IV. 1960 - 1980

The sixties and seventies were a period of improving Cathedral facilities and programs in an effort to stem the exodus of members to suburban churches. Critical to maintaining membership was the need to alleviate crowding conditions existing in its educational and youth programs; This led to the formulation of definite plans and decisions to build a Community Center next to the Cathedral. Unfortunately, plans by the State Highway Commission to build a road through the land purchased for the Center forced the cancellation of its construction. The Committee then considered finding a new location for the Community Center or the possibility of relocating the Cathedral itself. After many agonizing debates, the idea of relocation was rejected and a decision was made to renovate the existing Cathedral and its facilities. This delayed the eventual building of a Community Center for almost two decades.

An ambitious five-year program of renovation and beautification was undertaken in 1965 at a cost of over $350,000. The responsibility for this program was entrusted to a committee headed by George P. Condakes, president of the Parish Council, and under the supervision of Fr. Zanetos. The architectural firm of Drummy and Rosane was hired to make structural changes to the upper and lower narthex (vestibule). The Chicago-based Tonelli Studio was then commissioned to install richly decorated mosaic icons in the upper and lower narthex and on a marble iconostasis. To the right of the iconostasis, they installed an elaborate marble Bishop's Throne. The renovations and craftsmanship of the work done brought new beauty to the historic Cathedral and served as a witness to the vitality of the Boston Greek Community.

Upon completion of renovating and beautifying the Cathedral in 1970, a search was undertaken for a new Cathedral Center site to serve the religious, educational and social needs of the Community. In 1973, after much review and deliberation, the ten acre Parker Estate adjacent to Larz Anderson Park and near Hellenic College in Brookline, was purchased. This beautiful grass and wooded property was in close proximity to the Cathedral and included a stately and spacious Mansion with an old carriage house. Following its purchase, authorization was given for a Development Committee, headed by George P. Toumpouras who, with the dedicated assistance of Parish Council presidents Atty. Nicholas Foundas, Charles Constantine, and Atty. Peter H. Sutton, proceeded with the development of the Center site.

The Committee devised a unique development program consisting of three phases. In Phase I, the carriage house was converted into a charming 100 seat Chapel and was opened on November 1, 1975. Phase 11 consisted of renovating and converting the Mansion into Cathedral office, meeting space, rooms for Cathedral organizations, and a small caretaker's apartment. Upon completion in 1973, all administrative services of the Cathedral were moved to the Mansion. For Phase Ill, Robert Shackleton, the Chapel's architect, was commissioned to design plans for the Community Center. His plans included rooms for Greek School classes, meetings, and a large auditorium for educational and social functions.

On October 17, 1979 His Eminence Archbishop lakovos conducted a special blessing of the new Center which was completed at a cost of $1,250,000. Although taking over two decades to complete, it brought a new sense of community to the Cathedral. Eminent clergy and politicians visited the Cathedral during Fr. Zanetos' tenure as Dean of the Cathedral. Then senator John F. Kennedy gave an inspirational Greek Independence speech at the Cathedral in 1956. The Mayor of Athens, George Plytas visited the Cathedral in 1966. Patriarch Benedictos of Jerusalem (1961),Cardinal Umberto Meideros (1972), Metropolitan Ezekiel and Bishop Demetrios (1975), Bishop lakovos of Chicago (1976), and Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus (1979) also visited the Cathedral.

In 1962, the Cathedral hosted religious services for the 16thClergy Laity Congress. 1974 saw Katherine Pappas appointed as National Philoptohos Society President. In 1977, former Cathedral president Charles Maliotis provided funds for the building of the beautiful Maliotis Cultural Center on

George C. Toumpouras, President, 1955, 1957, 1962
the grounds of Hellenic College/Holy Cross. In 1978, former Cathedral Sunday School President Bess and Atty. Chris I. Pappas, a former Parish Council member and legal advisor, founded the internationally known Hellenic Cardiac Fund for critically ill children. Many eminent clergy and governmental officials attended the Cathedral's 75th Anniversary celebration in 1980 which was co-chaired by Fr. Zanetos and Cathedral president Charles A. Constantine.

