Remarks by His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America
at the Centennial Exhibit Opening
Marriott Marquis (9th Floor Terrace)
New York, NY
July 3, 2022
Your Eminence Metropolitan Prodromos of Rethymnon and Avlopotamos,
Most Honorable Delegate of the Mother Church of Constantinope:
Your Eminences and Graces,
Beloved Argyris Vassiliou, Chairman of the Centennial Committee,
Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
In opening this Centennial Exhibit of the Clergy-Laity Congress, we take this moment to honor our past, as well as the legacy that has been bequeathed to us. The photos and displays of this carefully curated array of our collective history are just as educational as they are inspirational.
Through these objects and their narratives, I hope that the Delegates and the Visitors to our 46th Biennial Clergy-Laity Congress will do more than simply pass through these memories. I hope that these precious memoirs will galvanize the imaginations of our faithful for a positive, optimistic and Christ-centered vision for our future as a Church.
I would like to express my special thanks to the Chairman of our Centennial Committee, my dear friend and co-worker, Argyris Vassiliou, for his constant encouragement and support in bringing this exhibition together. RJ, as we all know him, is a humble and effective leader in our Church, someone who reflects the values and traditions of his family. Indeed, everyone who contributed to this Centennial Expo is to be congratulated for their ingenuity and for their labors in bringing this to pass.
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However, there are two more devoted and dedicated workers of our Church here with us today, who truly embody what this Centennial Exhibition represents: our Centennial Honorees, Niki Calles and Paulette Poulos. Together, they have offered more than a century of ministry and dedicated service to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. And as I said at this morning’s Liturgy, they present their shared ministry as One Hundred Years Young!
Especially in their service during the pivotal and most consequential reign of the ever-memorable Archbishop Iakovos, they were both vitally instrumental in assisting the late and great Archbishop in accomplishing his goals over his thirty-seven years Archepiscopal tenure.
Together, Niki and Paulette continued to serve the Church – Niki in the Archives, where her meticulous and expert handling of our history has made today’s Centennial Exhibition possible; and Paulette, who has led Leadership 100 as Executive Director ever since the blessed repose of Archbishop Iakovos.
They represent a huge portion of the institutional memory of our Archdiocese, and I cannot thank them enough for what they offered to our Church throughout the decades. Their efforts have been heroic, and even our honoring them today is far-exceeded by their contributions.
I would like to ask them both please to come forward at this time in order to receive a small token of appreciation and gratitude for their steadfast devotion and unwavering dedication to our Sacred Archdiocese of America.
(PRESENTATION OF GIFTS)
Finally, as we cut the ribbon, thereby opening the Exhibition, let us open our minds and our hearts as well.
Let us open them to the knowledge of our past and to a deep appreciation of the Legacy that we have received.
Let us open them to the inspiration for engagement, and for the Renewal of all the good work that has come before us.
And let us open them to a vision for the future that is founded on our Unity in Christ – a unity held so near and dear by our spiritual ancestors, and so vital to the success of the generations who shall inherit this Archdiocese from us.
Thank you all for your presence here today!