South Bend, Indiana
(October 27, 2021)
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Your Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America,
Your Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael,
Beloved Children in the Lord,
With great joy we arrive in this Holy Metropolis of Chicago – for the first time since our first Apostolic and Patriarchal Visit in 1997, so many years ago. We have come to the famous city of South Bend, to further the work of ecumenical dialogue and environmental justice, by accepting from the renown University of Notre Dame a Doctor in Laws degree honoris causa. We will receive this honorary doctorate in the name of the Mother Church of Constantinople, our Ecumenical Patriarchate, the First Throne of Orthodoxy.
Although we shall be here for a short time, we look forward to meeting the Faithful of the Metropolis, the Orthodox Student Body of the University, and the local clergy who serve under Metropolitan Nathanael.
Chiefly and above all, we wish to convey our paternal and Patriarchal blessings upon all the Faithful of the Metropolis. Chicago is known worldwide for its Greek Orthodox Community, which has a rich history of worship, architecture, and education. The Metropolis is home to the National Hellenic Museum, which preserves the history of the first pioneers of Christian Orthodoxy and the Hellenic experience in America.
And here in South Bend, at Notre Dame, we know there is a warm ecumenical welcome for Orthodox students, who often come here for specific Orthodox studies of Patristics and Liturgics.
Thus, we see here in the heartland of the American landscape the limitless possibilities for openness, dialogue, and spiritual growth.
Wherefore, we bless with all our heart and soul the Faithful clergy and laity, praying for God’s abundant mercy to always be with you, now and forever. Amen.