His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios presided yesterday over a meeting of seventeen leaders and representatives of Greek-American organizations, federations and associations for the coordination of action and exchange of information regarding the relief efforts and immediate economic assistance to the suffering people in Greece. The two-hour meeting, held at the Headquarters of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America in Manhattan, was also attended by the Consul General of Greece in New York George Iliopoulos and the Consul General of Cyprus Koula Sofianou.
With the crisis and the suffering facing the people in Greece still unfolding and given the willingness of the Omogeneia to offer real and tangible assistance to our brethren there, many relevant new ideas and actions were presented for an effective coordination of all efforts between the various Greek-American organizations and the Archdiocese.
Archbishop Demetrios reported to the participants on the actions of the Archdiocese and the status of the Relief Fund for the People of Greece of the Archdiocese, which, as he said, had collected to that moment $200,000 from the collections of the parishes, the offerings through the internet and other funds directly sent to the Archdiocese, emphasizing that the fundraising effort continues to be under way. The Archbishop also said that the National Philoptochos, the philanthropic arm of the Archdiocese, has already sent through International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), a $25,000 emergency donation for immediate assistance for needy families in Greece.
His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios explained that during these hard times, the enormous task of providing relief to those in need, falls for the most part on the Church of Greece which provides on a daily basis food rations, operates soup kitchens, offers clothing and shelter and has recently announced the creation of special pharmacies for the needy. The Archbishop added that the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America intends to direct most of its help through the Church of Greece, to support these specific philanthropic endeavors.
The Archbishop said he has called His Beatitude Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece to discuss the whole issue of support and following their discussion he intends to visit him in Athens in the near future.
During his visit there, Archbishop Demetrios will have the opportunity to be informed in more detail about the assistance programs for the needy operated by the Archdiocese of Athens, the Metropolises of Greece and the local parishes of the Church of Greece. He will present to Archbishop Ieronymos the first installment from the Relief Fund for the People of Greece of the Archdiocese in order for the funds to be used for these specific assistance programs of the Archdiocese of Athens.
His Eminence added that His Grace Bishop Andonios of Phasiane, Chancellor of the Archdiocese, has been assigned the responsibility of coordination of the relief efforts between the Archdiocese and the Greek-American organizations.
During the meeting, all the officials and representatives of the organizations and federations spoke and reported on the initiatives they have already undertaken or are planning in the immediate future. The views and ideas presented, were not only related to the immediate and urgent need of support for those suffering in Greece, but touched upon relevant issues such as immigration policy, offers of employment in Greece and the U.S., visas for new scientists and young professiona For the rest of this News Release, visit the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America website
Patriarchal Encyclical on the Sanctification of Holy Myrrh
March 28, 2012
Beloved children in the Lord, Each person, created in the image and likeness of God, is a temple of the Lord. Much more so, those of us who have been baptized in Christ and chrismated with Holy Myrrh, grafted into the good olive tree of the Orthodox Church, are temples of the Holy Spirit that is within us, despite our various sins, both voluntary and involuntary, which alienate us from the Lord.
Prot. No. 217
BY THE MERCY OF GOD
ARCHBISHOP OF CONSTANTINOPLE-NEW ROME
AND ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH
TO THE HOLY CLERGY AND THE PIOUS PLENITUDE
OF THE ARCHDIOCESES
AND METROPOLISES OF OUR MOST HOLY APOSTOLIC AND PATRIARCHAL ECUMENICAL THRONE
Beloved children in the Lord,
Each person, created in the image and likeness of God, is a temple of the Lord. Much more so, those of us who have been baptized in Christ and chrismated with Holy Myrrh, grafted into the good olive tree of the Orthodox Church, are temples of the Holy Spirit that is within us, despite our various sins, both voluntary and involuntary, which alienate us from the Lord. “If we are faithless, yet He remains faithful. He cannot deny Himself.” (2 Tim. 2.13)
This grace is bestowed on us through the Holy Myrrh because, as St. Dionysios the Areopagite states, the service of myrrh perfects divine knowledge and understanding, whereby in a sacred manner our ascent to and blessed communion with the divinity is accomplished. The Myrrh grants the sanctification of the Spirit and is offered to the faithful as spiritual chrismation, a royal gift that sanctifies the soul and body.
Through the Myrrh we receive the pledge of the Spirit, from whom every good and perfect gift derive. Our God, who granted the Holy Spirit both in the law and to His Apostles, sanctifies all those who are anointed with holy myrrh and ranks them among the choir of those saved by grace, if only they preserve their garment of incorruption spotless from all defilement and struggle not to disappoint the Holy Spirit, which they received through Holy Chrism. For the myrrh renders the pious faithful familiar to and genuine servants of God; and when we are sealed with myrrh, we are known by the holy angels and by all heavenly powers, being conformed to these.
When we have holiness as the purpose of our existence in this life, we keep the commandments of God in order that the Holy Spirit, the good Comforter, may remain with us all and that we may inherit the heavenly Kingdom of God in accordance with the words: “Be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1.16)
Therefore, inasmuch as the periodical sanctification of the Holy Myrrh is a venerated institution of our Mother Church, our Modesty has, together with the Holy and Sacred Synod, decided that its consecration will be performed this year during the Holy and Great Week of our Lord’s Passion and will take place this coming Holy Thursday. The event will be preceded by the boiling of the Holy Myrrh from Holy Monday to Holy Wednesday, when we shall commemorate the sinful woman who anointed the Lord with precious fragrance and who was ultimately shown to be purer than everyone as a result of her great desire for Christ.
The sanctification of Holy Myrrh announced with this Patriarchal Encyclical constitutes a particular blessing for those of us performing, but also for all those who will attend and participate in this service. The Holy Myrrh will be distributed to other Orthodox Churches throughout the world, thereby becoming an unceasing source of sanctification, “a garment of incorruption and perfecting seal, marking those who receive the sacrament of Baptism with the sacred name of the Father and the only-begotten Son and the Holy Spirit.”
We ask you, then, beloved children and brothers in the Lord, not to overlook this historical event of the Sanctification of the Holy Myrrh at our Sacred Center and to do your utmost to participate i For the rest of this News Release, visit the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America website
Email this Page Printer Friendly Version