Monthly Newsletter - 1999-2001 Archive

St. Anthony's Greek Orthodox Church - Bulletin
September / October 2000 - Volume 5, Number 17

[St. Anthony's Logo]

A Message From Your Pastor

A Profile and a Brief History of St. Anthony's Parish

In Pasadena, that is an Indian name that means Crown of the Valley , is located one of the most progressive and dynamic Greek Orthodox parishes in the United States, St. Anthony's Greek Orthodox Church.

Pasadena is located Northeast of Los Angeles in the foothills of the majestic San Gabriel Mountains. It is a city of famous museums, the Huntington Library and Art Gallery and the Norton Simon Museum; of many architectural marvels, the Pasadena City Hall and the Craftsman bungalows; of great theatres; of the Rose Bowl stadium and the Mt. Wilson Observatory.

The renown California Institute Of Technology and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory are also in Pasadena. Many professors and scientists of Greek descent teach or work in these great Institutions. Many young people from Greece pursue graduate and postgratuate studies at the California Institute of Technology. A few years ago, St. Anthony's Church organized an event and invited the students to attend. At the time, there were 31 graduate students working for their Ph.Ds! Many of them attend St. Anthony's Church. Our present Choir organist, Athanasios Nenes is one of them. The man who helped to organize our present Choir and was its director for two years, Dr. Demetrios Antsos was a young professor at the California Institute of Technology after he graduated from this School. Our present Choir director is Terry A. McLain. He leads one of the best Church Choirs among the parishes in the Diocese of San Francisco. Our psalti was until recently Nicholas Zarkantzas, doctoral candidate at the Claremont Graduate University and Director of The Mount Athos Digital Library and Preservation Project.

Our psalti's knowledge of Byzantine Music contributes in keeping our Church musical tradition intact. The Greek and English languages are equally used in the Holy Services.

In this hub of education and culture the Greek Orthodox Community of St. Anthony occupies a very prominent place. Its dynamic members, businessmen, professionals, educators, scientists and others are involved in every aspect of life in Pasadena and in the surrounding cities which comprise the Los Angeles Metropolitan area.

It is not known when the first Greek people settled in our area. Andrew Demopulos, one of the original founders of St. Anthony's Church, has discovered that there was a name inscribed on a cement wall, on Columbia and Grand Streets, Vasilios Pappademitropoulos 1889.

Although over the years, many Greek-owned businesses established themselves in Pasadena and the San Gabriel Valley, there was no Church or any other center in the immediate area to serve them. Prior to World War II, most of the Greek people would travel to Annunciation of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church on San Julian Street in Los Angeles. This community was established in 1912 and today is known as St. Sophia Cathedral.

The first Church Services in Pasadena were held in 1952 in the Chapel of a Funeral Home. Fathers Leonidas Contos, of blessed memory and Anthony Kosturos, presently pastor of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church of San Francisco, both of St. Sophia Cathedral, with the blessings of the late Bishop Athenagoras of Elaias, helped the Greek Orthodox faithful of Pasadena to start their community. In March 21, 1954, Bishop Athenagoras assisted by the late Fr. Homer Demopulos of St. Sophia Cathedral celebrated the first Divine Liturgy at the local American Legion Hall.

From that point on it was only a matter of time before the Greek Orthodox faithful of Pasadena established their own place of worship and their cultural center in a city of such progress and promise. The first priest to serve the parish was Fr. Dionysios Zeatas, of blessed memory, who celebrated the first Divine Liturgy at the newly purchased Church of Religious Science on the corner of Rosemead Boulevard and Locksley Street in East Pasadena, where our present Church and its facilities are located.

In the year 1960, Fr. Spiro Pieratos arrived. In 1965 a beautiful multifunctional Hellenic Cultural Center was erected. Construction for the present magnificent Byzantine Church was started on January 17, 1975. Fr. Nicholas Limberis was the priest of the parish at the time and worked with the building Committee headed by George Gianopulos. In 1984, Archbishop Iakovos, assisted by Bishop Anthony of San Francisco, Fr. John Zanetos, priest of St. Anthony's Church, and many Orthodox clergy consecrated St. Anthony's Church.

The iconography of the Church is Byzantine and extensive. It covers all the walls, the Iconastasion and the enlarged dome. All of the iconography, except the most beautiful mosaics was created by George Filippakis, one of our best iconographers and artists in Northern America. Mr. Filippakis has been commissioned to create St. Anthony's Narthex portable icons to preserve uniformity and continuity in the Church. Our iconography is a real treasure. Our Church is a place where people of all faiths come to visit, to pray and to learn about Orthodoxy.

