Prot. No. 225/2022
Archepiscopal Encyclical for
National Leadership 100 Sunday
October 23, 2022
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:
Come and let us all, and with sacred hymns magnify Iakovos,
the first-enthroned luminary of the Church…. (Ode 9)
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
This year, on the Sunday that we will celebrate the National Leadership 100 Sunday, we have the special blessing of commemorating the Feastday of the visionary hierarch whose dream it was to have a permanent endowment for Orthodoxy and Hellenism for our Archdiocese – the ever-memorable Archbishop Iakovos, the longest serving Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
Like his namesake St. Iakovos, the Brother of God and First Bishop of Jerusalem, Archbishop Iakovos knew that “faith without works is dead” (James 2:26). He also knew the truth of the proverb: “Blessed is he who plants trees under whose shade he will never sit.” The vision of Archbishop Iakovos for the future of our Greek Orthodox Church was one of provision. He saw fruits that he would never taste, and he was generous with all his successors, of whom I count myself to be fortunate. For Leadership 100 has now gifted over seventy million dollars to the ministries of the Church since 1989 – just seven years before Archbishop Iakovos retired.
I pray that on this Sunday, October 23rd, when we commemorate the First-Enthroned of Jerusalem, the Great Iakovos the Ἀδελφόθεος, let us also remember our own great Iakovos, who was the First Hierarch of our sacred Archdiocese for thirty-seven years. His providential care for the Archdiocese inspired Leadership 100 — the single largest benefactor of the Church in the United States — with Hellenic College and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology receiving the greatest largesse.
Leadership 100 is an organization that is of the Church, by the Church, and for the Church. We thank them for their contributions and their abundant generosity. Today, we single them out for special mention, but let us keep them in our hearts and prayers every day, as they strive to make possible all the ministries of enhancement and advancement of our Church through their stewardship of God’s blessings, and their own wise governance.
With paternal love in our Lord Jesus Christ,
Archbishop of America