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Metropolitan Methodios of Boston Exclusively to TNH for the Centennial of the Archdiocese

His Eminence Metropolitan of Boston who is today first in rank in the hierarchy of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America is a proud son of the Omogeneia of America. He is “flesh of flesh and bone of bones” of the Holy Archdiocese of America studied and served near Archbishop Iakovos of blessed memory as his Archdeacon, Presbyter, Auxiliary Bishop and Metropolitan of Boston.

Speaking to The National Herald regarding the centennial of the Archdiocese he said that “The Centennial Anniversary of our Archdiocese is a historic milestone which will be celebrated at the forthcoming Clergy/Laity Congress in New York.  We here at the Metropolis of Boston will be especially celebrating as many as 30 parishes which were founded before the establishment of the Archdiocese in 1922.  Throughout the Archdiocese we will be offering thanksgiving and prayers for the founders of our parishes that came to this country from Greece, Asia Minor and Cyprus to plant the seed of our Greek Orthodox faith in the fertile soil of American life.”

The ordination to the Diaconate of George Tournas, whose name became Methodios, by Archbishop Iakovos of North and South America. (Photo: Metropolis of Boston)

To the question which are some historic events that marked  the Archdiocese in its one hundred journey he said “There are many historic moments in the life of our Archdiocese.  One was the election of Archbishop (later Ecumenical Patriarch) Athenagoras. Another was his successor Archbishop Michael in 1949 who established GOYA and was especially tied to St. Basil’s Academy in Garrison, New York where he was eventually buried.  Archbishop Iakovos, April 1, 1959 who succeeded Archbishop Michael, left an indelible mark upon our Archdiocese during his tenure.  Who can forget his walk in Selma, Alabama with Martin Luther King Jr.  The ministries of Archbishop Spyridon in 1996 and Archbishop Demetrios in 1999 were blessed with great achievements as well.  Archbishop Demetrios was a scholar and deeply spiritual man of God who brought peace and stability to the Archdiocese.

The election and enthronement of Archbishop Elpidophoros on June 22, 2019 is a significant milestone for our Archdiocese.  We all pray that the Holy Spirit may guide him as he leads the Archdiocese in the years ahead.”

He also said that “a significant date in the history of our Archdiocese was January 18, 2003.  It marked the issuance of the present charter by the Ecumenical Patriarchate to our Archdiocese.  This charter affirmed the unity of our church in the Americas. It honored the Archdiocese by elevating our Dioceses into Metropolises and by enhancing the participation of both clergy and laity in the election of the Archbishop and Metropolitans.”

The ordination of Deacon Methodios to the priesthood by Archbishop Iakovos. Shown is Gerasimos Michaleas, today’s Metropolitan of San Francisco. (Photo: Metropolis of Boston)

To the question when you were a young boy serving as an altar boy at the Holy Trinity Archdiocesan Cathedral of New York  did you ever imagine that today you would be the Metropolitan of Boston, he said “my life from a young age was always identified with the Archdiocese.  I studied at the Cathedral Parochial School in New York and served as an altar boy from a very young age.  On April 1, 1959, I was present at the enthronement of Archbishop Iakovos who years later would encourage me to study at the Seminary and dedicate my life to the church.”

The ordination of Metropolitan Methodios to the Episcopacy by Archbishop Iakovos. Shown is the late Bishop Timothy of Detroit. (Photo: Metropolis of Boston)

When asked what did Archbishop Iakovos was telling you as his Archdeacon and to other his coworkers about the future of the Archdiocese Metropolitan Methodios said that “upon completing my studies at the Seminary and at Boston University, I was ordained to the Holy Diaconate and later studied at the Theological School of the University of Thessalonica. I had the blessing of being the Archdeacon to Archbishop Iakovos for more than six and a half years.  It was great experience for me because I served next to a giant personality who was able in his life to be faithful to our traditions while at the same time embracing the realities of our American culture.  I accompanied him to many parishes throughout North and South America and learned much from those experiences.”

