Monthly Newsletter - 1999-2001 Archive

St. Anthony's Greek Orthodox Church - Bulletin
August 2000 - Volume 5, Number 16

[St. Anthony's Logo]

A Message From Your Pastor

Reflections on the 35th Biennial Clergy-Laity Congress of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

The Clergy-Laity Congress and Philoptochos National Convention convened at the Philadelphia Marriott Hotel in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from Saturday, July 1st through Friday, July 7th, 2000. The National Young Adult League (YAL) Conference was also held in conjunction with the Congress from Thursday June 29th through Sunday July 2nd.

His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, who was enthroned on September 18, 1999, as the sixth Archbishop since the Archdiocese was established in 1922, presided at the 35th Clergy Laity Congress and National Philoptochos Convention, which attracted approximately 3,000 total participants and approximately 1,500 registered delegates from more than 550 parishes.

On Sunday, July 2, a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy was celebrated at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Archbishop Demetrios co-celebrated with Metropolitan Panteleimon of Tyroloi and Serentiou, and Metropolitan Demetrios of Sevasteia, representatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate along with the Holy Eparchial Synod of Metropolitans and Bishops and clergy.

Thousands of faithful attended a beautiful Liturgy. Archbishop Demetrios delivered a moving and inspiring sermon that set the pace for the Congress. An original thinker and a man of deep spirituality, Archbishop Demetrios' words were farreaching and captured everyone's imagination. We all felt a reawakening and were reassured in our beliefs and our efforts all these years in this blessed land of ours. He moved through his thoughts and presented his vision for the Church in the new millennium. At all times, we felt his humanity, his love and his holiness. He deeply cares for us and our Church. There is no doubt that something more spiritual, more focused on the mission of the Church is happening. "We are called by God, the Archbishop said, to stand firm on the ground of an ageless tradition of our faith which declares that without truth as a central component in life, there is no meaning in life, there is no possibility for real knowledge and cultivation of this divine gift which is our mind, our intellect."

It is no accident that help is pouring out from the Leadership One Hundred group and from individual members of the Archdiocesan Council towards the Archdiocese and Hellenic College/Holy Cross School of Theology. This assistance is the result of change and the security that all of us feel in the leadership of our Greek Orthodox Church in America.

"Ageless Traditions in a New Millennium" was the theme of this year's Congress. On Monday July 3rd, Archbishop Demetrios, spiritual leader of 1.5 million Greek Orthodox faithful in America, shared his vision for the Church in the new millennium at the Congress' Opening Ceremonies. In his keynote address, His Eminence focused on how the Orthodox faithful in America "can best appropriate the content of Holy Tradition, so that faith, love and unity do not remain solely as abstract ideals, but as living realities in daily life and witness to Jesus Christ, in view of the new millennium."

The Clergy-Laity Congress is convened biennially and is presided over by the Archbishop. It is concerned with all matters, other than doctrinal or canonical, affecting the life, growth and unity of the church, her institutions, her finances, her administration, educational and philanthropic concerns and her growing role in the religious life of the nation.

The official opening of the National Philoptochos Convention and the Clergy-Laity Congress Exhibits took place Sunday afternoon and the Young Adult League Banquet was held that evening.

The Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society hosted a luncheon dedicated to St. Basil Academy on Tuesday July 4th at 12:00 noon. Speakers at this event included Ambassador of Cyprus to the United Nations Erato Kozakou Markoulis; Marilyn Rouvelas, author of A Guide To Greek Traditions And Customs In America , and National Philoptochos President Eve Condakes.

On the evening of July 4th at 6:30 p.m., an Independence Day Doxology took place at St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Philadelphia. A family outing followed the Doxology.

On Wednesday July 5th the first plenary session of the Congress took place at 4:30 p.m. Also, the Sisterhood of Presvyteres hosted a luncheon with honored guests Archbishop Demetrios and members of the Holy Eparchial Synod. That afternoon there was a Presbyters Council and the Sisterhood of Presvyteres panel discussion entitled: "Great Expectations." Retired Clergy, Orthodox Chaplains, and Church Musicians also convened.

Thursday July 6th was the final plenary session of the Congress. In the evening of this day at 7:30 p.m. the Grand Banquet was held which was attended by religious, diplomatic, government, and communications community, as well as some 3,000 delegates and guests. CBS News Anchor Thalia Assuras was the evening's master of ceremonies. A highlight of the evening was the premiere of Decades of Faith: The Greek Orthodox Church in America: 1860-2000.

