Church of the Week: St. Athanasios Greek Orthodox Church, Aurora, IL

Today's "church of the week" here on the Desperate Pastor blog is St. Athanasios Greek Orthodox Church in Aurora, Illinois. It was officially established as an independent parish in 1965.

The lovely Robin and I visited this church for the first time just yesterday. It is a beautiful church, inside and out--including the flock that worships here. We were warmly greeted by several folks on our arrival around 9 a.m.

We were here for the occasion of our nephew David's ordination to the diaconate by His Grace Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos in the church where David was catechized and baptized into the orthodox faith, and from which he and his family moved to Massachusetts several years ago, where he enrolled in Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline.

After being ceremonially presented to the bishop, David prayed at the icon of Jesus for about an hour (!) while the divine liturgy proceeded (in the photo above, his recommendation for ordination from the parish in Massachusetts is being read aloud in Greek, then English).

David and Nora's two oldest sons, Joel and Isaac (on the left in the photo above) served as altar boys in the service.

At another point in the three-and-a-half hour worship service, David followed a procession down the center aisle, his head still draped with the servant's towel, carrying the servant's bowl and pitcher.

He was then ordained by the laying on of hands in the apostolic tradition....

And warmly presented to the congregation and furnished with the vestments of his new office by the bishop, to cries of "Axios!" ("he is worthy").

When the time came for communion to be served, David and the bishop served together, with the first celebrants served by David being his wife, Nora, and four sons, Matthew, Justin, Joel, and Isaac.

After the service, the church hosted a sumptuous buffet in the adjacent and well-furnished fellowship hall. Stuffed grape leaves, olives, cheeses, pastries, and so on, all good.

It was such a joy and blessing to be there for this important and auspicious moment in the life of one of God's servants, David. And to enjoy fellowship (all-too-brief) with him and Nora and the boys, and David's parents, my brother Don and sister-in-law Arvilla, too.


  1. Axios to the Deacon David and may God grant him many years!

    In ICXC

  2. Thanks for sharing the church of the week. I have been there; it is a really good church, with this I would like to talk about web based church management software . It is really useful to share information & allows church members to be in touch with church & its members anywhere & anytime. It’s easy to enter data, and print reports. Church Web Calendar is really good application by this we can manage the events for church & lots more options available.