BOSTON – His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America will visit Bahamas over the upcoming weekend, October 12-14.
The National Herald had written about the Archbishop’s planned visit on September 11, shortly after Bahamas was struck by hurricane Dorian, leaving behind many dead and wiping out entire towns and islands.
The Archbishop will bring with him financial assistance of $150,000 on behalf of the Archdiocese, which was collected through contributions from Leadership 100, the National Philoptochos and other sources.
His Eminence will be accompanied by Vice Chairman of the Archdiocesan Council John Catsimatidis and members of the Council, Protopresbyter Alexander Karloutsos Vicar General of the Archdiocese, and officials from IOCC.
The Archbishop will officiate at the Divine Liturgy on Sunday October 13 at the Annunciation of the Mother of God parish. The nave is located at 11 West Street, Nassau, Bahamas. It was established ninety years ago by Greek immigrants and today efforts are underway for the renovation of the nave and its community buildings. The Presiding Priest since 2015 is Fr. Irenaeus Cox and the parish is under the direct pastoral responsibility of Archbishop Elpidophoros.
It was his wish is to visit Bahamas in person, to encourage the faithful members of the parish and other Bahamians who suffered from Dorian’s deadly force, and to also provide them with spiritual comfort and humanitarian assistance.
The Annunciation parish has roughly 130 families, mostly from Kalymnos and Skopelos, but there are also some Greeks from Crete and a few from the mainland of Greece. From outside Greece there are also Russian, Romanian, Bulgarian, Ukrainian, and Serbian members of the Orthodox Church from Europe, as well from as Lebanon, Egypt, India, and a few Bahamian convert families.
The Greeks first came to the Bahamas in the late 1800’s and by 1917 were incorporated as a Greek Orthodox Community, being served by Bishop Germanos Polyzoidis of blessed memory. In 1932 they established a Church building and received their first Priest, Fr. Theodoros Spirtos from Kalymnos, where he returned when he retired. Fr. Theophanis Kolyvas became the second Priest and he served there with Presvytera Maria for over 50 years. When he retired, he continued to live in Bahamas with his family until his repose. Since he was the longest serving priest of the parish he was honored by being interred with his Presvytera next to the Chapel in which the faithful continue to worship.