On Saturday, October 27, 2018, the Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate honored Father Alexander and Presbytera Xanthi Karloutsos with the Athenagoras Human Rights Award for their advocacy on behalf of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, at the organization’s annual banquet at the New York Hilton Midtown.
The event drew record attendance, raising $1.4 million for the Endowment Fund of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, according to Archon National Commander Dr. Anthony Limberakis. Limberakis addressed the event along with His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Geron of America and Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, His Eminence Metropolitan Emmanuel of France, representing His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, former Vice President Joe Biden, a previous recipient of the prestigious award and Fr. Alex and Presbytera Xanthi Karloutsos. James Karloutsos, Fr. Alex’s older brother, gave a moving testimonial, while Fr. Peter Karloutsos, his younger brother, assisted Archbishop Demetrios with the Invocation.
The Award, established in 1986, is presented annually to a person or organization that has consistently exemplified concern for the basic rights and religious freedom of all people. It is named in memory of Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras.
Past recipients of the Award have included Presidents Jimmy Carter and George H. W. Bush, Mother Teresa, Elie Wiesel, Mikhail Gorbachev, Admiral James Stavridis, Vice President Joe Biden and last year’s recipients, Emilia Kamvisi and Efstratios Valamios, representing the fishermen of Lesbos and the Greek Islands, who came to the aid of refugees.
Fr. Alex served as the Executive Director of Leadership 100, (1986 to 1992 and 1999 to 2004). He and Xanthi are both members. He was appointed by Archbishop Iakovos as the first vicar of public affairs of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America in 1985, holding that position simultaneously until 1992 when he was appointed special assistant to His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. Currently, he is the spiritual adviser to the Order of Saint Andrew and to Faith: An Endowment for Orthodoxy and Hellenism. He serves as special assistant to the Archbishop working as public affairs liaison. He is also the Orthodox chaplain for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Together with his son-in-law, Father Constantine Lazarakis, he pastors the Dormition of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church of the Hamptons.
Presbytera Xanthi Karavellas Karloutsos, who has more than 46 years in community service, presently serves the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese as Executive Assistant and Coordinator of the Offices of Public Affairs and Faith Endowment, and as Office Manager for the Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle. She also serves on the boards of the Beau Biden Foundation and Amani Global Works, which focuses on the health needs of children on the Island of Idgwi of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and on HOPE, a newly established ministry on Long Island’s East End which hopes to address the scourge of human trafficking.
Father Alex and Presbytera Xanthi are the parents of three children, Michael, Anastasia, and Olga and have nine grandchildren.