Honorable Archon John Catsimatides,
Chairman of the Organizing Committee
for the presentation of the book “The Lonely Path of Integrity”,
June 10, 2001
Beloved Archon Catsimatides,
The cultural event that you have organized in New York for the presen-tation of the “The Lonely Path of Integrity” offers me a pleasant opportunity to address you, the other cherished members of the Organizing Committee, the author of this polished and original biography, Mrs. Justine Frangouli, as well as all of the members of our Greek Orthodox Community present, whose love I can never forget, and who are very precious to me.
I would like to express to you my heartfelt congratulations for your tireless efforts to organize a Greek American event dedicated to the presentation of this recent history of the Archdiocese of America. This history comes to us through a new Greek publishing endeavor that is characterized by stark revelations and historical documentation. You do so, in the full knowledge that we all owe an honest and accurate accounting to the Greek American Community.
It was particularly touching to learn that all proceeds from the sale of the book at the event will go to enhance Greek education at Saint Basil’s Academy. Indeed a fitting intention, for it should not be forgotten that Saint Basil’s was founded, and for approximately 25 years functioned, as the heart and soul of Greek Education in America. May this gesture become a rallying cry for the re-orientation of this important ecclesiastical institution toward its initial objectives and a new and decisive contribution to the promotion of Greek Letters in the United States.
I would also like to congratulate once more in public the author of the book presented at the event. Mrs. Frangouli’s work, dedicated to the description and assessment of recent events of significance which took place in the bosom of our great Greek American community, provides a new means to measure the difficult and complex issue of Hellenism’s struggle to survive in the Diaspora.
I greet with love and esteem my friend, the learned professor John A. Rassias, the key speaker for the event. I recall with emotion our joint agony and his tireless efforts for the future of Greek Culture and Language in America. The report of the well known “Rassias Committee” which generated so many justified hopes and revived the faith, even amongst those of “little faith”, in the future of Hellenism in America, will remain indelible in the history of the Greek American family. If, for reasons incomprehensible to many, the Committee’s task in the United States was abrubtly interrupted, nonetheless its report continues to find more and more fertile ground in the Greek diaspora outside the US, for indeed “men do not light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, so it gives light to all in the house”.
To the much cherished and unforgotten Greek Americans that have taken the trouble and time to come to your cultural event, those who came not only from New York but from other close or distant cities, I convey my unconditional greeting of love, “genuine love”, with the assurance that, despite my absence due to reasons independent of my intentions, they are always in my thoughts and in my heart.
I commend you for “walking in love” and “leading a life worthy of the gospel of Christ”, exactly as you did when, during the three years God planned for us to be together, you did not fall short in rich manifestations of Christian love despite constant and ubiquitous temptations and unwarranted provocations.
Indeed, “I have great pride in you” for “rooted and founded” in your fore-fathers’ traditions you continue with undiminished zeal to contribute to the progress of the Greek American community. I am more than proud to see that you have not forgotten our still fresh struggles to achieve a brighter tomorrow for Hellenism and for our Church in America.
Finally, even if according to God’s inscrutable plans our struggles were brusquely terminated and our promising path to the future was interrupted, nonetheless your faith continues to remain firm and unmovable in the inexhau-stible power of Hellenism and Orthodoxy.
Closing this message, my dear and beloved friends, I express to all of you my sincere and warm wishes for a most successful cultural event. To the brilliant author I wholeheartedly wish a blessed and unimpeded continuation of her much promising literary activity.
I remain, as always, with profound love in Christ,
[ signed ]
( † Spyridon,
former Archbishop of America )