Lecture on Papadiamantis, Celebrating Three Hierarchs, Greek Letters, and Education

February 16, 2017

ASTORIA – The Greek Teachers Association “Prometheus” in cooperation with the American Institute of Dodecanesian Studies and the Greek American Writers Association of America and Mytilene Society honored the feast of the Three Hierarchs and Greek Letters with an event dedicated to the great novelist Alexandros Papadiamantis on Sunday, February 5 at the crowded library of St. Demetrios School in Astoria.

The event began with prayer – the Apolytikion of the Three Hierarchs led by the Dean of the Cathedral of St. Demetrios Fr. Nektarios Papazafiropoulos followed by greetings from “Prometheus” President Demosthenes Triantafillou, who thanked the attendees, and former president Timoleon Kokkinos, who introduced the speakers.

Anastasios Mouzakis, President of the Greek American Writers Association of America, congratulated the “Prometheus” members for the valuable work they perform for the promotion of Hellenism and Orthodoxy, stating that the association will always support strongly any effort and initiative for the Greek letters.

Dr. Thaleia Chatzigiannoglou Director of Educational Affairs for the Greek Consulate in New York pointed out that the Three Hierarchs besides education also taught the principles of solidarity, social justice, of love and harmony, values ??that we need now more than ever.
Maria Makedon, Director of the Office of Education Direct Archdiocesan District, referred to the recent celebration of students excelling in state tests on the Greek language in public and private schools.

Theologian George Kazoulis in his speech made reference to the work and life of the Three Hierarchs, and Professor Christopher Tripoulas analyzed the work of Papadiamantis and the importance of applying the lessons today.

Tripoulas said of the celebrated writer, “Alexandros Papadiamantis would cover newspaper events, bringing his own refreshments. He did not take food offered. He had his wine and cheese with him. He sat alone in a corner. He was objective as to life around him, saying the truth. He didn’t condemn the actions of persons. The writer understood human pain. He asked all to accept persons with their weaknesses and forgive them. Papadiamantis’ short stories and articles are as important as his poems.”

“Papadiamantis is a saint of Greek Letters,” Tripoulas noted. “There is no black or white. All exist and must be forgiven. He noticed all around him, writing about the average person. They were not superheroes or supermen. God loves all, just and unjust. The writer lived over one hundred years ago. He was a nisiotis (islander) with an island mentality.”

The second part of the literary event was dedicated to awarding certificates to 15 teachers who attended the groundbreaking four-month educational program, the First Pedagogical Program at the Greek School of the Ascension in Fairview, NJ. Dr. Chatzigiannoglou handed out the awards.

Teacher Sophia Kostaras spoke to the National Herald praising the work and usefulness of the training program that included courses and work two hours every Friday with the participation of teachers from New York and New Jersey, and expressed the hope for similar seminars in the future.

The Greek Teachers Association “Prometheus” was founded in 1975. More information is available online at www.greekteachersprometheus.org.


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