Orthodox Christianity is an important and vital contributor to the Christian presence in Chicago. The Archdiocese of Chicago has enjoyed a close relationship with Orthodox Christians in Chicago, particularly with the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago, the Armenian Orthodox Church – Diocese of Armenian Church of America (Eastern), and the Assyrian Church of the East. As Pope John Paul II expressed in his Encyclical Ut Unum Sint (1995, par 54), we long for the day when the Church can breathe together with its two lungs, based in the ancient Eastern and Western Christian traditions. We commit ourselves to work and pray with our Orthodox brothers and sisters in Chicago to bring about that day as soon as God’s will allows.
Ecumenical Vespers for the Environment
On Aug 31, 2015, Holy Name Cathedral invited our Greek Orthodox brothers and sisters for the inaugural Service of Great Vespers for the Care of the Environment. In 2016, SS. Peter and Paul Greek Orthodox Church in Glenview reciprocated by inviting the Archdiocese to join them for the Service of Great Vespers for the Feast of Indiction and Protection of the Environment. It included Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic parishioners, as well as Greek Orthodox Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos, Roman Catholic Bishop George Rassas and Consul General of Greece in Chicago, Polyxeni Petropoulou.
The service was composed by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. Following the very first service, a presentation, “Stewardship of the Environment” was given by Dr. Gayle Wokoschak, a professor of radiation oncology at Northwestern University in Chicago and an adjunct professor of religion and science at Lutheran School of Theology Chicago, and at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.
To read more about the event, click here.