Photos by Alex Mavridis

             His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios installed Fr. Cleopas Strongylis Dean of the Annunciation cathedral of Boston on March 1, before a congregation which enthusiastically welcomed its new Pastor.                 

          “Today is a day of joy and gladness.  It marks a new beginning, the opening of a new chapter in the history of this Cathedral.  It is a day of dreams and visions, of new hope and renewed commitment for a better tomorrow.   You begin today a ministry which will be guided by the tenets of our Greek Orthodox Faith, its history, its traditions, its Holy Canons, its Ecclesiology and Polity,” said Metropolitan Methodios.  He urged Fr. Strongylis “to serve hand in hand with the laity.  Utilize their individual gifts to build the Church which is the Body of Christ.    Those who serve with you must be men and women of good repute, of deep faith and commitment, who live the sacramental life of the Church, who attend Services, who are liturgically alive, who are knowledgeable of their Faith.  They must be men and women who provide sterling examples for other laity to emulate.”           

           Metropolitan Methodios commissioned the new Dean to undertake a missionary effort: “Visit the home of every Parishioner as Christ visited the home of Zaccheus.  Listen carefully to the concerns of the faithful.  Utilize the pulpit to teach the Faith.  We live in an age in which everything is questioned.  The eternal values that nurtured generation after generation are rejected.  We live in a world where the tenets of our Faith, its basic teachings and its very Phronema are misunderstood---and worse---adapted to conform with worldly philosophies and personal agendas.  Saint Paul predicted this would happen one day.  He writes to his disciple Timothy the following, ‘For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but... they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings and will turn away from listening to the Truth and wonder into myths.  As for you, always be steady, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist.’ (2 Timothy 4, 2-5)”.

          Stressing the importance of all the ministries of the Cathedral, Metropolitan Methodios said: “Father Cleopas, together with the other ministries in the community (youth, catechetical and Greek Schools, senior citizens, etc.), I expect you also to be active in the ecumenical community, sharing Orthodoxy with our brethren of other churches and faiths.  I want you to take a genuine interest in the governance of this city and Commonwealth.  As Dean of the Cathedral Parish you are called upon to minister to brethren in various Medical Hospitals such as Mass General, Brigham and Women, Deaconess and Children’s Hospital.  It is critically important that you invest time to make regularly scheduled hospital visits.”

          Metropolitan Methodios concluded his remarks, encouragin Father Strongylis to “reach out and love everyone, without exception.  Be especially mindful of young families and those brethren who live in Greater Boston that are not active participants in church life.  May the history you write as the Dean of this Cathedral be filled with pages of accomplishment.  May Almighty God, bless your ministry with much spiritual fruit.” 

           A reception followed the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy and Installation Service.