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Annunciation Cranston History

  • Establishment of the Parish Community

    The community of Greeks located in Providence organized the "Koinotita" of the Annunciation of the Theotokos. They first gathered at an inn on Pine Street, occasionally persuading priests from other cities to come celebrate the Divine Liturgy, bless their marriages, and baptize their children.
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    The Earliest Days

    The Greek community of Providence gathered to pray at an inn operated by Costas Costakos, located on Pine Street. They relied on itinerant priests from other cities to come celebrate the Divine Liturgy, bless their marriages, and baptize their children.
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    Exchange Place

    The group of Greeks gathered to pray in a meeting room on Exchange Place. This would be their meeting place until they purchased their own church building in 1911.
  • Elected First Parish President

    In 1908, the community elected its first president, Stylianos Stagopoulos.
  • The First Bylaws

    The First Bylaws
    Although they had not yet incorporated, the Providence Greeks acted as a legal entity when they published their bylaws in November 1908. This document stated that the parish had been "established" in 1905, at which time it had been given the name Evangelismos, or Annunciation. The community was conceived as a religious and ethnic entity under both the spiritual jurisdiction of the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece and the temporal jurisdiction of the King of Greece.
  • Arrival of Father Thomas Papageorgiou

    Arrival of Father Thomas Papageorgiou
    Fr. Thomas Papageorgiou (or Papageorge) was a school teacher in Macedonia when he was called to attend seminary in Constantinople where his two oldest children, George and Evangeline, were born. His wife, Mary, was from the island of Samos, Greece. The family immigrated to the United States via Boston arriving on the SS Romanic in 1908. Fr. Thomas went on to found and serve churches in Newark, New Jersey and Augusta and Atlanta, Georgia. Photo: https://doi.org/doi:10.7282/T3VQ346K
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    The First Priest - Fr. Thomas Papageorgiou

    In 1908, the community also engaged the services of their first priest, Father Thomas Papageorgiou (or Papageorge). He was given room and board and the freewill offerings of the faithful, but had to work during the week in a local restaurant for his principal income.
  • Building Purchase Drive

    In 1910, the Providence Greeks embarked upon a major drive to raise money for acquiring a church. At that time, they created a "chryse vivlo," or founders' book (literally a "golden book"), to record significant events as well as the names and signatures of contributors
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    Fr. Polycarpos Marinakis

    In 1910, with George Pournaras presiding as its president, the community now engaged the services of the Reverend Polycarpos Marinakis, who, like his predecessor, worked at a restaurant when he was not celebrating the liturgy or performing his other priestly duties. Marinakis also supplemented his income by teaching the Greek language to children in their homes.
  • Purchased the Smith Street Church

    Purchased the Smith Street Church
    After raising $2,400 in 1910 and an additional $2,500 the following year, in December 1911 the Providence Greeks purchased a small church, located at 333 Smith Street, from the Swedish community.
  • Formal Incorporation

    Formal Incorporation
    On April 17, 1911, the parish members had formally incorporated, calling themselves the Hellenic Orthodox Catholic Apostolic Church Community and, placing themselves under the intercessory protection of the Mother of God, naming their church Annunciation of the Theotokos. Signing the Articles of Association were the Reverend Thomas Papageorge, Peter Kyriax, Tony Rougas, James G. Bergeris, and George Stappas.
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    Fr. Germanos Papaioannou

    According to the Providence Journal, Archimandrite Germanos Papaioannou was from Smyrna and was born in 1881. He attended high school there, and later attended the Theological School of Jerusalem, where he was appointed a doctor of divinity in 1901. He mastered the Latin, Russian, Arabic, Turkish, and French languages. He then was with his uncle, the Metropolitan of Myriofyton, until he went on missionary service in Asia Minor. He was sent to Providence by the Archbishop of Athens.
  • Breakout of the First Balkan War

    Breakout of the First Balkan War
    The Balkan War of 1912 interrupted the community's otherwise serene life. Organizing a battalion of "sacred fighters," many of the unmarried men left for Greece to help their homeland retrieve the last of its occupied territory. According to one source, over a hundred men joined the fighting. Leading the battalion was Konstantinos Metzites. Rather than decimating the community, the was indirectly contributed to its growth, with men returning to Providence with women they intended to marry
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    Fr. Polycarpos Marinakis

    Fr. Polycarpos was from Alatsata, Turkey. He attended the Theological Seminary of Athens. He served as a priest in Greece for five years and in Jerusalem for two. He came to America in 1909 and served as a pastor in Ipswich, Lynn, & Marlboro MA; Providence, RI; New Britain, CT; Pittsburg & Erie, PA; Baltimore, MD; Bangor, ME; & Portsmouth, NH. He was the editor and executive head of the New England Greek Religious and Literary Magazine published in Boston, a monthly called Pharos.
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    Fr. Agathangelos Georgakopoulos

    Archimandrite Agathangelos Georgakopoulos served in the U.S. since 1913. He was briefly at the Annunciation parish in Providence, R.I., but spent most of his 14 years in America in the Midwest, including five parishes in Ohio. Right after serving at our parish, he moved to serve the Annunciation parish in Cleveland, Ohio (1920-1924). His last would be St. Demetrios in Waterloo, Iowa. Although he was a naturalized American citizen, he would return to Greece in September 1927.
  • Decision to Sell Smith Street Church

    The Growth of the Providence Greek community during the second decade of the 20th century rendered the Smith Street church increasingly inadequate. On February 23, 1919, therefore, the membership decided to sell the old church.
  • Fr. Nikephoros Pavlou

    Fr. Nikephoros Pavlou
    Fr. Nikephoros Pavlou can be seen in this photo which was found in the "History of the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation" by Nicholas M. Prevas. The cathedral is in Baltimore, Maryland, which is where Fr. Nikephoros, referred to as Nikiforos in their records, went in 1929.
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    Fr. Nikephoros Pavlou

  • Pine Street Construction Begins

    Pine Street Construction Begins
    On Sunday, August 22, 1920, the cornerstone at Pine Street was laid. 750 parishioners gathered at Elysium Hall on Weybosset Street. The cornerstone laying and Agiasmos service was led by Fr. Nikephoros Pavlou, Archimandrite Ioakeim Malachias (Chancellor to Archbishop Alexander), and Parish Council President George Pournaras. Parish Council members at the time were Demetrios Dostou (Dostoglou), Treasurer Christos Haralambides, Secretary Peter Karamanos, Gregory Mihelakos, and Emmanuel Tsagarakis.
  • Greek Language School Established

    Greek Language School Established
    As more and more of the community's children reached school age, the need for a Greek language school was increasingly felt, and in 1921 such a school was finally established in Providence, with parishioner Nick Vican leading the effort and becoming the first teacher. Prior to 1921 those who could afford it engaged a private tutor to instruct their children in the Greek language, but now this aspect of their education became a community venture. Irene Loukakos succeeded Nick Vican as teacher.
  • Arrival of Fr. Peter Mihailides

    Arrival of Fr. Peter Mihailides
    In 1921, the Reverend Peter Mihailides arrived in Providence to become the parish's first permanent priest. He was a married man, unlike some of his predecessors. Fr. Peter was born in Trabzon, Turkey. He was educated in the Greek Orthodox Seminary in Turkey and was ordained by Bishop Germanos Troianos in New York City in October, 1921.
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    Fr. Peter Mihailides

  • First Liturgy on Pine Street

    First Liturgy on Pine Street
    On March 25, 1921, the feast day of the Annunciation and the 100th anniversary of Greek Independence, the Divine Liturgy was celebrated in the new church for the first time. March 25 became a special day in the life of the Providence community for many years to follow.
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    Greek School Teachers

    In 1925 the parish engaged Theodore Anagnostiades as teacher and cantor. After Anagnostiades left to study for the priesthood in 1927, teaching was carried on for a short time by William Georgeadys, John Mesarhakis, and George Papadopoulos.
  • Installation of the Bell

    Installation of the Bell
    On July 4, 1925, a 500 pound bell purchased from McShane Bell Foundry Company in Baltimore, Maryland for $410 was hoisted to the belfry and dedicated.
  • Royalist-Venizelist Struggle Begins

    Royalist-Venizelist Struggle Begins
    A feud erupted between King Constantine and Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos. The royalists initially prevailed and the community chose to place itself under the Church of Greece, then headed by a royalist. In September 1926 a majority of those attending a parish assembly voted to recognize the bishop sent by the Church of Greece, despite the E.P.'s Archdiocese being founded in 1922. This arrangement was short-lived and loyalties changed, with Venizelists becoming the majority.
  • AHEPA Sophocles Chapter 106 Founded

    AHEPA Sophocles Chapter 106 Founded
    The American Hellenic Educational and Progressive Association, usually referred to as AHEPA was founded in 1922 in Atlanta, Georgia, with the aim of combatting racism and anti-Greek bias. By 1929, the Providence chapter, known as Sophocles Chapter, No. 106, claimed 150 members. Unlike the churches, AHEPA used English, not Greek, as its official language, and it required that prospective members resolve to become American citizens. (Photo from 1935)
  • Arrival of Fr. Peter Mihailides' Family

    In 1927, Fr. Peter was joined by his family, Presbytera Calliope and their three children, Helen, George, and Emmanuel (Manny).
  • Commissioning of Iconography

    Commissioning of Iconography
    On July 1, 1927, the parish voted to commission John Tsavalas to paint the icons on the new icon screen for $2,550. Mr. Tsavalas found Providence so pleasing that, instead of painting the canvases in New York and installing them in Providence, an assignment that would have required several weeks at most, he came to Rhode Island and stayed on for the better part of the year!
  • Arrival of Savvas Savvides

    Arrival of Savvas Savvides
    Savvas Savvides came to Providence in July 1928. A native of Cyprus, Savvides had been trained in theology and was a candidate for the priesthood before coming to Rhode Island.
  • Greek School Renamed

    Greek School Renamed
    In 1929, the school was officially named the Koraes School after Adamantios Koraes, the Greek philosopher and man of letters known as the Great Teacher of His Nation.
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    Depression Era Founding of Organizations

    A number of organizations were founded during the Depression years. For example, the St. Demetrios Chapter of the Association of Sykeotes, an assembly of those who hailed from the town of Sykea in Laconia, a chapter of the Panarcadian Association, an Association of Liberals (Venizelists), an Association of Loyalists, a Greek-American Citizens society, a church basketball team, and a Bugle and Drump Corps organized by the AHEPA.
  • What was the Church of the Archangels?