In the early 1990s, St. Anthony's Church acquired a key parcel of land in an exchange for a house and its property from the neighboring Michilinda Presbyterian Church. This land was purchased to facilitate the future growth of the parish while maintaining the master plan. On May 7, 2000, the General Assembly of the Parish approved to proceed with the conversion of the first floor of the existing hall to classrooms and administrative offices and the building of a new multipurpose hall with kitchen facilities, as set forth in the master plan and in order to serve the growing needs of the Community. The cost is estimated at $1,500,000.

In 1991 as a result of the Sierra Madre earthquake, our Church edifice and particularly, the Iconastasion sustained damages requiring over $100,000 in repairs. The Community was able to complete the repairs with its own funds.

St. Anthony's Church is a focal point in ecumenical dialogues and maintains strong relations with other Christian Churches. The community hosted several very large gatherings of Christians in recent years. Christians from throughout Southern California came to pray together during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, the Church was also visited by the Armenian Patriarch, Katholikos Aram, and the General Secretary of the National Council of Churches of the United States, and heads of other Churches. Within our plan to be open to our Community in the Los Angeles area, we also opened our Church to the Pasadena Classical Singers, a renowned group of musicians and singers, who give concerts of religious classical music. The latest concert on June 10 and 11, 2000, the All-Night Vigil by Sergei Rachmaninoff, was a great success. People of all faiths attended the concert and were deeply impressed by the iconography and the beauty of St. Anthony's Church. Alexander Ruggieri, a former St. Anthony's Choir director, is the Music Director of this group.

In the Spring of 1992, after the devastating riots in Los Angeles, we joined hands with the Los Angeles Interfaith Coalition to heal the wounds of the city and to bring peace in the hearts of all people.

The Parish Council headed by Dean Efstathiou, a young engineer and dedicated member of the Church is working with great enthusiasm and dedication to strengthen our ministries and to fulfill our goals.

The Ladies Philoptochos Society is diligently working to help the needy, sick and lonely. Once a month, these ladies assisted by young members of our Church bring hot meals to Union Station to feed the homeless of Pasadena. The group also helps many sick people who come to our area from Greece. Beyond their philanthropic work, the Ladies of St. Anthony's Philoptochos are helping with renovations and improvements in our present facilities. They help also with the purchase of Icons and other needs of the Church with the funds they raise during the Social Hour following the Divine Liturgy on Sundays. The president of the Philoptochos is Fontaine Malisos.

Our Sunday School has a large number of young students and the numbers are growing. It is not uncommon to see over fifty young people receiving Holy Communion each Sunday. Our current Sunday School has the largest number of students in our history. Our dedicated teachers have been joined by younger teachers, who recently graduated from our Sunday School and have grown up in our parish. Irene Albeck is the director of the Sunday School.

Within our Sunday School program, we were able, for the first time, to organize a Vacation Bible School from July 31 - August 4, 2000. More than 65 young students ages 3 to 10 from throughout Los Angeles area attended the School. Esther Vavoulis and Irene Albeck with the help of many mothers, young members of the Church and some grandmothers achieved to fulfill a goal and a rewarding ministry which served our young people and our families. The Church Hall for a few days was like an active and very happy beehive!

Mom 'n' Tots program is for preschool age children. These children and parents come twice a week to attend a very beautiful program and to experience of the Church environment. Esther Vavoulis and Vangie Dupas direct the program, which is open to 45 children.

Our Greek School, after struggling for a few years, is bouncing back. There are 35 students and four Greek School teachers. In the next school year, five teachers will teach all age groups from 4 years old to adults. Our dream is to create a kindergarten and eventually, parochial school. Dr. Zoi Helen "Elza" Mylonas is the director of our Greek School.

At the heart of our ministries and programs is our youth. There is a large group of Acolytes who participate in our Holy Services by reading, the Scriptures in Greek and English. We have an active G.O.Y.A., president is Nicole Hronas. Our Greek Folk Dance Groups are directed by Paula Darlas. The San Francisco Diocese Greek Folk Dance Festival will take place in Pasadena February 16 - 19, 2001. As the need to minister to a growing number of young people has increased, we have hired Bill Tragus to serve as our pastoral/lay assistant. Bill graduated from USC and from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology and coordinated the youth ministry for the Diocese of San Francisco. Bill will start working with our community in September 2000. For several years, we hosted and organized the regional St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival and participated in hosting the National St. John Oratorical Festival in the year 1998. St. Anthony's youth also participates in the Southern California Greek Orthodox Basketball League and organizes the Greek Orthodox Pasadena Volleyball Tournament, which attracts more than 300 young people from throughout Southern California.

