KANSASVILLE, WISC.—On the Friday after Pascha, the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago celebrated more than just the Feast of the Life-Giving Fountain. Hundreds of both clergy and laity gathered together in order to participate in the Official Groundbreaking Ceremony of the Saint Iakovos Retreat Center. Despite the cold and rainy weather conditions in Southern Wisconsin, the flame of Christ’s eternal presence both illuminated the souls, and warmed the hearts, of all the faithful in attendance.
The April 22nd kidnapping of Syrian archbishops Mar Gregorios Ibrahim of the Syriac Orthodox Church and Paul Yazigi of the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch, and the killing of their driver, has reminded us once again of the vulnerability of ancient Christian peoples living in the Middle East. More than 1,000 Christians have been killed to date in the Syrian conflict and more than 80 churches have been destroyed. The majority of Christians in Syria are Greek or Syriac Orthodox or Melkite Greek Catholic. This recent violence in Syria can remind us to pray for suffering Christians in the Middle East and afford us the opportunity to practice solidarity with our Greek Catholic and Orthodox Christian brothers and sisters.
Updated April 29: The Archdiocese encourages all of her members to show their continuing support for kidnapped archbishops Paul and John of Aleppo, first and foremost through heartfelt prayer. We also encourage people to sign and promote the online petition available here at the website of the White House, calling for United States government action on behalf of the abducted metropolitans. Please use the petition at this link.
FATHER EVAGORAS CONSTANTINIDES was born in Lapithos, Cyprus in 1918. His early education was in his village where he graduated with honors receiving the Gold Medal Award. In Athens he graduated with honors receiving the Delta Public Speaking Prize, and the English Language Prize.
CHICAGO---On March 18, tragedy struck the community of Saint Basil Greek Orthodox Church in Chicago, when the 103 year-old building caught fire. Quick responding firefighters saved the entire structure from being consumed. Though there was significant damage to the church building, the community remains undaunted. They’ve found hope in this tragedy; they find promise. This resilient community is transcending this tragedy and looking toward the promising future of their parish.
St. George Greek Orthodox Church is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year. St. George is the oldest Greek Orthodox Church at its original location in the Chicagoland area. It is a well-known and integral part of the Lincoln Park neighborhood.
CHICAGO, IL—On the first Sunday following the devastating fire at St. Basil Church, an overflowing crowd of parishioners gathered, down the street, at the Medical District Marriott (Ashland and Harrison), as Father Panteleimon Dalianis celebrated Divine Liturgy in the grand ballroom.
Editor’s Note: The following is the address by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to his Holiness Pope Francis of Rome at the Formal Reception for World Religious Leaders at the Vatican on March 20, 2013.
Your Holiness, In the name of the Lord of powers, we wholeheartedly congratulate You on the inspired election and deserved assumption of Your new high duties as First Bishop of the venerable Church of Senior Rome, defined by the primacy of love.
Beloved in the Lord, At the opening of Great and Holy Lent, it is with a heavy heart that we write to inform you of the tragic fire that has severely damaged our beloved Saint Basil Greek Orthodox Church of Chicago, Illinois. The fire, of undetermined cause, broke out around noon, on Clean Monday, March 18, on the north side of the solea and spread to the balcony. While we give our Lord thanks that no one was injured, there is extensive smoke and water damage throughout the building.
ANKARA (AP)— Bartholomew I, the spiritual leader of the world's Orthodox Christians, headed Monday for the Vatican to attend Pope Francis' installation Mass—the first time a patriarch from the Istanbul-based church is attending a papal investiture since the two branches of Christianity split nearly 1,000 years ago. Bartholomew said he was attending the installation Mass to underscore the importance he attaches to ``friendly ties'' between the churches and reflects expectations that the new pontiff will advance rapprochement efforts that began decades ago.