Historically, the Greek Orthodox Church has had a strong presence in the United States. It is the eparchy of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, and is now based in New York City.
During the late nineteenth and twentieth century, the Greek Orthodox Church in America has functioned as more than just a religious institution. Kitroeff shows how the Orthodox Church in America shaped the lives of Greek immigrants and their descendants. He also shows how the church helped shape the Greek American identity in the twentieth century.
In the late nineteenth century, wealthy Greek merchants established communal institutions. Some of these institutions provided religious services and weddings. Others focused on establishing a community of Hellenic immigrants.
In 1918, Metropolitan Meletios traveled to the United States to launch the process of establishing an Archdiocese. The Archdiocese of North and South America was created under the auspices of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. The Archdiocese became a centralized administrative body that was to serve as the spiritual head of the Greek Orthodox Church in North and South America.
During the early years of the Archdiocese, there were some anomalous instances where priests were unprepared for ministry in the United States. Nonetheless, the Church in America confirmed the deep religious commitment of the early immigrants.
During the twentieth century, the Greek Orthodox Church in America became an institution that sought to instill the notion of historical and cultural continuity. It also focused on the teaching of the Greek language and the preservation of Greek American ethnicity.
The Greek Orthodox Church in America is governed by the Holy Canons and Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Its seat is in the City of New York, New York, United States of America. The Archdiocese of America is made up of eight (8) Metropolises and a Direct Archdiocesan District. The Direct Archdiocesan District is administered by a hierarch.
The Holy Eparchial Synod of the Archdiocese of America convenes meetings twice a year. The Archbishop of New York serves as President of the Synod and presides over Pan-Orthodox Councils and Archdiocesan Clergy-Laity Congresses. The Archdiocesan Council is an advisory body to the Archbishop. Its members are chosen from a list of qualified candidates.
The Eparchial Synod nominates three candidates and submits the nomination to the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The Synod will convene a special session when a vacancy exists in the office of Archbishop.
Founded by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America is a jurisdiction of the Orthodox Church in America. It has over 700 monasteries, parishes, and institutions, with an estimated membership of 84,900 in the United States. The Archdiocese is based in New York City.
Orthodox jurisdictions in the USA have historically maintained a strong connection between ethnic and denominational identities. They also have played an important role in the preservation of ethnic culture. However, they have also faced challenges.
The Holy Tradition, the belief that Jesus Christ resurrected from the dead, is considered a crucial element of the Orthodox faith. It was taught by the apostles and is considered a central part of the life of the Church.
The Bible is also regarded as a central element of the Orthodox faith. The Holy Spirit gave life to the Orthodox faith at Pentecost. However, most Orthodox jurisdictions in the USA were formed before the arrival of the New World, and are still largely linked to the Mother Churches of the Old World.
Founded over a hundred years ago, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America serves as an eparchy of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. This body of Christ is present in North America with 500 parishes in the United States and almost a dozen ecclesiastical jurisdictions. This church draws from a patristic, liturgical, and ascetical tradition.
Its activities are carried out with discretion, courtesy, and respect. The Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society has provided 90 years of philanthropic service to the Greek Orthodox community in the United States and the world. The society’s primary goal is to help promote participation in Greek Orthodox community activities. The society has also helped develop theological education in America. Its programs have addressed issues such as child abuse prevention, the health and welfare of children, and the development of the Greek Orthodox community.
The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America is active in foreign missions all over the world. In addition to sending more than a hundred long term missionaries, the OCMC ministry has sent more than thirteen hundred short term mission teams. The OCMC ministry has also helped provide theological education for indigenous Orthodox clergy in their countries.