Start Spreading the News — Exciting Project Is Launched in Naples
In Naples, Florida on February 17 and 18, the Department of Planning and Development met to continue discussions regarding the mission and goals of the Department. It was suggested and discussed that in order for us to adequately define whom we are, which is to save our history, the history of our Archdiocese, we would rename our organization. Thus, with the blessing of His Eminence PHILIP Saliba, we changed the name of the Department to the Antiochian Heritage Foundation. It was unanimously agreed that the name would best identify and describe us and what we are setting out to accomplish: to preserve our heritage.
Our Mission Statement is:
“The mission of Antiochian Heritage Foundation is to preserve the Antiochian heritage, which is to be passed on to future generations, by supporting our Hierarchs, Clergy, Churches and our programs, by encouraging the spiritual and financial commitment by the faithful.”
Our Goals are:
- Assist in the development and building of major and vital projects needed at the Antiochian Village
- Assist in securing a viable retirement fund for our Clergy.
- Assist in educating, motivating and inspiring our churches and their flock to develop programs and support existing programs which benefit and will benefit our Parishes and our Archdiocese.
Also, we intend to actively and immediately begin a search to contact the descendants/families of our deceased priests in order to honor them. Along with the Antiochian Orthodox Communities, we seek to achieve this aggressive, exciting effort which will ensure that their memories in this Archdiocese will never be forgotten. Please help us…
Obviously, in order for our mission and goals to succeed and for the legacy of our Church to survive, thrive and to be preserved, we must all work together and support this program. In addition, we must ask for the expected and necessary solicitation of funding, which is obviously very important to the outcome of the program. We do realize we cannot reach our objective to the fullest if we do not have your participation, help, knowledge and resources. We are focusing in on ideas, artifacts and historical memorabilia.
His Eminence Metropolitan Philip delivered inspirational remarks to the Department and re-energized all of us by affirming the importance of our work and what we are doing. With some nostalgia, Saidna told us of the history of how he began with little to nothing when he first became the Metropolitan. He told of his vision then and now, and his determination to build the Archdiocese over a 30- year period from 66 Parishes to over 265 Parishes.
As we sat around the conference table, His Eminence told the story of how the Antiochian Village began with a vision, an idea and what has now become a reality. It was obvious that Metropolitan Archbishop Saliba, with sincerity and conviction, was encouraging us to continue our work, his work.
Most importantly, we were reminded of our purpose and the reason we are doing this noble and challenging work. It is because of our love of CHRIST. As our most Reverend Metropolitan Archbishop Philip Saliba scanned over the faces of the committee members present, he paused and firmly stated that we are doing the work of Christ’s Church. In the words of His Eminence, “We have the unique opportunity and responsibility to help grow the Church in North America so that the millions of un-churched Christians in North America can and will come home to the one, true, Holy and Apostolic Church of Peter and Paul.”
To add further thought to what Saidna so deeply and passionately shared with us, we must be all knowing of the negative influence of our society today which is eroding our homes, schools and our families. It will not be our ethnic roots which will keep our children on the right path to moral success. It will be our religious roots and history which will be the key in successfully raising our children. Our Clergy and our Archdiocese must have our loyal support and involvement if our faith is to grow and if we want to continue the vision and legacy of our predecessors, so their vision will remain alive and well for years to come.
It is our past which strengthens our present, and the present which determines our future. Together and as a united force, we shall inspire, educate and encourage the next generation with our history and our legacy.
Our Church is our home. Our Church is our family. It is and should be an integral part of our lives and our living.