By His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America
At the 68th Chrysanthemum Ball
The Metropolitan Club
New York New York
November 18, 2022
Your Grace and Reverend Fathers,
Archdiocesan Cathedral Philoptochos President, and esteemed Cathedral Philoptochos Board and Sisterhood,
Chrysanthemum Ball Co-Chairs,
National Philoptochos President Arlene Siavelis Kehl,
Esteemed Honorees of the Cyprus Children’s Fund,
I am delighted to be with you once again for this wonderful tradition of the Chrysanthemum Ball. Our Sisters of Philoptochos have outdone themselves tonight, as we enjoy this fellowship and communal celebration. Our honoree, the Cyprus Children’s Fund, is indeed most worthy – especially because of their consistent advocacy and assistance to those most in need on Cyprus, since the invasion and its illegal occupation.
The Cyprus Children’s Fund has been meeting the needs of regions and programs on Cyprus for generations now. Their commitment to making life better for the people and children of Cyprus is galvanizing the Omogeneia. And tonight’s occasion is one more in the long list of events and encouragement that the Fund receives from the Community.
Tonight, our beloved Ladies Philoptochos of the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity shine forth with their philanthropia and their philotimo. I am always impressed by the Philoptochos Societies around the country, but here, at the Cathedral, I rejoice all the more for their devotion to the Church and their charitable works.
I would also like to acknowledge the new Dean of the Cathedral, the Very Reverend Archimandrite Chrysostom Gilbert, who only assumed his new duties last month, after a period of time in study in Thessaloniki. Fr. Chrysostom is a welcome addition to the Cathedral Family, and I know that Philoptochos will stand by him with all their resources and wise counsel.
The Chrysanthemum Ball is truly an occasion of celebration and recognition. We celebrate our fellowship in Christ, and the achievements of those who have come before us. For it would not be possible to hold this beautiful event here tonight, were it not for the contributions of many, many sisters and brothers in the faith who have gone before us to their reward.
But tonight is also a moment of recognition, when we acknowledge as a community those who are adding to the goodness in the world and to the positivity in creation. And the Cyprus Children’s Fund is certainly among those who are making constructive contributions.
As we laud the Fund, let us pause for a moment out of deep respect and appreciation for the late Archbishop Chrysostom of Cyprus, who passed just this last week, after a courageous fight against cancer that went over four years.
His Beatitude embodied the spirit of Cyprus in a way that I believe we all feel this evening; therefore, let us bow our heads in a moment of silent prayer and gratitude for the life and ministry of the late Archbishop Chrysostom.
Thank you for that recognition, which is so worthily merited. May his memory be eternal.
In closing, I wish to express my congratulations to all, together with my deep appreciation for the extra efforts that I know are made by Philoptochos, so as to make the life of the Church easier and more meaningful.
I extend my every blessing and good wish to you and yours, and thank the Ladies Philoptochos of our Holy Trinity Archdiocesan Cathedral for giving to all of us the gift of this wonderful evening.
May the Lord bless us always!