NEW YORK – Archbishop Elpidophoros of America appointed Fr. Gary Kyriacou as the new Director of Ionian Village.
It is reported that Fr. Kyriacou brings substantial experience from a variety of responsibilities which will continue to drive the dynamic ministry of Ionian Village. Ionian Village participants will benefit from his many years of parish service, leadership, and service to various ministries of the Metropolis of San Francisco, Hellenic College Holy Cross School of Theology, and the Archdiocese. Most importantly, Fr. Kyriacou has over 30 years of summer camp and youth ministry program experience. Those church camp programs include St. Sophia Camp, the St. Nicholas Ranch, and Ascension Cathedral Camp Ravencliff, He also served the Ionian Village program in 2016 and 2018.
Father Gary Kyriacou currently serves the Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Camarillo, California. He is married to Presvytera Christina (Platis) and they are blessed with three children – Haralambos (age 19), Iakovos (age 18), and Eleni (age 11). He received his Master of Divinity degree from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in 2001, following which he was ordained to the Diaconate (May 27, 2001) and to the Holy Priesthood (September 9, 2001). Prior to his studies at Holy Cross, Father Gary received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Film Production and Screenwriting from California State University – Northridge.
Following ordination and before his current assignment, he served as the Assistant Priest at the Ascension Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Oakland, California from 2001-2004. In July 2008, Metropolitan Gerasimos appointed Fr. Kyriacou to serve as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Greek Folk Dance and Choral Festival (FDF), a very successful youth ministry in the Metropolis of San Francisco since 1976.
The Ionian Village program has been motivating young people to embrace their Greek Orthodox Faith since 1970. This summer of 2020 marks the fiftieth summer of Ionian Village. The Archdiocese looks forward to Fr. Gary’s leadership of this ministry into a new decade under the auspices of His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros, and assures that all who participate in Ionian Village will have an opportunity to experience the love of Christ, grow in faith, and develop friendships that last a lifetime.
The camp was established by the late Archbishop Iakovos of North and South America, with substantial help from Greece, which donated the land in Vartholomio. Rev. George Poulos, who served as a presiding priest for more than half a century at the Archangels parish in Stamford Connecticut and now is retired, played a pivotal role in establishing the Ionian Village.