NEW YORK--The eagerly anticipated Archdiocesan Centennial Exhibit—a showcase that chronicles the Greek Orthodox Church in America—is now open to the public in Times Square. “Let us open our minds and our hearts to knowledge of our past and a deep appreciation of the Legacy we have inherited,” Archbishop Elpidophoros of America declared as he cut the ceremonial ribbon, together with Patriarchal Delegate Prodromos of Rethymnon and Avlopotamos, Archdiocesan Archive Director Emerita, Niki Calles, Leadership 100 Executive Director Paulette Poulos, and Centennial Committee Chairman Argyris Vassiliou.
Mr. Vasiliou welcomed guests to the exhibit, and Secretary General for Greeks Abroad John Chrysoulakis and Governor of Attica George Petoulis offered additional remarks on behalf of the Hellenic Republic.
The expertly curated exhibit was designed and built by Anthony Stein of New York City’s A. Stein Productions, together with Peter Kovits, who crafted the text of the explanatory panels.
Accessible to both the attendees of 46th Biennial Clergy Laity Congress and the wider public, the powerful collection is more than just educational—its inspirational. Engagement with the narratives and visual displays offers viewers the opportunity to learn about the history of the Orthodox Church and Hellenism in America. While delegates and Orthodox faithful will and delight in shared memories, His Eminence hopes the achievements of the community’s forebearers and triumphs of the Gospel will inspire a renewed vision for the future of the Church and rouse the imaginations—especially of the younger generations—to continued trailblazing movement forward.
After expressing his heartfelt gratitude to Argyris Vassiliou for spearheading the work of the Centennial Committee—particularly for his encouragement and support in bringing this exhibition together—His Eminence recognized Niki Calles and Paulette Poulos as Centennial Honorees for their lifelong ministry and dedicated service to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese.
The Archbishop underscored that the two women each “represent a huge portion of the institutional memory of our Archdiocese,” adding that he cannot sufficiently thank them for what they have offered to our Church over the last six decades.
Calles and Poulos were particularly instrumental in assisting the inimitable Archbishop Iakovos of North & South America in executing his vision for the American Church during his thirty-seven years at the helm of the Archdiocese, as well as an additional nine years coordinating the Archbishop’s personal office when the torch of leadership was passed to Archbishop Spyridon. After the towering churchman’s 2005 death, their dedication to the Church persisted. Niki was appointed director of Archives, where her meticulous handling of the Archdiocese’s repository of texts and historical direction of the A. Stein Productions team has made today’s Centennial Exhibition possible. And Paulette used her gifts to strengthen the endowment named in honor of Archbishop Iakovos, Leadership 100, whose generosity made the exhibit a reality. “Their efforts have been heroic, and even our honoring them today is far-exceeded by their contributions,” said Archbishop of Elpidiphoros.
The Archdiocesan Centennial Exhibit is on view at the New York Marriott Marquis, located at 1535 Broadway in New York City through Thursday July 7th. Admission is open to the general public and free of charge.