November 8, 2017
Feast of the Synaxis of the Holy Archangels
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,
On the Feast of the Synaxis of the Holy Archangels we honor the divinely created and appointed messengers of God, the Archangels Michael and Gabriel, and we commemorate the myriad of angelic beings who never cease in praising and glorifying God and laboring for the fulfillment of His Kingdom (Revelation 5:11-13). The Holy Scriptures describe the holy angels as ministering spirits sent forth to serve for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation (Hebrews 1:14). In carrying out their divine tasks, the holy angels offer an example of true service to God and humankind, serving as our lifelong guardians and protectors. This special service of care, commissioned by God, is contemplated by the comforting words of the Psalmist: He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways (Psalm 90:11).
The faithful service of care has also been the continuous work of our Archdiocese through the ministry of Saint Michael's Home, our senior adult home in New York. For almost six decades, Saint Michael’s has offered quality care and compassionate assistance to many from throughout our Holy Archdiocese. The directors, staff, and benefactors of this sacred place have been witnesses of the divine work of the Holy Archangels, meeting the physical and spiritual needs of the residents, affirming their dignity and offering them a quality of life that reflects the boundless grace of God.
This legacy of service and care will continue with the new facility of Saint Michael’s Home located in Uniondale, New York. The 11-acre site was purchased in 2014, and renovations are underway. Once completed the facility will provide a home for 160 residents compared to 60 at the current location. In addition, the new facility will expand the care of the elderly from one level to five. These include a nursing home section, a wing for residents who are burdened with dementia or Alzheimer’s, studio bedrooms for independent and assisted living, and independent living one-bedroom apartments. In an enjoyable and beautiful environment, the facility will also have additional areas that enhance the quality of daily life, including a magnificent chapel, numerous outdoor gardens, a library, beauty salon, physical and occupational therapy rooms, computer lounge and many other ancillary spaces needed to assure the well-being and happiness of its residents.
This expansion and the ongoing ministry of Saint Michael’s Home is dependent upon the many faithful who have offered and continue to offer support. The capital campaign for the new facility has raised over 26 million in pledges and contributions toward the 35 million needed to complete the project. Accordingly, in our annual observance of support, I ask our parishes to offer a special collection for Saint Michael’s Home on Sunday, November 12. Your financial contributions will help to return the precious gift of love and care to a generation of earthly guardians, parents and godparents and fulfill the vision of making Saint Michael’s a premier, multi-leveled senior care facility.
As we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Archangels, I ask that you offer your sincere prayers for the residents, the families, directors, board, staff, and volunteers of Saint Michael’s Home, as their work in providing care to the elderly is an important affirmation of the sacredness and dignity of human life at all ages. May the divine protection of the Holy Archangels be with us always, and may they inspire us to grow in our worship of God and in our commitment to minister unto others who are in need of His love and saving grace.
With paternal love in Christ,
Archbishop of America