Cathedral presidents providing leadership during the 60's and 70's were George C. Toumpouras, Milton N. Stamatos, George P. Condakes, Byron Zedros, Paul Yphantes, Nicholas Tsialas, Chris J. Christopher, William
A. Gianoukos, Emanouel J. Haramis, Atty. Nicholas Foundas, and Charles C. Constantine.

V. 1980 - 2002

The early eighties witnessed a revival of an earlier desire to relocate due to the deteriorating Cathedral surroundings, changing demographics and inadequate parking facilities. It was
during this period (1982) that Fr. Zanetos retired as Dean of the Cathedral after 26 years of dedicated service. He was succeeded by Rev. Dr. Athanasios Demos who became involved in this pressing issue. After a year of deliberating and soul searching, the General Assembly mandated keeping the Cathedral at its present location and to proceed with its renovation.

In an attempt to make the Cathedral environment safer, Fr. Demos conducted a "good will" outreach program among residents of the surrounding Cathedral area. Contact was also made with officials at the Wentworth Institute to allow parking on their premises during church services and special occasions.

The Cathedral renovation covered three phases. In 1983, a Committee headed by James Barlas (Building), and Tessie Davis (Fund Raising), was selected to oversee Phase I - the renovation of the Cathedral exterior. Phase Il began in 1986 under the chairmanship of Gus Misail which focused on the Cathedral interior. Phase III of the restoration and renovation of the Cathedral was delayed until 1993.

During his years as Cathedral Dean, Fr. Demos implemented new programs and fresh ideas to enhance the Cathedral's ministries. This led to a dramatic increase in membership, sacraments and sacramentals. The Cathedral was listed in the church directories of all Boston hotels and led to numerous home and hospital emergency calls. Educational Seminars, Bible and Adult Classes also drew wide interest. Fr. Demos spearheaded a drive to build a chapel honoring Archbishop Iakovos in the Cathedral Hall. On June 30, 1988, with the assistance of Katherine Kotarides and John Alevizos, the Cathedral was accepted for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. Through the determined efforts of John Alevizos and a generous donation of $120,000 by William Constantin, a beautiful stone mosaic courtyard was installed adjacent to the Cathedral in 1994.

Eminent clergy visited the Cathedral during Fr. Demos' tenure as Dean. Patriarch Diodoros of Jerusalem, Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus, Archbishop Iakovos (1982), and Patriarch Dimitrios (1990). Metropolitan Methodios initiated ecumenical Easter services at the Cathedral with Cardinal Law (1985). On a political note, cathedralite Michael S. Dukakis, former three time governor of Massachusetts, became a presidential candidate (1988). Cathedral presidents serving under Fr. Demos include Atty. Peter H. Sutton, George M. Kalambokis, Paul J. Stamatos, Van T. Benno, VasiIios Georgountzos and Atty. George D. Coupounas.

In 1992, Fr. Demos left the Cathedral to serve as Director of Development, Alumni and Admissions at Hellenic College/Holy Cross School of Theology and was succeeded by Rev. Constantine Xanthakis. During his years as Cathedral Dean, Fr. Xanthakis oversaw many significant events - the start of Phase III in 1993, under the chairmanship of Harris P. Jameson, which included exterior and interior restoration, renovation and air-conditioning; a special honorary banquet for Archbishop Iakovos and completion of the Constantin Courtyard (1995); the completion of Phase III Cathedral exterior and interior renovation (1996); visits by Patriarch Bartholomew and Archbishop Spyridon (1997); the establishment of the Preservation Trust Fund to meet future renovation needs of the Cathedral (1997); Evanthea "Eve" Condakes appointment as National Philoptohos Society president and the Chapel restoration (1998); a visit by Archbishop Dimitrios; a reunion of the Junior and Sunday' School Choir, and the 1949 Championship Baseball Team (1999); the appointment of Arthur Anton as Chairman of the Archbishop lakovos Leadership 100 Endowment Fund and the restoration of the interior and exterior Iakovos Chapel (2000).

In 2001, Fr. Xanthakis retired as Cathedral Dean after almost ten years of dedicated service. He remained as an assistant to the new priest, Rev. Dean A. Panagos, before retiring to FL. in 2002. After serving one year, an initiating several outreach and other programs, Fr. Dean left the Cathedral to begin a new Community in Columbia, MO. Succeeding Fr. Dean was Rev. George Daskalakis. Cathedral presidents providing leadership during this period were Dr. Marica Arvanites, Eleftherios Papaslis, James P. Lemonias, Constintine P. Calliontzis and Portia Pantages.