The best news to come out of the Congress was that through the efforts of Archbishop Demetrios, the $5.4 million debt plaguing the Archdiocese has been retired through generous donations from Leadership One Hundred members and others.

There will be a special congress in December to examine a draft of the new Archdiocesan Charter. Much time was devoted to discussing the challenge of interfaith marriages: how to keep the Orthodox spouse in the fold and how to attract the non-Orthodox spouse. Of particular concern was the treatment of Orthodox who do not have their marriages blessed in the Church.

The Archdiocese made an extra effort to provide a religious component for each National Ministry Committee meeting. The Clergy-Laity Congress hoped and, we believe, succeeded in providing a spiritual context for the Archdiocesan administrative and financial deliberations, thus allowing all participants to apply the contributions of the Patristic Tradition to the spiritual life and current administrative needs of their respective Greek Orthodox parishes. For example, the newly created Archdiocesan Department devoted to exploring issues related to Interfaith Marriage offered a workshop entitled: Reflections of St. John Chrysostom's Perspective on Marriage and the Family: Implications for the Interfaith Marriage Challenge. The Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries presented a workshop entitled: Building Bridges to Adolescence: A Practical Guide to Understanding Youth Culture. Highlights of this workshop included a discussion of the life of St. Athanasios and his theological teaching as it pertains to the Incarnation and humanity's participation in Christ, with emphasis on the "kenotic process."

The Communications Department, in an aim to educate parishes on how to share their message of hope and love to the Greek Orthodox faithful, and to the public at large, hosted a workshop entitled: How to Achieve Placement of Religious News on TV Newscasts and Print Media. This workshop also discussed plans for a nationwide radio and television ministry for the Greek Orthodox faithful and the greater American community.

During the Congress, the Department of Information Technology provided a computer lab and computer training seminars. The seminars focused on how to use parish administration software, the Internet, and Microsoft Office. After hours, the computer lab was open to attendees to apply what they learned in the classes, search the Internet, and check e-mail. A clergy-only computer forum was offered for the first time.

As we were leaving the historic city of Philadelphia we all felt a renewed sense of unity and peace, we were also aware of the unlimited possibilities that are offered by the new technologies which are put to work by the excellent staff of the Archdiocese to serve its ministries and the local ministries of our parishes as well. But above all, we felt deeply grateful to Almighty God for guiding His All Holiness Bartholomew I our Ecumenical Patriarch and the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to send us Archbishop Demetrios as our spiritual leader. "God frequently takes us on a journey, the purpose of which we question. That certainly was the case with the turmoil undergone by our Archdiocese over the last three years. Many have said, too bad we did not get Demetrios in 1966. Perhaps, looking back, we would not have fully appreciated him the way we now do. Let us make the most of the window of opportunity we have with this quiet, but most dynamic leader to put our Church fully on a new path in America." (The Hellenic Chronicle, Wednesday, July 12, 2000)

Prepared by Father Efstathios V. Mylonas

St. Anthony's delegates to the 35th Biennial Clergy-Laity Congress and National Ladies Philoptochos Society were: Fr. Stathis and Dean Efstathiou, president Parish Council, to the Congress. Fontaine Malisos, president St. Anthony's Philoptochos, Maria Hronas and Charlene Vayos to the National Ladies Philoptochos Society. Presvytera Maria participated in the Presvyteres Sisterhood Conference. Nick Vayos attended the Congress as an observer.

George and Vivian Mavredakis visited recently the Ecumenical Patriarchate and they received the blessings of His All Holiness Bartholomew I Ecumenical Patriarch.

We extend to John Mavredakis and his family our congratulations and warmest wishes for joining Leadership One Hundred of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Leadership One Hundred approved recently $10 million grant to Hellenic College/Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology over the next 10 years that will allow students to attend the Schools on full scholarships. Another $175,000 grant was announced that will fund a new Archdiocese Department of Interfaith Marriage. Eighty new members have made their pledge to join the Leadership One Hundred. Commenting on the conference of this group May 11 - 14, 2000 at the Capital Hilton in Washington, Leadership Executive Director Fr. Alex Karloutsos said that " under the leadership of His Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios, Leadrship 100 members will lead the way for the advancement of Orthodoxy and Hellenism well into the new millennium. He is the spiritual father who reminds us constantly that we are brothers and sisters who must dwell in unity and love as God's children ought."

