Icon of the Holy Trinity
The Hospitality of Abraham GENESIS 18:1-15
A CENTURY OF FAITH: THE FIRST 100 YEARS OF THE HOLY TRINITY GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH OF BRIDGEPORT, CT
A CENTURY OF FAITH: THE FIRST 100 YEARS OF THE HOLY TRINITY GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH OF BRIDGEPORT, CT
PUBLISHED BY VICKY ANDRIOTIS CONNECTICUT, USA
Copyright © 2014 by the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church of Bridgeport, CT All Rights Reserved No part of this book may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews. Compiled, Edited, and Published 2014 by Vicky Andriotis Printed and bound in the United States of America A CENTURY OF FAITH: THE FIRST 100 YEARS OF THE HOLY TRINITY GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH OF BRIDGEPORT, CONNECTICUT www.holytrinitybridgeport.org Cover and Book Design – Vicky Andriotis Cover Photo Copyright © 2014 Mixali Media, LLC . Used by permission. All Rights Reserved.
Dedicated to those who came before us, and those who are still to come.
“The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.” NUMBERS 6:24-26 NKJV
ontributors , including contributing writers, photographers, and those who provided the historical documents and photos necessary to complete this book include: Vicky Andriotis, John Bochanis, Stella Capiris, the late Bessie Coclin, Faye Demestihas, Eleni Demestihas, Crissy Hasiotis, Michael Hasiotis, Van Hatzis, the late Father Bill Kehayes, Phoebe Leask, Eleni Limberis, Alicja Loukrezis, Nick Phakias, Helen Spyrou, Dimitrios Trigonis, Tom Trigonis, Kalliope Tsitsipas, Effie Vlamis, and Kathy Yiannoulis. The Commemorative Book Committee included Vicky Andriotis, Stella Capiris, Limberis, George Mourizakis, and Chris Papachristos.
Many thanks to those who have contributed their personal photos to our Archives Room over the years, many of which have been used in this book. A very special thank you to all those who supported this project with their donations, advertisements, and personal messages, greetings, and well-wishes that are included in this book.
Table of Contents Letters From Dignitaries and Friends of Holy Trinity
The Birth and Establishment of the Greek Orthodox Community of Greater Bridgeport
A Community is Born A Step Forward—The Purchase of a Church The Solidarity of a Community The Construction of a New Church Completion of the Church Interior Holy Trinity on Myrtle Ave Consecrated Threshold of a New Era, A New Horizon
33 34 35 35 37 37 38
Grateful for the Past—United, We Build for Eternity—The Journey to Park Avenue
The Consecration of Holy Trinity on Park Avenue
Along Came the 80s
Forward and Upward The Turn of the Century The Holy Trinity Church Family - The History of Our Organizations and Ministries
51 32 54
ΣΥΝΟΠΤΙΚΗ ΙΣΤΟΡΙΑ ΤΗΣ ΑΓΙΑΣ ΤΡΙΑ∆ΟΣ ΜΠΡΙΤΖΠΟΡΤ, ΚΑΝΝΕΚΤΙΚΑΤ The Holy Trinity Church Family, A Visual History - Our Family Album Boosters Bibliography
77 85 166 249
HIS ALL-HOLINESS BARTHOLOMEW ARCHBISHOP OF CONSTANTINOPLE-NEW ROME ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH
His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America
His Grace Bishop Andonios of Phasiane
ΓΕΝΙΚΟ ΠΡΟΞΕΝΕΙΟ ΚΥΠΡΙΑΚΗΣ ∆ΗΜΟΚΡΑΤΙΑΣ CONSULATE GENERAL OF THE REPUBLIC OF CYPRUS 13 East 40th Street, New York, NY 10016 Tel.: +1 (212) 686-6016/17 · Fax: +1 (212) 686-3660 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Message by the Consul General of the Republic of Cyprus on the occasion of the celebration of the “Centennial of the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church – Bridgeport, Connecticut
It is with particular pleasure, humbleness and honor that I extend this message of warmest greetings and most sincere congratulations to the Dean, the Parish President, the Parish Council and the members of the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church of Bridgeport, Connecticut, on the occasion of the celebration of its “Centennial”.
In particular, I wish to pay tribute to this wonderful parish that has managed for one hundred years to offer to its members the opportunity to fully experience the Orthodox Faith, to feel proud of their Greek Orthodox heritage and to unite everyone under the ideals and principles of Hellenism.
Lastly, I consider myself blessed to have witnessed how Cyprus has always been in the heart and mind of this great community. Your constant support in our struggle to end the illegal Turkish occupation of the northern part of the island and in our efforts to reach a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem, a solution that will safeguard the human rights of all Cypriots and reunify the island based on the relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions, on the High Level Agreements of 1977 and 1979, on the International Law and on the values and principles upon which the European Union was founded, is highly appreciated.
I avail myself of this opportunity to wish you good health, happiness, prosperity as well as every success in your future endeavors and to reiterate my highest esteem, gratitude and consideration to all the parishioners.
Koula Sophianou Consul General -23-
GREEK ORTHODOX ARCHDIOCESE OF AMERICA
H OLY T RINITY G REEK O RTHODOX C HURCH FATHER ANDREAS VITHOULKAS, PRESBYTER
oday, November 30, 2013, is a special day for our community as we celebrate 100 years. It is also a special day for me, because two years ago on this day, I served my first Liturgy as the Parish Priest at Holy Trinity.
St. Andrew and his companions were followers of St. John the Baptist. One day, John the Baptist pointed Andrew to Jesus and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!" (John 1:35-37) When Andrew approached Jesus, Jesus asked, “What do you seek? What are you looking for ?" (John1:38) Jesus then proceeded to invite them to “Come and see ," (John 1:39) and to stay with Him. Whatever Andrew was seeking, he found it in Christ! From that day forward, Andrew was a changed man. We read that the very first thing Andrew did after he stayed with Jesus was to hurry back home to Bethsaida to find his brother Simon Peter and said to him, “ ‘We have found the Messiah!’ and Matthew brought Peter Simon to Jesus.” (John 1:41-42) Andrew was the first disciple of Christ, which is why he was named the “First-called.” Even though we have no writings from him, we know he was a missionary Apostle who spread the Gospel through Asia Minor and Greece. He is also the patron saint of our Ecumenical Patriarchate, which celebrates its name day today as well! Hence, the 100 year anniversary celebration of Holy Trinity is also a celebration of the establishment of the Orthodox Church. For two thousand years, Christians have been sharing this joyous message: “We have found the Messiah!" With these words, countless Christian communities of faith have been established and founded on the proclamation of St Andrew, from Palestine, to Asia Minor, to Greece, to Russia, the Balkans, and finally, to our very own country, the United States. For this reason, on this 100 year anniversary, not only do we celebrate the feast day of St. Andrew, but we also remember and commemorate our founding fathers and mothers, who brought the words if St. Andrew to new shores, and established our very own Holy Trinity Church of Bridgeport. These men and women of faith, both clergy and laity, came to this country with very little except for their Orthodox faith and a desire to create a better life for themselves and for their families. They worked hard, often at great personal sacrifice, to establish Holy Trinity Church in accordance with the Canons and traditions of the Orthodox Church. Our ancestors planted the seeds that -24-
disseminated and preserved the Holy Traditions of our Orthodox faith, while creating a safe haven for Greeks who migrated to this foreign land. As our Lord says, â€œFor in this case the saying is true, 'One sows and another reaps.' I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored and you have entered into their labor.â€? (John 4:37-38) We continue to reap the fruits and labors of these brave pioneers of the Orthodox Faith. May their memory be eternal! Today, these seeds of faith planted by our ancestors have flourished into a mature community, not only for those of Greek descent, but for all Orthodox nationalities. In addition to the many Greek Orthodox Churches under the spiritual guidance of our Ecumenical Patriarchate and Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, we have many sister Orthodox Churches under various canonical Orthodox jurisdictions, which serve the spiritual needs of Orthodox from all parts of the world here in the Greater Bridgeport area. I would be remiss if I did not mention our fellow Christian brothers and sisters who are represented by the Council of Churches in Bridgeport, who also minister to the spiritual needs of their communities. I am humbled and honored to be a part of this great tradition and walk in the footsteps of these brave visionaries who struggled to plant the seeds in this ripe soil so that we can say with the Apostle Paul â€œ So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor ." (1 Cor. 3:7) Just as the early Apostles and our founding fathers of Holy Trinity took risks and overcame obstacles in their lifetime to establish communities of faith in which to spread the Gospel, so we must all continue to grow and nurture our faith, not only inwardly as we strive for the Kingdom of God, but also outwardly, in an expression of love for one another in the context of our immediate community and society at large. We must unite to overcome the ills that plague our society, and not only preach the Gospel, but enact change in our surroundings, which struggle with violence, abuse, and poverty. We need to be good doers of the Gospel and not just sit back and be content with the status quo, especially in our churches. There is still a great deal of work to be done. I hope and pray that God gives us the strength to carry out His mission in a world struggling to find a place for faith and religion in order to keep proclaiming His Gospel to future generations of Christians and non-Christians alike, and to continue being vibrant witnesses to all.
GREEK ORTHODOX ARCHDIOCESE OF AMERICA
H OLY T RINITY G REEK O RTHODOX C HURCH BRIDGEPORT, CONNECTICUT
Dear Parishioners and Friends: As we celebrate our Centennial Anniversary, I would like to take this opportunity to thank God for all the blessings He has bestowed upon us. One century ago, a handful of Greek immigrants decided to establish what we know today as Holy Trinity of Bridgeport. I am so humbled and in awe by their determination and desire to organize a Koinotita, a community, that the Greeks could properly prepare the foundation for retaining the treasures of their Heritage and Religion, which was to be inherited by their children and grandchildren and future generations through the ages. The Hellenes of that time had a sincere pathos to “keep the traditions” and identity, and not be lost in the great melting pot of nationalities of the New World. As an immigrant myself, I am so proud to be part of this great community and find a new home at Holy Trinity. From our humble beginnings, each generation built upon that of its predecessor. The first generation brought us our Church and Greek and Sunday school, the second a better building and youth organizations , and so forth to where we are today. The best days of our community lie ahead of us in the hands of our bright, young generation and all the work and dedication by our Parish Council, Philoptochos, PTO, GOYA, and all organizations and parishioners that continue to prove this every day. Going forward, we should continue our support and commitment by being united and contribute whether that is through our time, talent, or treasure. We all should work together and continue our efforts in keeping our founders’ dream alive and the flame burning, passing it on to future generations. I would like to thank and congratulate our Centennial Committee for an unforgettable evening. I thank you for granting me this great honor of chairing such an auspicious occasion as our Centennial Gala.
May God’s blessing be with us forever, George Mourizakis Parish Council President
e ought to start at our beginning, if we are to understand our present. VSA
Annual Meeting of the Pan Hellenic Union
The Birth and Establishment of the Greek Orthodox Community of Greater Bridgeport, Connecticut
tatistics available asserted that in 1913 there were approximately three hundred Greek Orthodox immigrants residing in the Greater Bridgeport area. It is also impossible to state, with some degree of accuracy, the number of Greek families that this figure represented. Who was the first immigrant here is difficult to ascertain. We can, however, assume from statements of earlier immigrants who settled here that there were two families living in Bridgeport in 1896. This figure gradually increased without the aid of any formal society or organization until in 1910 there were approximately forty to fifty Greek families living in the area. the New World. Greece entered the Balkan War in September 1912. The Pan Hellenios Enosis had undertaken a drive of raising funds to send volunteers to join the Greek Army in its Balkan struggle. The Bridgeport chapter was successful not only in raising approximately $1,800, but in sending twenty-eight young men to fight for the cause of freedom and the principles of the Greek Heritage.
In the beginning of 1911, through the efforts of Mr. Nicholas Vlantes and Aristides Angelopoulos, the Seventh Chapter of the Pan Hellenios Society was organized in Bridgeport with an enrollment of approximately fifty people. This Society, with an additional seven chapters, commemorated Greek Independence Day, March 25th, for the first time in 1912. The highlight of the March 25th celebration was an Independence Day parade, perhaps the first in -31-
A Community Is Born
he desire to formally establish a Greek Orthodox Community in the Greater Bridgeport area was fostered by the faith and love of the Greek immigrant in the New World. He recognized the need to organize in the realm of a Koinotita â€” a Community, that the Greek immigrant can properly prepare the foundation of retaining the treasures of his Divine heritage, which is to be inherited by his children and grandchildren down through the ages, without innovation or distortions. The Hellene knew that it was imperative to act if he did have the sincere pathos to "keep the traditions," â€” his identity, and not be assimilated as one, lost in the great "melting pot" of nationalities. His identity was important, for without it he would do a disservice to his new home in the New World; without it, he could never be an inspired personality worthy of his citizenship. The immigrant had an obligation, an image to project, a heritage and culture which gave birth to the "American way of life. " was a day of thanksgiving, a day of praise It was this fervent desire, therefore, and glorification, of humility and inspirathat had motivated two Founding Fathers, tion, for the Greek immigrant recognized Mr. Nicholas Vlantes and the late Aristithe significance of his heritage and obligades Angelopoulos, to journey to New tions to it. He was now the missionary, York City to meet with the Dean of the the "new apostle" to "Go ye and preach to Holy Trinity Cathedral, Archimandrite N ICHOLAS V LANTES all nations. " Methodios Kourkoulis, and discuss with him the formation of a Greek Orthodox Community in Greater Bridgeport, Connecticut. He He did not wait any longer. He dreamed occaoffered his blessings and words of encouragement sionally, when he wasn't planning, but overcame and agreed to celebrate the Divine Liturgy in tremendous obstacles and problems that were enBridgeport, that he would also speak to the Commucountered. There were many, but where God is the nicants who would be served Architect, the task, though tryV ERY REVEREND in the area. ing and difficult , is simple, and ARCHIMANDRITE KOURKOULIS he knew that he could not lose. As a token of thanksgiving and glorification to It was the 6th day of April 1913, Almighty God for His when fo llo wing a reguR EV . G EORGE many and bountiful gifts, the lar :meeting of the Pan Hellinios KALOGIANNIS Immigrant displayed the vast Enosis, eleven members re1913 wealth of his Faith and Love, mained to discuss the formation taken from the Treasures of his Divine Heritage, by of the Greek Orthodox Community of Greater selecting the most apropos American holiday, the Bridgeport. These eleven members were joined by Day of Thanksgiving 1912, to praise the Lord. The an additional seven, to compose a committee of first Divine Liturgy in Bridgeport, Connecticut was eighteen, which were under the direction of Nichocelebrated that memorable day by the Very Reverlas Vlantes and Aristides Angelopoulos. This Comend Archimandrite Methodios Kourkoulis, in the mittee of Organization approached the Rev. George Russian Orthodox Church on Hallett Street. It truly Kalogiannis, Pastor of the Annunciation Church in -32-
Stamford, to request that he serve the spiritual needs of the Parish until a permanent Clergyman could be retained. Father Kalogiannis agreed to conduct Liturgical and Sacramental services once a month, celebrating the Divine Liturgy for the first time in May 1913, following which, the first Church Board of Directors was elected, consisting of seven members: Nicholas Laios, president; Nicholas Vlantes, vice-president; George Molones, secretary; Aristides Angelopoulos, treasurer; and directors, George Giannouracos, Andrew Demotses, and Anastasios Farfaras.
1913â€” 1913â€”1914 Church Members
On November 8, 1913, the Reverend Dionysios Papadatos was assigned the pastorate of the new Community. Not having a church of their own for their Ecclesiastical and spiritual requirements, the Committee obtained the facilities of the Y.M.C.A., where on the 21st of November, Divine Liturgy was first celebrated by Father Papadatos. The Community of Holy Trinity continued services at the Y.M.C.A. through one and a half years.
ties, less strained than those at the Y.M.C.A. The Church of the Holy Trinity Episcopal was obtained. It was here, Good Friday of 1914, that Holy Trinity first held its outdoor procession symbolical of our Lord's Descend into Hades. This procession was followed by a multitude of Greek Orthodox communicants coming from various towns and villages throughout Connecticut. Under the presidency of Mr. Elias Linardakis, 1914 second president of Holy Trinity, a Constitution was prepared and the Parish was incorporated. Thus the communicants of Holy Trinity were able to visualize the fulfillment of their labors. Only the purchase or construction of a permanent House of Worship remained to complete the first act in the life of the Community of Holy Trinity, Bridgeport, Connecticut.
A growing populace of Greek immigrants justified the formal establishment of a Greek Orthodox Community in Bridgeport. With the approaching Holy Week and Easter holidays, the Committee commenced its search for larger facili-33-
1923 West Liberty Street A Step Forward: The Purchase of a Church
priest, was the pastor serving both parishes. This group purchased a building on Myrtle and Prospect Street serving temporarily their spiritual and liturgical needs. The first floor was converted and used as a Church; the second, for school. The new parish was named The Annunciation, or Evangelismos tis Theotokou.
n June 15, 1915, the first General Assembly of the Community decided that a church be obtained. It was announced that two buildings were available ; one at Lee Avenue for $11,000 and the other at 36 West Liberty Street for $9,000. A Building Fund Drive was conducted which realized a total of $6,000. It was decided that the church located at West Liberty Street be purchased. The sale was final on July 20, 1915 with actual purchasing price being $8,500.
