METROPOLITAN METHODIOS MARKS 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF ENTHRONEMENT
LEFT TO RIGHT: Dr. John Silber, Metropolitan Methodios, Archbishop Demetrios, boston Mayor Thomas Menino, Cardinal Sean O'Malley
At the conclusion of the reception Metropolitan Methodios made presentations to Archbishop Demetrios and Cardinal Sean O'Malley
LEFT TO RIGHT: Cathy and George Sakellaris, Michael Huffington, Metropolitan Methodios, Archbishop Demetrios, Cardinal Sean O'Malley, Fr. George Dragas (PHOTOS BY ARETI)
His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios of Boston was feted at a reception on the 25th Anniversary of his enthronement as Bishop of Boston on April 8. (He was enthroned on April 8, 1984 at the Annunciation Cathedral of Boston.) The newly-printed tome Legacy of Achievement, a Festal Volume printed to mark the 25th Anniversary of his Consecration to the Episcopate, was officially presented to the large gathering which included Archbishop Demetrios of America, Cardinal Sean O'Malley of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, Consul General of Greece in Boston Constantine Orphanides, Metropolitan Paisios of Tyana, Bishop Philotheos of Meloa, former President and Chancellor of Boston University, Dr. John Silber, former U.S. Congressman Michael Huffington (R-CA), the President of Hellenic College-Holy Cross, Fr. Nicholas Triantafilou, the Priests and Presbyteres of the Metropolis, the Rev. Jack Johnson, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Council of Churches, the Rev. Diane Kessler, former Executive Director of the Council, Church Philanthropists Arthur and Madeline Anton, George and Margo Behrakis, Christos and Mary Papoutsy, George and Cathy Sakellaris, and many who have encouraged and supported his ministry during the past 25 years. He was praised for his visionary leadership, his compassion, his ecumenism, his unconditional love for his people, all of which contributed to the achievements of the Metropolis which include the construction of the Metropolis Center in Brookline, the establishment of the Philoxenia House, the purchase of the Faith and Heritage Center in Contoocook, NH and the transformation of the 200-acre property to an accredited first rate camp, the construction currently underway of a Retreat House on the shores of one of the lakes in the Faith and Heritage Center, and programs such as Marriage Preparation Seminars, expanded Youth and Family Ministry, Greek and Catechetical Education, and outreach programs for the Greek Orthodox Community of New England and the community at large.
Visibly touched by the outpouring of love and support, Metropolitan Methodios thanked everyone present, and recognized the clergy who served him as chancellors---the Reverends George Karahalios, George Tsoukalas, Nicholas Krommydas, Athanasios Demos, and, currently, Theodore Barbas. He also praised the young men who served as Youth Directors over the years, three of whom are clergymen today-- the Reverends Christopher Foustoukos, Theodore Barbas and Philippe Mousis---Michael Sintros, the Director of the St. Methodios Faith and Heritage Center, the current Director of Youth Ministry, Dino Pappas, and his office staff. Reflecting on his quarter of a century ministry in New England, Metropolitan Methodios said,
"As I look back on April 8, 1984, I thank God for all who were present at my installation. I especially thank God for my mother who is no longer here, and my sister who is present tonight. I thank God for Archbishop Iakovos who presided at the installation and who ordained me to the three ministries of the priesthood. I learned much from him, but most of all to love the Church.
"Tonight, as I look back--- but also forward--- I know that I owe everything to the Church. It is the greatest treasure of the Greek American community. It is the Church that has kept us focused as a people in America. Think of it, where would we be without our Church? Our Faith and our priceless Hellenic Cultural Heritage would have been lost generations ago. It is our Church that has kept us united and strong. It is our Church that has enabled us to maintain our identity in America, this beautiful mosaic of cultures and peoples. The legacy of our Faith Tradition is treasured and perpetuated not by any particular organization or by any particular individuals, but by the Church and its people....our clergy and laity who treasure that legacy as the Parakatathiki, as the Covenant of our ancestors.
"During these last 25 years, I have done nothing more than to build upon the foundations laid by my predecessors. That is why so much emphasis in the festive volume was placed on the ministry of those pioneer Bishops who preceded me, beginning with Ioakeim Alexopoulos, the first Bishop of Boston. I try never to forget what Saint Paul wrote to the Corinthians, "Neither he who plants, nor he who waters is anything, but only God Who gives the growth" (1 Cor. 3,7). To God Almighty and Him alone belongs all honor, thanksgiving and worship."
"In my ministry, I have endeavored to reflect upon the ever changing reality in our Parishes--to determine the best means for making more efficacious and beneficial our contacts with the faithful entrusted to our care----those in the Church but more so with those who stand outside. I wanted from day one for the Diocese, now a Metropolis, to reach out to our young people, our teenagers, our college students, and those preparing to enter into marriage. I wanted us to more effectively minister to our elderly, to the homeless and hungry, and to the sick and suffering in Boston and throughout New England.
"It is thanks to our Priests and laymen that our Administrative Center has been a beehive of activity, and that the Philoxenia House has been a beacon of philanthropy offering hospitality to hundreds of brethren from throughout the world. It is thanks to our Priests and laymen that our Camp, Faith and Heritage Center are focal points of Orthodox Christian life for young and old alike.
"When I recall the last 25 years, I call to mind Saint. Basil's words treasured in the Divine Liturgy he authored, ‘Thus it is, most holy master that we priests though sinners and unworthy ministers, are judged worthy to serve at your sacred altar, not for any righteousness or ours---for we have done nothing good on earth---but by virtue of your love and mercy richly lavished on us, we dare to approach Your holy sacrificial altar.'
"Over the last 25 years, I have done nothing other than be the recipient of God's love and mercy richly lavished upon me. I have done nothing more than what has been expected of me. St. Paul once wrote, If I preach the Gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel. (1Cor.9:15-16).
"What may have been achieved in the last 25 years, I owe to the faithful who supported the projects we undertook together.
"It is one thing to articulate the needs of our Church for the future generations. It is quite another to be blessed with people whose faith inspires them to make those dreams and visions a reality. It is thanks to the generosity of the faithful that our Metropolis Center, our Philoxenia House, our Camp, our Faith and Heritage Center and our new Retreat House will impact the lives of young and old alike in the years to come.
"I believe that our Church has a bright future. The potential is great. The possibilities endless. If we can channel the great talents of our people, our scientists and educators, businessmen, and philanthropists, we can accomplish miracles!
"The frontiers of the future challenge us to prove worthy of our great potential to grow and become even more vibrant Orthodox Christians. May we be worthy to meet that challenge."
Legacy of Achievement, edited by the Rev. George Dion Dragas, provides a brief history of the Metropolis of Boston, focusing especially on its first Metropolitan, Methodios of Boston, and his Legacy of Achievement. It also includes a selection of addresses, sermons, homilies and interviews of Metropolitan Methodios, and a substantial number of academic contributions by the faculty members of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, as well as other distinguished academics from Constantinople, Greece and the United States.