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 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!
Each year during this blessed and joyous Paschal period we take the opportunity to recognize with appreciation the history and work of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA). For more than eighty years, the faithful and dedicated members of AHEPA have offered their talents and resources to educational and philanthropic endeavors with the goals of promoting our Orthodox and Hellenic heritage, strengthening an identity associated with the beautiful and enduring ideals of our Greek legacy, and addressing the critical issues of our Omogenia.
For Orthodox faithful and the Greek Orthodox Church in America, one of the most important aspects of the work of AHEPA has been the support offered by its members for Orthodoxy and our Church. Over the years, AHEPA has sponsored numerous conferences and symposia that have engaged both Orthodox Christians and others in examining the role of Hellenism in the history of our Orthodox Faith. Through its National Educational Foundation, AHEPA has continually offered numerous scholarships to Greek American youth. Further, the members of AHEPA have offered numerous services to the faithful and institutions of our Archdiocese, showing our deep association and our shared commitment to the ideals of the Gospel. In addition to all of this, we cannot forget to acknowledge and honor the contribution that has been made by the members of AHEPA and its family of organizations to the founding, building, and ongoing work of our Greek Orthodox parishes. Many members have served in positions of parish leadership and ministry, offering a very visible witness of faith and charity.
It is with this appreciation for AHEPA and for the commitment of its members to our heritage and faith that we as an Archdiocese designate May 21, 2006, as AHEPA Sunday. I ask all of our Orthodox faithful to join together in offering thanks to the members of AHEPA. May we also offer our prayers and support for the local chapters and the national and international programs that assist so many and provide a vital link between this important organization, our Hellenic heritage, and our Holy Orthodox Church. May the light, life, and joy of our resurrected and glorified Lord fill your hearts now and always.
With paternal love in the Risen Christ,
Archbishop of America