The communicants felt the sting of the decision of the Parish. They recognized the eventual destruction this would cause the Community and thus, Demetrios Chapis, President of Holy Trinity during the two year interim, approached Mr. Regas on the subject of a union of the two congregations, and this was soon effected. Mr. Regas, in whose name the house had been purchased, donated the building to the Holy Trinity Church, provided that they assume the small mortgage remaining.
Holy Trinity did not only serve the spiritual needs of its communicants in the immediate area, but also the Albanian, Romanian and Syrian Orthodox who did not have a church of their own. The Community of Holy Trinity, therefore, was the most populated in the Connecticut area. October 26, 1920, the Feast of St. Demetrios, was a dark day indeed in the life of the young Community. It was on this day that a second parish was formed and headed by Orestes Regas and Stergius Laropoulos. Bishop Gerasimos of Chicago, then a
From this date on, Liturgical Services were celebrated in the West Liberty Street Church and a Greek School would be conducted on the Myrtle -34-
Avenue property. Following the transfer of Father Gerasimos, the Reverend Joseph Xanthopoulos, assisted by Rev. Deacon Nicodemos, was assigned the pastorate of Holy Trinity.
which the Committee was dissolved and the balance of the project undertaken by the newly elected Board of Trustees, headed by Mr. Elias Linardakis, President. They completed the fund raising task paying the balance of the mortgage and leaving a surplus of $6,000 in the treasury, which was to be applied to the new Building Fund Program, but, because of the Great Depression, was temporarily curtailed.
Although only fifteen years had elapsed since the organization of the Community of Bridgeport, Conn. , the Parish had taken a step forward; already the Greek Orthodox Community of Holy Trinity was entering its fourth chapter in its "History of Birth and Progress."
The Construction of a New Church
The Solidarity of a Community
uring this period, there was t ho ught advanced on the construction of a new Byzantine Edifice with expanded facilities to accommodate a growing Community. On the 28th of September 1927 the 1916 Greek Parish Members, through the General Assembly, voted to investigate the advisability to construct a new Byzantine Church Edifice. A Building Fund Committee was appointed, consisting of Aristides Trifiatis, Constantine Eliopoulos, Nicholas Vlantes, Sam Sellas and Aristides Angelopoulos.
he fo llowing years were indeed difficult ones. The country was experiencing its worst financial crises, nevertheless, the Community's facilities were such that construction School Pageant of a new edifice must be undertaken to accommodate the spiritual requirements of a devout people. Under the leadership of Anthony Smith, a dynamic personality who served as Church President for several years, the General Assembly of the Community decided that construction must commence immediately. Ground was broken on the corner of Myrtle and Prospect Street for a new Church, which was completed, Easter 1937, at which the Rev. Father Demetrios Kallimahos served the Parish for an interim period of two months, and celebrated the
This Committee was indeed worthy of its mission for in less than two years they were successful in raising funds to pay the major portion of the mortgage due on the Church property, following -35-
first Divine Liturgy. The construction cost of the new edifice, without the interior, parish house, and later improvements, was in excess of $50,000, a great sum indeed during this period of financial hardship.
worked "in His Vineyard. " This motivated, as we were informed by Mr. Harry Pappas, treasurer of the Board of Trustees during this trying period, communicants of Holy Trinity to present their property deeds to the bank for a security loan to pay the mortgage. Who today would duplicate what the immigrant had done in times of depression? We indeed do owe a debt of gratitude and respect to the Greek Orthodox immigrant for his inspiration and accomplishment, his love, and his faith.
The amazing thing which characterized the Greek immigrant was his willingness to take "a step forward." Depressions, lack of fluent English, and other obstacles, never really curtailed his dreams or purpose. He was always confident that "God is the Architect" of any sacred project and therefore, could not fail. He knew that God would not turn from him but would bless the labors of the immigrant who -36-
1949. They were fruitful years, worthy of the efforts of all previous administrations. The Community Hall was completed and a working surplus of ten thousand dollars, or approximately two and one-half thousand per year, was realized and deposited with the local Savings Bank.
Completion of the Church Interior
rastic measures had to be taken by the communicants from 1938 through 1945, to "burn the mortgage" and complete the Church interior; a gigantic project within itself. During these years, the various Board of Trustees elected were under the presidency of Mr. William Vlandis. They, through the General Assembly of the Community, enacted Community legislation necessary to meet the financial obligations of a growing Parish.
The new Board of Trustees, under the Presidency of Mr. Milton Hallas, was given the obligation of the Consecration of the Church. A delegation from the Board of Trustees met with His Eminence the Archbishop Michael to discuss the consecration of the Holy Church edifice, which had been set for the 22nd of October 1950.
The efforts, the sacrifices, the heartaches encountered by the gentlemen of the Board of Trustees, were not in vain. They reaped the fruit of their labors for the interior of the Church, exceeding thirty thousand dollars, was completed by the 15th of February, 1946.
The origin of consecration dates to the time Moses erected an altar of twelve stones after descending from Mount Sinai. It was in commemoration of this event that the early Christians offered their liturgies on the tombs of the Christian martyrs.
Following the interim pastorate of Father Kallimahos, the Reverend Raptelis, Reverend Thomas, and the Reverend Hatzilambrou served the spiritual needs of the communicants of Holy Trinity.
The essential condition for consecration, under the laws of the Church, is that the building be a permanent structure, in purpose as well as in construction. The building therefore, may have no common use. It must always be devoted to religion, and it becomes sacrilegious to use it for any other purpose. A church is usually free of debt and mortgage before it is consecrated.
Holy Trinity Church Myrtle Ave-Consecrated
r. Theodore Bochanis succeeded Mr. William Vlandis as President of the Church Board of Trustees during the next four years, from January 1946 through December
The Consecration of the Church completed a fervent desire born in 1913 in the Greek Orthodox Im-37-
40th Anniversary Celebration- October 23, 1953 - Eichnerâ€™s Restaurant migrant to have an established Community with its Church and necessary facilities where his children and grandchildren would be taught the traditions and inherit a heritage and culture without innovation and distortions. Tears filled his eyes at the realization that the completion of the Consecration of the Church was only the beginning of a new era, just the threshold, and not the end of an effort which is listed as "Treasures stored in Heaven. " Nineteen hundred and fifty-one, the first year of a new decade, guided the footsteps of the communicants to the threshold of a new era. By the year's end, the Parish enjoyed, in addition to its physical plant, a working surplus of $32,307.28. They were justified, therefore, to look optimistically into the future towards new horizons.
Threshold of a New Era A New Horizon
he communicant of Holy Trinity, from the infant stage of 1913 to the adult age of 1950, overcame a myriad of obstacles. His determination, his faith, his love of man, his pride, all were contributing forces. The Greek Orthodox immigrant was endowed with the blessings of a purpose which he believed came from the Divine. This was his inheritance and he had to prepare his heirs, as he was prepared by his father who lived under tyranny and persecution of the Ottoman Empire. The Greek immigrant had something to offer and made every effort to do it well. His forefathers drew the blueprint for our way of life; he wanted to contribute to it and enjoy the dividends of his labors. It was inevitable that the myriad of obstacles had to be overcome, and they were.
Under the Presidency of Mr. Orestis Regas (1952 -1953), plans were formulated to honor the Founding Fathers and Presidents who served Holy Trinity. The Fortieth Anniversary of the founding of the Greek Orthodox Community of Bridgeport, Connecticut was held on Sunday, October 23, 1953, at Eichnerâ€™s Restaurant. His Eminence Archbishop Ezekiel bestowed the blessings of the Church and granted the scroll to those honored. During his presidency, Mr. Regas donated to the Community much needed kitchen facilities which -38-
742 Myrtle Ave, Bridgeport, Connecticut had to be placed in limited space. This is but one example of communicants offering whatsoever is necessary in time, money and effort, in the true spirit of stewardship. The years that followed were primarily devoted to the necessary exterior and interior repairs of the entire physical plant of the Community. The Church exterior required roof and gutter repairs, pointing throughout, and a side exit door from the Church auditorium as required by fire code. The Parish House was also in need of extensive interior and exterior reconstruction. Mr. Angelo Maltas, President of Holy Trinity in 1954, had been delegated by the General Assembly to proceed with the exterior Church repairs, and whatsoever was necessary in the school house.
ty; the spirit of the Greek immigrant who sacrificed as a daily routine that he may establish the proper precedence for his children and grandchildren to emulate.
In the spirit of past dedicated Community leaders, Mr. Maltas proved worthy of his Office. His administration obtained the best of service with the minimum of cost to the Community. He had personally neglected his business, devoting valuable daily hours, to oversee the work of the various construction crews. His was the spirit which characterized the laity of Holy Trini-
In 1955, Mr. William Veras succeeded Angelo Maltas as President of Holy Trinity. During this period, under the chairmanship of Mr. Odysseus (Gene) Demotses, the repairs to the Church, School and Rectory were completed at a cost exceeding $20,000. This work did not include the Church interior which requires delicate and artistic Byzantine decoration and painting. -39-
he Board of Trustees, under the Presidency of William Veras, also had the responsibility of approaching the Archdiocese to fill the vacancy created with the departure of Father Hatzilambrou. The Reverend George Poulos, a graduate of Holy Cross Theological School and Pastor of the Greek Orthodox Church of Norwich, Conn. , was assigned the pastorate of the Bridgeport Community, assuming his pastoral duties on the 16th of August. During the interim period, the Reverend Michael Thomas, retired, was assigned the Community's spiritual leadership by the Archdiocese. Under the presidency of Nicholas Hadoulis, the Community took its Giant step forward to obtain urgently needed expanded facilities created through the increased activities as outlined in the program of the Reverend Father William S. Kehayes.
Unforeseen circumstances, however, obligated the return of the Reverend George Poulos to his former pastorate. The Archbishop Michael, not wanting to reassign an interim pastor and recognizing the needs of the Bridgeport Parish, effected an immediate transfer of the present Priest, the Reverend Father William S. Kehayes, Presbyter from the St. Sophia Church, New London, Connecticut, to the Bridgeport Community. Father Kehayes assumed his new pastorate on the 3rd of September 1955.
A Building Fund Committee of forty members was incorporated into the Community's "forward movement" at the General Assembly of August 11, 1957, as voted upon by its one hundred and eighteen attending communicants. Mr. Ari D. Coclin was elected the Permanent Chairman of the Committee, which also had its By-laws adopted and incorporated by the September 22, 1957 General Assembly
On the 18th of December 1955, the newly elected Board of Trustees chose Nicholas Hadoulis their President for the year 1956, who was re-elected in 1957 and 1958. He resigned May 22,1958 because of business pressures and personal obligations, being succeeded by the Vice-President, Mr. William C. Pappas, who completed the year.
The Building Fund Committee, following its preliminary meetings of organization, received its Oath of Office on the 10th of November 1957. -40-
uring this period, the following were the officers and members of the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church Building Fund Committee: Ari D. Coclin, chairman; George C. Cravatas, Gus J. Forkiotis and Theodore J. Leach, vice-chairmen; Daniel Demont and Gus Pappas, secretaries; Angelo Maltas, treasurer; with the following members of the committee: Anthony Achilles, Alexander Alexios, John Bargas, Lou Carawlanis, George Christ, Anthony Don Bullion, who was elected Finance Chairman; Thomas Ganatsiou, John Georgas, Anthony Georgelos, Nicholas Hadoulis, Nicholas Keffas, Nicholas Hallas, Nicholas Kahramanides, Leonidas Kiamos, Alexander Krambovitis, Harry Linardakis, Angelo Louloudas, Paul Louloudas, Thomas Lappos, Demetrios Megas, James P. C. Mellas, Stergius Minely, Gus Moskos, William Pappas, Charles Poulos, Louis Spillios, Andrew Stamatis, Peter Tournas, William Trifiatis, George Vatis, Peter Vender, William Vlandis and Odysseus Demotses . 3) A significant step indeed, considering the land market of that time period, was the Committee's recommendation to the General Assembly to purchase a four acre tract (250x712) of 1) A f t e r land at 4070 Park many interviews Avenue. This site and consultations, had been recomthe Architectural mended followFirm of Reisner ing an examinaand Diamond, tion of an addiMadison Avenue, Board of Trusteesâ€” Trusteesâ€”1960 tional nine sites New York, N.Y. , and the evaluawas retained. tion of each. This was necesThe General Assembly approved the purchase on sary to properly evaluate Community needs and land December 13th, 1957 for the sum of $40,000. It had value. been stated that this amount would be paid through other sources than the Community treasury or funds 2) Following initial pledges and contributions realized through the Pledge Drive. So be it! amongst the Building Fund Committee members, Following its inception and organization, the Building Fund Committee proceeded immediately with the task at hand, taking three very significant steps:
Mr. Anthony Georgelos stimulated interest in the project through a donation of a new Dodge Automobile to be drawn at a raffle along with a color TV and a HI-FI, donated by Mr. Coclin and Mr. Keffas respectively. The Raffle realized a surplus in excess of $10,000.
Mr. William Veras was elected President of the Board of Trustees for the year 1959. On October 4th of that year, His Eminence the Metropolitan Athenagoras, following Liturgical services, led a procession to the proposed site at 4070 Park Avenue. -41-
here, on an improvised altar, His Eminence conducted the Holy Water Service blessing the Site and the communicants. He complimented their efforts and assured them that as in the past, God would continue to guide them in their footsteps for the project is a sacred one. And Divine Providence does guide the footsteps and blesses the efforts of the Greek immigrant and his children who now toil side by side. The wisdom in establishing a Building Fund Committee, in purchasing land and whatsoever else has been accomplished, was evident when on the 22nd of November 1959 the State Highway Department announced that relocated Route 25 would require the taking of the present Church property. Mr. John A. Maltas was elected President of the 1960 Board of Trustees assisted by Thomas Ganatsiou, Vice-President; William Trifiatis, secretary; William Achilles, treasurer; and Demetrios Megas, Nicholas Laropoulos, Gus Moskos, Paul Louloudas and William Veras.
During this period, new officers had been elected to guide the destiny of the Building Fund Committee, and they are: Ari D. Coclin, Chairman; Thomas Ganatsiou, Vice-Chairman; Angelo Maltas, Treasurer; William Pappas, secretary; with four members, in addition to the Priest and President of the Board of Trustees, on the Executive Committee; the four are: James P. C. Mellas, Lou Carawlanis, Nicholas Keffas and Theodore Leach.
(The preceding text was taken from Testimonial to the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Community, Itâ€™s Birth and Progress ~1960)
from the Building Fund Brochure
Grateful for the Pastâ€”United, We Build for Eternity The Journey to Park Avenue
n the ensuing years, between 1961 and 1966, the Community was served by Thomas Ganatsiou, William Trifiatis and James Englis as Presidents of the Parish Council. The Parish House on Autumn Ridge Road in Fairfield was purchased in September of 1963 at a price of $30,000. In July 1964, the Construction Contract was awarded to L.W. Wenger Co. for the base price of $775,000. Over the next few years, the Community, Parish Councils, and the Building Fund Committee worked in a united effort to collect and raise monies to construct and complete the buildings. With the basic structures complete, but as yet unfurnished, church services were initially held in the Gymnasium. On May 8, 1966, Mrs. Charles Zacharias cut the ribbon to open the doors. Through generous donations from the Community, the Church was carpeted and pews were added. The altar and iconostasion from the old Church were temporarily installed. Donations also furnished the halls, the classrooms, and the offices. The first service in the Church proper at Holy Trinity on Park Avenue took place on November 6, 1966 with His Grace, Bishop Silas officiating assisted by Reverend William Kehayes. Mrs. Angelo Maltas cut the ribbon to open the doors of the Church. Unfortunately, in May of 1967 there was a fire at the church and
1965â€”Construction on Park Avenue
some of the building was damaged. As a result, services were held in the Gymnasium for some time, in order that the church might be repaired.
n March 1967, under the presidency of James Englis, an Interior Completions Committee was formed at a combined Parish Council/Building Fund Committee meeting. John Caraberis, a very dedicated member, was named Chairman of this committee. At this time, he was also serving as Vice-Chairman of the Building Fund Committee. John Caraberis was instrumental in establishing the "999" Raffle that was chaired by George Crist for approximately ten years. It was a major source of income. Father Kehayes and John Caraberis thoroughly researched the interior project and recommended that the church be decorated in Iconography of the 14th Century Byzantine style. This was approved by both the Parish Council and the Building Fund Committee. Mr. Caraberis died in 1971, and William C. Pappas became the chairman of the Interior Committee. Mr. Pappas, along with his committee consisting of William Trifiatis, Nicholas Phakias, Louis Carawlanis, James Mellas, Rose Caches, and Irene Mellas, worked together to complete the interior. Continuity was the key to the success of the comple-
tion of the building and decorating of the new church and complex. Many additional years of dedicated effort were still needed. In the late 60s and well into the late 70s , improvements and additions continued. The Chapel was furnished and completed. A new marble pulpit, Bishopâ€™s throne, Holy Altar, and Iconostasion were added. The Narthex and office halls were decorated with marble. A beautiful hardwood floor was laid in the gymnasium. Bleachers were added, and the youth athletic program grew into a major Community enterprise. -45-
1968窶認inal Land Payment
n 1969, the first major Bazaar was held on the Church Grounds. Starting in 1970, the first Grecian Festival "Weekend in Athens" was established as an annual event. These two events were the major sources of revenue for Holy Trinity in order to pay the church debt. These events were coordinated Father Kehayes, William C. Pappas, Presvytera Christine, Irene Mellas, and Nicholas Keffas. The "Weekend in Athens" Festival included a major raffle each; year under the chairmanship of Louis J. Carawlanis and Eleni Fokas. These major fund raising activities were started during the presidency of William C. Pappas. During the years from 1955 to the opening of Holy Trinity, 4070 Park Avenue in November 6, 1966, we were blessed with a dedicated Parish Priest, Father William S. Kehayes. With his dedicated leadership, foresight and untiring efforts he was able to rally the dedicated parishioner and various organizations to the dream of completing the Church complex becoming a reality. He was responsible for organizing the ParentTeachers Organization (PTO) in 1959, and the first president was Demetrios Megas. The reorganization of the Sunday School program and the organization of the Jr. GOYA took place during these years. Presvytera Christine Kehayes served as the first Director of the Sunday School program and served in that capacity many years. Reverend Kehayes served Holy Trinity from 1955 to 1973. In addition those
who have already been mentioned, the following individuals also served the Community as Presidents of the Parish Council during this time period: Nicholas Phakias, Anastas Kaklamanos, and James Koulouris. Reverend Constantine Eliades was assigned to Holy Trinity in September 1973 and served the Parish until May 1983. During this period the interior of the Church was completed, and -46-
erous donations), and a beautiful carillon system was added so that all could hear and recognize the new Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church!
the Church on Park Avenue was Consecrated. Father Constantine was also responsible for founding the Senior Citizens group, the purpose of which was to bring together the pioneers of the Community so that they could enjoy the fruits of their labor. James Koulouris, John Frangenes, and William Pappas served as Parish Council Presidents throughout those years.
