By His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America
At the Reception before the Hellenic Education Fund Benefit Concert
New York, New York
January 30, 2024
Allow me this moment to express my profound gratitude to each and every one of you, for supporting and sustaining the Hellenic Education Fund by your generosity this evening. The marvelous concert that we are about to experience is just one of the many initiatives upon which we are embarking. Our purpose is to strengthen and enhance this unique aspect of our Greek Orthodox Faith – our alignment with the glory of the Greek Philosophical Mind, so magnificently embodied by the Three Hierarchs: Saint Basil the Great, Saint Gregory the Theologian and Saint John Chrysostom.
Their collective genius – a genius that represents the building blocks of the entire enterprise of Western civilization – was expressed in our precious Greek language. Within the borders of Greek philosophy and learning, they manifested the educational systems from which we all benefit today. There is literally nowhere you can turn in the arts and sciences where the Greek genius does not shine forth in an epiphany of Divine Wisdom. And it is the Church Fathers we celebrate tonight – Basil, Gregory and John – who brought together Greek learning with the preaching of the Gospel.
Together, they are the best examples of what it means to combine faith and science, something we should never be afraid to do. Because science means “knowledge,” and the greatest knowledge in the world is the knowledge of God. Such knowledge comes directly from the mind of God into the heart of any human being who is open to it. And the key to opening that door is love.
You have shown your love tonight by supporting this vital mission to preserve and pass down our precious culture, language and heritage. And in continuation of this same spirit of love, I would like to call upon you for your direct assistance in offering your wholehearted financial support toward our Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Saint Demetrios in Astoria, and its historic Greek-American Day School.
As you know, this prestigious school has an educational curriculum that spans from pre-school to twelfth grade, making it the only parochial school of our Archdiocese that produces high school graduates. This, of course, is a special distinction that must preserved and perpetuated at all costs. And I invite you to contribute financially in any way you can, so as to ensure its continued operation. Because it is only through the support we provide as individuals and as a community that we can create new initiatives and establish further avenues of academic excellence and success in the ongoing education and formation of our students and children.
Therefore, my dear friends,
Kindly join me in this blessed, yet vital endeavor in support of our children’s future. We must do all we can to make sure that we continue creating opportunities for future generations to be immersed in the riches and splendor of our Hellenic-Christian legacy, heritage, faith and culture. This sacred inheritance isn’t simply an obligation that we are required to protect. Rather, it is an opportunity to promote our timeless treasures to the world.
Thus, in supporting the programs of the Saint Demetrios Greek-American Day School, and by actively contributing toward the Hellenic Education Fund, we can lay a precious cornerstone in the foundation we seek to upbuild here tonight, tomorrow and into the future.
And so, let us close our gathering this evening with a collective expression of shared gratitude, as well as a special word of thanks and appreciation to the wonderful Maria Loi for her generous hospitality. As we prepare to walk over to one of the best music halls in the world – where the benefit concert celebrating our Day of Greek Letters will enlighten and enliven us all – it is my heartfelt hope that we will experience a transformative celebration that is most uplifting and worthy of the Three Great Luminaries we honor this day.