90th Anniversary of Saint Andrew-The Formation of Parish Ministries

Venerable Romanus the Melodist - October 1

Venerable Romanus the Melodist - October 1

My beloved spiritual children in Christ Our Only True God and Our Only True Savior,

90th Anniversary of Saint Andrew: The formation of Parish Ministries: THE ORGANISTS AND CHOIR

Of those who serve Saint Andrew church in the early days, there were two organists who were not members of the Saint Andrew Parish. The first of these was Mr. Carl Horvath. Due to the complexities of the Greek Orthodox Liturgical worship and the language barrier between Carl and Father Mazokopakis, Carl left to pursue a professional musical career.

His replacement was Mr. Stanley Jablonski. He and Father Mazokopakis were compatible from the beginning. Father would chant the hymns and Mr. Jablonski adopted our Orthodox Church hymnology i.e., Lenten services, Pascha and Christmas holy services to the Western seven-tone scale and harmonies. When Mr. Jablonski left, Carl Horvath returned as our organist, remaining until the late 1930's. By then the young men and women of the parish had acquired sufficient musical proficiency. Under the guidance of Mr. Horvath, they assumed the organist's responsibilities.

Georgia Brillan and Akrevy Pappas volunteered their services as organists and dedicated the funds saved on organ fees toward the church mortgage obligation. Following in their footsteps as volunteer organists were Bessie Karkis, Aliki Antonis, Nea Karras, Vivian Anton, Elaine Makris, Ourania Scopelitis, Betty and Pauline Stavropoulos, Bessie Tallas, Kiki Tsalikis, Steve Dallas, and George Callas. The current organists were Catherine Hostetler and Patty Mallas.

The Saint Andrew Choir was organized through the efforts of two talented ladies of our parish, Anastasia Bembas and Beatrice Brademas (a music teacher who was married to restaurateur Mr. Steve Brademas.) Once the Choir was organized, Mrs. Brademas stepped aside and George Barias became the first Choral Director. In 1937 Mr. Leo Panos replaced him until his parents moved to Chicago, Illinois. In 1938, Mr. William Lewis came from Chicago where he had been singing professionally and served as Director until the early 1940s when Aphrodite Pappas began her 50 year service of the parish as volunteer Choral Director.


Catechism and liturgical subjects were taught every Thursday in the Greek School since 1927. However, a Sunday School was not established until the Chapel, church hall and two classrooms were completed in 1930. Some of the Sunday School teachers were Mrs. Nicholas Chicles, Mrs. James Pappas, Mrs. George Bimbas, Mrs. Harry Adams, Mrs. Louis Michalos and Mrs. John Makris.

As the Greek Orthodox parish increased, many of our parishioners became involved with Sunday School. In 1957 - 1959 while on South Michigan Street, the Greek Orthodox parish experienced the largest Sunday School enrollment ever, and Father Velis appointed Mary Demos Mighion as Sunday School Director. Since that time, the Sunday School Superintended have been: Artemis Hoke 1959-1963, Anna Pappas 1963-1971, George Orphanos 1971-1973, and Artemis Hoke 1973.

In 1959 the PTA was formed and the Sunday School established its own treasury. In order to fund the treasury without depending on the parish budget, Artemis Hoke instituted the "coffee hour." In 1961 Artemis Hoke also introduced the Vacation Bible School.

Father George Massouras initiated the practice of holding a fifteen minute service for the children in church before Sunday School each week. Anna Pappas instituted monthly meetings for the Sunday School teachers and it was under her direction that the tradition of Sunday School children making the Palm crosses for Palm Sunday.

Carole Relias spearheaded plans to establish a nursery and which became a reality in 1980. The cry-room in our new church permits mothers to attend and enjoy the holy services of our church.

Saint Andrew church has had many fine Sunday School teachers throughout the years. It is not possible to name them all. However, we should commend the following for their faithful and continuous service: Artemis Hoke, 25 years; Mary Verongos, 21 years; Penny Poulos, 40 years, Mary Koucouthakis, 16 years; Joan Prathaftakis, 14 years; George Orphanos, 12 years; Delores Kallimanis, 8 years; and Rose Rorres, 8 years. 


The Ladies Philoptochos Society was organized by His Eminence Archbishop Athenagoras, later His All-Holiness Patriarch Athenagoras of Constantinople, in 1931. As of 1984, there were over 500 Chapters in parishes throughout the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America.

In 1984 the Ladies Philoptochos Society Chapter of Saint Andrew was organized with the purpose of concentrating its efforts on charitable activities within the parish and in aiding all Orthodox charities nation-wide. The National Philoptochos required that an annual contribution be sent by each Chapter to the National Office in New York. Their motto was, "Assist those in need of emergency financial assistance."

