90th Anniversary of Saint Andrew: Priests Assigned to Our Parish (Part VI)

My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ Our Only True God and Our Only True Savior,
CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE. Ο ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΕΝ ΤΩ ΜΕΣΩ ΗΜΩΝ! ΚΑΙ ΗΝ ΚΑΙ ΕΣΤΙ ΚΑΙ ΕΣΤΑΙ.

THE ASSIGNMENT AND PASTORATE OF REVEREND FATHER CONSTANTINE MATTHEWS

Father Constantine Matthews assumed the pastorate of Saint Andrew in 1969. Saint Andrew Greek Orthodox parish was Father Matthews' first assignment.

Father Matthews graduated from the University of Athens Theological School. He married the former Ann Christoforou of Istanbul, Turkey, whose father was a priest. He was ordained on August, 1969 by Bishop Germanos of the Detroit Diocese. Prior to entering the Theological School, he was church cantor in the parish in Middletown, Ohio (Sts. Constantine and Helen), where his brother and other relatives resided. Father Matthews' undergraduate studies were completed at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.

Father and Presbytera were the last clergy family to live at the church parsonage at 122 Wakewa Avenue.

During his diakonia at Saint Andrew, Father Matthews saw the Greek Orthodox parish participate, under the chairmanship of Aphrodite Pappas, in the first South Bend Ethnic Festival held over the July 4th weekend, 1973. In that same year, the Saint Andrew parish hosted its first Grecian Ball under the chairmanship of Mrs. Sophie Gabriel.

In 1976, the Saint Andrew parish experienced another first with the Grecian Festival (also known as the church bazaar) under the chairmanship of Mrs. Stella Thomas. During Father Matthew's diakonia as the Proistamenos of St. Andrew, these two events, the Grecian Ball and the Grecian Festival, were established as the main fund raising efforts of the parish. The Grecian Festival has become one of the most eagerly anticipated event of the Michiana Community.

Another project instituted under Father Matthew's guidance was the potluck dinner during the first lenten lecture. This project, which was the idea of Aphrodite Pappas, was proven to be an enjoyable event for the Saint Andrew parishioners and good kick-off for the lecture series.

Father Matthews continued to serve as a Greek School teacher during his first few years as the Proistamenos of St. Andrew. He held classes in both LaPorte and South Bend. As the Greek Orthodox parish became more active in fund raising and educational activities, and as the duties of the parish priest became more time-consuming, Father Matthews was eventually succeeded as Greek School teacher by Peter Theodosiou and later by Kitsa Wiersteiner.

Father Matthews was an active member of the Order of Ahepa in Ohio prior to his ordination to the holy Priesthood. He continued his membership in the organization as a member of Ahepa Chapter No. 100 in South Bend, Indiana.

(To be continued)

In Christ Our Lord,
+Father George