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Orthodox Churches Respond in Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America ^ | August 31, 2005

Posted on 08/31/2005 5:49:56 PM PDT by Kolokotronis

New York, NY - Following the devastating landfall of Hurricane Katrina on the shores of the Gulf Coast, Orthodox Churches throughout the United States and the world are responding to assist with the relief effort. The powerful storm hit portions of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama on Monday. Reports are stating that 80% of the city of New Orleans is flooded, and power and communications systems are not functioning throughout the region.

In response to the disaster, His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America called on all Orthodox faithful to offer their prayers and resources to meet the needs of hundreds of thousands who have lost property and livelihoods. In a special encyclical he stated:

“I write this letter on behalf of the Holy Eparchial Synod of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America in the wake of the fatalities, heavy damage, and trauma caused by Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. This natural disaster has affected entire communities throughout these States, and today many thousands of people are mourning the painful loss of their loved ones, their homes, and their businesses as a result of the violent storm. As an Orthodox Christian community, our first and foremost response must be a call to prayer for the eternal rest of those who lost their lives and for comfort and strength to be granted by the merciful God to those left behind. Our prayers, however, must also be joined by a tangible expression of material assistance, so that those affected by this tragedy may receive the help that they need to recover from this overwhelming catastrophe.”

His Eminence called on all of the parishes of the Archdiocese to take special relief collections on either Sunday, September 4 or Sunday, September 11, to be sent to the Archdiocese for the “Hurricane Katrina Disaster Relief Fund.”

Relief efforts are also being coordinated by International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), the humanitarian aid agency of the Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA). IOCC already has response teams working with parishes in the Gulf Coast area, as well as coordinating the Orthodox relief efforts with other private and government relief agencies like Church World Services. More information on the relief efforts and needs of IOCC can be found at www.iocc.org.

Donations are being steadily received through the web site of the Archdiocese. A special donation site has been established to allow individuals to contribute directly to the Hurricane Katrina Disaster Relief Fund. Donations to this fund will be used to address the needs of the Greek Orthodox communities, as well as for assisting the general relief effort. Donations can be made at www.goarch.org/hurricanerelief/.

Further assistance is being coordinated through the efforts of Orthodox parishes in the region. The Annunciation Cathedral in Houston, Texas is working with IOCC to determine immediate needs. The school of the Cathedral will be working with Houston area schools to assist with the educational needs of students who may be displaced through the end of the year. The Saint George Church in Shreveport, Louisiana is also working with IOCC and is coordinating an emergency hotline to help persons in the area locate family members. At the present time, the status of the Holy Trinity Cathedral in New Orleans is not known, but the area where it is located has experienced heavy flooding.

As more information on the relief effort becomes available, it will be posted on the Archdiocese web site at www.goarch.org.

Contact: Dept. of Communications Email: communications@goarch.org Marissa Costidis - 732-522-1637 (cell) Fr. Nektarios Morrow - 212-774-0506


TOPICS: Current Events; General Discusssion; Orthodox Christian; Prayer
KEYWORDS: humanitarianrelief; katrina; orthodox; relief

1 posted on 08/31/2005 5:49:56 PM PDT by Kolokotronis
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To: MarMema; crazykatz; don-o; JosephW; lambo; MoJoWork_n; newberger; Petronski; The_Reader_David; ...

Orthodox Christian ping. Apologies to anyone who wanted off my version of this ping list since last Spring. I haven't been around a computer much this summer but if you'll let me know after next Monday, I'll update the list.


2 posted on 08/31/2005 5:56:20 PM PDT by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: Kolokotronis

Hello and thank you for the thread!


3 posted on 08/31/2005 5:58:51 PM PDT by MarMema
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To: Kolokotronis

Please add me to your Orthodox ping list!


4 posted on 08/31/2005 6:01:27 PM PDT by bob808
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To: MarMema

"Hello and thank you for the thread!"

Hello back at you! And you are, of course, most welcome, dear lady!


5 posted on 08/31/2005 6:03:58 PM PDT by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: bob808

"Please add me to your Orthodox ping list!"

Done! I'll be back in the lists next week after we move home from the "computer-less" (Praise God!) cottage.


6 posted on 08/31/2005 6:05:33 PM PDT by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: Kolokotronis
Thank you for posting this.

Here is a photograph of the iconostasis at Holy Trinity Cathedral.

7 posted on 08/31/2005 7:32:35 PM PDT by aposiopetic
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To: Kolokotronis

Welcome back after your "break"---and thanks for this important support from the Orthodox Community.

They always come through.


8 posted on 08/31/2005 7:41:07 PM PDT by eleni121 ('Thou hast conquered, O Galilean!' (Julian the Apostate))
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To: Kolokotronis

Met. Philip sent the same sort of pastoral letter with an appeal for funds to
all of the Antiochian parishes as well.


9 posted on 08/31/2005 8:06:49 PM PDT by The_Reader_David (And when they behead your own people in the wars which are to come, then you will know . . .)
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To: Kolokotronis

Thank you, Kolo, and welcome back.


