BROOKLYN – Saints Constantine and Helen Cathedral in Brooklyn celebrated its Feast Day beginning with the Vespers service on May 20 presided over by V. Rev. Archimandrite Damaskinos Ganas, presiding priest of Kimisis tis Theotokou in Brooklyn, and V. Rev. Archimandrite Chrysostom Panos.
Fr. Ganas spoke with The National Herald and thanked the community of Sts. Constantine and Helen for the invitation and expressed best wishes for all those celebrating.
“It is a great joy and honor,” he said, “to serve in our Cathedral. It is the pride and the jewel of Brooklyn. Many generations of Greeks started out going to church here and spread throughout New York. I wish all the best for the community school, the associations, and for the community to quickly find a permanent priest.”
Haralambos Paloumbis- President of Sts. Constantine and Helen’s Board of Trustees, wished all the best to those celebrating their name day and invited all the Greek community to the festival which takes place June 4-10.
The Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and member of the community, Peter Vlitas, told TNH about the dissatisfaction and disappointment of all the members about the lack of a permanent priest at the Cathedral.
“The Brooklyn Cathedral,” he said, “is a historic church with 102 years in operation, but has not had a permanent priest over the last few years and has been constantly seeking help from sister communities. Every Sunday we try to find a priest to perform the Divine Liturgy. Fr. Ganas is the first to come to help and we are grateful for that, and to the whole community of Kimisis tis Theotokou.
“The situation that prevails in our church and in all of America in general is upsetting and worrying us. Unfortunately, there is no program of the Archdiocese to be able to meet the needs of the communities. I wish the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Holy Archdiocese of America would look more closely at the communities, many of which are facing major problems.”
The ladies of the Philoptochos Society, Konstantina Lambrou, a 65-year member, Voula Paloumbis, a 50-year member, and Lucy Bouna, a 40-years member, mentioned the charity and social work of the organization and invited all the Greeks to visit and pray at the Cathedral.
The principal chanter Emmanuel Georgantakis, wished the best to all those celebrating their name day.
Peter Yatrakis, a member of the community for 48 years, said that his family, four children and eight grandchildren, are parishioners of the Cathedral, who are faithfully serving in all programs.
On May 21, the Archieratic Divine Liturgy was held, with His Grace Bishop Sevastianos of Zela. Following the Vespers service and Divine Liturgy, the Philoptochos served sweets and a luncheon in the community hall.