His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros Congratulatory Remarks at Saint Demetrios High School
July 11, 2020
Saint Demetrios High School
Astoria, New York
Consul General of Greece, Konstantinos Koutras
Consul General of Cyprus, Alexis Phedonos-Vadet
Beloved Children in the Lord,
Dear Teachers, Administrators and Friends,
What a year this has been for all of us, and especially for you, the proud graduating class of the Saint Demetrios High School. I want to say how proud I am, of how each of you – students, parents, teachers and administration – has contributed to the completion of this extraordinary school year. Allow me to mention your class Valedictorian: Athanasios Karageorge, and your class Salutatorians: Theodora Mitsakis and George Tsiros.
All of you have had to learn a lot, even how to cope with the pandemic, and all of you have come through with grace and dignity.
I want to congratulate the students, teachers, and administrators for their dedication to their task of teaching and learning, of continuing the amazing tradition that we call “education.”
The word itself comes from two Latin words: “educare,” which means “to rear or mold,” and “educere,” which means “to lead forth.” And this is what true education accomplishes.
It molds you into a person of capacity and of capability. Capacity for gratitude, appreciation, culture, learning, and ultimately love, and capability to meet the challenges of life – the simple and the complex.
Therefore, as you graduate today and prepare for this coming year and perhaps the furthering of your studies in a university, I commend each and every one of you to the greatest Teacher of all, our Lord Jesus Christ. He taught in every word He uttered and by every action He performed. And His divine teaching readies us to meet every challenge of this world, and to prepare for the next.
I ask you all to always be committed to honest learning that embraces the truth about history, culture, and civilization. Just yesterday, we saw the dishonest seizure of our Great Church of Christ, Hagia Sophia. But its glories cannot be erased by such shortsightedness. We know the truth and that truth makes us free: free to speak out, free to engage in dialogue and not monologue, and free to hear the other side. I hope that you will use your education – both the door you are passing through now and the many doors that will open before you, to cultivate your intellectual and spiritual freedom that we have in Christ.
May your lives always be blessed with His mercy, compassion, and, above all, His love.
God bless you all!