December 2016

On Our Cover 

The week of November 14 was an exciting and busy week in our parish! I trust you are in-spired with the long awaited Platytera Icon with angels that now graces our altar cove. The photo on our cover shows Fr Anthony Salzman busy at work adhering the icon to the wall.

Painted in the traditional Byzantine style, Christ (depicted) as a young child seats on Panayia’s womb – often called “Christ the Emmanuel” He who is with us – meaning “God with us.” Holding up the medallion of Panayia with Christ are 2 of the archangels – Michael on the left and Gabriel on the right.

To accomplish all this – the pipes, previously there, were cut back…425 of them and then the cove was re-plastered, in fact 3 layers of plaster. The artisans started the project in earnest on Tuesday morning Nov 15 the first day of Advent, and thought they would have the icon up that Friday, perhaps Saturday for sure. (The icon was previously painted on canvas and ready to be clued on the surface.)

But on Wednesday and Thursday the furnace kept shutting down and would not heat up, to dry the new plaster, even though the previous weekend it was serviced and in proper working order. Two days were lost in the process.

I truly believe that Panayia did not want to be placed in the cove on what would have been November 18 or 19, but rather wanted to enter our church, on her feast day, on November 21, that of the Entry of the Virgin to the Temple in Jerusalem which in fact occurred on Monday November 21, after the festal liturgy here in Cranston. And so she did in the form of a “written “ icon. As church sings on this feast “Today, the “temple” of God’s dwelling is brought into the Lord’s temple and Zachariah welcomes her.” 

I pray beloved, that the vividness of this icon will be inspiring and comforting to you. It is warm as opposed to the cold pipes previously there. It is all embracing as well….as you enter the narthex and look straight ahead and her hands are outstretched. It fills the space so perfectly. I pray as well that this new icon adoring our church will inspire us to spiritual growth. If you have not as yet seen the Platytera up, come for services soon.

Yes beloved – the November 14th week and November 21st was an exciting and significant week in our parish, one that will last beyond our life time!

Fr. Andrew

Orthodox Iconography by Fr. Anthony Salzman, Iconographer 

We call icons “the Bible of the Illiterate” because during the middle ages when not everyone could read, people were still able to understand the message of salvation through pictures. What the Bible reveals about God through words, icons reveal in pictures. Icons are not idols, they are “windows to heaven”. They reveal the reality of God’s kingdom on earth. They make visible the invisible. With this in mind, we decorate our churches to serve as inspiration. The church building is a “small” Kingdom of Heaven and these are the people we will see in heaven.

When we enter an Orthodox Church, we are leaving time and space and entering eternity. You look up and see the dome.

This physically represents the heavens, Christ the all powerful the Creator of all (PANTOCRATOR) is there looking down on His creation. If you consider it the beginning of time, we find there Christ the pre-eternal word, the logos, the second per son of the Trinity.

In the Apse, above, or behind the altar we have the Virgin Mary holding the Christ child.

We call her in Greek, PLATYTERA – “more expansive than the heavens”, because she contained within herself, the creator of the universe.

Icons are not works of art per se. They always are used within a context of worship, whether at home or in the church. We call it “Hagiograhia” or “Holy, or Saint writing.” “Grapho” means to write. So we are writing the gospel with a brush.

Icons are painted the way they are on purpose. Their flatness and expressiveness make them alive and engaging asking the viewer to participate and interact with them. They do not create an illusion of space, but use reverse perspective to come out to the viewer. They do not use foreshortening, but draw people in profile or frontally, thus maintaining the integrity of the two dimensional surface.

Two elements constitute and icon, line and form. We draw exactly what we will paint before we pick up a brush. Once we have the entire image drawn out, then we begin to paint. We call it “process painting”, because we follow step by step building up layer upon layer to get the final image. Each icon is meticulously modeled with thousands of strokes using the tip of the brush. Line gives life to the form, and the modeling of the form through color, brings it to life, making it real and relational for us.

Icons are not sentimental but expressive. They do not show the human being as fallen, but they transcend physical reality to reveal a deeper reality, a transformed reality. That is why not every icon looks exactly the same, we are not copying physical reality, but trying to cap-ture something deeper.

