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Παρασκευή, 28 Οκτωβρίου 2011

REV. FR. ANTHONY MOSCHONAS JANUARY 15, 1939 - AUGUST 13, 2011 .


Information partially extracted from the related announcements by the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco.

All you who have walked the hard and narrow way in life, who took up the Cross as a yoke and followed me faithfully, come receive heavenly crowns, the rewards I have prepared for you.

[Evlogitaria from the Funeral Service]

I n August 13th, 2011, the Orthodox communities of Arizona mourned the loss of a beloved Orthodox clergyman, a devoted and loving spiritual father and an extraordinary family man. He was well known to many who have been part of Orthodoxy's growth in the southwestern Unites States as well as the many visitors of the St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox church in Tucson, AZ, where the miraculous Holy Gospel is available to all for veneration (see story that follows).

Father Anthony was born in Kefallonia, Greece on January 15, 1939. He actively attended church in his youth, learning the rich tradition of Byzantine music from his father who was a chanter. During his high school years he moved to Athens where he worked and continued his studies. He also served in the Greek Air Force.

Upon returning to his home village, Father Anthony married Maria Katerelos, his childhood sweetheart on September 16,1963, following which they immigrated to Montreal, Canada. Father Anthony worked as a printer's apprentice but always felt a calling to serve the church. He moved his family to Brookline, Massachusetts in 1967 to attend Holy Cross Theological School, and was subsequently ordained a priest on June 6, 1970.

Father Anthony's first assignment began one week following his ordination on June 11, 1970 at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Sioux City, Iowa. For nearly five years, Father Anthony served this small community, learning the duties of a parish priest, and also celebrating the parish's 75th Anniversary in 1973.

Desiring to move to a warmer climate for the health of his family, Father Anthony was transferred to Saint Demetrios in Tucson, Arizona on November 11, 1974 where he would remain for 30 years until his retirement in June 2004. During his tenure at Saint Demetrios, Father Anthony cultivated this small parish into an active community, initiated Thanksgiving dinners for the homeless and was instrumental in organizing and achieving the means of supporting the community and spreading their Hellenic Culture throughout the city.

The youth of the community were an absolute priority for Father Anthony; he also established a Greek language school at the parish and a similar program within the University of Arizona. He also led the formation of a mission community in Sierra Vista, Arizona and worked closely with Saint Anthony Greek Orthodox Monastery in Florence, Arizona, where he has been laid to rest. Lastly, his generosity (to a fault) was perhaps one of his better hidden treasures. In his usual low-key mannerism, Fr. Anthony helped countless number of citizens, without any regard for the level of need or who they were. Everyone who asked (or was perceived to be in need of financial assistance or spiritual support) received Fr. Anthony's helping hand, in whatever manner he was able to provide it.

Fr. Anthony touched many lives with his kindness, wisdom, humility, alms, and love. He will be missed dearly by all those who were fortunate to have known him. May his memory be eternal!

Orthodox Heritage Vol, 09, Issue 09-10

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