Ecumenical Patriarchate Names New Auxiliary Bishops for the United States

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His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew together with the Holy and Sacred Synod, announced on Tuesday the election of three new Auxiliary Bishops for the United States.

The three distinguished clergymen of the Holy Archdiocese of America who have now risen to the episcopacy are Spyridon (Kezios) as Bishop of Amastris, Timothy (Bakakos) as Bishop of Hexamilion, and Ioannis (Constantine) as Bishop of Phocaea.

The dates and locations of all three ordinations to the Holy Episcopacy will be announced in the coming days. All ordinations will be held with proper COVID-19 protocols in place.

Newly-elected Bishop Kezios. Credit: GOARCH.org

Bishop-elect Spyridon (Kezios) of Amastris

Fr. Spencer T. Kezios was born in Chicago, Illinois.  After marrying Chrisanthe Marinakos, in 1957, they were blessed with four loving children. In 2012 after a prolonged illness Presbytera Chrisanthe passed into life eternal on Easter Sunday.

After his ordination, Fr. Kezios served parishes in Keene, New Hampshire; Gary, Indiana and Pocatello, Idaho. In 1960, Fr. Kezios began serving the Parish of Saint Nicholas in Northridge, California where, after 45 years, he retired, accepting the honor of Pastor Emeritus.

In his early years at Saint Nicholas, Fr. Kezios was one of the three original incorporators of the Guadalupe Home for Boys.

In 1970 he established the first Greek Orthodox senior citizens housing development in the Archdiocese, followed a few years later by a second senior citizens housing development. In 1977 he founded Saint Nicholas Parochial School which has distinguished itself by its high academic standards.

Some of his extraordinary achievements have been the production of five educational films. The first of these, “A Boy Named Panatiotis,” was produced when Archbishop Iakovos asked Fr. Kezios to produce a film to bring the plight of the people of Cyprus to the American people after they suffered the Turkish invasion.

Immediately following the fall of communism in Albania, Archbishop Iakovos once again called on Fr. Kezios to assist the efforts of the Church to have the Albanian government accept Anastasios as Archbishop. After meeting with Iakovos and Mr. Samaras, the then Foreign Minister of Greece, he was sent to Albania to assist in the appointment of Archbishop Anastasios.

In 1994, experiencing the lack of cantors versed in Greek and able to chant the Office of Orthros, he embarked upon translating the complete Orthros services from the original Greek into English, a monumental task.

That same year he and his good friend, the late Fr. Leonidas Contos, formed Narthex Press, primarily dedicated to providing liturgical translations into contemporary English. He presently serves as a Chaplain for the Los Angeles Police Department and was also a member of its Chaplain’s Advisory Board.

Newly-elected Bishop Timothy Bakakos. Credit: GOARCH

Bishop-elect Timothy (Bakakos) of Hexamilion

The Very Rev. Fr. Timothy G. Bakakos, son of the late Demosthenes and late Antonia Bakakos, was born in Chicago, Illinois in October of 1952.

In 1972, with the blessing of His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos, the late Archbishop of North and South and South America, he left for Greece where he attended Pierce College in Agia Paraskeve. Returning to Hellenic College in 1973, Father Timothy received his Bachelor of Science Degree in 1975, and received the Degree of Masters of Divinity in June of 1978.

On October 5, 1980, Father Timothy was ordained to the Holy Priesthood at the Assumption Church of Chicago. During Father Timothy’s forty years of priestly ministry, he has served the following Parishes: Dubuque Iowa, Saint Sophia Church in Elgin Iliinois, Saint Nicholas Church in Oak Lawn Illinois, Proistamenos of the Assumption (Panagia) Church in Chicago Illinois; and 2019 –Present Appointed by His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael as Chancellor of the Metropolis of Chicago.

From 1991 – 1993 he assisted in the fundraising and construction of a $1.2 million Community Center and Church Offices at Saint Sophia Church in Elgin Illinois.

During 2003 – 2004 he assisted the Parish in a $1.5 million fundraising project for iconography at the Saint Nicholas Church in Oak Lawn Illinois

Fr. Timothy presently serves as a member of the Metropolis of Chicago Spiritual Court. In addition, he serves as the Spiritual Advisor to the Metropolis of Chicago Ladies Philoptochos Society as well as the Spiritual Advisor to the Metropolis of Bishop Iakovos Scholarship Fund (BISAP), a scholarship program assisting our seminarians attending Holy Cross Seminary.

Newly-elected Bishop John Constantine. Credit: GOARCH

Bishop-elect John (Constantine) of Phocaea

Father John was born in Richmond, Virginia to the late Ernest and Artemis Constantine. After working as the Operations Manager for an environmental consulting firm, he entered Holy Cross School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts in the fall of 1983 and received his Masters in Divinity, with distinction, in 1987.

After entering the US Navy Chaplain Candidate Program, he was commissioned an Ensign in the US Naval Reserve on December 12, 1988.  In June 1990 he began a series of Navy training assignments on board the USS LEXINGTON (AVT-16) in Pensacola, Florida; Marine Corps Base in Camp Pendleton, California; and the Naval Amphibious Base in Coronado, California.

In October 1991, he received the blessing of His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos to be ordained a celibate priest. In December of 1991 he was ordained to the Holy Priesthood at Saint Elpis in Hopewell, Virginia and was assigned to Saint George Greek Orthodox Church in Piscataway, New Jersey in February 1992. In 1995, His Excellency Metropolitan Silas elevated Father John to the ecclesiastical rank of Archimandrite prior to entering active service in the US Navy.

In August of 1995, Lieutenant John E. Constantine reported for duty as Chaplain at the Naval Air Station in San Diego. He established a proactive flight line ministry to 14 helicopter squadrons, the Marine Corps Security Force Company, and various other units at North Island.

In October 1998, upon completion of his tour of duty, he was assigned to Saint John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church in Anaheim, California as Associate Priest.

He served as priest for Saint George Greek Orthodox Church in Downey, California beginning on June 1, 2001, arriving at the Parish as the footings of the new Church building were being poured. Under his leadership for the past 19 years.

In 2002, His Eminence Metropolitan Anthony appointed Father John as Vicar of southern California.

Father John was recalled to active duty from January 2003 through October 2003 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. His decorations include: Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (with gold star), Meritorious Unit Commendation, National Defense Service Medal (with bronze star), Armed Services Reserve Medal, and the Global War on Terror Service Medal.

In November 2010, Father John was invited to spend a month at the Patriarchate of Constantinople in order to become acquainted with the work, institutions, and persons of the Patriarchate. Father John was honored by being asked to celebrate the Divine Liturgy and other services at the Patriarchal Cathedral of Saint George and the Holy Trinity Chapel of the Halki Theological School.

In August 2016, while visiting the Ecumenical Patriarchate Father John was, by Patriarchal Letter, elevated to the dignity of Archimandrite of the Ecumenical Throne.

On June 1, 2020, His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos appointed Father John as Chancellor of the Metropolis of San Francisco.