Annunciation Church, Modesto, CA PUBLISH DATE: July 15, 2007


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The first American of Greek descent to serve the Ecumenical Patriarchate at the Phanar, Metropolitan Tarasios rose through the ranks of the Patriarchate to the position of Grand Archdeacon until his election on May 8, 2001, as the Metropolitan of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Buenos Aires and Exarch of South America. Patriarch Bartholomew ordained him to the Holy Priesthood on May 27th in ▄rgup (Prokopi) in Cappadocia, the first ordination to take place there in eighty years, and to the Holy Episcopacy on June 3rd, the Feast of Pentecost. He was enthroned in the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Dormition of the Theotokos in Buenos Aires on July 14, 2001.

The Metropolitan is the son of Peter and the late Angela Anton of San Antonio, Texas. Born in 1956 in Gary, Indiana, he was baptized Panayiotis (Peter). Throughout his childhood he participated in the parish life of St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Church in San Antonio. His formal studies include Hellenic College – Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology (Boston), Trinity University (San Antonio), the University of Notre Dame (South Bend), the Pontifical Oriental Institute (Rome) and the Pontifical School of Paleography and Archives (the Vatican). In 1980 he served as a Lay Assistant at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in St. Louis, Missouri, and, in 1988, as the Administrative Assistant of the Diocese of Atlanta.

As a hierarch of the Ecumenical Throne his post in Buenos Aires signifies an ongoing challenge in the outreach and ministry of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the Southern Hemisphere. The Archdiocese of Buenos Aires and South America covers 40 Orthodox parishes and Greek communities primarily throughout Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Peru and Uruguay. The number of clergy serving in South America is eighteen, ten of whom are over the age of seventy.

Metropolitan Tarasios┤ mission to the Orthodox faithful who come under the spiritual jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate is to meet their sacramental and spiritual needs, while striving to keep them close to their Orthodox roots and beliefs and improve the quality of their Orthodox life. Serving eleven years at the Phanar, his exposure to the life and centuries-old experience of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, particularly in the area of dialogue and inter-faith relations, as well as his education, personal experience and upbringing in the life of the Orthodox Church in the United States, have equipped him with the tools necessary to minister to the spiritual flock placed under his care. Metropolitan Tarasios speaks English, Greek, Spanish, Italian, and French, and has some reading knowledge of Portuguese.

Since taking up this post Metropolitan Tarasios has relocated and reorganized the Administrative Offices and other Departments of the Archdiocese, initiated programs and activities involving social action, missions and Christian philanthropy, organized events focusing on the youth with the hope of bringing them closer to the Orthodox Church, sponsored six candidates for ordination to the priesthood, and established close ties with the inter-religious communities primarily of Buenos Aires but also throughout the South American continent. Presently Metropolitan Tarasios is in the process of establishing a permanent and solid economic foundation based on the principle of Christian Stewardship. Future plans include, developing a Department of Religious Education, a Department of Communication, a Sister Parish Program, and establishing an Orthodox Spiritual and Hellenic Cultural Center in their existing facilities.

Annunciation Church
313 Tokay Avenue
P.O. Box 707
Modesto, CA 95353

Phone: (209) 522-7694
Fax: (209) 522-3926

Proistamenos: Rev. Fr. Jon E. Magoulias

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