Fundraising continued, supported by a strong, dedicated, Community spirit. The annual Bazaars, picnics, raffles, athletic programs, the highly successful Grecian Festival and Fair, and donations from the Community, brought in the funds to pay the Church mortgage. At a historic General Assembly meeting on March 5, 1977, attended by a record number of parishioners, it was overwhelmingly voted to complete the payment of the remaining mortgage of $17,500 out of the Church savings. With this final step, the Burning of the Mortgage took place on June 3, 1979, with Bishop Silas officiating, assisted by Reverend Constantine Eliades. Thus, the dedicated work of a small group of faithful servants of whom the Building Fund Committee was comprised was completed, and the Church was ready for Consecration.
The final step to complete the Church interior was taken in 1975, when the Iconography contract was awarded to John Papaspiliopoulos, Byzantine Icon Studios, NY for $42,500. The marble contract was awarded to Steve and Tom Vrahopoulos, Criterion Marble, Co. , for $36,700. All interior work was completed for Easter services in 1978. During this time, other building and grounds improvements began. These included the addition of a new heating and air conditioning system in the Church hall, planting of trees and shrubs (from gen-
His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos
Ari D. Coclin , Godfather
The Gold Key
The Consecration of Holy Trinity on Park Avenue
nder the presidency of John Frangenes, Holy Trinity was Consecrated, with his Eminence Archbishop lakovos officiating and assisted by Reverend Constantine Eliades. Ari D. Coclin became the Godfather of Holy Trinity. On Sunday, November 25, 1979, the morning of the Consecration, following Orthros services, Archbishop lakovos, assisted by Bishop Philotheos of Meloa, Archdeacon Methodius, Rev. Constantine Eliades, Rev. William Kehayes, Rev. Stratton Dorozenski, and other Clergy, while holding the Paten containing relics above his head, lead a procession around the exterior of the Church three times. The Clergy, altar boys, choir, and parishioners joined the procession chanting the Trisagion hymn. When the procession reached the front of the Church, the hymn of Holy Trinity was chanted.
Upon re-entering the Church, the Archbishop, preceded by the President of the Community, John Frangenes and president of the Philoptochos, Mrs. Stella E. Capiris holding lit candles, then proceeded to the Sanctuary anointing the Relics with Holy Chrism. He then placed them in a coffer, sealed then with wax mastic, and deposited them in a concealed crypt in the center of the Altar. The Archbishop then donned a white robe called the Savvanon over his garments, proceeded to cleanse and purify the altar table with water, wine, and rosewater.
The Archbishop then placed the Holy Relics on a table in front of the main entrance and said: "Receive your Princes O ye gates and be ye lifted up ye everlasting doors and the King of Glory shall come in." Mr. Ari D. Coclin then donated funds for the gold key which unlocked the doors. Mrs. Fannie Papageorge, in loving memory of her husband Elias, also made a donation towards the gold key to the Church.
At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, members of the Ladies Philoptochos Society, who had cut the Archbishop's Savvanon into pieces, distributed them to the Congregation as a sacred remembrance of this highly religious and significant event in the life of Holy Trinity.
He then poured Holy Chrism on the Altar and anointed it as done in baptism. Next, the Altar was covered with a white cloth called the Katasarkion, which symbolizes the shroud of our Lord. A second cloth of luxurious material was then placed over the first. The Archbishop then placed the utensils such as the Gospel, Tabernacle, and Vigil Lamp on the Altar.
A bronze plaque with all the names of the members of the Building Fund Committee was presented to be placed in the Narthex of the Church.
His Eminence censed the Church and blessed the walls, anointing them and the Icons in cross-form. He then lit a lamp of oil, which was placed on the table in the center of the Solea. Following this, he asked that the President of the Philoptochos to step forward, followed by the congregation, to participate by placing a few drops of oil, cross-form, into the vigil lamp. With this, the Consecration Service was consummated, and the Divine Liturgy was then celebrated.
Along Came the 80s
n August 1, 1983, Archbishop lakovos appointed Reverend Demetrios Recachinas as Pastor of Holy Trinity. On December 18, 1983, Bishop Methodius administered the oath of office to a new Parish Council. Chris Rountos was elected President. In outlining its immediate plans, the Parish Council established a series of goals that were to constitute the primary objectives of the entire Community, including priority status to repair and restore Holy Trinity. Equally
During the Liturgy, Deacon Spyridon Kehayes was ordained to the Holy Priesthood in a deeply moving and ancient ceremony.
as important were plans toward achieving financial security, increasing Church membership, and initiating a series of educational, religious, and cultural programs.
n 1984, Reverend Recachinas, Chris Rountos, and John Zarras were instrumental in revitalizing the Grecian Festival. It was then that the Olympiad Festival was born. This large undertaking was and still is the largest, single revenue producing event of each year. In January of 1985, the Hellenic Cultural Association was first organized. The Association's primary objective was to promote knowledge and better understanding of the Hellenic culture, history, art, and religion through lectures, seminars, and artistic and musical presentations.
Rallis & Associates was engaged to prepare the plans and undertake the task of restoration. On April 21, 1986, authorization was given by the Parish Assembly to proceed with the renovation of Holy Trinity. This would include the installation of a metal aluminum anodized roof, a new gas heating and air conditioning system, refurbishing the interior of the Church, and overall general church repairs. The sum appropriated was $1,180,000. A bank loan was obtained for $600,000, and the balance was to be drawn from Church savings and fundraising activities. The firm of Peter Kapetan,
On May 23, 1985, under the leadership of Reverend Recachinas and Chris Rountos, and with John Zarras acting as Co-Chairman, it was decided that the Church Renovation Project would begin. It was agreed that no architectural changes would be made to the Church complex. The firm of William -50-
based on a competitive bid, was hired to do the renovation. Work began in May of 1986, and was completed by Easter, 1987. In addition to the Church renovation, a major expansion was also made to the kitchen facility. The Renovation Banquet, sponsored by Gus and Nick Demas, and Co-Chaired by Theodore Leach and Nicholas Phakias, with Bishop Athenagoras of Dorylaion as the guest of honor , was held on November 23, 1986.
Under the leadership of George Hallas and Father Demetrios Recachinas, it was decided that it would be wonderful to unite all the Orthodox Churches in Connecticut within one group. The idea was discussed in 1992, and it was brought to fruition in 1993 with the formation of FORCC (Fellowship of Orthodox Churches of Connecticut). In 1993, the 80th Anniversary was celebrated.
Many changes, improvements, and celebrations occurred within the next few years. New rugs were In 1988, under the presidency of Gus Hatzis, installed, cushions added, and marble was placed on Holy Trinity celebrated the 75th Anniversary with a the Solea. The Parish Archive Room was constructgala banquet , which was held at Liedle's Restaurant. ed through the As the Commudo nat io n of nity reflected on Celebrating 25 Years on Park Ave. St ella and its past, it George Capiris, looked forward in memory of to the future, their parents. and subsequentThe Parish Byly organized Laws were reYAL (Young vised and Adult League) adopted by the for young General Assemadults, ages 18bly. The 25, the JOY & Daughters of HOPE groups Penelope were (ages 6 - 12), reactivated on and a girls’ VolApril 24th, 1993, and have become a strong, vibrant leyball Team. group within the Parish. The lOOth Anniversary of the First Greek Orthodox families arrival in Bridgeport—1896—was celebrated at a luncheon under the presidency of Chris Papachristos in1996. It was Forward and Upward also the year that the Community celebrated our 30th he 25th Anniversary on Park Avenue was year on Park Avenue. Celebrated in 1991. In 1991, the YAL Dance group was founded, and eventually evolved In 1998, the Parish was honored with the historic into the YAL Trinity Dancers. In 1992, the Greek visitation of His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch School established a Kindergarten Class for children Bartholomew. Lee Tsouris, President of the Parish 5 years old. Council, formed the many committees to ensure that
this visitation would be successful. -51-
The Turn of the Century
n September 16, 2001, the Parish hosted a statewide interfaith prayer service to commemorate the September 11th tragedy. It also celebrated the completion of the Iconography, specifically the mosaic of Holy Trinity on the exterior of our Church, initiated its first Golf Tournament, and developed its first website. In 2003, as the Parish celebrated its 90th Anniversary, the Parish Council elected its first woman president, Stella Capiris. In 2004, the Olympic Games were held in Greece, and the Community was proud that some of its members volunteered and participated there. The Community has always had a deep appreciation and respect of its War Veterans, and in 2005, a new plaque honoring both the deceased and living Veterans was unveiled. In 2006, the Parish hosted the Annual Law Day celebration of the Greater Bridgeport Bar Association. In the same year, it also celebrated its 40th anniversary on Park Avenue, and the Greek School expanded to include a 7th and 8th grade.
cilities more accessible. The Elevator Project was completed in 2007, under the presidency of Chris Papachristos. Co-Chairmen for this project were George Christopoulos and George Mourizakis. Also in 2007, Holy Trinityâ€™s web presence was firmly established with the complete overhaul of the existing website. In 2008, the celebration of the Parishâ€™s 95th anniversary took place. In the same year, a tree was planted on the front grounds of the church to celebrate Earth Day, the Holy Trinity Cycling Club was formed, and luncheons for the less fortunate in the
Always mindful of Senior Citizens, as well as the disabled in the Community, it was decided that an elevator should be installed in order to make all fa-52-
Bridgeport area were instituted. A memorial reception was held in honor of Father William Kehayes. Presvytera Christine Kehayes and her family were present, and a plaque was unveiled in his memory. Under the Presidency of George Mourizakis, new Iconography was donated and completed: the “Holy Spirit Descending” and “Holy Theotokos Praying” were placed on two of the Apses. In March of 2008, our Internet Ministries was created in order to include the weekly eBulletin, eNotices, and the online version of the Orthodox Vision (the official Parish monthly newsletter) into the fold of the existing website ministry.
In March of 2011, after many years of service to the Community, Father Demetrios Recachinas announced his resignation. He served the Parish from 1983 to 2011. In November of 2011, the Community welcomed Father Andreas Vithoulkas, its newly assigned Priest, and his family Presvytera Anthoula, and their twin boys, Nicholas and Petros.
By January 29, 2009, Internet Ministries had expanded to include Facebook & Twitter, the nursery classrooms were reconstructed and leased out to a nursery school, and the Front Grounds Beautification Program was completed. The project included a redesigned layout, the installation of granite stones , and plaques with the donors’ names .
In 2013, the following new ministries were added to the Parish: Love1Another, which connects Cancer patients, survivors, families, and caregivers; The Holy Trinity Sorority Group ΑΒΩ , which is an inspirational group for girls and explores issues facing girls around the world; A Drama Club, specially designed for children. Also in 2013, The Dome Restoration project, under the presidency of George Mourizakis, began and was completed. This included the repair of the iconography, as well as the updating of the dome lights.
In 2012, Father Andreas started the Orthodox Study of the Bible Classes. He was also instrumental in initiating the updating of the Altar and Chapel. A new Gym Roof was installed under the presidency of George Mourizakis.
In 2010, the Restroom Renovation Project was approved, and under the presidency of George Mourizakis, this project commenced and was completed in 2011. The Chapel of the Theotokos of Consolation, St. Demetrios, and St. Phanourios was created through the donation of the Dr. Souvlis Family. At the 97th Anniversary celebration, a plaque was unveiled for all Church benefactors, contributors, and founders. Also, gym rentals were instituted for additional income.
ather Bill Kehayes once wrote, “God patiently perceives not what we did, but what we tried to do.” Our Holy Trinity Church Family has earnestly and honestly tried to do their very best.
The Holy Trinity Church Family
ne can not help but respect the invaluable service rendered by the various Church Organizations over the years, and the myriad of ethnic and fraternal societies including the Pan Hellenios Enosis, AHEPA, GAPA, Pan Arcadian, Microasiatikon, and the many others during the first half of the 20th century. Reviewing the history of the Greek immigrant, one can only recognize how each in their own way have contributed to the phenomenal growth, progress, and welfare of the Greek Orthodox immigrant and his heirs in the New World. It is with great pride, therefore, that we are privileged to present a brief synopsis of the Holy Trinity Church Family. In alphabetical order, they are:
family is to promote the ancient Greek ideals of education, philanthropy, civic responsibility and family and individual excellence through community service and volunteerism.
AHEPA - Bridgeport Chapter Number 62
HEPA (American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association) is the largest Greek-American association in the world, with chapters in the United States, Canada, Greece, Cyprus, and sister chapters in Australia and New Zealand. It was established in 1922 by visionary Greek Americans to protect Hellenes from prejudice originating from the KKK, and in its history, AHEPA joined with the NAACP and B'nai B'rith International to fight discrimination. The mission of the AHEPA
The Bridgeport chapter of the AHEPA was founded in April 1925. The first organizational meeting was held on April 5, 1925 in the Stratfield Hotel. The Brooklyn AHEPA Chapter No. 41 initiated the first Bridgeport group charter. The founding members of the Bridgeport Chapter of AHEPA included Fr. Nicholas Andriopoulos, Anthony Achilles, Angelo Barbas, James Cakavell, Demeteris Chembelis, Jordan Dikegoros, George Karikas, Peter Karavidas ,Chris Mellas, John Metsopoulos, George -54-
awards. Through its fundraising efforts, the Bridgeport Chapter of AHEPA annually awards scholarships to graduating high school seniors from the Community.
Pappas, George Parthenios, Michael Savrakas, James Sentementes, and William Vlandis. James Sentementes served as the first President of the Bridgeport Chapter of AHEPA from 1925-1927. By 1926 the Bridgeport Chapter of AHEPA had approximately 110 members. The Bridgeport Chapter of AHEPA continues to be one of the largest AHEPA chapters in the state.
In 2013, the Bridgeport Chapter of AHEPA had four fifty (50) year members including George Crist, Chris Demetros , Gus Leventakos and Constantine Demas.
Subsequent to the founding of the Chapter , Presidents have included Dr. Spiro Vryonis in 1926 and 1931; Steven Kremastiotis in 1928, Anthony Achilles in 1929 and 1940;Orestes Regas in 1930; Athan Prakas in 1932; Anthony Smith 1933 through 1934; William V la nd is in 1935; James Zabet t as in 1936,1943,1953 -1954; James Constas in 1939; Angelo Maltas 19411942; Michael Halioris 1944, 1960; Alexander Vlantes 1945; Peter Koteas 1946; Nomikos Thomas 1947-1948, 1958, 1962-1965, 1973-1980, Nick Kahramanidis 1950, 1961; Leonidas Kiamos 1951-1952; Nicholas Keffas 1956-1957; John Polezonis 1959; Philip Daston 1959; Nicholas Phakias 1966;John Nauchy 1967; Victor Laliots 19681969;John Rendall 1971- 1972;Constantine Agortsas 1985-1990; Angelo Pappas 1981-1984, 1991-1993; Chris Savides 1994-1995; John Frangenes 19952009; John Bochanis 2010 to date.
