St. Catherine the Great Martyr Church
December 1, 2005
Dearly Beloved in the Lord:
I greet you in the love of Christ and extend my blessing and prayers to all of you who have gathered at Saint Catherine the Great Martyr Church, Representation of The Orthodox Church in America to the Moscow Patriarchate, in observance of “World AIDS Day 2005.”
As you gather to observe this annual worldwide event, your commitment and your efforts in seeking to end the great human tragedy that is HIV/AIDS are to be commended. Your participation in today’s event is a sure sign of your willingness to join in fighting against this terrible disease and of your personal pledge to work towards eliminating it entirely. I am pleased that Saint Catherine the Great Martyr Church was chosen to host you on this occasion and gladly welcome you to the Representation of The Orthodox Church in America.
While we continue to offer our love, compassion and care for those who are already suffering from this tragic disease, we must also search for a way to eradicate it entirely. I encourage you to learn more about this global health crisis and to share your knowledge with others, for education is the key to ending this epidemic. I also invite you to lend your spiritual, moral, and financial assistance in the fight against HIV/AIDS around the world, particularly in support of the thousands of innocent children who are orphaned by AIDS each day, especially in the world’s poorest regions.
Be assured of my prayer that Christ, the Physician of our souls and bodies, will bless you with strength and wisdom as you strive to serve those who have been affected in any way by this horrific epidemic and seek further to eliminate it from human life and experience.
With love in Christ,
Archbishop of Washington and New York
Metropolitan of All America and Canada