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St. Spyridon gets second priest

Rev. Christakos joins church Sunday

August 4, 2005

By Kathleen A. Shaw TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
kshaw@telegram.com

WORCESTER

Deacon Gregory N. Christakos will be ordained to the priesthood Sunday at St. Spyridon Orthodox Cathedral, by Bishop Methodios of Boston.

The new priest will join the congregation, located at 102 Russell St., to serve with the Rev. Dean N. Paleologos, cathedral rector. Deacon Christakos and his wife, Eleni, will be welcomed to the community with a reception to follow at Union Station, The Restaurant.

The ordination will follow the Hierarchal Divine Liturgy scheduled for 9:30 a.m.

Deacon Christakos is a Massachusetts native who grew up in the Lawrence and Andover areas and earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in history from the University of Virginia in 1995, where he also played varsity rugby. He attended a semester at Oxford University in Britain. After working six years as office manager for a law firm in Virginia, he was accepted at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, Brookline. He did internships at St. Philip's Church in Nashua, N.H., and the Hellenic Nursing Home, Canton. He met his wife, Eleni Pitsillides, while serving in New Hampshire. She is a pharmacist and was working in Manchester, N.H. They were married May 29, a week after his graduation from seminary. He was ordained a deacon by Bishop Methodios on June 26.

Rev. Paleologos said the day when the cathedral would have a second priest "has been long coming" for the Greek community in this area. The new priest will oversee youth ministries, including GOYA, the dance group and Little Angels.

"Under the spiritual guidance and direction of Father Dean, Rev. Deacon Gregory will help to expand the spiritual growth of our community and allow for a more comprehensive attention to our community's spiritual outreach," according to William P. Kiritsy, parish council president.

St. Spyridon is a spiritual center for about 2,000 families in Worcester and surrounding towns. The cathedral is involved in a number of programs to benefit the wider community, including the Orthodox Food Pantry, which serves poor families in the area.

Eastern Orthodox Christians, like Roman Catholics, believe that bishops are successors of the original apostles chosen by Jesus Christ and that priests at ordination receive the sacrament of Holy Orders through the laying on of hands from a bishop, who is part of that succession.


 


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