United States

St Basil Academy Children Share Christmas Interview of Archbishop Elpidophoros

December 25, 2020

NEW YORK — On December 10, 2020, the Saint Basil Academy children and staff welcomed Archbishop Elpidophoros for their socially distant Christmas celebration. Traditionally, in the past, the Greek Orthodox Archbishop visits the Academy for the annual Christmas celebration: His Eminence is welcomed by hundreds of guests who come to watch the annual Christmas pageant, to celebrate the spirited gift opening and to pay homage to their spiritual leader. This year there were no outside guests, there was a zoom pageant and visiting with the Archbishop required a choreography that kept the numbers low and the distance safe. 

A priceless and unique Christmas gift of 2020 was Archbishop Elpidophoros’ acceptance to be interviewed by the Saint Basil Academy children. Chris M, an adolescent resident of Saint Basil Academy, said, "I was surprised that someone so important would agree to do this with us. I was so happy to be part of it." This social connection project, Just BeingHuman, was conceived and designed by Rebecca Pearsall, Director of Clinical Services and Education, as a therapeutic exercise to help children from traumatic backgrounds learn how to relate and connect with others. Throughout the month of November, the children

diligently prepared by thinking carefully about what questions could authentically connect them to the Archbishop. The children asked questions ranging from fun and easy to professional and personal like: “What is your favorite animal?”; “What bad criticisms have you received that didn’t make you feel good?” and “What are three things you are mostgrateful for?”

Executive Director of Saint Basil Academy, Father Constantine Sitaras says, “One of the greatest challenges of our Orthodox Church and of Christianity is to bring the message of salvation to all–especially our young people. During these challenging times of COVID-19, we are blessed with our new Archbishop Elpidophoros. His embracing, caring, and forthright interactions are welcoming to our children– young and old alike. His Eminence relates in a Christ-like manner to our young people.” 

The interview with Archbishop Elpidophoros felt so connecting and memorable that it inspired the Saint Basil Academy children to share the experience to as many people as possible. To that end, their interview with Archbishop Elpidophoros will be made public on Christmas Day and smaller postings of questions and answers will follow throughout the year. Pearsall says. “That our children are wanting to connect and share is a product of Archbishop Elpidophoros’ honest connection with them. This joy and love is meant to be shared and celebrated.” Neither the pandemic nor the limitations of  masks and numbers could prevent the Saint  Basil children from having a joyous Christmas celebration. Traditions were changed, COVID-19 guidelines were followed, and connections of comfort and joy were realized. The Archbishop’s visit was a priceless gift for everyone at Saint Basil Academy: Through social media sharing it will be a gift from the Saint Basil children that keeps giving and spreading joy to the Orthodox community.


Top Stories


A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.


‘In the Wine Dark Sea’ Documentary on Wines of Crete Now on Prime Video

BALTIMORE, MD – Wine Cellar Stories Productions announced the release of ‘In the Wine Dark Sea,’ the exciting new wine documentary by Chrisa Giorgi, featuring Master of Wine Konstantinos Lazarakis and 11 winemakers from Crete, Greece.

BALTIMORE, MD – Wine Cellar Stories Productions announced the release of ‘In the Wine Dark Sea,’ the exciting new wine documentary by Chrisa Giorgi, featuring Master of Wine Konstantinos Lazarakis and 11 winemakers from Crete, Greece.

THESSALONIKI - The ferry link between the city of Thessaloniki and the Turkish coastal city of Izmir will be temporarily suspended after its last winter run on Wednesday, in order to resume its operation in the summer of 2023, Levante Ferries Group said in an announcement.

NEW YORK — Former President Donald Trump's inaugural address clocked in at just 16 minutes.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.