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On June 9, 2019 with the blessings of His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios, in the presence of the beloved faithful of the Metropolis of Boston in the loving community of Sts. Anargyroi in Marlborough, MA the servant of God, Rev. Deacon Andrew Giourelis was ordained to the Holy Priesthood.  Fr. Andrew began his journey by attending the Summer Diaconate Program in 2009 and returned to Holy Cross Hellenic College and Seminary to complete his Master’s in Theological Studies.  Fr. Andrew works in healthcare, as an Emergency Medical Dispatcher for UMass University Hospital servicing the City of Worcester.  He is married to his wife, Kalliopi and they have wonderful daughter, Sophia.

ORDINATION - SYMMARTYRIA By Fr. Andrew Giourelis

            Your Eminence Metropolitan Methodios, Rev. Chancellor Fr. Ted, Rev. Fr. Gregory, Rev. Fr. Solon, Reverend Archdeacon Dionysios, beloved faithful of the Metropolis of Boston, family and friends.  I stand before you today and give Glory to God for bestowing upon me, by the laying on of hands and the descent of the Holy Spirit, the blessing of ordination to the Holy Priesthood.  Your Eminence, it has been with your paternal love, many blessings, and most of all, your long withstanding patience, that I have navigated to where I am today.  Your dedication to this Metropolis and to all of us that are under your omophorion are blessed to have you as our shepherd, teacher, and spiritual father.  May God grant you many more healthy years to continue doing His work.    

I began this journey with the love and support of my wife, Diakonissa Kalliopi and our daughter Sophia.  They have stood beside me through years of school, and fulltime work schedule, while serving as a Deacon for the past seven years.  I love them so very much and thank them for keeping me grounded and focused.  My beloved mother, Fotini, has cared for our family all her life and has been an example of faith and hard work while enduring many hardships.  It’s been through the presence of the Holy Spirit, the love of Jesus Christ, support of the loving Fathers of this Metropolis, our beloved school, Holy Cross Hellenic College and Seminary, the Deans of the school, and dedicated professors, who have helped to shape me as a person and a clergyman, I am forever in their debt. 

I have been blessed to serve under the Rev. Deans of St. Spyridon Cathedral, Rev Fr.  Dean Paleologos, my spiritual Father, has treated me and my entire family with the care of a loving Father, he called me “his co-worker in Christ”.  He set the example of the humility and love we should have for others, to which I try to emulate in my life and ministry.  Rev. Fr. Dimitri Moraitis, our beloved Dean and Proestamenos, has been invaluable in making me a strong proclaimer of the Holy Gospel and gave me the courage to be confident in my service to Christ.  Father’s dedicated service to the Cathedral in all ministries has shown me the level of dedication it takes to be present and active in ministry. 

Fr. Gregory Christakos was instrumental in placing me on the path to serving the church.  On the day Kalliopi and I were to be married, he asked me the question “Have you ever thought of going to the seminary?  They started a new Diaconate program you might be interested in.”  He has been there for me and my family at every twist and turn and has been a shoulder to cry on.  He has been a mentor to guide me on “the way,” his presence and friendship has been a constant presence in our lives.

In the early years of my Diaconate, just as Jesus called his Disciples, “Then Jesus called the Twelve to Him and began to send them out two by two, giving them authority over unclean spirits,” (Matt 10:7)  Fr. Emmanuel Sakellarides, of blessed memory, and I were sent out to the churches of our Metropolis to fill in for Sunday Liturgies.  Those summer drives with Fr. Emmanuel, and serving with him, was invaluable to me.  He liturgized in Greek and I helped with English.  He preached in Greek and allowed me to say a few words in English.  We prayed, preached, and spread the Good News of Christ’s Resurrection.  Even though I miss him dearly, his example of obedience and the willingness to serve even though he was retired, was a living icon of service.  May His memory forever be eternal. 

From each Clergyman that I have served with, I have tried to glean the goodness that they offer.  We are all made in the image and likeness of God, and we are called to see that goodness in everyone that we interact with.  All things are possible when we have faith in God and when we put our trust in Him.  He sustains us and provides us with ultimate comfort.  He is always there hoping for our best, and when we ask for forgiveness, he forgives us even when we are at our worst.

In the office of the Diaconate, I walk a tightrope.  I try to remain humble as I stand between the Holy people of God, and the Royal Gate, trying to remain attentive and focused on the task at hand, while being ready to respond to the needs of my Metropolitan and Proestameni.  As Deacons we, proclaim the Gospel, we go between the Holy Space and Holy People, we are messengers, helpers, and we are servants in His Holy House.  Just as our Savior came to serve and not to be served, I pray to maintain this example in my service to His Church and His people.  I do not seek to be great, I only long to be close to God, and ask Him to have mercy on me and accept me as an unworthy servant that is open to doing His will.

    +In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Amen +