Emergency Relief Commission meets to review plans for September 11th Fund

- On February 28, 2002, a meeting of the Orthodox Church in America’s Emergency Relief Commission was held at the OCA Chancery here to review plans for the disbursement of funds raised to assist those affected by the tragedies on September 11, 2001.

Clergy from the New York and Washington DC areas reported on the situations of parishoners and firehouses affected by the September 11 terrorist attacks on the US.

The Commission selected one specific fund [ASYMCA] assisting Pentagon survivors to receive a $25,000 grant, to be presented personally by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Theodosius, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, during his Paschal visit to Saint Nicholas Cathedral in Washington DC.

Commission members also agreed to distribute funds to three firehouses in lower Manhattan and a fourth in Woodside. Two firehouses, which lost a total of 11 men, will receive $35,000. A third firehouse, at which six firefighters perished, will receive $20,000, while a fourth, which lost one firefighter, will receive $10,000.

Commission members further decided that civilian victims should receive $5,000 to $10,000 each, depending on their particular circumstances and needs. A percentage of the funds will be earmarked for ongoing needs, especially psychological counseling for those affected by the attacks.

Igumen Christopher [Calin], Dean of Holy Virgin Protection Cathedral in New York City, reported that a benefit concert of Orthodox liturgical music held at his cathedral raised $5,000, of which $3,500 was donated to the neighboring firehouse that had lost 11 men.

The Commission also noted that International Orthodox Christian Charities is sponsoring a program for training of clergy and other Church workers to respond during critical situations and national disasters, and suggested that OCA clergy will be contacted for their participation. The OCA’s Pastoral Ministries Unit is cooperating with this effort.

Members of the Commission will meet again in May to review further updates and address ongoing needs.

In addition to Igumen Christopher, Commission members include Protopresbyter Robert S Kondratick, OCA Chancellor; the Very Revs. Constantine White, GregorySafchuk, and Stavros Strikis; the Revs. Daniel Degyansky, Wiaczeslaw Krawczuk, and Vladimir Alexeev; Deacon Michael Suvak; and Maureen Bezuhly-Galterio.