    On April 26, 1929, a joint meeting of the "symvoulia" of the Annunciation Church and a "Church of the Archangels" was held, during which it was decided that the 25 members of the latter community would be absorbed and considered as old members of the Annunciation parish. The Archangels church was formed in 1926 in protest of the adoption of the New Calendar by the Church of Greece & Ecumenical Patriarchate. They placed themselves under a rival bishop that espoused the old-calendar "movement."
  • Establishment of GAPA Kanaris Chapter

    Establishment of GAPA Kanaris Chapter
    In 1930, a Kanaris chapter of the Greek American Progressive Association, or GAPA, was founded. Similar in purpose and structure to AHEPA, GAPA also established an Electra chapter for women as well as a section for young women. Unlike AHEPA, GAPA employed Greek as its official language and restricted its ranks to ethnic Greeks and Greek Orthodox church members.
  • Committee to Serve the Sick and Needy

    A committee to serve the sick and needy was established in 1930. This group visited those who were hospitalized and saw to it that assistance was given to those who suffered most as a result of the Depression.
  • Daughters of Penelope, Sons of Pericles, and Maids of Athena

    Daughters of Penelope, Sons of Pericles, and Maids of Athena
    By 1930, the AHEPA had expanded to include a women's group, the Daughters of Penelope; an organization for boys, the Sons of Pericles, and for the girls, the Maids of Athena.
  • Founding of the Daughters of Aphrodite

    Founding of the Daughters of Aphrodite
    In 1931, a group known as the Daughters of Aphrodite was formed, whose principal function was to present plays and various skits and serve as a social organization for many of the older teenage girls.
  • Fifth Annual AHEPA Sophocles Chapter #106 Ball

    Fifth Annual AHEPA Sophocles Chapter #106 Ball
    On Wednesday, March 4th, 1931, the AHEPA Sophocles Chapter #106 held its Fifth Annual Ball. You may recognize this photo from our church hall.
  • First Celebration of the St. James Greek Society of Sekeoton

    First Celebration of the St. James Greek Society of Sekeoton
    On Sunday November 8, 1931 the St. James Greek Society of Sekeoton held its first celebration at the Governor Dyer Restaurant in Providence. The organization was founded by those from the village of Sykia in Laconia. Many of the community's initial members were from this village.
  • Creation of the Choir

    In 1932, the first church choir was formed under the direction of John Koufoudakis. From 1935 on, the choir was directed by Savvas Savvides.
  • AHEPA Drum and Bugle Corps

    AHEPA Drum and Bugle Corps
    The AHEPA organized the Drum and Bugle Corps, consisting of more than 40 members of the parish. They performed at various parades and similar events. (Photo of Members in November 1935)
  • Acceptance of Archdiocesan Regulations

    Acceptance of Archdiocesan Regulations
    On February 19, 1933, the Providence parish came under the jurisdiction of the Archdiocese of New York and accepted the archdiocesan regulations. Archbishop Athenagoras (later Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras I) accepted an invitation to come to Providence to celebrate the Divine Liturgy, thus formalizing the new relationship
  • End of the Royalist-Venizelist Struggle

    End of the Royalist-Venizelist Struggle
    Those who backed one cause would be seated in church opposite those who backed the other. In 1935, Costas Papaphotiou, president of the Providence community, persuaded the rest of the parish council to hold a memorial service, for both King Constantine and Eleftherios Venizelos. Two stands were placed before the altar for the separate photos of the prime minister and the king, but there was a single tray of kollyva over which the prayers for the dead were read, and both leaders were eulogized.
  • Establishment of a Philoptochos Chapter

    Establishment of a Philoptochos Chapter
    On February 14, 1935, a Philoptochos Chapter was founded, attracting some 45 members that year and 135 members in 1935. The first president of the chapter was Pauline Pappas. Known as the "Good Samaritan Chapter," the Philoptochos (literally "friend of the poor") was later charged by Archbishop Athenagoras with the responsibility of maintaining St. Basil's Academy, located in Garrison, New York, directly across from West Point.
  • Founding of GOYA

    Founding of GOYA
    A senior youth chapter of Greek Orthodox Youth of America, known as GOYA, was organized in 1937, the first parish organization which accepted both males and females in its membership, and provided social and recreational activities for its members.
  • Establishment of Holy Cross Seminary

    Establishment of Holy Cross Seminary
    Rhode Island Greeks played an important role in that founding of Holy Cross Seminary in nearby Pomfret, Connecticut, contributing significant amounts of money as well as necessary items like furniture, bed linens, and food. The Philoptochos chapters were int he forefront of this effort, and Savvas Savvides, Peter Vican, Dr. Haralambie Cicma, Anastasios Papadopoulos, George Belegris, Nicholas Bouklalos, George Christelis, and Eugenia Gionis were among those providing early financial support.
  • Philoptochos National Convention

    In 1939, the same year as the AHEPA National Convention in Providence, the National Convention of Philoptochos was also held in Providence.
  • AHEPA National Convention in Providence

    AHEPA National Convention in Providence
    The parish was honored by being asked to host AHEPA's 16th Supreme Convention. Chairman of the convention was attorney George Demopoulos. The choir from the Greek Cathedral of New England, located in Boston, was engaged for the Divine Liturgy, celebrated by Archbishop Athenagoras. The Order of AHEPA also dedicated a memorial flag-mast to Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe on campus of Brown University during the convention, pictured here.
  • Outbreak of the Second World War

    Outbreak of the Second World War
    The outbreak of WWII occupied the community with other concerns. Clothing was gathered and earmarked for Greece. Hundreds of dollars were sent to the Red Cross. During 1940, the community purchased $10,000 in War Relief Bonds, and by the end of the decade, the church increased its holdings of these bonds, eventually purchasing $27,000 in War Relief Bonds. 70 young men from the community were enrolled in the Armed Forces.
  • Sunday Greek Radio Program

    In 1942, a Sunday Greek Radio Program was inaugurated through the efforts of Kominos (Charlie) Psilopoulos.
  • Paraclesis (Supplications to the Theotokos) for the Soldiers

    The community decided to continue its services of Supplications to the Theotokos for the safety of its young men and the speedy end to the war. Fr. Mihailides purchased a banner to display in church on which there were 70 stars, one for each of the boys in the service. However, Michael J. Dounetos, James Paul Stappas, Demetrios Dracopoulos, Constantine Stephanopoulos, Constantine Tsintsakos, Peter L. Lekkakis, James Pappas, Chris P. Pappas, and Peter Tr. Sfikas were all killed in action.
  • Children's Choir Created

    A children's choir was created under the direction of Iphighenia Goluses Jennings. The choir included youngsters from 9 to 15 years of age
  • Effie Jennings Named Adult Choir Director

    In September 1945, Effie Jennings was named director of the adult choir.
  • Building Fund Established

    There was now a general agreement among the parishioners that their facilities were inadequate, including the newly refurbished basement. There was a general agreement that the best way was to erect a new community center adjacent to the church to provide classrooms, meeting rooms, kitchen facilities, and a large hall for social functions. A building fund was established to meet these plans.
  • Intervale Cemetary

    Intervale Cemetary
    Emulating the Pawtucket community, which had purchased a cemetery at Walnut Hill in 1925, the Providence parish acquired the 19-acre Intervale Cemetery in North Providence in June, 1946 at a cost of $25,000. Until then, most Providence Greeks were buried in the "Greek Section" of Providence's North Burial Ground. Sadly, the community's hope's for a cemetery of its own never materialized due to costs and other parish needs. No action was taken on Intervale until 1963, when the land was sold
  • Parish Bylaws Revisions

    In June of 1948, a committee under the leadership of attorney George Mihos was formed to make certain bylaws revisions. These revisions were adopted on July 1, 1948. A feature of these bylaws was the requirement that the annual report also be published in English besides Greek, which had been the sole language of publication, showing the growing need for the inclusion of English.
  • Join RI State Council of Churches

    Join RI State Council of Churches
    In March of 1949, the parish decided to seek membership in the Rhode Island State Council of Churches, then an organization of various Christian parishes throughout the state.
  • English Sermons and the First Parish Ordination

    English Sermons and the First Parish Ordination
    When Bishop Ezekiel of Boston, later archbishop of Australia, visited Providence in 1951, George Demopoulos expressed the common concern that the Church would lose its young unless English was included in the liturgy. The bishop declared that the language of the liturgy would be Greek, but he conceded that English could be used in an occasional sermon. While in Providence, Ezekiel ordained Geroge H. Gallas to the diaconate, the first ordination known to have taken place in the Providence Church.
  • Ethel Lafazanis Named Adult Choir Director

    Ethel Lafazanis succedded Effie Jennings in 1951 as the adult choir director.
  • Official Start of the Basketball Program

    Official Start of the Basketball Program
    With Manny Mihailides in charge, an official basketball program was begun in 1951 with two teams and eighteen players. The program has continued to the present day.
  • Mortgage Burning

    By October 28, 1951, the 11th anniversary of Ohi Day, the parish had completed its mortgage obligations. Its members thronged to the services when, after the Divine Liturgy, the mortgage was burned. James Goltsos headed the Mortgage Burning Committee, which made the final payments to the bank and organized the festivities. The actual burning was performed by Constantine G. Papantoniou (Dean Pappas), a representative of the "Nea Yenea."
  • Archdiocesan GOYA

    Archdiocesan GOYA
    In 1953, the parish senior group formally became part of the Archdiocesan GOYA (Greek Orthodox Youth of America) structure.
  • Appointment of Lay Assistant Paul Cotsarides

    In 1954, Bishop Demetrios of Olympos assigned Paul Cotsarides, a Newport native and Seminary graduate, as a lay assistant in Providence. Cotsarides instituted a religious education class for adults, began a Bible study class, and preached Sunday sermons in English.
  • Recognition by State of Rhode Island as a Major Faith

    Recognition by State of Rhode Island as a Major Faith
    On April 6, 1954, prompted by a desire for recognition on a state level, the Parish Council voted to write Archimandrite Iakovos Coucouzes (later Archbishop), to inquire about the steps that should be taken to seek recognition as a major faith in RI, the others being Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, and Judaism. This was achieved on in March of 1956, with Bill S-148, recognizing the Orthodox Church as a major faith.
  • Decadollarion System

    The community revised its bylaws and adopted the "decadollarion system," whereby each family paid $10 annually to support the Archdiocese, in addition to the annual support given to the local parish. These bylaws, adopted on November 15, 1953, form the second set of thoroughly revised and rewritten bylaws to be adopted. The first, of course, were the charter bylaws of 1908.
  • Temporary Assistant Priest Fr. Demetrios Papalambros

    A temporary assistant priest, Fr. Demetrios Papalambros, who was fluent in English, was assigned to the Providence church until a new pastor could be found.
  • First Annual Sunday of Orthodoxy Vespers

    The Council of Orthodox Churches in RI held its first annual Sunday of Orthodoxy vespers in March 1955 in Sayles Hall of Brown University.
  • Arrival of Fr. John Limberakis

    Arrival of Fr. John Limberakis
    In August of 1955, Fr. Limberakis came with his Presbytera, Elizabeth, and their three children, Cary, Anthony, and Evangeline, to assume his pastoral duties.
  • Dorothy Georgeadys, First Bilingual Secretary

    Toward the end of 1955, Dorothy Georgeadys was engaged as the parish's first bilingual secretary.
  • English Minutes

    By 1955, it was evident that English had to be included as a working language in the community and in the liturgy. At that time an assembly decided that the parish minutes, until then kept only in Greek, would in the future be kept in English as well.
  • Fr. Mihailides Retired

    Fr. Mihailides had become ill and urged the parish to find a new pastor. A search committee was formed and visited Bishop Athenagoras, who recommended Fr. John Limberakis, then serving in Fresno, California. In August of 1955, Fr. Mihailides retired after thirty-five years of service
  • Establishment of Parent Teacher Association

    Establishment of Parent Teacher Association
    In 1955, a Parent Teacher Association (PTA) was founded to support the Language and Sunday Schools, with Mary Samaras serving as its first president. In the years to come, the PTA would organize the annual bazaar, sponsor cultural events, and furnish the classrooms in the new center.
  • Committee for Unification of the Providence and Pawtucket Communities

    A proposal was put forth at the November, 1955 Parish Assembly to build a single church somewhere in the Providence-Pawtucket city line to serve both growing communities. A committee was formed, called the Committee for Unification of the Providence and Pawtucket Communities. Spyro Samaras was named its chairman. It was also reported at that assembly that the state might be interested in acquiring the Pine Street property.
  • Creation of the First Monthly Newsletter

    Fr. John Limberakis created the first monthly newsletter, keeping the parish apprised of its day-to-day activities.
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    Fr. John Limberakis

