do good deeds and raise funds for charities. P.J. Pappas Efforts Address Shrine Visitors Comfort from page 5 church building progresses. Compared to the dozens of other clients that Pappas company serves, St. Nicholas is a small project. They include some of the largest and most recognizable corporations and institutions in the country, including Yankee Stadium, Citi- Field (home of the Mets), CNN, Morgan Stanley, Nike, Polo Ralph Lauren, Estee Lauder, The Bank of America, Canon USA Headquarters, the World Trade Center, Madison Square Garden and the New York Times, to name a few. Pappas business interests also include real estate developments in New York, Florida, Ohio and California. Beyond his service to the Church, he is a noted international philanthropist, having served as national president of the Cyprus Children s Fund for nine years (he continues to sponsor 20 children in Cyprus over the past 30 years), and serves on boards of many organizations. He has been honored with the highest award that the Church can bestow upon a layperson, the St. Paul Medal, and was the recipient of the Gold Medal of Honor presented by the president of Cyprus. When he has time, he pursues his avocation of golf, and has been trying to persuade the Greek government officials to make Greece a major golf destination throughout the year, rather than to rely on the summer tourism season as the major sector of the economy. It is difficult for them to understand this, however, he is persistent and will continue with this effort.
11 JULY AUGUST Saint Basil Academy GARRISON, N.Y. Saint Basil Academy held its 68 th commencement June 20 as four students achieved an important milestone in their lives. Each of the four presented brief speeches describing their feelings about the academy. An especially moving account of her life was given by Katherine Campirides. She, along with Jonathan Clemente, who was moved to tears at one point during his recollection, both graduated from Haldane High School, located in nearby Cold Spring. The text of her speech is at right. The other two graduates, Georgios Papadonis and Vladmir Siriis, completed eighth grade at Bishop Dunn Memorial School. Their accomplishments and that of the Academy in its role of molding the children s characters to become responsible members of society, were noted by the several speakers: Board President Evellyn Tsiadis, Consul General of Greece in New York Georgios Iliopoulos, Consul General of Cyprus in New York Vasilios Philippou and National Philoptochos President Maria Logus. Ms. Tsiadis noted the academy s role in fulfilling the mission of St. Basil the Great, is to help children find their way for a better life filled with hope. She encouraged the graduates to allow yourself the freedom to pray, dance, sing and love. Consul General Iliopoulos urged the students to take responsibility for yourself and chase your dreams. Always give back to your community a little bit more than it gave to you. Ms. Logus told the graduates that the single greatest thing in our life is your faith and that the Academy is there to serve them as a strong and enduring support system. Fr. Constantine Sitaras, the academy s executive director, exhorted the students to Understand that you have responsibility to yourself and in living a life in Christ. Love each other as Christ loves you and loves them and ask Is this what Jesus wants? Am I doing the right thing? In his concluding remarks, Archbishop Demetrios said the academy s role in the lives of the students is a transforming process. The transformation of the children from what they are to what their potential is. He said the secret to the institution s success is faith and love. There are places on earth like Saint Basil where miracles happen that even the most advanced educators could not think about. Bake sale - Several kids of the academy (right) held a bake sale after the commencement program to raise funds for St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine. After working all week to prepare the sweets, presenting their wares were (from left) Samuel Pappas, Kalliopi Tsitsipas (Philoptochos), who helped the students with the project; Ellie Baker, Katerina Chronas, Izolda Siriia and Thomas Koumboulis. (above) Archbishop Demetrios looks over the assortment before deciding what to purchase. Graduates with Archbishop Demetrios, Bishop Philotheos of Meloa, who served as director in the 1970s, Fr. Sitaras and board members. (below) Several students entertained the audience with songs in Greek and English. Dimitrios Panagos photos Orthodox Observer photo Saint Basil s Importance for One Graduate Following is the speech presented of high school graduate Katherine Camperides at the 68 th Commencement on the Academy s profound impact on her life. My name is Katherine Frankeelyn Campirides. I am 17 years old and I live at Saint Basil Academy in Garrison, N.Y. When I was 15, I lost everything I ever cared about. My dad, who had raised me my whole life, had a heart attack. After he passed away, I felt like my life had fallen apart for goodeverything felt broken. I fell to pieces and needed to rebuild my life and my heart, but I didn t know how. On February 27, 2013, my life changed again, but this time in a more positive way than I had ever been used to. I joined the Saint Basil family. It was definitely not a walk in the park--more like a hike up a rocky mountain. I didn t trust any of the girls and they didn t trust me. I acted out. I could be rude. I shouted. I was intolerant. I wasn t a good problem solver. I would get angry and make poor choices. But over time I learned that my family at Saint Basil expected more from me. They knew a better side of me that I didn t even know existed. I had to learn that I am responsible for my own actions and not the actions of others. I had to learn that there would be consequences for my actions and reactions. It took a lot of time but Saint Basil s was even more stubborn than the most stubborn teenager. My Saint Basil family wasn t going to give up on me--they would not let me give up even though, at times, I so desperately wanted to. Last summer, I was blessed enough to be able to go to Ionian Village. I learned about Saint Dionysius and how he not only forgave his brother s murderer but also helped save the man s life. I learned that even though life can be unfair, like Saint Dionysius, I, even though I will forever grieve the loss of my dad, have capabilities to forgive and help others. In order for me to be happy, to move away from my sadness, I needed to forgive. I needed to forgive my mom for making bad choices and not raising me. I needed to forgive my dad for leaving me too soon. I needed to forgive myself for all the bad choices that I had been making. God and Saint Dionysius have a profound effect on me-almost so deep that I can hardly describe it. They are my role models. They are helping me to move forward to be the best person I can possibly be. At Saint Basil, as I started forgiving, I noticed that I also started giving more of myself to the service of others. My Saint Basil staff and Saint Dionysius to page 17
12 12 JULY AUGUST 2015 Metropolis News Preserving Hellenism in America since 1922 The mission of the AHEPA Family is to promote Hellenism, Education, Philanthropy, Civic Responsibility, Family and Individual Excellence Join TODAY Photos courtesy of Metropolis of San Francisco Philoptochos Metropolitan Gerasimos and Metropolis Philoptochos President Jeannie Ranglas with Ashe (age 8, Leukemia), Kelsey (age 25, Leukemia), Bryna (age 13, Leukemia), Travis (age 12, brain tumor) Oliver (age 5, brain tumor). Metropolitan Gerasimos presented these children with an icon of Christ Teaching the Children. West Coast Philoptochos Ministry of Love by Jeannie Ranglas Cancer is a scary word to hear. But can you imagine being a parent and having a doctor tell you your child has cancer? This is the unfortunate reality for the thousands of families each year who learn their child has a life-threatening illness. While there is little others can do or say to take away the sting of this daunting diagnosis, the Metropolis of San Francisco Philoptochos found a unique way to help these families through some of the darkest times: Camp Agape. Founded in 1985, Camp Agape was first held at St. Nicholas Ranch and Retreat Center in Dunlap, Calif., in partnership with the Children s Hospital in Madera, Calif. Through the generosity of Philoptochos, families came to camp free of charge where they could all be together in a loving supportive environment. Moms, dads, brothers and sisters, all had the opportunity to experience Christ s unconditional love through this program. Children with cancer were no longer isolated or excluded from summer camp. Parents and siblings shared similar stories with each other, finding support with people walking the same journey. The Kids n Cancer program has expanded over the past 30 years to now offer five regional camps each summer located in Dunlap, Calif.; San Diego; Prescott, Ariz.; Portland, Oregon; and Seattle. Families are referred to the camps by local children s hospitals and oncologists. Most are not Orthodox. They are only looking for love and hope for their child. Camp Agape. It takes incredible resources to provide five camps each year, and the Metropolis of San Francisco Philoptochos remains committed to its continuation and expansion. Sadly, the need is great, but the rewards are abundant when you see the impact this has on the families. This year, camp was transformed to the prehistoric times with the likes of Fred Flinstone and his comrades from Bedrock. Families do not just come and stay for free, they are treated like royalty spa treatments, juice bar, coffee, backpacks filled with school supplies, t-shirts, hats, and most of all, unconditional love. Camp Agape. Each spring the Metropolis of San Francisco hosts a reception, Agape A Celebration of Love, to raise funds in support of Kids n Cancer. This year s event was held on Sunday, May 3 at the Big Bear Country Club in Newport Beach, Calif. An enthusiastic and generous crowd of over 300 people enjoyed sumptuous food, uplifting entertainment, and Christian fellowship. The event raised $200,000 in support of this outstanding ministry. Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco stated, When you show this kind of unconditional love to a child, especially one who is suffering, the blessings which come forth are immeasurable. This is the Gospel of Jesus Christ in action. This is putting our faith above all else. This is agape. This is love. Metropolis of San Francisco Philoptochos President Jeannie Ranglas commented, I have been involved in many aspects of ministry within the church, but this one is the most rewarding. From the moment this program started, it touched my heart and I felt compelled to keep this ministry going and growing. Philoptochos is a perfect partner for Kids n Cancer because it fulfills our mission to help those in need. A special message was offered at this year s Agape Reception by Rev. Dr. Christopher Flesoras from St. Anna Greek Orthodox Church in Roseville, Calif. It was in July 2014 when Fr. Christopher lost his beloved Presvytera Krissy to cancer at age 41. He spoke eloquently about agape being unconditional love, and how this has sustained him and his young children, both during Presvytera Krissy s illness and following her passing. Each Philoptochos chapter in the Metropolis of San Francisco provides support for this program, as well as additional individuals and sponsors who offer their hearts and resources to help sustain this program and provide love and hope for these children and their families. The motivation for this ministry is simply the words of Jesus Christ, Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me. Matthew 25:40.
