TOLEDO, Ohio -- The 100th anniversary celebration of Holy Trinity Cathedral, “Honor the Past – Embrace the Future,” culminated June 26-28 in a series of weekend events that began with a family picnic and reunion on Friday evening, June 26.
On Saturday, June 27, the parish welcomed Archbishop Demetrios and Metropolitan Nicholas of Detroit who celebrated a Vespers service with Fr. Larry Legakis, Holy Trinity’s proistamenos, and the Very Rev. Fr. Chris W. Hadgigeorge (retired) pastor emeritus.
Other clergy from the Metropolis of Detroit assisting with vespers were Frs. Nicolaos Kotsis of St. Nicholas, Ann Arbor, Mich., Teodor Petrutiu of Sts. Constantine & Helen, Westland, Mich., and Anthony Cook of St. George, Southgate, Mich., Hieromonk Fr. Seraphim Dedes of St. Nektarios, Charlotte N.C., a Toledo-Holy Trinity son, along with Dr. Tom Papademetriou of Boston.
They led the psaltai and congregation in responses.
Torrential rains and 40 mph wind gusts failed to dampen the spirit and well-wishes of the 400 parishioners and guests attending and, afterward, “grazing” at a dinner reception in the community center donated by 19 restauranteurs and parishioners.
A Memory Room outfitted with parishioners’ vintage family photographs and narratives, along with parish archival documents was a featured attraction. Toledo Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson presented the parish with a proclamation from the city and offered Archbishop Demetrios a key to the City of Toledo.
A Centennial History In Music was presented by Jo-Anne Chrysochoos and Evangelia Leontis with a historical narration by Chris Zervos.
National Philoptochos Board member, Anita Kartolopoulos recognized 20 Philoptochos members with 50 years of service.
Metropolitan Nicholas presented the parish with the historical documents that elevated the parish to a cathedral in 1987 largely through the efforts of then–parish council President Don E. Stathulis.
Archbishop Demetrios spoke on the uniqueness of the evening’s events and the relativity of time in our lives. Tony Geftos, local ABC anchor, was master of ceremonies.
Each guest was given a symbolic mortgage note collected in trays and burned by the Archbishop, with assistance from parish council President George Sares and Treasurer Dennis Lawrence.
Archbishop Demetrios, assisted by Metropolitan Nicholas and the parish’s clergy, celebrated the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on Sunday, June 28. A 22-voice choir sang the Zervos I bilingual liturgical choral setting.
Archbishop Demetrios conferred the title of Economos on Fr. Larry Legakis, cathedral dean, to a resounding “Axios!” before joining parish youth at a post liturgy breakfast.
The weekend’s events were chaired by Kathy and Bryan Chaka and Karen and Michael George, capping off a year-long celebration begun in July, 2014.
The City of Toledo is at the mouth of the Maumee River at the western end of Lake Erie. Holy Trinity Cathedral in Toledo, Ohio lies at the northern threshold to the city’s central business district in the Vistula Historic District.
The parish, formed in 1914 and formally incorporated by the State of Ohio in 1915, has met the spiritual and communal needs of Orthodox Christians in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan.
The parish ministers to approximately 350 families.
Fr. Larry Legakis, was assisted by Fr. Chris W. Hadgigeorge (retired) and a parish council of 12. The parish’s archons are Paul G. Sieben and Jerry Bernacki.
The parish is a “full service” parish with a Church School, Greek language program, choir and psaltai. Youth programs include HOPE and JOY, GOYA and Summer of the Arts.
A flourishing Greek folk dance program, Hellenic Dance Company, attracts children and young adults in four age groups (5 yrs to 26 yrs.) which perform at parish and civic events across the Midwest.
The parish is further supported by an active Philoptochos which meets all of its national outreach ministries and supports diocesan and local ministries as well.
A seniors’ group, known as Young-At-Heart, ministers to parishioners who are 55+. Fraternal organizations, such as AHEPA, Daughters of Penelope and Maids of Athena remain active and vital. The parish interacts with other Orthodox jurisdictions in the Inter-Orthodox Council of Greater Toledo, mostly during Great Lent and at feastdays.
The parish is involved with the Mid-Eastern Federation of Greek Orthodox Church Musicians and has hosted four of its conventions.
Holy Trinity Cathedral began hosting an out-door festival in 1971 which has been voted by Toledoans as the “best” ethnic festival based on its food and friendly service.
Annually, the Greek festival occurs the weekend after Labor Day, and requires the work of 500 volunteers to execute.
(Also see parish profile, November 2009 Orthodox Observer archives online, page 15).