Metropolitan Methodios' Eulogy for Katherine Papas

May 17, 2007

Jim, Peter, Georgia, Valerie and Dianna, and all beloved members of the Pappas family,

Those of us present today and those who came last evening as well as countless thousands throughout America and, indeed, the entire world join you in mourning the death of your beloved mother Katherine.

It was not a coincidence, (in my opinion), that God called her to eternal rest on the eve of Mother's Day, or that her funeral service takes place today, Ascension Thursday.

I believe that God wanted her to celebrate Mother's Day this year in His eternal kingdom. He wanted her soul to ascend today and find its rest in the embrace of Abraham --- there to await the Second Coming along with her beloved husband John.

Katherine lived a long and productive life. She lived to experience the joy of 15 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren. Her book of life, the pages of which were written with the pen of faith and the ink of love, has closed and been placed in the library of eternity.

She will be remembered in many ways, but most of all as a mother-as a loving human being-as an avid gardener tending to her favorite garden-her family. She planted the seeds of her faith into the hearts of her children. And those seeds have brought forth a hundredfold.

We come to the Cathedral this morning to mourn her loss, but to also thank God for blessing the world with such a wonderful person.

Katherine Pappas was loved and respected. She was admired and revered not only by the Omogenia, (the Greek American Community), but by the greater American Community. As one of the hymns we chanted today reads, she was an "image of the ineffable Glory of God." She will be remembered for her support of the arts---the Museum of Fine Arts, the Science Museum, the Boston Symphony and the Boston Opera. A dedicated Church woman, she will be remembered for her life-long support of this Cathedral Parish and the Community of St. Catherine in Quincy which now is building a beautiful church in Braintree, on property previously owned by the Pappas family... The Community was given the name St. Catherine, (let us remember), in honor of Katherine Pappas.

She will be remembered as a faithful supporter of the Hellenic Nursing Home and the EOK and the Volunteer Women, and many other organizations.

Katherine was the first woman ever to receive the Alpha Omega Council's Life Achievement Award, and the first Orthodox Christian woman, (to my knowledge), to be honored by the National Conference of Christians and Jews.

She was an "Archondissa" not only because she was bestowed this patriarchal designation by Patriarch Athenagoras, but because she truly was an archondissa. She was truly someone very special. She was someone who stood apart. She radiated beauty. Not only physical, but she manifested an inner beauty, a beauty that emanated from her heart and soul. She defined dignity, kindness, goodness, wholesomeness, and other virtues far too many to enumerate.

Who can ever forget her lifelong dedication to philanthropy? I refer not only to her 30 years as a member of the Philoptochos society or her 8 years of sterling leadership as President of the National Philoptochos, but I speak of the countless acts of philanthropy that no one knows about.....the hundreds of people she helped without fanfare or publicity.

Most of us saw her for the last time in public at the funeral of Archbishop Iakovos. She was frail, sitting in a wheelchair, but her peaceful countenance was enough to lift the spirits of all of us in that Chapel.

Jimmy, Peter, Georgia, Valerie and Dianna, since her passing last Saturday, I am sure you have paused to reflect on her life. You've brought to mind a kaleidoscope of memories. You recalled very special scenes---your beloved mother's beaming presence, her beautiful smile, the grandeur of her stately persona. You recall the baptisms and weddings. The sports events. The school functions she attended. The Sunday dinners she hosted for friends and family. Most of all, you surely treasure the cherished moments you shared alone with her.

She was a special woman. She was the epitome of elegance. She was a great person.
May God grant her eternal rest in His Kingdom, and may He embrace your entire family in His loving care.

May you live long lives to remember her and your beloved father both of whom bequeathed to you a covenant of excellence and commitment to the eternal values of our Greek Orthodox Faith and Cultural Heritage.