13 ΙΟΥΛΙΟΣ ΑΥΓΟΥΣΤΟΣ 2015 ΕΤΟΣ 80 ΑΡΙΘΜΟΣ 1307 Εγκύκλιος 4 η Ιουλίου Ημέρα Ανεξαρτησίας Πρός τούς Σεβασμιωτάτους καί Θεοφιλεστάτους Ἀρχιερεῖς, τούς Εὐλαβεστάτους Ἱερεῖς καί Διακόνους, τούς Μοναχούς καί Μοναχές, τούς Προέδρους καί Μέλη τῶν Κοινοτικῶν Συμβουλίων, τά Ἡμερήσια καί Ἀπογευματινά Σχολεῖα, τίς Φιλοπτώχους Ἀδελφότητες, τήν Νεολαία, τίς Ἑλληνορθόδοξες Ὀργανώσεις καί ὁλόκληρο τό Χριστεπώνυμον πλήρωμα τῆς Ἱερᾶς Ἀρχιεπισκοπῆς Ἀμερικῆς. Προσφιλεῖς Ἀδελφοί καί Ἀδελφές ἐν Χριστῷ, Ὁ ἐτήσιος ἑορτασμός τῆς Ἡμέρας Ἀνεξαρτησίας στήν χώρα μας ἀποτελεῖ εὐκαιρία γιά ὅλους νά ἀναλογισθοῦμε τήν ἀξία τῆς ἐλευθερίας, τόν ρόλο της στήν ἱστορία τῶν Ἡνωμένων Πολιτειῶν Ἀμερικῆς, καί τίς εὐκαιρίες πού προσφέρει γιά τίς ἀνθρώπινες σχέσεις, τήν ζωή καί τήν εὐημερία. Ἡ ἀξία καί προτεραιότητα τῆς ἐλευθερίας εἶναι ἐμφανής στήν ἱστορία αὐτῆς τῆς χώρας, τόσο στούς ἀγῶνες γιά τήν κατάκτησή της ὅσο καί στά μεγάλα ἐπιτεύγματα καί τήν πρόοδο πού ἔχει συντελεσθεῖ σχετικά μέ τήν ἐλευθερία τοῦ λόγου, τῆς σκέψεως, τῶν μετακινήσεων, τῆς ἐφευρετικότητος καί τῆς ἐπιτυχίας. Ὡς Ἑλληνο-Ἀμερικανοί καί Ὀρθόδοξοι Χριστιανοί ἑορτάζουμε αὐτή τήν ἐλευθερία. Ἀναγνωρίζουμε τίς εὐλογίες τίς ὁποῖες προσέφερε ἡ ἐλευθερία στίς οἰκογένειές μας καί σέ μᾶς τούς ἴδιους καθώς ζοῦμε, ἐργαζόμεθα καί λατρεύουμε τόν Θεό στήν χώρα αὐτή. Ἀναγνωρίζουμε ἐπίσης τήν ἀξία τῆς ἐλευθερίας στήν ὑπογράμμιση τῆς κληρονομιᾶς καί ταυτότητός μας. Εἴμεθα ἐλεύθεροι νά διαδώσουμε αὐτή τήν ἱερή κληρονομιά ἐντός ἑνός περιβάλλοντος τό ὁποῖο ἐκτιμᾶ τήν ἐλευθερία τῆς ἐκφράσεως καί τήν ἐλεύθερη διακίνηση ποικίλων ἰδεῶν. Ἔχουμε πολλά νά προσφέρουμε ἀπό τήν ἱστορική κληρονομιά μας. Ὡς μέλη αυτῆς τῆς κοινωνίας καί ὡς Ὀρθόδοξοι Χριστιανοί γνωρίζουμε ὅτι εἴμεθα ἀληθινά ἐλεύθεροι ὅταν οἱ ἐπιδιώξεις καί στόχοι μας δέν ἔχουν τελικό ἀποδέκτη ἐμᾶς τούς ἴδιους ἀλλά μᾶλλον λειτουργοῦν πρός ὄφελος καί πνευματική εὐημερία ἄλλων καί πρός τιμή καί δόξα τοῦ Θεοῦ. Ἡ ἐλευθερία τοῦ λόγου μας ἀποτελεῖ εὐκαιρία νά διακηρύξουμε τό Εὐαγγέλιο. Ἡ ἐλευθερία τῆς ζωῆς μας ἐν ἀσφαλείᾳ εἶναι ἡ ἐλευθερία νά διατηρήσουμε τήν ἀπόλυτη ἐμπιστοσύνη μας στόν Θεό. Φωτογραφία: G.O.A. Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής κ. Δημήτριος, συμμετείχε στη νεκρώσιμη ακολουθία του αιδεσιμότατου Κλίμεντα Πίκνει στο Τσάρλεστον της Νότιας Καρολίνας, την Παρασκευή 26 Ιουνίου. Ο δολοφονηθείς αιδεσιμότατος Πίκνεϊ, υπήρξε δυναμικός ακτιβιστής για τα δικαιώματα των μαύρων και γερουσιαστής της πολιτείας της Νότιας Καρολίνας. Aπό το έγκλημα φυλετικού μίσους στο ναό των Μεθοδιστών έχασαν τη ζωή τους εννέα άνθρωποι έξι γυναίκες και τρεις άνδρες Μετά το πέρας της Εξοδίου Ακολουθίας ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής εξέφρασε τα συλλυπητήριά του στη σύζυγο και τα μέλη της οικογενείας του δολοφονηθέντος Πίκνεϊ. Επίσης χαιρέτησε τον πρόεδρο των Ηνωμένων Πολιτειών Μπαράκ Ομπάμα, κληρικούς άλλων ομολογιών, αξιωματούχους και συμμετέχοντες. Στο στιγμιότυπο, ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριος προσεύχεται στο υπόγειο της εκκλησίας όπου έλαβαν μέρος οι φόνοι των αθώων. Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριος στο Τσάρλεστον για την κηδεία Πίκνει ΤΣΑΡΛΕΣΤΟΝ, Ν. ΚΑΡΟΛΙΝΑ.- O πρόεδρος των ΗΠΑ, Μπαράκ Ομπάμα, εκφώνησε ένα συγκλονιστικό επικήδειο και απέτινε φόρο τιμής σήμερα στον Αφροαμερικανό πάστορα που σκοτώθηκε μαζί με άλλους 8 πιστούς από τα πυρά του 21χρονου Ντίλαν Ρουφ που εξαπέλυσε επίθεση σε μια εκκλησία στο Τσάρλεστον, καταγγέλλοντας τον πόνο που προκάλεσε η σημαία της Συνομοσπονδίας και το χάος που προκαλούν τα όπλα στις ΗΠΑ. Ενώπιον αντιπροσώπων εκκλησιαστικών κοινοτήτων των ΗΠΑ, του Αρχιεπισκόπου Αμερικής Δημητρίου,, τον μόνο εκπρόσωπο παρών άλλου χριστιανικού δόγματος και αναμεταξύ χιλιάδων ανθρώπων που συγκεντρώθηκαν στο κέντρο της μικρής πόλης στη νότια Καρολίνα ο πρόεδρος Ομπάμα απέτισε φόρο τιμής στον πάστορα Κλιμέντα Πίνκνεϊ, «έναν άνθρωπο του Θεού, έναν άνθρωπο που πίστευε στις καλύτερες ημέρες» που θα έρθουν, όπως τόνισε. Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριος χαιρετίζει το κλίμα σύμπνοιας μετά το δημοψήφισμα και την σύσκεψη των πολιτικών αρχηγών της Ελλάδος του Σταύρου Η. Παπαγερμανού ΝΕΑ ΥΟΡΚΗ Όπως ανεφέρετο σε ανακοίνωση Τύπου της Ιεράς Αρχιεπισκοπής, τη Δευτέρα 6 Ιουλίου, ο Σεβασμιώτατος Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής κ. Δημήτριος, στη συνομιλία του με τον Πρόεδρο της Ελληνικής Δημοκρατίας κ. Προκόπη Παυλόπουλο, στις 1 και 2 Ιουλίου, είχε διατυπώσει την παράκληση για την διαφύλαξη της ομοψυχίας και συμπορείας όλων των πολιτικών πλευρών της Ελλάδος στην προσπάθεια υπερνικήσεως της κρίσεως που αντιμετωπίζει η Γενέτειρα. Μετά την διενέργεια του δημοψηφίσματος και την έκφραση της ετυμηγορίας του Ελληνικού Λαού, η Ιερά Αρχιεπισκοπή Αμερικής χαιρετίζει με ικανοποίηση την πραγματοποίηση μακράς συσκέψεως των πολιτικών αρχηγών υπό τον Πρόεδρο της «Τυφλωμένος από το μίσος, ο φερόμενος δράστης δε μπορούσε να αντιληφθεί την ευγένεια που περιέβαλε τον αιδεσιμότατο Πίνκνεϊ» τόνισε ο Μπαράκ Ομπάμα και επανέλαβε ότι ο πάστορας, τον οποίο γνώριζε προσωπικά, ήταν ένας «καλός άνδρας». Ο πρόεδρος των Ηνωμένων Πολιτειών αναφέρθηκε στην «οδύνη» που προκάλεσε η σημαία της Συνομοσπονδίας, σύμβολο για πολλούς Αμερικανούς του ρατσιστικού παρελθόντος της χώρας τους, για το οποίο «για πάρα πολύ μεγάλο διάστημα» αδιαφορούσαν. «Εδώ και πάρα πολύ καιρό, εθελοτυφλούσαμε μπροστά στην οδύνη που αυτή η σημαία προκαλούσε σε πάρα πολλές πόλεις» τόνισε ο ίδιος. «Για πολλούς, Αφροαμερικανούς όπως και λευκούς, η σημαία συμβόλιζε μία γενικευμένη καταδυνάστευση». Το να αφαιρέσουμε αυτή τη σημαία μπροστά από το κοινοβούλιο της Νότιας Καρολίνας ισοδυναμεί με το να «αναγνωρίζουμε ότι οι λόγοι σύμπραξη των πολιτικών δυνάμεων της Χώρας. Χαιρετίζει επίσης το κοινό ανακοινωθέν των πολιτικών αρχηγών, στο οποίο τονίζεται ότι «Η πρόσφατη ετυμηγορία του Ελληνικού Λαού δεν συνιστά εντολή ρήξης, αλλά εντολή συνέχισης και ενίσχυσης της προσπάθειας για την επίτευξη μιας κοινωνικώς δίκαιης και οικονομικώς βιώσιμης συμφωνίας». Εν όψει των ημερών που ακολουθούν, ημερών αναμφισβήτητα δυσκόλων, ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριος ετόνισε και πάλι, την ανάγκη επαγρυπνήσεως, σύμπνοιας και ενότητος του δοκιμαζόμενου Ελληνικού Λαού, ενώ ταυτοχρόνως διαβεβαίωσε ότι από πλευράς Ομογενείας υπάρχει πλήρης η διάθεση συμπαραστάσεως, συνοδευόμενη από εκτενείς δεήσεις και ικεσίες υπέρ επεμ- u Σελίδα 14 Δημοκρατίας, με σκοπό την σύγκλιση και u Σελίδα 15 για τους οποίους πολέμησαν οι στρατιώτες της Συνομοσπονδίας, τα αίτια της δουλείας, δεν ήταν κάτι το καλό» είπε εκφράζοντας την υποστήριξή του στην απόφαση της τοπικής κυβέρνησης. Ο πρόεδρος καταδίκασε επιπλέον το «χάος» που δημιουργούν τα όπλα στις ΗΠΑ. «Εθελοτυφλούσαμε μπροστά στο μοναδικό χάος που η βία των όπλων προκαλεί σε αυτήν την χώρα» σημείωσε ο ίδιος αναφερόμενος στις επιθέσεις που συγκλόνισαν την χώρα, περιλαμβανομένης εκείνης σε ένα σχολείο του Νιουτάουν το Ο πρόεδρος Ομπάμα που δεν κατάφερε ποτέ, παρά τις επανειλημμένες προσπάθειές του, να φέρει αλλαγές στους νόμους περί οπλοκατοχής, προέτρεψε την χώρα του να συλλογιστεί σοβαρά επί αυτού του θέματος. «Όποιες κι αν είναι οι λύσεις, θα είναι αναγκαστικά ατελείς. Όμως θα είναι σα να πρόδιδουμε όλα εκείνα για τα οποία πάλεψε ο αιδεσιμότατος Πινκνεϊ εάν ολισθήσουμε εκ νέου στη σιωπή» μετά τις κηδείες, υπογράμμισε ο πρόεδρος, ο οποίος ολοκλήρωσε τον επικήδειό του ψέλνοντας τον ύμνο «Amazing Grace». Στις 19 Ιουνίου, ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριος εξέδωσε δήλωση εκφράζοντας τη λύπη του και «βαθιά θλίψη, τη συμπάθεια και προσευχές για τα θύματα, τις οικογένειές τους και την κοινότητα». Ο Σεβασμιώτατος περαιτέρω δήλωσε «Είμαι βαθύτατα θλιμμένος και αναστατωμένος από την είδηση αυτού του ειδεχθούς εγκλήματος το οποίο πραγματοποιήθηκε σε μια εκκλησία, σε ένα ιερό τόπο λατρείας, κατά τη διάρκεια μελέτης της Αγίας Γραφής.Εμείς, η Ελληνική Ορθόδοξη Εκκλησία στην Αμερική, θρηνούμε για την απώλεια αθώων ζωών και στεκόμαστε αλληλέγγυοι με τους ανθρώπους της κοινότητας στο Τσάρλεστον. Προσευχόμαστε με θέρμη στο Θεό για την ανάπαυση των ψυχών των θυμάτων και για την αντοχή, την άνεση και την παρηγοριά για τους αγαπημένους τους και όλους όσους επηρεάζονται από αυτήν την ανείπωτη τραγωδία. Επιπλέον, επαναλαμβάνουμε σταθερά τον ανένδοτη δέσμευση της Ορθοδόξου Εκκλησίας σε όλες τις προσπάθειες για την εξάλειψη των αιτιών παρόμοιων απάνθρωπων ενεργειών».
