Archbishop Demetrios of America visited several parishes in the Detroit region last weekend, commencing with the parish of Sts. Constantine and Helen in Westland, where he celebrated a Vesperal Divine Liturgy.
The Vesperal Divine Liturgy, offered on the occasion of the Feast of Sts. Cosmas and Damian, was celebrated on the evening of Friday, October 31, following the ancient liturgical practice whereby the day is reckoned according to the evening prior.
Concelebrating the Liturgy with the Archbishop was Metropolitan Nicholas of Detroit and Bishop Andonios of Phasiane. Additionally, nearly 15 area clergy participated in the Liturgy, with a congregation which filled the church to capacity. Shortly after the service, a dinner was held in the adjacent parish hall.
The following day, November 1, the National Philoptochos Ninth Children’s Medical Fund Luncheon was held at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Dearborn, Michigan, raising over $125,000 for five local children’s hospitals. Also present was Greek American actress, well known from the movie hit “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”, Nia Vardalos.
The event, which drew together over 1000 people, is one of many of the national philanthropic ministries of the Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society, a national philanthropic organization of the Archdiocese founded in 1931.
After the luncheon, His Eminence visited the parish of St. Nicholas in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he was received by the Reverend Fr. John Paul, parish priest, and the parish council president.
On Sunday morning, November 2, the Archbishop concelebrated the Divine Liturgy with Metropolitan Nicholas and Bishop Andonios at the Church of the Nativity of the Theotokos in Plymouth Township, Michigan. Also serving at the Liturgy was the Reverend Fr. Demetrios Tonias, parish priest. Shortly before his return to New York, a luncheon was offered.
At the luncheon, the Archbishop reflected upon the legacy of the early Christian saints and martyrs and posed to the parish community the question, “What is our generation going to leave behind as a legacy? What will our generation offer to universal Orthodoxy, so that others in the future may look back and say that the Greek Orthodox American people of the twenty-first century truly placed a unique stamp of holiness, love, and peace upon the world?”