10 posted on 08/31/2005 8:36:40 PM PDT by kosta50 (Eastern Orthodoxy is pure Christianity)
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To: Kolokotronis
Links to Salvation Army, Catholic Charities and Red Cross on this thread:

AS HURRICANE KATRINA ROCKS GULF, CATHOLIC CHARITIES PREPARES FOR MASSIVE RELIEF EFFORT

11 posted on 08/31/2005 9:03:22 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Kolokotronis; Cheverus
Thanks for the ping, Kolo, and Cheverus, per your oh, so accurate post.

...the issue of the "strongest" Orthodox poster, I would have to give that title to the gentleman who's father was Catholic and mother Greek Orthodox, who's tagline escapes me,

Kolokotronis is the escapee.

12 posted on 09/01/2005 8:15:45 AM PDT by AlbionGirl
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To: AlbionGirl; Cheverus; Agrarian

"Thanks for the ping, Kolo, and Cheverus, per your oh, so accurate post.

...the issue of the "strongest" Orthodox poster, I would have to give that title to the gentleman who's father was Catholic and mother Greek Orthodox, who's tagline escapes me,

Kolokotronis is the escapee."

You are as always very welcome. As for me being the "strongest" Orthodox poster, well I'm certainly the greatest sinner...but I guess I'll keep trying. :) By the way, my vote for the strongest is Agrarian, but you can take that whence it comes!

I've noticed of late that some of our Latin and Orthodox brethren have been going at it hammer and tong. That's a shame in my opinion. One would hope that we are all comfortable in our Faith and the contrary views of one particular church or the other shouldn't get us so upset with each other. As members of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, we all carry the heavy burdens which the histories of our cultures as they manifest and manifested themselves in our churches today and in the past. The Faith is a timeless state of existence. It should therefore come as no surprise if one church or the other harkens back to depredations which happened either 75 years ago or 1200 years ago. The world may look upon these issues as "ancient history", especially the Western world, but in the eternity of The Faith, these events which today cause us such trouble are very much here and now. It seems to me that the challenge we face is to understand that much of what separates us today is, in fact, the past and ongoing work of the Evil One. For those of us who are not hierarchs and who, basically, are not affected in our Faith by what may or may not be happening in some foreign land, perhaps it would be best to "walk humbly with our God", recite the Jesus Prayer and respect each other for the Christians we at least hope we can become.


13 posted on 09/01/2005 8:35:54 AM PDT by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: Kolokotronis; Agrarian
I have a Holy envy of both of you. I read nearly all of your posts, and can only tell you that I've learned a lot from both of you, and hope to continue to do so. St. Moses the Black of Ethiopia He was a slave, but was cast out by his master due to his evil life. He then became the leader of a murderous band of robbers in Egypt. He came to repentance and took up monastic life in the desert under St Isidore of Sketis. For many years he struggled tirelessly, through prayer, fasting and vigils, with lustful and violent thoughts; he was finally freed of them through the prayers of St Isidore. He wa revered by all the brethren for his ascetical life, his wisdom, and his deep humility. Once a brother committed some sin and the monks gathered to judge him. Moses at first refused to go at all, but when they insisted, he filled an old, leaky basket with sand and carried it into the assembly on his back. When the brethren asked him what his action meant, he said "My sins run out behind me, and I do not even see them, and I have come to judge my brother." The monk was forgiven. In time the fame of this humblest of monks spread so far that kings and bishops travelled into the desert to seek his wisdom and his blessing. In his old age, he was warned that a band of brigands was coming to attack the Skete. He refused to leave saying, "It is written: he who lives by the sword shall die by the sword." So, mindful that he had slain others by the sword, he willingly awaited his own murder. Six other monks who remained with him were also slain.
14 posted on 09/01/2005 9:12:48 AM PDT by AlbionGirl
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To: Kolokotronis

Anyone else notice how none of the ultra-liberal "mainline" denominations (PCUSA, UCC, etc.) are being mentioned in these stories about relief mobilization?


15 posted on 09/01/2005 9:14:35 AM PDT by CFC__VRWC ("Anytime a liberal squeals in outrage, an angel gets its wings!" - gidget7)
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To: Kolokotronis

I must confess that I can't recall specifically any of Agrarian posts, perhaps you are correct.

It is subjective in any respect, your writing reminds me of the attitude adopted by that wonderful publication "Touchstone" and the Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant writers who contribute.

While not discounting the differences, stressing the commonalities.


