The Office of Vocation & Ministry at Hellenic College Holy Cross sponsors the Women Leaders of the Church Lecture to highlight the remarkable accomplishments of women in the Orthodox Church. Each year, a woman who has demonstrated vibrant service to the Church and society is invited to share her story and offer wisdom to the Hellenic College Holy Cross community. These lectures highlight the vibrant role of women within the Church in order to encourage and inspire others, especially our young women at Hellenic College.
This year's lecture was presented on Tuesday, March 26, 2013, by Aphrodite Skeadas, National President of the Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society.
Aphrodite Skeadas has served as President of National Philoptochos since November 2008; she recently accepted the appointment and charge of Archbishop Demetrios to serve a third term. The Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society, Inc. is the philanthropic arm of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America that has offered eighty years of philanthropy through a multitude of programs that make a difference in the lives of people in the United States and throughout the world. President Skeadas has affirmed clear goals for her presidency: to increase outreach and membership, embrace the younger generation, and enhance the use of technology.
Mrs. Skeadas travels extensively across the United States transmitting the Philoptochos mission to the 485 Chapters nationwide. Under her leadership, Philoptochos initiated a major campaign to secure a permanent Philoptochos home, and through a unified, national effort supported by Chapters, parishes, and stewards, National Philoptochos purchased the Philoptochos Center of Philanthropy in Manhattan in November 2012. The Center is the home of all members, Chapters, and stewards.
The National Philoptochos Society was established in November 1931, by the Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras of blessed memory, who was then serving as Archbishop of North and South America. Philoptochos fulfills its mission to help the poor, the destitute, the hungry, the aged, the sick, the unemployed, the orphaned, the imprisoned, the widowed, those with disabilities and the victims of disasters through its National and Metropolis Boards and its 485 Chapters and 27,500 members nationwide.
Paulette Poulos is the Executive Director of the Archbishop Iakovos Leadership 100 Endowment Fund Inc. Ms. Poulos has been associated with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese throughout her career. She joined the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in 1965 and has served in various capacities of increasing responsibilities, including Director of LOGOS and Associate Director for Stewardship Ministry (1972-1984). From 1984 to 1996, she served as Archbishop Iakovos' administrator and remained with him until his passing.
Ms. Poulos was the driving force in raising the necessary funds to complete the Archbishop Iakovos Library and Research Center on the campus of Hellenic College Holy Cross. The Archbishop Iakovos Leadership 100 Endowment Fund is an independent charitable fund whose mission is to preserve and perpetuate the Orthodox Christian faith and Hellenic heritage through support of activities that increase and strengthen the ministries of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
Presvytera Nikki Chafos Stephanopoulos began working for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in 1983 and retired in August 2008 as Director of News and Information/Public Relations Officer. During her tenure for the Archdiocese, Presvytera Nikki served as a feature editor for the Orthodox Observer, the USA Press Officer for the Patriarchal visits for Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios in 1990 and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in 1997, and an Archdiocesan representative for several boards and councils.
Presvytera Nikki is married to Rev. Dr. Robert Stephanopoulos. During their pastorates at St. Demetrios Church, Fall River, MA, the Church of Our Saviour, Rye, NY, and Sts. Constantine and Helen Cathedral, Cleveland, OH, she pursued her public relations interest as a volunteer in the parish and community. While in Cleveland, she was founding editor of The Illuminator, the newspaper of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Pittsburgh, and editor of the Hellenic Voice, a Greek American newspaper in Cleveland. Presvytera Nikki and Father Robert have four children and two granddaughters.
Women in Leadership & Service provides a space for the women of Hellenic College to reflect on their unique talents and interest in serving both the Church and society at large. Female students of Holy Cross serve as mentors to the female students of Hellenic College. The program presents an opportunity for students to develop relationships with Orthodox women, including peers, mentors, and saints. Throughout the academic year, students are introduced to Orthodox women who exemplify servant-leadership in their professional and personal lives. Luncheon book discussions bring the women together to discuss and draw inspiration from the lives of contemporary female saints, such as the biographical work on Mother Maria Skobtsova, Pearl of Great Price. The women of WiLS also play an integral role in organizing annual campus-wide events.
The Office of Vocation & Ministry (OVM) at Hellenic College trains and educates faithful, energetic, high achieving, and service oriented Orthodox Christian young people to be leaders in the church as priests and lay people.
CrossRoad Session 1: June 22-July 2, 2013
CrossRoad Session 2: July 8–18, 2013
OVM programs are made possible through the generous assistance of the following organizations: