Profiles in Catholicism
 

An Interview with Father Andrew Georganas,
Greek Orthodox priest


by Eileen Quinn Knight, Ph.D.


Photo of Dimitra and Andrew Georganas and their children
 
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Dr; Knight:
  You have a wonderful family.  Could you tell us about them? Were you married before you were ordained?
     
Father Andrew:   Dimitra is my loving wife, mother of our five children and a wonderfully brilliant educator who has taught in schools for the past ten years. She has won numerous awards for her teaching. My five children are Anastasia (14), Katerina (13), Giorgio (11), Gabriella (9), and Evangelo (8). Our family connection is very important to us. We take a family vacation each year together and we celebrate the feast day of each person in the family. The time we spend together helps us celebrate the domestic Church. The schedules we all have take a great deal of planning and organizing.  I was married before I was ordained and will remain a married priest all the days of my life with God’s help.
     
Dr; Knight:
  This is a time of hope in the Church with our spiritually compassionate leaders and other believers who understand the vision of our Pope. How do you think he has inspired people? The inspiration of your Patriarch?
     
Father Andrew:   The hope of both the Pope and the Patriarch for the Ecumenical Church is for all to develop a relationship with Jesus Christ.  To be compassionate, kind and merciful to all we come in contact with. The hope is that we continue to notice the importance of Christ in each and every life we meet every day.
     
Dr; Knight:   How did you receive your call to be a Greek Orthodox priest?  How has this call changed over time?
     
Father Andrew:
  Well, I was a teenager and spent time figuring out what I should do. I wanted to serve the Church. Site unseen, I went to the Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Boston for 7 years. I loved going there and Boston is now my second home.
     
Dr; Knight:   How about an easy question: What is your favorite film at this time? Book?
     
Father Andrew:
 

My favorite film is Field of Dreams.  I love baseball and the history of baseball. The father in the film was very real and believable.  The book I love is the Holy Bible as God reveals Himself to us.  Otherwise, I do a lot of digital reading to keep up with the information that is going on both in the Church and in our society.

     
Dr; Knight:   Do you think that issues of divorce in your Church documents works well for all involved?
 
Father Andrew:
 

We try to make the issue of divorce one that is understood by all of the people involved. By the time the people tell me of the divorce, it has already happened.  It would be good if it took place sooner so I could help them with their covenant.

     
Dr; Knight:
  Do you think/feel that the use of social media in our parishes can assist young people to think about knowing/loving/serving God through their ‘cyber-neighbor’?
     
Father Andrew:   There are excellent uses of social media in our community: one is knowing when activities are happening at Church, but a difficulty happens when the Church is not a priority in our society.  We use social media too much at times.  Maybe we should establish Sunday as a “no media day” so everyone could spend time celebrating Christ at the Eucharist in order to have the graces necessary to live a Christian life throughout the week.
     
Dr; Knight:
  Do you think/feel that the use of social media in our parishes can assist young people to think about knowing/loving/serving God through their ‘cyber-neighbor’?
     
Father Andrew:   There are excellent uses of social media in our community: one is knowing when activities are happening at Church, but a difficulty happens when the Church is not a priority in our society.  We use social media too much at times.  Maybe we should establish Sunday as a “no media day” so everyone could spend time celebrating Christ at the Eucharist in order to have the graces necessary to live a Christian life throughout the week.
     
Dr; Knight:
  Your parish has a school.  How does this impact your ministry?
     
Father Andrew:
 
  Our beloved school, Pythagoras Children’s Academy, is connected to The Greek Orthodox Church of St. Demetrios. It serves children from Pre-School through 5th grade.  We have Greek school Monday and Wednesday evenings as well as Saturday mornings so that the students in K-12 will have a good hold of their language both for speaking and culturally.
     
Dr; Knight:
  There have been very influential Greek Orthodox priest throughout the ages including saints. What part do icons play in the worship?
     
Father Andrew:
 
  Icons are a reminder in one dimension of the saints that have gone before us. We venerate the icons.  They are beautiful pieces of Art that are held by the Church or in the family by all who participate. Statues are not used in Greek Orthodox Churches as the three dimensions are used for people that are alive.  The Virgin Mary, the most important person who has lived on Earth, along with the saints are an integral part of the Church and many of their feasts are celebrated by the entire community.
     
Dr; Knight:
  We have very similar ministries in the Catholic Church as you do in the Greek Orthodox.  What stands out for you?
     
Father Andrew:   During the days of the Epiphany, every home and business has the house/business blessed in order to continue the graces and blessings of God for the year. I go to each and every home and business in my community that requests the blessing.
     
Dr; Knight:
  What other issues do you have as a priority for our work as a society?
     
Father Andrew:   The Church needs to stand firm in the Eucharistic prayer of the people.
     
Dr; Knight:
  Our world today has become joyfully complex in many ways.  Would you respond to the concerns of our society?
     
Father Andrew:   Since Putin has taken office, the Patriarch of Moscow and the Greek Orthodox people of Russia have become strong and increased their community. The Patriarch of Constantinople has a relatively small community of 300,000 people.  The population of Turkey where the Patriarch lives is 99% Muslim.  This will take a great deal of prayer.