Over 650 Attend the Open House at the St. Methodios Faith and Heritage Center
Saturday, September 17, 2016
Over 650 faithful from throughout New England joined His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios at the St. Methodios Faith and Heritage Center in Contoocook, New Hampshire for an Open House this past Saturday, September 17. The day began with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy and the ordination of Demetrios Panteloukas to the Holy Diaconate. Memorial services were held to mark the third year since the death of Sophia Nibi who dedicated her life to our Metropolis for over 30 years. Memorial prayers were also offered for the repose of the soul of Peter Tournas, beloved brother of Metropolitan Methodios. Following the Liturgy the entire congregation processed to the beachfront where the blessing of the Water service was offered with the MBC senior campers diving into the lake to retrieve the Holy Cross. Thomas Coulouras, grandson of one of our priests, Fr. Anastasios Coulouras, retrieved the Cross and received a special blessing from the Metropolitan. There was a brief speaking program prior to the blessing, ribbon cutting and dedication of three new facilities at the Retreat Center which include two new cabins, a new state-of-the art athletic park and soccer field and an open-air pavilion.
His Eminence welcomed the hundreds of guests in attendance and thanked everyone for their attendance and participation in the progress and continuing renovations to the Camp. After the Metropolitan opened the program with his Archpastoral reflections, he then invited several speakers to the podium. George Behrakis, Chairman St. Methodios Faith and Heritage Center Committee, expressed the appreciation and excitement of the members of the Metropolis Council for the continued expansion and growth of the Camp and Retreat Center. Mr. Behrakis invited everyone’s participation informing the crowd that the next building would be a new administrative office near the lakefont.
The following speaker was Constintine Calliontzis, Commander of the Veterans George K. Menichios Post #324 which donated a new Open-Air Pavilion. Many veterans were present to honor the 75th Anniversary of the Menichios Post.
Next to be invited to address the audience were representatives of the Alpha Omega Council. Both Nick Kourtis and Peter Lemonias, the Alpha Omega Council past and current presidents, offered their reflections and appreciation to all who participated in this endeavor. The Alpha-Omega Council planted the first seed for an athletic park several years ago donating $100,000. With the Evrytanean Society and Harry Katis adding their support of an additional donation of $25,000, the seed grew into the newly dedicated Alpha Omega Council Athletic Park. Metropolitan Methodios then called upon George Haseotes to address the audience, on behalf of the George P. and Polyxeni Haseotes Philia Family Foundation. Mr. Haseotes added his personal support to this vision by generously matching these donations in order to complete the soccer field project and enable phase two of the project, including lights and stadium seating, to become a reality. George Haseotes traveled to the camp for several days at a time over the past few months, joining his construction crew as they physically built the new state-of-the-art soccer field.
The program continued with Nick Koskores speaking on behalf of The Leo and Eve Condakes Charitable Foundation. Two new cabins, each housing 14-18 campers and staff, have been donated in memory of Eve and Leo Condakes. His Eminence reminded those in attendance how the entire Condakes family has been a strong supporter of the St. Methodios Faith and Heritage Center since it’s inception almost 20 years ago.
The speaking program also included remarks from Ifigenia Kanara, Consul General of Greek and Constantine Sideridis, chairman of the Metropolis of Boston Golf Tournament which raises much needed funds for our camp programs.
Following the speaking program, a procession proceeded to each of the new dedication areas for a ribbon cutting, blessing and dedication.
The photo galleries in the links below show the images of the months of work leading up to this weekend’s dedication, as well as the images of Saturday’s Open House.
The MBC camp program again offered this past summer a six-week session during which over 500 campers and over 100 staff enjoyed a fun-filled experience based on our Greek Orthodox faith and tradition. For full details, photos and videos from MBC Summer 2016, please visit: www.MBCamp.org
His Eminence extends his deep appreciation to the hundreds of faithful from throughout New England who traveled to Contoocook in order to enjoy a day of fellowship together as we celebrated the blessings of God upon our Metropolis family at our St. Methodios Faith and Heritage Center which has become a beacon of Orthodoxy shining brightly upon our youth, young adults and faithful of all ages.
Photo Gallery of the construction of the Soccer field:
Photo Gallery of the Open House:
More photos and video footage to come soon.