14 14 ΟΡΘΟ ΟΞΟΣ ΠΑΡΑΤΗΡΗΤΗΣ ΙΟΥΛΙΟΣ ΑΥΓΟΥΣΤΟΣ 2015 ΓΕΓΟΝΟΤΑ & ΝΕΑ ΑΠΟ ΤΟΝ ΚΟΣΜΟ Τά ὀνομαστήρια τῆς Α. Θ. Παναγιότητος τοῦ Οἰκουμενικοῦ Πατριάρχου κ.κ. Βαρθολομαίου Φωτογραφία: Δημήτριος Πανάγος Τελετή Αποφοίτησης στην Ακαδημία Αγίου Βασιλείου ΝΕΑ ΥΟΡΚΗ.- Το Σάββατο 20 Ιουνίου μέσα σε μια ιδιαίτερα εορταστική ατμόσφαιρα, πραγματοποιήθηκαν οι τελετές αποφοίτησης για το ακαδημαικό έτος των τελειοφοίτων της Ακαδημίας του Αγίου Βασιλείου που βρίσκεται στο Γκάρισον της Νέας Υόρκης. Αυτή ήταν η 68 η τελετή αποφοίτησης της ιστορικής ακαδημίας, - που φέτος έκλεισε 71 χρόνια ζωής και προσφοράς - που αντικατοπτρίζει μια από τις πιο σημαντικές διακονίες της Ελληνορθόδοξης Αρχιεπισκοπής Αμερικής «Η Ακαδημία είναι ένα μόνο παράδειγμα του τι μπορούν να προσφέρουν η πίστη και η αγάπη στην κοινωνία μας, τόνισε ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής Δημήτριος, ο οποίος με την ομιλία του έκλεισε κι επίσημα τη φετεινή τελετή αποφοίτησης. Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριος απένειμε τιμητικά διπλώματα στους Γεώργιο Παπαντώνη και Βλάντμιρ Σίρις (απόφοιτοι Bishop Dunn Memorial School) και στους Τζόναθαν Κλεμέντε και Κατερίνα Καμπιρίδη (από το Haldane HS). Χαιρετισμούς απηύθυναν μεταξύ άλλων η πρόεδρος της Εφορείας του ιδρύματος, κ. Εβελυν Τσιάδη, ο Γενικός Πρόξενος της Ελλάδος στη Νέα Υόρκη, πρέσβης Γιώργος Ηλιόπουλος, η πρόεδρος της Εθνικής Φιλοπτώχου, Μαρία Logus. Πάπας Φραγκίσκος για σταθερή ημερομηνία εορτασμού Πάσχα Την διάθεση της Ρωμαιοκαθολικής Εκκλησίας να ορισθεί σταθερή ημερομηνία εορτασμού για το Πάσχα, ώστε να γιορτάζεται από κοινού από όλους τους χριστιανούς, έκανε γνωστή ο πάπας Φραγκίσκος, κατά την ομιλία του στην βασιλική εκκλησία του Αγίου Ιωάννη του Λατερανού, στην Ρώμη, επ ευκαιρία της διεθνούς συνάντησης των καθολικών κληρικών. «Η (Ρωμαιοκαθολική) Εκκλησία είναι διατεθειμένη να ορίσει μια σταθερή ημερομηνία για το Πάσχα, ώστε να μπορεί να γιορτάζεται την ίδια ημέρα από όλους τους χριστιανούς. Από τους Καθολικούς, Ορθόδοξους και Προτεστάντες», τόνισε ο Φραγκίσκος. Ο ποντίφικας πρόσθεσε ότι «η Καθολική Εκκλησία είναι Εγκύκλιος uσελίδα 13 Ἡ ἐλευθερία τῆς ἐπιτυχίας μας ἀποτελεῖ εὐκαιρία γιά πνευματική ἀνάπτυξη σέ κοινωνία μέ τόν Θεό καί γιά καθοδήγηση τῶν ἄλλων πρός τήν ἴδια κατεύθυνση. Ἡ ἐλευθερία τῆς πίστεώς μας εἶναι ἡ εὐκαιρία μας νά ἀποτελοῦμε συνεχῆ καί ὡραία μαρτυρία διά τῆς λατρείας τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐν ἀληθείᾳ καί ἀγάπῃ. Καθώς ἑορτάζουμε μέ τήν οἰκογένειά μας, τίς κοινότητες καί ὡς ἔθνος τήν Ἡμέρα Ἀνεξαρτησίας καί τήν ἐλευθερία, εἴθε νά βεβαιώσουμε τήν δέσμευσή μας νά μοιρασθοῦμε τήν ἀληθινή ἐλευθερία τήν ὁποία ἔχουμε χάρις στόν Κύριό μας Ἰησοῦν Χριστόν καί εἴθε νά ὁδηγήσουμε ἄλλους νά δοῦν τήν περίσσεια ζωῆς καί τίς τεράστιες εὐλογίες τίς ὁποῖες αὐτή ἡ ἐλευθερία προσφέρει σέ ὅλους τούς ἀνθρώπους. Εὔχομαι ὁ Ἐλευθερωτής Θεός καί Θεός τῆς Ἐλευθερίας νά εἶναι πάντοτε μαζί σας. Μέ πατρική ἀγάπη ἐν Χριστῷ Ἀναστάντι, ὁ Ἀρχιεπίσκοπος Ἀμερικῆς Δημήτριος διατεθειμένη να σταματήσει να ακολουθεί την καθορισμένη, έως τώρα, ημερομηνία η οποία αντιστοιχεί στην πρώτη πανσέληνο μετά την εαρινή ισημερία». Όπως αναφέρουν ιταλοί σχολιαστές πρόκειται για σημαντική κίνηση οικουμενικού διαλόγου, μετά την απόφαση του Αργεντινού πάπα, να κάνει αναφορά, κατά την τελετή ενθρόνισής του, μόνον τον τίτλο του επισκόπου Ρώμης. Σύμφωνα με πληροφορίες, επίσης, ο Φραγκίσκος, την ερχόμενη εβδομάδα θα προχωρήσει σε νέα κίνηση που πρόκειται να ενισχύσει το πνεύμα διαλόγου και αδελφοσύνης με τους Ορθόδοξους. (πηγή: ΑΠΕ-ΜΠΕ) ΑΝΑΚΟΙΝΩΘΕΝ ΑΓΙΑΣ ΚΑΙ ΙΕΡΑΣ ΣΥΝΟΔΟΥ Συνῆλθεν, ὑπό τήν προεδρίαν τῆς Α. Θ. Παναγιότητος, ἡ Ἁγία καί Ἱερά Σύνοδος εἰς τήν τακτικήν συνεδρίαν αὐτῆς σήμερον, Tρίτην, 7ην Ἰουλίου 2015, πρός ἐξέτασιν τῶν ἐν τῇ ἡμερησίᾳ διατάξει ἀναγεγραμμένων θεμάτων. Κατ αὐτήν, ἡ Ἁγία καί Ἱερά Σύνοδος προτάσει τῆς Α. Θ. Παναγιότητος, τοῦ Οἰκουμενικοῦ Πατριάρχου κ. κ. Βαρθολομαίου: α) ἐπανήγαγε τήν Ἐπαρχίαν Συνάδων, οὖσαν παλαίφατον καί περίπυστον Μητρόπολιν τοῦ Οἰκουμενικοῦ Θρόνου, εἰς τάς τάξεις τῶν Μητροπόλεων αὐτοῦ, ἀναγράψασα αὐτήν εἰς τό Συνταγμάτιον, καί κατέστησε τόν ἄχρι τοῦδε Θεοφιλέστατον Ἐπίσκοπον Συνάδων κ. Διονύσιον Μητροπολίτην αὐτῆς, καί β) ψήφων κανονικῶν γενομένων ἐν τῷ Πανσέπτῳ Πατριαρχικῷ Ναῷ ἐξελέξατο παμψηφεί τόν Πανοσιολ. Ἀρχιμανδρίτην τοῦ Οἰκουμενικοῦ Θρόνου κ. Νικόλαον Σεργάκην, κληρικόν τῆς Ἱερᾶς Μητροπόλεως Ἴμβρου καί Τενέδου, Βοηθόν Ἐπίσκοπον παρά τῷ Πατριάρχῃ, ὑπό τόν τίτλον τῆς πάλαι ποτέ διαλαμψάσης Ἐπισκοπῆς Ἁλικαρνασσοῦ, μέλλοντα ἵνα ἀναλάβῃ καθήκοντα Ἀρχιερατικῶς Προϊσταμένου τῆς Περιφερείας Φαναρίου- Κερατίου Κόλπου, τῆς Ἁγιωτάτης Ἀρχιεπισκοπῆς Κωνσταντινουπόλεως. Ἐν τοῖς Πατριαρχείοις, τῇ 7ῃ Ἰουλίου 2015 Ἐκ τῆς Ἀρχιγραμματείας τῆς Ἁγίας καί Ἱερᾶς Συνόδου Ἐπί τῇ ἱ. μνήμῃ τῶν Ἁγίων ἐνδόξων Ἀποστόλων Βαρθολομαίου καί Βαρνάβα, τῇ καί εὐσήμῳ ἡμέρᾳ τῶν σεπτῶν Πατριαρχικῶν Ὀνομαστηρίων, ἡ Α. Θ. Παναγιότης ὁ Πατριάρχης, ἐχοροστάτησε