At the request of Archbishop Cordileone and His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos, the Greek Orthodox Archbishop for approximately 70 Greek Orthodox Churches here on the West Coast, Saint Brendan Parish is pleased to welcome to our rectory Father Evlogios Champas, who will be living with us for one year. His letter of introduction is below:
I wish to sincerely thank all of you for allowing me the opportunity to be a guest in your community this year. Father Roger and Lisa Roselund, along with everyone that resides at St. Brendan’s, have welcomed me so warmly and have made my transition to San Francisco a very easy one.
I was born in Cyprus and grew up in the Church. Cyprus is an Orthodox Christian country where all of the Churches are Greek Orthodox. After graduating high school, I performed my mandatory military service. I then entered an ecclesiastical school to begin my seminary training and later studied theology at the University of Thessaloniki in Greece. Upon my graduation, I went to Jerusalem on a pilgrimage to thank God for everything He had given me in life, and to pray about my future path in the Church. During my visit I had the blessing of meeting the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, His Beatitude Theophilos, who asked me if I would like to be ordained in Jerusalem and become a member of the Brotherhood of the Holy Tomb. I was very honored by this and immediately accepted His Beatitude’s invitation. Shortly after my ordination I was elected by the Synod to be the Archdeacon of the Patriarch. In this capacity, I have been blessed with meeting Orthodox Christians from all over the world.
I was blessed to participate in the peace prayer in the Vatican gardens in June 2014, which brought together the then-Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. On that particular occasion, as well as in Jerusalem and during the missionary travels when I accompanied high church officials, I was faced with the challenge of interacting with Orthodox Christians from all over the world. This interaction, invariably, requires a mastery of English.
I feel very much connected, in my heart and my soul, to theology – both as a field of studies and as an embodied practice, in the service of God and of the faithful. I am also refining my understanding of the social issues faced by the Church, so I will be able to take part in the ecumenical dialogues that aim to bring peace and spiritual prosperity to the world.
In order to improve my English, last year I began a master’s program at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Boston. I am now pleased to attend advanced English classes here in San Francisco and to serve as a deacon to His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos.
It is a great honor for me to stay here in the United States for another year, and to be able to live in such a beautiful community like Saint Brendan’s together with all of you. I look forward to meeting all of you.
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