Prot. No. 142/2023
Archiepiscopal Encyclical on the National Sisterhood of Presvyteres Sunday
June 11, 2023
Unto the Most Reverend and Right Reverend Hierarchs, Pious Priests and Deacons, the Monks and Nuns, Presidents and Members of Parish Councils, Honorable Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Members of Leadership 100, the Day and Afternoon Schools, Philoptochos Societies, the Youth, Greek Orthodox Organizations, and the entirety of the Christ-named Plenitude of the Holy Archdiocese of America:
Receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of saints, and place whatever she needs at her disposal.
For, she has been a real champion to many, and to me as well! (Romans 16:2)
Beloved Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
On this National Sisterhood of Presvyteres Sunday, let us call to mind these words of Saint Paul for all of our Presvyteres, which were indeed personal for the Deaconess Phoebe. But they could truly be said of each and every Presvytera, who deserve to be received and treated “in a manner worthy of the saints.” These special sisters in Christ give to our communities every day, by supporting the work of their husbands and by being the anchors for our clergy families. Indeed, we should always place at their disposal what they need for spiritual and material success.
We associate this day with the Feastday of the Holy Sisters Mary and Martha, which this year falls on Pentecost Sunday. These sisters represent the right and left hands of contemplation and service, and are a fitting paradigm of ministry and devotion for any Presvytera. We see time and again how Presvyteres bring their special gifts and talents to community life, and how they enhance the ministerial work of their husbands.
Let us, therefore, recognize our beloved Presvyteres as real champions within our communities, and accord them the honor that is their due. They are most worthy of our respect and our gratitude, and of the recognition and awareness with which we laud them on this National Sisterhood of Presvyteres Sunday.
With Thankfulness and Paternal Love in Christ,
Archbishop of America