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September 2012 Observer

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President Message

Aphrodite Skeadas

Ecclesiastical New Year- September 1, 2014

On behalf of the Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society, I greet you in thanksgiving as the Greek Orthodox Church commemorates the Feast of the Indiction, that is, the Ecclesiastical New Year.  September 1 marks this beginning as it relates historically to harvest gathering and prayers of gratitude to God.  In more contemporary times, it signifies the beginning of the school year, life changes and opportunities. 

To read the rest of President Skeadas' message, click here.

42nd Clergy-Laity Congress Closing- 

July 9, 2014

"Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof."  

This Biblical verse from Leviticus 25:10 is inscribed on the iconic symbol of American independence, the Liberty Bell, originally installed only a few blocks away in the steeple of the Pennsylvania State House, now known as Independence Hall.  It is said to have been rung on July 8, 1776 when the Declaration of Independence was publicly read for all Americans to hear.

To read the rest of President Skeadas' message, click here.

2014 National Philoptochos Biennial Convention Opening-

July 6, 2014

Welcome to the 2014 National Philoptochos Biennial Convention in the city of “brotherly love” and sisterly agape.  It is a distinct honor to greet you on behalf of the Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society as we convene in Philadelphia from throughout America as part of the 42nd Clergy Laity Congress.  We are blessed to unify as a Family of God, to prayerfully contemplate and address the extremely significant message of the Clergy Laity Congress themed by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America:  The Orthodox Christian Family:  A dwelling of Christ and a Witness of His Gospel.  

“From God every family in heaven and on earth is named.” (Ephesians 3:15)

In our enduring effort to strengthen our relationship with God, individually and as family, we do so in thanksgiving, in harmony, in forgiveness, in humility, in prayer and in sharing the truth of the Holy Gospel.

To read the rest of President Skeadas' message, click here.

42nd Clergy-Laity Congress Opening-

July 7, 2014

“Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”  These exultant first twelve words of Verse 1 of the Battle Hymn of the Republic written in 1861 by the female anti-slavery leader Julia Ward Howe link the judgment of the wicked at the end of time with the American Civil War. 

These twelve words evoke the essence of American patriotism, an act upon which each person assembled here today may reflect with serious contemplation three days after the 238th anniversary of America’s liberation formalized by the Declaration of Independence was composed only a few blocks from this Philadelphia hotel.  In thanksgiving to God, the liberties enjoyed by all Americans, including religious freedom, are affirmed in every patriotic gesture.

These same twelve words also ring of the truth of our belief in witness of the Holy Gospel, our fervor in support of Orthodoxy, our respect of the Christian family, and love of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.    

To read the rest of President Skeadas' message, click here.

Academy of Saint Basil 70th Anniversary Celebration - June 21, 2014

Seventy long years ago this month, the United States Armed Services were landing on the shores of Normandy, France in the Second World War.  The first African-American major league baseball player, the great Jackie Robinson, was being arrested in Texas and court martialed for not sitting in the back of the bus—while simultaneously serving his country as an Army Lieutenant.  Computers, cell phones and even rock and roll were not yet invented.

But a short seventy years ago, then Archbishop Athenagoras of blessed memory with grand vision embodying the compassion of Christ, established Saint Basil Academy with the Philoptochos Ladies assisting in the process. 

To read the rest of President Skeadas' message, click here.

An Epochal Episode in the Holy Land 

Breathing its fragrant air and warmed by its brilliant sun, it was a supreme joy and blessing to enter, with soaring anticipation and wonder, the Holy City of Jerusalem for the Apostolic Pilgrimage commemorating 50 years since Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras met in the Holy Land.  The Pilgrims stepped in footprints of the sacred, wept and only imagined the sufferings of and prayed to the ever present Jesus, our Lord and Saviour. 

In thanksgiving, the Pilgrims venerated the icons at the holiest of sites and were present to witness the historic embrace of His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and His Holiness Pope Francis.  The delegation was enormously blessed to worship at the Holy Sepulcher in love and in faith. 

To read the rest of President Skeadas' message, click here.

Pascha 2014

Beloved National Board, Chapter Presidents and Stewards of the Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society,

The absolute and unconditional truth of time immemorial is the Resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

The universal and timeless gift that Christ offered through His Crucifixion and Resurrection was the selfless, sacrificial love that affected nature and humankind forever. This is the most irreplaceable and unique certainty in history and the core of our Christian existence.

We see His love illumined on the candle lit faces of our family and loved ones when at midnight on Holy Saturday, we celebrate the Feast of Feasts. As followers and believers, we respond and embrace “as you did it to the least of my brethren.” Only when we share Christ’s love with our neighbors through tender and devoted service will the brightness that emanates from the Glorious Resurrection truly bless us and save us from defeating darkness. Only God can rescue us from the bonds of death because God’s victory triumphed over death. “Christ is risen from the dead. By death He has trampled upon death and bestowed life to those in the tombs.”

To read the rest of President Skeadas' message, click here.

Philoptochos Center of Philanthropy

Thyranoixia - Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting

In thanksgiving and in great joy we assemble in our new home inaugurating the Philoptochos Center of Philanthropy.

Your Eminence, on behalf of the 27,000 Philoptochos stewards, I respectfully express greatest appreciation for your encompassing vision which ignites our hearts, for your profound wisdom within us implanted, for your pure essence and thorough understanding, for your earnest encouragement and for your infinite agape. With your blessings the National Board is present today representing the Sisterhoods throughout America.

Click here to read more of President Skeadas' message.

Spring National Board Meeting

Welcome to the Inaugural Philoptochos Center of Philanthropy National Board meeting in New York City. 

