Holy cross

Archbishop Elpidophoros visits Hellenic College-Holy Cross in Brookline

BOSTON – His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America honored the Hellenic College-Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology with his visit on the weekend of February 5-6 to bless students and the entire community as the semester of spring was beginning.

His Eminence officiated at Great Vespers in the Holy Cross Chapel on Saturday, the eve of the feast of Saint Photios the Great, describing it as “a gathering of joy and spiritual celebration”. He urged everyone to imitate Saint Photios: “…Use your knowledge in the service of Christ. Study with diligence and dedication and above all practice love – love in everything you do.

At the end of the Sunday morning Divine Liturgy, His Eminence surprised the Reverend Dr. George Parsenios, Dean of Holy Cross, by elevating him to the rank of Economos, saying that “the school is the heart of the Archdiocese and you are at the center of our hearts.” He also commended HCHC President George M. Cantonis for his leadership in unprecedented circumstances due to the pandemic. “I would like to commend the President for giving us to all the best example,” he said.

Archbishop Elpidophoros distributes the vasilopita to students at the Greek Orthodox Hellenic College-Holy Cross School of Theology. (Photo by Maliotis Cultural Center)

After the Divine Liturgy, students, staff and faculty traveled to the Maliotis Cultural Center for the cutting of the Vasilopita, a longstanding tradition at HCHC, but the first since before the pandemic began, so it was a particularly joyous occasion. In his address, His Eminence said:

“I can think of no better way to usher in the spring semester of our precious Hellenic and Holy Cross College than with this Vasilopita. Who better to invoke in a place of learning and piety than Saint Basil the Great? And on the feast of Saint Photios the Great, nothing less!

In the coincidence of days, I see an auspicious sign for this New Year 2022 – the centennial of our Sacred Archdiocese of America. These two great saints were defenders of the orthodox teaching on the Holy Spirit… And this is the mission of this institution. We are here to learn to speak and proclaim the Orthodox faith with wisdom and authority. The wisdom we derive from the teachings of the Holy Fathers. Authority comes from within our convictions and from the blessing of the Church…

Therefore, my beloved friends, let us embrace the New Year 2022 and accept this Vasilopita’s blessing with wise-seeking minds and hopeful hearts. May our Merciful Lord grant this precious Hellenic College and Holy Cross community a very happy, healthy and spiritually prosperous New Year 2022, as well as a blessed and joyful celebration of our Archdiocesan Centenary Year. Amen.”