The Saint Andrew Philoptochos Chapter members included: Presbytera Petropoulakos, Dorothy Demos, Delores Kallimanis, Tula Sarantos, Mary Mighion, Betty Stratigos, Thais Ladas, Stella Paff, Joan Thanos, Anastasia Krekelas, Katherine Furos, Antonia Chicles, Mary Iereci, Catherine Leonakis, Debbie Karras, Patty Mallas, Tina Paff, Sue Papgiannis, Artemis Hoke and Connie Polezoes.

Please note: In the very early years of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America there were many women's organizations among the parishes throughout the country such as the Good Samaritans at Saint Andrew in South Bend, Indiana. However, when His All-Holiness  Patriarch Athenagoras (at the time Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese) organized the Ladies Philoptochos Society, all of the existing women's organizations joined the Ladies Philoptochos Society which was all inclusive and represented ,not only the local parish, but our Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in North and South America.

It is the only approved and accepted women's organization of our Church since 1931.

"The Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society, Inc. is the philanthropic arm of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America offering 95 years of philanthropy through a multitude of programs that make a difference in the lives of people nationwide and throughout the world. The Society of Greek Orthodox Christian women was established in November 1931 by the late Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras I, who was then serving as Archbishop of North and South America. His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, our current Archbishop, calls Philoptochos "an army of nobility and the jewel of our Church. Philoptochos must continue to do what God does by loving people."

Philoptochos is comprised of the National Board, Metropolis Boards and 450 Chapters in parishes of the Archdiocese. The Philoptochos Mission is:

  • To help the poor, the destitute, the hungry, the aged, the sick, the unemployed, the orphaned, the imprisoned, the widowed, the handicapped, the victims of disaster, to undertake the burial of impoverished persons and to offer assistance to anyone who may need the help of the Church through fund raising efforts; and
  • To promote charitable, benevolent and philanthropic purposes of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, through instructional programs, presentations, lectures, seminars and other educational resources; and
  • To preserve and perpetuate Orthodox Christian concepts and the Orthodox Christian Family, and through them, to promote the Greek Orthodox Faith and traditions, in accordance with its doctrine, holy canons, discipline, divine worship, usages and customs; and
  • To promote participation in the activities of the Greek Orthodox community with the cooperation of the Parish Priest and the Parish Council.

The charitable work of the Society is always performed with discretion, courtesy, and kindness.

National Philoptochos Society Programs and Ministry Commitments:

Academy of Saint Basil
Zoe Cavalaris Education Fund
Hellenic College and Holy Cross School of Theology Scholarships
Lenten Event
Saint Photios Shrine
Orthodox Christian Mission Center and Support a Mission Priest
International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC)
Ecumenical Patriarchate
United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund
Autism Fund
Children's Medical Fund
Emergency Fund
General Medical Fund
National Sisterhood of Presbyters Benevolent Fund
Orthodox Christian Fellowship Fund
Retired Clergy and Widowed Presbyters Benevolent Fund
Social Services

National Philoptochos Board

His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America, Chairman
His Grace Bishop Sevastianos of Zela, Spiritual Advisor
Maria Logus, National President
Helen Lavorata, Director
Paulette Geanocopoulos, Social Worker
Kay Brakatselos, Administrative Assistant
Rania Richardson, Communications Manager
Stella Xikis, Bookeeper

Every Greek Orthodox Christian woman of our Holy Archdiocese must be a member of Ladies Philoptochos Society (translated: friend of the poor) of Our Holy Archdiocese of America. There are over 35,000 of our ladies from over 630 parishes that belong and are active members of Philoptochos.

Locally, all of you ladies should be members and support the Ladies Philoptochos Society Chapter of Saint Andrew and their philanthropic activities. We can no longer act as though we do not belong to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and to the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago.

I am afraid many of our parish ladies have been misinformed about our National Church and the National Philoptochos. We are a parish under the auspices of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Some still spread rumors and encourage people to fear the Archdiocese, the Metropolis, the Metropolitan, the Parish Priest and the National Ladies Philoptochos Society, as though they are out to get their money. What money? Whose money? No person, and no organization, can function within a Greek Orthodox parish, enjoy all the privileges and benefits, and at the same time, act as though it is independent of the Church. We, as Greek Orthodox parishes, must abide and be obedient to the Uniform Parish Regulations of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. When the parish accepted the Charter of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, it also accepted to adhere to the Ecclesiastical Authority and discipline of the Church.

The Charter hanging in the church office states:

"The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America under the Jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and in accordance with the holy canons of the Greek Orthodox Church hereby certifies that the Parish of Saint Andrew South Bend, Indiana has fully complied with the Regulations and the Uniform Parish By-laws of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, and is thereby duly qualified to administer the rites, sacraments and ecclesiastical functions of the Greek Orthodox Church.

In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, this charter is hereby granted and affixed with the official seal of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America.

Given under my hand this First day of September in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and sixty fifth.

Signed by the Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Church of North and South America."

Therefore, no person who is a member of the Greek Orthodox parish of Saint Andrew, can act independently, as well as any organization, club, ministry, etc. etc.

(To be continued: The History of AHEPA in South Bend)

In Christ,
+Father George