MATTITUCK, NY – His Eminence Archbishop of America, Demetrios, was welcomed by the new priest of the Church of the Transfiguration of the Savior in Mattituck, Long Island, Fr. Ignatios Achlioptas, and the members of the Greek community in the area.
The Archbishop visited the community on August 6 to celebrate the Transfiguration of Christ, for which the church is named. The celebration was also attended by the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Stefanos Cherpelis and Renos Georgiou, as well as representatives of neighboring parishes of Long Island.
The celebrations began on Saturday evening with Vespers and the reception that was presented by the Philoptochos Society and culminated in the feast of the Transfiguration with the Archieratic Divine Liturgy presided over by Archbishop Demetrios. Following the Liturgy, the community shared a meal with nistisima foods and sweets.
This year’s events were the first officiated by Fr. Ignatios, who succeeded Fr. Constantinos Makrinos, and the first with the new President of the parish council Irene Markotsis. The new parish council, as the community’s new priest mentioned in his speech, consists mainly of women.
Archbishop Demetrios said during his speech that “it is the 18th year that I am with you. We started, if the older people remember, in 2000 and we reached the year 2017. Today, with great joy, I see that it is also the first official liturgy with your new priest, Fr. Ignatios, whom I remember as a student at the Theological School of the Holy Cross in the decade of the 1980s. He was one of the good and eager students and often served in the sanctuary.”
“I am moved today to perform the liturgy with Fr. Ignatios, who comes to a good parish and I wish him to remain and serve here for many years,” Archbishop Demetrios said, congratulating the choir, which chanted the hymns.
“Today, I recognize many who are not here. Last night, we were at the Church of the Holy Cross in Whitestone, and with the parish of Transfiguration in Corona in attendance along with the community. I am delighted to see the church full, for the celebration is a despotic celebration because it has Christ at its center. The Metamorphosis has a special color. We have an Epiphany, the appearance of God in the way we see Him,” he added.
Fr. Ignatios Achlioptas comes from Connecticut and specifically from the community of Saint Demetrios in Bristol. During his speech he pointed out, “Your Eminence, I am grateful and it is a great honor to welcome you as the presiding priest. I thank you for the love and support that you have given me to serve this community that has surrounded me with love.”
“The council is held by a female majority and has welcomed me with love and patience,” Fr. Ignatios added.