Presvytera Mourikis

HYANNIS, Mass. – Presvytera Mary Mourikis, 94, widow of the late Fr. Spyros Mourikis, the founding priest of St. George Church on Cape Cod, died on Aug. 21 peacefully in her home surrounded by family. Born Oct. 8, 1921, in Somerville, Mass., to Sophia (Jouvelakis) and Demetrios Masteralexis, she was the third of four siblings. She was a 1939 Somerville High School graduate and attended Burrows Business School and was later employed as a book-keeper in Boston’s A&P corporate office.

She and Fr. Mourikis were married Aug. 24, 1947, by Bishop Athenagoras Cavadas at Dormition of the Virgin Mary Church in Somerville. In October 1947, her husband was ordained to the priesthood and in January 1949, they were assigned to their first and only community of Cape Cod. Their mission began with 50 faithful families scattered throughout the Cape and, after serving for 42 years, retired their work with a community of more than 500 families. Presvytera Mary dedicated her life to her husband, children and beloved community. In her quiet demeanor, Presvytera Mary served with grace, honor and a devotion to God. She was the beacon that sustained a highly dedicated priest because she invested her life so that he could answer God’s calling and complete his mission.

In 2007, Metropolitan Methodios of Boston honored Presvytera Mary with the Metropolis of Boston Ministry Award. She received the St. Paul Medal of Honor for 40 years of dedication by Archbishop Iakovos. Her service and leadership were rewarded by former Gov. Michael Dukakis and Sen. Edward Kennedy. A memorable moment was her 1989 visit to the Ecumenical Patriarchate where she and Fr. Mourikis were received by His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios.

Presvytera Mary was a charter member of St. Katherine’s Philoptochos Society serving in many capacities and most meaningful to her on the sick committee visiting parishioners in hospitals, nursing homes and in their homes. She taught Sunday school, offered help to adults with disabilities and served on the board of The Cape Cod Chapter Church Women United. One of her gifts was her melodious alto voice and her love of music was expressed as a member of the Somerville Church and St. George Church Choirs for more than 30 years. She also chanted Byzantine hymns during special services.

Presvytera Mary was known for her generous hospitality. She was a master at preparing and baking Greek pastries and specialties, happiest with classical violin and piano music in the background played by her daughters and granddaughters. At Christmas time, she would arrange colorful trays of Greek pastries for neighbors, friends, teachers and doctors. She enjoyed many fond years entertaining archbishops, bishops, seminarians and visiting priests with their families. Mary touched many lives and will be remembered for her gentle nature, her inner strength, and for serving all with unconditional love, respect and compassion. She taught us the true nature of love-agape.

She was predeceased by her brother, Theodore, and sister, Despa Seonis. Survivors include daughters and sons-in-law, Sophia Sarhanis of Centerville, Mass.; Loukia and Dr. Robert Lopresti of Fair Haven, N.J., and Deborah and Demetrius Tasoulas of Waterford, Conn; five grandchildren; Chrissa Kaselis and husband, John, of Walpole, Mass.; Jonathan T. Sarhanis of Los Angeles; Mara N. Sullivan and husband, James, of Westford, Mass.; Hope M. Lopresti of Fair Haven, N.J., and Stacey Maria Tasoulas of Waterford; five great-grandchildren; Sophia, Demi and James Kaselis; Lexi and Lucy Sullivan; brother, George Masteralexis and wife, Esther, of Watertown, Mass., nephew James Masteralexis and wife, Lisa, of Amherst, Mass., many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Funeral service was held Aug. 25 at St. George Church, with Fr. Panagiotis Giannakopoulos officiating, assisted by Fr. George Papademitriou and Fr. HarryVoulopas. Memorials may be made to St. George Greek Orthodox Church of Cape Cod, 1130 Falmouth Road (Rte. 28), Centerville, MA 02632.