His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros and members of the Official Delegation were welcomed at Georgetown University by President Dr. John J. De Gioia and Cardinal Wilton Gregory and received a tour of Copley Crypt by Archon Michael Psaros. (Photo: GOA/D. Panagos)
BOSTON – The family of prominent businessman and Archon of the Ecumenical Throne Michael Psaros established `The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Endowed Orthodox Chaplaincy, by the Michael Psaros Family’ in honor of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at the prestigious Georgetown University. Psaros and his son Leo all are graduates of Georgetown University. The National Herald has learned that the endowed position at Georgetown requires $3 million of funding.
Psaros serves on the Board of Directors of Georgetown University and as the Vice Chairman of the Board of Advisors of Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. This is the second Chair they have established. In 2013 they created `The Michael and Robin Psaros Endowed Chair in Business Administration.’
In an interview with TNH, Psaros said he was inspired to create a second Chair, this one honoring Patriarch Bartholomew, by his experience when, “five years ago, Georgetown University, the oldest and most prestigious Roman Catholic University in the United States, asked me to underwrite the cost required to construct a custom Iconostasis and new Icons in the `Sacred Space’ of Copley Crypt in the Copley Building. The Healy and Copley Buildings at Georgetown University pre-date the creation of the District of Columbia,” he noted.
He added, “I was overwhelmed by the ecumenical overture from Georgetown University to the Orthodox Community, and, therefore, this symbolic ecumenical overture from the Western Church to the Eastern Church. I cried when I got the call, but was not surprised – this is Georgetown University, one of the first true global and international universities in the U.S. – the first U.S. university to have a School of Foreign Service, the first to have a Business School with an international focus, and the foremost university in our nation’s capital. A University that celebrates faith and service.”
Psaros is very grateful to the University. He said, “I am who I am today because of my family, the Holy Orthodox Church, and Georgetown University. Each share and reinforce the same values and value system. This Endowment was the opportunity for my family to give back to the Church and the University with one gift. We first had to obtain the blessing of His Eminence, Archbishop Elpidophoros, as Exarch of the Patriarch in the United States.
The work of the Iconographer I had the University commission, Mr. Phillipakis, is breathtaking. He was recommended by my mentor and friend, Father Alexander Karloutsos. The crucial Icon is the Icon of St. Andrew, `first called of the Apostles,’ embracing his brother, St. Peter. I thought of this because I had the blessing of being part of the Accompanying Delegation for the Great Encounter, when His All Holiness met Pope Francis in Jerusalem. The Ecumenical Patriarch and Pope greeted each other with “My Brother Andrew, My Brother Peter.” This Icon symbolizes that moment and their fraternal love and respect.”
He also said that, “this Endowment will fund the Orthodox Chaplaincy/Ministry into perpetuity. Georgetown University is almost 300 years old. This Endowment will result in the very tangible presence of Holy Orthodoxy at the University for the next three centuries and more.”
He emphasized that, “it is fitting, that Georgetown University is now is in possession of a true Patriarchal Chair, in the name of Bartholomew. His All Holiness is the longest serving Ecumenical Patriarch in history, and the greatest in modern history. It is also important that this Endowed Orthodox Chaplaincy was created on the 30th anniversary of his momentous Enthronement. Georgetown University presented His All Holiness with an honorary degree years ago.
The opportunity to make this gift, standing next to my son, another proud son of Georgetown, is the blessing of blessings especially on this historic visit.”
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He wasn’t the first one to think about it but a humor columnist for POLITICO suggested - ironically, of course - that if Greeks want back the stolen Parthenon Marbles in the British Museum that they should just steal them back, old boy.
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