Abp. Demetrios Visits Mattituck Church

 His Eminence greeted by Parish Council and Archons.
His Eminence greeted by Parish Council members and Archons meet each other

“We welcome His Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios of America to our Parish on the fore feast of the Transfiguration Church,” said Parish Council President Anthony “Tony” Coutsouros of the Transfiguration of Christ Greek Orthodox Church of Mattituck, New York.

A unique three day Feast Day celebration commenced with the Aug. visit of the religious leader.  His Eminence was accompanied by Senior Deacon Panteleimon and Deacon Eleftherios. Refreshments followed in the Church hall. Archons Stephen Cherpelis and Renos Georgiou and their spouses were present.      Photo1

‘I am happy to perform the service with Presbyter Constantine (Makrinos) who has served the Greek Orthodox Church for 28 years today,” said His Eminence. “My visit coincides with the anniversary of Father Constantine’s father, Anastasios, passing away 24 years ago today. We commemorate his memory, George Zachariadis and Choir Director Demetrios “Jimmy” Talas today.”

Byzantine iconography
Byzantine iconography

“This is a beautiful church with iconography,” said His Eminence. “Few churches have such iconography today.” Every inch of space is decorated by traditional Byzantine iconography that I have seen in Greece and Sicily. Middle class businessmen and senior citizens put their hearts into decorating the church. The religious building represents the efforts of Middle Class Greek-Americans, who wanted to remember their roots. A social class that is now vanishing.

“The Transfiguration is one of the events of the Theophany with eyewitnesses of the disciples,” explained His Eminence. “A visit to the Holy Land is not complete without a trip to Mount Tabor,” according to the Transfiguration Church August 4th Bulletin.

“The view of the top of this majestic mountain in the region of Galilee is nothing short of spectacular! The word spectacular can also be used to describe the historical event of the Transfiguration on this sacred site.”

Mrs. Zarbis and choir
Catherine Zarbis and choir

An inspired choir gave an inspiring performance with Catherine Zarbis. She is a nationally recognized choirmaster and former principal. The Zarbis family has been vacationing in Mattituck since the 1970’s.

Her Greek roots are from the island of Limnos, opposite ancient Troy and the Ionian island of Cephalonia. She was the former principal of P.S. 19, Queens, and a Principal Mentor for the New York City school system.

She served as choir director of St. Nicholas Church of Flushing for thirty-four years. She is presently Choir Director of St. Paraskevi Church in Greenlawn, New York. The Choir members come from Queens and Long Island.

The Church community gathers for the event

They are primarily from St. Demetrios of Astoria, St. Demetrios of Jamaica, St. Nicholas Church of Flushing and several Long Island churches.

Many vacation for the summer, while some live all year round. Jimmy Talas, his family and friends came together every summer since the 1970’s to create an extraordinary summer choir.

”I am doing this for Jimmy,” said Cathy Zarbis. “I am a close personal friend of the family.” His wife, Parie, her sister, brother and relatives supported Jimmy in helping him create an extraordinary Byzantine choir in Queens and Mattituck. Jimmy and his friends gave of themselves to the Transfiguration Church from the 1970’s, never asking for anything in return. Jimmy was a proud person, who never wanted his photo taken or be given publicity for his community service. A deep pathos, sorrow now pervades the church atmosphere for the loss of a dedicated person.

Chanters Mr. Peter Pappas and Ioannis Rontiris.
Chanters Peter Pappas and Ioannis Rontiris.

The Transfiguration of Christ has an outstanding new chanter. Ioannis Rontiris is from the center of Long Island, commuting to fill the vacuum created by the passing away of George Zachariadis.

He is from the town of Platanos, Nakpaftias, Sterea Ellada (Central Greece). “Platanos” a masterpiece of Greek village life was written by his friend, the late Constantine Dedopoulos. “We are happy the new chanter is here,” said Eleni and Bill Condos. “He is our patrioti from near Karpenisi (Central Greece).”

Regional ties are strong in this community. Peter Pappas, former parish council president and a chanter for 43 years, donated his services this summer and is encouraging members of the former choir to sing with him.

A poem dedicated to His Eminence was read in Greek by poet/parishioner Anthoula Gatanas. Her poems have brought Greek culture to the East End.

