The St. George Stewardship Committee Presents Parishioner Stories
The following is the heartwarming story of Rich, Kathy, Sophia and Alex Garcia who found a welcoming community at St. George.
From a young age, each of our families raised us to have a very strong Faith as I was raised Greek Orthodox, and Rich, Christian. Our Faith continued to grow as we matured, and it quickly became even more prominent in our lives when we met each other. It was just on our second date that I told Rich I was Greek Orthodox and asked his thoughts on dating someone Greek. As the discussion quickly evolved, the topic pivoted from dating to getting married and raising children in the Greek Orthodox church if our relationship progressed to that point. Although Rich hadn’t had much exposure to the Greek Orthodox religion at the time, he agreed to both and was eager to see what the future brought.
As time and our relationship progressed, our Faith supported us through very difficult times such as the loss of many loved ones and it also brought countless blessings including college graduation, moving from our home state of Indiana to start our careers in Chicago and the sacrament of marriage. Although our faith never wavered and continued to grow, we struggled to find a parish in Chicago that felt like we truly belonged and could make a difference as we started our lives in our new home city.
As fate would have it, after moving to Chicago, we connected with my mom's best friend who became our beloved Thea Vaso. Thea Vaso and my mom had grown up in the horio in Greece like sisters but had lost touch many years later after moving to different cities in the US to raise their families. Although my mom had unfortunately passed away a few years prior, with a little bit of fate, I was able to connect with Thea Vaso and she encouraged us to go to St. George with her for Lenten services. We quickly realized we had found the right community as we immediately felt welcomed by the parishioners, felt impacted by the services, and felt embraced by Father Chris. Over time, our sense of belonging continued to grow and we realized how blessed we were not just to have found the right church but to have also found the right Orthodox family. And, as we built our family within St. George, our Thea Vaso's son, Pete Vasilopoulos, his wife Eleni and their amazing kids, who are all members of St. George, became our Koubari.
Since being stewards of St. George, we have been blessed beyond words. Our daughter Sophia was first welcomed into the community at her 40-day blessing in 2015 and then her baptism at St. George in 2016 when Pete and Eleni Vasilopoulos became her Godparents. In addition, we welcomed our son Alex into the world in 2017. We vividly remember his 40-day blessing took place right after Father’s sermon while the congregation was still present. It was so touching to us to have our Orthodox family welcome Alex. As we raise our children, it is incredibly important to us that their faith in God, and in their church, continues to grow and serve as a cornerstone of their lives just as it has for their parents.
Sophia attended the St. George pre-school and now attends Greek School with Alex and Sunday School. Both of our kids have built a network of friends and family while deepening their understanding of the Orthodox faith and the role it plays in our lives. It has been incredible to see their faith deepen at such young ages through our educational ministries at St. George. In fact, Sophia is quick to do her stavro and prosephi before meals and bed and will let you know if you aren’t doing it well. With her incredible foundation from St. George, we’re happy she now loves going to school and has said she wants to be a teacher when she grows up. Who knows, her continued stewardship could start with teaching preschool or Sunday school when she’s older.
We are so grateful to be part of such a welcoming and extensive parish that not only provides for its members but also its community. Of course, these opportunities would not exist if we didn’t have tremendous stewards who donate their time, energy and generosity to grow the church, the community and our Orthodox family to make St. George unlike no other.
With Utmost Gratitude and Love,Kathy, Rich, Sophia and Alex
Ιερό Σαρανταλείτουργο, κατά την διάρκεια της νηστείας των Χριστουγέννων
In preparation for the Great Feast of the nativity of our Lord, the parishes of the City of Chicago will celebrate FORTY LITURGIES for the health of our loved ones and for the repose of those who have fallen asleep in the Lord. You may submit names to us in person on Sundays, by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org or you can print form listed above and forward to our the church office.
The Divine Liturgy will be celebrated every day at 9:30 - 10:30 AM according the schedule below. Please note that for Saturdays and Sunday, as well as the Feasts of Saints and Christmas Eve, please consult your parish calendar.
Annunciation Cathedral - November 16 - 20, 2020
Assumption Greek Orthodox Church - November 23 - 27, 2020
St. Andrew Greek Orthodox Church - December 1 - 4, 2020
St. George Greek Orthodox Church - December 7 - 12, 2020
St. Basil Greek Orthodox Church - December 14 - 18, 2020
St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church - December 21 - 23, 2020
The St. George Stewardship Committee Presents Parishioner Stories
The following is a testimonial by Nikos Floros. He has served on the Parish Council for ten years. He is always at the Pangari, helping with candles, passing trays and always, always with a smile. This is his story about faith in God and St. George. Photo of Nick and Tasia with their sons Lambros and Yannis.
