NEW YORK – The ordination of Metropolitan elect of Chicago Nathanael Symeonides to the Episcopacy will take place on March 17 at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New York. His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America will enthrone metropolitan Nathanael on March 24 at Chicago’s Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation.
On February 7, the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate unanimously elected the Very Reverend Archimandrite Nathanael Symeonides Metropolitan of Chicago. Metropolitan-elect Symeonides is the Director of the Department of Inter-Orthodox, Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Relations of the Archdiocese.
Symeonides was born in Thessaloniki, Greece (1978). He is the third child of Irene and Vasilios. He is graduate of Hellenic College (BA, 2000) and of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology (MDiv, 2003). He earned an STM (2003) and a ThD (2007) in Bioethics from Boston University. He has also studied the history and ethics of public health at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. He is a guest professor of Christian ethics and bioethics at Fordham University, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, and Saint Vladimir Theological School. He has authored numerous articles in theology and bioethics.
He was ordained a Deacon (2003) and a Presbyter (2010) by Demetrios. His ecclesial and pastoral work includes service as the Deacon to Metropolitan Methodios (2003-2006); Deacon to the Archbishop (2006-2010); Pastor of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, NY (2010-2013). During his time as a parish priest, Fr. Nathanael developed an urban ministry, Orthodox Professionals in Action (OPA), which harnessed the gifts and talents of over 400 young professionals of Manhattan, offering them opportunities to create meaningful change in the lives of those most vulnerable in society.
Symeonides has also served the pastoral needs of the Holy Resurrection Church of Brookville, NY and the Saints Constantine and Helen Cathedral of Brooklyn.
In September of 2013 he was appointed Director of the Office of Inter-Orthodox, Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. In his present position, he manages and directs the relationships between the Archdiocese and numerous religious organizations, think tanks, non-governmental organizations, and Permanent Missions to the United Nations. As the Director of the Department, Symeonides is best known for promoting cooperation and inclusivity. Most recently, he convened a colloquium entitled, Orthodoxy and Humanitarianism: Ideas and Action in the Contemporary World, which provided experts from around the world the opportunity to meet and consider ways in which the Church may help respond to humanitarian crises and promote sustainable development in post-crisis regions.
He is a brother of the historic monastic community of St. George Epanosifis on Crete.