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Blessed is he who gives without remembering

Blessed is he who gives without remembering and he who receives without forgetting

It is with much thankfulness and gratitude that I would like to take this opportunity to thank my brother bishops, the clergy, esteemed members of the Archdiocese Board of Trustees, members of the Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch, the Antiochian Women, Fellowship of St. John the Divine, SOYO and the parishes and laity of this God-protected Archdiocese for your wonderful generosity on the occasion of my 40th anniversary as your Metropolitan. It is hard to believe that 40 years have passed since my election, consecration and enthronement.

Words cannot express the joy I felt this past weekend in Detroit as I, or rather we, celebrated 40 years of working together to build what we have today for the glory of God and His Holy Church! The warmth of the entire weekend culminated in the gift of love presented to me by all of you at the banquet on Saturday evening. This gift, a check in the amount of $250,000 from all of your generous donations, was too much for any one man. Therefore, I felt compelled to do as I did on my 25th anniversary in 1991 when I established the endowment for the Antiochian Village with my monetary gift on that occasion. This endowment has grown to over one million dollars and is currently being used to fund various projects for the Antiochian Village.

This time, I am donating the $250,000 I received into a fund I have started that will become part of the Retired Clergy Fund of the Archdiocese in the future. This fund, which I also hope will grow to one million dollars, is made up of the many gifts and honoraria I have received over the years from the generous people of this Archdiocese. It is my fervent prayer that our clergy who serve this archdiocese faithfully all of their priestly lives will be able to retire with dignity and I hope to do everything I can to make this a reality.

Finally, I would like to thank Archpriest Joseph Antypas and the entire community of St. George of Troy, MI, especially the members of our Archdiocese Board of Trustees in Detroit, Mr. Nicola Antakli, Mr. George Darany, Mr. Walid Khalife and Mr. Robert Koory for their generosity and hospitality. May God bless them and their families.

Your Father in Christ,
+Metropolitan PHILIP