The Cathedral has been honored by several priests who were assistants to the Dean and have served the Church of America in a higher ecclesiastical capacity. The late Rev. George Bacopoulos, Chancellor of the Archdiocese, V. Rev. Alexander G. Leondis, Chancellor of the Diocese of NJ, Rev. Dr. Theodore Stylianopoulos, Professor at Holy Cross School of Theology, author of numerous articles and books, and member of the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches, and Rev. Michael T. Kontogiorgis, Assistant Chancellor of the Archdiocese.

The Cathedral provided the inspiration for many of its youth who became priests and bishops. Bishop John of Amorion, (Michael Kalogerakis) Ret., Rev. Protopresbyter Peter A. Atsalas (Ret.), Rev. Protopresbyter Constantine G. Theodore (Ret.), Rev. Milton N. Stamatos, former Cathedral president, Rev. Kyriakos V. Saravelas, Annunciation Church, Newburyport, MA, Rev. MiIton B. Efthimiou, (Retired) St. Barbara Church, Toms River, NJ, Rev. Charles P. Sarelis, Annunciation Church, Kansas City, MO,V. Rev. Makarios J. Niakaros, Holy Apostles/SS Peter and Paul Church, Haverhill, MA, V. Rev. Vasilios Flionis, Dormition of Virgin Mary Church, Somerville, MA, Rev. Demetrios A. Lokis, St. Nicholas Shrine Church, Flushing, NY, Rev. Peter Liberis and Rev. Peter Carras of the Russian Orthodox Church, Rev. Demetrios A. Lokis, St. Nicholas Shrine Church, Flushing, NY, and Fr. Iakovos (William C. Bakos) a monk at the monastery of Simonpetra on Mt. Athos.

Dr. Lewis J. Patsavos, former Cathedral acolyte under Fr. James A. Coucouzes, now serves as professor of Canon Law and head of the Field Education Program at the Holy Cross School of Theology. Many present and former Cathedralites are serving the church in a higher capacity as members of the Order of St. Andrew-Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Archbishop Leadership 100 Endowment Fund. Archons include John P. Alevizos, Arthur C. Anton, Angleo Bassett, George, James, and Leo P. Condakes, Hon. Harry Demeter, Jr., George P. Demeter, George Kalambokis, Theodore Katsiroubas, Dr. Thomas Lelon, James P. Lemonias, Dean Limberakis, Stephen E. Pappas, Nicholas J. Philopoulos, Angelo S. Stamoulis, George Toumpouras, and Dr. Nicholas T. Zervas. Leadership 100 participants are Mr. & Mrs. John P. Alevizos, Arthur C. Anton, Atty. & Mrs. Efthemiou J. Bentas, Bob & Kally Badavas, Crystal Condakes, Crystal Stella Condakes, Eve. N. Condakes, George P. Condakes, Mr. & Mrs. James P. Condakes, Leo P. Condakes, Mr. & Mrs. James E. Davis, Mr. & Mrs. George E. Danis, Dr. George & Mrs. Hasiotis, Hon. John C. and Katherine Pappas, Nicholas J. Philopoulos and Nicholas L. Vinios.

As the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral of New England approaches its centennial year in 2003, a newly formed Committee, led by former Cathedral presidents James P. Lemonias and Dr. Marica Arvanites, is planning a series of exciting events to celebrate its historical past.


The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral of New England looks back with pride on a century of significant contributions to churches throughout New England and America. Along with honoring its accomplishments, the Cathedral looks forward to continuing its eminent role as a "beacon of light," and its spiritual obligation as the Seat of the Diocese of Boston, and the Mother Church of New England Orthodoxy.

This brief history of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral of New England was written by Dr. Christopher G. Gussis, chairman of the Centennial Publicity with information provided by the late Rev. John C. Zanetos, Nicholas C. Culolias and George Alevizos together with Harris P. Jameson, Rev. Dr. Athanasios Demos, Rev. Constantine Xanthakis and others.

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Viewing the Cathedral Architecture and Interior

Additional Information

Arcbishop Iakovos Reminisces About Cathedral Days