Department of Registry
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
Report to the Archdiocesan Council
Fr. Michael T. Kontogiorgis, Director of Registry; Assitant Chancellor
All records of baptisms, chrismations, weddings, divorces and funerals are maintained in the Parish Registry Books. The local parish priest detailing the information recorded in his parish’s Registry Books issues transcripts upon receiving a request from the individual involved. The priest who prepares them signs these transcripts. The diocesan bishop then validates the authenticity of the priest’s signature. These transcripts can be used as needed and serve the same function as those original certificates issued at the time of the Sacrament. In the case of a Church Divorce Decree, however, duplicate copies are not issued. The original, as issued, must be submitted when applying for an ecclesiastical marriage license.
As of September 1, 1979, each Diocese established a Registry Department, which processes marriage license requests, issues ecclesiastical licenses to marry, and maintains copies of the records for baptisms, chrismations, marriages, and funerals, as the parish priests following the Sacraments submit them. The Diocesan Registry Department also maintains the petitions for divorces, the minutes of the Spiritual Court hearings that pertain to divorce petitions and copies of the divorce decrees issued. The diocesan Registry Department also issues to the diocesan priests certificates signed by the diocesan hierarch for baptisms and chrismations. (Prior to September 1, 1979, the Archdiocesan Department of Registry did all of this for all the parishes of the Archdiocese. Since then, this is only done for the parishes within the Archdiocesan District.)
The Archdiocese Department of Registry maintains the records of weddings and divorces from 1923 until August 31, 1979, that took place throughout the Archdiocese. Since September 1, 1979, only those records that pertain to the parishes of the Archdiocesan District are kept at the Archdiocese Registry Department. Records of baptisms, chrismations and funerals as the parish priests submitted them are also archived at the Archdiocese.
The Archdiocese also coordinates the tabulation of the statistics from throughout the Archdiocese. This information is published annually in the Yearbook of the Archdiocese.
The Department of Registry will be seeking to utilize the latest technology to address the enormous task of sorting, indexing and cataloguing the paper records archived, as well as to investigate the possibility of processing certificates and documents electronically, in order to:
Accurate documentation and the
ability to provide such documentation will become even more critical in
the years ahead. The Department of Registry is committed to utilizing
the resources at its disposal to ensure, as much as possible, that the
faithful of the Holy Archdiocese of America have access to the
information and documentation that they require.