His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America

Remarks for the Centennial of the Parish

Saint George Greek Orthodox Church

Clifton, New Jersey

October 17, 2021

 

My Beloved Christians,

What a wonderful day to be present with you to celebrate the Divine Liturgy and the Centennial of this precious parish of Saint George the Great-martyr and Trophy-bearer.

As you may know, today is the Sunday when we celebrate the Fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Council – the Sacred Synod that confirmed the Church’s perennial teachings about the Holy Icons, their veneration and theological value.

As we look around this Temple – named for the great Saint George – we see the fruits of this Seventh Holy Council, because you have honored the living tradition of Icons with a truly stunning iconographic program. Here at Saint George, you have manifested the teaching of the Church – the Scriptures and the Lives of the Saints – with a rich, colorful and glorious adornment of your Temple.

For this alone, you are all to be congratulated. And may the memories of those faithful souls, who made this spiritual beauty possible, be held blessèd forever.

The Centennial of your Parish is a most significant milestone for you. It is an opportunity to reflect on the past with affection and pride, as well as a juncture at which you engage a bright vision for your future.

You can even celebrate the fact that you precede the Centennial of our Sacred Archdiocese by one year – since 2022 will mark the one hundred year anniversary of the Greek Orthodox Church in America as an Eparchy of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

But your community joins many others around the country, which predate the creation of the Archdiocese. Your Parish of Saint George, which, as I understand, began its life in Passaic, New Jersey, is part of those first waves of immigrant mothers and fathers, who braved the journey to America to begin a new life.

In celebrating the Centennial of Saint George, we honor their memory and their sacrifices, which have brought us to the success and prosperity of the present day.You should all be very proud of the clergy and lay leadership who have steered the course of the Parish through the generations. May all those who served here and have fallen asleep in the Lord dwell in the Land of the Living with all the Saints, and may their memory be eternal.

And for you, the living, who carry on their legacy – may you all be blessed with every heavenly benediction, and grow from strength to strength, and glory to glory forevermore. To the praise of your Heavenly Patron, Saint George the Trophy-bearer and Great-martyr, for the honor of our True God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Who is praised and glorified unto the ages of ages. Amen.