In 2002, I was in a horrible bicycle accident resulting in brain hemorrhaging which left me in a coma. The doctors at the hospital did not expect me to live. The hospital pastor, a Greek Orthodox priest from a nearby Greek Orthodox church, and Father Vagias from St. George were called to my bedside. Father Vagias held my hand, got down on his knees, and prayed. During all of this, I was in a coma. I had a vision or dream of being with Father Vagias who held my hand and brought me to St. George, walked with me through one door to the Altar, walked around the Altar and then walked out with me through the other door.
After I came out of the coma, Dr. George Bovis, the neurosurgeon, told me that the healing started on its own. Father Vagias told me that he had been at the hospital holding my hand and praying. I know that God and St. George were with me and saved my life.
My wife, Anastasia, and I have been coming to St. George for over thirty years. We are from the same Greek village, outside of Sparta. We were married in Greece in 1987 and I was able to join her in the United States eight months later. She had immigrated to the United States with her family in 1975. After I joined her in the United States, we started coming to St. George. I remember so very vividly how welcoming and friendly Father Vagias and the entire congregation was to me, a recent immigrant. I immediately felt at home.
As our family grew with the birth of our two sons, Lambros and Yiannis, our participation at St. George became even greater and our sons were Altar Boys for 15 years.
We did not always live in the Chicago area during these thirty years; however, after each move, we always found our way back to St. George. We lived in South Carolina for two years and returned to Chicago and St. George. Later we lived in Greece for two years and again returned to Chicago and St. George. Each return to Chicago was a return to St. George and to our Church family where people not only welcome us back, but also extended monetary help and assistance. We are blessed. I will be at St. George for the rest of my life. It is my home. Father Chris Kerkeres, Father Peter Sarolas, and the St. George community is my family.
Congratulations to our 2020 winners!
Strategic Planning - Metropolis of Chicago
Our Parish delegates were excited to hear the unveiling of the Metropolis of Chicago Strategic Planning. Thank you to all volunteers for their hard work. Please follow link to review the exciting plans for our beloved Metropolis.
Congratulations to our The Theodore N. And Chrisanthy Catranis memorial Scholarship Recipients!
Και σε ανώτερα!
Congratulations to our newly elected Ladies Educational Society Executive Committee!
Mary Diamantakos, President; Maria Anzell, Vice President; Catherine Linou, Recording Secretary; Evangelia Tsipas, Corresponding Secretary; Sophie Radlowski, Treasurer
Metropolitan Elpidophoros of Bursa Elected Unanimously Archbishop of America
A wonderful opportunity for Young Adults to get involved is the Telos Project
Welcome to Our Parish, Fr. Peter Sarolas
Fr. Peter was born in Chicago to Vasiliki and John Sarolas and grew up at St. Basil’s Greek Orthodox Church parish.
With the Blessings of His Eminence Metropolitan IAKOVOS of blessed memory, he entered Hellenic College in Brookline, MA in the fall of 1987 where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1991. He then entered Holy Cross Seminary where he received a Masters of Divinity in 1994.
Fr. Peter married Maria Karantonis, also of Chicago, in November 2005. They have three sons, Yanni born in 2007, Vasili born in 2009, and Stefanos born in 2015.
Fr. Peter was ordained to the Diaconate by His Eminence Metropolitan IAKOVOS of blessed memory on January 1, 2007, the Feast Day of St. Basil and was ordained to the Holy Priesthood in May of 2007. He served as the associate pastor of St. Demetrios church in Chicago from May of 2007 to February of 2014 and the community of Ss. Constantine and Helen, in Rockford, Illinois from February 2014 until December 31 of 2018.
On January 1, 2019 Fr. Peter was assigned by the Metropolis of Chicago to our parish.
We welcome Fr. Peter, Presvytera Maria, Yanni, Vasili, and Stefanos to St. George Greek Orthodox Church.
Congratulations to our newly elected Parish Council for 2019!
President: Paul Rentzelos
Vice President: Owen Field
Recording Secretary: Theodora Diolitsis
Corresponding Secretary: Penelope Antonopoulos
Treasurer: Nick Pipikios
Asst. Treasurer: Kimon Menegas
Asst. Treasurer: George Maglares
Parish Council Members: Jim Antonopoulos, Angelo C. Dalegeorge, Dean Diamantakos, Nick Floros, Louis Hiotis, Demetrios Karanikolas, Achilles Kornaros, George Lappas, James Metropulos, Constantine Nicolozakes, Eugenia Splinter, Evangelia Tsipas, Elias Voulgaris, Tasos Ziabaras
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