Nathanael Symeonides is the new Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of Chicago after Saturday’s enthronement ceremony.
The ceremony took place at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Chicago. Chicago’s Greek Orthodox community is one of the largest in the United States.
The new Chicago Metropolitan Nathanael Symeonides was born in Thessaloniki, Greece in 1978. He graduated from the Hellenic College (BA, 2000) and from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology (MDiv, 2003). He also earned an STM (2003) and a ThD (2007) in Bioethics from Boston University. He has also studied the history and ethics of public health at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.
Metropolitan Nathanael is a guest professor of Christian ethics and bioethics at Fordham University, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, and Saint Vladimir Theological School. He has also written numerous articles in theology and bioethics and served as Director of the Archdiocesan Committee on Science and Technology (AACST).
The Metropolitan of Chicago was ordained a Deacon in 2003 and a Presbyter in 2010. His ecclesial and pastoral work includes service as the Deacon to Metropolitan Methodios (2003-2006); Deacon to the Archbishop (2006-2010); Pastor of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, NY (2010-2013).
In 2013 Nathanael was appointed Director of the Office of Inter-Orthodox, Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. In 2015, His Eminence coordinated the Archdiocesan commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the March on Selma, and represented the Archdiocese on the National Council of Churches (NCC) Special Task Force to End Racism in America.
More recently, he convened a colloquium entitled, Orthodoxy and Humanitarianism: Ideas and Action in the Contemporary World, in which experts from around the world meet and consider ways in which the Church may help respond to humanitarian crises and promote sustainable development in post-crisis regions.
As Metropolitan of Chicago – according to his prepared remarks provided by the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago – Nathanael stated: “I will do all that I can to open those doors that were once shut and be inclusive of everyone in the work of the Church —especially those who were once ignored or marginalized… I wholeheartedly accept the awesome responsibility and obligation to lead you closer to Christ… I do not forget that the primary task of every hierarch is the salvation of souls.”
Nathanael was ordained a bishop of the Church with the title Metropolitan of Chicago on Saturday, March 17 in New York City. He was ordained a Bishop by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios Geron of America.