Greek Orthodox Parishes in Iowa and Illinois Celebrate Epiphany

Father Basil Hickman, second from right, with clergy from other Orthodox Christian churches at the blessing of the waters in Des Moines, IA. Photo: John Ackerman

CHICAGO – This past weekend parishioners of St. George Greek Orthodox Church of Des Moines, IA, and St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church in Des Plaines, IL, celebrated Epiphany with outdoor Blessing of the Water services, following with the Julian calendar.

On Saturday, Jan. 20, Father Basil Hickman and the parishioners of St. George Greek Orthodox Church hosted this important service at Grey’s Lake near Downtown Des Moines, near the intersection of the Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers. Joined by members of other Orthodox Christian churches from throughout the Des Moines area, they once again blessed this amazing lake that hosts water sports and recreational activities.

On Sunday Jan. 21, nearly a hundred parishioners of St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church in Des Plaines, attended the Blessing of the Waters service on the banks of the Des Plaines River. Father Tom Papagiannis officiated the second annual blessing of this vital waterway to the City of Chicago and State of Illinois.

The Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago has been proud to see a resurgence in this important yearly tradition within the states we oversee, including ten such services this year:

1) Minneapolis/St Paul, Minnesota, Blessing the Mississippi River

2) Dubuque, Iowa, Blessing the Mississippi River

3) Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Blessing the Cedar River

4) Sioux City, Iowa, Blessing the Missouri River

5) St Louis, Missouri, Blessing the Mississippi River

6) St Basil Greek Orthodox Church in Chicago Blessing the Chicago River

7) Peoria, Illinois, Blessing the Illinois River

8) Des Moines, Iowa, Blessing the Grey’s Lake

9) Des Plaines, Illinois, Blessing the Des Plaines River

10) Rockford, Illinois, Blessing the Rock River

Father Tom Papagiannis of St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church in Des Plaines blessing the waters. Photo: John Ackerman

Father Tom Papagiannis of St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church in Des Plaines officiated the second annual blessing of the Des Plaines River. Photo: John Ackerman
The Holy Epiphany was celebrated with the blessing of the waters in Des Moines, IA by Fr. Basil Hickman and the parishioners from St. George Greek Orthodox Church. Photo: John Ackerman