About the NSP
THIRTY YEARS AGO ~ AN IDEA WAS BORN!
From the beginning . . .
- In the 1960s and 70s, the number of Presvyteres attending Clergy-Laity Congresses was growing steadily. Congress host committees began to organzie an event for the Presvyteres in attendance, such as a luncheon or a tour of city highlights. Later, Archbishop Iakovos (of blessed memory) started to gather the Presvyteres at a tea where he would address the group concerning matters pertaining to the life of a clergy family. Instrumental in organizing these teas were Bess Papadeas (of blessed memory) and Sultana Volaitis.
- In 1980, a group of Presvyteres attending the Clergy-Laity Congress in Atlanta, Georgia stated how wonderful it would be if there were opportunities to get acquainted and have a support group for all Presvyteres. Their thoughts were shared with Archbishop Iakovos and on the closing day of that Congress, the Archbishop announced that he gives his blessing and approval for the formation of such a group.
- In 1982, at the San Francisco Clergy-Laity, the National Sisterhood of Presvyteres was officially established and By-Laws were accepted by Archbishop Iakovos. Elaine Stephanides became Chairman and each Diocese selected a representative to serve on the National Board. A newsletter was sent out to inform the Presvyteres of all that was happening within the NSP. The newsletter continues today!
- At the Clergy-Laity Congress in New York City, 1984, the title of “Chairman” was changed to “President” and Elaine Stephanides was elected for a second term. The Benevolent Fund was also established at this time and administered by Vice-President Mary Scoulas. Archbishop Iakovos appointed the president of the NSP to the National Philoptochos Board as a voting member.
- In 1986, at the Clergy-Laity Congress in Dallas, the NSP elected Mary Scoulas President. It was during her presidency that the Benevolent Fund was further developed. The appointment of the president to the National Board of Philoptochos became ex-officio and continues to this day.
- Ellie Dogias was elected as President at the Clergy-Laity Congress in Boston, 1988 and served for two consecutive terms. During her tenure, she traveled as NSP representative to the funeral of His Holiness Patriarch Demetrios (of blessed memory) in 1991 as well as was a part of a delegation led by Archbishop Iakovos to Caracas Venezuela in 1992. A new position was also formed at this time: Widowed/Retired Presvyteres. It is currently two separate committees of the board.
- In 1992, Goldie Doukas was elected President of NSP and served for 2 consecutive terms.
- After many suggestions, Saints Martha and Mary, the sisters of Lazarus became the patron saints of the NSP in 1993.
- In 1994, the NSP President became a non-voting member of the Archdiocesan Benefits Committee. In 1994 the NSP president was also appointed to the Archdiocesan Council as an ex-officio member.
- In May of 1996, the CAP Program began.
- On the occasion of the retirement of Archbishop Iakovos in 1996, the NSP and APC collected and presented $15,000 to be designated for an item for the future Archbishop Iakovos Library, which was purchased in 1996 – a microfiche machine.
- In 1996, The Listening Connection was formed! In that same year, the Benevolent Fund of the NSP merged with the Benevolent Fund of the APC with a boost of a sizable donation of funds from Leadership 100.
- Dues in the beginning were set at $15, but changed to “annual stewardship offering” in 1996.
- May 31, 1996 the NSP website was launched and is still maintained today by Pauline Pavlakos!
- New President, Margaret Orfanakos took the reins of the NSP in 1996 at Clergy-Laity Congress and served two consecutive terms.
- A new Presvytera Pamphlet titled “Food for Thought for New Presvyteres” was presented in 1996.
- Our Lady of the Snows Retreat Center located in Belleville, Illinois became the site of our first biennial retreat in October of 1999. The Theme was “All Members of One Another” and Pauline Pavlakos was the chairman.
- In 2000, Angie Constantinides became the 6th NSP President and served two consecutive terms.
- October 2001, saw the birth of “Sister to Sister”.
- The second biennial retreat of the NSP took place in Estes Park, Colorado, October 12-14, 2001, at St. Malo Retreat Center. The theme was “Preachers Wife~Movie or Real Life?” Fr. Costa Sitaras was the retreat leader, and Pauline Pavlakos and Jane Andrews were the chairmen.
