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Message from Metropolitan Athenagoras

It is with profound joy and immense gratitude to our Lord for His manifold blessings that we welcome our virtual visitors from across the globe to the St. Gregory Nazianzen Orthodox Institute website. The Institute's School of Orthodox Studies is fully accredited by the Department of Education of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Mexico, Central America, Colombia, Venezuela, and the Islands of the Caribbean (Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople), and is thereby certified to train candidates for ordination and other ministries in the Church. The Institute is also an academic unit of Universidad Rural de Guatemala (URG) through which it offers certificate, undergraduate, and postgraduate degree programs across several other disciplines. Notwithstanding, the primary objective of St. Gregory Nazianzen Orthodox Institute is to prepare men and women for leadership in the Orthodox Church, and moreover, to advance apostolic diakonia and outreach in Latin America, by creating an environment that fosters growth in knowledge, faith, spiritual life and experience, orthopraxis, and service. The Institute's work complements the apostolic ministry and response of the Archdiocese of Mexico to our Lord's command to "go and make disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28:19).

We therefore thank the Right Reverend Mitered Archimandrite Dr. Andrew (Vujisić), URG President Dr. Fidel Reyes-Lee, and all those who have voluntarily and gratuitously assisted, (and who continue to assist), in this noble undertaking for their self-sacrificing labors in the establishment, organization, and operation of the Institute. We wish to all of the professors and students an ever deeper appreciation of the mystery of salvation, leading to active service and ministry in the Orthodox Church and, ultimately, culminating in eternal life. We also pray that participation in the programs of the Institute may educate, spiritually enlighten, form, and strengthen a multitude of new workers in Christ's vineyard who will support the evangelical and pastoral mission of the Orthodox Church in Latin America and throughout the world. This holy endeavor is both necessary and timely, "for the harvest is great but the workers are few" (Matthew 9:37), and accordingly, with great joy, we bestow our fatherly best wishes and apostolic blessings.

With paternal love in Christ,

Metropolitan ATHENAGORAS of Mexico

Do we forgive our neighbors their trespasses? God also forgives us in His mercy. Do we refuse to forgive? God, too, will refuse to forgive us. As we treat our neighbors, so also does God treat us. The forgiveness, then, of your sins or unforgiveness, and hence also your salvation or destruction, depend on you yourself, man. For without forgiveness of sins there is no salvation. You can see for yourself how terrible it is.

St. Tikhon of Zadonsk

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