κατά τόν Ἑσπερινόν τῆς ἑορτῆς, τήν Τετάρτην, 10ην Ἰουνίου, ἐν τῇ Ἱερᾷ Μονῇ Ζωοδόχου Πηγῆς Βαλουκλῆ. Κατ αὐτόν παρέστησαν πλεῖστοι Ἱεράρχαι, ὁ Ἐξοχ. κ. Κυριακός Λουκάκης, Πρέσβυς τῆς Ἑλλάδος ἐν Ἀγκύρᾳ, ὁ Ἐντιμ. κ. Εὐάγγελος Σέκερης, Γεν. Πρόξενος ἐνταῦθα, καί πλῆθος πιστῶν ἐκ τῆς Πόλεως καί ἐκ τοῦ ἐξωτερικοῦ. Μετά τήν Ἀπόλυσιν, ὁ Πατριάρχης ἐτέλεσε Τρισάγιον ὑπέρ ἀναπαύσεως τῆς ψυχῆς τοῦ ἀειμνήστου Ἱερομονάχου Βαρθολομαίου Κουτλουμουσιανοῦ, τοῦ Ἰμβρίου, τό ὄνομα τοῦ ὁποίου φέρει, ἐν συνεχείᾳ δέ ἐχειροθέτησε τόν Ἐλλογιμ. κ. Ἀθανάσιον Καραμπίνην, Πρύτανιν τοῦ Δημοκριτείου Πανεπιστημίου Θρᾴκης, εἰς Ἄρχοντα Πρωτομαΐστορα τῆς Ἁγίας τοῦ Χριστοῦ Μ. Ἐκκλησίας, ἀνταλλαγέντων τῶν εἰθισμένων τῇ περιστάσει λόγων. Ἀκολούθως ὡμίλησε πρός τό ἐκκλησίασμα ὁ Πατριάρχης Ὅστις ἐξέφρασε τάς εὐχαριστίας Αὐτοῦ πρός τόν ἱ. Κλῆρον καί τόν λαόν διά τήν παρουσίαν των κατά τήν εὔσημον ταύτην ἡμέραν. Ἐν συνεχείᾳ, παρετέθη δεξίωσις ἐν τῷ αὐλείῳ χώρῳ τῆς Μονῆς, καθ ἥν οἱ ἐνταῦθα καί οἱ παρεπιδημοῦντες Ἀρχιερεῖς, ὁ ἱ. Κλῆρος καί οἱ πολυάριθμοι προσκυνηταί ἐκ τοῦ ἐξωτερικοῦ καί οἱ ὁμογενεῖς, ὑπέβαλον τῇ Α. Θ. Παναγιότητι ἑόρτια σέβη καί τά συγχαρητήριά των. Τήν ἑπομένην, Πέμπτην, 11ην ἰδίου, ὁ Πατριάρχης ἐχοροστάτησεν ἐν τῷ Π. Πατριαρχικῷ Ναῷ, κατά τήν τελεσθεῖσαν Θείαν Λειτουργίαν ἐν πολυαρχιερατικῇ συγχοροστασίᾳ. Μετ Αὐτοῦ συνεχοροστάτησαν οἱ Σεβ. Ἱεράρχαι Γέρων Νικαίας κ. Κωνσταντῖνος, Γέρων Χαλκηδόνος κ. Ἀθανάσιος, Γέρων Δέρκων κ. Ἀπόστολος, Ἑλβετίας κ. Ἱερεμίας, Τρανουπόλεως κ. Γερμανός, Δωδώνης κ. Χρυσόστομος, Ἴμβρου καί Τενέδου κ. Κύριλλος, Πριγκηποννήσων κ. Ἰάκωβος, Προικοννήσου κ. Ἰωσήφ, Φιλαδελφείας κ. Μελίτων, Σεβαστείας κ. Δημήτριος, Ξάνθης κ. Παντελεήμων, Μυριοφύτου καί Περιστάσεως κ. Εἰρηναῖος, Μύρων κ. Χρυσόστομος, Ἰκονίου κ. Θεόληπτος, Μπουένος Ἄϊρες κ. Ταράσιος, Σιδηροκάστρου κ. Μακάριος, Βελγίου κ. Ἀθηναγόρας, Ρόδου κ. Κύριλλος, Ράσκας καί Πριζρένης κ. Θεοδόσιος, Κυδωνίας καί Ἀποκορώνου κ. Δαμασκηνός, Κώου καί Νισύρου κ. Ναθαναήλ, Λαγκαδᾶ, Λητῆς καί Ρεντίνης κ. Ἰωάννης, Καλλιουπόλεως καί Μαδύτου κ. Στέφανος, Προύσης κ. Ἐλπιδοφόρος, Κρούσεβατς κ. Δαυΐδ, Αὐστρίας κ. Ἀρσένιος, Κυδωνιῶν κ. Ἀθηναγόρας, Μαρωνείας καί Κομοτηνῆς κ. Παντελεήμων, Σουηδίας καί πάσης Σκανδιναυΐας κ. Κλεόπας, Ἰωαννίνων κ. Μάξιμος, Σηλυβρίας κ. Μάξιμος, Ἀδριανουπόλεως κ. Ἀμφιλόχιος καί ὁ Πανιερ. Τελμησσοῦ κ. Ἰώβ. Ὡσαύτως παρέστησαν ὁ Σεβ. Μητροπολίτης Ζιμπάμπουε καί Ἀγκόλας κ. Σεραφείμ, ἐκ τοῦ Πατριαρχείου Ἀλεξανδρείας, ὁ Σεβ. Ἀρχιεπίσκοπος Ἀνθηδῶνος κ. Νεκτάριος, Ἐπίτροπος τοῦ Παναγίου Τάφου ἐν τῇ Πόλει, ὁ Θεοφιλ. Ἐπίσκοπος Naro-Fominsk κ. Ἰωάννης, ἐκπροσωπῶν τόν Μακ. Πατριάρχην Μόσχας καί πάσης Ρωσσίας κ. Κύριλλον, καί ὁ Πανιερ. Ἐπίσκοπος Μπάτσκας κ. Εἰρηναῖος, ἐκ τῆς Ἐκκλησίας Σερβίας. Ἐκκλησιάσθησαν ἐπίσης οἱ Σεβ. Μητροπολῖται Πέργης κ. Εὐάγγελος καί Θεοδωρουπόλεως κ. Γερμανός, οἱ Θεοφιλ. Ἐπίσκοποι Λαμψάκου κ. Μακάριος, Λεύκης κ. Εὐμένιος, Συνάδων κ. Διονύσιος, Ναζιανζοῦ κ. Θεοδώρητος, Δορυλαίου κ. Νίκανδρος, Ἀβύδου κ. Κύριλλος, Ἀμορίου κ. Νικηφόρος, Ἔγγρας κ. Ἱερώνυμος, ἐκ Σερβίας, Μηδείας κ. Ἀπόστολος καί Χριστουπόλεως κ. Μακάριος, Κληρικοί τῆς Ἁγιωτάτης Ἀρχιεπισκοπῆς, τῶν παρακειμένεων αὐτῇ Ἱ. Μητροπόλεων καί ἐκ τοῦ ἐξωτερικοῦ, Μοναχοί καί Μοναχαί, Ἄρχοντες Ὀφφικιάλιοι, οἱ Ἐξοχ. κ. Κυριακός Λουκάκης, Πρέσβυς τῆς Ἑλλάδος ἐν Ἀγκύρᾳ, Ἐντιμ. κ. Εὐάγγελος Σέκερης, Γεν. Πρόξενος αὐτῆς ἐνταῦθα, μετά τῶν Ἐντιμ. κυρίων Βίκτωρος Μαλιγκούδη καί Ἀθανασίου Ἀστρακᾶ, Προξένων, ὁ Ἐντιμ. κ. Θεόδωρος Τσακίρης, Γεν. Πρόξενος ἐν Σμύρνῃ, ἡ Εὐγεν. κ. Παρασκευή Χαριτίδου, Πρόξενος ἐν Ἀδριανουπόλει, Ἐκπαιδευτικοί καί μαθηταί τῆς Πατριαρχικῆς Μεγάλης τοῦ Γένους Σχολῆς, παράγοντες τῶν Κοινοτήτων τῆς Ὁμογενείας καί πλῆθος μέγα προσκυνητῶν ἐξ Ἑλλάδος καί ἐκ τῆς Πόλεως. Μετά τήν Ἀπόλυσιν, τήν Α. Θ. Παναγιότητα προσεφώνησεν ἐκ μέρους τῆς σεβασμίας Ἱεραρχίας τοῦ Θρόνου ὁ Σεβ. Μητροπολίτης Γέρων Νικαίας κ. Κωνσταντῖνος, ἐν συνεχείᾳ ὁ Θεοφιλ. Ἐπίσκοπος Naro-Fominsk κ. Ἰωάννης ἀνέγνωσε μήνυμα τοῦ Μακ. Πατριάρχου Μόσχας καί πάσης Ρωσσίας κ. Κυρίλλου καί ἐπέδωκε δῶρον τῆς Α. Μακαριότητος πρός τόν Παναγιώτατον, ἐνῷ κατέκλεισεν ὁ Πατριάρχης, ψαλέντος ὑπό τῶν Πατριαρχικῶν Χορῶν τοῦ Πολυχρονισμοῦ Αὐτοῦ. Ἐν συνεχείᾳ, ὁ Πατριάρχης ἐδέξατο ἐν τῷ Γραφείῳ Αὐτοῦ τήν ἐνταῦθα σεβασμίαν Ἱεραρχίαν ἐπιδώσασαν Αὐτῷ ἀναμνηστικόν δῶρον, εἶτα δέ οἱ Κληρικοί καί οἱ λαϊκοί ὑπάλληλοι τῆς Πατριαρχικῆς Αὐλῆς ὑπέβαλον τά ἑόρτια σέβη αὐτῶν ἐν τῷ Πατριαρχικῷ Γραφείῳ, ἡγουμένου τοῦ Σεβ. Μητροπολίτου Καλλιουπόλεως καί Μαδύτου κ. Στεφάνου, Πρωτοσυγκελλεύοντος, ὅστις καί προσεφώνησε τόν Πατριάρχην, ἀντιφωνήσαντα καταλλήλως. Μετά ταῦτα, ἐπεσκέφθη τόν ἑορτάζοντα Πατριάρχην ὁ Ἐντιμολ. κ. Θεόδωρος Ἀγγελόπουλος, Μ. Λογοθέτης τῆς Ἁγίας τοῦ Χριστοῦ Μ. Ἐκκλησίας καί Μ. Εὐεργέτης αὐτῆς, ὅστις ἐξέφρασε τόν σεβασμόν καί τά ἑόρτια θερμά συγχαρητήρια ἑαυτοῦ καί τῶν οἰκείων του. Τήν μεσημβρίαν, ὁ Παναγιώτατος παρέθεσεν ἑόρτιον γεῦμα ἐν τῷ ἐν Μεσαχώρῳ ἑστιατορίῳ «Feriye», πρός τιμήν τῶν φιλοξενουμένων Αὐτοῦ.
