Spring 2023 Archdiocesan Council Meeting Unites in Detroit
On Tuesday, May 24, 2023, the Archdiocesan Council held its first in-person meeting since the pandemic, bringing together clergy and lay leaders from the various organizations and committees of the Archdiocese. Hosted by His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas of Detroit, the Archdiocesan Council meeting was convened by His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America and held in conjunction with the Spring board meetings of the National Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society.
With a prevailing sense of optimism and unity, Archbishop Elpidophoros addressed the attendees, acknowledging the challenges faced over the past four years. The pandemic posed unprecedented obstacles to the vitality of parishes and institutions, requiring constant adaptation in the face of evolving information and health conditions. Recognizing that COVID may remain a part of our lives indefinitely, the Archbishop highlighted the remarkable ingenuity and resourcefulness demonstrated by the Greek Orthodox community. He praised the resilience and commitment of the faithful in navigating the changing landscape, emphasizing the importance of collaboration and solidarity.
The Archbishop also noted that the success of the Church extends beyond measurable activities and ministries. He recognized the significance of intangible moments of connection, grace, and spiritual richness. The Archbishop called for the cultivation of relationships as brothers and sisters in the Risen Lord, promoting compassion, mercy, and boundless love as the foundations of ecclesial life.
The meeting featured presentations from esteemed individuals, including Vice President John Catsimatidis and President of Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology George Cantonis. Despite some presentations taking place remotely, the engagement and exchange of ideas were robust. Additionally, Archbishop Elpidophoros and Holy Cross Instructor of Canon Law V. Rev. Archimandrite Bartholomew Mercado conducted an extensive review session on the revision process of the Archdiocesan Charter, followed by a productive question and answer session.
Noteworthy contributions were made by Administration Committee Chair Judge B. Theodore Bozonelis, Legal Counsel George Tsougarakis, Director of the Department of Stewardship, Outreach, and Development Rev. Fr. James Kordaris, National Commander of the Order of St. Andrew, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Dr. Anthony J. Limberakis, National Philoptochos President Arlene Siavelis Kehl, St. Michael's Home Board Members Jennifer Constantine, Lilly Katos, and Maria Skiadas, and Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries Eva Konstantakos.
The Archdiocesan Council Meetings were further marked by a generous donation of $110,000 from the National Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Board. President Arlene Siavelis Kehl, 1st Vice President Anita Kartalopoulos, and Spiritual Advisor His Grace Bishop Athenagoras of Nazianzos presented the donation to His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America for the Ministries of the Ecumenical Patriarch.