Alex Vlantes was one of the longest serving members of any AHEPA chapter, having been a member of the Bridgeport Chapter of AHEPA for approximately s e v e nt y- f i v e years. Alex Vlantes served as secretary of the Bridgeport Chapt er of AHEPA for sixty-five years. To honor Alex Vlantesâ€™ service as an AHEPAn, the Bridgeport Chapt er of 1992â€”AHEPA AHEPA inaugurated an annual Alex Vlantes Award to be given annually to an AHEPA member who best promotes the AHEPA mission of philanthropy, education, civic responsibility, and family and individual excellence to the community. In 2013 the first annual Alex Vlantes award was given to AHEPA member James Yeotsas. Mr. Yeotsas previously served as a Vice-President of the Bridgeport Chapter of AHEPA . Through the success of this fundraising event and other events held by AHEPA including its annual chicken luncheon the Bridgeport Chapter of
In 2010 the Bridgeport Chapter of AHEPA held its first Taverna Night as a fundraiser for scholarship -55-
AHEPA continues its mission of promoting education to the youth of our community. The Bridgeport Chapter of AHEPA also recently participated in the relief effort for the victims of superstorm Sandy. Through the local chapter’s mission, fundraising efforts and the support of the community the Bridgeport Chapter of AHEPA looks forward to serving the community for years to come. represent the various organizations and ministries of our Church, as well as the Community as a whole.
Archives & History
he Archives Room was dedicated Easter of 1992. This room was donated by George and Stella Capiris in memory of their respective parents, Christopher and Christina Capiris and George and Anna Englis. The official ribbon cutting ceremony was conducted with Stella and George Capiris cutting the ribbon, assisted by George HallasParish Council President, and with Father Demetrios Recachinas officiating.
rior to World War II, Holy Trinity participated very little in athletic competition. From 1932-1933 and from 1935-1936, the Parish had a team in the YMCA’s Inter-Church Basketball League. In 1941, a Senior team, the Holy Trinity Grinders, represented the parish at the Y, and in 1943, a Junior team was also entered.
At that time, the Parish Council appointed Stella Capiris as the Director of the Archives Room and the Historian of the Holy Trinity Community.
After the war, in 1946, the Greek American Youth League (now GOYA), was formed. GOYA sponsored the Athletic Program, under William Trifiatis as the Director, for the Church’s youth. This program embraced all children from eight years and
The purpose of the Archive Room is to preserve and exhibit the records, documents, artifacts, photographs, etc., that have been collected over time and -56-
In 1969, a group of representatives from five Eastern Orthodox churches in the Bridgeport-New Haven area met to discuss the feasibility forming a basketball league. Their goal was to offer Orthodox youth the opportunity to participate in an organized athletic activity with the hope of developing fellowship and sportsmanship. The Athletic The Parish had a minimum of one team in each Committee of Holy Trinity Church, Bridgedivision each year, and sometimes up to four, which port was instrumental in fostering the creation of represented Holy Trinity at the YMCA. Games were the league. Its Committee Chair, Bill Trifiatis, played between other Orthodox and Protestant skillfully guided the inaugural 1969-1970 seaChurch teams in the Greater Bridgeport area. The son. The charter members that participated were: Greek American Youth League sponsored all the Holy Trinity Greek teams, and purchased all Orthodox (Bridgeport); the uniforms and equipSt. Barbara Greek Orment. Practices were held thodox (New Haven); at the First Methodist St. Dimitrie Romanian Church on Golden Hill Orthodox (Bridgeport); Street at a very minimum St. George Albanian cost for many years until Orthodox (Bridgeport); the Parish’s gym was built. St. John the Baptist American Carpatho In 1950, the Youth orRussian (Bridgeport); ganization changed its and St. Nicholas Syrname in to GOYA (Greek ia n Ort ho do x Orthodox Youth of AmeriArchbishop Iakovos’s Birthday Celebration— (Bridgeport). The ca), and became a part of a 1970s enthusiastic response national organization that to the first season's was approved by the Archplay led to the expansion of the league from diocese. The Church’s basketball teams won many the original nine team Intermediate and Senchampionships at the YMCA’s Church League, and ior divisions, to twenty-eight teams and two received national recognition. more divisions : Midgets and Juniors. over. It had an annual Athletic Budget of a minimum $635.00 per year. The Athletic Program included Basketball and Softball with approximately eighty children participating. It also sponsored a Bowling League for the recreation of its members and friends.
In the late 1960s, the gym was completed to include a new hardwood floor, all new baskets, lockers , bleachers, and other equipment that was needed to conduct the Athletic Program that had been envisioned. Bill Trifiatis was still the Director and Louis Carawlanis was the Treasurer of the Athletic Committee.
The following additional churches joined the league for the 1970-1971 season: Assumption Greek Orthodox (Danbury); Church of the Assumption Greek Orthodox (Stamford); and St. George Greek Orthodox (Hartford). The success of the program had been tremendous, with approximately 500 youth and adults participating in the four divisions every -57-
1987 Volleyball Champs
1980-81 Midget Champs
Saturday and Sunday during the basketball season of November through April. This new organization was named CEOBL (Connecticut Eastern Orthodox Basketball League). Many funds were raised through the efforts of the Athletic Committee. The proceeds would go towards reducing the debt of the Church loan. The wives of the committee members ran the snack bar as another means for raising funds. Bill Trifiatis became the permanent director of the CEOBL, and Louis Carawlanis was its Treasurer. This league was probably the first inter-orthodox basketball organization of its kind in the country.
volleyball program are Eleftheria Fatsi, Michele Papadimitriou (Belperone), Peter Taxilarides, Gus Anastasiou, George Christopoulos , Luke Thomas, Stella Katsetos, and Terry Toth.
n 1978, after 32 years, Bill Trifiatis resigned as Athletic Director. Jim Trigonis, who was a member of the Athletic Committee, succeeded Bill as Director. In 1979, the Holy Trinity Midget basketball team was the first team in the CEOBL to have a girl play in the league. Vicky Spyrou (Andriotis) played for Holy Trinity . Vicky's participation was a precursor to the girls’ volleyball league.
In 1986, due to health issues, Dimitrios Trigonis stepped down as Athletic Director. Jim Feris served as the Athletic Director from 1986-1991, and followed by Tom Trigonis in 1991. John Crowe, Pericles Koutroulas, and Chris Danas have also served as Athletic Directors.
In 1985, Dimitrios Trigonis and Alex Boutsoulis from Holy Trinity Waterbury, started the Connecticut Eastern Orthodox Volleyball League. George Fatsi was the Assistant Director during Dimitrios Trigonis’ tenor. Nick Vomvas was the first coach of Holy Trinity’s girls’ volleyball team, and he laid a very successful foundation that has enabled the volleyball program to thrive until present day. Nick’s teams won the first five championships. Holy Trinity won 9 of the first 10 championships and 15 of the first 20 championships. Some other names that have volunteered their time throughout the years to the
Throughout the years, many people have been dedicated to Holy Trinity’s Athletic programs. Among them was Louis Carawlinas. Lou’s commitment to Holy Trinity dates back to the 1940’s. His love for the youth of our community was evident in his dedication in the time he spent in the gymnasium, along with Mr. James Mellas. Lou’s brother, Peter, who was killed in action in WWII, has a trophy named in his honor that is given out yearly to a -58-
Senior or Intermediate player who exemplifies outstanding sportsmanship and dedication to Holy Trinity Church. Lou spent the better part of 70 years volunteering his time to our athletics and the church in general. Another person involved for many years is Tom Trigonis, who started our in the Athletic Program playing basketball as a midget for Holy Trinity in 1972. Tomâ€™s love for the church and his memories playing for Holy Trinity inspired him to give back and get involved. He served as the Director of the CEOBL for over 10 years, and over the span of 30 years (dating back to 1983), Tom served as Holy Trinityâ€™s Athletic Director, Assistant Athletic Director, and as a coach.
worked for the Church. In 1931, they formed the first Choir. Through their fundraising projects, they purchased, among other things, the church organ that is still being used today. The first choir director was Despina Trangelli. Despina served until 1935, when Mary Vaniotis Chiapis became choir director. In 1937, when Holy Trinity moved from West Liberty Street to Myrtle Ave. , Maria loannou Callas became the director, until Ted Thomas, son of the then priest at Holy Trinity, took over in 1940. From 1947 to 1957, the position was filled by Professor Vanaseskou. In 1957 , George Kalander served as choir director until 1959, when Harriet Ganatsou took over as director
1977 Athletic Dept. Cafeteria Committee The Holy Trinity Athletic program continues to provide a place for the youth of the community to congregate and enjoy the fellowship of playing with other Orthodox communities throughout Connecticut and New York.
along with Rose Caches serving as substitute / assistant director. In 1961, Michael Cokias, a professional tenor, became the director until 1970. For the next 2 years, Toula Louloudas was director and Nick Theris followed until 1974. It was in 1974 that George Manos, a member of the Holy Trinity Choir, became director and remained in that position until 1999. During his tenure, George also became director of the Holy Trinity Chorale which was founded in 1973 by Emmanuel and Helen Spyrou. It was also during this time that the choir performed various concerts for the first time with other churches.
Church Musicians and Hellenic Chorale
ev. Joseph Xanthopoulos served the the parish from 1927 to 1937. It was during this time period that he formed the E Mirofori Society. The Societyâ€™s members were single girls, who -59-
1995—Building Closet in Choir Room
hrough the years, the Choir continued to perform. Some of their performances included 1985’s Spring Concert with the Hellenic Chorale; In 1986, they visited Albany, where they sang “Liturgy of Peace” and were conducted by composer Christopher Kypros, presented Spring and Christmas Concerts with the Hellenic Chorale, and performed at the Church’s Renovation Gala. In 1990, the Choir spent time in a recording studio to produce an audio cassette tape of Church hymns, which they later sold. In 1991, the Choir and Hellenic Chorale performed a Christmas Concert with concert pianist Jason Solomonides.
ticipated in the Liturgy at Madison Square Garden during Patriarch Bartholomew’s visit. In 1998, the Hellenic Chorale presented a concert at Holy Trinity.
The Holy Trinity Choir became members of the Archdiocesan Choir Federation and has since performed in many of the Federations tri-state performances. In 1991, George Manos moved to New York City and commuted to Holy Trinity for Sunday services. His assistant director was Rose Caches, who was a member of the choir, and also served as assistant director in the late 50s, early 60s. In 1994, the Hellenic Chorale celebrated its 20th Anniversary with a Gala Concert. They were joined by St. Barbara’s of Orange, CT choir and pianist Jason Solomonides. In 1995, George Manos was presented with the Saint Romanos Medal, which is presented to those church musicians who have made exemplary national contributions to church music in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
During over 40 of those years, Sophie Frangenes was the organist for the Choir . In 1999 Phoebe Kamelakis Leask became choir director. Phoebe was the daughter of Rev. John S. Kamelakis, who substituted at Holy Trinity Church during his retirement. In 2000, Peter Pantellis, whose mother was the choir director in New London, succeeded Sophie Frangenes. Through the years, two members of the Holy Trinity Choir have had the distinction of being honored by the Archdiocesan Choir Federation as Members of the Year. Rose Caches was honored in 1999 and Frossie Trigonis in 2002.
In 1996, Holy Trinity’s Choir participated in the Liturgy at Central Park in New York City, honoring Archbishop Iakovos’ retirement. In 1997, they par-
The Holy Trinity Senior Choir has also encour-60-
aged the establishment of the Holy Trinity Junior Choir, currently under the direction of Joanna Rizos Bogardus, daughter of the Senior Choir’s Director, Phoebe. The Junior Choir has performed in concerts with the Senior Choir, and has also sung the Sunday Divine Liturgy with them.
include: Panagiotis Poulos, Theodore Thomas, Panagiotis Galogauros, Sarantos Serviou, Nikolaos Vomvas, Chris Savides, John Nictas, Argiris Christopoulos, Nikolaos Koutroumanis, John Eoanou, Demetrios Kavouras, George Bakes, and Dimitrios Trigonis.
In 1999, the Choir attended the Annual Archdiocesan Choir Federation Conference on Long Island, sang in the Federation Millennium Christmas Concert, and in 2000, sang in the Federation Christmas Celebration of Music on Long Island. In 2002, they participated in Federation Conference in Orange, CT, and sang in Federation ‘s Christmas Concert on Long Island. In 2003, the Choir performed at Holy Trinity’s 90th Anniversary Celebration, participated in ceremony at Sacred Heart University honoring Archbishop Demetrios in 2005, presented a Holiday Musical Celebration concert along with the Junior Choir in 2006, sang with St. Barbara’s choir at Fairfield University, honoring Archbishop Demetrios in 2007, and performed at Holy Trinity’s 100th Anniversary Gala celebration on November 30, 2013.
Holy Trinity’s Church musicians continue to “Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth, Serve the Lord with gladness, Come into his presence with singing!” Psalm 100:1-2
Daughters of Penelope
he Daughters of Penelope was founded in 1929, by Alexandra Apostolides. Her desire was to create a woman's organization for the purpose of helping women and families of immigrants of Greek descent to assimilate into early 20th century American society. Because of her perseverance and the encouragement of her husband Dr. Emanuel Apostolides, a devoted member of AHEPA, she formed EOS Chapter No.1 with twenty-five charter members. Alexandra Apostolides was elected as the first Grand President in 1931.
The Choir continues to participate in local concerts, Federation Concerts, Pan-Orthodox services, Inter-faith services, celebrations, and entertains at various nursing homes. Along with the Senior Choir, Junior Choir, and Hellenic Chorale, it is important to mention the Cantors (Psaltis) who have served Holy Trinity over the years. Though their names have not always been documented, the ones that have been
Today, the focus of the Daughters of Penelope is to promote the social, ethical, philanthropic, cultural, and intellectual interests of its members while promoting the ideals and traditions of Hellenism in each of the communities where they are located. In 2009, the US House of Representatives passed Resolution 209 honoring the significant achievements of
1998 DOP -61-
DOP and commemorating its 80th Anniversary. The resolution also recognized the significant contributions of Greek Americans and the DOP to the US. In 2010, a similar resolution was passed by the US Senate. There are DOP chapters throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, Greece and Cyprus. The Daughters of Penelope encourages and promotes loyalty to the country in which they live, cultivates the ideals and traditions of Hellenism, promotes opportunities of education, and promotes the spirit of cooperation, and works closely and in harmony with the whole AHEPA Family, which includes AHEPA, Daughters of Penelope, Maids of Athena, and Sons of Pericles. The Daughters of Penelope is non-partisan and nondenominational.
District Treasurer; Ann Dorozinski, Past District Governor; Mary Tzimoulis, Past District Governor; Nikitoula Menounos, District Marshall; Helen Matsikas, Past District Governor.
The charter for Hermes Chapter 41, Bridgeport, CT was issued in 1935, and was originally called the AHEPA Ladies before they were renamed as the Daughters of Penelope, four years later. Meetings were held at AHEPA Hall on Fairfield Avenue in Bridgeport. There were thirty-two charter members, and the chapter colors chosen were blue and white. The charter officers were Electra Halioris Young, President; Helen Papaconstantinou, Vice-President; Eva Politis Zambettas, Secretary; and Angeliki Argiriades, Treasurer. The chapter remained active until 1984 when it, unfortunately, became dormant.
Following the initiation, the election of officers was held with Toula Louloudes, President; Athena Argiriades Morici, Vice President; Georgia Hedgis, Secretary; Kathy Zorzy,Treasurer; Libby Kanatas, Marshall and Sentinel; Marian Demas, Warden; Ann Dorozinski, Priestess; Stella Capiris, Chairman of the Board of Governors; Helen Linardakis, Vivian Christian, Maria Agortsas, Board Members.
Hermes Chapter 41 was reactivated in ceremonies in Bridgeport, CT on April 24, 1993. Twelve sisters were initiated by the team of the District Governor, Ellen Anagnostos. They were Athena Argiriades Morici, Past District Governor; Helen Bousios,
Currently, Hermes Chapter 41 is an active and vibrant group made up of women of all ages, who are continuing to honor the objectives of promoting Hellenism, education, philanthropy, civic responsi-62-
Elizabeth Argeropoulos-1966; Athena Argiriades (Morici)-1967 to 1968; Mary P. Koteas-1969 to 1971; Ann Dorozinski-1972; Athena Argiriades (Morici)-1973; Ann Dorozinski-1974; Estelle Hawie-1975 to 1976; Connie Forkiotis-1977 to 1984; Toula Louloudes -1992; Athena Morici-1993 to 1994; Helen Linardakis-1995 to 1996; Alexandra Koulouris-1997-1998; Helen Spyrou-1999-2003; Barbara Tsoupas-2004-2008; 2009-2013-Helen Yeotsas; Kathy Yiannoulis—current
bility, and family and individual excellence through community service and volunteerism. The chapter has been active with philanthropic causes in our community such as the Let’s Keep Them Warm Drive, and in supporting national causes such as Penelope House and Penelope Place, WIN Hellas, the University of Miami Sylvester Cancer Center, and many more. The Daughters’ home is Holy Trinity , where they also help the church community with scholarships for Holy Trinity’s youth, helping those in need, and donating towards and supporting the many needs of the Parish.
