His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America: Archiepiscopal Encyclical for Father’s Day

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Unto the Most Reverend and Right Reverend Hierarchs, Pious Priests and Deacons, the Monks and Nuns, Presidents and Members of Parish Councils, Honorable Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Members of Leadership 100, the Day and Afternoon Schools, Philoptochos Societies, the Youth, Greek Orthodox Organizations, and the entirety of the Christ-named Plenitude of the Holy Archdiocese of America.

My Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This Father’s Day, which auspiciously falls on Holy Pentecost, I am writing to every member of our Sacred Archdiocese, on behalf of a very special group of “fathers” in the Church — our clergy. Their dedication and devotion to the ministry of their flocks is worthy of every token of gratitude, but also of the support they merit for their years of service.

Recognizing that the Clergy Pension Fund was severely underfunded for many years, we have been working diligently and tirelessly with all the affected constituencies to find a solution. At the beginning of this year, we implemented provisions to fund the shortfall over a 30-year period. However, we can reduce this time period to less than 30 years, through voluntary charitable giving by our faithful.

Therefore, beginning with this year’s celebration of Father’s Day, our Archdiocese will officially commence efforts across the Nation to raise funds in order to reach our goal, by welcoming contributions from every family in every parish toward this end. Some will give more; others not as much, but together everyone can make a difference.

With my heartfelt appreciation for all our clergy, and with abiding thankfulness for the sacrificial giving of the laity, I encourage all of you to do your best, and as a family in Christ, to honor the “fathers” in our midst, by making this Father’s Day and every Father’s Day an opportunity for generosity.

With Paternal Blessings in Christ,
Archbishop of America

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