May 15, 2016
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 in America
Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Christ is Risen! Χριστός Ἀνέστη!
As we gather in the joy and light of this Paschal season, we are inspired by the presence and grace of our Risen Lord to share the truth and love of the Gospel and to offer compassionate service to all in need. Through His glorious Resurrection we have seen His power to give abundant and eternal life. We have witnessed the defeat of death, and we have received the invitation to come to the Great Banquet of life in communion with God both now and unto the ages of ages.
On this day we also recognize the members of our beloved AHEPA family, as they are inspired by the power of the faith that we share and their love for humankind to offer service and resources in many ways. For over ninety years the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association has promoted the ideals of philanthropy, education, civic responsibility, and family and individual excellence through many programs and special efforts, including assistance to Greek immigrants, scholarships for youth, housing for senior adults, relief funds following major tragedies, and activism on a wide range of issues.
The members of AHEPA have been inspired to offer this constant and faithful witness by the ideals of our Hellenic heritage which are also embodied in our witness of our Risen Lord. Assistance to those in need, nurturing minds in knowledge, concern for the well-being of our neighbors, strengthening and sustaining families, and helping youth strive toward their potential are noble actions that are motivated by our beautiful inheritance and guided by our Orthodox Christian faith. This is a tremendous example of the resonance between our Orthodox faith and our Hellenic heritage, as the members of the AHEPA family continue to be dynamic members of our parishes and throughout our Holy Archdiocese in offering this witness to the world.
I ask all of our parishes to observe this day as AHEPA Sunday and to recognize joyfully the members of the AHEPA family in their respective communities. May we continue to offer our prayers and support for the faithful service of AHEPA, and in the presence of our Risen Lord may we share in our commitment to meet the needs of others as a witness of our ideals and of the grace and life we find in Him.
With paternal love in our Risen Lord,
Archbishop of America