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Archepiscopal Encyclical on the National Sisterhood of Presvyteres Sunday

Prot. No. 113/2022

Archepiscopal Encyclical on the National Sisterhood of Presvyteres Sunday

June 5, 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:

My Beloved Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women,

and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers and sisters. (Acts 1:14)

Once again, but for only the second time, we are celebrating the National Sisterhood of Presvyteres Sunday. This day, the closest Sunday to June 4 — the feast of the Holy Sisters Mary and Martha — has been chosen because it reflects with great distinctiveness the service and ministry of our Presvyteres. Especially in this centennial year of our Sacred Archdiocese, the role and contributions of our Presvyteres are rightly praised, for they have been part of the backbone of our Church since its inception. They have taught in Greek and Sunday Schools, led in organizing social services of the communities, and continuously supported the clergy of the Church.

The Apostolic quote above illustrates how the women of the Church were significantly involved in the first days of the Church. And on this Sunday of the Holy Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council, which is a bridge between the feasts of Ascension and Pentecost, we should be mindful of our Holy Mothers as well. For this gives us special cause to recognize all the Presvyteres throughout the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

Therefore, let us demonstrate our love and respect for the Presvyteres of our National Church. They make many sacrifices to allow their husbands to serve our parishes, and they provide an essential ministry to our parishes by their example and leadership. Indeed, they are most worthy of our honor and gratitude, and of this very special awareness that we bring to their service to Christ and His Holy Church on this National Sisterhood of Presvyteres Sunday.

With paternal blessings and love in Christ,

† ELPIDOPHOROS

Archbishop of America