Greek-American students at the 5th Avenue Parade of 2010

Protocol 25/11

March 2011
Greek Independence Day Parade

To the Most Reverend Hierarchs, the Reverend Priests and Deacons, the Monks and Nuns, the Presidents and Members of the Parish Councils of the Greek Orthodox Communities, the Distinguished Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Day, Afternoon, and Church Schools, the Philoptochos Sisterhoods, the Youth, the Hellenic Organizations, and the entire Greek Orthodox Family New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland

Beloved Omogeneia,

It is with great joy and love in our bonds of faith and heritage as Orthodox Christians and Hellenes, that I convey to you a warm invitation to participate in the annual Greek Independence Day Parade which will be held this year on Sunday, March 27 in New York City. On this day, we will march on 5th Avenue in Manhattan in celebration of liberty and in commemoration and honor of all who have struggled and sacrificed so that we might be free.

Our participation in this parade is very important because it engages us with our unique heritage and nurtures our shared memory of the lives and events which have influenced our Hellenic identity and Omogeneia.  It is also an acclamation of the necessity of freedom as an essential quality of human existence.  Through our parade we celebrate the role of liberty in our treasured heritage, and we affirm the priority of this for all people.  In addition, it is a very visible opportunity for us to express our support and commitment to the cause of freedom which we cherish both as people of Hellenic origin and as citizens of the United States of America.      

I ask all of our parishes to plan and facilitate participation in this year’s parade, so that we may come together for a joyous time of fellowship, love and community. I also encourage the participation of our youth and children as we nurture their lives in our faith and heritage.  May all of you make every effort to participate in the great event of the parade of March 27.  May our Almighty Lord and God of freedom be continuously with you as individuals, families and communities; and may the remainder of this holy Lenten season bring you grace and peace.

With paternal love in Christ,                                                                        

Archbishop of America