15 ΙΟΥΛΙΟΣ ΑΥΓΟΥΣΤΟΣ 2015 ΟΡΘΟ ΟΞΟΣ ORTHODOX ΠΑΡΑΤΗΡΗΤΗΣ OBSERVER 15 Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος χαιρετίζει το κλίμα σύμπνοιας μετά το δημοψήφισμα και την σύσκεψη των πολιτικών αρχηγών Oriental carpet & area rugs Upholstery & fine fabrics Drapery & shades Marble & stone cleaning Ceramic tile & grout cleaning Headboards & bed frames Fabric walls Leather furniture Φωτογραφίες: ΔΗΜΗΤΡΙΟΣ ΠΑΝΑΓΟΣ Ολοκληρώθηκε η εικονογράφηση του Ι.Ν. Αναλήψεως στο Ράι της Νέας Υόρκης Μια προσπάθεια που ξεκίνησε πριν από πάνω από 50 χρόνια ολοκήρώθηκε φέτος τον Απρίλιο - η ολοκληρωτική κάλυψη του Ναού με αγιογραφίες, δια χειρός του γνωστού Έλληνα αγιογράφου Δημητρίου Μούρλα. Στις 21 Ιουνίου η κοινότητα του Ράι της Νέας Υόρκης - Κυριακή και ημέρα του πατέρα - υποδέχτηκε τον Αρχιεπίσκοπο Aμερικής Δημήτριο και την πολιτική και θρησκευτική ηγεσία της περιοχής της Νέας Υόρκης σε μια πανηγυρική Αρχιεπισκοπική Θεία Λειτουργία. Το έργο αφιερώθηκε με μία σεμνή αλλά και λαμπρή τελετή κατά την οποία ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριος ευλόγισε και αφιέρωσε μία μία όλες τις εικόνες, επαλείφοντας τις με άγιο Μύρο, ενώ η Βυζαντινή χορωδία εψελνε τα απολυτίκια των απεικονιζομένων Αγίων και των Εορτών που πλέον κοσμούν το κάθε εκατοστό του Ναού αυτού. Ο πρωτοπρεσβύτωρ Ηλίας Βίλλης, Ιερατικώς προιστάμενος της κοινότητας είπε: «Σύμφωνα με την παράδοση, η Ελληνορθόδοξη Εκκλησία παρέχει αφύπνηση των αισθήσεων. Προσφέρωντας άρτο και οίνο, αγγελικές φωνές, θυμίαμα, τελετουργική κίνηση και φυσικά ολοζώντανες εικόνες, ζωγραφίζει την ιστορία και ρίχνει φως στο νόημα της πίστης. «Oι μετανάστες που εφταναν απο την Ελλαδα πολλά χρόνια πριν, το πρώτο πράγμα που έκαναν ήταν να χτίσουν ένα ναό, μαζί σαν κοινότητα. Δεν έχτιζαν πολιτιστικά κέντρα. Δεν έχτιζαν σχολεία. Έχτισαν ναούς. Ένα από τα σημαντικότερα ιερατεία της Εκκλησίας, δια μέσω της ιστορίας - ιστορίας αιώνων - είναι η Αγιογραφία. Και αυτή η κοινότητα βασικά τίμησε αυτή την παράδοση βάζοντας αυτές τις εικόνες στους τοίχους». Οι Μάικλ Μαρκς και Τζορτζ Ζύμαρ, πρώην πρόεδροι της κοινότητας δήλωσαν: «Πρωτομπήκα στο νάο το Από τότε και μέχρι τα μέσα της δεκαετίας του 80 λευκό κονίαμα και το τέμπλο ήταν η μοναδική εσωτερική διακόσμηση - τελικά στα μέσα της δεκαετίας του 80 αρχίσαμε το πρόγραμμα της Αγιογραφίας. Ξεκινώντας από την Πλατυτέρα πισω από το τέμπλο, πάνω από το Ιερό, η Παρθένος και το Βρέφος. Μετά μαζέψαμε χρήματα και φτιάξαμε τον Παντοκράτορα, που είναι επικεφαλής και μας κοιτά από ψηλά, μαζι με τους τέσσερεις Ευαγγελιστές, τους Ματθαίο, Μάρκο, Λουκά και Ιωάννη». Ο Μάικλ Ψαρός, μέλος του δοιηκητικού συμβουλίου και μέγας οικονομικός υποστηρικτής αυτού του έργου: «Για τον Αγιογράφο, κάθε μια από αυτές τις εικόνες ήταν πράξη προσευχής, αφιέρωμα. Δεν είναι καλλιτέχνης. Δεν είναι ζωγράφος, και δεν θεωρεί τον εαυτό του καλλιτέχνη ή ζωγράφο, αν του μιλήσεις θα σου πει ότι όλο αυτό το δημιούργημα για αυτόν ήταν μια δήλωση προσευχής. «Εχουμε μια λέξη στα Ελληνικά. Πιστεύω. Χρειάστηκε πολλές- πάρα πολλέςοικογένειες, πάνω από 100 να πιστέψουν, και έγινε. Ήταν θέλημα Θεού, η ηγεσία του πατέρα Ηλία, η ηγεσία της επιτροπής, αλλά τελικά ήταν οι περισσότερες από 100 οικογένειες που πήγαν σπίτι, συζήτησαν γύρω από το τραπέζι και είπαν Πιστεύω. Έτσι έγινε». Η κ. Χρυσαυγή Σίμος, ιδρυτικό στέλεχος της Ενορίας του Ράι, τόνισε: «Και τώρα, μπαίνεις και αισθάνεσαι τη ζεστασιά και με όλους τους Αγίους γύρω, αισθάνεσαι την προστασία τους. «Η Αγιογραφία μας είναι η Θεολογία μας. Πρέπει να το καταλάβουμε αυτο. Στις πρώτες Εκκλησίες, δεν είχαν βιβλία, δεν είχαν διαλέξεις, δεν είχαν θποψηφίους Διδακτωρες δεν είχαν εξηγήσεις και κείμενα. Είχαν Αγιογραφία και λατρεία. Έτσι μάθαμε να αγαπούμε την Ανθρωπότητα». (πηγή: romfea.gr) uσελίδα 13 βάσεως του Θεού σ αυτή την δύσκολη ώρα για την Ελλάδα. ΕΠΙΚΟΙΝΩΝΙΑ ΜΕ ΟΜΠΑΜΑ Ο Σεβασμιώτατος Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής κ. Δημήτριος στις 2 Ιουλίου απηύθυνε επιστολή προς τον Πρόεδρο των Η.Π.Α κ. Barack Obama, διά της οποίας τον ευχαρίστησε για την έως τώρα συμπαράσταση προς την Ελλάδα κατά την περίοδο της οικονομικής κρίσεως καλώντας να συνεχίσει και να εντείνει τις ευγενείς προσπάθειες του προς όλες τις πλευρές, για την υπέρβαση της κρίσεως και την επίτευξη συμφωνίας. ΕΠΙΚΟΙΝΩΝΙΑ ΜΕ ΠΑΥΛΟΠΟΥΛΟ Εξ άλλου, ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος με δική του πρωτοβουλία, επικοινώνησε και πάλι τηλεφωνικά με τον Πρόεδρο της Ελληνικής Δημοκρατίας κ. Προκόπη Παυλόπουλο στον οποίο εξέφρασε την δική του προσωπική αγωνία αλλά και τα αισθήματα της Ομογένειας για την μεγάλη κρίση που διέρχεται η γενέτειρα. Στις ανωτέρω δύο συνομιλίες του με τον ανώτατο άρχοντα της χώρας κ. Παυλόπουλο, ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος αναφέρθηκε με πολλή εκτίμηση προς το πρόσωπό του και διετύπωσε την παράκληση για την με κάθε δυνατό τρόπο διαφύλαξη της ομοψυχίας και συμπορείας όλων των πολιτικών πλευρών με σκοπό την υπερνίκηση των τεραστίων εν προκειμένω δυσκολιών. Επιπλέον ο Σεβασμιώτατος τόνισε ότι είναι αδιανόητο να βρεθεί η Ελλάς εκτός Ευρώπης, διότι η Ελλάς δεν είναι απλώς ένα μέλος της Ευρώπης, αλλά είναι αυτή που γέννησε την Ευρώπη, έδωσε το όνομά της στην Ευρώπη και επί χιλιάδες χρόνια υπήρξε αυτή μόνη Ευρώπη, προσφέροντας δημοκρατία, πολιτισμό, τέχνες, επιστήμη και σεβασμό προς τον άνθρωπο. Serving the Tri-State Area fabracleen.com fabracleenstoneandtilecare.com
16 16 ΟΡΘΟ ΟΞΟΣ ΠΑΡΑΤΗΡΗΤΗΣ ΙΟΥΛΙΟΣ ΑΥΓΟΥΣΤΟΣ 2015 ΕΟΡΤΑΣΜΟΣ ΤΗΣ ΜΝΗΜΗΣ ΟΣΙΟΥ ΠΑΪΣΙΟΥ ΤΟΥ ΑΓΙΟΡΕΙΤΟΥ ΠΡΟΕΞΑΡΧΟΝΤΟΣ ΤΟΥ ΟΙΚΟΥΜΕΝΙΚΟΥ ΠΑΤΡΙΑΡΧΟΥ ΒΑΡΘΟΛΟΜΑΙΟΥ ΘΕΣΣΑΛΟΝΙΙΚΗ. Με την Πατριαρχική ιερά αγρυπνία κορυφώθηκαν οι λατρευτικές εκδηλώσεις για την πρώτη εορτή του Οσίου Παϊσίου του Αγιορείτου, στο Ιερό Ησυχαστήριο του Αγίου Ιωάννη του Θεολόγου, Αρσενίου του Καππαδόκου και Παϊσίου του Αγιορείτου στην Σουρωτή Θεσσαλονίκης, προεξάρχοντος του Παναγιωτάτου Οικουμενικού Πατριάρχου και Αρχιεπισκόπου Νέας Ρώμης και Κωνσταντινούπολεως κ. Βαρθολομαίου. Οι ευσεβείς πιστοί που σύμφωνα με τις εκτιμήσεις ξεπέρασαν τις , σχημάτισαν ουρές για να προσκυνήσουν τον τάφο του σύγχρονου Αγίου, αλλά και να συμμετέχουν στην Ιερά Αγρυπνία. Με τον Οικουμενικό Πατριάρχη συλλειτούργησαν ο Σεβασμιώτατος Μητροπολίτης Ναυπάκτου και Αγίου Βλασίου κ. Ιερόθεος εκπροσωπώντας τον Μακαριώτατο Αρχιεπίσκοπο Αθηνών και πάσης Ελλάδος κ. Ιερώνυμο και την Ιερά Σύνοδο της Εκκλησίας της Ελλάδας, ο Σεβασμιώτατος Μητροπολίτης Μιλήτου κ. Απόστολος, ο Σεβασμιώτατος Μητροπολίτης Καστορίας κ. Σεραφείμ, ο Σεβασμιώτατος Μητροπολίτης Μαδύτου και Καλλιουπόλεως και Πρωτοσύγκελος του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου κ. Στέφανος, ο Σεβασμιώτατος Μητροπολίτης Κασσανδρείας κ. Νικόδημος και Ποιμενάρχης της περιοχής και ο Θεοφιλέστατος Επίσκοπος Αμορίου κ. Νικηφόρος καθώς και ιερείς της Ιεράς Μητροπόλεως Κασσανδρείας. Στο Θείο λόγο του η Α.Θ.Π. Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης τόνισε ότι από παρελθόντα Ιανουάριο η Μητέρα Εκκλησία της Κωνσταντινουπόλεως κατόπιν εισηγήσεως του και ομοφώνου θετικής εισηγήσεως της συνοδικής κανονικής επιτροπής αναγνώρισε επισήμως διά πατριαρχικής και συνοδικής πράξεως την προ πολλού υφισταμένη εις την συνείδηση του χριστονύμου πληρώματος ακλόνητος βεβαιότητας περί αγιοποίησης του Γέροντος Παϊσίου και κατέταξε το όνομα του εις το Αγιολόγιο της Εκκλησίας, καθορίζοντας ως ημέρα του επίσημου εορτασμού του, την ημέρα κοίμησής του, την 12 η Ιουλίου, ημέρα που το 1994 ανεχώρησε από την στρατευόμενη στην θριαμβεύουσα Εκκλησία. Χαρακτηριστικό ήταν το σημείο όπου ο Πατριάρχης κ. Βαρθολομαίος είπε: «Εις το πρόσωπο του εξαρχής διακρίναμε όχι μόνο την περίφημη Καππαδοκική ευσέβεια, ούτε μόνο την αυστηρά αγιορείτικη μοναχική άσκηση και την ακριβή τήρηση των Θείων εντολών αλλά και εις τον ύψιστο βαθμό καλή αλλοίωση της Δεξιάς του Υψίστου, την οποία προέδιδε κάθε του λόγος, κάθε του κίνηση, κάθε έκφραση του προσώπου του καθώς και η παρουσία εις σ αυτόν αγιοπνευματικών χαρισμάτων». «Γνωρίσαμε τον αληθή άνθρωπο του Θεού, της θυσιαστικής αγάπης προς τον Θεόν και τον άνθρωπον, τον άνθρωπο της βαθυτάτης Φωτογραφίες: ΑΡΙΣΤΕΙΔΗΣ ΒΙΚΕΤΟΣ ΦΩΣ ΦΑΝΑΡΙΟΥ ταπεινώσεως, της ιωβείου υπομονής και της μαρτυρικής εγκαρτερίσεως», πρόσθεσε επίσης ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης. Επίσης ο Προκαθήμενος της Ορθοδοξίας εξέφρασε τη βεβαιότητα ότι με αγάπη και πίστη προς το Θεό, τα προβλήματα που αντιμετωπίζουν σήμερα οι πιστοί θα ξεπεραστούν. «Η σημερινή εσπέρα είναι σημαδιακή. Δεν είναι μόνον η πρώτη εορτή της μνήμης του αγίου Παισίου, συμπίπτουσα με μίαν εξαιρετικώς κρίσιμον και καιρίαν για το έθνος των Ελλήνων, στιγμήν. Είναι κυρίως και πρωτίστως παραμυθίαν και παρηγορίαν. Εάν έχωμεν την αγάπην του Θεού και την ελπίδα μας εις εκείνον τότε έχουμε τα πάντα» είπε. «Το γένος μας επέρασε τόσες μπόρες και κλυδωνισμούς όπως έλεγε ο Αγιος Παΐσιος και δεν εχάθηκε. Δεν φοβόμαστε λοιπόν τας παροδικάς θυέλλας, οι Ορθόδοξοι Ελληνες, τας οποίας μετατρέπει εις γαλήνην, ο περιπατών επί των υδάτων Κύριος και ενισχών ημάς, όπως κάποτε τον λιποψυχίσαντα Απόστολον Πέτρον», πρόσθεσε κλείνοντας ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης. Πρέπει να αναφερθεί ότι ο Πατριάρχης έγινε δεκτός με ιδιαίτερη θέρμη και αγάπη από όλους όσοι ανηφόρισαν στην Ιερά Μονή του Αγίου Ιωάννη του Θεολόγου, στην οποία αναπαύεται ο Άγιος Παΐσιος, ένας σύγχρονος Άγιος που τιμούν και ευλαβούνται χιλιάδες κόσμου. ΠΑΤΡΙΑΡΧΙΚΟΣ ΕΣΠΕΡΙΝΟΣ Tο Σάββατο 11 Ιουλίου, τελέστηκε με ιδιαίτερη λαμπρότητα ο πατριαρχικός εσπερινός επί της της μνήμης του Οσίου Παισίου του Αγιορείτου στο Ιερό Ησυχαστήριο του Αγίου Ιωάννου του Θεολόγου στην Σουρωτή Θεσσαλονίκης. Ο Παναγιώτατος Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης κ. Βαρθολομαίος στο θείο λόγο του τόνισε ότι είναι μεγάλη η χαρά και η τιμή του Πατριάρχη να τελεί μαζί σας τον πρώτο Εσπερινό της μνήμης του Οσίου Παισίου, του μεγάλου αυτού Αγίου που ανέδειξε ο Θεός κατά τους δυσκόλους για την Ελλάδα καιρούς, ο οποίος ως άλλος ήλιος ανέτειλε από την Καππαδοκία και από το περιβόλι της Παναγίας, και φωτίζει τα σκοτάδια της ανησυχίας, της αβεβαιότητας και της ανασφάλειας που μας τυλίγουν καθημερινά. Μας λέγει ο Άγιος είμαι μαζί σας, είμαι κοντά σας, ο Θεός είναι μαζί σας και δεν θα σας αφήσει να δοκιμαστείτε περισσότερο απ όσο αντέχετε. Την ευγνωμοσύνη της καρδίας του εξέφρασε απευθυνόμενος στον Οικουμενικό Πατριάρχη ο Σεβασμιώτατος Μητροπολίτης Κασσανδρείας κ. Νικόδημος για την παρουσία του Πατριάρχη του Γένους στις λατρευτικές εκδηλώσεις μνήμης του Οσίου Παισίου του Αγιορείτου αλλά και για την μεγάλη απόφαση της Αγιοκατάξης του στο Αγιολόγιο, ευχαριστώντας ακόμη για την παρουσία του και τον εκπρόσωπο του Μακαριωτάτου Αρχιεπισκόπου Αθηνών και Πάσης Ελλάδος και της Ιεράς Συνόδου της Εκκλησίας της Ελλάδας Σεβασμιώτατο Μητροπολίτη Ναυπάκτου και Αγίου Βλασίου κ. Ιερόθεο και τους Αγίους Αρχιερείς για τη συμμετοχή και το πλήθος των ευσεβών πιστών που ξεπερνούν τις δεκαπέντε χιλιάδες για να τιμήσουν τον Όσιο που στήριξε σε ολόκληρη τη ζωή του τους πονεμένους και δοκιμασμένους. Μετά τον Εσπερινό ο Παναγιώτατος Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης προσκύνησε τον τάφο του Οσίου που βρίσκεται στο Ιερό Ησυχαστήριο. (πηγή: romfea.gr)