  • Bishop Athenagoras' Decision to Support the Move from Pine Street

    On December 4, 1955, Bishop Athenagoras celebrated the Divine Liturgy in Providence, voicing his concurrence both in the formation of the Council of Orthodox Churches, and in the general decision by the parishioners to move from Pine Street.
  • Council of Orthodox Churches

    The Council of Orthodox Churches included the three Greek parishes, and all other Orthodox parishes in the state, including St. Mary's Antiochian in Pawtucket, St. John's Ukrainian in Providence, St. Michael's Ukrainian in Pawtucket, St. Stephen's Ukrainian in Manville, St. Mary's Russian in Cumberland, and St. John's Romanian in Woonsocket. Attorney Harold Demopoulos was instrumental in founding the council, serving as first president. Emmanuel Tomadjoglou & George Mihos were also instrumental.
  • Fr. Limberakis appointed Sakellarios

    Fr. Limberakis appointed Sakellarios
    In November of 1956, the honor of "Sakellarios," a title of distinction, was bestowed on Fr. Limberakis by Archbishop Michael, acknowledging the growth of the parish under his leadership.
  • Pine Street Fire

    On May 21, 1956, a fire destroyed part of the "iconostasion," or icon screen. No one knows how the fire began, but it is likely it began in the basement, Many of the icons were burned and had to be replaced, while others were restored. Some of the more vocal members pointed to the fire and suggested worse catastrophes would follow if the parish did not relocate soon.
  • Fr. Mihailides' Death

    On August 8, 1956, Fr. Mihailides died. The parish began a 40 period of mounting. A special session of the "symvoulion" was called to discuss the funeral and other matters of importance. The ex-presidents of the parish would serve as pall bearers. The parish council would see to it that Fr. Peter's wishes were carried out. His will named Holy Cross Seminary, St. Basil's Academy, and the Monastery of "Panaghia Soumela" in Thessaloniki.
  • The Annunciation Memorial Fund

    By action of a parish assembly on November 18, 1956, a special fund would be opened to purchase appointments for the church in memory of those in whose names the monies were to be given. This fund was appropriately named "The Annunciation Memorial Fund."
  • Name Simplification

    On November 21, 1956, the corporate name of the parish would be simplified to the Annunciation Greek Eastern Orthodox Church.
  • Golden Anniversary - 50 Years as a Parish

    Golden Anniversary - 50 Years as a Parish
    On May 12, 1957, Archbishop Michael celebrated a Hierarchal Divine Liturgy to commemorate the Golden Anniversary observance of the founding of the parish. A 50th Anniversary Grand Banquet, co-chaired by Emmanuel Mihailides & Andrew Haveles, was held at the Sheraton Biltmore Hotel, with approximately 500 attendees. On this day of celebration, Archbishop Michael surprised both the community and pastor, elevating Fr. John to the rank of "Economos," for his faithful and sincere service.
  • Savvas Savvides Testimonial Dinner

    Savvas Savvides Testimonial Dinner
    On March 8, 1959, over 500 parishioners attended a testimonial banquet in honor of Savvas Savvides and his 30 years of service to the parish. For that service, the Ecumenical Patriarch named him Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, bestowing on him the honorary title of "Megas Didaskalos tou Genous," or Great Teacher of the Nation. Savvides became the first Rhode Islander Archon. The Greek Government honored him too, with the King of Greece inducting him into the Order of the Phoenix.
  • Decision to Dispose of Pine Street Property

    Decision to Dispose of Pine Street Property
    On June 23, 1959, the parishioners unanimously voted to dispose of the Pine Street property, even though a new site had not been found. They empowered the parish council to execute the sale of the church, which had served them almost 40 years, to the State, which was considering its purchase, as set forth in Bill S-644, for $150,000. The parishioners also voted to give their large crystal chandelier, which hung in the church for nearly 4 decades, to SS Sahag & Mesrob Armenian Church.
  • Establishment of Executive Committee for Finding New Site

    On April 5, 1960, the Parish General Assembly authorized the creation of a five-member Executive Committee to research a suitable site for the new church and to collect pledges to pay for the purchase. Serving on the Executive Committee were James Marses, James Goltsos, William Vican, George Erinakes, and Peter T. Kanelos, DDS.
  • Unanimous Vote to Sell the Pine Street Property

    Unanimous Vote to Sell the Pine Street Property
    On October 19, 1960 the parish members voted unanimously to sell the Pine Street property for $140,000, which was divided and deposited in three different Providence banks. A new pledge drive was undertaken for the sole purpose of buying a new site. Dr. Peter Erinakes was the first to pledge to this new effort.
  • New Site for the Church

    New Site for the Church
    In January 1961, Nicholas Economos and Eustace Pliakas, Esq. became co-chairmen of the site Executive Committee, and a special assembly was called to decide on locations under consideration. The choice was narrowed to two locations - on Chalkstone Avenue in Providence and on Oaklawn Avenue in Cranston. When the vote was taken, the Oaklawn Avenue location was chosen by a margin of more than three to one. Several Providence residents, upset about the decision, transferred membership to Pawtucket.
  • Oaklawn Avenue Architecture Decision

    Oaklawn Avenue Architecture Decision
    In June, after several months of searching, the community engaged the services of the architectural firm of Robinson, Green, and Beretta. Knight D. Robinson, the firm's senior partner, took a personal interest in the assignment, both because of this interest in classical Greek and Byzantine art and architecture, and because it was the first time his company was asked to design a church.
  • Ordination of Fr. James Kyriakakis to the Diaconate

    On March 10, Fr. Kyriakakis was ordained to the Diaconate.
  • Meeting to Resolve Dispute Over Site Relocation

    For all practical purposes, the parish was divided, not about moving, but about relocating outside the city of Providence. A meeting took place on April 13, 1962 at St. Xavier's Academy, across the street from the church, since the church was too small to accommodate the hundreds expected to attend. Archbishop Iakovos, sensing the dissension, came to Providence to be present at the meeting and pleaded for unity. It was shared that over 1/2 of the parishioners had left Providence for other cities
  • Outdoor Liturgy at Oaklawn Avenue Site

    On September 6, 1962, His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos honored the parish with his presence as he celebrated an outdoor Divine Liturgy at the Oaklawn Avenue site. This service was held on the grounds to give the parishioners an opportunity of the unique and beautiful location, especially since it was the first time for many to visit the site.
  • Savvas Savvides Stepped Down from Teaching

    In September 1963, Savvas Savvides resigned from teaching after 35 years of service, but continued as church cantor. Savvides was succeeded by Christine (Pliakas) Kopsahilis, Angela Panagiotis,Helen (Eleni) Anagnostopoulos) John Lyssikatos, Kyriaki Michaelidou Rougas, and Eleftheria (Bakiris) Rechachinas.
  • Ordination of Fr. James Kyriakakis to the Priesthood

    Ordination of Fr. James Kyriakakis to the Priesthood
    On March 24, 1963 His Grace Bishop Gerasimos of Abydos, the new bishop in Boston, visited the parish to try to mitigate the continuing dissension and to ordain to the priesthood the first "native son" of the Providence community to receive holy orders - Fr. James Kyriakakis. His ordination to the priesthood in the Providence church was not only the first ordination of a native son, but also the first time anyone had been ordained to the priesthood on Pine Street.
  • Archbishop Iakovos' Honorary Degree from Brown

    Archbishop Iakovos' Honorary Degree from Brown
    In September 1964, on its 200th anniversary, Brown University conferred an honorary doctor of laws degree on Archbishop Iakovos, in recognition of his achievements in solidifying the Archdiocese as well as his ecumenical efforts.
  • First Place in the YMCA Church Basketball League

    In 1964, under the guidance of coach Manny Mihailides, the Annunciation Church Basketball Team that included players James Pascalides, George S. Nonis, Larry Poulos, Charles (Chuck) Samaras and co-captains Chris Pappas and Nick Retsinas, clinched First Place in the YMCA Church Basketball League.
  • Ordering of the Kouvouklion

    In 1965, the Parish Council, assisted by the Philoptochos and PTA, ordered from Athens, Greece, a new ecclesiastical 'Kouvouklion' (wooden bier) for the 'Epitaphios' to replace the Kouvouklion that had been destroyed by fire at the Pine Street parish house. The Epitaphios cloth that lies within the Kouvouklion had been imported from Athens in the spring of 1962.
  • 60th Anniversary Diamond Jubillee

    On November 10, 1965, a 60th Anniversary Diamond Jubilee Extravaganza, chaired by Spiro C. Samaras, was held at the Rhodes-on-the-Pawtuxet in Cranston.
  • Ground-Breaking Ceremony

    Ground-Breaking Ceremony
    The official Ground-Breaking Ceremony was held on July 31, 1966, officiated by His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos and attended by the Mayor of the City of Cranston and the Bishops of both the Roman Catholic and Episcopal Churches of Rhode Island. His Eminence conducted the ceremony for the Laying of the Foundation Stone of the new Annunciation Church. Thereafter, the parish celebrated at a Testimonial Luncheon in his honor at the Sheraton Biltmore Hotel.
  • Cranston Dialogue Group

    On October 6 of 1966, the parish, led by Attorney George Mihos, became a member of the newly established Cranston Dialogue Group, an association of churches and synagogues in Western Cranston. The group created the beautiful Dialogue Garden on Oaklawn Avenue.
  • Installation of the Cross

    Installation of the Cross
    In October 1967, an 18-foot, 23-carat, gold-leaf aluminum cross was ceremoniously blessed, elevated, and positioned on the new church dome
  • YMCA Basketball Champs & New England Greek Orthodox Church Champs

    In 1968, the team was again Champion of the 16-team YMCA Church League, consisting of both Orthodox and non-Orthodox church teams. It was a great team showcased by Arthur G. Pappas, George Sarganis, Nick Tonis, Dennis Gikas, in Maintanis, Cary Limberakis, Anthony Limberakis, Paul Hosey and other young men. After many years as coach, Manny turned the team over to George S. Nonis. The team again won the YMCA Church Championship, and the New England Greek Orthodox Church Championship.
  • Transfer of the Bell to Oaklawn Avenue

    Transfer of the Bell to Oaklawn Avenue
    In 1968, approximately 43 years after the 500-pound bell had been hoisted to the belfry of the Pine Street church building on July 4, 1924, the Junior GOYA spearheaded the transfer of the bell to the Oaklawn Avenue site. The bell serves as a reminder of the community's origin.
  • Last Divine Liturgy at Pine Street

    Sunday, March 17, 1968 was a sad, but proud, day for the parish, as the last Divine Liturgy was celebrated at the Pine Street church. As a tribute to the parish Founding Fathers, a memorial service was offered for the repose of the souls of all of those beloved people who toiled to establish the parish in 1905. The icons on the 'iconostasion' (icon screen) were ceremoniously removed and transported to the Oaklawn Avenue church to serve temporarily as the iconostasion, and later in classrooms.
  • Thyranoixia Service (Opening of the Doors)

    Thyranoixia Service (Opening of the Doors)
    On Sunday, March 24, 1968, the new church edifice was officially opened by His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos. The celebration of the 'Thyranoixia' Service (Opening of the Doors) was followed by the Divine Liturgy. A Thyranoixia Banquet was held at the Biltmore Hotel that evening, chaired by Spiro C. Samaras.
  • Unveiling of the Baptismal Font

    Following the Divine Liturgy on November 17, 1968, a new, Italian white statuary marble Baptismal font, weighing 2,300 pounds was unveiled and blessed. The font was consecrated and blessed with Holy Water taken from the River Jordan by Fr. John while visiting the Holy Land.
  • Opening of The Mihailides Center

