His Eminence Metropolitan Philip writes:
Beloved in Christ: Greetings to you and your families in the name of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ.
I write to you today with a heavy heart as we continue to endure the effects of the massive storm “Sandy” that engulfed the Northeast last week. In fact, I had hoped to communicate with all of you earlier, but we just received our electricity back at the archdiocese and until now we have no Internet access. Nevertheless, the inconvenience we endured pales in comparison to what hundreds of thousands experienced, and continue to experience in the Northeast, most especially in New Jersey, New York City and Long Island. No doubt, all of you have seen on television from the comfort of your warm homes, the death and destruction this rare and massive storm brought to the coastal areas and beyond. Until now, people are without the basic necessities of life, countless families have lost their homes, and even more have suffered extensive damage to their homes- if they can be saved at all. People continue to have to sleep in near freezing temperatures without heat; many are without food, electricity, transportation and other basic needs.
With that in mind, we appeal to you, the faithful of our God-protected archdiocese, to respond to this disaster with your monetary offerings so that we can help those desperate people who are in the geographical “backyard” of our archdiocese headquarters and our Mother Cathedral. As St. John Chrysostom said in his commentary on the Gospel of St. Matthew, “Feeding the hungry is a greater work than raising the dead.” Just a week or so from now, we will begin our Christmas or Advent Fast in preparation for our Lord’s Nativity. Just as our Lord had no place to lay his head, so too, many of the men, women and children of the Northeast find themselves in a similar situation. Let us do our part and help alleviate their hunger, pain and homelessness by helping them to rebuild their lives. Please take collections in your parishes and send one check made out to the “Antiochian Archdiocese” marked “Hurricane Sandy Relief” as soon as possible.
Wishing you all a blessed Advent season, I remain, Your Father in Christ,
Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of all North Americ