Retreat House Ground-Breaking Ceremonies Will be September 10, At St. Methodios Faith & Heritage Center

July 11, 2006 

BROOKLINE---His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios and George D. Behrakis, chairman of the St. Methodios Faith and Heritage Center Committee, have announced that ground breaking ceremonies for the Retreat House at the St. Methodios Faith & Heritage Center in Contoocook, NH will take place on Sunday, September 10, during the Annual Open House of this beacon of Orthodoxy and Hellenic heritage in New England. Both met with the architect and the engineer who are in the process of obtaining the necessary permits for construction. Also present was Michael Sintros, the director of the Center.

The Retreat House, architectural plans for which were prepared by Y. Nahikian Associates Architects, will have 40 double bedrooms, with private baths; two additional handicapped accessible bedrooms and baths, and one VIP suite. The main floor will consist of an 1825 square foot multifunction room with a fireplace and balcony; a kitchen; and a reception office. Two additional conference rooms are located on the ground floor, and two gathering rooms on the second floor. The ground floor will also have a parlor with a fireplace.

In 1995, His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios appointed a committee chaired by Christos Papoutsy of Rye Beach, NH to find a site suitable for year-round programs for children and adults of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston. The extensive search led to the current 200-acre site with two lakes which the search committee recommended to Metropolitan Methodios. In September of 1998, the Metropolis purchased the property in Contoocook, NH, thanks to the great contribution of George and Margo Behrakis. Many faithful throughout New England emulated their sterling example and have helped make the St. Methodios Faith and Heritage Center the finest such center in the entire Archdiocese.

Besides being the home of the MBC Summer and Winter Camps, the Faith and Heritage Center also hosts a number of retreats and special programs throughout the year. Greek Orthodox parishes hold weekend retreats for youth and families. Senior citizen groups, cultural organizations, and many individuals come for a day of fellowship and retreat. The Retreat House will offer many opportunities for adults of all ages to spend time in this peaceful setting, the centerpiece of which is the
rustic Chapel of St. George.

Generous individuals and parishes have made substantial donations and pledges towards the construction of the Retreat House. Gatherings are planned throughout the Metropolis which Metropolitan Methodios will attend to speak about the Retreat House and answer questions. Metropolitan Methodios hopes to encourage the faithful to participate in this project just as they did for the construction of the magnificent Metropolis Center in Brookline more than 20 years ago.

It is indeed fitting that this magnificent property in the New Hampshire woods was named after St. Methodios, Patriarch of Constantinople who restored Holy Icons in our churches. The Faith and Heritage Center highlights our Greek Orthodox faith and heritage. It is a beacon of hope. The rolling woodlands and two lakes on the property embrace all who visit the center.