Thank you, Father.
Your Eminence, Reverend Fathers, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Sophronia was my student. She worked with me in getting her Ph.D., as many of you know. I would like at this moment to just express a couple of thoughts about Sophronia.
All of us know or have read about distinguished scholars or people with high intellect. We know or have read about people of great faith. Also, we know or have read about people who do philanthropy or reach out and touch other people. But there are very few people who can do all three of these things.
Sophronia was the kind of person who has reached the high level of capability to combine all three of these qualities in her person.
I remember her as a scholar. Those of you that have tried it know that it is very difficult to get a Ph.D., but she was able to do it, and she was admired by her professors.
Working with Ph.D. students the most difficult job is guiding them through their dissertation. Many of them have to go through a number of drafts, but Sophronia’s first draft was her final one. As her major professor, I didn't have to do anything. All I had to do was to present her to the committee.
She graduated with distinction. Professors, not only in the College of Education where she did her degree but in the Department of Linguistics as well, admired her work. They all thought very highly of her ability as a scholar.
We all know about Sophronia’s faith. I witnessed it when we were developing the Sunday School books in Brookline, Massachusetts. The contributions she made in developing that program, still in use by our church, were very valuable. As some of you know, she wrote the fifth grade book by herself.
Finally, we all know how much she has touched all of us. But she has gone beyond this group and touched a lot of other people.
With these thoughts in mind, I stood last evening in the church close to the casket, looked at her, and this thought came to my mind: How wonderful the world would be if we had more people like Sophronia.
She is gone. But her memories are still here. Let's take advantage of these memories. Let's take advantage of her example and each one of us try to become a better human being—as complete a human being as she was.
Father Tomaras, you should take courage in these thoughts. We hope to have you with us for a long time so that together we can celebrate Sophronia’s life and her memory by inspiring other people to become, as much as possible, the kind of person she was.
EONIA TIS I MNIMI