Traveling to Bethlehem (14 December 2010)

Archbishop Iakovos

Archbishop Iakovos

Yesterday, I highlighted the North American saints. The names Herman, Juvenaly, Innocent, Peter the Aleut are familiar and are becoming part of our shared heritage as Orthodox in America.  To these names we can add St. John Maximovitch of San Francisco, St. Raphael of Brooklyn, St Alexis of Wilkes-Barre and others.  There is a curious omission in this list.  Are there none worthy of consideration who have served the Greek Archdiocese? We, of Greek heritage, can trace our root back to the St. Augustine, Florida experiment.  Our first  organized parishes in New Orleans, Galveston, and New York were founded in the mid to late nineteenth century.  Among the faithful and clergy are there none who’s lives are worthy of commemorating and examining? Names of leaders and spiritual guides do come to mind. Archbishops (later Patriarch) Athenagoras (Spyrou), Iakovos (Coucouzis) or Michael (Konstandinides) are prominent on the list.  There are bishops both accomplished in their contributions to our development and spiritual fathers. Bishops Athenagoras (Kavadas), Gerasimos (Papadopoulos) and Ezekiel (Tsoukalas) are a few among many.  This cursory list does not even scratch the surface; there are priests, deacons, monks and laity worthy of consideration. Some are only known to the heart of God. The point is ours is a rich history with more than a century of growth and development. When will we be able to point to our community’s past and identify souls which God has sent us to enrich our spiritual heritage?

Bishop Gerasimos

Bishop Gerasimos