PRESS RELEASE: Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago and Saints Kosmas & Damianos Greek Orthodox Church of Rochester, Minnesota, announce major initiative centered around the Mayo Clinic
Saint’s Kosmas & Damianos Greek Orthodox Church in Rochester, Minnesota, is proud to announce that their Philoxenia Mission located across the street from the world renowned Mayo Clinic will now be made available to individuals from all faiths in need looking for shelter while members of their family receive treatment.
Originally opened in 2004 for the cause of providing shelter to Orthodox families, the Philoxenia Mission Committee recently voted to expand their reach by offering the facilities to members of all faiths.
“For over a decade we have served hundreds of fellow Orthodox Christians who have come to Rochester seeking medical treatment. It has been our distinct honor to shelter them, love them, and cherish their dynamic presence within our local parish family” explains Father Mark Muñoz. “Notwithstanding the much ‘good’ God has allowed us to realize over the years, we recognized the fact that we were limiting our focus to assisting those who share the same faith, tradition, and many times cultural background” Father Mark Muñoz stated as the reasoning behind the change.
Now with this decision, the Philoxenia House Mission will continue to be a shelter for those in need not only to fellow Orthodox Christians but now to all members of faith. After all, as noted by Father Muñoz, “All are welcomed into God’s eternal and Heavenly Kingdom”. Now all in need are welcomed at the Philoxenia House Mission!
“The Philoxenia House Ministry demonstrates love for our ‘neighbor’, which is a pillar of our Orthodox Christian Faith,” said His Grace Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos, Chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago. “And this action by the parishioners of our beloved parish in Rochester further illustrates that message. His Eminence Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago and I applaud Father Muñoz, the Philoxenia Mission Committee and our parishioners for such an amazing example of putting Christian principles into action!”
The Philoxenia House Mission consists of two homes owned and operated by Saints Kosmas & Damianos Greek Orthodox Church, which is located nearby. These two houses, named Philoxenia House and St. Iakovos House, are located across the street from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. With capacity to handle 18 individuals and both houses fully furnished and featuring kitchens, living rooms, entertainment rooms and other comforts, these homes offer a shelter for those family members of patients while they receive the care they need from the amazing world renowned staff of the Mayo Clinic.
Since opening in 2004 to only Orthodox members, the houses have hosted families from throughout the United States and internationally including Russia, Albania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Ukraine and Venezuela.
The first facility, called the Philoxenia House, opened in 2004 and was followed in 2007 by the St. Iakovos House. In Greek the word philoxenia translates to “hospitality” or literally to “love for the stranger”. The facilities are made available thanks to donations, which are always welcomed as the Mission continues to grow. A major multimillion dollar future expansion, called the Philoxenia Village, has been designed that would offer more housing for families of patients. Please visit www.PhiloxeniaHouse.org for information on how you can donate to our cause.
Saint Kosmas & Damianos Greek Orthodox Church is located nearby the houses and the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. The parish in Rochester and thus the Philoxenia House Mission fall under the leadership of His Eminence Metropolitan Iakovos of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago. Father Mark Muñoz and his parishioners have for years been ministering to the patients of the Mayo Clinic and have always opened their parish and their hearts to anyone looking for Christ’s healing and comforting touch.
Tours of the facilities can be arranged. Media questions and follow up are welcomed and can contact:
Archon Johnny Mangouras, Philoxenia Mission Spokesperson
Father Mark Muñoz, Parish Priest
John Ackerman, Metropolis of Chicago