By Dimitri G. Soultogiannis
Special to the Hellenic News of America
New York, NY—The Metropolitan of Kalavrita and Aigeialia Mr. Amvrosios visited the United States at the end of October. During his visit the Hellenic News of America had the chance to meet with him at his Manhattan Hotel and discuss the outcome of his trip as well as the meetings he had, the future of the Metropolis of Kalavrita and Orthodoxy in general.
Hellenic News: Your Eminence it is our honor and pleasure to welcome you here in New York. Could you please talk to us a little bit about the purpose of your visit.
M. Amvrosios: I thank you very much for this warm welcome. I am always happy to visit the United States and New York in particular. I feel the same joy I felt back in the 1980’s when I first visited this great country. I would say the purpose of my visit has a philanthropic character. I have certain visions, always related to our great Metropolis, that I want to see come to life. I want to create a non-profit fundraiser that would fund all these great philanthropic projects we have planned in our Metropolis.
ΗΝ: Can you please give us an example. What are you working on these days?
M. Amvrosios: One of my great priorities is the maintenance and expansion of the Kalymanopoulos Residential Home for the Elderly which recently added a section for the bedridden and senior citizens with other disabilities. I am also working on the expansion of our preschool which today has 50 students. We want to introduce God to these young souls. We offer them kindness and an early education, so they can eventually develop great personalities. Why would you ever trust your kids with business people and not with the church? We are a non-profit organization and we never make more than our expenses but we love what we do and we certainly love our students. We want to increase the number of our students and we also want to improve the services we provide to them. The pre-school has been around for the past 10 years and the greatest challenge now is to move into a new building. We deserve it. The kids deserve it.
ΗΝ: Your Eminence, have you received any financial aid from the Greek State?
Μ. Amvrosios: No, not at all. Of course, in the past, we have asked for help but we did not receive it. Whatever we have done, we have done it ourselves. And that’s why i am here today.
HN: This is great. What is the key to your success?
Μ. Amvrosios: Not once did our local church stop worrying and caring about its parish and the future of our community. Our philanthropic activities is well know to everyone, but this time we have been able to provide people with jobs. Even though, like i said, we barely make our expenses we still have managed to find the way to employ a total of 93 people. Our community has been hit by unemployment and unfortunately the future is far from bright. We do all we can.
ΗΝ: Can you please tell us about your meeting here in New York?
Μ. Αmvrosios: During my visit here i met with people from the Greek-American community and beyond. Of course, I also met his Eminence Archbishop Demetrios who welcomed me with great pleasure in his office. We discussed issues that deal with our Metropolis as well as the future of Orthdoxy. I also had the pleasure to speak with the President of the Kalavryta Association Mr. Konstantinos Vasilopoulos who is a great supporter of our Metropolis.