CRS President and CEO and Caritas Internationalis Vice-President, Mr. Sean Callahan along with a group of members from the American Organization, visited both Caritas Athens and Caritas Hellas on Friday, May 18th.
Mr. Callahan came with Mr. Marc DaSilva, CR Europe Zone, Ms. Debra Shomberg, CR Malawi and incoming CR Europe Zone, Ms. Chandreyee Banjeree, Major Gift Officer CRS, and Ms. Kaye Redmond, friend and supporter of CRS.
Our visitors began their day, attending the morning service at Saint Dionysius Cathedral, the Most Reverend Athens Catholic Archbishop, Fr. Sevastianos Rossolatos officiating, along with Fr. Ioannis Patsis, Caritas Hellas Vice-President and Caritas Athens Vice-President & Director.
Later on, American officials headed to the Archdiocese where they met with the Most Reverend, Fr. Sevastianos Rossolatos, President of the Holy Synod of Greece and Caritas Athens. The meeting also joined Fr. Antonios Voutsinos, Caritas Hellas President, Fr. Ioannis Patsis, Caritas Hellas Vice-President and Caritas Athens Vice-President and Director, Mr. Joshua Kyller, CRS Greece Director, Ms. Maria Alverti, Caritas Hellas Director and Mr. Filippos Salimpas, Caritas Athens Operations Director.
During the meeting, attendees discussed the situation in Greece during the last three years, when refugee crisis reached its peak, while the contribution of the Catholic Church and its philanthropic organization to tackle the issue was particularly stressed. Furthermore, particular emphasis was put on the importance of CRS’ contribution via their valuable financial and organizational support to both Caritas Hellas and Caritas Athens. Following the conclusion of the meeting, delegates visited a Caritas Hellas shelter at Kallithea, Caritas Athens Refugee Center, and Caritas Hellas offices at 52, Kapodistriou street.
Visitors accessed all areas where services are offered (showers, soup kitchen, distribution of clothes, psycho-social support, Greek and English classroom, playroom), while they met with staff members of both Organizations.
At the meeting that followed shortly after participated Fr. Antonios Voutsinos, Fr. Ioannis Patsis, Ms. Elissavet Ioustinianou (Caritas Hellas’ General Secretary and Caritas Athens’ Board Secretary), Ms. Maria Alverti, Mr. Filippos Salimpas and Ms. Lizetta Miliari (Head of Caritas Hellas Administration Services). All participants expressed their hope for furthering collaboration to the benefit of our fellow human beings who are in need.