    Opening of The Mihailides Center
    Construction of the center was completed in 1969, and on December 7, the parish inaugurated its first cultural center. J. Arvid Johnson & Co. Inc. was selected to construct the building. The new center was dedicated and named 'The Mihailides Center' in memory of the late Fr. Peter Mihailides. On that auspicious day, parishioners attending the dedication spontaneously donated $15,000. Helen Pappas, Fr. Mihailides' daughter, had the honor of opening the door to the new center.
  • Fr. Limberakis Transferred

    Fr. Limberakis Transferred
    After fifteen years of service, Fr. Limberakis was transferred by the Archdiocese, and assigned as pastor of the Annunciation parish in Philadelphia. The community gathered in October of 1970 to honor Fr. John at a testimonial banquet and to bid him farewell.
  • Beginning of the Christmas Bazaar

    Beginning of the Christmas Bazaar
    In November of 1971, the Philoptochos, in cooperation with the PTA, began sponsoring its annual Christmas bazaar.
  • Arrival of Koula (Michaelidou) Rougas

    In June 1971, Koula Michaelidou (Rougas), a graduate of the Greek Teachers Training Program at St. Basil's Academy in Garrison, New York, came to the parish and assumed the responsibilities of Greek Language School Teacher, a position Kyria (Mrs.) Koula holds to this day. Koula also served as the parish Greek secretary for a number
    of years, along with secretary Koula Atamian.
  • Period: to

    Fr. Constantine Xanthakis

  • Arrival of Fr. Constantine Xanthakis

    Arrival of Fr. Constantine Xanthakis
    Fr. Xanthakis, who was serving as the assistant priest at St. Spyridon's Church, in the Washington Heights section of New York City, was named pastor of the parish in November of 1970 by the Archdiocese. On February 7, 1971, he, his Presbytera, Helen, and their two children, Anthony & Alex, moved to Cranston.
  • Commissioning of Iconography

    Commissioning of Iconography
    On October 19, 1971, the Parish Council, after deliberations by a committee chaired by Spero Karol, commissioned Constantine Youssis, the New York iconographer, to paint the "Pantocrator," the icon of Christ in the center of the dome, the icons of the disciples which encircled it, as well as the icons depicting the twelve major feasts around the facade of the sanctuary, and the "prothesis" icons within the sanctuary. Video about Youssis
  • Installation of Dr. Peter T. Kanelos as "Archon Depoutatos"

    Installation of Dr. Peter T. Kanelos as "Archon Depoutatos"
    On November 21, 1971, Bishop Demetrios of Olympus visited the parish and, following the Divine Liturgy, installed Dr. Peter T. Kanelos as "archon depoutatos" of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
  • Men's Club Founded

    Michael Carpetis, William Floskis, and Philip George, some of the Men's Club's founders, envisioned it as an organization which, through its various activities, would support the church's athletic teams and provide annual scholarships to worthy youngsters.
  • Installation of George Pakuris, Sophia Karambelas, and George Mihos as Archons Depoutatoi

    Installation of George Pakuris, Sophia Karambelas, and George Mihos as Archons Depoutatoi
    On December 3, 1972, following the Divine Liturgy, Bishop Demetrios installed George Pakuris, Sophia Karambelas, and Attorney George Mihos as "Archons Depoutatoi." This is the highest honor bestowed on lay people by the Church of Constantinople. A testimonial banquet was held later that evening to honor the new Archons.
  • First Parish Teens Visit Ionian Village

    First Parish Teens Visit Ionian Village
    For the first time in the history of the parish a group of 23 teens traveled to Greece as a group, with Father Constantine, to attend the Ionian Village Summer Camp.
  • Placement of the Icon of the Virgin Mary in the Narthex

    Placement of the Icon of the Virgin Mary in the Narthex
    In 1972, the icon of the Virgin Mary, 'Ypsilotera,' (ranking highest) was placed in the narthex dome. Mrs. Mercine Lekas of Worcester, Massachusetts, mother of Mary Lekas, MD, designed the angels within the Ypsilotera.
  • The 20-20 Club / The 175 Club

    In June, 1973, to raise funds to reduce the mortgage of the church the parish formed the 20-20 Club, also known as the 175 Club. Charles Pournaras, Alex Fotiades, John Kefalas, Michael Papigiotis, Nicholas Janikies, Helen Dostou, Eleftherios Baziotis, Kay Spires and Kay Pappas served as chairpersons during the five years of its operation. The Club raised over $45,000.
  • Consecration Service & Parishioners Honored

    Consecration Service & Parishioners Honored
    Archbishop lakovos celebrated the Consecration Service of the new church edifice on March 4, 1973. The Archbishop honored several parishioners for their service to the church: The St. Paul Medal was awarded to Mary Lekas, MD, Helen Pappas, William Floskis, Gregory G. Demetrakas and Attorney Eustace T. Pliakas. His Eminence also bestowed the Medal of the Knights of St. Andrew upon Mr. Demetrakas. A reception, chaired by C. Dean Christelis followed at the Colonial Hilton Inn in Cranston.
  • Installation of Gregory G. Demetrakas as Archon Depoutatos

    Installation of Gregory G. Demetrakas as Archon Depoutatos
    On March 18, 1973, Gregory G. Demetrakas was installed as "Archon Depoutatos" by Archbishop Iakovos at the Greek Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New York City.
  • Basketball Association of the Cranston Churches Champs

    In 1974, the Annunciation Junior Basketball Team, coached by Thomas Hosey, George Danakas, William Floskis and William Frangos, won the Championship of The Basketball Association of the Cranston Churches.
  • Hellenic Cultural Society

    Hellenic Cultural Society
    The Hellenic Cultural Society was founded in 1974. Its aims included the dissemination of information about Greece and Cyprus. The society condemned the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, and visited government leaders in RI and DC. Polydoros Petrou, John Lyssikatos, Gregory Demetrakas, Despina Mylonas, James Gatsoulas, Sotiris Mioni, Vivian Vanikiotis Dafoulas, Dr. Venetia Georgas, and Professors Alexander Poularikas, William Wyatt, and Peter Allen figured prominently in the Society's founding.
  • League of Greek Orthodox Stewards (LOGOS) Established

    League of Greek Orthodox Stewards (LOGOS) Established
    When the Archbishop established the League of Greek Orthodox Stewards, LOGOS, in 1974. to raise additional funds for St. Basil's Academy, Hellenic College and the Holy Cross School of Theology, as well as for clergy pensions, a few of Rhode Island's Greek Community were among the first to contribute. In 1976, a gathering of District III of LOGOS, which covered the Greater New England Area, gathered in Rhode Island, with a number of parishioners playing a key role.
  • Testimonial Banquet for Helen Pappas

    Testimonial Banquet for Helen Pappas
    At a testimonial banquet on March 31, 1974, Helen
    Pappas was honored for her many years of devoted service
    to the parish. Helen served as Philoptochos president for 17
    years, choir director and organist, earning the affectionate
    title of ‘Mother Superior.'
  • Turkish Invasion of Cyprus

    Turkish Invasion of Cyprus
    Following the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, Rhode Island's Greeks raised money, collected clothing and food, and wrote letters and personally visited various government representatives. The Greeks of RI raised over $40,000 to assist the Cyprus refugees and sent many tons of food, clothing and medicine. Nationally the Archdiocese collected over $1,000,000 in its relief efforts.
  • Father Xanthakis Departs

    In December of 1975, Father Xanthakis was transferred by the Archdiocese to serve the Holy Cross parish in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn, NY. He returned two months later for a testimonial banquet given in his honor at the Holiday Inn by the AHEPA. The banquet served as a period of reflection over the accomplishments of the five years past.
  • Political Action on Behalf of Cyprus & Congressman Beard and Gregory Demetrakas Travel to Cyrpus

    Political Action on Behalf of Cyprus & Congressman Beard and Gregory Demetrakas Travel to Cyrpus
    With the help of the state's Armenians, protests were held, and resolutions were drafted by the cities of Providence, Cranston, Warwick, Pawtucket and Newport condemning the invasion of Cyprus by Turkey. Governors Philip Noel and J. Joseph Garrahy, Senators John Pastore and Claiborne Pell, and Representatives Edward Beard and Fernand St. Germain all supported the Greek cause. Congressman Beard even visited Cyprus with Gregory Demetrakas in July of 1975, nearly being killed by Turkish troops.
  • New Iconostasion Design Chosen

    During 1976 the parish contracted Ferrara and Bacci of Italy, to construct its new iconostasion. Up to this point, the iconostasion consisted of the old icons from Pine Street. After considering screens of carved wood, marble, and aluminum, with painted icons, the committee decided to recommend a brass screen with mosaic icons.
  • Period: to

    Fr. Stephen Kyriacou

  • Arrival of Father Stephen Kyriakou

    Arrival of Father Stephen Kyriakou
    Following the departure of Father Constantine Xanthakis, the Archdiocese recommended Father Stephen Kyriakou, the assistant pastor at the Greek Archdiocesan Cathedral in New York, as the community's new pastor. On February 2, 1976, Father Kyriakou moved to Rhode Island with his Presbytera, Vasiliki, and their two children, Erika and Christopher.
  • Library Committee Formed

    Library Committee Formed
    A Library Committee had been formed on April 29, 1976 under the chairmanship of Nicholas Lambros, with the mission to it funds by inviting individuals to become lifelong members of the Friends of the Library by giving a one-time gift of $100 or more.
  • Ethel Lafazanis Honored

    Ethel Lafazanis Honored
    On June 9, 1976, the parish honored Ethel Lafazanis for her many years of service as choir director. In October the Philoptochos also honored her with a tea.
  • American Bicentennial Grecian Festival

    American Bicentennial Grecian Festival
    The American Bicentennial in 1976 provided an opportunity for the three Rhode Island Greek Church communities to showcase Greek culture. As their contribution to the celebration, the parishes participated in a weekend-long Grecian Festival. On Friday, October 1, a Gala Ball was held at the Rhodes-on-the-Pawtuxet in Cranston
    The Festival continued on Saturday and Sunday at the Warwick Mall with a daylong program involving hundreds of participants who joined in celebrating Greek culture.
  • Pledge Program

    A Parish General Assembly meeting was held on October 26, 1976, at which the community voted to adopt a Pledge Program. A committee, chaired by Angelos Maintainis, with members Charles Pournaras, Andrew Mitrelis and Eleftherios Baziotis, was created to develop and manage the program.
  • Division Champions of the Basketball Association of the Cranston Churches

    1977, the Senior Team became Division Champions of the Basketball Association of the Cranston Churches. The team was coached by George Nonis and James Alexion, and was cheered on by cheerleaders Marianne Demetrakas (Janigian), Vikki Dostou (Hall), Linda Karol (Limperis), Stevra Stappas (Soucy) and Cindy Poulos.
  • First Annual Christmas Concert

    In December of 1977, the community sponsored its first annual Christmas Concert, held in the church, which featured the Rhode Island College Chorale and Orchestra. In 1978 the concert featured Annunciation's Church Choir and Nicholas T. Goluses, Jr. as the guitarist. In 1979 the guest performers were Lucien Olivier and the Barrington Boys Choir of Rhode Island
  • Cheerleading Squads

    Cheerleading Squads
    The basketball teams were cheered on by cheerleading squads, formed in 1977. The cheerleaders were led by advisors Pat Maintanis and Ellen Coclin.
  • Revival of the Council of Orthodox Churches

    In 1977 the parish was instrumental in the revival of the Council of Orthodox Churches, this time consisting of those parishes
    in Rhode Island whose hierarchs maintained membership in the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas.
  • Passing Away of Savvas Savvides and the Establishment of the Savvas Savvides Scholarship Fund

