Monthly Newsletter - 1999-2001 Archive
St. Anthony's Greek Orthodox Church - Bulletin
September / October 2000 - Volume 5, Number 17
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
Holy Sacraments and Services
Jan Arne Peter Bjorknert on Sunday, August 27, 2000. Sponsor: Fredrik
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
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
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.
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
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)
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