Greek Orthodox Youth of America
To honor and acknowledge our history as Daughters of Penelope, here is the honor roll of all those who served as President since 1935: Electra Halioris Young—1935 to 1936; Sophia Trifiatis1937; Helen Papaconstantinou-1938; Helen Harlow Laropoulos - 1939; Julia Maltas - 1940; Catherine Harrison Tishliss-1941 to 1942; Bessie Pappas— 1943; Electra Halioris Young-1944 to 1945; Julia Maltas-1946; Arta Pappas -1947; Athena Argiriades (Morici)- 1948; Electra Halioris Young-1949; Ann Don Bullion (6 months)-1950; Sophie Yerontakis Capucci-1950 to 1951; Christine Georgas-1952; Catherine Koteas-1953 to 1954; Helene Karpenko1955 to 1956; Effie Zieckas-1957; Athena Argiriades (Morici)-1958 to 1959; Effie Zieckas-1960; Ann Dorozinski-1961 to 1962; Elizabeth Argeropoulos-1963 to 1964; Effie Zieckas– 1965;
n 1946, after World War II , the Greek American Youth League was formed by the E Mirofori Society, the same group who, in 1931, formed the first choir at Holy Trinity. The first president elected was John Coshonis. The age requirement at the time was young adults, 18 and over. As the servicemen came home, great interest in the group was stimulated, and membership grew to include close to 100 young adults. At that time, the Greek American Youth League sponsored the Athletic Program, under William Trifiatis as the Director, for the Church’s youth.
1992– GOYA -63-
ccording to the Archdiocese, G.O.Y.A.'s roots on a national level stem from the early 40s, when many Parishes in the United States, including Holy Trinity, formed their own youth groups. Many of these groups banded together to form Greek Orthodox Youth Federations. When Archbishop Michael assumed leadership of the Greek Orthodox Church in North and South America, he helped these federations of youth groups unite on a national level in an organization named the Greek Orthodox Youth of America, or G.O.Y.A.. In 1951, Holy Trinity's Youth organization changed its name to G.O.Y.A. , and became a part of the national organization founded by His Eminence Archbishop Michael. G.O.Y.A. made the largest cash donation to the Building Fund Project of Holy Trinity; as of 1959, G.O.Y.A. had donated $4,242.50, with additional donations made afterward.
in 1956, a Junior G.O.Y.A. Chapter was created and would complement the existing and very fruitful G.O.Y.A. This group embraced all who are within the age of twelve through seventeen. It was subdivided into two divisions: twelve to fifteen; fifteen through seventeen. Its program was fourfold : Religious, educational, social, and athletic.
The Junior G.O.Y.A. followed in the footsteps of their elders, showing their gratitude for a "brighter tomorrow" by having contributed, through the sale of Christmas cards, $455 to the Community's Building Fund Program.
In April 1958, the initial Pledge Drive to purchase the 4.1 acre site on Park Ave was instituted with the first major donation given by the Senior G.O.Y.A. G.O.Y.A. recognized the need of expanded facilities, and voted to contribute 50% of its net profit from all functions into a Building Fund Treasury for future use. It had a twelve member Building Fund Committee of which eight were presently serving on the Church Building Fund.
In 1988, Senior G.O.Y.A. became YAL (Young Adult League), and Junior G.O.Y.A. (kids under 18) became the G.O.Y.A. that we know today. The G.O.Y.A. at Holy Trinity has always been very involved in the Parish, as well as the Community in the Greater Bridgeport area. The group has -64-
served meals at local homeless shelters, served underprivileged children during Christmastime, and has helped raise funds for cancer foundations, victims of natural disasters, and other charities and causes. G.O.Y.A.ns participate in various activities which strengthen the characteristics of the G.O.Y.A. ministry, which are Worship (Liturgia), Fellowship (Koinonia), Service (Diakonia), and Witness (Martyria). G.O.Y.A. also unites youth and encourages fun, fellowship, and interaction not only with its own members, but with other G.O.Y.A. communities as well. This is accomplished through various activities which include dances, retreats, and scavenger hunts . The goal of the G.O.Y.A. of Holy Trinity is to lay a foundation of faith and fellowship which will help guide the youth of our future.
he Greek School at Holy Trinity dates back to October 12, 1914, a little under a year after the establishment of the Parish, in 1913. There were 18 students to start, and classes were conducted at the YMCA on Gilbert Street in Bridgeport. In 1959, several parents from the Parent Teacher Organization, under the leadership of John Caraberis and Irene Mellas, and with the assistance and cooperation of the Priest and School Board, petitioned the Board of Trustees for a Greek school class in Trumbull, which was accepted. Thus, in October 1959, a seco nd Greek school was born. Classes were at the Ed iso n P u blic School.
“As mo d er n Americans of Greek descent you will accomplish much; but in attaining worldly destinies, never forget that as members of G.O.Y.A., you who are our pride and hope belong to an essentially religious organization, and whatever you attain on this earth is, in the last analysis, of little value without a deep and firm belief in the tried and tested religion of your forefathers. Adhere firmly to this faith, observe strictly its tenets, and in so doing you will in fact realize the motto of G.O.Y.A. and truly live your Orthodox faith, thus becoming better Christians and better American citizens worthy of your noble Greek descent. With all my blessings for the future, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” His Eminence Archbishop Michael, Founder of the Greek Orthodox Youth of America, 1957
Trumbull won the distinction as the first in Faifield County to open classes for children in Greek. It started with 21 pupils from ages 7 to 12, and met from 4 to 6 every Friday. Father Kehayes called it "…a noble experiment. The purpose is to teach the Greek language and the appreciation of Hellenic culture…When students reach an advanced stage, they may be exposed to Ancient Greek and the study of passages from the works of the Greek fathers and masters. It is felt that students who do learn Greek, develop a background which will facilitate their learning of other languages.” Basil Antoniades, professor of the Greek language and culture, who taught at Holy Trinity, also taught the Edison class. Anthony Achilles served as school -65-
1985—Hellenic Cultural board chairman. The Board of Trustees, under the chairmanship of William Veras, commended the communicants for their interest and accepted their petition, making the establishment of the school a reality.
he Trumbull parents who first took the initiative in in the organization of the class were Mr. and Mrs. James Mellas, Mr. and Mrs. John Caraberis, Mr. and Mrs. William Veras, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Ellis, Mr. and Mrs. Graham, Mr. and Mrs. Mrs. Alex Krambovitis, Mr. and Mrs. Pillow, Mr. and Mrs. Nicholas Georgis, and Mr. and Mrs. Laros.
Years later, the Greek School expanded to include Kindergarten to 8th Grades, and by 2013, was operating four days a week. After working as a teacher in the 1982-83 School years, Mrs. Eleni Limbers was appointed as Director of the Greek School in 1984. Mrs. Limbers was a graduate of St. Basil’s Academy Teachers College.
In the June of 1963, Mr. Sarantos Serviou, a graduate of the Holy Cross School of Theology, was assigned by His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos as an assistant to Father Bill Kehayes. Commencing in the Fall of 1963, Mr. Serviou’s “community field work” at the Parish included assuming the responsibility of teacher of the Greek Language Afternoon School.
Over the years, the school has had a very capable staff of teachers and helpers. They have included: Rev. Nicholas Andreopoulos, Rev. Theodore Anagnostiades, Mr. Kiriakos Anastasiou, Mr. Vasilios Antoniades, Mr. George Bakes, Mrs. Joan Bakes, Mrs. Miranda Baker, Mrs. Panagiota Bouzoukis, Rev. Peter Christakos, Mrs. Bessie Coclin, Mrs. Maria Cook, Presv. Kanella Eliades, Mrs. Eleftheria Fatsi, Mrs. Zoe Furman, Mr. Mike Gerasimatos, Mrs. Christina Gioulos, Mrs. Sophia Hallas, Mr. Xenon Ioanides, Miss Christina Kalogeris, Rev. Elias Kapsonis, Mr. Manolis Katevatis, Mr. Panagiotis
By the mid-1970s, the school had grown to well over 150 students in 6 grades.
State Regents for the Comprehensive Examination in Modern Greek and Studies. In 2011, Holy Trinity’s Greek School received honors when one of its students, Niko Gupta, attained a perfect test score of 100, and was honored by the Archdiocese, His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, and the Department of Education in New York City. Later, even more students followed his example and achieved perfect scores. These students were Argyroula Kouvatas, Christina Pertesis, Christina Kalogeris, and George Pertesis.
Katsonis, Mrs. Despina Kolokouris, Mr. Paschalis Kourakis, Mr. Perikles Koutroulas, Mr. Vasilios Leondaras, Mr. Michael Liatses, Miss Despina Limberis, Miss Ioanna Loizos, Mr. Nicholas Loukrezis, Miss Athanasia Louloudaki, Mrs. Anna Manalis, Mrs. Maria Mantas, Mrs. Toula Martucci, Mrs. Maria Mourizakis, Mr. John Nictas, Mr. Joachim J. Pantelis, Mr. Nicholas Papadopoulos, Mrs. Anna Papanikolaou, Mrs. Phani Papachristos, Miss Christina Pertesis, Mrs. Lena Protopapas, Mrs. Christina Rountos, Mrs. Sophia Rountos, Mrs. Vasiliki Roussas, Mr. Theodoros Satrazemis, Mr. Savvas Savides, Mrs. Maria Seferiadou, Mrs. Ellie Souvlis, Mrs. Eleni Spyrou, Mrs. Maria Tatalias, Mrs. Maria Taularidou, Mr. Theodore Theodoridis, Mr. Theodore Thomas, Mrs. Aspasia Trigonis, Mrs. Frossie Trigonis, Mrs. Christina Tsocanos, Miss Kathy Tshulos, Mrs. Anthi Valaki, Mr. Panagiotis Vellisariou, Mrs. Christina Vlastaris, Mr. Nikos Zogopoulos, also Mrs. Aliki Loukrezis for her photography, and many more volunteers throughout the years.
Throughout the years, the Community’s Greek School has hosted many seminars for Greek School teachers, held by the Archdiocese and the Greek Consulate in New York.
The Hellenic Cultural Association
The Greek School participates in the parish’s celebration of holidays. In 1988 took part in the 75th Anniversary Gala Celebration, Christmas Caroling, visiting Nursing Homes, and Hospitals, donating gifts, cards and toys, Easter, dancing and helping at our Annual “Olympiad Festival,” Kathara Deftera Celebration, Greek Independence Day Parade in New York City. Teachers have always participated in different Teachers Seminars throughout the years.
ounded in January 1985 for the purpose of promoting the history, culture, and values of our Greek Motherland, Holy Trinity’s Hellenic Cultural Association has continued to offer our community many entertaining and educational lectures, seminars, films, and various artistic, literary, and musical presentations. Since its inception, its many active members include the following presidents: Nick Vomvas, Vana Kontomerkos, Steve Kyratsous, George Manos, George Mourizakis, and Van Hatzis, with Board members that have included Vana Kontomerkos, Miranda F. Baker, and Steve Kyratsous.
In the year 1992, the school establish its first Kindergarten Class for 5 year old children. In the Fall of 2006, 7th and 8th Grades were added to the School. In 2008, the first Graduates were: Andre Loukrezis, Maria Schwartz, and Adrianna Papadimitriou.
The Cultural Association’s initial project was the creation of the Church library, under the direction of Aliki Michalaros-Sciascia and followed by Lena Protopapas as librarian.
The School also participates in the New York -67-
uring its 28 years of existence, the Association’s many exciting programs have included lectures by its own, as well as and visiting speakers, including: CUNY Professor of International Law, George Andreopoulos; Associate Dean at Yale College, Mark Schenker; Archeology Society of Connecticut President, Daniel Cruson; former Selectman of Fairfield, Jacquelyn Durrell; University of Bridgeport Professors Julius, Berger, and Katsifis; University of Athens, Greece , Professor James Georgas; American Numismatic Society Member, Anthony Milavik; and many others. Lectures varied from historical, such as Life in Ancient Greece, Parthenon, Olympic Games Coins Throughout the Years, Byzantium, the Flourishing and Extinction of the Greek Population in Asia Minor, and the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, to the exploration of Greece, its islands, cities, churches, ruins including Mystra, Salonika, Delphi, and Yiannena. The Hellenic Cultural Association devotes much time and effort to the preparation of the cultural exhibits for the annual Olympiad Festival by researching new Hellenic themes, designing, constructing, and painting sets relating to the history, culture, religion, and folklore of Greece. The exhibits have included Karaghiozis Shadow Theater, traditional village rooms, famous landmarks of Greek cities such as the White Tower and the St. Dimitrius Church of Salonica, the Islands, Wind Mills and Ancient Ruins, the Parthenon, and Old Athens to name a few-none of which could have been accomplished without their ceaseless effort, passion and personal commitment.
Poetry nights have featured famous Greek poetstheir poems and historical introduction- Cavafis, Sikelianos, Seferis, etc. and the introduction of the Parish’s very own poets, Dimitrios Trigonis and Aspa P.Trigonis, with community members reading selections from their poetry. Book presentations have featured Nicholas Gage, author of Eleni and his daughter, Eleni N. Gage, author of North of Ithaca, and former member of the community Dina Koutas Poch, author of I Love my In-Laws. Musical events included folk dances by the S. Bilides Group, a Youth Talent Show, concerts by Eleni Lazarou and Gregory Maninakis and their respective bands, the Community’s own Holy Trinity Church Choir, and a Piano Recital by pianist, Jason Solomonides.
n 2001, Holy Trinity jumped on the internet bandwagon and developed its very first website. The website was created by Steve Tsorvas and Agni Mantas. At the time, the site content included information about the Parish’s organizations, Orthodoxy, and the Parish itself.
Political subjects such as, The Balkan Policy of Greece at the Turn of the 21st Century, as well as health subjects including Life Style and Supplements and their Effect on our Health, were also among the various events offered. The Association has also produced and presented three modern Greek plays in the Parish and in other communities around Connecticut. They were, The Death of Pericles, by Dimitri Koromilas, Me Myself and I (Ο Εαυτούλης Μου), by D. Psathas, and A Dangerous Game, by Manolis Korres.
As the internet evolved into the world’s primary source of information, Father Recachinas realized that it was time for the existing site to evolve as well. In May of 2007, he recruited Sophia Tsoupas, who -68-
for the proclamation of the Good News of the Gospel and for the advancement of Orthodox Christian ministry.” It is the fervent hope of the Internet Ministries Department of Holy Trinity, that it , too, accomplishes this mission.
was serving on the Parish Council at the time, and Vicky Andriotis to discuss the need for further website development. With Sophia as the Parish Council liaison, and Vicky as the webmaster, the Community’s internet presence was firmly established by the complete overhaul and replacement of the existing, static site, by a new, robust, and dynamic, 750 page site. Recognizing the need for the Community to get its information faster and with greater frequency, Father Recachinas again enlisted Vicky’s help to create an electronic version of a Sunday Bulletin, which would be distributed on a weekly basis. The first Sunday Ebu lle t in was emailed to the Community on March 23, 2008.
Parent Teachers Organization— P.T.O.
It was also on this day that Vicky created the Internet Ministries 1967 Department at Holy Trinity, which has since evolved to include instant Community notices via email, and the online version of Holy Trinity’s Official Monthly Publication, the Orthodox Vision, and a presence on Facebook (since January 29, 2009) and Twitter.
t was in 1957 when Father William S. Kehayes organized the Community’s Parent-Teachers Or g a n iz at io n, with the intention that it would serve as “bridge” between Church and Home - between Educators, Par-P.T.O. ents, and Teachers. The P.T.O. Constitution was presented and approved by the Board of Trustees on September 24, 1957. The very first President of the organization was Mr. Demetrios Megas. At that time, the P.T.O. authored a scholarship, in the total amount of $200, which was co-sponsored by the Philoptochos Society. This scholarship was awarded annually to a graduate of merit and need who had been accepted into an accredited College or University. The first two recipients of the scholarship were Evelyn Sivrakas and Christine Vlantes. Since then, the Scholarship fund has grown to
The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, writes the following about it’s Internet Ministries Department: “The mission of Internet Ministries is to follow the commandment of our Lord Jesus Christ who said: ‘Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation.’ Mark 16:15 Internet Ministries is dedicated to wielding technology -69-
1970s—P.T.O. $2,000, and scholarships continue to be distributed annually.
love for the benefit and growth of the children of Holy Trinity, including those who were elected in 2013 to serve through the year 2014.
ince its inception, the primary purpose of the organization was to create an interest to "promote the welfare of the children and youth in Church, home, school, and community, through participation in Greek and Sunday School," that they may be worthy recipients of their faith and culture, and this precious heritage that we call our own. To this end, and as is mentioned in the Greek School’s history, several parents of the P.T.O., under the leadership of John Caraberes and Irene Mellas, petitioned the Board of Trustees for a Greek School class in Trumbull, which was approved. Because of their efforts, a second Greek School was born in October of 1959. Classes were held at the Edison Public School in Trumbull, CT.
1957— Mr. Demetrios Megas; 1958 -Mrs. Mary Georgas; 1959-Mrs. Mary Tournas; 1960- Mrs. Irene Mellas; 1961-1962—Mrs. Irene Generaucos; 1963-Mrs. Toula Louloudes; 1964-1966- The Reverend and Mrs. William S. Kehayes, Mrs. Alexander Arahovites, Mrs. Chris Metsopoulos, Mrs. George Capiris, Mrs. Harry Athan, Mrs. Nicholas Magoulas; 1967-1970 -The Reverend and Mrs. William S. Kehayes, Mrs. George Capiris, Mrs. Harry Athan, Mrs. John McAteer, Mrs. Nicholas Phakias, Mrs. Spero Fokas, Mrs. Louis Carawlanis;
Even in its infant stage, the P.T.O. contributed much to the general welfare and stability of the Church Schools. At the time, the success of the Philoptochos Society was a motivating force in attaining a desired goal of importance in the life-line of Parish activity by its sister-organization, the P.T.O.