    On the feast day of the Epiphany, Savvas Savvides passed away. Bishop lakovos of the Boston Diocese officiated at both the funeral on January 10 and at the customary forty-day service. The community's long-time teacher and chanter left a sum of money to the GOYA, the Philoptochos and the Parish Council, as trustees for the church. Shortly after, the Parish Council voted to perpetuate his memory by placing the money into a savings account and the Savvas Savvides Scholarship Fund was created.
  • New Iconostasion Put in Place

    New Iconostasion Put in Place
    A team of individuals, including Joseph Muratore, Leonard Garofalo, Allen Miller, Harry Nicolopoulos, George A. Pliakas and Norman Andrews, most not even members of the parish, measured, shipped and installed the new icon screen at no charge. Pentecost Sunday, 1977, the new iconostasion was in place, the gift of Nicholas Janikies.
  • Third Set of Bylaws Adopted

    In May 1978, the Parish General Assembly adopted the community's third set of By-Laws in which the needs of a growing English speaking membership were met by increasing the use of English into the Divine Liturgy.
  • Pilgrimage to the Holy Land and Constantinople

    Pilgrimage to the Holy Land and Constantinople
    In November, 1978, 23 members of the community and Father Stephen made a pilgrimage to Israel to worship at the Holy Places and be received by the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Benedictos I. The group concluded its pilgrimage by visiting Constantinople, where they were received by the Ecumenical Patriarch, Demetrios I. This was the first parish group to have visited both places. They received the blessings of both Patriarchs, and made gifts to each Patriarchate for local philanthropic needs.
  • Annunciation Library Realized

    In 1978, the parish realized the creation of the Annunciation Library. After an initial expense for bookcases and books, the money was to be deposited in an interest bearing account and only the interest was to be used each year to purchase additional books, periodicals, and films as well as to support the various open houses, lectures and concerts which the library would sponsor.
  • Philoptochos Coffee Hour

    In the spirit of fellowship, beginning in September 1979, the Philoptochos brought the community together in a social environment, offering coffee, pastry and conversation after the Divine Liturgy. This fellowship service continues to this day.
  • AHEPA Drive for St. Basil's Academy

    In 1979, AHEPA conducted a drive, chaired by Peter Vican, to build a new boy's dormitory at St. Basil's Academy. At a fundraising banquet in December, Father John Geranios, Dean of the Academy, was present to receive the contributions. Individuals spontaneously made contributions and pledges that not only surpassed the original goal of $10,000, it exceeded $70,000!
  • 75th Anniversary Balloon Launch

    75th Anniversary Balloon Launch
    In January, 1979 the community began exploring ways and means of marking its 75th anniversary. On November 4, following the Divine Liturgy, communicants assembled in front of the church and released some 2,000 helium-filled balloons prepared by the GOYA, into the air announcing the parish's 75th year. Mary Peskopos, a resident of Attleboro, returned the card attached to a balloon which had landed in her back yard, saying that she had found a balloon which flew furthest from Cranston.
  • 75th Anniversary Year Kickoff Champagne Party

    A 75th Anniversary year kickoff champagne party, under the chairmanship of Sophia Karambelas, was held on December 8, 1979 at the Gustatorium, the facility operated by Johnson and Wales College, owners of the former Pine Street Church
  • Center Expansion Building Committee Appointed

    On December 16, 1979 the Parish Assembly appointed a building committee to study the expansion of the Center and to report to the subsequent assembly.
  • Exploration of Additional Land for Parking and Church Facility Expansion

    On May 4, 1980 the Assembly further authorized the committee to look into the possible purchase of additional land close to the church for parking and perhaps, for the expansion of the church's facilities.
  • Ordination of Theofanis Degaitis

    Ordination of Theofanis Degaitis
    On May 18, 1980 Bishop Anthimos came to Cranston to consecrate the church's new iconostasion and to ordain Theofanis Degaitis, a native of Providence, and a senior attending Holy Cross School of Theology, to the diaconate. While Father Degaitis is the second known ordination to the diaconate to have taken place in the parish, it is the first ordination in the Oaklawn Avenue Church.
  • 75th Anniversary Luncheon at the Chateau De Ville

    75th Anniversary Luncheon at the Chateau De Ville
    Under the Parish Council Presidency of Charles Pournaras, the 75th Anniversary Celebration continued with events held into the 1980s. On September 28, 1980, the parish held a 75th Anniversary Luncheon at the Chateau De Ville in Warwick. In attendance were Archbishop lakovos and Bishop Anthimos, Bishop of the Diocese of Boston.
  • Spiro C. Samaras Hall

    On May 1, 1982, the dormitory which AHEPA had raised money for was dedicated and named the 'Spiro C. Samaras Hall' in memory of AHEPA National Treasurer and longtime supporter of the Academy, parish member Spiro C. Samaras.
  • Testimonial Banquet for Fr. Stephen Kyriakou

    A Testimonial Banquet was held in January 1983 in honor of parish priest, Father Stephen Kyriakou, who was appointed Chancellor of the Diocese of Boston.
  • Adult Religious Education Classes Initiated

    Adult Religious Education Classes were initiated
    at the parish in October 1983.
  • Mihailides Center Library Expanded to Include a Book Store.

    In October of 1983, The Mihailides Center Library expanded to include a Book Store. Ethel Lafazanis organized and managed this effort assisted by Emma Raptakis and Voula Degaitas.
  • Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) Established at UR

    Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) Established at UR
    In November 1983, through the efforts of Father Andrew and a group of University of Rhode Island (URI) students, the Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) was established at URI. The OCF is a religious fellowship organization on the URI campus for all Eastern Orthodox Christians.
  • New Fair-Share Pledge Program

    As 1983 drew to a close, in November, the Parish Council adopted a new Fair-Share Pledge Program in order to increase annual pledge commitments. The new pledge categories were, per year: married parishioners and established singles, $350, single parents, retirees, widows/widowers and the disabled, $150; full-time students $50.
  • Arrival of Father Andrew George

    A new area began as the Archdiocese assigned Father Andrew George to lead the parish on March 1, 1983. He was joined by his Presbytera Maria and children, Anthony and Kassiane. A graduate of Hellenic College (1970) and a graduate of Holy Cross Seminary (1973), Father Andrew also holds a Master's Degree in Theology from the Seminary.
  • Philoptochos Cry Room

    In keeping to what other parishes were implementing nationally on, April 24, 1983, the parish held the dedication of the Philoptochos Cry Room. A multi-purpose room within the church, it was created to be used during church services by mothers with their children, by brides as a preparation room before weddings, and as a changing room for infants during christenings.
  • Cranston's Own YAL Chapter Founded

    A year after the creation of YAL in Rhode Island, Cranston established its own chapter of YAL, with Vikki Poulos as the first president.
  • Tour of the Church & Inquirer's Class

    Stressing ecclesiastic education on all levels for all age groups, in February 1984, Father Andrew initiated two educational programs. A special Saturday program, a Tour of the Church, was begun with discussion of Holy Utensils, Vestments and other items in the Church, to help the parish children and parents better understand the Divine Liturgy. In addition, a new Inquirer's Class was established for those in inter-faith households who wished to discuss the Orthodox faith and practices.
  • Retirement of Nicholas Goluses, CPA

    Nicholas Goluses, CPA, retired in 1984 after serving as parish accountant for 37 years. In March, the Parish Council extended its gratitude to him at a Sunday coffee hour with the presentation of a commemorative plaque.
  • YAL Established

    YAL (Young Adult League) was established in October 1983 by Father Andrew of Cranston and Father Nick Milas of the Assumption Church in Pawtucket The purpose of the organization is to provide the setting for like-minded people, ages 18-35, of the same faith and heritage, to have time together. The various gatherings include a balance program offering spiritual and moral guidance, as well as social and service activity under the core themes of our Orthodox Christian life.
  • Bishop Methodios' First Visit

    The school year opened with a visit from His Grace Bishop Methodios, newly elected Bishop of the Boston Diocese. At this first-time visit to the parish, he met with the Parish Council, Church School, Greek school, choir director, and officers of Philoptochos and GOYA.
  • Father Andrew Honored with the Ecclesiastical 'Offikion' (Title) of Pneumatikos' (Father Confessor.)

    Bishop Methodios honored Father Andrew with the Ecclesiastical 'Offikion' (Title) of Pneumatikos' (Father Confessor.) In the Orthodox Priesthood there are four ranks or positions of distinction. The Pneumatikos enables the Priest to hear confessions and to wear the special piece of vestment known as the 'Epigonation' worn across the left shoulder and reaching down to the right knee. It signifies both the Purse of Alms that the Apostles carried meant for the poor, and the Spiritual Sword of Power
  • The Odyssey Dance Troupe Established

    The Odyssey Dance Troupe Established
    The Odyssey Dance Troupe was established in 1984. Under the directorship of Language School teacher Koula Rougas, the group began with 10 students, from ages 6 through 30. One of the main goals of the Dance Troupe was to bring together the youth of the community in an enjoyable and non-competitive environment. The dances, performed in traditional costumes, represent the various regions of Greece, helping to preserve and teach the history of Greek folk dance.
  • Out-Reach Committee

    With the guidance of Father Andrew, the parish established the Out-Reach Committee in 1985. The purpose of the Committee was to aid the poor in the Providence area collecting clothing and food. Parishioner Georgia Carignan served as the first chairman. Continuing in the spirit of "giving' the following year, the Church School initiated the Gifts of St. Nicholas program. Gifts were sent to children at St. Basil's Academy in Garrison, New York and the St. Aloysius Home for Boys in Rhode Island.
  • Expansion of Festival and Hosting on Parish Grounds

    A tradition continues and grows. September 1985 saw the Annual Greek Festival grow. The parish picnics, as they were known at the time, were originally held at various locations, including Bell's Farm in Smithfield, Club 400 in West Warwick, and Mashpaug in Warwick. With the newly expanded campus, the Festival was brought to the parish grounds in Cranston. The expanded three-day event was chaired by Arthur Kazianis and co-chaired by Solon Mitrelis and Harry Bablenis.
  • Mortgage Paid in Full

    The parish mortgage was paid in full on January 13, 1985 and a Mortgage Burning Ceremony was held at the Quidnessett Country Club with more than 400 in attendance. Along with Bishop Methodios and other guest speakers, was Father John Limberakis, parish pastor during the construction of the new church. Angelos Maintanis served as Chairman of this event and his wife, Despina (Pat) served as co-chair.
  • 'AHEPA Day' & Memorial Service for Deceased AHEPA Members

    The parish observed a series of commemorations. Sunday, May 5, 1985, was designated by the Archdiocese as 'AHEPA Day' and the parish honored the local AHEPA Sophocles Chapter Number 106 on that day in its sermon and at a coffee hour. A Memorial Service for deceased AHEPA members was held with a wreath laying ceremony at the AHEPA Monument.
  • Youth Awards Night Dinner

    On May 23, the youth of the Annunciation parish were honored by the AHEPA at a Youth Awards Night dinner. The awards night honored all youth active in the various parish programs, such as GOYA, altar boys, basketball team, Language School graduates and handicapped children in the parish.
  • Special Archdiocesan Citation for Koula Rougas

    The Greek Education Department of the Archdiocese selected Language School teacher Koula Rougas for a special citation in recognition of her faithful and dedicated service to the teaching ministry of the parish. The citation was presented at the Parish Annual Appreciation Dinner on June 20, 1985 for all staff members of the Language School, Church School and choir.
  • Philoxenia House

    Philoxenia House
    The parish also supported, and continues to support, Philoxenia House in Brookline, Massachusetts, the centerpiece of the Philanthropic Ministry of the Metropolis of Boston. Inaugurated in 1986, it also became a special philanthropy of the National Philoptochos as well as that of the parish local Good Samaritan Chapter. The Philoxenia House is a haven and home for families when loved ones are hospitalized in Boston.
  • "Georgia Haveles Day"

