John Calamos on the Vasilopita at the National Hellenic Museum

Left to right: Peter and Ethel Parthenis, His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael, Mae and John Calamos, and Dino Armiros at the National Hellenic Museum's annual cutting of the Vasilopita. (Photo: Courtesy of the National Hellenic Museum)

CHICAGO – The National Hellenic Museum (NHM) in Chicago held its annual cutting of the Vasilopita on January 5. NHM Chairman John P. Calamos, Sr. released the following statement about the event:

“Happy New Year! By now you may have celebrated the cutting of the Vasilopita with your families or Church communities, or maybe you joined us at the National Hellenic Museum (NHM) this past Saturday as we cut our Vasilopita with His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael. We were honored to have His Eminence with us; I was very moved by his message to the many children in attendance.

“Metropolitan Nathanael spoke to our Greek Language Program students, children from our community and their families about the importance of their heritage and history. His Eminence told the children about never having the opportunity to meet his own grandparents yet feeling as if he knew them through the stories that were passed on to him by family. The Metropolitan related his experience to the work of the NHM and shared his view of the Museum as a ‘sacred institution’ that collects and protects these stories to ensure they are passed on to the children. This was a wonderful program. My wife Mae and I, along with Peter and Ethel Parthenis and Dino Armiros truly enjoyed ourselves.

“His Eminence’s commitment to the children of our Archdiocese is evident. I am eager to see his initiatives gain traction in 2019. We are proud to partner with His Eminence and I could not agree more with his comments about the work of the Museum. Our Greek Language Program is at maximum enrollment. Every Saturday the Museum is filled with children learning not only the Greek language, but dance, customs and traditions, as well. The program also teaches adults from a variety of cultural backgrounds our beautiful language resulting in a wonderful Parea that extends beyond the walls of the Museum.

His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael handed out pieces of the vasilopita and blessed the children at the event. Photo: Courtesy of the National Hellenic Museum

“Our field trips, many made possible by the Hellenic Foundation, brought more than 21,000 people to the Museum last year to experience lifelong learning. Our fundraising events, including the Trial of Megacles, Gala, our inaugural golf outing and Kouzina exposed thousands more to the work of the NHM and allowed us to continue supporting and adding to our Oral History Collection- now the largest in the world. In fact, the NHM now has the largest collection of Greek American artifacts and oral histories preserved- anywhere.

“I am proud of the work of the NHM and looking forward to sharing more experiences with you this year. We are committed to our partnerships with people and institutions that support the Hellenic legacy and we look forward to the continued success of His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael.

“Please enjoy the following pictures from Saturday’s Vasilopita celebration and be sure to stop by the National Hellenic Museum soon.”

More information about the National Hellenic Museum is available online: nationalhellenicmuseum.org.

Many children were in attendance at the National Hellenic Museum’s annual cutting of the Vasilopita. Photo: Courtesy of the National Hellenic Museum
His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael handed out pieces of the vasilopita and blessed the children at the event. (Photo: Courtesy of the National Hellenic Museum
His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael cut the Vasilopita at the National Hellenic Museum in Chicago. (Photo: Courtesy of the National Hellenic Museum)