To the question how do you envision the future of  the Archdiocese as is senior hierarch, he said “ I hope that our Archdiocese continues to grow and serve the spiritual needs of the flock which is entrusted to our care.  I want the embrace of our Archdiocese to be open to our fellow Americans who seek as today’s spiritual sojourners to quench their thirsts at the Jacob’s Well of our parishes.”

About Metropolitan Methodoios

From the visit of Metropolitan Methodios of Boston to Pope Frances of Rome representing Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at the Thronal Feast of the Church of Rome. (Photo: Metropolis of Boston)

His Eminence Methodios, Metropolitan of Boston, is the spiritual leader of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston which includes all of Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont and the Connecticut towns of Danielson, Enfield, New London and Norwich. The Metropolis, whose offices are located in Brookline, Massachusetts, consists of 63 parishes which minister to the needs of approximately 200,000 Greek Orthodox faithful.

Metropolitan Methodios was enthroned as the Bishop of Boston on April 8, 1984, following his election to that post by the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Phanar, Constantinople, Turkey. In July 1989 Bishop Methodios also assumed the Presidency of Hellenic College and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts. He held that position till 1995. In 1997 the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate elevated Bishop Methodios to the office of Metropolitan.

He inspired the faithful of the Metropolis of Boston to support him in the construction of a magnificent Center located at 162 Goddard Avenue in Brookline. Groundbreaking for this edifice took place on September 14, 1985. It was completed a year later, on September 14, 1986. From this Center, the focal point of the Metropolis in New England, many programs emanate which serve and enlighten the faithful and share Orthodoxy with the public-at-large.

These programs include the Marriage Preparation Seminars, instituted by Metropolitan Methodios in 1987, for all couples who are getting married in the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston. It is a most successful program which is being adapted nationally.

In 1986 Metropolitan Methodios established the Philoxenia House which offers hospitality to patients and those who accompany them who come to Boston for medical reasons and cannot afford to stay in hotels. Guests to the Philoxenia House have come from Greece, Cyprus, South America, South Africa, Egypt, Russia, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and from throughout the United States. He is assisted by the Philoptochos Women and the faithful throughout the Metropolis in this ministry.

In the summer of 1998, through his efforts the Diocese of Boston acquired Camp Merrimack in Contoocook, NH, a large, picturesque piece of property which will serve as a Camp and Retreat Center offering enriching programs for all.

Metropolitan Methodios was born on November 19, 1946 in New York City, the third child of the late Stavroula and Vasilios Tournas. He graduated from the Greek Orthodox Cathedral Parochial School in New York City and the McBurney School in Manhattan. He received the Bachelor of Arts degree from Hellenic College in Brookline, MA in 1968 and the Bachelor of Divinity Degree from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in 1971. In 1972 he earned the Master of Sacred Theology from Boston University and in 1975 the University of Thessaloniki, Greece, awarded him Theological Accreditation upon completion of further studies there. Boston University awarded Metropolitan Methodios the Honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree in May 1985. In June 1995 the American International College in Springfield, MA, awarded Metropolitan Methodios the Honorary Degree of Humane Letters. His Alma Mater, Hellenic College-Holy Cross, awarded him an Honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree on May 19, 2001.

He served as a member of the National Orthodox-Roman Catholic Consultations Board. As a member of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation, an Organization devoted to the cause of worldwide religious freedom for all denominations, He traveled to Hungary in 1981, and, in the fall of 1982 he was a member of a three-man religious delegation that visited the Soviet Union. A second visit to the Soviet Union was made in September of 1984. Metropolitan Methodios is a member of the Holy Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, served on the Executive Board of the National Council of Churches and is a member of the Massachusetts Commission on Christian Unity and the New England Consultation of Church Leaders. He is listed in Who is Who in Religion, is a member of the Commission of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas and serves on various other religious boards and organizations.

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