17 JULY AUGUST Saint John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival Senior Winner Speech Senior Division, Topic 2: Psalm 50 (51) begins, Have mercy on me, O Lord It is considered the psalm of repentance. Discuss how praying this psalm might affect our understanding of repentance, confession, and forgiveness. Elena Bilotto Kimisis Tis Theotokou, Aliquippa, Pa Metropolis of Pittsburgh Amid pleasures and palaces, though we may roam, be it ever so humble, there s no place like home. When John Payne wrote those words, I doubt that he was thinking about King David s prayer of repentance, but he captured its essence. When I pray Psalm 50, I learn that the pleasures of sin are an illusion. It is only through our humble journey of confession and repentance that God forgives us, embraces us, and takes us home again. King David was trapped in a tangled web of adultery, cover ups, and murder. Despite being the master of thousands of people, he was a slave to his sins. So was I. For three years, I was trapped in my own web of secrets and lies. I had bulimia. I was ashamed of myself, isolated from my family and separated from God. But I thought it was all worth it. I was convinced it gave me more satisfaction than being the person I knew God wanted me to be. I was like the Prodigal son, who thought his life would be better if he could just be independent of his father. Psalm 50 taught me that no one ever receives the satisfaction that the lure of sin promises, but we let temptation cause us to completely lose our way. Jesus said in the Gospel of St. Matthew, For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. My heart was in my sins, but I never felt at home. The most compelling confession David makes is: My sins are always before me. I never thought of it, but my sins were like a song that was stuck in my head, and played over and over again. This is when I realized the punishment for our sins is our sins. They control everything we do and everything we don t. St. Paul tells us in Romans, The wages of sin is death. But living with our sins separated from God is death, even while we re alive. On the other hand, St. Basil wrote, repentance is salvation. Most of us think of repentance as a sorrowful regret, a turning from sin. But all of us have tried to stop doing bad things, without God s help. Has anyone here ever made a New Years Resolution? How long did that last? But the Greek word, metanoia, really means a change of mind, exactly as the word repentance is defined in Romans, Chapter 12, Be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may know the will of God. This isn t just turning away from sin. It s having the humility to trust God, to lead you home again. Before I read Psalm 50, I knew I wanted to repent, but I never felt like I was ready. I thought I had to stop sinning before I repented, to be more acceptable to God. But David goes to God when he is covered in the stains of his sins. He begs God to clean his heart and to wash him so that he ll be whiter than snow. I had it backwards. It is not we who change for God, it is God who changes us. Like the Prodigal son s father, God is waiting for all of us to come home, again. Repentance is the dominant theme of the New Testament. Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near. Repent and have faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Repent and be forgiven. St. Peter s very first sermon ended with, Repent and be baptized, every one of you. We must never forget that repentance is the most important journey of our lives, and it s mostly up hill. Too often, I still give into temptation. We all do. The next time it happens to you, I d like you get on your knees, and pray Psalm 50, with the sincerity of King David, and I assure you. God will lead you home, again. And we all know, There s no place like home. St. Basil s Importance for One Graduate from page 11 were reminding me that I could do more FOR Giving allowed me to BE Givingnot only to myself but to the other living things. I started volunteering at an organization called the Therapeutic Equestrian Center in Cold Spring, N.Y. The Therapeutic Equestrian is a special place that offers kids and adults with disabilities an environment in which to overcome physical, emotional and psychological barriers. I volunteered as a caregiver for the horses and then got assigned to one horse in particular, Otto. I went up with another Saint Basil family member and walked him, groomed him and took care of him with all my heart. My heart opened up a little bit more at every visit. I started talking more about my dad. I started remembering the love, care and compassion that he gave. This time, my memories were not overshadowed by anger they were clear and bright. I finally realized that I was feeling safe and happy. I am so grateful to and for all the people who have helped lead and guide me on my journey since my father passed away. I had to rebuild my life like building blocks. There were a lot of pieces that I had to put together to build a new home for myself, for my heart. I needed to find a family who made me feel safe. I needed to find family members who loved me for who I am. I needed people who believed in me when I didn t believe in myself. I needed faith. I needed good role models. I needed laughter. I need love. At Saint Basil Academy, my needs were met. I have found all these pieces and Junior Winner Speech Junior Division, Topic 4: Malala Yousafzai is an inspirational example of fighting fearlessly for a noble cause in spite of threats against her life. Discuss a young saint or person from the Bible who illustrates such courage. Sophia Hagen Saints Raphael, Nicholas and Irene, Cuming, GA Metropolis of Atlanta Do you remember the very first time your parents let you stay home alone? I sure do! And I was scared to death of my own shadow. After pacing my house for a few minutes, I became so fearful of the worst-case scenarios that I hid in my parent s closet, in the dark, clutching an icon of my patron saint, and praying until they found me when they came home. Was that a good example of being courageous? I made it through my parent s absence without calling for help. Yet sometimes I wonder what could be considered courageous in our world today. For instance, let s say I was in school, a man barges in, puts a gun to my head, and demands to know if I believe in Jesus Christ. Saying yes would mean certain death. Would it be courageous to stand up for what I believe in, knowing I would lose my life for it? A situation similar to this has already happened. And it happened to a 15-yearold girl named Malala who had been shot in the head by the Taliban for speaking out for what she believed in. She believed in girls education. There have been many saints that had the courage to put their life on the line for what they believed in, just like Malala. The one saint that stood out to me the most was St. Catherine. One day, as she was walking in the town square, she witnessed men and women sacrificing their only possessions for the demons. Some of them were Christians, and she watched them as they were preparing to deny and betray Christ. St. Catherine saw the souls of men were being deceived and her love and true desire to ease their sufferings compelled her so much that she sought out to speak to the emperor. Once the emperor learned she was a Christian, he repeatedly bribed her with riches and fame. But St. Catherine stayed firm in her faith, the emperor went into a rage and sentenced her to execution by the spike wheel. This wasn t just one wheel, it was four wheels, each one going in a different direction so she would be ripped into pieces. When St. Catherine would see them, of course, she would change her mind about everything, and worship the demons. Or so they hoped. She was tied down, but before any harm could happen, an angel I am continuing to fit the pieces together to make myself a whole. It is not the end of the journey; in fact, it might be just the came and loosened her bonds and destroyed the wheel, whose parts flew out and killed the unbelievers. However, shortly after, another executioner came with a sword and was prepare to behead her. The Lord said to Joshua in Joshua 1:9, Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Because her spirit was ready to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, she lay her head to the execution block and St. Catherine was beheaded. As Orthodox Christians, our whole purpose, our whole goal in this faith is to have a meaningful relationship with God. The saints are the ones that have chosen to devote their whole faith to have a meaningful relationship with God. The saints are the ones that have chosen to devote their whole life to Jesus Christ and do what s right. In most situations, it takes guts to do what s right. We may not have a terrorist with a sword to our neck, like the recent 21 Coptic Orthodox Christian martyrs, or a spiked wheel, but are we brave enough to leave a party when things start going downhill? Or are we strong enough to change the station when that popular song plays with lyrics we wouldn t be willing to explain to our priest? It takes courage to shield yourself from the mainstream media that are bombarding our eyes, and our ears, and our minds. The saints and the angels are waiting for us with their arms open wide, ready to embrace us at the finish line of faith. So be courageous! Just like Malala! Just like St. Catherine! And stand up for what s right. Stand up for Christ! Put on the armor of God, so when those challenging days arrive, we will be prepared. We won t back down. We will have the courage to stay with God because God alone is the only source of good life after this life. beginning. But, I ve survived. I ve climbed the rocky mountain and made it to the top. I look around me and I have these amazing, loving teenagers as siblings. I have adults who love me more than I knew was ever possible. I have an amazing puppy, Sherman Basil the First. And, for the first time, I m starting to love myself and am realizing my endless capabilities. There are a lot of pieces to this puzzle we call life. I heard this one quote that speaks volumes to me: We may not have it all together, but together we have it all. And I really do. I feel like I really do have it all.