16 posted on 09/01/2005 10:38:56 AM PDT by Cheverus
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To: AlbionGirl; Kolokotronis; Agrarian

Love that story! Here is one in return:

A young and spiritually immature monk went to live in a certain monastery. He thought that there he would find paradisiacal manners and that everyone would love and respect him as a most dear brother. What was his disappointment when after a while he noticed that eight of the brothers loved him and two did not! He could not put up with the dislike of these two, so he left that monastery and went to search for another where everyone would like him. In the second monastery, all brothers welcomed him kindly and treated him very well in the beginning. However, that did not last very long. Soon the likes and dislikes toward the newcomer surfaced, and, unfortunately, this time only four loved him and four others hated him and were worse than those in the first monastery: they annoyed him, judged him, sneered at him, and did not miss an occasion to hurt him. The unhappy monk could not put up with that, so he left this monastery too. In the third monastery where he settled, he quickly found out that almost nobody liked him. His reputation for being quarrelsome and lacking perseverance preceded him to this monastery, and the brothers there met him with distrust. The young monk, realizing that he had come from bad to worse, began wondering if it was not his fault that he could not win the love of the others and decided to remain in this last monastery amid the cold and hostile attitudes of the brothers until he could win their love with God's help. When he appraised his own behavior, he found that he was to blame for his quarrels with the brothers because he did not endure their teasing with patience. A fortunate thought occured to him, and he wrote on a piece of paper: "I will endure everything for Jesus Christ's sake" and put it in his belt. Every time when someone insulted him or sneered at him, he took the piece of paper out of his belt, read it, remembered the promise of endurance which he had made to God, and calmed down. Some of the brothers wondered at his patience and began to love him. Others, in their malice, said: "He is doing some kind of magic to calm himself. Whenever we annoy him, he takes a piece of paper out of his belt, and when he looks at it, his anger passes away. This business is not good. He must be a magician..." With such suspicions in their hearts the spiteful monks went to the abbot and slandered the young brother before him. The abbot investigated the matter, found out the innocence of the brother, and for his justification and as a lesson to all, he summoned all monks to himself. When the accusations against the young brother were repeated, the abbot ordered him to show the piece of paper before everyone. The young monk obeyed, took out the paper, and read the writing: "I will endure everything for Jesus Christ's sake." Then the accusers were ashamed and silenced, and the brother, acquitted and praised, lived peacefully with the respect and love of the monks.

That's from a book [two, really] on my nightstand entitled "The Meaning of Suffering and Strife & Reconciliation" by Archimandrite Seraphim Aleksiev. Highly recommended.


17 posted on 09/01/2005 10:33:57 PM PDT by monkfan (Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace - James 3:18)
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To: monkfan

Wonderful and moving story.

Thanks for recommending the book. I don't know what went wrong with my post, I had a nice Icon of St. Moses, that previewed fine and then once it went to print, nothing.


18 posted on 09/02/2005 6:13:52 AM PDT by AlbionGirl
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To: monkfan; Kolokotronis; Agrarian
What a wonderful gift we in the Eucharistic communities have. I've never known much, but I've always known this.

Unrelated, but when I think I'm just not made of the substance it takes to be a Christian and I'm ready to give up, I recall St. John Chrysostom's Banquet invitation to the 11th hour penitent, and I feel comforted and invigorated.

Excerpt fromThe Blood and Water from His Side
St. John Chrysostom, Early Church Father and Doctor of the Church

“There flowed from his side water and blood”. Beloved, do not pass over this mystery without thought; it has yet another hidden meaning, which I will explain to you. I said that water and blood symbolized baptism and the holy eucharist. From these two sacraments the Church is born: from baptism, “the cleansing water that gives rebirth and renewal through the Holy Spirit”, and from the holy eucharist. Since the symbols of baptism and the Eucharist flowed from his side, it was from his side that Christ fashioned the Church, as he had fashioned Eve from the side of Adam Moses gives a hint of this when he tells the story of the first man and makes him exclaim: “Bone from my bones and flesh from my flesh!” As God then took a rib from Adam’s side to fashion a woman, so Christ has given us blood and water from his side to fashion the Church. God took the rib when Adam was in a deep sleep, and in the same way Christ gave us the blood and the water after his own death.

19 posted on 09/02/2005 6:45:59 AM PDT by AlbionGirl
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To: Kolokotronis; AlbionGirl; Cheverus

So you and I are in the lead for being the strongest Orthodox posters?

I haven't posted anything in many weeks, being wrapped up with other concerns, and you've been on perpetual vacation from the computer this summer, so you haven't posted much, either, K.

I think that the lesson here is succinctly expressed by the old verse from Proberbs: "Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding."


20 posted on 09/05/2005 9:10:12 AM PDT by Agrarian
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To: Agrarian; AlbionGirl; Cheverus

"I think that the lesson here is succinctly expressed by the old verse from Proberbs: "Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.""

Bravo, A!

"The flatterer is a servant of devils, a guide to pride, a destroyer of contrition, a ruiner of virtues, a misleader. Those who pronounce you blessed, lead you astray, says the prophet. (Isaiah 3:12) St. John Climacus, "The Ladder of Divine Ascent,"

Back from the cottage. See what kind of "happy" mood I'm in?


21 posted on 09/05/2005 3:20:22 PM PDT by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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