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Ordination of Bishop-Elect Savas Zembillas on Saturday, February 2, 2002 at Holy Trinity Cathedral

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Jan 28, 2002

NEW YORK, NY- His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, assisted by several hierarchs including: Archbishop Iakovos, Former Archbishop of North and South America; Metropolitan Maximos of Aenos, Presiding Hierarch of the Diocese of Pittsburgh; Bishop Alexios of Atlanta, and Bishop Kallistos (Ware) of Diokleia, will ordain the V. Rev. Archimandrite Savas Zembillas, Chancellor of the Archdiocese, to the episcopacy as Bishop of Troas, on Saturday, February 2, 2002, the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord Jesus Christ, at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, 319 East 74th Street, New York City. The Orthros will begin at 8:30 a.m. and the Ordination, followed by the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, at 10:00 a.m. His Grace Bishop Savas will serve as an Auxiliary Bishop to Archbishop Demetrios and continue as Chancellor of the Archdiocese.

On December 11, 2001, Archimandrite Savas was one of three clergymen of the Archdiocese of America elected as Auxiliary Bishops to Archbishop Demetrios by the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, upon the recommendation of the Eparchial Synod of the Archdiocese of America. He will be the first Greek Orthodox Bishop ordained in America since Archbishop Demetrios’ enthronement in September 1999. Bishop-elect Gerasimos Michaleas, for many years the Archdeacon and Assistant to the President of Hellenic College/Holy Cross, and recently appointed Chief Secretary of the Eparchial Synod of the Archdiocese of America, will be ordained to the Priesthood by Metropolitan Methodios of Aneon on Saturday, February 2, 2002, at the Holy Cross Chapel in Brookline, Massachusetts, and to the episcopacy as Bishop of Krateia on Saturday, February 9, at the Annunciation Cathedral in Boston by Archbishop Demetrios, Archbishop Iakovos, Metropolitan Methodios, and other members of the Synod. Bishop-elect Andonios Paropoulos, Director of Saint Michael’s Home for the Aged and of the newly created Archdiocesan Department of Philanthropy, will be ordained Bishop of Phasiane on Saturday, February 23, at Holy Trinity Cathedral in New York City, by Archbishop Demetrios, Archbishop Iakovos, and other Hierarchs of the Synod.

Bishop-elect Savas was born on June 11, 1957, in Gary, Indiana. He is the second of six children of Skevofylax and Stamatia Zembillas, of Kalymnian and Cypriot descent. After graduating in 1979 with a BA degree in Philosophy and English literature from Colby College in Waterville, Maine, he worked for a year as a manager of a coffee company in Cambridge, Massachusetts, before leaving for Europe in 1981 to test his monastic vocation. He spent all of that year in various monastic communities in Greece and England, including several on the Holy Mountain of Athos, Patmos and Kalymnos. He returned to America in 1982 and was accepted in the Master of Divinity program at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts. During his three years at the Seminary, he served as assistant to the late Savas J. Savas, Professor of Byzantine Music, and studied the Book of Psalms under the then Bishop of Vresthena, Demetrios Trakatellis, the future Archbishop of America.

After graduating from the Seminary with highest honors in May 1985, Savas was appointed pastoral assistant to Rev. Constantine Mitsos of Holy Trinity/Saint Nicholas Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. Two year later, he left to begin a program of doctoral studies at Pembroke College, University of Oxford, England. Under the academic supervision of Bishop Kallistos Ware, renowned author of The Orthodox Church and The Orthodox Way and translator of The Philokalia, Savas spent the next seven years studying and translating the correspondence of Saints Barsanuphios the Great and John the Prophet, two monks of early sixth-century Gaza who left behind an enormous archive of invaluable and influential letters of spiritual direction in response to questions asked by hundreds of petitioners. While at Oxford, he served for two years as assistant to the Director of the Saint Theosevia Centre for the Study of Christian Spirituality, and later for three years as the Warden (Director) of the House of Saint Gregory and Saint Macrina, a house of residence, retreat- and conference center founded by the late Dr. Nicolas Zernov and affiliated with the Anglican and Orthodox Society of Saint Alban and Saint Sergius. In late 1992, he returned briefly to his home parish of Saints Constantine and Helen Cathedral in Merrillville, Indiana, where he was ordained to the Holy Diaconate by then-Bishop Iakovos of Chicago on November 21, the Feast of the Entry of the Holy Theotokos into the Temple. He returned to England, where he served as Deacon to Bishop Kallistos until his return to the States at the end of 1994.

Deacon Savas was ordained to the Holy Priesthood by Bishop Iakovos of Chicago on January 8, 1995, in Merrillville, Indiana, and returned to the Seminary later that month. There, he held the position of Scholar-in-Residence until his assignment in September 1995 as Proistamenos of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Kalamazoo, Michigan. In November 1996, Father Savas was elevated to the rank of Archimandrite at the Monastery of Saint Gregory Palamas in Hayesville, Ohio, by Metropolitan Maximos of Aenos, Presiding Hierarch of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, then locum tenens of the Diocese of Detroit. In September 1997, Archbishop Spyridon of America assigned Archimandrite Savas to Saint Demetrios Church in Merrick, Long Island. In December 1999, shortly after his enthronement, His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios appointed Archimandrite Savas as Chancellor of the Archdiocese.

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