18 18 Ordinations to the Diaconate Demetrios Mott -- Metropolitan Methodios of Boston, St. Demetrios Church, Weston, Mass, 03/01/15 Dimitrios Burikas -- Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago, St. John the Baptist Church, Des Plaines, Ill. 06/06/15 Dionysios Koulianos Metropolitan Nicholas of Detroit, Holy Trinity Church, Ft. Wayne, Ind. 06/14/15 Elefterios Plevrakis Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey, St. Luke Church, Broomall, Pa. 06/14/15 Ordinations to the Priesthood Dn. Daniel Triant Metropolitan Gerasimos, St. Demetrios Church, Seattle 02/08/15 Dn. Demetrios Mott Metropolitan Methodios of Boston, Annunciation Church, Woburn, Mass. 05/31/15 Assignments Fr. Paul Lundberg Holy Transfiguration Church, Mariettta, Ga. 04/01/15 Dn. Gabriel Gadah Annunciation Cathedral, Houston 05/04/15 Fr. Demetrios Mott Annunciation Church, Woburn, Mass. 06/01/15 Fr. John Paizis Kimisis Tis Theotokou Church, Island Park, NY 06/01/15 Fr. Michael Varvarelis Holy Trinity Cathedral, Camp Hill, Pa. 06/01/15 Fr. Michael Ziebarth Zoodochos Peghe Church, Martins Ferry, Ohio 06/01/15 Fr. R. Nicholas Rafael II St. Demetrios Church, Jersey City, N.J. 06/07/15 Dn. Dionysios Koulianos St. Demetrios CLERGY UPDATE Cathedral, Astoria, N.Y. 06/15/15 Dn. Chrysostomos Panos Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, New York 06/17/15 Fr. Ion Coman St. John the Baptist Church, Salinas, Calif. 07/01/15 Fr. Nicholas Georgiou Holy Apostles Church, Westchester, Ill. 07/01/15 Fr. John Mamangakis St. Nicholas Church, Fort Pierce, Fla. 07/01/15 Fr. Andreas Vithoulkas Church of the Holy Resurrection, Brookville, N.Y. 07/01/15 Fr. John Ketchum Annunciation Church, Milwaukee, Wis. 07/12/15 Fr. George Livaditis Holy Trinity Church, Bridgeport, Conn. 07/15/15 Dn. Dimitrios Burikas Assumption Church, Chicago 08/01/15 Fr. Athanasios Papagiannis St. John the Baptist Church, Des Plaines, Ill. 08/01/15 Offikia Fr. Timothy Curren Office of Confessor, bestowed by Metropolitan Methodios of Boston 01/01/15 Fr. John Codis Office of Confessor, bestowed by Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta 05/17/15 Fr. Stephen Ziton Office of Protopresbyter, bestowed by Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver 05/31/15 Receptions Fr. Duane M. Johnson June 19 (from the Orthodox Church in America) New Communities Greek Orthodox Mission Parish of Utah, Cottonwood Heights, Utah Metropolis of Denver 06/24/15 Dr. Chris Philip Fr. Andrew Missiras The Rev. Dr. Andrew Missiras died on Saturday, May 3, 2014 at Shore Memorial Medical Center in Somers Point, N.J., surrounded by his loving family after a long illness He was born in Philadelphia to Achilles and Persephone Missiras on Oct. 29, He earned degrees from the following institutions: Holy Cross Theological Seminary Brookline, MA (B.A.); Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, Mass. (M.Div.); University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich. (B.A.); Drexel University, Philadelphia (M.S.); Lancaster Theological Seminary, Lancaster, Pa. (D.Min.) In 1955 he was married to Irene Economos at St. George Cathedral in Philadelphia where he was subsequently ordained a Greek Orthodox priest. He served the Archdiocese as a priest at St. Nicholas Church in Ann Arbor, Mich., Fr. George H. Dounelis ABERDEEN, N.J. Fr. George H. Dounelis, 67, former pastor of Assumption Church in Holmdel, N.J., died June 28. He had been on medical leave and retired since July 1, He was born July 31, 1947 in Mineola, N.Y. and attended primary school in Hicksville, N.Y. After completing high school at Long Island Lutheran, he enrolled at Hellenic College and earned a B.A. in liberal arts. He received his Masters of Divinity from Holy Cross School of Theology. He married Kathryn Phuros of Jamaica, N.Y. in They had two children, Obituaries JULY AUGUST 2015 National Commander Emeritus, Archon Megas Aktouarios Dr. Chris Philip died July 2, the day before his birthday. Dr. Philip was invested an Archon of the Great Church of Christ in 1971 and served on the National Council as vice commander and later as national commander from 1989 to He was bestowed the title of National Commander Emeritus upon his retirement. Survivors include his wife of 59 years, Irene Philip; children Katherine and husband Dr. Chris Kojanis; and son Chris Philip Jr.; and grandchildren Lee, Ellyn and Renee Kojanis. Funeral services took place July 8 at St. Spyridon Church in New York. Memorial donations may be made to St. Spyridon Church or the Cathedral of St. John the Theologian in Tenafly, N.J. followed by Annunciation Cathedral in Detroit, and at St. Nicholas Church in Atlantic City, N.J. He was then invited to join the faculty of Atlantic Cape Community College, Mays Landing, N.J., where he served as full-time tenured professor for 28 years while continuing his ministry as replacement priest in several churches of the Metropolis of New Jersey. After 50 years of service, Fr. Andrew was awarded the title of Protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Throne by the Patriarchate. Fr. Andrew was predeceased by his brothers, Theologos and Aristotle, and a sister, Efthymia. He was survived by his loving wife of 58 years, Irene; his son Dr. Michael Missiras of New York and his son Mark Missiras, who after a long illness died of heart and kidney failure on May 13, 2014, just 10 days after his loving father. Divine Liturgy and funeral services were held May 7, 2014, at Holy Trinity Church in Egg Harbor Township, N.J. Gina Michelle and Athanasios George. He was ordained as a deacon in July 1973 in Bartholomio, Greece, and as a priest in September 1973 at St. Nicholas Church in Flushing, N.Y. He served as second assistant priest in Flushing from September 1973 to September His next assignment was Assumption Church in Madison, Wis., where he served until April 1980, then transferred to the Holmdel church until October Funeral services took place July 2, with the Very Rev. George Nikas officiating, assisted by 10 other priests. He is survived by his presvytera and children. The Last Journey of Bishop Anthimos of Olympos Bishop Anthimos of Olympos, was born in a small village of Fourni, or Kasteli, in the beautiful island of Crete, Greece. His last wish was to return back home where he spend his first years as a child and rest in the land of his forefathers. Despite the fact that he died suddenly, Bishop Anthimos has prepared his final resting place and made all the arrangements before his passing. He fell asleep in the Lord on May 29th at his home in West Yarmouth, Massachusetts. Upon hearing of the passing of Bishop Anthimos, Archbishop Demetrios offered a Trisagion in San Francisco, at the Archdiocesan Council meeting. On June 2 His Eminence travelled to Holy Cross School of Theology where he offered a Trisagion during a viewing period when the body lay in state at Holy Cross Chapel. Since the bishop s wish was to be buried in his birthplace, Archbishop Demetrios appointed Bishop Sevastianos of Zela, chief secretary of the Eparchial Synod, to escort the body to Crete. Joining His Grace on this journey were also two priests, friends of the late Bishop: Frs. Stephen Kyriacou of Annunciation Cathedral in San Francisco, and Panagiotis Giannakopoulos from St. George Church, in Centerville/Hyannis, Mass. Upon arriving in Heracleon, Crete, the body was transported to the Cathedral of St. Menas in Heracleon. Archbishop Irenaeos of Crete and the members of the Holy Eparchial Synod of Crete, offered a Trisagion in memory of Bishop Anthimos. Immediately afterwards the body was transported to Kasteli (Fourni), where Metropolitan of Rethymnon and Bishop Sevastianos offered a Trisagion. The following day the Metropolitan of Rethymnon celebrated the Divine Liturgy with area clergy. The funeral took place in the afternoon and was chanted by Archbishop of Crete Ireneos, assisted by Metropolitan of Rethymnon Evgenios, Bishop Makarios of Chrystoupolis and Bishop Sevastianos, along with other clergy and many faithful in attendance. Several dignitaries spoke at the end of the service, including government representatives, Bishop Sevastianos and Archbishop Ireneos. In the midst of heavy rain, the body of Bishop Anthimos was put to rest in the local cemetery. Instead of flowers the family requested that contributions could be made for improvements in the village.
