Source: The National Herald
NEW YORK – A day before His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America resigned, His Grace Bishop Andonios of Phasiane submitted a letter announcing his intent to begin his retirement process.
His Grace did not cite a specific reason for his retirement, but did mention his age, challenges and stresses of his work, as well as his health. During his retirement, Bishop Andonios promised to devote himself to the completion of St. Michael’s Home, an assisted living/retirement home for the aging Greek-American community.
The full text of his letter follows:
May 3, 2019
My dear Fathers,
CHRISTOS ANESTI! Having celebrated the glorious Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I wanted to take this opportunity to wish you, your loved ones and all those entrusted to your spiritual care a blessed and joyous Paschal Season!
I also wanted to personally share with you that last November I submitted to His Eminence a letter expressing my intent to begin the retirement process as of my 66th birthday which was this past January. After my November 2017 surgery to repair my mitral valve, I had intended to step down the previous January on my 65th birthday but in light of the difficulties of 2017, I postponed that action so that I could do what I could to help the Archdiocese. The overwhelming majority of my “ordained years” have been spent at East 79th Street, where I started in 1984 as a layman. Like any ministry, my time here, especially as chancellor for 10 years, has had its challenges, STRESSES & yes, taken its toll (including on my health), but also has had many blessings, joys & fond memories.
While I have made the commitment to His Eminence to remain on as long as he holds the Office of the Archbishop, the time has arrived for me to gradually begin the transition and allow others, with new ideas and energy, to assume more and more of my tasks at the Archdiocese.
With that in mind, I recently sold my home in Westchester & will be moving during the summer. Ultimately leaving the Archdiocese will allow me to focus my time & energy on the completion of St. Michael’s which is so critically important to the elderly of our community & a priority for me. If allowed, I would like to also assist with the project at the Warren, CT. property. Both these ministries, at opposite ends of the age spectrum of our community, are a source of so much fulfillment and joy to me personally.
It has been my honor to serve in various capacities at the Archdiocese, and with any position I held, I can sincerely say that I tried my best, even if I wasn’t always “successful”. I can say that I leave with a clear conscience & hope with all my heart that I was able to have some positive effect & impact on our Church & community. Above all, I trust I was able to be of support & assistance to you, the beloved clergy of the Direct Archdiocesan District.
Keep me in your prayers! I trust that our paths will cross from time to time, for I truly enjoy the fellowship with the brothers. Know that even if not holding an “official” position here at the Archdiocese, I will always be available to each and every one of you if the need ever arises and I can be of assistance or support to you.