Some came to the enthronement of the new Archbishop from afar, from almost all parts of America, and others from nearby. They came mentally tired and anxious from the seemingly endless stagnation in our ecclesial life, and thus reserved about what they would find.
Everyone, however, came with hope.
And to live through a historic moment – to be able to tell their children and their grandchildren: “I was there too.”
They came to witness the passing of the torch of the Archdiocese from an elderly generation to a younger generation – the 50 year-olds.
They came to see if there would at last be unity in this afflicted Greek-American Community.
That is why they came, I was told by the many whom I spoke with.
But they also told me something else: that they are our readers, of one or both of our print publications and websites, people who recognize the role of The National Herald in the life of our Church and the Community, and I thank them for their kind words.
And so, they came. And they were not disappointed. Quite the contrary: they left with joy and relief painted on their faces.
Here’s why: the big news of the day was not conveyed in speeches or by the presence of certain notable persons. The big news came through a simple observation: our Church has acquired a leader. A leader who impresses without trying. With his calm, smiling, but dynamic personality, with his self-confidence and self-control.
A leader who ‘fills’ the room with his presence.
That’s the big news.
The passing of the baton was a really notable event. Demetrios, the former Archbishop of America, who was applauded for his presence, symbolized the continuity of the Church of Christ – the new Archbishop treated him with respect and honor.
Also felt was ‘the presence’ of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, albeit from afar, to whom the new Archbishop
expressed his heartfelt thanks and admiration .
However we too, the whole Community, owe the Patriarch thanks for making the best possible choice for a new Archbishop.
Thus, Archbishop Elpidophoros, with the support of the Community, with hands free, can now immediately focus, as he said in his speech, on the following:
“Of the many areas in need of direct pastoral care, I would like to emphasize, the ministry of love towards our youth, the strengthening of our theological education, as well as the completion of construction of the Holy Church at Ground Zero.”
Yes, these – but not only these, of course.