- A Clergy KidZ Program was born at the Clergy-Laity Congress in Los Angeles in 2002. Also in 2002, the NSP logo was introduced, and pins displaying the logo were distributed to all Presvyteres.
- In 2003, the third biennial NSP Retreat took place in Ligonier, Pennsylvania. “Walking the Tightrope” was the theme.
- At Clergy Laity 2004, Flora Chioros became NSP President.
- With much work from Elaine Stephanides a pamphlet “Procedure to be followed upon the death of a priest” was compiled in 2004.
- With the loving support of our National Philoptochos, the APC/NSP Benevolent Fund was added in 2005 as a line item on their budget, to be sustained annually.
- With much sadness in 2005, our beloved Archbishop Iakovos passed away. President, Flora Chioros and many past presidents represented the Sisterhood at his funeral. The NSP then donated $2,000 in his memory to the Archbishop Iakovos Library.
- In 2005, many Presvyteres journeyed to Woodstock, Illinois for the fourth biennial NSP Retreat at Resurrection Retreat Center. “Building Clergy Families on Faith and Love” was the topic.
- Elected in 2006, Cynthia Paleologos became the next NSP President, serving two consecutive terms.
- 2006 brought the age of technology to our Sisterhood and “Prez to Prez”, which started in the Metropolis of San Francisco, became a welcomed weekly addition to our email boxes.
- Clergy Wellness workshops were a well received part of the 2006 Clergy Laity in Nashville, TN
- October 7-10 in 2007 found many Presvyteres at the Mercy Retreat Center in Burlingame, California to participate in the fifth biennial NSP Retreat. The theme of the retreat was “One Thing Needful”. Presvyteres Ellie Dogias and Barbara Retelas were the retreat chairmen.
- Leadership 100 granted the NSP and APC $15,000 for programs for the upcoming Clergy-Laity Congress in Washington, DC ~ 2008
- The sixth biennial retreat of the NSP was held in Marriottsville, Maryland on October 9-12, 2009 at the Bon Secours Spiritual Center. The theme “Nurturing the Nurturer: Self Care for the Presvytera” was enjoyed by all. Charlotte Eliopoulos was the speaker, and Alice Noplos and Pauline Pavlakos were the chairmen. Many thanks again to Leadership 100 for supporting this retreat with a $2,000 grant!
- Through the years, the Sisterhood has maintained a very accurate directory of all Sisters! It is often used by the Archdiocese and Metropolises.
- Leadership 100 comes through again for the NSP and APC by awarding another $15,000 to help with Clergy Laity 2010 programs.
- Thirty years later--2010--in the same place (Clergy-Laity Congress in Atlanta, Georgia) as the “seed” began, the National Sisterhood of Presvyteres is strong and growing! Our Official “30th Anniversary Celebration” will be at the Clergy-Laity Congress in 2012!
- Elected in 2010, Alice Noplos began her term as NSP President and continued on to serve 2 two-year terms.
- The 7th Biennial NSP Retreat was held at Wooded Glen Conference Center in Henryville, Indiana from October 7-10, 2011. The theme was "The Art of Compassion: God, Self, and Others" and the retreat master was Kerry Pappas.
- The 8th Biennial Retreat was held at the Saint Methodios Faith and Heritage Center in Contoocook, New Hampshire from October 11-14, 2013. The theme was "Seasons of the Presvytera," the retreat master was Presvytera Anthe Athas, and Cindy Paleologos and Claire Foustoukos were the chairmen.
- In July 2014, at the 41st Clergy Laity, held in Philadelphia, Pauline Pavlakos was elected the 10th president of the NSP.
- The 9th Biennial Retreat was held at Camp Allen in Navasota, Texas from October 9-12, 2015. Renee Lambakis and Annabelle Xanthos were the chairmen and Dr. Philip Mamalakis was the retreat master.
The NSP Logo: The three intertwined hearts on the cross symbolize the active, retired, and widowed presvyteres united as sisters in Christ.
Paraskeve the Righteous Martyr of Rome
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