Op/Ed & Letters
On May 10-11, the Asia Minor and Pontos Hellenic Research Center, the Armenian National Committee, and the Assyrian Center for Genocide Studies jointly hosted the first international conference of its kind to explore the three Ottoman Turkish Genocides.Titled The Ottoman Turkish Genocides of Anatolian Christians – Armenians, Assyrians, and Greeks, the conference was held at The Illinois Holocaust Museum and Educational Center in Skokie, Illinois.
We know how much the Greeks are suffering under today’s global recession where the banks and the 1% are demanding the working people pay back their loans. But that doesn’t mean the Greeks themselves are not capable of making those under them suffer as well. Nowhere is this more evident than in the strawberry fields of rural Greece where the migrant laborers from Pakistan and other countries are being ruthlessly exploited for their cheap labor.
Peter Giakoumis is a Greek-American military Historian with a master's of arts degree in Political Science. He is a former Captain in the New York State Guard-Army Division, a 20-year Federal employee and a living history practitioner.
His Grace Bishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago and the Friends of the Ecumenical Patriarchate from Peoria will be hosting a press conference this Sunday, May 19, at 1:00pm. at St. George Greek Orthodox Church, 2701 North Sheffield Avenue, Chicago.The purpose of this Press Conference will be to highlight the recent Proclamation from the Chicago Mayor and City Council proclaiming their support of Senate Resolution 70 (SR70) and calling for the passage of SR70, to highlight the 2/3’s of Illinois State Senate Members Co-Sponsoring SR70, and to call on the Illinois State Senate Leadership (focusing on Senator’s John Cullerton, Don Harmon, Kimberly Lightford and Terry Link) to pass SR70 before the end of the Spring Session.
ATHENS (AP)— The Greek government said Monday it will use emergency powers to prevent protesting teachers from disrupting university entrance exams this month. Civil servants' unions retaliated by calling a 24-hour strike for Tuesday. It is the third time this year that the conservative-led coalition government has used the emergency civil mobilization order— a measure normally reserved for natural disasters and other times of national crisis — to end a labor dispute in the crisis-hit country.
PORTLAND, 05/12/2013 (AP)—U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe describes a scene out of a Rockwell painting: With Washington crippled by a blizzard, President Barack Obama worked the week before Christmas with a fire roaring in the fireplace in the Oval Office. Outside the window, his daughters played in the snow with their dog. Inside, Snowe writes in a new book, she delivered sad news to the president, whom she described as gracious.
ATHENS (AP)—A union representing teachers at Greek state high schools on Friday called a series of strikes to start next week over new austerity cuts, in action that threatens annual university entrance exams.
This weekend, Michelle and I extend our best wishes to members of the Orthodox Christian community here in America and around the world as they observe Holy Friday and the Feast of the Resurrection.
“O Gladsome Light, of the Holy glory of the Immortal Father, heavenly Holy, blessed Jesus Christ!” (Holy Saturday Morning Prayers)
This is one of my most favorite days in the village. We have just celebrated the Miracle of the Holy Fire in Taybeh at the outskirts of our village approximately after 5 pm in the late afternoon on this Great and Holy Saturday while waiting since 2:10 pm local time when this great miracle occurred once again in Jerusalem.
We wish to extend a very special thanks to the St. Demetrios Philoptochos President, Mrs. Athina Likouretsos, Philoptochos sisters and all of the St. Demetrios parish community for the exceptional hospitality, warmth, and friendship they have offered in hosting this event. When you truly love and enjoy something you go back for seconds; this is déjà vu for us; because we have come back for the second time to St. Demetrios Church.
Therefore, for the second time, we would like to express our gratitude to Fr. Panagioti Malamis and Fr. Andrew Georganas for opening the doors of their hearts and their Church, with joy, to us so we can all pray in fellowship together in this great church hall.
We also would like to thank our Metropolis Philoptochos President Irene Arsoniadis for providing guidance and leadership for this Retreat.
I would be remiss if, on behalf of our Committee, I did not express our gratitude for the beautifully uplifting and spiritually rejuvenating presentations today by Fr. Dimitrios Kounavis and Mr. Konstantino Mitsopoulos.
Thirty one years ago, our spiritual father, our shepherd, and our guide, His Eminence Metropolitan Iakovos, laid down the tradition for us to set aside a day, to isolate ourselves from the worldly concerns, to forego the pressures of everyday life, and dedicate ourselves to learn and to reflect. For that, words are inadequate for us to thank him. He introduced holding the Lenten Retreat during the Megale Tessarakoste for us to gain spiritually and to arm ourselves against the temptations from the demons that we all face; to praise the Lord and to rejoice in personally feeling the four virtues of the Megale Tessarakoste:
Prayer: Prayer is the balm that heals the wounds and comforts the afflicted. Prayer is that fortress that shields the sufferers of pain, and those who are falsely accused.
Fasting: Fasting prepares us physically and mentally to approach our Lord and to find comfort in Him.
Repentance: Repentance is our acknowledgment that we have sinned and our resolve not to sin again.
Almsgiving: Almsgiving is our offering to fellow human beings, from whatever God’s Grace has blessed us with. When giving, those who give are blessed by God, as well as those who are given.
Your Eminence, I would not be exaggerating, but the truth is, that this day that you have guided us to set aside, provides us spiritual food, it is like an oasis that the thirsty find in the desert, it inculcates in us the four virtues I have described, and it fortifies us with spiritual strength to deal effectively with the temptations we face in our daily lives. Our heartfelt prayers are that the Lord grant you years in health and bless us with your continued guidance.
A cordial expression of thanks is also owed to His Grace Dimitrios of Mokissos, for his invaluable assistance and counsel in organizing this Lenten Retreat.
Your Grace, I want you to know that Kathy Siavelis was well prepared and ready with the theme from the beginning of January. After your input, the theme was modified to “The Healing Ministry of the Church.” Perfect, indeed, for these difficult times we are all living in. For, who better than Christ Himself as our Healer and Protector? Healing encompasses Love. Church is the House of Love. It serves as the Therapeutic Hospital where the sick is healed from his sufferings and pain, by the Shepard who is the doctor. In the Church, we are healed from whatever afflicts us, whether it is spiritual, physical, or physiological, in the sense that if we are born with an ailment, we are healed with love, support, affection, tenderness, and protection.
Therefore, Your Grace, the theme that you provided us for this Lenten Retreat is relevant to these painful days of economic difficulties and spiritual deprivation. All of us, whether we are big or little, old or young, rich or poor, need healing of some sort, and where do we look for this healing??? To our Church, for comfort and for salvation!
Going through the days of the Megale Tessarakoste, we constantly have in our minds, The Good Shepard, The Merciful, Our Lord Jesus Christ, The Healer, who has boundless and endless Love for us; Love that Heals with no exceptions. He Healed and gave Love, and when He needed to, He left the 99 sheep to go look for that one Lost one. That is Love. Because, big or small, we are all lost, and we seek deliverance from our Archipoimena, our Lord Jesus, and His Healing Ministry, which is our Church. We seek Healing and Guidance, cure from what ails us, from our Poimenes; our Priests and our Bishops, who, following in the footsteps of our Lord Jesus, dispense it, as our Shepherds, to us as their flock and their congregation.
We thank you and we are very grateful for everything you do for us. May God give you health always.
We wish everyone a Kale kai Evlogemene Tessarakoste and may Holy Pascha finds us in good health.
Christina Hiotis is a Board Member of the Chicago Metropolis Philoptochos. These remarks were made at the conclusion of the Chicago Metropolis Philoptochos Lenten Retreat 2013.