Spiritual Leadership

Archbishop Demetrios Geron of America

Archbishop DemetriosArchbishop Demetrios, Geron of America was born Demetrios Trakatellis in Thessaloniki, Greece on February 1, 1928. In 1950 he graduated with distinction from the University of Athens School of Theology. In 1960 he was ordained a deacon, and in 1964 a priest.

He was elected Bishop of Vresthena in 1967, an auxiliary bishop to the Archbishop of Athens with the primary responsibility for the theological education of the clergy. From 1965 to 1971, on scholarship from Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, he studied New Testament and Christian Origins and was awarded a Ph.D. "with distinction" in 1972. After receiving this degree, he returned to his ecclesiastical position in the Archdiocese of Athens and undertook responsibilities for the theological education of the clergy, ministry among the youth, and other duties related to theological conferences in Greece and abroad.

In 1968, he was elected Metropolitan of Attika and Megaris, but he did not accept the post for reasons related to the canonical order of the Church and to the political conditions in Greece at that time.

Later, in 1977, he earned a second doctorate, namely a Th.D. in Theology from the University of Athens “with distinction.” From 1983 to 1993, he served as the Distinguished Professor of Biblical Studies and Christian Origins at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts. Serving as a faculty member for more than a decade, he taught many of America’s Greek Orthodox clergy. He also taught at Harvard Divinity School as Visiting Professor of New Testament during the academic years of 1984 to 1985 and from 1988 to 1989. On August 20, 1991 the Sacred Synod of the Church of Greece elevated the then Bishop Demetrios of Vresthena to a Titular Metropolitan of Vresthena with the simultaneous elevation of the Diocese of Vresthena to the rank of the Metropolis. After several years in the United States, he returned to Greece in 1993 to pursue full-time scholarly writing and research. At the same time, he resumed his responsibilities at the Archdiocese of Athens.

Elected Archbishop of America on August 19, 1999 by the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Archbishop Demetrios was enthroned on September 18, 1999 at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New York City. He leads a church of more than one and a half million Greek Orthodox Christians in the United States.

Father Alexander Karloutsos

Fr. Alexander (better known as Father Alex) has been an assistant to three Archbishops. Currently he is the spiritual adviser to the Order of Saint Andrew, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in America, and to Faith: An Endowment for Orthodoxy and Hellenism. He serves as special assistant to the Archbishop working as liaison with heads of churches, the White House, the Congress, state and local officials, Greek American organizations, political action and religious freedom and human rights groups. He is also the Orthodox chaplain for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Together with his son-in-law, Father Constantine Lazarakis, he pastors the Dormition of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church of the Hamptons.

Father Alex previously served as the executive director of Leadership 100, (1986 to 1992 and 1999 to 2004), and was appointed by Archbishop Iakovos as the first vicar of public affairs of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America in 1985, holding that position simultaneously until 1992 when he was appointed special assistant to His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.

He graduated magna cum laude from Hellenic College in Brookline, Massachusetts, in 1966. He received a Master of Theology degree, also magna cum laude, from the Holy Cross School of Theology there in 1969. He received a Certificate in Ecumenical Theology from the University of Geneva in 1970. He was ordained a deacon and a priest in September of 1970; respectively by Archbishop Eugenios of Crete and Archbishop Iakovos of America and was elevated by Archbishop Iakovos to Protopresbyter in February of 1984. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew named Father Alexander Protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in 1994, the highest honor a married clergyman can receive in the Orthodox Christian Church.

Father Alexander first served as an assistant priest at SS. Constantine and Helen in Chicago in 1970 where he was active in youth ministries. He was appointed Archdiocesan Director of Youth Ministry in 1974, moving to the Archdiocesan headquarters in New York. In 1978, he was appointed Archdiocesan Director of the Office of Church and Society where he served until 1980 when he assumed the directorship of the newly established Department of Communications.

He, along with his wife Presbytera Xanthi, have been instrumental in fundraising efforts for the ministries and beautification of Long Island's jewel-- the Dormition of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church in Southampton. They are now involved in efforts towards the rebuilding of Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine at the World Trade Center.

Father Alexander and Presbytera Xanthi are the parents of three children, Michael, Anastasia, and Olga and have nine grandchildren, Alexander, Konstantine, Xanthi, Luca, Konstantina, Demetrios, Steven, Leo, and Michael.