    Completing the series of commemorations, February 16, 1986, declared Georgia Haveles Day, as the Philoptochos honored Georgia for her more than-35 years of service to the parish and her four years as President of Philoptochos.
  • Parishioner Mary Danakas' Mission Trip to Kenya

    In the summer of 1987, an historic event occurred for the Greek Orthodox Church, which represented the growth of the Mission Ministry of the parish: 29 young adults from across the United Stares traveled to Kenya, Africa to build a church of stone in the District of Lobere. A member of the parish, Mary Danakas, daughter of Theodore and Freida Danakas, spent five weeks in Kenya conducting this missionary work of the Archdiocese. In June 1989, Mary returned to Kenya on a YAL mission.
  • Reach-Out Associates

    On the local level, in 1987, Reach-Out Associates, Orthodox businessmen in Rhode Island, was established with the goal of funding needy projects and assisting individuals in crisis. Parishioner John Ruggieri chaired this effort as president and founder.
  • Building Fund Kick-off Pledge Dinner

    On May 23, 1987 a Building Fund Kick-off Pledge Dinner was held at the Quidnessett Country Club to support the expansion of the Center, with 200 people attending. That evening, $290,710 was pledged.
  • AHEPA Day & Artoclasia Blessing

    Again, as part of the national observance by the Archdiocese to recognize the service rendered to the Church by the AHEPA family, May 31, 1987 was designated as 'AHEPA Day.’ The local chapters of AHEPA and the Daughters of Penelope were honored with a Special 'Artoclasia' (breaking of the bread) Blessing during the Divine Liturgy.
  • No Smoking Policy

    Following decisions being made statewide, on February 25, 1988, the Rhode Island General Assembly requested that the Parish Council establish an Official Smoking Policy for events held in the Church Center. Expanding on this request, in March, it was voted that, as of April 15, there would be no smoking at all meetings. At social events, half of the hall would be designated as 'No Smoking! A few years later, the entire building was designated smoke free at all times.
  • Parishioner Andrew Lekos' Mission Trip to Ghana

    In July 1989, Andrew Lekos, son of Michael and Anna Lekos, along with a 20-member team of young adults, went to the West African nation of Ghana to construct the Transfiguration Orthodox Cathedral in the capital city of Accra.
  • Building Committee to Expand the Mihailides Center

    The year 1989 continued to be a productive time for the parish. A Building Committee was formed to study the expansion needs of the Mihailides Parish Center. The committee was chaired by Costas Perdikakis and co-chaired by Andreas Andreopoulos and Parish Council President Arthur Kazianis.
  • Chanters Class and Bible Study

    In 1989 two new programs were instituted- a chanters class and Bible study. In conjunction with Father Andrew, retired priest and parishioner Father Stephen Papadoulias taught the chanters class and Father Themis Adamopoulos, an Orthodox monk from Australia who was completing his doctorate at Brown University, taught the Bible study.
  • Inauguration Ceremonies for the Governor and Other Elected State Officials

    Continuing recognition of the presence of both the parish and of Orthodoxy in the State of Rhode Island, on January 3, 1989, Father Andrew was invited to offer prayers at the Inauguration Ceremonies for the Governor and other Rhode Island elected State officials. Father Andrew continued to build parish programs.
  • Archdiocesan Appointments of Parishioners

    His Eminence Archbishop lakovos appointed two parishioners to national positions in the Archdiocese. Bessie Papigiotis was appointed to serve a two-year term on the National Board of Philoptochos and Gregory G. Demetrakas was appointed as a lifetime member of the Board of Trustees of St. Basil's Academy.
  • Mihailides Center Expansion Groundbreaking Ceremony

    On Pentecost Sunday, June 3, 1990, a Groundbreaking Ceremony was held for the expansion of the Mihailides Center, followed by a luncheon at the Alpine Country Club. Eustace T. Pliakas served as chairman of this event, assisted by co-chair Bessie Papigiotis.
  • Patriarch Dimitrios of Constantinople's Visit to America

    Patriarch Dimitrios of Constantinople's Visit to America
    Patriarch Dimitrios of Constantinople visited 8 cities with Boston as the last stop on July 25-29, 1990. An overflow bus of our young people attended the Patriarchal Youth Rally on the campus of Holy Cross Seminary. His All Holiness walked through the throng of more than 1,000 youth assembled, breaking in at the section where the Cranston youth were standing. The Sunday Patriarchal Liturgy at the Hynes Auditorium was attended by 7,000, including 3 busloads of Annunciation parishioners.
  • Retirement of Koula Atamian

    January 1, 1991 saw the retirement of Koula Atamian who so ably served in the position of parish secretary for more than 17 years.
  • Elevation of Father Andrew to the Rank of Economos

    During a visit to the parish in December 1991, His Grace Bishop Methodios once again honored Father Andrew as he elevated him to the priestly rank of Economos (Steward) and awarded him the Pectoral Cross.
  • 60th Anniversary of Philoptochos

    The National Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society marked the 60th Anniversary of its founding. In honor of that occasion, the Parish Council hosted coffee hour in the Mihailides Center to honor the Good Samaritan Chapter, and to thank them for all that they contributed to the church and the community.
  • Philoptochos Makarias

    Also in this year, making good use of the new hall, the Philoptochos began preparing and serving Makarias, the traditional post-funeral luncheon for parish families, previously the responsibility of parish volunteers.
  • St. Symeon Playgroup Organized

    The St. Symeon Playgroup, was organized in March to bring new mothers and children, ages one to four, together for fellowship. The program also included structured playtime for infants. Coordinators were Maha Mitrelis and Emily (Salonikios) Sullivan.
  • Demolition of the Pine Street Former Parish Church Building

    The end of era. On August 18, the former parish church building on Pine Street in Providence was demolished by its owner, Johnson and Wales College (presently Johnson & Wales University). Through its many years and many purposes, since its construction in 1920, the edifice served the parish well.
  • Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the Mihailides Center Expansion

    Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the Mihailides Center Expansion
    The decision previously made in 1989 to expand the Mihailides Center came to fruition on September 28, 1991. A Ribbon Cutting Ceremony was held, presided over by the newly elevated Metropolitan Demetrios of Vresthena, representing Bishop Methodios. (Bishop Demetrios later became the Archbishop of America.) A Gala Grand/The Opening Dinner was held at the hall at the new Center. Arthur Kazianis served as Chairman of the Dedication and Grand Opening.
  • Hosting of Seminary Students

    On April 12, 1992, the community hosted six seminary students, three from Africa and three from the United States, who had done mission work in Africa. The students chanted the Divine Liturgy, delivered the Sermon and joined the parish for a luncheon. The Missions Committee, chaired by Nicholas Lambros and Angelo Maintanis, organized the Mission Awareness Day.
  • Mission Committee Agape Canisters

    In February 1993, the Mission Committee placed 25 Agape
    Canisters at various businesses throughout Rhode Island to
    benefit the Archdiocesan Mission Programs.
  • Surprise Luncheon in Honor of Father Andrew

    Bishop of Boston Methodios requested that all parishes designate a date to honor their priests. The Cranston community hosted a surprise luncheon, held in the Demetrakas Hall of the Mihailides Center, to honor their own Father Andrew for his 13 years of devoted service and dedication to their parish. Over 457 people attended this heartwarming event, where every organization of the parish participated in expressing its love and gratitude to Father Andrew.
  • Old Style Greek Family Picnic at Camp Ramsbottom

    Old Style Greek Family Picnic at Camp Ramsbottom
    For three consecutive years, beginning in 1995, the three Greek Orthodox parishes of Rhode Island came together to share an Old Style Greek Family Picnic at Camp Ramsbottom in Rehoboth, Massachusetts, that began with an outdoor Divine Liturgy and was attended on one occasion by Bishop Methodios.
  • Project Mexico

    Project Mexico
    During the late 1990s and early 2000s, several of the parish youth participated in the Project Mexico program. Young parishioners traveled to Mexico to build houses for the needy and to conduct other ministerial work (In 1995, Petros Petrou served in Tijuana, Mexico, followed in 1996 by Katerina Agadakos and William Karon. In 2001, Petros Petrou returned to Mexico with Savva Rougas, followed by Sophia Andriotis in 2003. In 2004, Savva Rougas returned to serve in Mexico along with Kate Otto.)
  • Blessing of the Waters at Colt State Park

    Blessing of the Waters at Colt State Park
    Orthodoxy became more visible within Rhode Island when on September 2, 1995 local newspapers publicized the Blessing of the Waters held at Colt State Park in Bristol. Sponsored by the RI Fellowship of Orthodox Churches, this annual event, in which the parish had been involved for many years, was instituted by Patriarch Dimitrios in support of the protection of the environment.
  • Rhode Island Greek Orthodox Parishes Meeting

    A unique meeting took place on November 16, 1995 when the Parish Councils of the three Greek Orthodox parishes in the State, Assumption Parish of Pawtucket, St. Spyridon Parish of Newport and the Annunciation Parish met at the Annunciation church in Cranston. The meeting was to establish better cooperation between the parishes with the hope that some common activity and uniformity of policies could develop in subsequent years.
  • AHEPA Sophocles Chapter Hosted Yankee District Convention

    AHEPA Sophocles Chapter Hosted Yankee District Convention
    In June 1996, the local Sophocles Chapter 106 of AHEPA hosted the Yankee District Convention that included 15 chapters and had 105 delegates in attendance.
  • Ronald McDonald House Ministry

    Ronald McDonald House Ministry
    A number of families from Greece had been residents at the Ronald McDonald House at Rhode Island Hospital. In 1996, our church groups, as well as numerous individual parishioners, reached out and ministered to the families with funds for general hospitality and gifts.
  • Greek Flag Flying over the Rhode Island State House

    Greek Flag Flying over the Rhode Island State House
    In March 1996, the parish displayed its ethnic and religious pride in the civic arena. In honor of Greek Independence Day, through the efforts of State Senator Leonidas Raptakis, the Greek flag flew at the top of the Rhode Island State House for the first time. The Greek flag had previously been hung inside the Senate and House Chambers and from the exterior balcony. It continues to fly over the Rhode Island State House on each yearly celebration of Greek Independence Day.
  • Founding of the Senior Citizens Group

    Also in 1996, on behalf of the Parish Council, the parish Senior Citizens Group was formed, led by volunteers, Ernest and Olga Antoniou. The group remains active
  • Olympic Dance Troupe Celebration and Parade

    As part of the Olympic event, a statewide celebration was held at the Rhode Island State House. The Greek-American community, in particular the dance troupes of the parishes of the Annunciation in Cranston and Assumption in Pawtucket, performed traditional Greek dances and had the honor of leading the parade bearing the Greek flag.
  • Parishioner Designed Olympic Torch

    Parishioner Designed Olympic Torch
    America celebrates the 1996 Olympics. On June 15, the Olympic Torch Relay passed through the State of Rhode Island on its way to Atlanta, Georgia where the Centennial Olympic Games were to be held. It was a proud moment for our community as parishioner Peter Mastrogiannis, of Malcom Grear Designers of Rhode Island, gained international recognition as designer of the Olympic Torch. Mr. Mastrogiannis proudly carried the torch through downtown Providence that evening.
  • 70th Anniversary of the Sophocles Chapter

    On October 6, the AHEPA Sophocles Chapter #106 celebrated its 70th Anniversary with a luncheon held after the Divine Liturgy.
  • Luncheon in Honor of Koula Rougas

    "Every parish should have a Koula," declared the crowd. On October 20, the parish honored Koula Rougas for her 25 years of dedicated service as Director and Head Teacher of the Language School. A luncheon was held at the Demetrakas Hall with more than 360 people in attendance.
  • First Float in the Boston Greek Independence Day Parade