The historic decision of the Parish General Assembly on Sunday, May 7, 2000 Our parishioners widely support proceeding with the modification of the first floor of the existing hall to classrooms and administrative offices and the construction of a new multipurpose hall with kitchen facilities as presented in the Master Plan at an approximate cost of $1,500,000. The next step is to form a committee with dedicated and committed members of our Church. This is in the minds of the parish council members, your priest and in the hearts of many parishioners. With your wholehearted support, the dream of building a new facility and modifying the existing one will soon become a reality. Achieving this goal will be the blessing of the Almighty God. We are His co-workers in this world. Let us focus on this historic decision and great plan for the benefit of us all and for the glory of God.

Greek Festival on September 23 - 24, 2000 at Santa Anita Park, Arcadia, CA

It is time to prepare for our annual Greek Festival. Your support is absolutely necessary for the success of this fundraising community event. The Festival needs your personal involvement to help with the preparations. If your time is restricted by your work or other commitments, please send your donation. There are people who have done this with gladness and generosity. Please join them. The Festival will raise funds to support many ministries of our Church and we want and need your help. If you have questions, or you wish to donate, or you are willing to get involved in the preparations and help during the two-day Festival, please call Pantele Xanthos, chairman of the Greek Festival at (626)445-6645.

Holy Sacraments

Anthony D. Mowrey and Victoria S. Ryan on May 28, 2000. Best man: Konstandinos Ballas.

Konstandinos A. Syrengelas and Georgia E. Halias on June 18, 2000. Best man: Bill Bonorris.

Christopher C. Rivanis and Martha D. Monterroso on June 24, 2000. Best man: Elizabeth Osorio.

Thomas S. Lucas and Mary C. Albeck on July 8, 2000. Best man: Andrew T. Vournas and Athina Moutzouridis.

Luke Andreas, son of Jeffrey M. and Jennie Forden on June 3, 2000. Godparent: Paula Darlas.

Maria, daughter of Sotirios K. and Chrisoula Papavasiliou on June 25, 2000. Godparent : Eleftherios Patsouras.

Rafik R. and Stacy Petrossian on June 25, 2000. Godparents: Eleni Koulos and Artin Grigorian.

Sylvia Zoe, daughter of Michael P. Tereschuk and Angela Hajianis on July 9, 2000. Godparent: Tina Hajianis and Barbara Tereschuk.

Alexandra Matina, daughter of John M. and Andrea N. Patzakis on July 16, 2000. Godparent: Gregory Yaitanes.

Michael Andrew, son of Mark D. and Debra J. Kallas on July 30, 2000. Godparent: Marge Rubirosa.

We express our condolences to the following people: Gus and Judith Christopoulos and their family on the death of their mother, Florence M. Stefanovic; Phaedon and Jeanne Karaioannoglou and their family on the death of their mother, Florentia Karaioannoglou; Dr. James and Virginia Kallins and their family on the untimely death of their son Nicholas Kallins; Father John Kariotakis and to his daughter Evie of St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church, San Diego, CA on the death of Presvytera Kathy. May the Lord our God grant peace and rest to the souls of these dedicated people and may their memory be eternal.

Graduates honored

The following High School and College/University and Graduate School graduates were honored on Sunday, June 11, 2000:

  • Nicole C. Hronas, Arcadia High School
  • Vasiliki Kypreos, Glendora High School
  • Thalia Polychronis, Malborough High School, Los Angeles
  • Giselle Samaan, Arcadia High School
  • Nicoleta Soris, Glendora High School
  • Chris Christodoulou, University of Southern California, Medical School. Degree: Doctor of Medicine, with a specialty in Internal Medicine, subspecialty in Cardiovascular Medicine and Cardiology and second subspecialty in Interventional Cardiology
  • Athina Moutzouridis, La Verne University: Degree: Bachelor of Public Administration
  • Kristy Palmquist, University of Oregon, School of Law. Degree: Doctor of Jurisprudence
  • Dean Steven Tripodes, Claremont Graduate University, Drucker School of Management. Degree: Master of Business Administration
  • John Zanetos, Loyola Marymount University. Degree: Bachelor of Arts

To all the graduates, we express our heartfelt best wishes and we congratulate them for their great achievements. May God bless each one of them with the gifts of His love and may He guide them to every good work in serving and helping their fellowmen that His Holy Name be glorified. The graduates received a beautiful book about our Orthodox Faith. The books were a gift from our Ladies Philoptochos Society.

