MIAMI, FL – Following the deadly building collapse of the Champlain Towers South in Surfside, FL, there was an outpouring of support, prayers and donations for the families and the victims of the tragedy. Rev. Fr. Aristidis Arizi, the presiding priest of Saint Andrew Greek Orthodox Church in Miami expressed his thanks in a letter, dated July 30, which he shared with The National Herald, noting that the donations and prayers made it possible to transport the young Greek-American victim Andreas Gianitsopoulos back to Houston, TX where he was laid to rest. The text of the letter follows:
My Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
“For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:20
Our Saint Andrew Parish Council and I join together to thank you for your kind and loving support to the families in Surfside. Your constant prayers and donations have helped to comfort those still dealing with this tragedy.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank personally our Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, our Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta, Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver, His Grace Bishop Sevastianos of Zela, Rev. Fr. Alex Karloutsos Vicar General and Director of Public Affairs, our Chancellor Very. Rev. Fr. George Tsahakis, Rev. Fr. Louis J. Christopoulos Chancellor in Denver, all my Brother Clergy in South Florida and Texas. Everyone’s prayers and unwavering support has had a tremendous impact on the lives of everyone affected.
Our remarkable Ladies Philoptochos Societies of Saint Andrew, Saint Sophia and Saint Mark together with our Metropolis of Atlanta’s Philoptochos and The National Philoptochos gave me the opportunity to honor our beloved Andreas Gianitsopoulos who lost his life in the collapse. Their donations and prayers made it possible to transport him back home to Houston, Texas and lay him to rest in God’s loving embrace. His Family will never forget the outpouring of love and generosity during their time of need.
To my warrior brother Jimmy Patronis, Florida’s Chief Financial Officer, and to all our first responders who were and are still present during this painful tragedy, we pray for your health and spiritual well-being and thank you for all you have done and continue to do.
Yours in Christ,
†Rev. Fr. Aristidis Arizi