News Release
June 2, 1999

Archbishop Spyridon Convenes HALO Meeting in Washington
In a Spirit of Unity and Solidarity

New York, NY — Today His Eminence Archbishop Spyridon, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, convened the second meeting of HALO — Hellenic American Leaders and Organizations — in Washington, DC. Participants included His Excellency Alexandros Philon, Ambassador of Greece to the USA; Her Excellency Erato Kozakou-Markoulli; Ambassador of Cyprus to the USA; Mr. Lee Rallis, Supreme President AHEPA; Mr. Andrew Athens, World Council of Hellenes Abroad; Mr. John Catsimatidis, President of the Archdiocesan Council; Mr. Philip Christopher of PSEKA; Mrs. Pat Gogos of the National Board of Philoptochos; Dr. Anthony Limberakis, National Commander, Archons of the Order of St. Andrew; Mr. Andrew Manatos of Manatos & Manatos, Inc.; Mr. Dennis Mehiel; Mr. Panicos Papanicolaou of the Cyprus Federation of America; Mr. John Sitilides of the Western Policy Center; Mr. Chris Tomaras, SAE - North and South America Region; Mr. Savas Tsivicos, AHIPAC.

The meeting was organized and hosted by the Archbishop in order to bring together leaders of the Greek and Cypriot American community in a cooperative and collegial setting. The Archbishop began the meeting with a statement (appended). Throughout the day, the participants had the opportunity to hear from Ambassadors, Andrew Athens, the President of the World SAE, Lee Rallis, Supreme President of AHEPA, and Anthony Limberakis, the National Commander of the Order of the Archons and Theodore Spyropoulos of the Hellenic American National Council. A free and open exchange of ideas confirmed the unity and solidarity of the group. All present were given an opportunity to reflect upon the ideas shared by the group, and to present their specific concerns as they related to the well being of the Greek American community.

Three major themes emerged from the day-long conference. First, the essential unity of vision for the advancement of Hellenic causes in the American cultural context enjoyed by the diverse groups and organizations that make up the Greek community in America. Second, the Greek Ambassador, the Cypriot Ambassador and the Church are committed to a monthly written briefing to be distributed to major Greek American organizations. This communication will also seek to inform and update the members of the Greek American community in the broadest terms possible and in a non-directive way, of the details that relate to their social, political and religious interests as Greek Americans. Third, HALO will coordinate an effort to link communities on the parish level directly to their elected officials on a national level. HALO will facilitate bringing elected officials into their constituent Greek American communities for direct, personal encounters.

Archbishop Spyridon expressed his enthusiasm for the three main points that represented the general consensus of HALO's second annual meeting. The participants all expressed their desire to meet again and further the common vision that was manifested by the community leaders present.

[ Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Of America - Press Office - News Release - June 2, 1999 ]