GOARCH - April 13, 1998

Archbishop Spyridon Visits Diocese of Detroit

His Eminence Archbishop Spyridon, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America and Locum Tenens of the Diocese of Detroit, made his first extended pastoral visit to the Diocese from April 3-6,1998. Accompanied by seven Archdiocesan staff clergy, there was an opportunity for the Archbishop and the clergy to individually celebrate the Akathist Hymn, Friday, April 4th and the Divine Liturgy, Sunday, April 5th, at several churches in the Greater Detroit area.

Archbishop Spyridon celebrated the Akathist Hymn on Friday evening at the Annunciation Cathedral in Detroit, assisted by the Rev. Athanas G. George; on Saturday morning, April 4th, he celebrated the Divine Liturgy and ordained Deacon Stavros Ballas to the Priesthood at St. George Church, Southgate,MI, assisted by the Rev. Philemon N. Karamanos; and on Sunday morning, April 5th, His Eminence celebrated the Archieratical Liturgy at the Assumption Church, St. Clair Shores, MI, assisted by the Rev. Demetrios S. Kavadas and the Rev. Constantine E. Makrinos, and officially opening the Clergy-Laity and Philoptochos Conference of the Diocese of Detroit .

At a luncheon following the ordination of Father Ballas, who has been assigned to St. George Church as assistant priest, the parish presented to His Eminence Archbishop Spyridon a check for $50,000 for the Holy Cross Theological Scholarship Fund for the Priesthood.

That afternoon, His Eminence traveled to Ann Arbor,MI and met with the Rev. John H. Paul and members of the parish at St. Nicholas Church, and then participated in a Diocesan Lenten GOYAL Retreat on the campus of the University of Michigan. His Eminence offered a spiritual message on almsgiving and fasting, followed by a lively and informative two hour dialogue with the young adults which concluded with a donation from the group for the Holy Cross Scholarship Fund. Later that evening, His Eminence addressed the opening session of the Diocese Philoptochos Conference at the Assumption Church in St. Clair Shores.

On Sunday evening, His Eminence offered the keynote address at the official opening of the Clergy-Laity Conference which was followed by presentations by the Archdiocese staff. They included: the Rev.George Passias, Chancellor; the Rev. Mark Arey, Director of Communications; the V.Rev. J. Gabriel Karambis, Director of Stewardship; the Rev.Anastasios Bourantas, Director of Youth Ministries; the Rev.Dr. Frank Marangos, Director of Religious Education; George Chelpon, Finance and Theo Nicolakis, Director of the Internet Ministries.

The Rev. Dr. Charles Joanides remained on to conduct the first of a series of national Diocesan Inter-Faith Focus Groups and workshops. Also accompanying the Archbishop were the V. Rev. John Heropoulos, Director of the Office of the Archbishop and Deacon Elias Villis.

The Conference, attended by some 200 delegates, concluded with elections of delegates for the Diocesan and Archdiocesan Councils . On Monday morning, His Eminence met and dialogued with the priests of the Diocese of Detroit before returning to the Archdiocese in New York.

  April 13, 1998 ]