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Church

St. Demetrios Feast Day Celebrated in Jamaica

October 26, 2022

JAMAICA, NY – St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Jamaica began the celebration of the feast day of its patron saint, the Holy Great Martyr Demetrios the Myrrh-streamer, with the Hierarchical Great Vespers and ‘Artoklasia’ on October 25 presided over by His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America along with Fr. Konstantinos Kalogridis, presiding priest of the community, with many priests from the surrounding area participating.

The faithful filled the historic church which is celebrating its 95th anniversary this year.

In his remarks, His Eminence spoke about St. Demetrios noting that “the mighty protector of Thessaloniki” was in the military, but “recognized only one King, the King of Kings, Our Lord Jesus Christ.”

His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros presided over the Hierarchical Great Vespers and the Artoklasia at St. Demetrios Church in Jamaica, Queens, NY on October 25. (Photo by Eleni Sakellis)

He also highlighted the way St. Demetrios became a martyr, pierced with lances, like Jesus, whose side was pierced with a lance. The symbolism of the water and blood that flowed from His wound are essential and the foundation of the sacraments of the church, the water for baptism and the blood for Holy Communion.

“The name of St. Demetrios is honored throughout all the world. His sacrifice has proven victorious,” the Archbishop said.

The mosaic of St. Demetrios at the church named in his honor in Jamaica, Queens, NY. (Photo by Eleni Sakellis)

Fr. Kalogridis thanked His Eminence for visiting the historic parish in Jamaica and for his love and support. He noted the progress on the renovation of the church. Having repaired the roof and the exterior, the community is ready to complete the iconography on the rest of the ceiling. Fr. Kalogridis mentioned the community’s programs, including the Greek School and Greek dance lessons which are free for students, the Sunday school, JOY, GOYA, Bible Study, Philoptochos, and cultural association. He then presented the altar boys so that His Eminence could bless them as readers of the church.

His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros presided over the Hierarchical Great Vespers at St. Demetrios Church in Jamaica, Queens, NY, with many priests participating. (Photo by Eleni Sakellis)

His Eminence addressed the altar boys pointing out that St. Demetrios is an example to all – but especially to boys – like a superhero. He encouraged the boys to think about becoming priests and then blessed them each as readers and gave them a gift.

Archbishop Elpidophoros presented the Archdiocese centennial medals with the icon of Jesus the Sower to Fr. Kalogridis and to Parish Council President Constantine Doukas as a gift and then shared his best wishes for the community and especially for all those celebrating their name day.

The icon of St. Demetrios was carried in the procession during the Hierarchical Great Vespers presided over by His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros at St. Demetrios Church in Jamaica. (Photo by Eleni Sakellis)
His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros, Fr. Konstantinos Kalogridis, Parish Council President Constantine Doukas, and the altar boys-readers at St. Demetrios Church in Jamaica on October 25. (Photo by Eleni Sakellis)

Among those present were members of the Thessalonikean Society of New York who were celebrating St. Demetrios, the patron saint of Thessaloniki, as well as commemorating the October 26, 1912 liberation of their city from Ottoman rule and ‘OXI’ day October 28, 1940.

Following the services, a meal was served in the church hall for all those present, hosted by the community’s Philoptochos Society.

The altar boys were blessed as readers by His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros at St. Demetrios Church in Jamaica on October 25. (Photo by Eleni Sakellis)

Fr. Kalogridis spoke with The National Herald, noting that it was a joy to have His Eminence at the community’s Great Vespers service. “He not only blessed us, he blessed the altar boys as readers, honoring the children’s efforts, because the children serve not only on Sundays, but all the community’s programs,” he said. “They are devoted to the church and they like serving in the altar, and His Eminence rewarded them and gave us his blessing to continue our programs and the renovations. We did the exterior and the interior is about to begin with the aim of completing the final part of the iconography.”

A meal was served following the services at St. Demetrios Church in honor of the community’s patron saint. (Photo by Eleni Sakellis)

The celebration of the feast day of St. Demetrios continued with the Divine Liturgy on the morning of October 26, followed by a reception in the church hall also hosted by the Philoptochos.

More information about St. Demetrios and the community’s programs is available online: https://www.stdemetrios.ny.goarch.org.

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