Orthodox Observer - March 1998



By Archbishop Spyridon

Beloved in the Lord:

In the Psalms of David, there is that marvelous prophecy concerning our Lord Jesus Christ: "Thou art a Priest forever, according to the order of Melchisedec" a promise that is being fulfilled today through the young men who are studying at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. As Archbishop, the mission of our beloved Scholi is the core and foundation for my ministry, as well as the future of our Holy Archdiocese.

Over the last month, I have had the pleasure of receiving four classes from the Theological School at the Archdiocese, in addition to three visits to Brookline so far this year. As I look into the faces of these young people, many of whom have given up successful careers in the secular world to serve their Church, I feel a great sense of pride and appreciation for you, their mothers and fathers, grandparents — priests and Sunday School and Greek School teachers, choir directors and fellow parishioners. For you are the ones who have inspired these young people and encouraged them along their journey of faith. Truly, these young people are the fruit of the Greek Orthodox communities from coast to coast. I believe that their education, their training, their inspiration, and their illumination with the sacred light of the Orthodox Faith to be the most singular important task for the Church today.

A generation ago, when our communities were instilled with a more natural sense of spiritual cohesion, the quality of their academic expertise was given more emphasis. And the priests of that generation proved to be not only fine scholars, but they retained the spiritual discipline to advance the Greek Orthodox Faith in America through preaching, teaching and building.

Today, in addition to re-emphasizing these high educational standards, the complexities of the emerging diversity of our Greek Orthodox Communities must also be actively addressed. We have a tremendous and historic opportunity to embrace the spouses of our inter-church and inter-faith marriages. This alone represents the greatest challenge facing the priests of tomorrow. The homogenized Greek-American family of the first three generations is being enriched by spouses and children of all kinds of backgrounds, not to mention the converts who are coming to the Greek Orthodox Church in greater and greater numbers.

Our communities have the right to expect sensitive, caring, mission-minded and articulate ambassadors for Christ as their parish priests. The whole and entire purpose of Holy Cross is provide such priests for the needs of our people. As Archbishop, my pledge to all the faithful of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America is to strengthen and fortify our precious Scholi, guaranteeing that Holy Cross will forever be the Alma Mater — the nourishing mother — to the priests of America.

I pledge myself and all my ministry to that cause, so that every Greek Orthodox Parish in America will have a priest that meets their needs, as he fulfills his most sacred responsibility to Christ, to his Archbishop and Bishop, and our Holy Archdiocese of America.

This is ultimately why I am traveling to the School once a month and bringing all the students to the Archdiocese at least once a year. We are creating the co-workers of tomorrow, the future of our Archdiocese. We must forge our unity, our spirit, our mission from the very beginning, so that we may be worthy to aspire to that eternal Priesthood of Melchisedec, and offer the Holy and Divine Liturgy unto the ages of ages.

[ Orthodox Observer - March 1998 - p. 8 ]