NEW YORK – His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America issued a special encyclical to all parishes of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America in the United States praising the late Archbishop Iakovos of America as well as the Leadership 100 organization.
The Archbishop based his encyclical of the kontakion – hymn – of St. Iakovos, which he quoted: “O godly Iakovos, shown as the First Shepherd and Teacher of Jerusalem, faithful steward of the spiritual mysteries; wherefore we all honor thee, O apostle.”
In the encyclical the Archbishop wrote:
“Two days after the feast of the ‘First Shepherd and Teacher of Jerusalem,’ we celebrate one of the greatest legacies of the ever-memorable Archbishop Iakovos: the Leadership 100 Endowment Fund that bears his name. Now in its fourth decade of existence, we join together across our great Archdiocese for this twelfth commemoration, on the Sunday nearest to the Feastday of our late Archbishop Iakovos. We not only remember his visionary leadership that created the Endowment in 1984, but also the ongoing dedication and sacrifice of the founders and members of Leadership 100 that have enhanced and nurtured so many ministries throughout our Church.
“Leadership 100 is more than an organization; it is a movement based on the dream of Archbishop Iakovos to create an extraordinary level of stewardship within our Archdiocese. He foresaw the possibilities of our community, and together with leading members of our Church, he founded this organization that had a simple principle – to endow the work of the Church for future generations.
“Today, after thirty-six years of faithful service, nearly sixty million dollars has been distributed throughout the Archdiocese. Of this extraordinary amount, over twenty-five million dollars has gone to support Hellenic College and Holy Cross, to ensure highly qualified and educated candidates for the clergy. This fact alone demonstrates the wisdom, value, and foresight of the mission of Leadership 100. Like the Saint whose memory is commemorated on October 23rd, Leadership 100 was established to help shepherd and teach, and provide abiding stewardship for our Church. Let us all give thanks this Leadership 100 Sunday for its continuing ministry that honors its unforgettable namesake.”