1971-1972—The Reverend and Mrs. William Kehayes, Mrs. John McAteer, Mrs. George Capiris, Mrs. Nicholas Phakias, Mrs. Harry Athan, Mrs. Louis Carawlanis, Mrs. Thomas Crowe; 1973- The Reverend and Mrs. William Kehayes, Mrs. Spero Fokas, Mrs. John Pappas, Mrs. James Coclin, Mrs. John Kehayes. Mrs. James Tatalias, Mrs. Dino Stevens, Mrs. Dimitrios Trigonis;
The following are the dedicated clergy, and the women and men who served on the executive board, who have contributed countless hours, monies, and -70-
Recachinas, Mrs. Varvara Alexiou, Mrs. Sylvia Pappas, Mrs. Irene Kokenos, Mrs. Katy Pertesis, Mrs. Anna Manalis, Mrs. Nektaria Rountos;
1974-1975—Mr. Reverend and Mrs. Constantine Eliades, Mrs. John Pappas, Mrs. George Capiris, Mrs. Toula Louloudes, Mrs. Spero Fokas, Mrs. James Coclin, Miss Helen Pappas;
1987- The Reverend and Mrs. Demetrios Recachinas, Mrs. Irene Kokenos, Mrs. Anna Christopoulos, Mrs. Joan Pettas, Mrs. Kathy Pertesis, Mrs. Anna Manalis, Mrs. Nektaria Rountos;
1976—The Reverend and Mrs. Constantine Eliades, Mrs. John Pappas, Mrs. George Capiris, Mrs. Toula Louloudes, Mrs. Spero Fokas, Mrs. James Coclin, Miss Helen Pappas;
1988- The Reverend and Mrs. Demetrios Recachinas, Mrs. Barbara Alexiou, Mrs. Anna Manalis, Mrs. Anna Christopoulos, Mrs. Irene Kokenos, Mrs. Kathy Pertesis, Miss Helen Pappas;
1977 -The Reverend and Mrs. Constantine Eliades; Mrs. Stella E. Capiris, Mrs. Sylvia Pappas, Miss Angela Butcaris, Mrs. Bessie Coclin, Mrs. Julie Andriso, Mrs. Helen Spyrou;
1989-1990—The Reverend and Mrs. Demetrios Recachinas, Mrs. Anna Christopoulos, Mrs. Joan Pettas, Mrs. Franny Drougas, Mrs. April Paschos, Mrs. Anna Partalas;
1978—The Reverend and Mrs. Constantine Eliades; Mrs. Stella Capiris, Mrs. Sylvia Pappas, Mrs. Bessie Phakias, Mrs. Bessie Coclin, Mrs. Julie Andriso, Mrs. Helen Spyrou;
1991-1992- The Reverend and Mrs. Demetrios Recachinas, Mrs. Maria Kokorelis, Mrs. Maria Rountos, Mrs. Lena Protopapas, Mrs. Christine Vlastaris, Mrs. Anna Manalis, Miss Helen Pappas;
1979-1980—The Reverend and Mrs. Constantine Eliades, Mrs. Mary Georgas, Mrs. Ann Dorozenski, Mrs. Joan Demont, Mrs. Pauline Halkias, Mrs. Sylvia Pappas, Mrs. Mary Tatalias;
1993-1994— The Reverend and Mrs. Demetrios Recachinas, Mrs. Anna Christopoulos, Mrs. Nektaria Rountos, Mrs. Irene Kokenos, Mrs. Helen Zervos, Mrs. Anna Manalis, Miss Helen Pappas;
1981-1982- The Reverend and Mrs. Constantine Eliades, Mrs. Bessie Coclin, Mrs. Helen Spyrou, Mrs. Tina Laros, Mrs. Dina Charalabakis, Mrs. Varvara Alexiou, Mrs. Elefteria Fatsi;
1995-1996—The Reverend and Mrs. Demetrios Recachinas, Mrs. Kathy Mitas, Mrs. Kathy Manalis, Mrs. Chris Pertesis, Mrs. Angie Kapetaneas, Mrs. Helen Zervos, Miss Helen Pappas;
1983—The Reverend and Mrs. Constantine Eliades, Mrs. Julie Andriso, Mrs. Mary Malindretos, Mrs. Kathy Koulpasi, Mrs. Elefteria Fatsi, Mrs. Bessie Coclin;
1997- The Reverend and Mrs. Demetrios Recachinas, Mrs. Kathy Mitas, Mrs. Kathy Manalis, Mrs. Leigh Martin Brillis, Mrs. Angie Kapetaneas, Mrs. Helen Zervos, Miss Helen Pappas;
1984-The Reverend and Mrs. Demetrios Recachinas, Mrs. Mary Malindretos, Mrs. Bessie Coclin, Mrs. Irene Kokenos, Mrs. Kathy Koulpasi, Mrs. Elefteria Fatsi;
1998-1999 -The Reverend and Mrs. Demetrios Recachinas, Mrs. Helen Zervos, Mrs. Kathy Mana-
1985-1986- The Reverend and Mrs. Demetrios -71-
lis, Mrs. Chris Pertesis, Mrs. Pat Tsouris, Mrs. Kathy Mitas, Sylvia and Helen Pappas, Mrs. Maria Tziolis;
Mrs. Eleni Vlamis, Mrs. Alicja Loukrezis, Mrs. Maria Gountas, Mrs. Anna Papanikolaou.
2000—The Reverend and Mrs. Demetrios Recachinas, Mrs. Maria Matsikas, Mrs. Bessie Papadopoulos, Mrs. Pat Tsouris, Ms. Maria Cook, Mrs. Maria Tziolis, Sylvia and Helen Pappas;
2010—The Reverend and Mrs. Demetrios Recachinas, Mrs. Sylvia Bal, Mrs. Maria Gountas, Mrs. Faye Demestihas, Mrs. Eleni Vlamis, Mrs. Anna Papanikoloau, Mrs. Alicja Loukrezis;
2001—The Reverend and Mrs. Demetrios Recachinas, Mrs. Maria Matsikas, Mrs. Bessie Papadopoulos, Mrs. Kathy Mitas, Mrs. Maria Tziolis, Mrs. Pat Tsouris, Sylvia and Helen Pappas;
2011—The Reverend and Mrs. Demetrios Recachinas, The Reverend and Mrs. Andreas Vithoulkas, Mrs. Sylvia Bal, Mrs. Maria Gountas, Mrs. Faye Demestihas, Mrs. Eleni Vlamis, Mrs. Alicja Loukrezis, Mrs. Cindy Waldron;
2002—The Reverend and Mrs. Demetrios Recachinas, Mrs. Maria Matsikas, Mrs. Bessie Papadopoulos, Ms. Maria Cook, Mrs. Maria Tziolis, Mrs. Pat Tsouris, Sylvia and Helen Pappas;
2012—The Reverend and Mrs. Andreas Vithoulkas, Mrs. Maria Gountas, Mrs. Anna Papanikolaou Mrs. Cindy Waldron, Mrs. Faye Demestihas, Mrs. Eleni Vlamis, Mrs. Bessy Tsilfides, Mrs. Alicja Loukrezis.
2003-2004—The Reverend and Mrs. Demetrios Recachinas, Mrs. Maria Cook, Mrs. Maria Matsikas, Miss. Chrisoula Trimpalis, Mrs. Angeliki Georgakopoulos, Mrs. Effie Kolitsas, Sylvia and Helen Pappas;
2013—The Reverend and Mrs. Andreas Vithoulkas, Mrs. Maria Gountas, Mrs. Anna Papanikoloau, Mrs. Faye Demestihas, Mrs. Jenny Robobkos, Mrs. Bessy Tsilfidides, Mrs. Cindy Waldron;
2005-2006 -The Reverend and Mrs. Demetrios Recachinas, Mrs. Maria Cook, Mrs. Eleni Filipidis, Mrs. Angeliki Georgakopoulos, Mrs. Effie Kolitsas, Mrs. Maria Pertesis;
2014- The Reverend and Mrs. Andreas Vithoulkas, Mrs. Effie Vlamis, Mrs. Sylvia Bal, Mrs. Anna Papanikoloau, Mrs. Bessy Tsilfides, Mrs. Maria Gountas, Mrs. Faye Demestihas, Mrs. Cristina Hasiotis;
2007—The Reverend and Mrs. Demetrios Recachinas, Miss Constantina Karageorge/ Mrs. Katina Zachariadis, Mrs. Michele Papadimitriou, Mrs. Effie Vlamis, Mrs. Faye Demestihas, Mrs. Maria Pertesis;
“To all our children who do attend our Greek and Sunday School, may you be endowed with the knowledge of our Faith and Culture.”
2008- The Reverend and Mrs. Demetrios Recachinas, Mrs. Effie Vlamis, Mrs. Sylvia Bal, Mrs. Faye Demestihas, Mrs. Eleni Vlamis, Mrs.Anna Papanikoloau, Mrs. Theresa Fronzi; 2009—The Reverend and Mrs. Demetrios Recachinas, Mrs.Sylvia Bal, Mrs. Faye Demetihas, -72-
to the Holy Trinity Philoptochos Society in New York City. This Charter, or Incorporation, was issued under the Membership Corporation Law, in the name of the "Greek Ladies Philoptochos Adelphotis of New York, Inc.," thereby recognizing it as a local philanthropic organization.
In 1928, the State of New York granted a Charter
In 1931, Archbishop Athenagoras was enthroned as Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in North and South America. He "soon realized the urgency of providing adequate philanthropic and relief services to the poor and suffering omogenia. With the convening of the Archdiocese Fourth General Assembly in New York City in November of 1931, the Philoptochos Society was an important item on the agenda. A decision was taken to establish a national women's organization as the official philanthropic auxiliary of the Church, merging all of the existing chapters, which numbered more than 300, to func-
The Ladies Philoptochos Society ccording to the records of the National Philoptochos Society, the beginning of Philoptochos can be traced back to the late nineteenth century, when hundreds of immigrants were arriving daily in the United States from Greece, Asia Minor, and Constantinople. The first Ladies Philoptochos was officially established at the Holy Trinity Church in New York City, under the spiritual guidance of Father Methodios Kourkoulis, in 1902. This is the same Father Methodios who, in 1912, celebrated the first Greek Orthodox Divine Liturgy in Bridgeport on Thanksgiving Day at the Russian Orthodox Church on Hallett Street.
1998—His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew
tion under the Archdiocese constitution with specific By-laws issued for the Philoptochos."
n 1944, the Mother's Club of Holy Trinity became a chapter of the National Philoptochos Society organized by His Eminence Archbishop Athenagoras, who later became the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. Mrs. Nathalia Bochanis served as the first President of the Ladies Philoptochos Society of Holy Trinity. At the time, Philoptochos was very active with the Greek War relief. the years, it has undertaken many projects to improve the life of Holy Trinity’s parishioners and facilities, as well as the local, surrounding community. Some of these projects include: updating the Gold Room, which, after $25,000 worth of new draperies, paneling, and paint, donated by Philoptochos, became the Aegean Room; as part of a program of the Council of Churches, Philoptochos served Christmas lunch to 200 less fortunate children, their parents, and guests ; furnishing the kitchen with appliances and equipment; 2012-2103 sending aid to Greece, which included over 210 boxes of clothing, food, and toiletries; Tsunami Relief; Adopt a Family program; Katrina Relief; the Christina Fund; Ongoing projects include: hosting the Annual Wine and Food Tasting event; holding the Annual Vasilopita Celebration for the benefit of Saint Basil Academy; conducting food drives and preparing gift baskets for the
The very name of Philoptochos, meaning "Friend of the Poor," reflects this organization’s mission. It is dedicated to projects for the benefit of the community, and serves various causes both on a local and national level in every aspect of community and civic service. Its mission is to aid the poor, the destitute, the hungry, the aged, the sick, the unemployed, the orphaned, the imprisoned, the widowed, the handicapped, and victims of disasters and poverty all over the world. On a national level, it supports Saint Michael’s Home for the Elderly, Hellenic College/Holy Cross, the Children’s Medical fund, and the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The Philoptochos of Holy Trinity was among the first chapters to sponsor a child from Saint Basil Academy. The Philoptochos Society is considered and referred to as the "Right Hand of the Church." Over -74-
The contributions of the tireless Philoptochos members, along with the support of the entire Holy Trinity Family, enable the organization to continue to heed the words of Jesus Christ Himself, “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ “ Matthew 25:35-36
Evergreen Network, who benefit individuals and families affected by HIV/AIDS; visiting nursing homes and shut-ins; Within the Parish, the Philoptochos helps families during difficult times by preparing Makarias (memorial meal) and making Kolyva (boiled wheat). They also bake Artos (leavened loaf) and Prosphora (offering gift/altar bread), and have dyed Easter eggs by the thousands. They also help to decorate the Kouvouklion (the carved, wooden canopy), that stands over the Epitaphio (tomb).
he Senior Citizens group was organized in 1978, under the leadership of the Reveremd Father Constantine Eliades, with Stella Capiris as co-founder and Advisor.
Over the years, the following women have served as Presidents of the Ladies Philoptochos Society of Holy Trinity: Natalia Bochanis,1944-1948; Rosa Vlandis,1948-1950 & 1954-1958; Julia Maltas, 1950-1952 & 1960-1962; Christina Vlantes, 1952– 1954; Efthalia Jartos, 1958-1960; Jean Coclin, 1962-1964 & 1971-1975; Helen Demotses, 19641968; Pipitsa Roumanos, 1968-1971; Irene Mellas, 1975-1979; Stella Capiris, 1979-1983; Mary Leventakos, 1983-1985; Thelmas Athan, 1985 - 1989; Helen Chachakis, 1989-1993; Bessie Coclin, 19992001; Christine Constant, 2005-2009; Kalliope Tsitsipas, 1993-1999, 2001-2005, 2009-2013; Lena Protopapas, 2013 - ;
The first meeting of the Seniors to place on February 2, 1978, with a luncheon provided by the Parish Council. Father Eliades outlined future goals and activities and they were received by the members with much enthusiasm. Angleo Pappas was elected temporary Chairman, and Elizabeth Argeropoulos was elected temporary Secretary. A generous donation was made by Anastasios Kaklamanos to cover the cost of a bus for the froup’s first trip, which was to Washington, D.C. Since
1970s—First Senior Citizens’ Group -75-
The Parish has been blessed to have had the following Sunday School Directors over the years: Presvytera Crhistine Kehayes, Stella Capiris, Gloria Tallcouch, Evangeline Zarras, and Eva Vaniotis.
then, the group has taken many trips including those to Hellenic College/ Holy Cross, the Catskills, The United Nations, Montreal-Quebec,, Niagra Falls, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania Amish Country, Hershey Park, Sturbridge Village, and Philadelphia’s Independence Hall.
Quality of Effort
The Senior’s group continues to meet, and enjoys its various activities, but has not forgotten that it is also “more blessed to give,” and so its members continue to help during the Church’s annual festival, donates to various philanthropic causes, and tends to the various needs and requests made by the Church.
he Sunday School has served the children of the Parish for many years, and was reorganized by Father Bill Kehayes and Presvytera Christine Kehayes in the late 50s. Presvytera Christine served as the Department’s first Director, and served in that capacity for many years.
t “takes a village” of dedicated and caring individuals to tend to so many ministries and organizations. In addition to the ones already presented, the following ministries and organizations are also active, and help the Parish to achieve its goals and missions. They include: the Altar Boys, a Christian Bookstore, Dance Groups, a Hospital Ministry, the Love1Another Cancer Ministry, the School, John Frangenes, Maintenance Committee, the Newsletter Staff, a Nursing Home Ministry, a Publicity Committee, a Scholarship Committee, and the Stewardship Committee. Holy Trinity is also a member of the Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport, and a founding member of the Fellowship of Orthodox Churches of Connecticut.
Having no formal books at the time, Father Bill wrote lessons and printed all of the materials to be used by the School. The move to Park Avenue offered far more spacious accommodations and suitable surroundings for the children of the Parish. New books and programs offered by the Archdiocese’s Department of Religious Education were adopted. Through the years, the Department has made much progress. Children participate in the Saint John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival, as well as the Department’s Vacation Church School.
