WHEREAS it is the intention of the Mayor and Council of the Township of Cherry Hill to focus attention on noteworthy occasions and individuals; and
WHEREAS today, Mayor and Council wish to honor Fr. Emmanuel Pratsinakis, one of our community’s most beloved and respected spiritual leaders, as he retires as Pastor of St. Thomas Greek Orthodox Church after nearly 30 years of service; and
WHEREAS Fr. Emmanuel arrived at St. Thomas in August 1986, and in the years since, has touched countless lives and families, performing nearly 1,000 marriages and almost 2,000 baptisms, and serving as a trusted spiritual adviser, friend and confidant to all of his parishioners; and
WHEREAS under Father’s leadership, St. Thomas has seen tremendous growth that included Church renovations, the construction of the Educational Center, and the creation of a Senior Living facility, and – perhaps most notably – the continued growth of the annual Greek Agora into a regionally renowned festival that is loved and attended by thousands of people from across the Delaware Valley; and
WHEREAS a significant part of Father’s legacy lies in his dedication to engaging the children of our community by establishing the Parish Summer Camp and the annual Greek Independence Day celebration at Town Hall, and helping to expand the Sunday School and youth organizations such as GOYA, JOY, and the Hellenic Heritage Dance Group; and
WHEREAS Fr. Emmanuel has made significant contributions regionally, as well, establishing the Cretan Society of the Delaware Valley in 1988, serving as a longtime organizer of the Philadelphia Greek Independence Day Parade and as Vicar of the Metropolis of New Jersey, and as an active member of the Township’s ARHAT Board and the Cherry Hill Religious Leaders Coalition; and
WHEREAS throughout his time at St. Thomas, Fr. Emmanuel Pratsinakis has been a true friend to the Township of Cherry Hill, and in his own very special way, has helped to make our community a warm and welcoming place to live and worship, and he will be deeply missed by all who have had the pleasure of knowing him.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, CHUCK CAHN, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Mayor of the Township of Cherry Hill in the County of Camden, State of New Jersey, do hereby honor and thank
Fr. Emmanuel Pratsinakis
for three decades of service to St. Thomas Greek Orthodox Church, the Greek community in South Jersey, and the Township of Cherry Hill, and do urge all citizens to join with me and Council in wishing Fr. Emmanuel continued health and happiness as he begins this new chapter in life.