His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros
Remarks at the Hellenic College Holy Cross Alumni Dinner
May 18, 2022
Beloved in the Risen Christ,
Christ is Risen!
What a joy it is to be gathered with our alumni – for the first time in three years! – to celebrate the accomplishments of all, and to highlight the special distinctions of a few.
In naming alumni of the year, we pause to acknowledge the contributions to our Church and to our precious Σχολή of exemplary graduates – clergy and lay.
Tonight, because of the hiatus in graduation ceremonies, we include the honorees from 2020 and 2021:
From 2020, we recognize the Archimandrite Constantine Moralis of the Annunciation Cathedral in Baltimore, Maryland – the one and only Parish he has ever served, and Protopresbyter Peter and Presvytera Vangie Orfanakos of the Saint Barbara Parish in Orange, Connecticut.
From 2021, we recognize the Reverend Economos Christopher Flessoras, who serves the double duty of Associate Dean of Students for the School, and the Parish of Saint Anna in Roseville, California.
We also gratefully honor the late and beloved Protopresbyter George Livanos, whose inspiring ministry was not conquered by the illness he faced. He used his illness to glorify God and give hope to thousands and for this, he truly was the finest example of an heroic priest. (if there are members of the Livanos family there, it would be good to acknowledge them by name)
And for this year of 2022, we celebrate Protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Throne, Mark Leondis, of the Saint Mark parish in Boca Raton, and our own Dr. Timothy Patitsas, Interim Dean of Hellenic College and Professor of Ethics.
We congratulate all of these alumni, and thank them for their service and their ministry within our Sacred Archdiocese. Especially in this Centennial Year of our Church as the premier Eparchy of the Ecumenical Throne, to laud these individuals only increases the joy of our observances.
I want to thank the Alumni Association, and its president, Presbyter Panagiotis Boznos, for their vigorous pursuit of enlivening this important ministry of the School and of the Church.
As I said earlier this evening at Vespers, to be ὁμογάλακτοι is to be bound to one another in a deeply familial relationship. To have the same mother, in the way that we all have the same mother in the person of the Panagia and in the institution of the Church.
To be an alumnus is to be a sibling, the kind of brother or sister who is always looking after the other siblings. Not out of personal gain or rivalry, but out of love.
I am hopeful that the Alumni Association will work to create even stronger bonds of fellowship between all the graduates of our two Schools. There is strength in these numbers, and there is opportunity for reciprocity. I remember the first alumni dinner I attended in this very room – it was 2004 and I was here at the School teaching for a semester. I remember the love and the fellowship of that evening, and I see it again tonight.
We have all grown a little older, and we have lost some very special friends, not the lease our beloved Father George. But that is also the purpose of being ὁμογάλακτοι – to remember those who came before us from the same Alma Mater – the same Mother who nourished the previous generations and who continues to nourish us.
Therefore, my beloved alumni of our precious Σχολή, cherish this fellowship that we share this evening, and let us promote it in every way possible for the future generations to enjoy.