Protocol No.  32/17

To 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 the tri-state area

Beloved Omogeneia,

In the joy and fellowship of our celebration of the Feast of the Annunciation and Greek Independence Day, we will gather this year on March 26th for our annual Parade on Fifth Avenue in New York City.  I invite all of our parishes in the region to join with us as we honor our legacy of freedom as Greeks and as Americans, and we offer a witness of the heroism and sacrifice of those who engaged in the struggle for liberty.

As Orthodox Christians we will celebrate the amazing revelation of God’s grace in the annunciation by the Archangel to the Virgin Mary.   The power of the grace of God is also connected to our observance of Greek Independence Day.  Emboldened by their faith in God, inspired by the hope of liberty, and in honor of the many who had endured oppression for centuries, our forbearers sought strength to pursue freedom, beginning their struggle for independence on the Feast of the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary in 1821.  These valiant people longed for the day when they could live freely, worship openly, and decide the order and direction of their communities as a Greek nation.  

Our Greek Independence Day Parade on March 26th and the numerous parades and observances in our parishes and communities will affirm God’s invincible power and unfailing support.  It will be recognized in our reflection on those events that gave us freedom.  We will be inspired by God’s presence to offer a witness of the liberty and life we have in Christ.  May His blessings be upon our parade, our fellowship, and our commemoration of Greek Independence Day.  God willing, I will meet all of you at the parade.

With paternal love in Christ,

Archbishop of America