By His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America
At the Hellenic College Holy Cross Reception
The Marriott Marquis Hotel
New York, NY
July 4, 2022
Most Honorable Delegation of the Mother Church of Constantinople:
Your Eminence Elder-Metropolitan Emmanuel of Chalcedon,
Your Eminence Metropolitan Prodromos of Rethymnon and Avlopotamos, and Very Reverend Grand Ecclesiarch Aetios,
Your Eminences and Graces,
Beloved Friend, President George Cantonis,
Esteemed Members of the Hellenic College and Holy Cross Family,
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Earlier today, we consecrated our National Shrine, which, as you know, is dedicated to Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker. This is our newest National Ministry, which will now take off from the magnificent launch pad that we sanctified this morning.
Holy Cross is one of our Archdiocese’s oldest ministries, founded just fifteen years after the decision of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to form its First Eparchy in the New World. And just this year, we had the Eightieth Commencement of our beloved School – a most significant accomplishment indeed, demonstrating our continuity and commitment.
However, I see both of these Institutions as deeply connected. Saint Nicholas will be our most significant inroad into popular American culture, for it is part of the story of 9/11 that will be told in America for generations to come. And it is my prayer that this inroad will lead to Hellenic College and Holy Cross, where the Teaching of our Faith can be cultivated by those who will become more aware of Orthodox Christianity by the witness of Saint Nicholas.
Hellenic College and Holy Cross are not merely a foundational Institution of this Archdiocese, whose history is so much a part of our past. They are integral to our success in the future. And their renewal under the leadership of President Cantonis has been nothing short of miraculous. Presently, we are working to strengthen our Archdiocese through a single School that will prepare our clergy and lay leaders in a unified vision of how to serve our communities and our Nation at-large.
In this regard, I am particularly grateful to Helen Carlos and Protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Throne Jon Magoulias for their longtime commitment and work at the School. They have given so much of their time, their talents and their treasure. But above all, they have given their hearts to the School.
And so, while Helen is unable to be with us here this evening due to an unforeseen circumstance, I would like to invite Fr. James Katinas to receive it on her behalf, together with Fr. Jon Magoulias, as a symbol of appreciation and gratitude for their decades of work on behalf of Hellenic College and Holy Cross. In your persons, we recognize all those who have given the same dedication and devotion that you have offered to our precious School.
(PRESENTATION OF GIFT)
Thank you to all of you for coming this evening and honoring them. I know that I speak for our Patriarchal Representatives when I say that they rejoice with us, and especially for Metropolitan Gerasimos, whose friendship with Father Jon goes back to their first days together at the School in the Nineteen Seventies.
May God ever bless our School and our Sacred Archdiocese!