Archiepiscopal Encyclical for the Feast of the Holy Archangels, Nov. 8, 2018

Protocol 183/18

November 8, 2018

Feast of the Synaxis of the

Holy Archangels

To the Most Reverend Hierarchs, the Reverend Priests and Deacons, the Monks and Nuns, the Presidents and Members of the Parish Councils of the Greek Orthodox Communities, the Distinguished Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Day, Afternoon, and Church Schools, the Philoptochos Sisterhoods, the Youth, the Hellenic Organizations, and the entire Greek Orthodox Family in America

Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

            Today as we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Archangels and give thanks to God for these holy messengers and protectors, we also continue our celebration of the 60th anniversary of the opening of Saint Michael’s Home.  Through the vision and leadership of His Eminence Archbishop Michael together with the efforts and donations of faithful from throughout our Holy Archdiocese, the doors of Saint Michael’s Home were officially opened on May 25, 1958.  On this day, a sacred work began through a facility and ministry that has continued to offer compassionate and quality care to Greek Orthodox elderly.

            The Holy Scriptures and the hymns that we sing on this Feast guide our understanding of the work of these heavenly beings.  Angels are in the presence of God, continuously offering Him praise and thanksgiving and proclaiming His holiness.  As divine servants created by God they carry out His will and commands; and in His service they offer the faithful shelter, safety, and strength in adversity.

            For six decades the ministry of Saint Michael’s has been the ministry of our Church and our Holy Archdiocese in emulating the holy work of angels.  Saint Michael’s is a place where the presence and love of God is known and shared.  It is a place where faith and worship continue to be an essential part of the lives of the residents.  It is a ministry in which we follow the will and guidance of Christ to care for those in need, offering and affirming the value and dignity of the life given to us by our Creator.  Saint Michael’s is also a shelter when care is needed, safety for health and well-being, and strength for those who need physical assistance and spiritual nourishment.

            During this anniversary year we are blessed with the opportunity to see the ministry of Saint Michael’s expand to serve more residents.  The first phase of this expansion is now complete at the Uniondale property purchased in 2014. Architectural plans are being finalized so that the new facility will have a capacity of 150 residents and will offer four levels of care from independent living to nursing and memory care.  As the vision for Saint Michael’s was embraced in faith and love by clergy, laity and parishes, leading to its opening in 1958, I call upon the faithful of our Holy Archdiocese to commit through prayer and generous offerings to do the same.  Together, we give thanks to God for the many benefactors and donors who have contributed and pledged toward the goal of opening this new facility.

            To further this effort and with the hope of opening an expanded Saint Michael’s Home in 2020, I ask the parishes of our Archdiocese to have a special collection on Sunday, November 11.  The gifts of our faithful should be sent to Saint Michael’s Home and designated for the Expansion Fund.  I also encourage parishes to share information regarding this ministry and the expansion.  For 60 years Saint Michael’s has been serving people from throughout the Church in America.   It continues to be a home of faith and care, offering a witness of the love of God and of our service in Christ.

With paternal love in Him,

†   D E M E T R I O S

Archbishop of America