    Joining together in March 1997, children of the Greek Language Schools of Cranston and Pawtucket, along with the Odyssey Dance Troupe of Cranston, marched in the Boston Greek Independence Day Parade. This year, for the first time, was the addition of a float, a replica of the Temple of Zeus at Olympia, designed by Peter Mastrogiannis.
  • 1998 Clergy Laity Congress Medal of St. Paul for Bessie Papigiotis

    At the Philoptochos luncheon of the July 1998 Biennial Clergy-Laity Congress in Orlando, Florida, His Eminence Archbishop Spyridon bestowed the Medal of St. Paul on Bessie Papigiotis for her duties as co-chair of the Children's Medical Fund Luncheon, held in Boston, that benefited both the Providence Hasbro Children's Hospital and the Boston Children's Hospital. Over $100,000 was raised, divided equally between the two hospitals.
  • Launching of the Parish Website

    The parish ended the year on a technological note, launching its own Internet website, through the efforts of Webmaster, Magdaline Buffum. Peter Manis, and later Stephen Cross and Paul Pliakas continued to maintain the site.
  • 1998 Clergy-Laity Congress Honored Ethel Lafazanis

    At the July 1998 Biennial Clergy-Laity Congress in Orlando, Florida, attended by delegates from the Parish Council, the National Forum of Greek Orthodox Musicians honored choir directors throughout the Archdiocese who had served for 50 or more years. Choir Director Ethel Lafazanis (in absentia) was among those honored.
  • Purchase of the Camp Property in Contoocook & Sponsored Cabins

    Purchase of the Camp Property in Contoocook & Sponsored Cabins
    In September of 1998, the Metropolis of Boston purchased the 191 acre property camp & retreat facility in Contoocook, New Hampshire. The director of the camp, Fr. Nick Triantafilou, visited the parish and subsequently, the Philoptochos Society sponsored the refurbishment of a cabin. In addition, the three Greek Orthodox parishes in the State held a fundraiser enabling the camp to refurbish a second cabin.
  • Endowment Committee

    The Parish General Assembly appointed the first Endowment Committee on December 1 and adopted Endowment Fund By-Laws. Serving three-year terms were Eleftherios Baziotis, George Coclin, Maria Grammas and John Ruggieri. Serving two-year terms were Dean Christelis, Eustace T. Pliakas, Esquire and Marie White.
  • Greek Letters Day at the Cathedral of Boston Center

    At the close of the century, the parish continued to grow in number and stature locally and throughout the region. In January 1999, the children of the Greek Language School participated in the Greek Letters Day program at the Cathedral of Boston Center in Brookline, Massachusetts. Koula Rougas served as Master of Ceremonies for the program, and the Odyssey Dance Troupe performed along with the Language School students.
  • Luncheon in Honor of Ethel Lafazanis & Emmanuel Mihailides

    Nearly 400 guests gathered on October 26, 1999 to celebrate the more than 50 years of service to the parish by both Choir Director Ethel Lafazanis and Organist Emmanuel Mihailides. The choir presented Ethel and Manny with the icons of Hymnologist St. Kassiane and St. Romanos the Melodist, respectively. An iconographer had been commissioned to develop these icons in their honor which are now displayed in the choir cove.
  • Annunciation & Assumption New Year's Eve Dinner Dance

    The new decade was welcomed in as the Annunciation and Assumption Parishes joined together to celebrate at a New Year's Eve dinner dance held at the Mihailides Center's Demetrakas Hall.
  • Fr. Andrew Awarded Offikion of Protobresbyter

    The year 2000 brought additional honors to Father Andrew, when in May, he was awarded the priestly rank, 'Offikion' of Protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. The rank of Protopresbyter," or 'first among priests, is the highest rank awarded a married clergy.
  • JOY (Junior Orthodox Youth) Started

    Father Andrew continued to institute new programs and JOY (Junior Orthodox Youth), a new youth program, was begun. Primarily for parish youth in grades 35. the program provides special activities of both a religious and social format. The initial planning committee members and advisors were Marianne Bobotas, Marianne Janigian, Dawn Pappas, Marina Tonis and Corrine Zisiades.
  • First in the Nation for Agape Canister Funds Raised

    First in the Nation for Agape Canister Funds Raised
    In 2001, the Parish Agape Canister Partner Program, sponsored by the OCMC (Orthodox Christian Mission Center) came in first in the nation for money raised. Coordinating this effort were Nicholas Lambros and Angelos Maintanis. Agape canisters were placed in cooperating neighborhood businesses, with all funds earmarked for medical care clinics, agricultural development, food, clothing, personnel, and education, where Orthodox Christian missionaries from the United States are functioning.
  • Passing of Peter Regopoulos

    Beloved Chanter and past Parish Council President Peter Regopoulos passed away on July 24. Peter had served as parish chanter, with dedication, for more than 17 years.
  • 9/11 Parish Charitable Giving

    9/11 Parish Charitable Giving
    With a generosity so much a part of the Greek culture, in response to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the parish demonstrated an outpouring of giving. Financial support exceeded $13,000. The community, as individuals and through their various organizations, responded as follows: Sunday offering trays for the GOARCH 9/11 Relic Fund; a blood drive; a Sunday luncheon for the destroyed St. Nicholas Church; YAL and GOYA donated to the St. Nicholas Church Rebuilding Fund;
  • 9/11 Parish Charitable Giving Continued

    9/11 Parish Charitable Giving Continued
    JOY donated to the New York City Police and Fireman Fund; the Church School collected money for the Red Cross; the Church School 7th grade sent appreciation cards and donations to the New York City Police and Fireman Fund; the Philoptochos sent money to the National Philoptochos 9/11 Fund and the St. Nicholas Church Rebuilding Fund; Proceeds from the parish's annual St. Nicholas Day brunch went to the rebuilding of the St. Nicholas Church.
  • First Flag Raising at Cranston City Hall

    Marking local recognition, in March of 2002, the Language School participated, for the first time, in the raising of the Greek flag at Cranston City Hall on the occasion of Greek Independence Day, as guests of Mayor John O'Leary. This celebration and the Language School's participation continues.
  • Retirement of Ethel Lafazanis & New Choir Director Emmanuel Mihailides

    In April 2002, after over 51 years of service to our parish, Ethel Lafazanis retired as choir director. Emmanuel Mihailides became the new choir director and, along with Savva Rougas, who, in 1997, had become the full-time parish organist, brought a renewed enthusiasm and excitement to the choir. Metropolitan Methodios, appointed Manny, along with five others within the Diocese, to resurrect the New England Federation of Greek Orthodox Choirs.
  • Capital Improvement Campaign Committee Established

    Maintaining the church property was, and is, always a priority. A Capital Improvement Campaign Committee was established in May 2002, to work in conjunction with the Parish Council regarding major maintenance items and improvements. Angelo Maintanis was its first chairman with Gregory G. Demetrakas as co-chair.
  • Luncheon for debut of "A Guide to Greek Traditions and Customs in America Second Edition" by Marilyn Rouvelas.

    Luncheon for debut of "A Guide to Greek Traditions and Customs in America Second Edition" by Marilyn Rouvelas.
    On May 19, 2002, the parish Philoptochos hosted a luncheon featuring the debut of "A Guide to Greek Traditions and Customs in America Second Edition" by Marilyn Rouvelas. Philoptochos President Bessie Papigiotis welcomed guests, and the event was chaired by Helen Quinn Argeris, Frances Ward-Smith, and Ethel Strekouras.
  • Centennial Committee Formed

    On January 22, 2003, as the parish looked forward to the momentous event, a Centennial Committee was formed to plan the festivities for the celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the parish in the year 2005. Arthur G. Pappas, Parish Council President, and Koula Rougas, Philoptochos President, were appointed as co-chairs of the Centennial Committee.
  • Testimonial Dinner for Father Andrew

    On June 1, the parish held a testimonial dinner to honor its parish priest, combining several milestones in his life: the 25th Wedding Anniversary of Fr. Andrew and Presbytera Maria (April 24), the 25th Anniversary of his Diaconate Ordination (September 18), his Priesthood Ordination (November 5), and his 20th year as priest of the parish. More than 466 attended the memorable event.
  • 20th Anniversary Dinner Dance for the Odyssey Dance Troupe

    The year 2004 ended with the parish celebrating the 20th anniversary of their spectacular Odyssey Dance Troupe. Koula Rougas and her son Savva Rougas, Directors of the Troupe, proudly presented the dancers at a dinner dance held at the Demetrakas Hall, with more than 345 in attendance. A video and Commemorative Album of the Troupe's past 20 years was showcased and enjoyed by all.
  • Arrival of Fr. Constantine Cambas

    Arrival of Fr. Constantine Cambas
    In 2004 the first assistant priest was assigned was Father Constantine Cambas, serving in a part-time capacity. A 2004 graduate of Holy Cross, Father Constantine was a change-of-vocation student. He previously served, for 12 years, in the US Navy as a medical Service Corps officer, holding a degree in physical therapy from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He remained in Cranston for not quite one full year before receiving his own parish.
  • Period: to

    Fr. Constantine Cambas (Assistant Priest)

  • Phase One of the Capital Improvement Campaign Approved

    Phase One of the Capital Improvement Campaign was approved on May 2, 2004, by the General Assembly under the leadership of chairman Nick Tanionos. This Phase included the repaving of all driveways and the parking lot, installation of new sidewalks and curbing, electrical improvements, exterior lighting, provisions for Festival logistics, handicapped access to the center directly from the church, landscaping, and a new church chimney. The estimated cost was $650,000.
  • Passing of Ethel Lafazanis

    On September 22, 2004, Ethel Lafazanis, beloved choir director for over 51 years, passed away. In her role as director, Ethel's innate talent and musical excellence enhanced the beauty of the Divine Liturgy. Her long-term commitment gave continuity to the parish's worship life. Through her skillful translation into English of Greek liturgical hymns she provided a meaningful understanding of those hymns for generations to come.
  • A Celebration of Music and Dance

    In December 2005, the Odyssey Dance Troupe held a fundraising concert, A Celebration of Music and Dance, at Providence College. Along with a Dance Troupe performance, the concert featured Brown University's Greek folk singing group, Apoichos, led by Metaxia Pavlakou, and classical piano pieces by Savva Rougas. The concert was held to raise funds for the Troupe’s first trip to the Tarpon Springs Centennial Epiphany Celebration and Winter Dance Conference. Over 250 guests attended the concert.
  • Arrival of Fr. Emanuel Chris, MD

    Arrival of Fr. Emanuel Chris, MD
    Succeeding Fr. Constantine as part-time assistant priest was
    Father Emanuel Chris, MD. Father Emanuel, a Psychiatrist and a Cum Laude graduate of Columbia College, received his medical degree from Albany Medical College in New York. Dr. Chris completed his training in psychiatry at the New England Medical Center Hospital and at the Department of Veteran's Affairs in Boston, Massachusetts. He pursued his calling to the priesthood, graduating from Holy Cross Seminary in 2005.
  • Period: to

    Fr. Emmanuel Chris

  • RI State Senate Resolution for 100th Anniversary of our Parish

    RI State Senate Resolution for 100th Anniversary of our Parish
    On April 28, 2005, a resolution was introduced and enacted in the Rhode Island State Senate congratulating our parish on its 100th anniversary. http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/PublicLaws/law05/res05/res05217.htm
  • RI State House of Representatives Resolution for 100th Anniversary of our Parish

    RI State House of Representatives Resolution for 100th Anniversary of our Parish
    On May 4, 2005, a resolution was introduced and enacted in the Rhode Island State House of Representatives congratulating our parish on its 100th anniversary. http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText05/HouseText05/H6460.htm
  • Centennial Events: Youth Gathering and Gala Banquet

