Monthly Update - December 2021 --St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine
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"St. Nicholas and the Merriest of Christmases"
My Beloved Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
We have just concluded the Feast of the Holy Wonderworker of Myra, Saint Nicholas, who is the Patron of our National Shrine. On that blessed day, I presided over the Divine Liturgy in the Chapel of Saint Paul at the Archdiocese Headquarters, with the new Proïstamenos of the Parish, Father Andreas Vithoulkas, celebrating at the Holy Altar.
This was a day filled with joy for many reasons. Above all else, we knew that this would be the last celebration of the Feast of Saint Nicholas apart from the Shrine. And at the conclusion of the Divine Service, I installed the Parish Council of the Shrine, a Council with a special mission and a special configuration. Below I have included my Archpastoral Exhortation to the new Council, so that everyone committed to the Saint Nicholas National Shrine can get a flavor of the high caliber of persons who will be leading the renaissance of the Parish.
We all know that Saint Nicholas himself morphs through history to become Santa Claus, and that virtually the entire society and culture observe Christmas in one form or another. We can be grateful that so many of our fellow citizens commemorate the Feast of the Nativity of the Lord. In the future, the Saint Nicholas National Shrine will be a touchstone of faith for all who want to understand the profound meaning of the Birth of our Savior. Its ministry, energized by its Clergy and Parish Council, sustained by the Friends of Saint Nicholas, and supported by people like you, will bring the Message of Salvation to all.
With these thoughts, I wish all the Merriest of Christmases, and the blessings of a Healthy and Happy New Year.
With Love and Blessings in the Newborn Babe of Bethlehem,
Archbishop of America