By His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America
At the Meeting with the National Sisterhood of Presvyteres
Centennial Clergy-Laity Congress
Marriott Marquis (Lyceum Complex – 5th Floor)
New York, NY
July 6, 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 Sisters of the National Sisterhood of Presvyteres,
I am especially pleased to be with you today, as I am at every occasion to be with you, who are the backbone of our communities. The Presvyteres of our Church are the heart and soul of our Parishes, and though you might feel underappreciated from time to time, know that your Chief Pastors – myself and your Metropolitans, value you above all measure.
We know that you make sacrifices so that the ministries of your husbands can prosper. And many of you have ministries of your own, a truly exceptional offering to the Church. And I am so glad that you have this organization— celebrating to support and embrace one another. This fellowship is like the old story of the sticks. One alone can break easily, but many bound together cannot be broken.
The Presvyteres of our Holy Archdiocese have voices and perspectives that are invaluable to the future of the Church. You see the parish ministry up close, yet with some measure of detachment, that can help inform your husbands’ efforts.
I am hopeful that we will find a way to bring together your very substantial knowledge and put it to use across our Archdiocese.
We are embarking upon a new Century, and we need new ways to think through ministry and the ways we reach our Faithful. I want you to know how much I value your opinions and your experience. Let’s work together to bring your gifts into the fore.
Today, we honor one of your own as a Centennial Honoree. Presvytera Goldie Doukas is a legend in this Archdiocese. She has counseled and advised so many, with humor, with sage advice, and above all, with love. In honoring her, we also honor all of you, who every day champion your husbands, your families, and your Parishes.
As I close my remarks, I want you to think carefully about what I have suggested tonight. Let’s think this through together and come up with new and exciting ways to understand and serve our Church.
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit always be with you.