Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, Greetings at the Archdiocesan District Spelling Bee

His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America

Greetings at the Archdiocesan District Spelling Bee

Archdiocesan Headquarters

New York, New York

January 24, 2022


Dear children,

Beloved brothers and sisters in Christ,

What a delight it is to see all of you today here at our Sacred Archdiocesan headquarters. Your presence truly reminds us of what is most important in our daily ministry – you!

This spelling bee is a wonderful opportunity for you to demonstrate your skills with language and memory. It also shows how the legacy of Greece lives on in the languages of the Western World. As you know, many of the sophisticated words that inhabit English are derived from Latin. But the Latin language was thoroughly enriched through Ancient Greek, too.

Here are some examples:

“Pharmacy” from φάρμακον.

Philosophy from φιλοσοφία.

Philanthropy from φιλανθρωπία.

Of course, these are just a few obvious examples. But there are so many other words that combine the magical elements of Greek to make all kinds of different words. Such as:




The first two consist of two Greek words each. However, the last one, “asymmetric,” is a combination of three Greek elements: a prefix, a preposition and an adjective – all in that specific order! I will leave it up to you, though, to figure out which letters are which.

In closing, my dear children, the simple point that I would like to share with you is that your Hellenic inheritance is a virtually inexhaustible treasure-trove of language, which includes even the English language, too.

I know that I express the deep pride of your parents and teachers in congratulating you for your accomplishments. I personally wish each and every one of you much success in the remainder of the school year, and bestow upon all of you my wholehearted paternal blessings for your continued spiritual and educational prosperity.

May God always guide and protect you. Amen.

2022 Spelling Bee winners:

(Left) 1st place: Maria Sotiriadis, A. Fantis Parochial School, Brooklyn

(Right) 2nd place: Zoe Sherring, St. Demetrios Astoria

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