This is the Holy Trinity Church Family, for which we are very proud. Father Bill once wrote, “Their accomplishments, their beneficial service to the Communicants of Holy Trinity, their dedication and contribution to the ideals of a Sacred Heritage, proclaims not the quantity of number in the Organization, but the quality of effort. Seeking to do His will in humility, sincerity, and love, we can not but render such measure of service which would eventually be recorded as Quality of Effort. “
ΣΥΝΟΠΤΙΚΗ ΙΣΤΟΡΙΑ ΤΗΣ ΑΓΙΑΣ ΤΡΙΑ∆ΟΣ ΜΠΡΙΤΖΠΟΡΤ, ΚΑΝΝΕΚΤΙΚΑΤ
ΣΥΝΟΠΤΙΚΗ ΙΣΤΟΡΙΑ ΤΗΣ ΑΓΙΑΣ ΤΡΙΑ∆ΟΣ ΜΠΡΙΤΖΠΟΡΤ, ΚΑΝΝΕΚΤΙΚΑΤ
ι Έλληνες σαν Έθνος, από την αρχαιότητα, ήσαν και. εξακολουθούν να είναι και σήµερα, Έθνος της ∆ιασποράς. Σαν λαός, σε κάθε τους ιστορική µετακίνηση, υπήρξε ή µονάδα πού µέσα από την παράδοση, διαιώνισε συνειδησιακά την ύπαρξη του. 'Η Εκκλησία, σαν τόπος λατρείας της Θρησκείας µας, υπήρξε ανέκαθεν το Σύµβολο της Πίστεως και της Ελπίδας, ό φάρος των ηθικών αξιών κάθε Χριστιανικής ψυχής. Για τον Έλληνα όµως της ∆ιασποράς, ή Ελληνική Ορθόδοξη Εκκλησία, ακτινοβολεί και µία ακόµα βαθύτερη έννοια: Την Εθνική του ταυτότητα. Μέσα από τους κόλπους της Εκκλησίας, κάθε Ελληνική Κοινότητα, διαγράφει την ιστορία µιας µακρόχρονης και επίπονης προσπάθειας µεταναστών, πού ή άσβεστη αγάπη τους για την Θρησκεία, την Πατρίδα και τα υψηλά ιδανικά της, πλέχτηκαν αδιάσπαστα στο αίµα τους και έγιναν φορείς ανεξάντλητης ενέργειας τόσο στα επιτεύγµατα τους, όσο και στις δοκιµασίες τους σε κάθε καινούργια γη. Ή ιστορία της Ελληνικής Κοινότητας και κατ' ακολουθία της Ελληνικής Ορθόδοξης Εκκλησίας της 'Αγίας Τριάδος του Μπρίτζπορτ Κονέκτικατ, αρχίζει από τις αρχές του αιώνα µας, όταν το 1901, ήρθε στο Μπρίτζπορτ, ό πρώτος Έλληνας µόνιµος κάτοικος Κ. Αριστείδης Αγγελόπουλος, Λίγο αργότερα ακολούθησαν κι άλλοι σχηµατίζοντας τον πυρήνα της Ελληνικής Κοινότητας. Το 1911 ό Κ. Νικόλαος Βλαντής και ό Κ. Αριστείδης Αγγελόπουλος µαζί µε άλλα πενήντα µέλη, οργάνωσαν στο Μπρίτζπορτ, την ΠΑΝΕΛΛΗΝΙΟΝ ΕΝΩΣΗ της οποίας µέλη, έγιναν οι ίδρυταί της Εκκλησίας της Αγίας Τριάδος. Το 1912, την ήµερα των Ευχαριστιών, ό Αρχιµανδρίτης Μεθόδιος Κουρκούλης, τέλεσε την πρώτη Ελληνική Ορθόδοξη Λειτουργία, στην Ρωσική Ορθόδοξη Εκκλησία στην οδό Hallet στο Μπρίτζπορτ, µέσα σε κλίµα γενικής συγκινήσεως. Ό πόθος των ευσεβών χριστιανών για την απόκτηση δικής τους Εκκλησίας έκαιγε άσβεστος στην καρδιά τους. Για αυτό, στις 6 Απριλίου 1913, ένδεκα µέλη της Πανελληνίου 'Ενώσεως συζήτησαν την ανάγκη της ιδρύσεως Ελληνικής Κοινότητας και Εκκλησίας στο Μπρίτζπορτ και συνέστησαν επιτροπή µε άλλα επτά επί πλέον µέλη υπό την διεύθυνση των κυρίων Βλαντή και Αγγελοπούλου. Κάλεσαν δε προσωρινά τον Ιερέα της Εκκλησίας του Ευαγγελισµού του Στάφορντ Αιδεσιµότατο Γεώργιο Καλογιάννη, να έρχεται στο Μπρίτζπορτ µια φορά τον µήνα να λειτουργεί µέχρι να εύρουν µόνιµο Ιερέα. Ό Πατήρ Γεώργιος Καλογιάννης τέλεσε την πρώτη Λειτουργία τον Μάιο του 1913 και αµέσως µετά, εξελέγη το πρώτο Συµβούλιο της Εκκλησίας, αποτελούµενο από ένδεκα µέλη µε Πρόεδρο τον Κ. Λάιος και Αντιπρόεδρο τον Κ. Βλαντή. Οκτώ µήνες αργότερα τον Νοέµβριο του 1913, ό µόνιµος πλέον Ιερεύς ∆ιονύσιος Παπαδάτος, τέλεσε την πρώτη Λειτουργία στο ΥΜCΑ του Μπρίτζπορτ. Ένα χρόνο δε αργότερα λόγω ανεπάρκειας χώρου, ή Λειτουργία µετεφέρθη στην 'Επισκοπελιανή Εκκλησία της Αγίας Τριάδος, οπού έγινε και ό πρώτος Επιτάφιος. 'Ο Πατήρ ∆ιονύσιος Παπαδάτος, ίδρυσε το 1913 το πρώτο Ελληνικό Σχολείο, οπού διδάσκετε καθηµερινά την Ελληνική γλώσσα και ή θρησκεία µας από τον ∆ρ. Πιππιλή στο κτίριο ΥΜCΑ. -78-
της κατασκευής µιας καινούργιας και µεγαλύτερης Εκκλησίας, γινόταν αναπόφευκτη. Γι' αυτό ή Γενική Συνέλευση, τον Σεπτέµβριο του 1927, συνέστησε επιτροπή εράνου, γι' αυτό τον σκοπό. 'Αλλά τα σχέδια γρήγορα ανεβλήθησαν, λόγω της µεγάλης οικονοµικής κρίσης πού έπληξε ολόκληρη την χώρα. Στα δύσκολα αυτά χρόνια 1932-33, Πρόεδρος της Κοινότητας ήταν ό Κ. Αθανάσιος Πράκας. ∆άσκαλος δε του Ελληνικού Σχολείου και ψάλτης ό Κ. Θεόδωρος Θεοδωρίδης.
Τον επόµενο χρόνο 1914, συνετάχθη το Καταστατικό και ή Κοινότητα ενσωµατωµένη υπό την Προεδρία του δευτέρου της Προέδρου Κ. Ηλία Λιναρδάκη. Στην πρώτη Γενική Συνέλευση ή οποία έλαβε χώρα στις 15 Ιουνίου 1915, υπό την προεδρία τώρα του Κ. Σωτηρίου Γκερτσέκα, αποφασίστηκε ή αγορά της Εκκλησίας. Και πράγµατι, µετά από ένα επιτυχή έρανο, στις 20 Ιουλίου του ίδιου έτους 1915, αγοράστηκε ένα κτίριο στο ποσό των 8.500.00 δολαρίων, οπού έγινε ή πρώτη Εκκλησία της Αγίας Τριάδος της Κοινότητας µας. Το όνειρο των ευσεβών παροικών, έπαιρνε σάρκα και οστά.
Υπό την Προεδρία του Κ. Αντωνίου Σµιθ, (1935-37), άρχισε ή κατασκευή της νέας Εκκλησίας στο ίδιο µέρος του παλαιού κτιρίου γωνία Myrtle Αvenue και Ρrospect Street. Τα σχέδια ανέλαβε ό Αρχιτέκτων Κ. Peter Ρetrofsky και την κατασκευή ό Κ. Patsy Frank. 'Η δαπάνη µόνον της εξωτερικής κατασκευής ανήλθε στο ποσό των 50.000.00 δολαρίων. Μεγάλη και δύσκολη εκείνη η εποχή. Αλλά ήταν τόσος ό ενθουσιασµός και ή αγάπη των παροικών για το χτίσιµο της αγαπηµένης τους Εκκλησίας, πού µερικοί προσέφεραν σαν εγγύηση στην Τράπεζα για το δάνειο, τα συµβόλαια των σπιτιών τους! 'Η εξωτερική κατασκευή αποπερατώθει το Πάσχα του 1937 και ό Αιδεσιµότατος Πατήρ ∆ηµήτριος Καλλίµαχος, τέλεσε την πρώτη Λειτουργία. Το εσωτερικό της Εκκλησίας τελείωσε εννέα χρόνια αργότερα τον Φεβρουάριο του 1946 µε κόστος παραπάνω από 30.000.00 δολάρια, πρόεδρος τότε του Συµβουλίου ήταν ό Κ. Β. Βλαντής. Και ήρθαν τα χρόνια του Β' Παγκοσµίου πολέµου. Σύµφωνα µε την τιµητική πλάκα πού άνηρτήθη στην Εκκλησία, περίπου 223 άντρες και γυναίκες από τον Ελληνισµό του Μπρίτζπορτ, υπηρέτησαν στον στρατό. Επτά άντρες σκοτώθηκαν στο καθήκον τους για την Πατρίδα. Ήσαν δε αυτοί οι: Θωµάς Ανάγνος, Γεώργιος
Τον Οκτώβριο του 1920, λόγω ,διαφωνίας, µία οµάδα παροικών, αγόρασε ένα άλλο κτίριο στην γωνία το οποίον χρησιµοποιούσε για Εκκλησία µε το όνοµα ΕΥΑΓΓΕΛΙΣΜΟΣ ΤΗΣ ΘΕΟΤΟΚΟΥ. Ό Αιδεσιµότατος Γεράσιµος ό όποιος αργότερα έγινε Επίσκοπος Σικάγου, λειτουργούσε τώρα και στις δύο Εκκλησίες. Σύντοµα ή διαφωνία ελύθει και το κτίριο αυτό εδόθη στην Αγία Τριάδα, οπού χρησιµοποιήθηκε σαν Ελληνικό Σχολείο, ενώ ή θεία Λειτουργία συνεχίστηκε να γίνεται . Κατά την διάρκεια της δεκαετίας αυτής, δηµιουργήθηκαν στο Μπρίτζπορτ µερικές Ελληνοαµερικανικές οργανώσεις ' όπως: ή ΑΧΕΙΙΑ (Αµερικανοελληνικός) Εκπαιδευτικός Προοδευτικός Σύλλογος) ή οποία ιδρύθηκε τον Απρίλιο του 1925 και υπάρχει µέχρι σήµερα, και της ( Ελληνοαµερικανικός Προοδευτικός Σύλλογος ) ή οποία διαλύθηκε το 1978. Επί Ιερέως ' Ιωσήφ Ξανθόπουλου ιδρύθηκε το 1927, ό Σύλλογος των Μυροφόρων, ό όποιος σχηµάτισε την πρώτη Χορωδία και αγόρασε και το Αρµόνιο. Πρόεδρος δε τότε ήτο ό Κ. Μιχαήλ Κρεβατάς. Στο µεταξύ, ή Κοινότητα της 'Αγίας Τριάδος, συνέχισε να µεγαλώνει. Ή ανάγκη -79-
Αγγελόπουλος, Μιχαήλ Κάµπρας, Κων/νος Κωνσταντής, Πέτρος Καραολάνης. Γεώργιος Νικόλας και Πέτρος θεόφας. Ας είναι αιωνία ή Μνήµη τους! Το 1944, ό σύλλογος της Μητέρας, έγινε µέλος του Εθνικού Οργανισµού της Φιλόπτωχου, οργανωθείς από τον Σεβασµιότατο Αρχιεπίσκοπο Αθηναγόρα, ό όποιος αργότερα έγινε Οικουµενικός Πατριάρχης. 'Η Φιλόπτωχος, διεθνώς και τοπικός αναγνωρισµένη, εκτός από την οικονοµική συνεισφορά της στην Εκκλησία µας (100.000.00 δολάρια.), ενήργησε τα δύσκολα χρόνια εκείνα και για την ανακούφιση της µεταπολεµικής Ελλάδας. Πρώτη Πρόεδρος των Κυριών της Φιλόπτωχου της Εκκλησίας µας ανέλαβε ή Κα. Ναταλία Μποτσάνη. Επί του Προέδρου δε του Συµβουλίου της Εκκλησίας, ∆ρ. Θεοδώρου Μποτσάνη (1946-1949), τελείωσε το Χωλ της Κοινότητας. Επίσης, στη περίοδο αυτή, σχηµατίστηκε και ή εφηβική οργάνωση της GOYA ( Ελληνική Ορθόδοξος Νεολαία Αµερικής), µε πρώτο της Πρόεδρο τον Κ. Ιωάννη Κοτσώνη. Τον Οκτώβριο του 1950, έγιναν µε ενθουσιασµό τα εγκαίνια της νέο-κτισθείσης Εκκλησίας της Άγιας Τριάδος στην Myrtle Ave και Ρrospect Street, µε Πρόεδρο τότε τον Κ. Μίλτο Χαλλά. Τρία δε χρόνια αργότερα, τον Οκτώβριο του 1955, εορτάσθηκε µεγαλοπρεπώς ή 40η Επέτειος της ιδρύσεως της Ελληνικής Ορθόδοξης Κοινότητας του Μπρίτζπορτ Κονέκτικατ, στο εστιατόριο ΕΙΚΝΕΡ, υπό την Προεδρία του Κ. Ορέστη Ρήγα (1952-53) οπού από τον θεοφιλέστατο Επίσκοπο EΙεζεκιήλ, ετµήθησαν οι ιδρυτές Ιερείς και παρελθόντες Πρόεδροι της Αγίας Τριάδος. Κατά την διάρκεια της περιόδου 1937-1955, από τους Ιερείς οι όποιοι έδιωρήσθησαν στην Εκκλησία µας, ήσαν και οι Αιδεσιµότατοι Ι Παντελής, Θωµάς Χατζηλάµπρου και Γεώργιος Πούλος. Ό Κ. Βασίλειος Λιονταράς διετέλεσε Ψάλτης, Γραµµατεύς της Εκκλησίας και διδάσκαλος του Ελληνικού Σχολείου. Ιό 1954 ό Πρόεδρος της Κοινότητας Κ. Άγγελος Μάλτας, προχώρησε στις εξωτερικές επιδιορθώσεις .της 'Εκκλησίας, επιτηρώντας προσωπικά την εργασία και επιτυγχάνοντας το λιγότερο κόστος δαπάνης. Το 1955, τον Κ. Άγγελο Μάλτα, αντικατέστησε στην Προεδρία ό Κ. Βασίλειος Βέρας. Ιερεύς δε της Κοινότητας, ανέλαβε ό Αιδεσιµότατος Βασίλειος Κεχαγιάς. Στο µεταξύ ή Ελληνική Κοινότητα του Μπρίτζπορτ, συνέχισε σταθερά να µεγαλώνει, βασίζοντας τώρα πλέον προς νέους ορίζοντες. Υπό την Προεδρία του Νικολάου Χαϊδούλη, συνεστήθη Επιτροπή Εράνου µε µόνιµων Προέδρων της τον Κ. Άρη Κόκλιν, µε σκοπό την ανέγερση καινούργιας 'Εκκλησίας, συµπεριλαµβανοµένων και των Κοινοτικών κτιρίων, τα όποια εξυπηρετούσαν τις ευγενείς βλέψεις των Ενοριτών. Έτσι τον ∆εκέµβριο του 1957, µε την αγάπη και την συµπαράσταση των Παροικών, αγοράστηκαν στην PARK AVENUE, τέσσερες άκρες για τον σκοπό αυτό. Το σχέδιο της νέας Εκκλησίας ανέλαβε ή Αρχιτεκτονική Εταιρία Reisner and Diamond της Νέας Υόρκης. Η πρώτη δωρεά για το χτίσιµο, έγινε από την οργάνωση της GOYA στο ποσόν των 3,000.00 δολαρίων. Τον Οκτώβριο του 1959, ό Σεβασµιότατος Μητροπολίτης Αθηναγόρας, τέλεσαν αγιασµό στο τόπον του κτισίµατος της προβλεποµένης Εκκλησίας, ιόν ίδιο χρόνο, ή Πολεοδοµία, ανακοίνωσε την µεταφορά του δρόµου 25 και ή Εκκλησία της Myrtle Avenue, πουλήθηκε στη Πολιτεία του Κονέκτικατ, για 357.000.00 δολάρια επισφραγίζοντας έτσι την τύχη της. Στις 4 ∆εκεµβρίου δε του εποµένου χρόνου Σεβασµιότατου Αρχιεπισκόπου Ιακώβου. Κατά την διάρκεια των ετών, 1961-1966, Πρόεδροι της Κοινότητας της Ενορίας -80-
καθώς και στην Επιτροπή την εικονογραφία της Εκκλησίας να γίνει Βυζαντινού ρυθµού του 14ου αιώνα το όποιον απεδέχθησαν. Ό Κ. Καραµπέρης, πέθανε το 1971 και πρόεδρος της επιτροπής της εσωτερικής διακόσµησης, ανέλαβε ό Κ. Βασίλειος Πάππας.
µας, έγιναν οι: Θωµάς Γκανάτσιος, Βασίλειος Τριφιάτης και ∆ηµήτριος Ινγκλις. Τον Ιούλιο 1964, ή κατασκευαστική εταιρία LW Wenger ανέλαβε το έργον της νέας Εκκλη-σίας, στην βασική τιµή των 775.000.00 δολαρίων. Στα χρόνια πού ακολούθησαν ή Κοινότητα, το Συµβούλιο και ή Επιτροπή Εράνου, εργάστηκαν µε ζήλο µε ενωµένη προσπάθεια συγκεντρώσεως αυτού του µεγάλου ποσού για την αποπεράτωση των κτιρίων.
