Source: The National Herald
BOSTON – The 81st Commencement of Hellenic College-Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology took place on Saturday, May 20, at the Maliotis Cultural Center under the leadership of Archbishop Elpidophoros of America. Synodic hierarchs, including Metropolitans Methodios of Boston, Savas of Pittsburgh, Gerasimos of San Francisco, and Bishop Konstantinos of Sasima, Assistant Bishop at the Metropolis of Denver, were also in attendance.
The Commencement commenced with an invocation by Archbishop Elpidophoros, followed by a beautiful rendition of ‘Christos Anesti’ – Christ is Risen, Save, O Lord, Your People, performed by the Holy Cross St. Romanos the Melodist Byzantine choir, led by professor Fr. Romanos Karanos. The national anthems of Greece and the United States were also sung.
Approximately 250 individuals attended the ceremony, including the graduating classes, their parents, siblings, relatives, and visitors.
Charles and Constance Cotros honored with an Honorary Doctor of Humanities of Hellenic College. Shown are Archbishop Elpidophoros and George Cantonis. (Photo: TNH/Theodore Kalmoukos)A total of eight individuals graduated from Hellenic College, receiving the Degree of Bachelor of Arts. In the School of Theology, specifically from the Master of Divinity Program designed for seminarians pursuing priesthood, a total of sixteen students graduated, including two women.
Ten students were awarded the Degree of Master of Theology, while five students received the Degree of Master of Theological Studies. Additionally, five individuals earned the Certificate in Byzantine Music, and one woman was granted the Certificate in Youth & Young Adult Leadership & Ministry.
During the ceremony, Charles and Constance Cotros, the former being a former chairman of Leadership 100, were honored with the prestigious title of Honorary Doctor of Humanities of Hellenic College. Professor Emeritus of Canon law Lewis Patsavos received the distinguished title of Honorary Doctorate of Divinity from the School of Theology.
The Valedictorian from Hellenic College was Olivia Vasiliki Fashling, while Alexandros Pandazis represented Holy Cross as their Valedictorian.
Greetings were offered by George Cantonis President Hellenic College-Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, who thanked Archbishop Elpidophoros for his cooperation, as well as Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees Fr. John Magoulias; Jeannie Ranglas, Second Vice President of the Philoptochos Society; Demetrios Logothetis, Chairman Leadership 100; Timothy Patitsas, Interim Dean Hellenic College; and Fr. George Parsenios outgoing Dean of Holy Cross.
The event concluded with the speech of Archbishop Elpidophoros, who among other things declared: “what a moment for all of you – to have come this far on your journey of knowledge and faith. This Commencement is much more than a reward for your past accomplishments. It is, in fact, a launch pad for the rest of your lives.” He also said, “everything that you have learned and experienced here at our precious ‘Σχολή’ is like rocket fuel for your lives. The glories of our Orthodox Faith and Culture are filled with the very Energy of God. They will propel you to amazing heights, heights that are unimaginable to you, as you sit here today for your Graduation Exercises. But allow me to counsel you, as this is my paternal exhortation to you as your Archbishop: what you have learned here at Holy Cross is not the final infusion of this energy into your minds and souls. It is only the beginning. The training that you have received here, on this Hill of Hope, is designed to prepare you to absorb so much more. The tradition of the Church – liturgical, aesthetic, patristic, theological, homiletic, hagiographic – this is a vast ocean of grace and wisdom.”