Holy Institution Panagia Soumela, Inc. (HIPS) is a charitable, religious, educational and scientific non-profit corporation organized under IRS section 501(c)(3) and the “NJ Non-Profit Corporation Act” established to commit its resources to a) maintain a chapel in honor of the Holy Mother of Mount Mela (Panagia Soumela) to maintain our Greek Orthodox religious faith, and b) to properly preserve and promote the Pontian-Hellenic cultural heritage, history and Orthodoxy. As such, donations to HIPS are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.
On its “Pontian Land of the New World” in West Milford, NJ, the Holy Institution achieves a devout realization of the annual Holy Pilgrimage of the Holy Mother on August 15th.
The Board is comprised entirely of volunteers and ALL donated funds are dedicated to the operating expenses of this property and other philanthropic purposes only.
HIPS is united by a common faith and spirituality with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, and more particularly with the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of New Jersey since the township of West Milford is within the spiritual jurisdiction of this Metropolis. This underlying unity is based on identity of doctrines, sacramental life and worship, which distinguishes Orthodox Christianity. HIPS recognizes the spiritual preeminence of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople who is acknowledged as first among equals. HIPS is not a parish in the Metropolis of New Jersey or in any other Metropolises or Archdioceses and the collaboration with the Metropolis of New Jersey is extended to spiritual and ecclesiastical issues.
HIPS is affiliated with the Pan-Pontian Federation of USA and Canada, Inc. (Federation) under the special status of the only Greek Orthodox organization of the Federation, as described in Article 26 of the Federation’s by-laws. The affiliation and collaboration with the Federation is based on the coincidence of our common homeland, origin, history, language and culture as well as on the identity of common objectives for the preservation of our history and culture and the promotion of issues related to Pontos and Pontians.