His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros
HC/HC Board of Trustees Opening Prayer and Remarks
May 20, 2022
Hellenic College Holy Cross
Christ is Risen!
Let us join together in chanting our hymn of victory:
Χριστὸς ἀνέστη ἐκ νεκρῶν, θανάτῳ θάνατον πατήσας, καὶ τοῖς ἐν τοῖς μνήμασι, ζωὴν χαρισάμενος.
Thank you all for your presence today, in these wonderful times of the first Graduation Exercises in three years!
I want to congratulate you on two counts – but first, I want to, once again, emphasize the extraordinary leadership of this Institution by its President, George Cantonis. George, you are leading an amazing team to build up this School to a level not known for decades.
In the first instance, I want to salute this Board for your perseverance and patience through what have been some of the hardest years our precious Σχολή has ever known. In the midst of the global pandemic of COVID-19, you have demonstrated the discretion and responsibility to support the decisions made on the ground to keep the academic enterprise in full force.
I know that it has not been easy, for I can assure you, along with all my Brother Metropolitans, that keeping our Archdiocese, Metropolises, and Parishes functioning throughout this pandemic has been a tremendous challenge. Often, doing what was right and responsible for the lives of our communities was not popular. Nevertheless, here at Hellenic College and Holy Cross, the Administration led, rather than followed. And I am grateful for the support of this Board of Trustees.
On the second count, allow me to congratulate you, because you have turned the financial fortunes of the School around. Again, following the innovative and dutiful direction of your President, you have cultivated the ground of the Church and yielded a harvest, which has reversed the decline that had threatened the School and its accreditation.
I have to say that these accomplishments are fitting tributes for this Eightieth Commencement, and for the Centennial of our Sacred Archdiocese, as the preeminent Eparchy of the Mother Church of Constantinople. It is a moment to pause and truly appreciate how far the Institution has come, even as we map out how much farther we have to travel to reach our goals.
Allow me to close this brief opening with the following observation. As we all know and rejoice in, this is the Eightieth Commencement of our School. But let us not think of it only in terms in what has passed; rather, as a new beginning.
Moses was eighty years old when he was sent to Pharoah to demand freedom for the Israelites.1 And that, as we know, was just the beginning of a much longer sojourn, leading to our salvation in Christ, Who perfects in every way the Law and the Prophets.
Therefore, my friends, let us take heart in the accomplishments that we celebrate these days of Commencement, and embrace the journey ahead.