Rural Church Celebrates Transfiguration Feast Day

ByCatherine Tsounis

Summer on the North Fork of Long Island brings families together through the sea and religion. Nature is a magnet drawing generations. Greek-American families have been vacationing on the North Fork of Long Island since the 1950's. Many have built homes housing three generations, as in 2006 Modern Greece. All worship at the local Greek Orthodox Church.

On August 5th and 6th, the Transfiguration of Christ Church on
Breakwater Road in Mattituck, Long Island, in the heartland of agricultural New York, had a unique Vespers and Feast Day service. The Vespers on August 5th evening, drew tight-knit Greek-American families from Astoria, Flushing through Orient Point, Long Island. Over two hundred and fifty persons attended. His Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios, was represented by Very Rev. Archimandrite Gerasimos Makris, the former Dean of Students of the Greek Orthodox Theological School in Boston, Massachusetts. Archimandrite Gerasimos was assisted by the community's pastor Rev. Dionisios Marketos and eight priests from New York and New Jersey. Refreshments were served in the church hall.

Prominent priests of New York and New Jersey
attend August 5th Vespers.

His Grace Bishop Savas conducting services on
the August 6th Feast Day of the Transfiguration
of Christ in Mattituck, N.Y.

A filled church attended August 6th services.

The August 6th Feast Day service was performed by His Grace, Bishop Savas, Chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Very Rev. Gerasimos and Rev. Dionisios. A packed church with standing room only listened to an eloquence meaning of the Transfiguration. Over two hundred persons attended the luncheon that followed. The first groundbreaking of the church took place in the fall of 1969 with Very Rev. John Pools of St. Demetrios Church in Astoria and members of his community who had summer homes in Mattituck. A vibrant Greek-American community has grown around the church.

The unique Feast Day highlights the fact that everyone returns home to their village. To many Greek-American families who have been in America for 100 years, Mattituck is their version of a Greek village with a church adorned with rich iconography. The surrounding potato fields of the 1970's have been replaced with vegetable fields. Children and grandchildren remember the sacrifice of their forefathers to build the Transfiguration of Christ Church on Breakwater Road near the Long Island Sound. They returned in 2006. On August 6th families revisited to remember their roots and Greek Orthodox faith in this mesmerizing rural church, rich in Byzantine tradition.

(Posting date 11 August 2006

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