The members of the Choir as well as the Sunday School teachers and the chanters were honored. They received as a gift from our Church the book, The Services For Holy Week And Easter. We are deeply appreciative for their faithful services.

"Now concerning the contribution for the saints...on the first day of the week each one of you is to put something aside and store it up as he may prosper, so that contributions need not be made when I come." (1 Corinthians 16:1-2 )

Often called the greatest of all apostles, St. Paul, through his preaching and traveling throughout eastern Europe and Asia influenced countless people in his time. He established Christian communities in Jerusalem, in Corinth, in Ephesus, and in Rome, and he maintained contact with them. St. Paul challenged the commitment of each and every one of the Christians he came upon. In perhaps his boldest challenge, he wrote to the people of Corinth, saying, "Make a collection, gather up the funds, and when I come, either I will go, or I will send disciples to our brothers and sisters in Jerusalem. Send the monies, because our brothers and sisters in Jerusalem are in trouble, are in pain, are suffering, and they need our help." (1 Corinthians 16:2-4)

Not too long ago, if a person from Greece married someone from a different island, town, or village, that person was considered a "foreigner'" (xenos). Here, we learn that St. Paul challenges the Corinthians to offer their assistance to those not of a neighboring village, town, or island of Greece, but of a distant foreign place--Jerusalem. Imagine the mind-set of the early Christians to give of their livelihood for people far away, whom they knew nothing about. This is the commitment of Christians to their neighbors wherever there is need in the world. May we be inspired by the commitment of the ancient Corinthians and their acknowledgement to their brothers and sisters in Christ, whether in Jerusalem, or throughout the world today, or across the street, or just next door, or in our own parish Church.

Thank you for your consideration and your continuing support through our Christian Stewardship. May the Lord our God bless you and your loved ones.

Father Stathis

Bill Tragus has accepted the position of Pastoral/Lay Assistant for our parish effective September 5, 2000. He holds Bachelor's of Science degree in International Business and Marketing from the University of Southern California and a Master of Divinity from Hellenic College/Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts. He was the director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries for the Diocese of San Francisco since June 1998. We congratulate Bill, we extend to him a warm welcome and wish him all the blessings of God the Almighty in his new ministry at St. Anthony's Church.

St. Anthony's Vacation Bible School
St. Anthony's Vacation Bible School from July 31 - August 4, 2000 was a great success! More than 65 young students ages 3 to 10 attended the School. The program started with special prayers for the teachers and students by Fr. Stathis. Irene Albeck and Esther Vavoulis who coordinated and put together the program also addressed the young participants and their parents. Many thanks and deep appreciation to Irene and Esther and to all the volunteers who helped with the program, and to those who donated to make it possible. Among the volunteers were many of the young members of St. Anthony's Church. They all helped to make our Church Hall, for a few days, a, vibrant and spiritual place. It was like an active and happy beehive!

Registration day at St. Anthony's Church for all our youth programs Registration for all of our youth programs will be held on Sunday, September 10 and 17, 2000 following the Divine Liturgy. On these two Sundays you may enroll for Sunday School, Greek School, Greek Orthodox Folk Dance Groups, Moms 'n' Tots, GOYA, JOY, YAL and for prospective altar boys (beginning age 9 years old). We look forwaed to your participation.

Orthodox Bible Study
On Sundays, September 10 and 17, 2000 we will also hold registration for those who wish to attend our Orthodox Bible Study.

His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios and the Corporate Board of Hellenic College/Holy Cross School of Theology announced the appointment of Father Nicholas Triantafilou as the new President of Hellenic College/Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, MA. We express our best wishes to Father Nicholas and we congratulate him.

Fr. Mark Leondis, Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries, announced that the film in a series of six Orthodox videos designed to address concerns facing Orthodox young people is now available. "Substance Abuse: Our Kids Are Not Immune." takes a look at the rampant accessibility and widespread drug abuse in America's schools, and neighborhoods, and offers ways to combat the temptations of peer pressure via Jesus Christ and His Church. Produced by the Archdiocesan Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries and Greek Orthodox Telecommunications (GOTELECOM), "Substance Abuse: Our Kids Are Not Immune," features thelogical, scriptural and patristic references, as well as contemporary statistics and resources. The video also draws from experts in the fields of drug enforcement and adolescent development. "Substance Abuse: Our Kids Are Not Immune," also includes a section for parents and youth workers, and a resource book with information on retreats, articles on youth culture, and other references. To order your copy for $35.00 (not including shipping and handling) call (212) 570-3561 or on the internet at

Byzantine Iconography Workshop taught by Fr. Michael Courey of St. Katherine's Church at St. Nicholas Ranch, Conference and Retreat Center August 11 - 17, 2000. For more information call (559)338-2103.

