NEW ROCHELLE, NY – AHEPA Sunday was celebrated across the country on May 20 with parishes honoring the contributions of the organization with special prayers for all the members and those who have passed away. At Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in New Rochelle, following the Divine Liturgy, presided over by Very Rev.
Fr. Nicholas Anctil assisted by Rev. Fr. Patrick O’Rourke, the James Plevritis-Joseph C. Keane AHEPA Chapter # 405 of New Rochelle was honored for its continuing charitable efforts and promoting Hellenism, education, and faith. The National Anthems of the United States and Greece were sung, followed by a brief speech by outgoing President Joseph Keane who noted the upcoming Graduate Luncheon on June 10. He noted that the event “recognizes the graduates from high school, college and advanced degrees, and their achievements are incredible.”
“These are children who have grown up in the community,” Keane said, “and they’re going on to different schools, to advance their careers, and their achievements are just incredible, we invite you all to attend.”
The new officers of the James Plevritis-Joseph C. Keane AHEPA Chapter # 405 were sworn in- President Harry Fotiadis, Vice President John Copulas, and Secretary Jon Kohilakis. Treasurer Evan Graf was also mentioned but was not present. The Board was also sworn in. Among those present were Thomas Dushas- Supreme Governor of Region 3, Zachary Marantos, and James Zafiros.
Dushas reminded the new officers that “the office does not make the man, the man makes the office.”
Zafiros noted Joseph Keane’s impressive 30 years of service as President of the chapter and also pointed out that a testimonial will be held to honor Keane on December 1 at the Westchester Country Club.
Fr. Anctil also read the encyclical from His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios Geron of America for this year’s AHEPA Sunday. The full text follows:
To the Most Reverend Hierarchs, the Reverend Priests and Deacons, the Monks and Nuns, the Presidents and Members of the Parish Councils of the Greek Orthodox Communities, the Distinguished Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Day, Afternoon, and Church Schools, the Philoptochos Sisterhoods, the Youth, the Hellenic Organizations, and the entire Greek Orthodox Family in America
Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
With joy and gratitude, the parishes of our Holy Archdiocese are asked to commemorate AHEPA Sunday and to recognize the service offered by the members of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association and the organizations of the AHEPA family. Each year we designate a Sunday in May for this purpose, primarily to honor the significant work and offering that is being made by AHEPA members in our parishes, communities, nation, and around the world. It is also an annual recognition of a long and cherished relationship between AHEPA and the Greek Orthodox Church in America.
For almost a century, our Church in America and AHEPA have shared a history. Guided by faith in God and the ideals of Hellenism, Greek immigrants who came to this land wanted more than opportunity. They nurtured families and built communities, and at the center of those communities were parishes and organizations that strengthened their Orthodox faith, affirmed their Hellenic identity, guided them in service to those in need, and helped them participate in the American experience while contributing to the history and identity of this great nation.
We are the heirs of this foundation, a legacy we honor in this commemoration. We also affirm our commitment to this shared ministry and fellowship, a vital work that continues to meet the needs of elderly and veterans, to provide educational scholarships and unique programs for our youth, to support hospitals and relief programs, and to advocate on critical issues around the globe.
In recognition of all that we have done and will continue to do together, may we affirm that the AHEPA family is our family as Greek Americans. May we offer our prayers and support for the members and programs of AHEPA. May we give thanks to God for the history we share through our parishes, through AHEPA and all our organizations, and through our faith in Christ, which makes all things possible!
With paternal love in Christ,
Archbishop of America