52nd Anniversary Cutting of the Vasilopita

In the fourth century, Saint Basil the Great established various philanthropic institutions, and distributed money to the poor in a discreet manner by placing gold coins in sweetened bread.  The recipients cutting the bread were surprised to find the gold coin, which provided them with material sustenance.  These special loaves of bread became known as the bread of Saint Basil or Vasilopita.

This year, the beautiful tradition of our Orthodox faith, the “Cutting of the Vasilopita” will be the 52nd Anniversary Celebration, with the Blessings of His Eminence Metropolitan Iakovos, we request your presence, being held at St. George Greek Orthodox Church, in Schereville, Indiana, Sunday January 8th, at 6 pm.

All the proceeds from this annual celebration are sent to the Academy of Saint Basil, a “home away from home” for Orthodox young people who come from broken homes, or are victims of poverty, abuse or abandonment.  Because of your caring generosity these young people are able to receive an education, be loved, and have a home that all children deserve.  With your help and cooperation, our Metropolis can continue to make a difference and once again be the largest contributor to this worthy cause.

Thanking you in advance for your consideration, we wish you and the entire committee a Healthy, Prosperous, and Happy New Year.

With love in Christ,

Joanne Stavrakas

Philoptochos Society September Luncheon

“Philoptochos…..80 Years of Reaching Out and Touching Others” was the theme for the Metropolis Philoptochos luncheon.  The annual luncheon took place Saturday, September 24, 2011 at Rosewood Banquets in Rosemont, Illinois.  The sold out event, chaired by Irene Arsoniadis and Patty Tsaoussis, commemorated a significant milestone, the 80th Anniversary of the Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society. 

The luncheon featured two noteworthy young speakers from local parishes who shared their own personal experiences of the projects supported by Philoptochos and how it impacted their lives. Christopher Kantas, an attorney and former member of the Board of Trustees of University of Illinois in Champaign and a member of St. Nicholas Parish in Oak Lawn, spoke on his camping and counseling experiences at Fanari Camp and the Ionian Village in Greece.  Chris shared how the St. Nicholas Philoptochos made it possible for him to experience the camaraderie, friendship, and Christian values in an Orthodox environment during important phases of his life.

Peter Giannaris, the second speaker of the day, shared his experiences of the Philoxenia House in Rochester, Minnesota.  Pete suffers from PKD, a kidney disease, which has required him to have three kidney transplants.  Pete recounted how the warmth and hospitality of the ladies of Philoptochos and the Philoxenia House made him feel completely at home and contributed to his recovery.  He said that staying at the Philoxenia House was like staying at his own home surrounded by people who shared his values and faith and give him the love and support needed to carry him through a difficult time of his life.

Proceeds from the luncheon benefited The St. Iakovos Retreat Center, The Philoxenia House in Rochester, Minnesota and the Philanthropic Endeavors of the Metropolis Philoptochos Society. Please mark your calendars for the 2012 luncheon on Saturday, September 22, 2012.

To view pictures of this, and other events, follow this link.

5K Walk for HIV/AIDS

The Metropolis of Chicago Philoptochos was challenged with raising $10,000 to benefit individuals suffering from HIV/AIDS.  Our goal was to meet this challenge and raise the funds to benefit the 1,800,000 AIDS Orphans in Ethiopia, in partnership with IOCC, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and the 400 National AIDS Service Organizations in the United States.  Since we love a challenge, on May 9th, a group of 100 women, men, children, babies in strollers “Hit the Streets” for a 5K Walkathon.Hit The Streets, 5K Walkathon registration desk at St. Andrews’ Greek Orthodox Church.

We gathered at St. Andrew Greek Orthodox Church where we enjoyed a healthy breakfast.  Bishop Demetri Kantzavelos offered a prayer and started us along our 5K walk.  The weather was threatening rain but our spirits remained high and the rain held off until we finished our walk.All the participants are lined up and ready to go on their 5K walk along the Chicago Lake Front for the Hit the Streets 5K Walathon.

Thank you to all of the participating Philoptochos chapters and their supporters allowing us to exceed the $10,000 challenge! Congratulations to the Chairmen Irene Arsoniadis, Chrisy Banakis and Kathy Siavelis and a special thank you to St. Andrew Greek Orthodox Church and Philoptochos Society for all their work to help the Metropolis of Chicago Philoptochos meet this goal!!

Mary Ann Bissias, Georgia Sarlas, Lena Angelos – three of our Philoptochos members that Hit the Streets on May 9th for the 5K Walk to raise funds for the HIV/AIDS victims.