Archiepiscopal Encyclical for AHEPA Sunday, May 20, 2018

Protocol 70/18

 

May 20, 2018

AHEPA Sunday

 

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,

            With joy and gratitude, the parishes of our Holy Archdiocese are asked to commemorate AHEPA Sunday and to recognize the service offered by the members of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association and the organizations of the AHEPA family.  Each year we designate a Sunday in May for this purpose, primarily to honor the significant work and offering that is being made by AHEPA members in our parishes, communities, nation, and around the world.  It is also an annual recognition of a long and cherished relationship between AHEPA and the Greek Orthodox Church in America.

                  For almost a century, our Church in America and AHEPA have shared a history.  Guided by faith in God and the ideals of Hellenism, Greek immigrants who came to this land wanted more than opportunity.  They nurtured families and built communities, and at the center of those communities were parishes and organizations that strengthened their Orthodox faith, affirmed their Hellenic identity, guided them in service to those in need, and helped them participate in the American experience while contributing to the history and identity of this great nation.

                  We are the heirs of this foundation, a legacy we honor in this commemoration.  We also affirm our commitment to this shared ministry and fellowship, a vital work that continues to meet the needs of elderly and veterans, to provide educational scholarships and unique programs for our youth, to support hospitals and relief programs, and to advocate on critical issues around the globe.

                  In recognition of all that we have done and will continue to do together, may we affirm that the AHEPA family is our family as Greek Americans.  May we offer our prayers and support for the members and programs of AHEPA.  May we give thanks to God for the history we share through our parishes, through AHEPA and all our organizations, and through our faith in Christ, which makes all things possible!

With paternal love in Christ,

 

† DEMETRIOS

Archbishop of America