Archpastoral Greeting Archbishop Elpidophoros of America At the Meeting of the Archdiocesan District Council


By His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America

At the Meeting of the Archdiocesan District Council

Archdiocesan Headquarters

New York, New York

March 19, 2024


Protopresbyter Elias Villas, Chancellor of the Archdiocesan District,

Mr. Nicholas Balidis, Archdiocesan District Council Vice President,

Protopresbyter Peter Orfanakos, President of the Clergy Syndesmos,

Presvytera Diana Kazakis, President of the Presvyteres Sisterhood,

Beloved brothers and sisters in Christ,

I welcome all of you with gratitude and appreciation to your Archdiocese today for this meeting of the Archdiocesan District Council. Each of you brings different talents to this Council, and our goal is to bring together all these gifts to work in unison for the good of our District.

In Greek we call this συνεργεία – synergy, which means we all funnel our efforts into a unified and united effort on behalf of our parishes and our people. Your responsibility as members of this Council is as much to them, as it is to the Institutional Church. Your voices – those of laity (women and men), clergy and youth representatives – are necessary to chart the way forward for our Church. We must hear from every segment of our Γένος, in order to be more and more responsive to their needs.

We have our various ministries – of special importance is Camp Saint Paul – and with everything that we do, we seek first to serve the Faithful while we glorify God. Remember, God does not need our glorification, our praise, even our worship. He has plenty of Angels for that. It is we who need to enter into that experience with the Divine Presence, so that our terminal lives may become everlasting.

Conveying this fundamental truth to our people is the ultimate goal of this Council. Your ideas, suggestions and stories will influence the orientation of our ministries to fulfill that goal.

Yesterday, we commenced the Great and Holy Fast of the Forty Days that leads us to Holy Week and the Passion, Sacrifice and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I pray that this Great Lent will be for you and your families a time of reflection, devotion and spiritual focus. Thus, we will all arrive at the Glorious Pascha with souls renewed by fasting and hearts aflame with love.

May the Lord bless you in this sacred season, and grant unto this Council His heavenly benediction to accomplish His will in our lives.


Photo: GOARCH/Dimitrios Panagos

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