Rev. Fr. Christopher Makiej
Fr. Christopher Makiej was born in Lowell, MA and grew up in the "Acre" section of Lowell where he attended the Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church. He served as an altar boy under the mentorship of Fr. John Sarantos in a loving parish of inspiring worship and faith which planted the seeds of his calling to the Priesthood. Upon graduating from Lowell High School, he was recruited to play basketball at the University of Lowell and Hellenic College, choosing to attend Hellenic and where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management and scoring over 1,000 points in his career on the basketball team.
In 1987 he was selected to play on the USA AHEPA Greek-American Basketball Team in a summer tour competing against the professional teams of Greece. Also in 1987, he followed his calling to the Priesthood and entered Holy Cross Seminary. Graduating in 1991, he married his college sweetheart, Katerina Sitaras, the daughter and granddaughter of priests, and Miss Pennsylvania of 1987. He was ordained a Deacon and Priest in 1994 and assigned to Annunciation Church of Lancaster, PA, serving as youth director and assistant priest for five years. At Annunciation he led many district and diocesan youth rallies and retreats and served as chaplain at Camp Nazareth.
In 1998 Fr. Christopher was assigned to Saints Constantine and Helen Church in Andover, MA under Metropolitan Methodios, where he has served to the present. During his time at the parish it has grown from 200 to 500 families, with many new and enhanced ministries established. In 2003 the parish built a brand new 20,000 square foot Family Life Center complete with a Grand Hall, 12 new classrooms, Administration wing, conference room, bookstore, kitchen, atrium and courtyard.
In 2013 the parish also beautified the church interior in a major project installing 23 new Byzantine icons. In addition to serving and supporting the local food pantry and homeless shelters, Lazarus House and Cor Unum of Lawrence, MA, the parish also assembles and distributes over 1,000 food baskets per year in the church hall at Thanksgiving and Christmas.
In addition to his parish ministry activities, Fr. Christopher has served on the Archdiocese committee of Outreach and Evangelism. He has also led parish council leadership seminars in the Metropolis of Boston, as well as serving as a chaplain at the Metropolis youth summer camp program and at the Ionian Village youth camp in Greece. Fr. Christopher launched a local cable television program called "Orthodox Life Today," a program on which he and his wife discuss relevant issues from an Orthodox Christian perspective. He also publishes video sermons and articles on the Orthodox Christian Network (OCN). In 2017 the parish celebrates its 100th Anniversary.