Kimisis Church Retreat Focuses on
21st-Century Orthodoxy

by Catherine Tsounis

“How do we prepare for the Divine Liturgy on Sunday? We must read the newspaper! Knowing current events helps one to understand Sunday services,” asked Rev. Father Nicholas Triantafilou. “Today, March 3rd, I am celebrating forty-four years of my ordination as a priest. I am now understanding the liturgy. Read the newspapers, internet and email. They tell us who is suffering.” The Eighth Annual Zoullas Lenten Retreat for Adults was held from March 2-4th at the Kimisis Tis Theotokou Greek Orthodox Church of the Hamptons in Southampton, New York. The theme was “the 21st Century IN Orthodoxy." Father Triantafilou, Guest Retreat Master, President of Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, assisted by his Seminarians conducted an extraordinary weekend of soul searching.

"When we go to church, we must pray for these persons in our divine liturgy. St. John the Chrysostom’s Sunday liturgy has special prayers for our political leaders. We must pray for their tranquility so we have tranquility.” Father Nick, as he is known to all, is a down to earth Priest/Theologian who has a sense of humor. “When I went to Hellenic College in the mid 1950’s, every subject from biology to math was spoken and taught in Greek,” he said. “Í had a Greek immigrant father. My English Methodist mother had us learn the bible and attend church regularly. When I was twenty, she converted to Greek Orthodoxy. I learned Greek at Hellenic College.” He is a role model for all who want to learn Greek.

Rev. Father Nicholas Triantafilou, Guest Retreat Master
“St. John Chrysostom believed every family should have a room where Christ is welcome,” he said. A rich man is not one who has much but gives much. He was a martyr of compassionate living. Listen to the prayers. We must pray for all people, for all tragedies in the newspapers.”

Holy Cross Seminarians mingled with young and old during the Greek Orthodox workshop on Saturday, March 3rd. Seminarian Georgios Livaditis is an immigrant from Karpathos, an island halfway between Rhodes and Crete. He comes from a restaurant family in Texas. “I worked in my family’s restaurant and saw how difficult life is,” he said. “Seminarians should work and see life. When one becomes a priest, one must be able to relate with the working class community.” Seminarian Livaditis’ humility and respect for his roots were apparent to this writer. For more information on Hellenic College and Holy Cross School of Theology visit or email

Participants in the retreat
"We prepared for the Eighth Annual Zoullas Lenten Retreat for Adults six months in advance,” said Dimitrios Hatgistavrou, president of the Parish Council. Members of the community who made this a success included: Protopresbyter Father Alexander and Presvitera Xanthi Karloutsos; Rev. Constantine and Presvitera Anastasia Lazarakis; Maria Hatgistavrou; Bessie Mavrikakis, Stavroula Raia; Christine Vamvakitis; Pat Maus;
Maria Vlahadamis; Michele Papajohn and Maria Karpathakis.

This unique event is the highlight of the Lenten season in eastern Long Island. Nicholas Zoullas sponsors a winter and summer event. The religious and cultural events were created by Nick Zoullas in memory of his parents, Socrates and Louisa. The senior Zoullas couple, who are now deceased, were philanthropists in Athens during the German occupation of World War II. They opened soup kitchens to save their starving compatriots. They worked behind the scenes in their Southampton community, helping the hospital and Kimisis Tis Theotokou Church. Nick Zoullas is commended for bringing culture and intellectual brilliance to the East End through his religious and cultural series.

(Posting date 30 April 2007

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