Poetess Anthoula Gatanas.
Poetess Anthoula Gatanas.

The Transfiguration of Christ Church has been the meeting place for the newly revived Greek American Homeowners Association of Southold, NY (HATCAST).

There was unanimous agreement that HATCAST must continue as a licensed N.Y. State organization.

Members in the late 1970’s created the first Greek American Homeowners Association of Eastern Long Island. President Gregory Fegos said “all financial funds are intact and will not be touched, in respect to the founders’ wishes. Unity, protecting property rights by reinvigorating HATCAST is our goal.

A picnic free to the public will be held on Aug. 24 from 12-6 p.m. at South Harbor Rd., Southold. The officers include: President Gregory Fegos; Emeritus President Andreas E. Markakis; Vice-President Costas Vagelatos; Recording Secretary Dr. John G. Siolas. The Board of HATCAST, with founding members George Megdanis and his spouse greeted His Eminence during the coffee hour.

Hatcast greets His Eminence
HATCAST members greet His Eminence

The Vespers and Feast Day of the Transfiguration of Christ Church attracted more than 300 people each day. At the Aug. evening Vespers, priests from Long Island’s Greek Orthodox parishes attended.

The Sisters of the All Saints Greek Orthodox Monastery, Calverton were present. An inspiring Feast Day service on Aug, 6 attracted hundreds. A luncheon followed prepared by the ladies of the Philoptohos Society.

“I take this opportunity to thank the Chairmans Manny Constantine, Barbara Thermos, Emily Kavourias, Irene Kalogeras and all the volunteers who made this 44th Festival very successful this year,” said President Tony Coutsouros.

“It was one of the best Festivals of our parish. I also thank all the youth and cooks who helped us during the Festival.” Over fifty thousand was raised before expenditures were deducted, according to reliable sources. In my opinion, this is the best Festival in the parish’s history.”

“Please support our 44th Anniversary Dance Journal book,” continued President Coutsouros. “Supporting our church is putting an ad in the book. This year’s album is dedicated in Memory of our Protopsaltis George Zachariadis. The Chairwoman is Virginia Tripolitis. Raffle Chairwoman is Irene Markotsis.

The 44th Anniversary Dinner Dance will be held on Oct. 12 in the Transfiguration of Christ Greek Orthodox Church Hall. The Journal pages are as follows: Sponsor Page, $500; Gold Frame Page, $200; Silver Frame Page, $150 and White Page, $100. For more information, call 631-298-9652 or e-mail [email protected].

The 2013 Parish Council Board, Committee Members and staff  include: Rev. Constantine Makrinos, Protopresbyter; Anthony Coutsouros, President; George Giannoukakis, First Vice President; Calliope Kentrotas, Second Vice President; Mary Kavourias, Treasurer; Sophia Lahana, Assistant Treasurer; Argyro Mavrikos, Recording Secretary; Parish Council Members, Vasilios Frangias, Dino Demetriades; Alex Mavrikos, Nick Neocleous, Irene Markotsis; Calliope Orfanidis, Harriet Zanikos; Virginia Tripolitis, Church Secretary; Manny Constantine, Festival Chairperson; Assistant Festival Chairpersons, Barbara Thermos, Emily Kavourias, Irene Kalogeras;IoannisRontiris, Chanter, Mr. Peter Pappas, Summer Chanter; Altar boys, AnastasiosKassapidis, Pantelis Pando, George and Emmanuel Moustakos.
The 2012 Philoptohos Board includes: Irene Nanos, President; Honorary President Cynthia Pylarinos; Irene Moustakos, First Vice President; Sophia Lahana, Second Vice President; ChrystallaStamatis, Treasurer; Katina Mihaltses, Corresponding Secretary; Lucretia Kratsios, Recording Secretary; Harriet Zanikos, Assistant Treasurer and Voula Anastasiades, Raffles.  If any name has been omitted, please contact the Transfiguration Church at 631-298-9652 or e-mail [email protected].

Link: https://picasaweb.google.com/113119187466714282240/August42013# – photos of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios’ visit to the Transfiguration of Christ Church in Mattituck, NY.