On Sunday, July 25, 2021, immediately following the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Salt Lake City, Archbishop Elpidophoros of America bestowed upon the Archimandrite George Nikas the Pectoral Cross of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
Archimandrite George Nikas delivered remarks of thanksgiving to Archbishop Elpidophoros of America at both the Divine Liturgy and the Luncheon that followed.
From the Divine Liturgy:
Your Eminence, Archbishop Elpidophoros of America,
Beloved Rev. Presbyter Patrick O’Rourke and Brother Clergy,
Mr. George Karahalios, Parish Council President and Devoted Parish Council Members,
Mr. Nicholas Bapis, Archon of the Ecumenical Throne
Mr. Christos Mantas, St. Paul Medal Honoree
Mrs. Cathy Neofitos, Madame President of the St. Philothea Philoptochos and beloved Sisterhood Members,
Devout Orthodox Faithful of our historic parish and greater Salt Lake Valley
Christ is in our midst!
This past week has indeed been a truly historic week for our Salt Lake Community and for the Greek Orthodox Faithful across the State of Utah as we have welcomed our Spiritual Father and Chief Shepherd, the Exarch of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America. It has been over 20 years since the Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America has visited Salt Lake City – this hierarchical thirst has been quenched by Your Eminence, who like Jacob’s Well, bestows upon us refreshment and spiritual rejuvenation.
Your Eminence, it is challenging to express not only my personal joy but especially the collective jubilation and emotion of all our faithful stewards. We are extremely grateful that you have taken time to visit, break bread, exchange ideas, and bless us with your genuine Archpastoral love and concern. The beautiful and grand Hierarchical Divine Liturgy that we just celebrated was the pinnacle of a week that saw Your Eminence received with much excitement, respect, and pomp by government and religious leaders as well as the pure love and reverence of our Youth and Faithful Orthodox Christians.
The faithful of Salt Lake City have an extraordinary pioneering spirit. It has ensured the survival of Orthodoxy and Hellenism in this Mecca of Mormonism. Moreover, this indomitable spirit is the catalyst that has propelled our community to be a shining beacon of Christian Faith and devotion, blossoming into one of the most dynamic and important parishes of not only the Holy Metropolis of Denver, but I dare say the entire Archdiocese of America. I am confident that Your Eminence has experienced this firsthand during these last several days and that we may be a cause for Your Eminence to boast about his spiritual children in the Mountain West.
As the local Spiritual Father entrusted with the care of this flock in this vineyard of our Lord, I could not be more proud or thankful for what I have inherited here from my predecessors. Allow me a moment to thank all who labored tirelessly for the success of this most historic visit. Although I cannot express my gratitude to everyone, I need to single out a few:
- Brother Clergy and Communities for their support and prayers…
- Chefs: Jim Fouskandrakis, John Lyhnakis, Dimitri Tsagaris, Dionysios Neofitos, and all who assisted
- Decorating Committee: George Miller, Chyrsoula Lyhnakis and Elpitha Votsis, and all who assisted
- Maria Papadakis our Office Secretary
- Archon Nicholas and Dr. Elaine Bapis for hosting the Welcome Dinner and numerous events this past week
- George Karahalios, PC President and PC Members
- Fr. Patrick O’Rourke, Assistant Priest and most beloved Brother in Christ
Sevasmiotate, we hope that you have enjoyed your substantial and unprecedented 6-day visit to our Parish and that you will remember us in your prayers as you return to New York and resume your manifold responsibilities in shepherding this Holy Archdiocese, with the zeal and precision that has distinguished your dynamic Archpastoral ministry. We pray that you will especially remember us each time you see the kalimata used for the Diskopotira during today’s service – that we humbly present to Your Eminence as a gift of appreciation and profound respect – and that they will also become a catalyst for fond memories of your visit to the Greek Orthodox Church of Greater Salt Lake – Holy Trinity Cathedral and Prophet Elias Church.
EIS POLLA ETI DESPOTA!!!