19 JULY AUGUST IOCC IOCC Expands Relief to Greece BALTIMORE Greece s rapidly declining economy has prompted the country s banks to close their doors, leaving millions of stunned families and elderly without access to their savings, wages, and pensions. The uncertain future brought on by the country s financial crisis is heightening the threat of hunger and poverty among the people of Greece. International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) is responding by expanding its relief efforts to the country s growing number of people in need. With the generous support of a $500,000 gift from the John L. Santikos Charitable Foundation of the San Antonio Area Foundation, IOCC is increasing its food assistance to help meet the urgent needs of vulnerable families and elderly. The Greek banking crisis is a human crisis felt by the most vulnerable members of society, said Dennis E. Noll, president & chief executive officer, San Antonio Area Foundation. As a tribute to the late John L. Santikos, a Greek native, we are honored to partner with International Orthodox Christian Charities to aid those hit hardest by the Greek financial crisis. Working with a grocery store chain in Greece, IOCC is increasing the number of vulnerable families receiving grocery cards to be able to purchase fresh fruits, vegetables and milk. More than 1,000 families in Greece are currently receiving IOCC grocery cards that allow them to buy items suitable for their dietary needs, rather than collect aid at distribution centers. The agricultural products are all sourced in Greece to support local farmers and milk producers. In addition to the grocery card program, IOCC will continue to provide dry food parcels through Apostoli and the Church of Greece, support a soup kitchen feeding 1,200 people a day, and provide 500 schoolchildren with basic supplies needed when they resume classes in the fall. Since 2012, IOCC, in cooperation with Apostoli, the humanitarian arm of the Church of Greece, the Greek national ministries, and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, has responded to the country s economic crisis with more than $17.4 million in medical support, heating fuel, food, agriculture development, and job-assistance programs to Greece. To help families by making a financial gift to the Give for Greece Fund. To make a gift, please visit iocc.org/giveforgreece or call toll-free at IOCC (4622), or mail a check or money order payable to IOCC, P.O. Box 17398, Baltimore, MD Obituary John S. Gikas MANCHESTER, N.H. John S. Gikas, an Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, died May 17 after a period of declining health. He was born in Manchester, the son of Stephen and Aphrodite (Goulas) Gikas and was a lifelong resident of the city. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He was predeceased by his wife, Catherine (Haritou) Gikas and brother Christos and James Gikas. Survivors include a son, Stephen J. Gikas and his wife, Brenda, of Manchester; two daughters, Linda A. Gikas of Washington, and Dorothea M. Probasco of Carmel, Calif; a brother, Stelios Ted Gikas and wife, Mary, of Poway, Calif.; five grandchildren and other relatives. Funeral service took place May 22 at St. George Cathedral in Manchester. Donations may be made in his memory to St. George Cathedral, 650 Hanover St., Manchester, NH Following are summaries of key points of the Stewardship, Outreach and Evangelism; Religious Education, and Communications. reports Stewardship Stewardship Data sent from 425 parishes out of 535 that submitted data shows a combined loss of 2,924 families overall between 2009 and But 125 of the 425 parishes had a net increase of 3,226 families, while 252 reported a net loss of 6,151 families. The National Stewardship Committee concluded that continued parish leadership training is critical to counteract the trend and to engage the faithful more completely in the life of the Church. The National Stewardship Training Program continues to be well received and has been engaged throughout the Archdiocese in an interactive, practical and inspiring program. The Department of Stewardship, Outreach and Evangelism is promoting the Orthodox Natural Church Development (ONCD) program to promote church growth. Through a Leadership 100 grant, there are plans to implement the program throughout the Archdiocese. Pilot programs have already been successfully introduced at two New York parishes: Church of the Resurrection in Brookville and Archangel Michael in Port Washington. Religious Education The Department of Religious Education has been in the process of assuming the operation of Orthodox Marketplace. The online store has connected to the Department and transferred its inventory. New materials Work has begun on a new edition of the fourth grade textbook, God Calls Us and a new version of the fourth grade textbook, Growing with God. Teachers have been interviewed about changes they recommend. The new materials are being funded by a Leadership 100 grant. Junior and senior high school resources A new zine for high school students, We are One in Christ, is being printed. It explores the basic dimensions of the Church as a worshipping, serving and learning community and the classic understanding of the Church as one, holy, catholic and apostolic. It also presents opportunities to study the history of Orthodoxy in America and the Church s structure Planner The new planner will focus on St. Nicholas Shrine at the World Trade Center. Other Resources A Christmas Pageant for Our King Fr. Konstantine Mendrinos and Department of Religious Education Director Dr. Anton Vrame have developed a new Christmas Pageant program, A Christmas Pageant for Our King, consisting of readings from Scripture and patristic material, Orthodox hymns, western Christmas carols and original songs by Fr. Mendrinos. The pageant can be performed concert To donate to the St. Nicholas National Shrine, make checks payable to: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Mailing Address: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, 8 East 79 th St., New York, NY Archdiocese News Summaries of Spring Archdiocesan Council Reports style and music can be sung by chanters, choirs, children s choruses or soloists and the entire congregation. Electronic and Social Media Over the summer, the department will be sending the annual Resource Catalog to about 5,000 individuals. Listserv s reach about 3,100 individuals and are also reprinted in the Orthodox Observer, parish bulletins and newsletters. Other means of communication include the Orthodox Christian Religious Educators Facebook group, the St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival Facebook group and the Department of Religious Education Facebook page and PRAXIS magazine. Communications The Department of Communications has a vital role in communicating the scope of the Archdiocese s ministries and activities to adherents of the faith, to the leadership and members of other religious bodies and to members of the media, public officials and academic leaders at the national and international levels. The department also develops, evaluates and plans for communicating the work of the hierarchs, metropolises, parishes, departments, organizations, institutions and Archdiocese programs. It also initiates and maintains contacts with secular media in getting out the message of the Greek Orthodox Church and Archdiocese. Among the activities and offerings of the department are the parish ecclesiastical calendars, the pocket calendar, news releases and President Barack Obama on July 2, thanking him for his conciliatory role in fostering a resolution to the impasse over Greece s debt crisis. The Archbishop asked the President to continue to secure a solution to the crisis and open a pathway that ensures the stability of a united Europe, serves as a path towards growth for all nations, and respects the God-given dignity of its citizens. On July 1 and 2, the Archbishop called the President of the Hellenic Republic, Prokopis Pavlopoulos, expressing his own personal anguish and the concern of the Greek Orthodox community in America for the crisis Greece is undergoing and the its people s suffering. In both of these conversations with President Pavlopoulos, His Eminence expressed his high esteem and asked that unity in purpose and a minimum concord among all political sides be achieved and preserved to surmount the huge difficulties at hand. The Archbishop emphasized that it is inconceivable for Greece to be separated from Europe. Greece is not simply a member of Europe, but gave birth to Europe, the Archdiocese yearbook. Among the ongoing initiatives of the Archdiocesan Council Communications Committee are the parish crisis management guide that eventually will be sent to the Archdiocese Legal Committee for review, efforts to increase the Church s presence in the social media through websites, Facebook, Twitter and other media. GOTelecom The television ministry of the Archdiocese produces and disseminates religious, cultural and educational mass media materials pertaining to Orthodox Christianity and Hellenic culture. Programs and projects include the National Ministries Project, with the Department of Administration and a Leadership 100 grant, to produce short videos describing the work and current projects of the Archdiocese departments. These videos have been posted on the Archdiocese YouTube Channel. Eighty videos are scheduled for production. GOTelecom also will produce a series of videos on the Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry Program and has produced videos on the ground blessing of St. Nicholas National Shrine and the May 2014 meeting between Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Pope Frances. Through another Leadership 100 grant, GOTelecom has produced a 26 program series on Discovering Orthodox Christianity videotaped at Hellenic College Holy Cross School of Theology. See also reports on Ionian Village (page 2) and the Center for Family Care (page 25). Archbishop on Greek Crisis from page 1 gave Europe its name and for thousands of years she alone existed as Europe, offering democracy, civilization, art, sciences and respect to human beings. Following Sunday s referendum, which resulted in a vote of 61.3 percent NO and 38.7 YES against the proposed bailout plan, Archbishop Demetrios said it was a positive development that all political parliamentary leaders agreed to participate in a lengthy meeting with President Pavlopoulos for a convergence and collaboration of all political sides. The communique issued at its conclusion emphasized that, The recent verdict of the Greek people is not a mandate for a rift (with the European Union) but for the continuation and bolstering of the effort to achieve a socially just and economically sustainable agreement. As the Orthodox Observer was going to press, the Archbishop reiterated the imperative need for vigilance, concord and unity for the Greek people and said that on behalf of the Greek American community there is fully the will for support and solidarity, accompanied by extensive prayers and supplications for the intervention of God during this difficult time for Greece.
20 20 JULY AUGUST 2015 Church History The Establishment of the Greek Orthodox Church in Texas by William H. Samonides, Ph.D. º π π ƒπ π π ø ª π ª π ƒ Contact: Eleni & Ari Poulos WEB: Επίσης αναλαμβάνουμε Διαβατήρια και Συμβολαιογραφικά (Πληρεξούσια, Μεταφράσεις, Πιστοποιητικά, κ.λ.π.) Call Now and Begin Saving Money with Eleni Tours, Inc. Kontos Foods fa mous for its POCKET-LESS PITA, is proud to present its orig i nal prod ucts once again. Fillo Kataifi Delicious, traditional products made KONTOS FOODS, INC EVRIPIDES KONTOS, President BOX 628, PATERSON, NJ Fax: (973) (973) FARES BEGIN AT... $ 480 $ plus 299 tax ONE WAY plus tax ROUND TRIP To Athens or Thessaloniki from New York RESTRICTIONS DO APPLY SPACE IS LIMITED CALL TODAY LOWEST HOTEL & CAR FARES AVAILABLE LOWEST PRICES IN THE MARKET NON STOP FLIGHT US AIR FROM PHILA TO ATHENS AND CONTINUE TO THESSALONIKI 5 Bayberry Drive, Broomall, PA Fax: SPECIAL DISCOUNTS Offered to Communities, Organizations, Church festivals and all other func tions. 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 In 1910, there were 46 states in this country and almost that number of Greek Orthodox parishes. They were concentrated primarily in Northeastern cities, with not a single parish between Los Angeles and New Orleans. Several thousand Greek Orthodox lived in Texas, but they were scattered over a quarter million square miles. Fr. Christos Angelopoulos, the priest at Holy Trinity in New Orleans, visited Houston in January He was there to establish a parish, and it was announced in the press that a church would open by the end of the year. Father Angelopoulos had served as founding priest of the Annunciation parish in Atlanta, so he knew what it would take. Although a Greek Orthodox church was established that year in Texas, it was not in Houston. By October, Fr. Angelopoulos had left New Orleans, which was having difficulties keeping its church open, for Fort Worth, where work in the stockyards had attracted a considerable number of Greek immigrants. The St. Demetrios parish of Fort Worth was chartered in November. While money was being raised to build a church, services were held on the second floor of a building across from the county courthouse. Fr. Angelopoulos did not remain long in Forth Worth, moving on to serve the community in Tarpon Springs. He was replaced the following year by Fr. Leonidas Adamakos, another experienced, senior priest. Fr. Adamakos had served in the New York metropolitan area since 1902 and was the first priest at St. Nicholas in Newark and at Annunciation in Stamford, Conn. He traveled around the state with parish leaders, collecting money to begin construction. Property was purchased, but the effort to build a church was brought to a stop in October 1912 by the outbreak of the First Balkan War. The parish lost many members, as ablebodied men returned to fight for their homeland. By summer 1913, the fighting in the Balkans had ended, and the population of the Texas communities was recovering. At the end of 1914, Greeks in Fort Worth launched a campaign to raise $25,000. According to B.G. Booth, a businessman who headed the drive: There are more than 2,000 Greeks in Texas, yet we haven t a church in the state. In Fort Worth and Dallas alone there are at least 800 Greeks, and if possible we will establish a church at one of the two cities. We have a piece of property here dedicated to church purposes, but if an agreement is reached to establish the church in Dallas, we are willing to turn that property [with an estimated worth of about $1,500] over for any use best. If we had a church somewhere in the state, the priest could visit all the cities occasionally. The efforts continued for several years, but the idea of having only one parish serve the entire state proved impractical. In 1917, there was an abrupt change in strategy, and in rapid succession three cities built churches. They were rather modest wood frame buildings that were to serve temporarily until more elaborate buildings could be financed. In Dallas, a charter for the Holy Trinity parish was obtained in November Three days later Fr. Paisios Ferentinos came from New Orleans to celebrate the first Greek Orthodox Liturgy. In 1917, a wood frame church was built for approximately $10,000. A Methodist minister who owned a lumberyard provided a five-year loan for $6,000, sold the lumber for the building, and secured a contractor. The loan was repaid in just three years, and no interest was charged. On Feb. 18, 1917, Fr. Damianos Ermogenis celebrated his first Liturgy in the St. Demetrios parish in Fort Worth. The cornerstone for a new church was laid eight days later. The cost of construction was estimated at $10,000. Fr. Ermogenis, who had served in South Africa and South America before arriving in America in 1912, remained in Fort Worth until 1922, returning to Greece in In Houston, a lot was purchased in February An existing structure was demolished, and the cornerstone for a new church was laid in August. It would soon become clear, however, that three churches were not enough. In April 1920, the Church hierarchy recognized the achievements of the Greek Orthodox faithful in Texas. Then- Bishop Alexander of Rodostolou, synodical representative in America of the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece, traveled to Texas from his headquarters in New York. From Holy Friday through Easter Sunday, he celebrated services in Dallas. He visited Houston during Bright Week, and celebrated the Divine Liturgy in Fort Worth on the Sunday of St. Thomas. The number of parishes continued to grow. In San Antonio, in 1924, George and Vaso Dounson had to wait a full week before a priest could arrive and bury their daughter. The community was relying on priests from other cities, but this poignantly demonstrated the importance of having a priest nearby. Tragedy provided the impetus, and later that year a church was established in San Antonio. A century ago there were no Greek Orthodox parishes in Texas. Today there are 17 parishes, established with vision and persistent effort, to serve the needs of the faithful throughout this vast state. The author thanks John Faxon of Dallas and Fr. Nicholas Hadzellis of St. Demetrios Church in Fort Worth for their assistance. The stories of Frs. Adamakos and Angelopoulos are featured in Pioneering Priests: Establishing the Greek Orthodox faith in America, an exhibition funded by Leadership 100 and now on display at the St. Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine in St. Augustine, Fla.
PHILOPTOCHOS Philoptochos means Friends of the Poor National Philoptochos Sunday is the first Sunday of November declared by our National Greek Orthodox Archdiocese. On this day the Philanthropic works
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