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 Day and Afternoon Schools, the Philoptochos Sisterhoods, the Youth, the Hellenic Organizations, and the entire Greek Orthodox Family in America

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association was organized seventy-eight years ago by members of the immigrant Greek communities of America and Canada. The founders of AHEPA recognized the need for the Hellenes of the New World to join together against the forces of discrimination, racism, and ignorance that threatened the welfare of their people, and in the ageless spirit of Hellenic brotherhood and unity, they addressed these problems through a variety of creative philanthropic, educational, and cultural programs.

Today the membership of AHEPA stands poised to address new issues that affect the omogeneia of America and Canada. One of the chief problems for our community presently is the lack of interest of our younger generations in the priceless linguistic and cultural heritage of Hellenism which is ours as a birthright. I am pleased that the dedicated members of AHEPA are at work creating new programs for the youth of our communities that will inspire them to embrace and cherish this inestimable legacy.

In honor of the past, present, and future contributions of AHEPA to our Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, the Sunday of May 21, 2000 is designated AHEPA Sunday. I ask for your prayers for the good of AHEPA, for the eternal memory of its founders, and for the welfare of our Greek-American community in general. I ask also for your wholehearted support for the efforts of AHEPA to promote the values of Hellenism and defend our community once again from the destructive effects of ignorance.

With love in the Risen Christ,


Archbishop of America

Archive: Archbishop Demetrios' Encyclicals