His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America
Remarks for the Agiasmos
September 26, 2023
The Greek-American Institute at Zoodochos Peghe
Bronx, New York
Beloved Students, Teachers and Administration,
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Once gain I am delighted to be here at the wonderful Zoodochos Peghe Parish, to bless and sanctify your academic year at the at the wonderful Greek-American Institute with the traditional Agiasmos.
This sacred School is a shining example of what is best in our Greek Orthodox Church, for you embrace culture and language in the context of Faith and Spirit. All of you should be very proud – whether you are students, faculty, administration, or supporters. For the Greek-American Institute is a prized institution of our Sacred Archdiocese of America. We bring the blessed Waters of Sanctification to the School today, because we believe the word of the Lord, Who said to His Disciples on the night in which He gave Himself up for the life of the world:
Apart from Me, you can do nothing.*
When the Lord said this, He did not mean that we are incompetent or unable to accomplish anything. Far from it! What He did mean is that for our efforts to have eternal value, they must be connected to His Divine Will and holy purposes.
By sprinkling the School and you today, we affirm that the education you receive is not merely to indoctrinate you with information, but to lead you into a way of life that is ultimately everlasting.
That is what the word itself, “Education,” means, for it 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.
Just because you are young, does not mean that you do not face challenges. Everything we go through is in proportion to our age, our size, and our place in the world.
Therefore, beloved community of the Greek-American Institute, receive this holy water for all the good purposes that it can serve in your lives. May it make your year here a year of wonder, of learning, of acceptance, and of positive energy in all your labors.
Through the intercessions of the Life-giving Spring Herself – our Zoodochos Peghe – the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary, may you all achieve your very best this year, and forever. Amen. Καλὴ Ἀρχή!
* John 15:5.
Photos: Archdiocesan District