It was exactly four years ago that the National Board of Philoptochos met for their winter meeting in their temporary, rental space in New York...facing many administrative challenges yet faithfully conducting dutifully their meetings in the midst of a storm.

United, we have weathered that storm and many more. Nothing is a match for the mighty Ladies of Philoptochos and I thank you, on behalf of the Executive Board and the National Philoptochos Staff for attending this meeting and sharing a very special weekend. Tomorrow, in the presence of our Spiritual Father His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios and Spiritual Advisor His Grace Bishop Sevastianos, Team Philoptochos will inaugurate our new home with the Thyranoixia and host the Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting of the Philoptochos Center of Philanthropy.

Click here to read more of President Skeadas' message.

2014 New Year Message

Beloved Philoptochos Sisters,

I greet you in love as we enter the New Year 2014!

The Sisterhood is committed to the teachings of Our Saviour Jesus Christ. Your loving response utilizing God-given gifts restores the bruised and broken and brings warmth to the disadvantaged. Thank you for your ceaseless service and offerings.

It has been 14 months since Super Storm Sandy unleashed its fury in the northeast. Especially in those early months forging into early 2013, Philoptochos, through your Chapters' contributions and under the fine leadership of NJ Metropolis President Anne Michals and then DAD President Maria Skeadas, assisted in restoring peace and calm and instituted programs of emotional, physical and financial support to many of Sandy's traumatized victims.

Click here to read more of President Skeadas' message.

Christmas Greetings

Beloved National Board, Chapter Presidents and Stewards of the Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society,

"For with God nothing will be impossible." Luke 1:37

In a cave amidst gentle creatures more than two thousand years ago, the Holy birth of the Baby Jesus saved humanity and enabled everyone from  time immemorial to receive the blessing, the ultimate gift of redemption and everlasting life.

The blessed Theotokos, the Holy Mother of God, was spiritually pure and completely willing to receive God's grace on behalf of humankind. For this reason we honor Mary and we pray to her to intercede to our Lord on our behalf. The Virgin Mary is our ultimate role model who gives us strength even on the most difficult and despairing day.

Click here to read more of President Skeadas’ message

Children's Medical Fund Luncheon 2013 Remarks

On behalf of the Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society, under the High Patronage of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, I greet you in thanksgiving and welcome you to the Fourteenth Children’s Medical Fund Luncheon in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  We are blessed to be lovingly embraced and warmly welcomed in this Holy Metropolis of Pittsburgh by His Eminence Metropolitan Savas.  Thank you Your Eminence.

Click here to read more.

New Ecclesiastical Year Letter

Beloved National Board, Chapter Presidents and Stewards of the Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society,

On behalf of the National Board of Philoptochos, I offer in thanksgiving heartfelt greetings to our dear sisters and brothers of the Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society as the new ecclesiastical year begins. May this period be replete with spiritual growth and enhanced service to our Church.

Click here to read more of President Skeadas’ remarks.

Pascha Message 2013

Beloved National Board, Chapter Presidents and Stewards of the Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society, 

Christos Anesti!  Alithos Anesti! I greet you in thanksgiving as we celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  We are invited to “Come and Receive the Light.”  During Great and Holy Lent we walk together towards the sacred mystery of unconditional love found in the Crucifixion and Resurrection of our Lord marking the emergence from darkness. 

To read more of Mrs. Skeadas' message, click here.

St. Basil Academy's 66th Commencement

President Aphrodite Skeadas spoke at St. Basil Academy’s 66th Commencement Exercises on Saturday, June 15, 2013.

Click here to read her remarks.

The Alpha Omega Council

The Alpha Omega Council honored the National Philoptochos Society and the Metropolis of Boston Philoptochos Society with their Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2013 Alpha Omega Lifetime Achievement Banquet on Saturday, June 8, 2013 at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel in Boston, MA. President Aphrodite Skeadas accepted the award on behalf of all 27,000 Philoptochos Stewards across the country saying, “In honoring the Metropolis of Boston Philoptochos and the National Philoptochos Society, you recognize 27,000 brave, strong and decisive women throughout the country and most importantly you identify the noble offering of our ancestors whose founding efforts have flourished for more than 80 years as friends of the poor – and as His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios stated earlier tonight – Philoptochos means ‘love of the poor’ and ‘seeing the face of Christ in the face of suffering.’”

Click here to read more of President Skeadas’ remarks.

Click here to see slideshow of the event.

Women Leaders of the Church Lecture
Hellenic College/Holy Cross

March 26, 2013 

President Aphrodite Skeadas was the featured speaker at the Women Leaders of the Church Lecture on Tuesday, March 26, 2013, in the Archbishop Iakovos Library and Resource Center Reading Room at Hellenic College Holy Cross.

The lecture was sponsored by the Office of Vocation and Ministry. 

Women Leaders of the Church Lecture
Hellenic College / Holy Cross
March 26, 2013
 

You can read Mrs. Skeadas' lecture here.

National Board Meeting - Friday, January 18, 2013
Tampa, Flordia

Your Grace Bishop SevastianosEsteemed Sisters in ChristDear HelenBeloved Friends,I greet you in sisterly love to the Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society’s National Board winter meeting in “sun-kissed” Tampa, Florida. We are blessed once again to be welcomed in the Holy Metropolis of Atlanta under the inspiring leadership of His Eminence Metropolitan Alexios. We miss the presence of Metropolis President Laura Nixon who is recovering from surgery and wish her “perastika”. From this gracious Metropolis, past Philoptochos President Evan Scurtis is thanked yet another time for her most beautiful venue arrangements. This location is only minutes from the airport, is situated beautifully on the bay and the meeting rooms and guest rooms are elegantly appointed. Thank you, Evan.

Click here to read more of President Skeadas' message