NASHUA, NH – St. Philip Greek Orthodox Church of Nashua, NH celebrated its patron saint with a Vesper Service and Artoklasia on November 13. Presiding Priest of Manchester’s Assumption parish Fr. Gregorios Trakas officiated, assisted by St. Philip Presiding Priest Rev. Alex Chetsas and Lowell, MA’s Transfiguration Presiding Priest Fr. Athanasios Chininis. About 40 congregants from the Nashua area participated.
Fr. Trakas preached about the life and the martyrdom of St. Philip who was one of the twelve Apostles. He said that “when Jesus arrived at Lazarus’ home, Lazarus’ sister told him that ‘if you were here our brother wouldn’t have died,’” and emphasized that “when someone is holy his prayer is heard.” He also said that “in the Orthodox Faith we have the saints, who intercede.”
Fr. Chetsas noted the need to attract the faithful and the youth to the church and convince them to get involved. He said that “the church does good things for the people” and he added that “we are called to live the Liturgy after the Liturgy.”
In the city of Nashua the pioneers Greek immigrants at the beginning of the 20th century had established two communities St. Nicholas and the Annunciation in the same neighborhood been divided politically with the Venizelos and King in Greece parties.
In 1972 a miracle happened and the two parishes were united into one unified parish under the name of St. Philip with its first priest Fr. Soterios Alexopoulos, who served the parish diligently for 25 years. Fr. Alexopoulos, now retired, was present at the Service, and the faithful had formed a line to greet him.
Under his pastorship, the St. Philip parish flourished, with a big congregation in the Liturgy and also very strong Greek and Catechetical Schools directed by Presbytera Eleni, a graduate of the St. Basil’s Academy in Garrison, NY, when St. Basil was also a Teacher’s College.