TENAFLY, NJ – The Three Hierarchs and the Greek letters were celebrated at the Metropolitan Cathedral of St. John the Theologian in Tenafly, NJ on Jan. 25 with a special event featuring the students of the Greek schools of North and Central New Jersey. His Eminence Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey and Consul General of Cyprus Alexis Phedonos-Vadet were among those present.
The participating schools were: St. Athansios Paramus, St. George Clifton, Ascension Fairview, St. George Piscataway, St. John the Theologian, St. Demetrios Union, St. Nicholas Wyckoff, Holy Trinity Westfield, Annunciation Jersey City, and Kimisis tis Theotokou Holmdel.
In his address, Metropolitan Evangelos referred to the life and contributions of the Three Hierarchs, the most important, as he said, Fathers of the Church who spread Hellenism and Christianity through their work.
He said, ”Today, we honor as the Greek Orthodox Church of the Diaspora and the community, these Ecumenical enlighteners, who have proved everywhere the value of the Greek language and thought. As a community of Greeks living in this beautiful country, we strive to maintain the message of the Three Hierarchs. But let us not forget that here in the Diaspora, the Greeks share not only our common ancestry, but most of all our Orthodox faith, which is our actual and true “blood divine” kinship. We are blessed by God having endowed us not only with the Greek language, the language of the Holy Gospel and the Fathers, but also with the Orthodox faith. Our ancestors, who came to this blessed country, with this inheritance, and with these two ideals, language and faith, prospered and succeeded in achieving and becoming worthy family members and honest citizens in American society. As your Metropolitan and your spiritual Father, I promise that I will continue to make every human effort to maintain our Greekness alongside our faith. In this endeavor I know that I am not alone. I have our priests, our teachers, parents, grandparents, and we all fight for our children’s progress and success.”
At the end of his speech, the Metropolitan announced the hiring of Dr. Demosthenes Triantafyllou as Director of the newly established Education Committee of the Holy Metropolis.
The Consul General of the Republic of Cyprus in New York Alexis Phedonos-Vadet warmly thanked Metropolitan Evangelos for the honor given to him to speak at the festive event.
As he said, “God blessed us to be in the Metropolitan Cathedral today to honor and commemorate the three great Fathers of Christianity, the Three Hierarchs, who dedicated their lives to poor people and the Greek letters, while being exalted and honored educators.
The 1600 years since they lived have in no way overshadowed the brilliance of their contributions. On the contrary, the Greek Christian civilization is a bright guide of humanity for moral and spiritual progress. We are privileged to be born Greeks and blessed that God has given us the Three Hierarchs, the patrons of Greek education. An enviable education that is the backbone of mathematics, statistics, chemistry, biology, physics, engineering and so much more. Education, according to the Three Hierarchs, must always be accompanied by love and humility, only so we make good use of the gifts that God has bestowed upon us. In view of the above, one thing I will only ask our expatriates in New Jersey, I encourage you to remain close to the church and the teachings of our Holy Fathers. Best wishes to all the students and teachers and long live Hellenism.”