The 2019 AHEPA Family Leadership Excursion continued with a two-day visit to the Ecumenical Patriarchate where Supreme President George E. Loucas presented a $25,000 donation to His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I for the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The visit also proved to be distinct from previous ones as it coincided with the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s announcement of the election of His Eminence Metropolitan Elpidophoros of Bursa as the new Archbishop of America.
“We had the honor and good fortune to congratulate and meet with newly-elected Archbishop of America, His Eminence Metropolitan Elpidophoros of Bursa, soon after the announcement,” Supreme President George E. Loucas said. “On our previous annual visits, His Eminence Metropolitan Elpidophoros graciously met with us and took the time to lead us on tours of the Theological School of Halki. We look forward to welcoming him to the United States. Axios!”
According to Supreme President Loucas, the delegation took pride in being fortunate to be the first delegation to meet the newly-elected Archbishop.
In a private audience with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Supreme President Loucas reaffirmed the AHEPA family’s unwavering support for the Ecumenical Patriarchate and presented His All Holiness with a $25,000 joint donation from AHEPA and the AHEPA Canadian Foundation.
“We are steadfast in our support for religious freedom and human rights for the Ecumenical Patriarchate and all religious minorities in Turkey,” Loucas said. “We will continue to press for these universal and fundamental rights and for the reopening of the Halki Theological School.”
During church services on May 11, His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew extended his warm thanks to the delegation for attending the services.
The delegation included: Sons of Pericles Supreme President Greg Vourloumis, Maids of Athena Grand President Tatiana Tsaprailis, Canadian President Christos Argiriou, Supreme Secretary George Horiates, Sons National Advisor Sandy Papadopoulos, Past Supreme Counselor Greg Stamos, Past Supreme Governor Peter Baltis, Past District 5 Governor Dr. Zenon Christodoulou, District 20 Governor James DeDakis, and additional Ahepans representing chapters from Greece and Istanbul.