From Tarpon Springs, Florida to Maine and Pennsylvania, The National Herald covers the community from coast-to-coast again.
TARPON SPRINGS, FL – A few blocks away from the historic SPONGE DOCKS in Tarpon Springs, FL is a chapel dedicated to ARCHANGEL MICHAEL by STEVE TSALICKIS. People pull up in buses and spill out to take turns in the tiny building, crossing themselves and lighting candles. Seventy-five years ago, when Tsalickis was 11 years old he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Doctors told his mother there was no hope, yet he recovered and went on to become a popular middle school guidance counselor and a successful restaurateur. He died in 2007 at age 78.
Tsalickis’ parents built the Shrine in their backyard, in 1941, an honor to the Archangel Michael, after a vision Tsalickis had as he lay near death, the Washington Times reported. The Chapel still gets devout visitors from all over the country. Some of the faithful recount many more miracles, tumors gone, sight and hearing restored, the lame leaving behind crutches and walking out. Some have even said tears have flowed from the icons covering the walls. On Nov. 8, the Shrine’s biggest annual event, the feast of St. Michael, was celebrated. Seven priests led a Vesper service at the Shrine.
SACO, ME – DAPHNE RIOUX, one of the ladies at ST. DEMETRIOS GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH in Saco has been making diples since she was about eight years old. “I’ve grown up doing this. It’s old that to me,” she told Biddeford Journal Tribune. Rioux was among a crew of parishioners preparing hundreds of the pastries for the Church’s annual “MY BIG, FAT GREEK BAZAAR,” on November 21. The ladies of the church were assigned to different tasks for the multi-step process to make the pastry. After the dough was prepared, it had to be rolled flat, cut into thin sheets, then fried and folded in hot oil. Later the pastries would be dipped in honey syrup. Parishioner GEORGIA CARAS told the Journal, “they take a long time to make, but they’re worth it.” One of the Northernmost Greek Orthodox Churches in the United States, St. Demetrios is close to Maine’s Atlantic Coast, just south of Portland.
PHILADELPHIA, PA – The Cyprus Traditional Wedding by the CYPRUS SOCIETY OF GREATER PHILADELPHIA (CGSP) held its Annual Dinner Dance Fundraiser Event on Saturday, Nov. 14 at the HOLY TRINITY GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH in Wilmington, DE. DGSP President DR. STELIOS TSINONTIDES thanked the attendees, which included Cypriot Consul General in New York AMB. VASILIS PHILIPPOU, CYPRIOT AMERICAN ORGANIZATIONS President COSTAS TSENTAS, HELLENIC FEDERATION OF NEW JERSEY President and CYPRUS CHILDREN’S FUND Chairman SAVVAS TSAVIKOS, Salamis Cypriot Organization President STATHIS ZAMBAS, Asgata Cypriot Organization President PETER LOUCA, and CGSP General Counsel TASSOS EFSTRATIADES, and Hellenic American Societies in Philadelphia and Delaware Valley Vice President NICOLAOS SPILIOTIS.
The “wedding” started promptly at 6:30PM with the Dressing of the Groom with songs, music and dancing. The Groom (MICHAEL YIALLOURIDES) was shaved, had his hair combed, and got dressed with the traditional white shirt, his “vraka” and his boots. The PANCYPRIAN GROUP DANCERS acted as the best men (“koumbaroi”), teased him and cheered him up. After he was dressed, his parents came to give him their blessings. Then the Dressing of the Bride took place. The bride’s maids (“koumeres”) played by the alumni CYPRIOT DANCERS OF GREATER PHILADELPHIA and the Pancyprian Group, fixed the bride’s (ELENI KAOULLA) hair, makeup and jewelry with songs and dancing. Her parents came to give their blessings.
The show continued with the “making of the bed” with the traditional rolling of a boy whishing the couple many children. The culmination of the event was the “Groom and Bride’s Dance” and the custom of “ploumisma.” The ploumisma is the traditional giftgiving when relatives and friends come and attach money on the couple’s cloths to enable them to start their new journey together with some financial help.
The YOUNG CYPRIOT DANCERS OF GREATER PHILADELPHIA, under the direction of KAROLINE KOKOLIS, performed several traditional Cypriot dances and mesmerized everyone with their swift “figoures” and talent.