St. Anthony's Senior Citizens are also well organized and are a vital part of our Church. This group meets monthly to discuss issues of concern and to plan their trips to places of interest.

A comprehensive Church Monthly Bulletin, To Phos, is published by the Church. It is a reflection of our Church and Hellenic cultural life in Pasadena and within our Diocese of San Francisco and our Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

Every year,the parish holds a beauriful Greek Festival at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. Thousands of people attend the Festival, which serves food and pastries and provides demonstrations of Greek dances by our youth and Greek cooking by our Ladies Philoptochos members. It is an event which emphasizes our traditions and Hellenic cultural heritage. Our Greek Festival will be held on the weekend of September 23 - 24, 2000. The chairman of the Festival is Pantele Xanthos, one of the original founders of St. Anthony's Church.

St. Anthony's Church works closely with other Organizations in the Community. The local AHEPA family meets in the Church facilities and helps and supports our programs. The last two years, the AHEPA entered the famous Pasadena Rose Parade with two magnificent and award winning floats. The entry to the Pasadena Rose Parade was initiated by our local AHEPA family and was the successful result of years of effort. The floats, which required great artistic skills, are created and prepared in Pasadena under the supervision of the local AHEPA members. Our parishioners have been very supportive. The Icarians also have an active and progressive organization. Their goal is to pass the torch of our invaluable Greek Orthodox faith and Hellenic Heritage to the coming generations. They do it effectively and resolutely.

Since July 1, 1986, St. Anthony's priest is Fr. Efstathios V. Mylonas, Ph.D., protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, graduate of The Patriarchal Theological School of Halki, of Boston College, Department of Theology, and Boston University, Graduate School.

In Pasadena, California June 23, 2000
(The above article was prepared and written by Fr. Stathis for the National Herald of New York City)

Dear St. Anthony's Greek Orthodox Church:

It is with great joy that I am writing this letter. I want to thank everyone for welcoming me to St. Anthony's and I am looking forward to working with Father Mylonas and everyone there in Pasadena, I have been meeting with Father Mylonas a great deal lately to discuss the youth and young adults living in or around Pasadena. So far, Father and I have reserved the first weekend in November for young adults and I hope it will be great success. Hopefully, we will have a GOYA retreat up at the camp as well this coming season. Please keep me in your prayers as I have been keeping St. Anthony's in mine.

Bill Tragus

Holy Sacraments and Services

Jan Arne Peter Bjorknert on Sunday, August 27, 2000. Sponsor: Fredrik Cavalieratos.

Sofia (Sonia) Kitridou of Athens, Greece on Wednesday, August 23, 2000. May the Lord our God grant rest and peace to her soul amy her memory be eternal.

Church Office Secretary

The position of our Church Office secretary is open. Those who are interested can call Fr. Stathis at (626) 449-6943 for applications. Knowledge of computer and previous experience in office work is necessary.

Our youth's achievements

Nicole Hronas of Arcadia High School, is the recipient of the gold medal of the LACOROP Student Recognition Program 1999-2000 in Marketing Occupations. Nicole was the president of St. Anthony's GOYA for 1999-2000 and a dedicated member of our Choir. She will attend University of California Santa Barbara this Fall. Best wishes to Nicole in all of her pursuits.

Peter Vagenas, a Galaxy soccer player was chosen to be part of the USA Olympic Soccer Team which will play at the Olympics in Sydney, Australia. Peter who attends UCLA was a dedicated St. Anthony's head altar boy and an active member in all our youth programs. We congratulate Peter and hope that he will achieve his goal of becoming a great Olympian!

Registration Days at St. Anthony's Church for all our Youth Programs

Registration for all our youth programs will be held on Sunday, September 10 and Sunday, September 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 forward to your participation. Forms to complete will be available on the registration days.

Orthodox Bible Study and Orthodox Tradition

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

Stewardship Report

The 2000 Stewardship Program is on its way toward a record year. Pledges are continuing to run ahead of last year approximately $10,000, while collections are running ahead by over $8,000. As of August 1st we have 255 pledges totaling $130,970 and collections totaling $100,950. With your continued support we will be able to reach and surpass our budgeted Stewardship goal of $135,000.

If you have yet to pledge for 2000 please do so as soon as possible. For your convenience, Stewardship pledge cards are available at the church office or in the Church Narthex. Special thanks to all parishioners who have already made their 2000 Stewardship pledge and are making payments toward that pledge. If your financial situation allows, please consider increasing your 2000 pledge. Just think, if every pledge is increased by only $1 per day we could raise an additional $12,500!

