His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros

Acceptance Remarks

24th Phidippides Award Gala Dinner

February 6, 2020 – 7:00 pm

Terrace on the Park – The Penthouse

Flushing, New York

 

            Dear Friends,

            I come before you this evening, humbled by the honor you bestow upon me. I would like to thank the Board of Directors of the Greek Educational Public Information System and the entire team at our beloved Hellenic Public Radio, Cosmos FM, for bestowing this Award on me in my first year as your Archbishop. Cosmos FM provides an immensely important service not only to the Omogeneia, but to the greater community as well. It opens a wide window on the affairs of Hellenes throughout the Tri-State area for our neighbors, and encourages them to become Philhellenes, friends of our culture and friends of our Holy Orthodox Faith.

            Receiving an award such as this, for doing the things you love the most, and for doing your duty, always presents the recipient with difficulties. The program note says for a “passionate advocacy of Hellenism and Orthodoxy.” But how do you accept congratulations for fulfilling your responsibilities? How do you welcome acknowledgment for the performance of your mission?

            Only with much gratitude, my friends, and I am very grateful to you all for the generosity of spirit and openness of heart that you have displayed toward me since I first arrived on these shores as your Archbishop.

            Yet, I should only accept this award—not only because of your love so manifest this evening—but because of the countless Faithful of our communities across America. Every day from coast to coast, priests, administrators, Greek School teachers, Sunday School teachers and Youth workers strive to instill in the next generation the very best of the Hellenic culture – our Παιδεία – our language, our faith and our deep spiritual traditions. They are the unsung heroes who struggle every day at the Marathon of education, scholarship, communication, and every aspect of cultural undertaking.

            Everyone knows the name of Phidippides, the ἡμεροδρόμης, the long-distance courier, who announced the victory at Marathon over 2,500 years ago. But what of the nameless heroes who lie beneath the two burial mounds, the τύμβοι of the Athenians and the Plataeans who saved Greece and Western Civilization with it? Their names are not so much lost to history, but their courage and fortitude are exemplified in Phidippides. Thus, in the One, we know of the Many, and none is lost.

            So it is tonight. In the ministry of one Archbishop, there are so many co-workers and fellow travelers, that they cannot be numbered or named. But you have honored them all and you honor yourselves, because you are part of the Marathon that we are all running to give the best and brightest of our faith and culture to our children.

            I thank you again for this evening of celebration and remembrance. Celebration of our enduring faith and culture, and remembrance of those who made the sacrifices so that both of these gifts keep on giving to our children.

            May God bless you all with health, prosperity and every success!

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