The Holy Monastery of The Theotokos The Living Spring and St. Nicholas Ranch invites you to attend a vigil for the Feast of the Falling Asleep of the Theotokos on Monday, August 14, 2000 beginnig at 5:00 p.m. For more information place call (559)338 2103.

St. Demetrios Church Youth Benefit Golf Tournament will take place on Thursday, August 17, 2000 at Sterling Hills Golf Course, Camarillo, CA. Call for information Maria Ballas at (805)4929773.

Diocese of San Francisco Greek Orthodox Young Adult League Conference on the labor weekend, September 1 - 4, 2000. Deacon Dr. John Chryssavgis will be the keynote speaker. The conference will take place at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, San Francisco Airport; (650)347-2334: Questions? or email to:

International Orthodox Christian Charities is hosting "It's a Small World' on October 8, 2000 at the Disneyland Hotel, Join the people and work together with them to help those who are less fortunate and they need our support. For information call the Los Angeles Metropolitan Committee of I.O.C.C. At (818) 505-6474.

A Conference on the Orthodox Parish in America will take place at Hellenic College/Holy Cross School of Theology in Brookline, MA from September 27 - October 1, 2000, sponsored by the faculty of Holy Cross. The Conference will focus on "Faithfulness to the Past and Responsibility for the Future. For information call (617) 731-3500.

Millennium Pilgrimage to Holy Land and Ecumenical Patriarchate August 22 - September 4, 2000. The Order of St. Andrew invites you the Greek Orthodox Faithful of America to a historic pilgrimage retracting the steps of Jesus Christ in the Holy Land, visiting Sinai, the site of the St. Catherine Monastery and where Moses received the Ten Commandments and culminating at the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople, the spiritual center of World Orthodoxy, witnessing the Service of Indiction and participating in a day-long symposium. Space limited. For more information call Cloud Tours (800)223-7880.

Annual Philoptochos Retreat will be held at St. Nicholas Ranch Conference and Retreat Center on October 22 - 22, 2000. The theme will be "Sacrament of Diakonia." Retreat director, Father John Bakas, Dean of St. Sophia Cathedral. For information/registration call (559) 338-2103.

Orthodox Marriage Encounter Your wedding was just one day in your life, but your marriage is forever. Marriage Encounter is designed to deepen and enrich the joys a couple share together whether they've been married only a short time or for many years! Orthodox Marriage Encounter will take place on October 20 - 22, 2000, Ontario, CA and February 9 - 11, 2001 in San Diego, CA. For more information or registration forms please call, Fr. Jim and Pres. Donna Pappas (559)454-1243 or Rev. Deacon John and Elaine Alexandres (909)793-8168, or Bud and Marsha Taylor (559)439-8605.

Project Mexico and St. Innocent Orphanage serve many orphans and needy people. If you wish to help the Project or the Orphanage, please write to: Project Mexico, P. O. Box 120028, Chula Vista, CA 91912-3128, telephone: (619) 216-4974,

A Greek Orthodox Section at Rose Hills Memorial Park has been created to serve the needs of our Orthodox people. For more information call (562) 260-9671 or (562) 692 1212 ext. 596.

Please save the date:
St. Anthony's Parish will hold its annual Pente Saturday, February 24, 2001.

Tournament of Roses - Hellenic Float Project The AHEPA's second entry in the famed Tournament of Roses Parade, "Passing the Torch," captured the coveted Queen's Trophy for the second consecutive year as it spread Hellenism into the new millennium. The Tournament of Roses Parade theme for 2001 is The Fabric of America, and the Hellenic float will be another exceptional entry. AHEPA family Hellenic float 2001 - Concept Rendering "Birthplace of Democracy." Your support for the success of this project is of paramount importance. Please send your contribution to: AHEPA Hellenic Heritage Foundation, Rose Parade Float Project, P. O. Box 305, Van Nuys, CA 91408-0305,

FDF 2001 - 25th Anniversary of Folk Dance Festival
Scheduled to be held in Pasadena, California on the weekend of February 17 - 18, 2001.