The Rev. Andrew J. Demotses, Pastor Emeritus of St. Vasilios Greek Orthodox Church, Peabody, died peacefully on November 17. He was born in Stratford, CT, the eldest son of Odysseus and Helen (Savas) Demotses and graduated from Stratford High School in 1959. He then matriculated at Hellenic College/Holy Cross School of Theology in Brookline where he completed the 6-year course of study by graduating as valedictorian of his class in 1965. He later received the degree of Master of Sacred Theology, Cum Laude from Yale University. In October of 1966, he was ordained to the priesthood and assigned as Assistant Pastor to Holy Trinity Church in Bridgeport, CT, the same church he had grown up in and first heard his calling to serve Christ. After three months as an assistant, Fr. Andrew assumed the duties of pastor of St. George’s Church in Norwalk, CT.
Less than a year later, Archbishop Iakovos, desperate to fill a leadership void, assigned the young priest to the Diocese of Boston as Pastor of St. Vasilios Church beginning in January of 1968. Arriving as the youngest priest in the history of St. Vasilios at the age of 26, he remained Pastor for 39 years, becoming the longest- serving priest in the church’s history. Following his retirement on December 31, 2006, St. Vasilios named him Pastor Emeritus and he continued to serve the parish until his death.
Fr. Andrew was active in both church and local community affairs, including an appointment as a founding delegate to the National Council of Presbyters of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, 12 years of service on the Ecclesiastical Court of Boston, and five terms as a trustee of Hellenic College/Holy Cross School of Theology. His service to the larger North Shore community included 15 years as a trustee of the American Red Cross, chairperson of the Clinical Recourses Committee of the North Shore Children’s Hospital, 14 years as trustee and chairperson of the combined board of Health and Education Services, Inc. which operated programs for acutely troubled adolescents throughout the Commonwealth, and served for 18 years as a trustee of the North Shore Medical Center, as well as a founding member of its ethics committee.
In 1976, Peabody Mayor Nicholas Mavroulas appointed Fr. Andrew to the board of the Peabody Council on Aging, later becoming chairperson in 1983 for a program that continues to serve the City of Peabody through a wide range of social, recreational, educational, nutritional and transportation services benefitting the elderly population of Peabody. Throughout the 39 years of his pastorate, Fr. Andrew’s service to the community extended over the term of five mayors. Each in turn asked him to serve on many commissions and task forces providing guidance and support. Fr. Andrew also served as a corporator of Salem Hospital, and later, of Partners Healthcare. Following his retirement, Fr. Andrew concentrated on writing and recording of devotional materials for the Archdiocese website and as a result that website now has several hundred of his sermons on the Sunday Gospels, along with 500 sermonettes and meditations.
Fr. Andrew is survived by his devoted wife Presvytera Mary (Poulos) Demotses, two sons, James A. Demotses and his wife Karen, and Andrew J. Demotses and his wife Christine, along with four grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother Peter Demotses and his wife Victoria of Venice, Florida, his sisters-in-law Constandina Louloudes and Stella Cokias both of Winter Park, FL, his brother-in-law William Poulos and wife Yee Poulos, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Fr. Andrew will lie in state on Thursday, December 1, 2022, from 4:00 until 8:00 PM in St. Vasilios Church, 5 Paleologos St., Peabody where the public is invited to pay their respects. His Funeral Services will be held at St. Vasilios on Friday, December 2 at 11:00 AM and officiated by His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios of Boston. Burial will be private. Expressions of sympathy may be made to the St. Vasilios Church Endowment Fund, 5 Paleologos St., Peabody MA 01960 in his memory.