Father Panagiotis Hanley
You can see the article from Leadership 100 written by Fr. Panagiotis that was distributed to our church by clicking on the link.
Fr. Panagiotis is available via email if you would like to contact him: FrpHolyTrans@gmail.com
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I would like to welcome all of you to our home on the Internet. September 1st, 2017, marks two years since I took over here at Holy Transfiguration as the Proistamenos. In that time, I have tried to begin a process of healing, rebuilding and rededication here in our Community. I am so pleased to say that with the help of our dedicated Parishioners and above all else the Grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we have been successfully traveling down that road for some time. This does not mean we can cease our efforts, but as we do on each Ecclesiastical New Year (September 1st, the Indiction), we rededicate ourselves and our whole life to Christ our True God. I am confident in your love and compassion as Orthodox Christians to accomplish this task of rededication.
Most recently here in Charlottesville we were faced with horrible, evil, and ugly displays of hate in the form of political rallies in favor of White Supremacy. To make matters even worse others who had nothing in their heart but equal violence also came out to cause damage and chaos. The honest people who were genuinely trying to protest this message of hate were soon drowned out by a cacophony of hate, violence and discord. Sadly, and tragically this cost us the lives of three beautiful and wonderful people: Ms. Heather D. Heyer, Virginia State Police Officers (and Helicopter Pilots) Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen, Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates. Three people who strived their whole lives according to their friends and family to make the world a better and safer place.
White Supremacy my brothers and sisters is so far away from the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the two cannot be one or supportive of one another. Many have said in the days following the attack that ‘they claim to be Christians…how can that be?’ Simply put one cannot be a Christian if he or she believes that one race is better than everyone else. One cannot be a Christian if one engages a belief of hate, violence, and evil. It is our responsibility as Greek Orthodox Christians to live a Christ like life, and to let His light shine through us, and illuminate the world, leading the world in to His Church so that it might be sanctified. To belittle and discriminate against one or many because of race, color, creed…etc is to join league with the devil the enemy of all.
There are many questions being asked in Charlottesville today and the whole world is watching. Many claim to have answers and solutions. Yet answers and solutions, without the peace and love of Christ our True God, are bound to fail. Martin Luther King Jr. is credited with saying the following: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” and “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” We must in these days following the violence of this past summer depend even more on Christ to heal the divide in our community.
Just this past month we also were witness to Hurricane Harvey ravaging the State of Texas and the City of Houston. Many now are suffering and in need of our help and outpouring of love and support. We here at Holy Transfiguration have started collecting funds for the Hurricane relief and will also be gathering up emergency supply kit materials and boxing them up and sending them to charity relief organizations. Please contact the Church at 434-295-5337 or Father Panagioti Hanley if you would like to donate or have questions and/or suggestions on how we can help. I pray that each of you whom this message reaches will be generous and give from the heart to the victims of this horrible disaster.
I would also like to take a moment to thank all of you at Holy Transfiguration for your kindness and love that you show to me continually. These last two years have been two of the brightest of my life and certainly of my Priesthood. I grateful beyond words to all of you and please know that you are always in my prayers. I in turn ask for your prayers to continue leading us in the direction that Christ has laid out for our community.
May Christ our True God watch over and protect all of you from all the works and power of the evil-one.
Brief Biographical information:
Prior to full-time life in the ministry of the Church my background was in public-service (Law Enforcement) both in the civilian and military. I began my career in Law Enforcement with a University Police Department (NMIMT) in Central New Mexico in 1996. During this same time period, the opportunity would present itself, to enlist in the New Mexico Air National Guard; at that time the 150th Fighter Wing, today the 150th has been re-tasked, as the 150th Special Operations Wing. I enlisted and was assigned to the 150th Security Forces Squadron. I completed Basic Military Training at Lackland AFB in San Antonio, TX, and also completed my Air Force Technical School –Security Forces/Law Enforcement Training academy at Lackland AFB as well. In January of 1997, I took a full-time position with a City (Socorro) Police Department in Central New Mexico. To pursue advancement opportunities a year later I would go on active duty in the U.S.A.F. leaving civilian Law Enforcement.
During my time in the Air Force I was deployed to many different locations throughout the world and in support of many different military operations. Including, Operation Southern Watch, Operation Northern Watch, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, as well as numerous deployments for local exercises and supporting NATO exercises in Europe. While my primary specialty in the Air Force was Security Forces, I was also assigned to the 64th Weapons of Mass Destruction –Civil Support Team (this units primary mission was to assist civilian authorities in the event of a terrorist attack.) In the fall of 2002, I was Honorably Discharged due to medical issues that arose as a result of my service. That same year I would enter Seminary at Hellenic College and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology.
In 2005 I completed my Bachelor’s Degree and in 2008 I would graduate with my Masters of Divinity Degree. On December 16th, 2007, I was ordained to the Holy Deaconate by His Eminence, Metropolitan ISAIAH of Denver and on January 19th, 2014, I was ordained to the Holy Priesthood by His Eminence, Metropolitan EVANGELOS of New Jersey. I am originally from Paramus, New Jersey, and I have lived in a number of States on the East Coast and in the Southwestern United States.