    Archbishop Demetrios joined our parish for our Centennial Celebration for the weekend of May 7 and 8, including a Youth Gathering on Saturday morning which included a prayer service, a luncheon with a program presented solely by the youth of the parish, a question and answer session and the planting of a tree. Archbishop Demetrios was the main guest of honor at the Gala Centennial Banquet Saturday evening held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Warwick.
  • Centennial Events: Hierarchical Liturgy and Luncheon

    Centennial Events: Hierarchical Liturgy and Luncheon
    On Sunday, May 8 a Hierarchical Liturgy was celebrated by Archbishop Demetrios and Metropolitan Methodios of Boston, followed by a luncheon at the Rev Peter Mihailides Center's Demetrakas Hall.
  • Cranston Hosted the Biennial Metropolis of Boston Philoptochos Conference

    On May 31, 2005 the parish and the Good Samaritan Chapter of the Philoptochos were honored to host the Biennial Metropolis of Boston Philoptochos Conference held at the Demetrakas Hall, with Metropolitan Methodios in attendance.
  • Emmanuel Mihailides Invested and Inducted as an Archon

    On October 23, Emmanuel Mihailides was formally invested and inducted as an Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Order of St. Andrew, with the 'Offikion' title of Notarios.
  • Tarpon Springs Epiphany Celebration & Winter Dance Conference

    The Odyssey Dance Troupe traveled to the Tarpon Springs Centennial Epiphany Celebration and the Winter Dance Conference for January 4-8, 2006. While in Tarpon Springs, the Dance Troupe took part in the Epiphany parade, experienced the Throwing of the Cross celebration and performed in front of His All Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew I, His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, as well as various hierarchs and heads of state.
  • 30th Annual RI Heritage Day Festival

    30th Annual RI Heritage Day Festival
    On Saturday August 25, 2007, our parish took part in the 30th Annual RI Heritage Day Festival. The event occurred on the State House lawn and featured tables showcasing the many cultures of Rhode Island, including our Greek community.
  • 90th Birthday Celebration for Helen Pappas

    90th Birthday Celebration for Helen Pappas
    On Sunday, January 2, 2011, Helen Pappas was surprised with a birthday party after Liturgy for her 90th birthday. Many parishioners, both friends and family, were present.
  • Emmanuel "Manny" Mihailides Honored for 67 Years of Service

    Emmanuel "Manny" Mihailides Honored for 67 Years of Service
    On Saturday October 12, Manny Mihailides was honored with a testimonial dinner for his 67 years of service to the community as organist and choir director. Metropolitan Methodios was present for the evening. Friends and family travelled from all across the state and even country for the event.
  • Ordination of Fr. Matthew Baker

    Ordination of Fr. Matthew Baker
    On January 19, 2014, Father Matthew Baker was ordained to the priesthood. His ordination was the first ordination in our parish after 34 years and the fourth ordination in our parish's history. Father Baker was a native of Cranston. Click this link to watch the ordination service: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=504PxKOYhtM
  • Fr. Themis Adamopoulos Visits

    Fr. Themis Adamopoulos Visits
    Fr. Themis Adamopoulos visited our parish on Saturday, March 21, 2015 to discuss his work as an Orthodox Christian missionary in Sierra Leone. He focused on his work assisting children who lost their parents from Ebola.
  • 85th Birthday Celebration for Harry Bablenis

    85th Birthday Celebration for Harry Bablenis
    On February 14, 2016, a special surprise party was held in honor of Harry Bablenis' 85th birthday. The event also served as an opportunity to thank Harry for his decades of volunteer work in the parish, particularly his service as head chef for nearly every parish dinner and festival for more than four decades. After the children of the parish sang "Happy Birthday" to Harry, he was presented with a chef's jacket shaped birthday cake.
  • Save the Bay Blessing of the Waters

    Save the Bay Blessing of the Waters
    On Saturday, March 12, 2016, an interfaith meeting sponsored by the Rhode Island State Council of Churches was held at Save the Bay. Father Andrew George led the blessing of the waters on the shore of the Providence River. The meeting was held to support efforts to have President Obama declare two areas of the Atlantic as Marine National Monuments.
  • Installation of the Platytera Icon

    Installation of the Platytera Icon
    The Platytera Icon was installed during the week of the 14th of November by Fr. Anthony Salzman. The icon is painted in the traditional Byzantine style, with Christ (depicted) as a young child seated on Panayia’s womb – often called “Christ the Emmanuel” – meaning “God with us.” Holding up the medallion of the Panayia with Christ are two of the archangels – Michael on the left and Gabriel on the right.
  • 50th Anniversary at Oaklawn Avenue

    50th Anniversary at Oaklawn Avenue
    On March 24, 2018, our new iconostacion arrived and all was in place. Vespers were held on March 24th, the exact 50th of the “Door Opening Service” in 1968. Vespers was followed by a light meal, complete with photos and items commemorating 50 years in our church on Oaklawn Avenue.
  • Launch of GOYA Instagram

    On October 8, 2018, the parish GOYA launched its Instagram account. The account serves as a central location for event flyers, GOYA news, and photos from events.
  • Pavlo Concert & Reception

    Pavlo Concert & Reception
    Over 100 attendees enjoyed a wonderful evening at the Pavlo concert at the Park Theatre. The concert was followed by a Philoptochos organized reception.
  • Fr. Nicholas Lanzourakis Ordained

    Fr. Nicholas Lanzourakis Ordained
    In 2018, Father Nicholas Lanzourakis joined our parish. A native of Chicago and graduate of the Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, Father Nick was ordained to the diaconate on November 11, 2018 by Metropolitan Methodios at the Annunciation Cathedral in Boston. On November 18, 2018, he was ordained to the priesthood at our parish. He came to our parish with his wife, Presvytera Eleni, and his son Polydoros.
  • Launch of Parish Instagram

    On March 14, 2019, the parish Instagram was launched. The page serves as a hub for community news, photos from events, Throwback Thursday posts, and spiritual content.
  • Start of "Throwback Thursday"

    Starting on June 20, 2019, Nick Lambros started the "Throwback Thursday" initiative on the parish social media pages. Each Thursday, a different photo from the parish's history is posted, with the hope of bringing together the community in the act of remembering the past.
  • First Orthodoxy on Tap Providence

    First Orthodoxy on Tap Providence
    The first Orthodoxy on Tap Providence event was held on November 4th at Yoleni's in Providence. We had 80 Young Adults present from a number of local orthodox parishes besides our own.
  • Parathosi Dance Competition 2020

    Parathosi Dance Competition 2020
    The Odyssey Dance Troupe participated in the the 8th annual celebration of Hellenic Heritage & Dance, Parathosi 2020. The competition is open to groups from the Metropolises of the Archdiocese and groups from the Greek-American Community and associations representing various regions of Greece. The festival is organized by division, according to age.
  • 100th Birthday Car Parade for Mary Samaras

    100th Birthday Car Parade for Mary Samaras
    On June 21, 2021, the Philoptochos organized a drive-by car parade (due to the Covid-19 pandemic) for Mary Samaras' 100th birthday. Cars were decorated with balloons and bells.
  • Father Nick Granted Rank of Confessor

    Father Nick Granted Rank of Confessor
    Fr. Nick served as one of the visiting priests at the Metropolis of Boston Camp during the week of July 26-August 1. At the close of the Liturgy, His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios bestowed upon him the “offikion” (rank) of Confessor (EXOMOLOGOS). This was a wonderful recognition of Fr Nick’s almost 3 years as a priest. This rank within the Orthodox priesthood, enables him to hear confessions and wear the epigonation with his vestments.
  • Man of God Screening

    Man of God Screening
    On March 21, 2022, the parish attended the screening of the film "Man of God" at the Showcase Cinema in Warwick. The film, directed by Yelena Popovic and starring Aris Servetalis, follows the life story of Saint Nektarios. Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KcgnbVlQ7Tc
  • Visit of Archbishop Elpidophoros for Greek Independence Day

    Visit of Archbishop Elpidophoros for Greek Independence Day
    On March 22, 2022, Archbishop Elpidophoros visited the Rhode Island State House for the annual joint commemoration with the Pawtucket and Newport parishes of Greek Independence Day. Speakers included the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, RI Attorney General, State Treasurer, the Consul General of Greece in Boston, police officials, and others. Following the event at the state house, a dinner reception was held at our church hall, with a performance from members of the Odyssey Dance Troupe.
  • Vasilis Karras Concert

    Vasilis Karras Concert
    On May 7th, 2022, Greek superstar Vasilis Karras performed live at our parish hall. The concert was extremely well attended and was sold out.
  • 2022 Laity Awards and 100+ Years Recognition

    2022 Laity Awards and 100+ Years Recognition
    The 2022 Laity Awards dinner was held at the Putnam Club at Gillette Stadium! Georgia Pappas was our Parish Nominee. In addition, our parish was recognized and featured for being one of the parishes’ in the Metropolis that has existed for over 100 years! A great time was had by all. This very timeline was showcased in poster form for all to see.
  • 2022 Clergy Laity Congress and Centennial Celebration

    2022 Clergy Laity Congress and Centennial Celebration
    A delegation from our parish attended the 2022 Clergy Laity Congress and Centennial Celebration. Meetings were held concerning the administration of our Archdiocese with Fr. Nick in attendance, a Philotoptochos convention with Philoptochos President of our Parish Chapter, Demetria Carr and past President and current advisor, Marianne Phelan in attendance.
  • Consecration of St. Nicholas National Shrine

    Consecration of St. Nicholas National Shrine
    The hallmark and crown jewel of these 2022 Clergy Laity Congress and Centennial Celebration was the Consecration of our St. Nicholas National Shrine which is located at Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan. This was the culmination of years of efforts by our Archdiocese, with our own parish and parishioners contributing.
  • Andrew Otto Ordained to the Diaconate

    Andrew Otto Ordained to the Diaconate
    Deacon Andrew Otto was ordained to the Holy Diaconate at St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Manchester, New Hampshire. Deacon Andrew was raised in our parish of the Annunciation Cranston. Fr Andrew George was present along with many parishioners in attendance.
  • Deacon Andrew Otto’s First Visit After Ordination

    Deacon Andrew Otto’s First Visit After Ordination
    It was our pleasure to have Deacon Andrew Otto serving with us at his home parish for the first time as a member of the clergy. He also joined us with his beautiful family afterward for our Vasilopita Luncheon. Deacon Andrew was raised within our parish and participated in our many ministries and grew from them!
  • Father Andrew's 40th Anniversary Celebration

    Father Andrew's 40th Anniversary Celebration
    On June 4, 2023, our parish honored Father Andrew George for his 40 years of service to our community. Metropolitan Methodios attended this celebration, which filled our entire church hall. The celebration can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NaApQ2I4cOM&t=8180s
  • Sophia Nichols Wins Junior Division of the National Oratorical Festival

    Sophia Nichols Wins Junior Division of the National Oratorical Festival
    Our very own Sophia Nichols earned a victory at the St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival held in Clifton, New Jersey!
  • Visit of Bishop Marcos of Kisumu and Western Kenya

    Visit of Bishop Marcos of Kisumu and Western Kenya
    Bishop Marcos of Kisumu and Western Kenya visited our parish to bring awareness to his unique mission to serve the people in Kenya, as well as raise funds for this mission. He spoke after the liturgy at our coffee hour about this.
  • Philoptochos Service at McCauley House

    Philoptochos Service at McCauley House
    Through a Thriving Congregations grant, our Philoptochos was able to help serve 1100 meals at the McCauley House in Providence!