WOBURN, MA – Fr. Demetrios Mott, a young priest ordained just three years ago, managed to rejuvenate – resurrect, more aptly – the historic parish of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary in Woburn, MA.
The Woburn parish is approximately 12 miles Northeast of Boston and it is the parish where the late Archbishop and President of Cyprus Makariosserved while doing graduate studies at Boston University.
Fr. Mott was ordained on the Sunday of Pentecost of 2015 and was assigned at the Woburn parish, which at that time had 200 families. Now it has 300, and the number is rising very week.
Mott told TNH that “with the help of God we are growing, there is a new dynamics in every aspect of the life of the parish.”
How did that happen? What attracted these new families? “We place much emphasis on youth and the programs of the children. Out Greek School is very strong now, also our Catechetical School and our youth programs.”
In speaking about the rejuvenation of the Greek School, which was withering and was getting ready to close, Mott said that “our principal, Mrs. Angeliki Kolokythras has done miracles, and please note, she offers her services voluntarily. When she came five years ago, there were only four children; today we have 60.” When Mott arrived, he and Kolokythrasexpanded the program. “We now have five teachers, we added a seventh grade, we have Kindergarten, and thus there will be future and hope for our school.”
He added that “our youth participation has increased and we now have 25 children and we have new programs. The oratorical festival of St. John Chrysostom takes place here; we have a good group.”
Mott also said that “I feel a special honor and blessing because Archbishop Makarios once served here. We have his archieratical throne in the church.”
We mentioned that many families have come from the neighboring community of St. Athanasius the Great in Arlington due to the serious problems there. He said “new persons come every Sunday from the suburbs of Burlington, Reading, and Stoneham, who are attracted because of the good programs we have for the youth and the parents are happy with that. I can’t tell you for sure where they come from. To the new families we open our arms and we embrace and accept them, as it should be done.”
Mott was born in Tarpon Springs, FL. He speaks Greek fluently, has a melodic voice, and knows ecclesiastical chanting very well. He is married and with his presbytera have two children: three years, and 17 months.
With an eye toward the future at Annunciation, Mott says: “I pray to God to have enough parishioners of all ages in order to have hope that this parish will be here for the next hundred years.”
Fr. Mott with Greek School Principal Angeliki Kolokytrhas, teachers and students during their Christmas party.
(Photo: Courtesy of Fr. Demetrios Mott)
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