MARYLAND – Archbishop Elpidophoros of America with this recent visit to Sts. Constantine and Helen parish in Silver Spring, Maryland has now been to all of the parishes, chapels, and monastic communities located within the Direct Archdiocesan District, which comprises the states of New York, Connecticut, Maryland, the District of Columbia and also the Bahamas.
Immediately following his Enthronement in June 2019, His Eminence began his travels not only to communities in the D.A.D. but also to parishes nationwide in order to meet as many of the faithful of America as possible. Even with the limitations imposed to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic which required postponing travels, he continued as soon as the safely of the faithful could be assured.
In his Homily at the Ss. Constantine & Helen Church, Archbishop Elpidophoros noted the occasion saying: “It has been said, ‘last but not least,’ as this wonderful community of Saints Constantine and Helen does, indeed, now complete my visitations of all the Parishes of the Archdiocesan District. However, I would rather say, ‘I saved the best for last!’ Being with you in your new Temple and community is a proud moment for me, because this famous community was, in fact, the very first parish visited by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on his Apostolic Visit to the United States in October of 1997. And today, my friends, we celebrate your community – not only its venerable history, but its future as a leading parish of our Archdiocese.”
Archbishop Elpidophoros surrounded by Fr. Michael Faccarino, presiding priest of Sts. Constantine and Helen parish in Silver Spring Maryland, Alexandra Papadopoulos Ambassador of Greece to Washington, officials of the parish council, and children who welcomed the Archbishop. (Photos by GOA/DIMITRIOS PANAGOS)
In another instance he said we celebrated “the Holy Apostle and Evangelist Luke, ‘the beloved physician,’ as Saint Paul calls him. The Holy Luke, who wrote both the Gospel of his name and the Acts of the Apostles, is truly the first historian of our Church. He addresses both of his works to Θεόφιλος, whose name means, as you know, “the friend of God.” For every reader of these sacred texts should read them with love for the Lord. As I look around the Church today, I see friends of God. I see those who qualify as the “Κράτιστοι” – the “most excellent” friends of God – as Luke described Θεόφιλος in the Prologue to his Gospel.”