As we return from our summer vacations, let's not forget our responsibilities to our Church. The Church needs both our commitment and financial support.

St. Anthony's will continue to recognize its Stewards by publishing the names of pledging parishioners in the monthly bulletin and listing them in the Church Hall on the Stewardship Membership Board. In addition, the Stewardship performance gauge will be updated on a monthly basis and displayed in the Church Hall to track our total pledges and collections.

Thanks in advance for your continued support of the Stewardship program.

2000 Stewardship Committee

Greek Festival 2000
Festival preparations underway!

Preparations are well underway for St. Anthony's Annual Greek Festival, to be held on September 23-24, 2000 at the Santa Anita Racetrack in Arcadia, California. The Festival Committee encourages everyone to get involved to insure that this year's Festival is one of the best ever.

Here are some of the areas where we need your involvement:

Festival volunteer work: All parishioners are strongly encouraged to volunteer to work at this year's Festival. Please fill out the Festival Manpower form that was previously sent to you and return it to the Church office. Please call Sophia Angelos, who is heading this year's Manpower Committee, at (626) 795-0848 if you have any questions. Don't wait to be asked - we need your help!

Festival Raffle Ticket Sales: Please make an honest effort to sell your raffle tickets - give your friends, relatives and co-workers an opportunity to participate! If you need additional raffle tickets, please contact the Church office and they will be sent to you. Last year 2 parishioners (William Stavropoulos and Brian Gelt) sold over $1,400 in raffle tickets - just think if every parishioner made a similar effort to sell raffle tickets how successful our raffle would be.

Festival Needs Committee: This past July, parishioners and friends of St. Anthony's Church were sent a letter to encourage donations for the purchase of food/ingredients to be used in the preparation of the food and pastries for this year's festival. To date, your response has been overwhelming, with over $5,000 in cash donations. Festival Needs donors will have their names posted in the Festival Needs board in the Church Hall and be recognized in this year's Festival Program. If you have yet to donate to this year's Festival Needs program, please contact the Church office for additional information. The Committee is also contacting local restaurateurs to try and get as many food items donated as possible. If you have extra lemons - please bring them to the Church Hall - we need them for the Festival!

Festival Program - Ad Book: Please consider advertising in the Festival Program/Ad Book. The format offers an excellent opportunity for business and professional people to advertise their product or service and it also allows members of the community to send a message of love and support. The Ad Book reaches thousands attending our annual festival. Business Card size ads (2 inches) are only $100 and quarter page ads (4 inches) are $200. Please contact the Church office for additional information.

Festival Baking Schedule: During the next three weeks we will be preparing the pastries in our Church Hall. Please check the calendar in the monthly Church bulletin or call the Church office for dates and times. Your services are in great demand and you will be pleasantly surprised with the camaraderie and sense of fulfillment from these activities.

As you can see, there are plenty of ways that you can participate in the success of this year's Festival. The Greek Festival Committee encourages each of you to take an active role in this year's Festival.

Greek Festival 2000 Committee


The Greek Heritage Society of Southern California invites you to "An Evening of the Century" to benefit their documentary "The Greeks of Southern California - Through the Century." Reception and dinner on Saturday, September 9, 2000 with special guest, Olympia Doukakis at St. Robert's Hall, Loyola Marymount University, 7900 Loyola Blvd., Los Angeles. Reception 6:00 p.m., dinner 7:00 p.m. For information call (310) 203-1638 during the day or (310) 839-4180 in the evening.

St. George Greek Orthodox Community of Downey, CA cordially invtites you to a formal dinner and dance with His Eminence Metropolitan Anthony celebrating the groundbreaking of Saint George Church and the ordination of Dr. John Alevizos to the Holy Deaconate on Sunday, September 17, 2000 at 5:00 p.m. At Wyndham Garden Hotel, 5757 Telegraph Rd., Commerce, CA 90040, tel.: (323) 887-4304. For more information please call the Church at (562) 862-6461.

St. Gerasimos of Kefallonia Artoklasia and dinner dance on Saturday, October 21, 2000 at St. Katherine Church in Redondo Beach. For information please call Tony at (310) 316-0884.

Project Mexico and the Aegean Cafe invite you for an evening of live music, ocean view, good people, silent auction, and totally awesome Greek food! The event will take place on Sunday, October 22, 2000 at the Aegean Cafe 540 S. Pacific Coast Hwy., (Upper Level), Laguna Beach. All proceeds benefit St. Innocent Orthodox Orphanage. Donation $40.00 per person. For reservations please call Sarah Borochoff (714) 635-6530 or Doria Phillis (562) 430-9102.