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Greek CommunityEventsCelebrating the 86th Gala of the Archdiocesan Cathedral

Celebrating the 86th Gala of the Archdiocesan Cathedral

Aphrodite Kotrotsios
Aphrodite Kotrotsios
Publisher at the Hellenic News of America. The copyrights for these articles are owned by the Hellenic News of America. They may not be redistributed without the permission of the owner. The opinions expressed by our authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Hellenic News of America and its representatives.

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By Aphrodite Kotrotsios

The 86th gala was noted as the most successful in the cathedral’s history, making it a truly special celebration. The evening commenced with a warm welcome and heartfelt thanks to the attendees for their generous support. It was a celebration of leadership, history, and the future vitality of the Archdiocesan Cathedral. His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros’ remarkable work was recognized, highlighting his leadership that has spread throughout the nation and ignited a fervent blaze in the hearts of the faithful. His humble nature and ability to connect with people at all levels serve as a tireless example, elevating the sense of commitment and responsibility within the community.

Chair of the gala, Dr. Monica Tadros-Athas

Father Chrysostomos was also acknowledged for his unbridled energy, which has reignited the local community, transforming it into the vibrant congregation celebrated that night. His efforts have brought a renewed sense of enthusiasm and engagement to the cathedral.

Mr. & Mrs. Andrew Piccolino, Dr. Monica Tadros-Athas & Dr. John Athas, Dr. Ioanna Kotrotsios-Drogaris, Mr. Prokopis Drogaris, Mr. & Mrs. Paul Kotrotsios, and Ms. Dorie Klissas.

Reflecting on the significance of the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, it was emphasized that it is not just a church or a parish but a legacy rich in history that serves a greater purpose. As the only national cathedral in the United States, Holy Trinity holds a unique place in the Greek American Orthodox faith and community, carrying an even greater responsibility. This sentiment was aptly summarized: “This is everyone’s cathedral and everyone’s home.”

The gala also showcased the cathedral’s story, mission, and global community. Highlighting the importance of honoring history through tradition, the commemorative journal set to be released nationally will honor the successes of both the Archdiocesan Cathedral and the esteemed honorees receiving the Holy Trinity Award for their contributions to advancing Hellenism and the national Greek Orthodox presence in America.

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The evening celebrated the cathedral’s legacy, which began in 1891 with the Athena Brotherhood, the first association of its kind in the Western Hemisphere, dedicated to promoting Hellenism and Orthodoxy in New York. This humble parish laid the groundwork for the formalization of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in America and the establishment of the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity over a century ago.

In 1933, Archbishop Athenagoras consecrated the present-day Archdiocesan Cathedral, deeming it “The Cathedral of all Hellenism in America.” The national legacy continued as Archbishop Iakovos put Hellenism and Orthodoxy on the political map of America in the 1960s. Leading by example, he established vibrant communities across the country. He also appointed Father Robert Stephanopoulos, Dean of the Cathedral in 1982, to propagate what he termed the “Jewel of Orthodoxy,” emphasizing the cathedral’s mission to serve as a home for the diaspora.

Margo Catsimatidis with Dr. Monica Tadros-Athas

The 86th Gala: Honoring Legacy and Vision

The 86th gala continued this legacy, marking the most successful event in the cathedral’s history, with funds raised reaching an impressive $250,000. This achievement underscores the unwavering dedication and support from the Greek American community and sets the stage for significant future initiatives, particularly in the ongoing restoration projects and educational programs.

This year’s honorees were carefully selected to align with Archbishop Elpidophoros’ vision of expanding the Cathedral’s national visibility. Under the guidance of Dean Archimandrite Chrysostomos Gilbert, the Cathedral has renewed its commitment to welcoming, uniting, and representing the Greek American Diaspora. Father Robert and the late Presvytera Nikki Stephanopoulos were honored for their 25 years of dedicated service, epitomizing the sacred mission of the Cathedral. Their profound influence on the spiritual tapestry of the Cathedral is celebrated, reflecting the ongoing national mission to welcome and unite the Greek American community.

Legacy and Responsibility

The Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity is more than just a place of worship; it is a legacy rich in history and tradition. Serving as the National Cathedral of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and the Episcopal seat of the Archbishop of America, the Cathedral holds a unique responsibility in the Greek American Orthodox community. It strives to foster a sense of belonging and connection, transcending geographic boundaries.

Community and Outreach

In line with Archbishop Elpidophoros’ vision, the Cathedral has implemented strategies to extend its outreach to a national demographic. This year’s 86th Gala Commemorative Digital Journal, set to be released in mid-June, showcases the Cathedral’s rich history and mission beyond its local community. The journal dives deep into the Cathedral’s past, celebrates its present, and encourages all Greek Orthodox Americans to share in both the responsibility and bounty for the future.

Expanding Celebratory Messages

Each year, the Gala Committee expands its celebratory message, highlighting the Cathedral’s role in connecting us back to our earliest ancestors. Last year’s theme, “We honor History through Tradition,” emphasized the Cathedral’s historical roots and its influence on the formation of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese over 100 years ago. This year’s theme, “Everyone’s Cathedral, Everyone’s Home,” calls on the Greek American diaspora to foster an instinctive sense of belonging and connection to the Archdiocesan Cathedral, reinforcing its commitment to perpetuate all aspects of our ancestral legacy for future generations.

Fundraising and Support

With $250,000 raised from this year’s Gala, Phase 2 of the Archdiocesan Cathedral restoration project is set to begin. Urgent remediation work was carried out during the challenging times of Covid-19, addressing failed mechanical systems, roof leaks, and foundational defects. However, further restoration work is needed, particularly on the dome. A capital campaign has been established to continue raising funds for the ongoing restoration project, with opportunities for donations and joining the Archdiocesan Cathedral Legacy Donor Wall in the narthex.

Future Goals

Under the leadership of Archbishop Elpidophoros and Father Chrysostomos, the Archdiocesan Cathedral is dedicated to supporting what matters most to its people. In alignment with the national mission, 10% of the Gala proceeds have been earmarked for the Cathedral School, demonstrating a commitment to nurturing future generations and investing in Hellenic education. This decision sets a strong precedent to prioritize education as part of the development of the American Greek Orthodox community.

Embracing Responsibility and Community Involvement

“The Archdiocesan Cathedral has embraced its responsibility as the nation’s cathedral, taking proactive steps to raise community awareness and support. The success of the 86th Gala is a testament to the dedication and support of the Greek American community. Together, we can preserve and advance the Cathedral’s legacy for generations to come, ensuring it remains a hub of Hellenic faith and culture,” said Dr. John Athas, Archon, Cathedral Board of Trustees & Gala Chair.

Dr. Monica Tadros-Athas with her daughter, Olivia

“Let us not forget what the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity means to all of us. It’s not just a church or a parish, it’s a legacy rich in history that serves a greater purpose. As this country’s only national cathedral, Holy Trinity holds a unique place in the Greek American Orthodox faith and community and with that comes an even greater responsibility. I think this sentiment portrays it best: This is Everyone’s Cathedral AND Everyone’s Home,” added Dr. Monica Tadros-Athas, Gala Chair.

Get Involved

The community is encouraged to continue supporting the Cathedral’s mission beyond the Gala. Donations of any size are appreciated, and there are extended opportunities to join the Archdiocesan Cathedral Legacy Donor Wall. Together, we can ensure the Cathedral’s rich history and mission are preserved and advanced for future generations.

The copyrights for these articles are owned by the Hellenic News of America. They may not be redistributed without the permission of the owner. The opinions expressed by our authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Hellenic News of America and its representatives.

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