Το 1969, έγινε το πρώτο Φεστιβάλ στο προαύλιο της 'Εκκλησίας µας. Τον δε επόµενο χρόνο 1970, έγινε το πρώτο Φεστιβάλ µε θέµα Σαββατοκύριακο στην Αθήνα οπού έκτοτε καθιερώθηκε. Λυτά τα δύο, ήσαν οι µεγαλύτερες πηγές εισπράξεως χρηµάτων για την ξαλάφρωση του χρέους της Εκκλησίας µας. Από το 1970-1983, διετέλεσαν Πρόεδροι της Κοινότητας οι Κύριοι: Βασίλειος Πάπ πας, Αναστάσιος Κακλαµάνος, ∆ηµήτριος Κουλούρης και 'Ιωάννης Φραγκινέας. Τον Σεπτέµβριο του 1973, ανέλαβε 'ιερατικός Προϊστάµενος της Αγίας Τριάδος, Αιδεσιµότατος Κωνσταντίνος Ηλιάδης, ό οποίος οργάνωσε και τον Σύλλογο των Συνταξιούχων. Στην περίοδο αυτή αποπερατώθηκε η εσωτερική διάκοσµος της Εκκλησίας και στις 3 Ιουνίου 1979, εορταστή µε χαρά, ή ξόφληση του χρέους της. Ή Αγία Τριάδα, ήταν τώρα έτοιµη για τα εγκαίνια.
Την Άνοιξη του 1900, ή αγαπηµένη Εκκλησία της Myrtle Avenue, πού φύλαξε στους κόλπους της τους πόθους και τα όνειρα των πιστών της για τόσα χρόνια δέχτηκε το χτύπηµα του καταδαφησµού. Οι Εικόνες µετεφέρθησαν στην Park Avenue, στον προσωρινό χώρο του Γυµναστηρίου, µέχρι να τελειοποιηθεί ή κατασκευή. Εκεί στις 8 Μαΐου, τον ίδιο χρόνο, ή Κα Λόλα Ζαχαρία, έκοψε την κορδέλα για το άνοιγµα των θυρών και την τέλεση προσωρινών Λειτουργιών. Έξι µήνες αργότερα, στις 6 Νοεµβρίου 1966, ή Κοινότητα εόρτασε µε µεγαλοπρέπεια την τελετή των θυρανυξιδίων ν της καινούργιας 'Εκκλησίας. Στην τελετή χοροστάτησε ο θεοφιλέστατος Επίσκοπος Σίλας, βοηθούµενος από τον Αιδεσιµότατο Βασίλειο Κεχαγιά. κα. Ιουλία Μάλτα, έκοψε την κορδέλα και άνοιξε τις πόρτες της όµορφης Εκκλησίας µας, πού την εποχή ήταν και συνεχίζει να είναι ως σήµερα ή µεγαλύτερη Ελληνική Ορθόδοξος Εκκλησία στο Κονέκτικατ και Τελέστη ή πρώτη Λειτουργία. Ό Πατήρ Κεχαγιάς, υπηρέτησε την Αγία Τριάδα από το 19551973. Κάτω από την ακούραστη εποπτεία του και καθοδήγει του το 1959, οργανώθηκε ό Σύλλογος Γονέων ∆ιδασκάλων (PTO) µε πρώτο πρόεδρο τον Κ. ∆ηµήτριο Μέγα. Επίσης, αναδιοργάνωσε το Κατηχητικό Σχολείο και το GΟΥΑ. Τον Μάρτιο του 1967 υπό την Προεδρία του Κ. ∆ηµητρίου Ινγκλις, ό Κ. Ιωάννης Καραµπέρης, εξελέγη Πρόεδρος της Επιτροπής της εσωτερικής αποπεράτωση της Εκκλησίας. 'Ο Πατήρ Κεχαγιάς µαζί µε τον Κ. Ιωάννη Καραµπέρη, πρότειναν στο Συµβούλιο
Πράγµατι , Η λαµπρή µέρα έφτασε. Στις 25 Νοεµβρίου 1971, υπό την Προεδρία του Ιωάννη Φραγκινέα έγιναν τα µεγαλοπρεπή εγκαίνια της Εκκλησίας χοροστατώντας του Σεβασµιότατου Αρχιεπισκόπου ' Ιακώβου και βοηθούµενου από τον Πάτερ Ηλιάδη. Ό Κ. Άρης Κόκλιν, νουνός της Άγιας Τριάδος, άνοιξε τις δρύινες θύρες της, µε το χρυσό κλειδί. Η µεγάλη αυτή στιγµή, δικαίωσε τους κόπους τόσων χρόνων των ευσεβών παροίκων και έφερε στην ψυχή τους το όραµα µιας καινούργιας ελπίδας για τον συνέχιση στο µέλλον των υψηλών ιδανικών τους. Την 1ην Αυγούστου 1983, Ό Σεβασµιότατος Αρχιεπίσκοπος Ιάκωβος, διόρισε τον Αιδεσιµότατο -81-
∆ηµήτριο Ρεκατσίνα, ' Ιερατικό Προϊστάµενο της Άγιας Τριάδος. Στις δε 18 ∆εκεµβρίου του ίδιου έτους 1985, ο Θεοφιλέστατος Επίσκοπος Μεθόδιος, όρκισε το Κοινοτικό Συµβούλιο µε Πρόεδρο τον Κ. Χρήστο Ρούντο. Κάτω από την Οδήγησή τους και ανεξάντλητη ενεργητικότητα τους, µέσα στα άλλα πνευµατικά, εκπαιδευτικά και πολιτιστικά προγράµµατα της Κοινότητας, έλαβε χώρα και η ανακαίνισης της Εκκλησίας µας, πού είχε γίνει πλέον µία ανάγκη. Αντιπρόεδρος στο έργο αυτό ήταν ό Κ. Ζαρρας. Η όλη δαπάνη του Άνακαινισµού, ανήλθε στην τιµή του 1.180.000.00 δολάρια. Με την αγάπη και την συνεισφορά των παροίκων της Εκκλησίας στον έρανο χρηµάτων για την ελάττωση του δανείου από την Τράπεζα, ή εργασία άρχισε τον Μάιο του 1986 και τέλειωσε το Πάσχα του 1987, λαµπρύνοντας την εξωτερική και εσωτερική εµφάνιση, καθώς και την λειτουργικότητα των χώρων της Εκκλησίας µας. Σ 'αυτή την περίοδο, ξαναζωντάνεψε το Ελληνικό Φεστιβάλ µε το όνοµα ΟΛΥΜΠΙΑ∆Α 84 , το οποίον έκτοτε καθιερώθηκε ετησίως. ό λαχνός του αυτοκινήτου της ΑΧΕΠΑ, είναι από τις µεγαλύτερες δραστηριότητες της Κοινότητας µας πού βοηθούν στην οικονοµική ενίσχυση της Εκκλησίας µας. Άλλες είναι, το ανοιξιάτικο πικνίκ, διάφορες πωλήσεις, χοροί συναυλίες και άλλες κοινωνικές εκδηλώσεις. Ανάµεσα στα πνευµατικά προγράµµατα της Εκκλησίας, τα οποία διεκπεραιώνονται πάντα µε την στοργική αγάπη και φροντίδα του Πατρός ∆ηµητρίου Ρεκατσίνα, είναι και της Χριστιανικής Οικονοµίας, το όποιον άρχισε τον Φεβρουάριο του 1985. Επίσης το ίδιο έτος 1985, ετέθησαν και. τα θεµέλια του Πολιτιστικού µας Συλλόγου, ό όποιος έχει σκοπό την συνέχιση και την προώθηση της όµορφης Ελληνικής κληρονοµιάς µας. Πρώτος Πρόεδρος ανέλαβε ό Κ. Νικόλαος Βόµβας. Σκοπός του είναι να προωθήσει τον Ελληνικό Πολιτισµό, ιστορία, ήθη και έθιµα µέσα από διαλέξεις, σεµινάρια και µουσικά προγράµµατα. Κάθε χρόνο στο ετήσιο Φεστιβάλ γίνεται και πολιτιστική έκθεση Τον Ιανουάριο του 1988, ό Κ. Κωνσταντίνος Χατζής, διαδέχτηκε τον Κ. Χρήστο Ρούντο Πρόεδρο της Κοινότητας, συνεχίζοντας µε ζήλο το ιερό έργο και τους σκοπούς της Εκκλησίας µας. Το 1988 γιορτάσαµε την 75ή επέτειο υπό την προεδρία του Κώστα Χατζή στο εστιατόριο Liedle’s. Καθώς αναπολήσαµε το παρελθόν, τώρα κοιτάζοντας για το µέλλον, οργανώθηκε ο σύλλογος Νεολαίας ηλικίας 18-25 χρονών, η επιτροπή του Joy/Hope ηλικίας 6-12 και η οµάδα βόλεϊµπολ για τα κορίτσια . Η 25η επέτειος στο Παρκ άβενιου γιορτάστηκε το 1991. Το 1992 το Ελληνικό µας Σχολείο ίδρυσε τάξη Νηπιαγωγείου για παιδιά ηλικίας 5 ετών. Υπεύθυνη ήταν η κα Ελένη Λυµπέρη διευθύντρια και πρώτη δασκάλα του νηπιαγωγείου µας ήταν η Μαρία Κοοκ. Το Ελληνικό Σχολείο τώρα αρχίζει από Νηπιαγωγείο έως έκτη τάξη. Το 1993, υπό τη ηγεσία του Γεωργίου Χαλλά και πατήρ ∆ηµητρίου Ρεκατσίνα ιδρύθηκε ο σύνδεσµος όλων των ορθοδόξων εκκλησιών στο Κονέκτικατ. Επίσης αυτό τον χρόνο γιορτάστηκε η 80ή επέτειος της Αγίας Τριάδας. Καινούριο χαλί , µαξιλάρια στα καθίσµατα και µάρµαρο τοποθετήθηκε στον σολέα και στην Εκκλησία. ∆ωµάτιο µε όλα τα αρχεία και εκκλησιαστικά σκεύη, δηµιουργήθηκε µε δωρεά του Γεωργίου και Σταυρούλας Καπίρη στην µνήµη των -82-
Παπαχρήστου, γίνεται η εγκατάσταση ανελκυστήρα υπό την εποπτεία του Γεωργίου Χριστόπουλου και Γεωργίου Μουριζάκη.
γονέων τους. Αναδηµιουργήθηκε ο ανασχηµατισµός των τοπικών νόµων/κανόνων και εγκρίθηκε από την Γενική Συνέλευση. Οι θυγατέρες της Πηνελόπης ανασχηµατίσθηκαν στις 24 Απριλίου 1993 στην Ενορία µας.
Το 2008 ένα δένδρο φυτεύτηκε µπροστά στην Εκκλησία για να γιορτάσουµε την ηµέρα της Γης. Επίσης ιδρύθηκε ο σύλλογος ποδηλασίας. Μία µέρα κάθε Νοέµβριο προσφέρουµε φαγητό για τους άστεγους και φτωχούς της πόλης του Μπρίτζπορτ. Έγινε µνηµόσυνο για τον πάτερ Βασίλη Κεχαγιά και δώσαµε αναµνηστική πλάκα στην Πρεσβυτέρα Χριστίνα Κεχαγιά στη µνήµη του. Υπό την προεδρεία του Γεωργίου Μουριζάκη, τοποθετήσαµε αγιογραφίες στις αψίδες: «Κάθοδος του Αγίου Πνεύµατος» και την εικόνα «Της Παναγίας Προσευχόµενης».
Το 1996 γιορτάστηκε, υπό την προεδρία του Χρήστου Παπαχρήστου η 100ή επέτειος των πρώτων Ελλήνων οικογενειών στο Μπρίτζπορτ «1896». Επίσης αυτό το χρόνο γιορτάστηκε επίσης και η 30ή επέτειος στο Παρκ Αβενιου. Το 1998 ο Οικουµενικός Πατριάρχης Βαρθολοµαίος, επισκέφτηκε την Ενορία µας, υπό την προεδρία του Βασίλη Τσουρή. Ήταν επίσης η 85η επέτειος της ενορίας µας.
Το 2009 ανακαινίστηκαν οι αίθουσες του Σχολείου και νοικιάστηκαν σε νηπιαγωγείο. Επιπλέον έγινε γενικός καλλωπισµός µε πλάκες γρανίτη του εξωτερικού προαύλιου της εκκλησίας µε αναµνηστική πλάκα για όλους τους δωρητές.
Το 2001 στις 16 Σεπτεµβρίου η Ενορία µας φιλοξένησε όλα τα θρησκευτικά δόγµατα επί τη επέτειο της τραγωδίας της 11ης Σεπτεµβρίου. Επίσης αυτή τη χρονιά τοποθετείται στην είσοδο του Ναού ωραιότατο µωσαϊκό της Αγίας Τριάδας. Επίσης δηµιουργήθηκε το γκολφ Τουρνουά.
Το 2010, υπό την προεδρία του Γεωργίου Μουριζάκη, ήταν καιρός για ανακαίνιση των µπάνιων και τουαλέτες και ως εκ τούτου άρχισε το έργο και ολοκληρώθηκε το 2011. Επίσης εγκαταστάθηκε στο εσωτερικό διάκοσµο το εκκλησάκι της «Παναγίας της Παραµυθίας», «Αγίου ∆ηµητρίου» και «Αγίου Φανουρίου», δωρεά της οικογενείας του ιατρού Χαραλάµπους και Έλλης Σουβλή. Τοποθετήθηκε πλάκα µε ονόµατα δωρητών ενοριτών στο εσωτερικό του Ναού. Επίσης το Γυµναστήριο άρχισε να ενοικιάζεται σε καθηµερινή βάση –επιπρόσθετο εισόδηµα για την κοινότητα.
2003 γιορτάστηκε υπό την προεδρία της Σταυρούλας Καπίρη, η 90ή επέτειος της Ενορίας µας. 2004 εθελοντές από την Ενορία µας συµµετάσχουν στους Ολυµπιακούς Αγώνες στην Αθήνα. 2005 η Αγία Τριάδα τίµησε όλους τους απόµαχους πολέµων µε αναµνηστική Πλάκα – ζώντων και τεθνεώτων. 2006 γιορτάσαµε τη 40ή επέτειο στο Παρκ Αβενιου, επίσης το Ελληνικό µας Σχολείο πρόσθεσε δύο ακόµη τάξεις την 7η & 8η, µε ∆ιευθύντρια και δασκάλα την κα Ελένη Λυµπέρη.
Ο πατήρ ∆ηµήτριος Ρεκατσίνας µετά από πολλά χρόνια υπηρεσίας στην Κοινότητα, ανακοίνωσε την παραίτησή του στις 6 Μαρτίου 2011. Τον Νοέµβριο του 2011 καλωσορίσαµε στην Κοινότητά µας το νέο µας Ιερέα πατήρ Ανδρέα Βυθούλκα, την
Έχοντας υπόψη τους ηλικιωµένους και άτοµα µε αναπηρίες το 2007, υπό την προεδρεία του Χρήστου -83-
Πρεσβυτέρα Ανθούλα και τα δίδυµα αγοράκια τους Νίκο και Πέτρο. Το 2012 ο πατήρ Ανδρέας άρχισε µαθήµατα Βίβλου για ενηµέρωση των ενοριτών µας. Επίσης υπό τη προεδρία του Γιώργου Μουριζάκη ολοκληρώθηκε η στέγη του Γυµναστηρίου και ανακαίνιση των λουτρών. Νέες διακονίες δηµιουργήθηκαν στην κοινότητα µας. Το 2013 προστέθηκε στην ενορία µας ο οργανισµός «Αγαπάτε αλλήλους», οργανισµός που έχει να κάνει µε οικογένειες και άτοµα που έχουν προσβληθεί από τον καρκίνο, για συµπαράσταση και ενηµέρωση αυτών. Επίσης οργανωθεί οµάδα κοριτσιών (Sorority) η «ΑΒΩ», µία επιτροπή που ενθαρρύνει τα κορίτσια να αντιµετωπίζουν τα διάφορα σύγχρονα προβλήµατα και να είναι έτοιµες να τα αντιµετωπίσουν. Άλλη µια οµάδα δηµιουργήθηκε για όσους νέους ενδιαφέρονται για το «∆ράµα». Η αποκατάσταση του Τρούλου ολοκληρώθηκε, καινούρια φώτα στον θόλο αποκαταστήθηκαν και όλα αυτά το 2013 υπό την προεδρεία του Γεωργίου Μουριζάκη. 30 Νοεµβρίου 2013, η εκκλησία µας γιόρτασε τα 100της χρόνια 1913-2013.
T HE H OLY T RINITY C HURCH F AMILY a Visual History
A LTAR BOYS
ATHLETIC P ROGRAM
2009 2007-2008 Junior Champs
C HURCH M USICIANS & H ELLENIC CHORALE 1946
1st Hellenic Chorale Concert—Early 70s -96-
1990 Recording Studio
Published on Mar 7, 2014
Published on Mar 7, 2014
Part 1 of 4 (pages 1-99) A Century of Faith: The First 100 Years of the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church of Bridgeport, Connecticut