THE YOUTH OF CEPHALONIA AND THE HOLY METROPOLIS
From October of 1984 to date, I have taken a position, in addressing
the clergy and the congregation, on the responsibility towards our
myself and my associates in the clergy, would be undeserving of
our mission had we ignored this obligation since we know very well
the significance of children to the family, to society, to the Church
and what God mandates that we do for them.
Our children are our real treasures, the most precious gift of
God to man. They are in essence the continuation of our lives, the
core of our existence. The Lord expressed His interest in children
when he told His Disciples: "Let the children come to me"
and when He emphasized to adults: " If you do not become like
children, you shall not enter the Kingdom of Heaven".
These children today are vulnerable to a multitude of perils. They
may be tempted into unfaithfulness, materialism, Rationalization,
and Nihilism. They are vulnerable to bad influences by their peers,
the negative examples set by adults, the indecency and obscenity
that is everywhere. They may be tempted into drug abuse and promiscuity
with all the devastating consequences.
The Church, the loving Mother who gave birth to Greek Youth and
is the Holy Fountain of Baptism, who desires them to become good
Christians, to believe in God, and to have humanity, cannot remain
uninterested in the face of the many perils that endanger this youth.
For this reason, we never ceased to show our interest in spite of
the fact that Catechism (Sunday Schools) is an institution in deep
crisis in our days, in spite of the fact that there is a shortage
of Gospel workers in Cephalonia, in spite of the fact that the local
Church is not assisted in this endeavor by the family and the school
as all initiative is left at the child's free will - at an age when
that child's personality is not fully developed and certainly needs
support, advice, assistance and protection. Yet we were not discouraged
and did not forget our obligation and responsibilities towards our
The Church is present at the start of every new school year to
conduct the Blessing and to wish teachers and students a good new
academic year, good health, God's Blessing and Protection, and divine
inspiration in fulfilling their mission.
Metropolitan is there to wish them in person the very best in this
important period of their lives. He is there to incite them to study
diligently, to obey the Will of God, to obey their parents and teachers,
to attain faith - the ultimate weapon in life which enables us to
better face the circumstances of life.
The Church joins all Greeks and the Greek Youth at National Holidays
in praying and expressing gratitude to God for all the achievements
of the Greek people throughout the centuries, and to underline the
assistance of God and Theotokos in all the just struggles of the
Nation - from which the Church was never absent.Their Metropolitan
is there to bless and be proud of the students, to welcome and bless
them in the church and in the parades and other functions held during
these celebrations, and to speak to them through special festive
addresses in their schools.
The Church and the Metropolitan are present during the significant
period of Graduation and College Entrance Examinations. By officiating
Divine Liturgy at Evangelistria Church of Argostoli especially for
the Graduates, facilitating the children's contact with God in order
to receive the Divine Will which always enlightens, supports and
strengthens a person's own powers. By giving a reception in the
Metropolitan Building where we are given the opportunity to congratulate
the Graduates and to wish them success in their Entrance Examinations,
and, to give them a gift of remembrance.
All students who have succeed in their Entrance Examinations are
invited back to the Metropolitan Building for a simple ceremony
in December, to receive their Shepherd's congratulations. Afterwards
they all visit St. Gerasimos Convent to express their gratitude
to God and their Patron Saint Gerasimos for granting them this gift,
which of course was also due to their efforts and diligence.
Our young people acknowledge that the Church stands by them. A
huge folder of letters have been addressed to the Metropolitan.
Letters so moving that evidence this acknowledgement.
A message by Metropolitan Spyridon