NEW YORK.- Photos: Dimitrios Panagos
“This is the first day of a long and fruitful ministry,” said His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America shortly after he arrived today at the headquarters of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese. He was welcomed by the Hierarchs, the clergy and the lay staff, who joyfully anticipated the moment they would see and meet their new Archbishop and spiritual father.
His Eminence entered the Archdiocesan Chapel of Saint Paul, lit a candle and venerated the holy icons before proceeding to the throne and presiding at the service of Doxology and Thanksgiving to God.
Archbishop Elpidophoros addressed the staff of the Archdiocese with paternal love and care conveying the loving embrace of the Mother Church and the paternal and Patriarchal blessing of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. (see full text below)
Following the Archiepiscopal address, Bishop Andonios of Phasiane, the Chancellor of the Archdiocese, offered warm greetings of welcome on behalf of the entire staff and then introduced each one as they approached to receive His Eminence’s blessing.
Shortly after, Archbishop Elpidophoros met with all the hierarchs, the Metropolitans, members of the Holy Eparchial Synod, and the Auxiliary Bishops.
Remarks at Doxology and Staff Welcome
of His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros
June 20, 2019
Chapel of Saint Paul, Archdiocesan Headquarters
New York, NY
Your Eminences and Graces, Most Reverend Members of the Holy Eparchial Synod and Bishops of the Holy Archdiocese of America,
Beloved Co-Workers of the Holy Archdiocese of America, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Even as I thank God for this welcome and glorification of our Triune God, I thank all of you for your prayers and warm greetings, your smiles and shining eyes.
Today is the first day of what I hope is a long and fruitful ministry together. I have come to you from the Mother Church of Constantinople, and I bring to you the loving embrace that She, the Mother Church, offers to all Her children, and of course the special paternal and Patriarchal blessing of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
I am fully aware of the complexities and indeed, difficulties, that you – as Staff – have been facing over the past few years. The financial pressures, and the loss of many of your co-workers, in a way, has deprived you of your best professional performance – and all of these need to be addressed and will be addressed, I assure you of that.
What I ask of each and every one of you is patience, – υπομονή – patience and good will for the future. We need to be patient as we sort through the current conditions of this beloved and precious Archdiocese of America, and figure out together how, and in what direction we go forward. Our future is a bright one, but only when we open the curtains and welcome the sunshine of transparency and accountability.
In the days before the Apostle Paul – to whose holy name this Archdiocesan Chapel is dedicated – crossed the Hellespont and made his way through Greece preaching the Gospel, and he had a vision. The vision was of a man saying to him “Come and help us!” (Acts 16:9). Today, our country – the United States of America – is saying the same thing; “Come and help us.” We, all of us, must respond to this call, and help not only ourselves, but the entire American Nation.
Together, in the spirit of Christ – as when the first Seven Deacons were appointed to the ministry of the Church – we will review and enhance our effectiveness in service to our Church and to the world. Together with the Most Reverend Members of the Holy Eparchial Synod, and the Reverend Clergy and Presvyteres of our Church, we will connect the ministries of our Archdiocese across this great country of America. We will bring the message of salvation utilizing all the tools at our disposal, employing best practices across the board, and putting an end to duplication and waste, waste of time and resources. We will prove to be worthy and trusted stewards of the Lord.
My beloved co-workers, we have so much to offer together. We have a message for our Archdiocese and for our Land. We have a responsibility to both the Dogma of the Church and the Kerygma of our Lord Jesus Christ. We cannot and we will not compromise the integrity of the Gospel.
I thank you for your open minds and your open hearts, and for this welcome to my new home today.