The Reverend Father Nikiforos Fakinos is the Pastor of Saint Demetrios Church since August 1, 2002. Father Nikiforos Fakinos is a graduate of Hellenic College / Holy Cross (Class of 1997) with a Bachelors degree in Religious Studies and a Masters diploma in Divinity. He has served also in the Cathedral of Saint Demetrios in Astoria, New York as a Priest for five years (1997-2002). Father Nikiforos Fakinos has served as the Religious Education Director for the Direct Archdiocesan District of New York, Washington and Connecticut for nine years and he has served the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America in other capacities before his ordination to the priesthood (Metropolis of Boston). On Sunday, October 24th, 2009, His All Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, elevated Fr. Nikiforos Fakinos to the rank of the Economos. His All Holiness Bartholomew visited the Parish on the occasion of the feast of Saint Demetrios the Great Martyr and blessed the faithful of the area. Father Nikiforos is the voice of the “Radio Pulpit” program of Hellas Fm, delivering sermons through the radio waves and the internet and addressing significant issues of theological, social and educational value. His articles are often times published in the Orthodox Observer (the official newspaper of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in America) and other publications. Some of his presentations and sermons have been also broadcasted via Antenna Satelite and ERT World and local New York Greek Cable Stations.
Sunday Lesson to Kids
Father Nikiforos Fakinos came to the Community of Saint Demetrios in Merrick at the age of 28. As a young priest, his ministry is geared especially towards the youth. His Friday evening Bible Study (8 p.m., Fall through Spring) is attended regularly by those interested to enrich their knowledge and understanding of the Orthodox faith. A discussion ensues in English and the topics vary from session to session. Other highlights of his ministry in Merrick include the development of a complete religious education program for all age groups. On Sundays, he addresses the students of the Church School in a dialectical sermon, which also invites the youth to ask questions and participate in the discussion. The purpose of those lessons is to cultivate a better understanding of the faith from an early age. Retreats, philanthropy, special lectures, meetings with couples, lessons for persons who are interested to join the Church, confessions, marital counseling, pastoral visits, hospital ministry and the Church publications (the Sunday Bulletin, the Newsletter, the Journal, the Parish mailings etc.) are also incorporated to address the spiritual needs of the Parishioners of Saint Demetrios.
The volunteers of all the Parish organizations are of paramount significance as far as the development of all the activities of the Community is concerned. Father Nikiforos Fakinos works with the Parish Council, the Philoptochos (Friends of the Poor) Sisterhood, the Greek School, the Sunday School, the Little Angels (Mommy and Me program), the JOY/HOPE, GOYA, YAL (Youth organizations from 5 to College ages), the Golden Years (Senior Citizens), the Pins for Pauly (assisting children stricken with Leukemia), the Choir and all the Church Committees to ensure the progress of the Parish life.
Two of the major challenges in the ministry of Father Nikiforos Fakinos are the completion of the Iconography and Cultural Center projects. The Iconography project was initiated with the blessing of His Eminence Demetrios, Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, on October 25th, 2002. Many of the icons were painted by Mr. George Filippakis, one of the most renowned iconographers in the United States of America. The project has been completed by the talented and young Yiannis Fratzis, an exceptional iconographer in the Archdicoese. Byzantine style ecclesiastical windows have been installed to adorn the Church of Saint Demetrios. The Cultural Center is the next step towards the fulfillment of the goals of the Parish. Thanks to the generosity and hard work of our volunteers and the Parish leadership, these projects are becoming an inspiration for Parishioners and visitors of the Community.
Father Nikiforos Fakinos is available for any type of spiritual assistance. You may contact him at the Church office telephone numbers. The website also offers a collection of some of his articles and sermons, as well as his message to the Community which is updated frequently. Also, a calendar is included with all Parish events and religious services. Please, be advised that the Sunday service begins at 9 a.m. (morning service in Greek) followed by Divine Liturgy (10 a.m. in both English and Greek). Everyone is welcome to come to our divine services and attend Bible Study.