If an icon moves you in your spirit to glorify God, then it has done its work. If it brings you to repentance then you have become sensitive to its reality. Byzantine icons lead us to God and they bring God to us.

Dr. Mary Despina Lekas Endowment Fund News
Financial Report for the period ending 10/30/16
Endowment Fund Portfolio: $773,120.00
Endowment Fund Checking Account: $6878.28 

May the Spirit of Christmas
Be with you Always
Your Endowment Fund Committee 

Lost and Found Items 

The office has several items that either have been forgotten in the church when attending service or attending a function in the hall. Please stop by our Lost and Found table we will have on Jan 15 in coffee hour and claim your item you misplaced.


A still birth occurred in the Meagan & George Sarkis family on Nov 2. James Erinakes, age 71, of W. Warwick, RI passed away on 11/17/16. Memorial Prayers were offered on 11/25.16. Salvatore DiChiara, age 86, of Providence passed away on 11/24/16. His funeral and burial was held on 11/28/16. Also the mother of Diane Mihailides (Claire T. Miner) passed away as did the father of Lillian Maintanis (Albert Cardillo).
~May Their Memory Be Eternal~

Scouting Award Received 

Three of our teen parishioners active in Cranston Boy Scout Troop 6 sponsored by our parish received the Orthodox Religious Scouting Alpha Omega Award; Constantine Coclin, Nickolas Psikakos and Steven Sardella. Congratulations to them!

Up-Coming Parish Youth Events 

Tuesday December 27h Family Game Night
Sunday January 8th Goya Ski Trip Meeting
Saturday January 21st Ski Trip
Sunday February 5th Godparent Luncheon


Snapshot of the Recent Goya Dance
Saturday November 26, 2016 


We have to date 419 parishioners with the pledge of $206,907.00
The actual amount received to date is $195,546.76 

M/M Andreas Andreopoulos, M/M Ilias Antonakos, M/M Michael Balasco, M/M John Bunch, M/M Marcus Cacchillo, Michael Choy, M/M Thomas Coyne, M/M Thomas Cragin, Vivian Dafoulas, M/M Theoharis Eliopoulos, M/M Kenneth Falcone, M/M Christian Farman, Mersine Florio, Georgia Fortu-nato, M/M Nicholas Gannek, M/M James Grammas, Constantine Georas, Alexis George, M/M Carl Hague, M /M James Hosey, Niki Kyrou, M/M James Maintanis, Stavroula Marsis, M/M Anthony Mas-simino, M/M Christo Mihalos, Evridiki Metakos, M/M Alexios Nikolaidis, Dr. & Mrs. Demetrius Photopoulos, M/M Thomas Pontikes, Frederick Promades, M/M Demetrius Sampalis, Georgia Scapina-kis, M/M Robert Senerchia, M/M Robert Spagnolo, Cynthia Springer, M/M Dimitrios Sterpis, M/M Leon Stamatakos, Jeanne Stappas, M/M Edward Tarbox, M/M Stylianos Triantafyllou, M/M Christos Tsiakiris, M/M Basilios Tsimikas, M/M George Tsimikas, M/M Aristotelis Tsonis, M/M Peter Tzanetos, M/M Peter Vican, M/M Jason Wheatley, M/M James Xiarhos, M/M Jason Xynellis, Leona Zachos.

“We brought nothing into this world and it is certain we carry nothing out.” (I Timothy 6:7) 

“Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share” (I Timothy 6: 18) 

8th Annual Annunciation Golf Tournament Thank You! 

Thank God the weather was excellent! The conditions couldn’t have been any better for a round of golf in August at Metacomet CC! It was a good way to end the month before focusing on the festival. The foursome of George Coclin, won the men’s flight, shooting a nine under par 61. For more information be sure to visit the tournament website,, or on Facebook

The golf committee would especially like to thank all of the sponsors, volunteers, and participants that made this year’s Annunciation Golf Tournament a continued success! Sponsors of this year’s tournament were: Costa Perdikakis and family, Peter Vican, George Coclin, Dennis Sampalis, Jeffrey Cascione/Navigant Credit Union, Dr. Peter Baziotis, Michael and Kassiane Campopiano, John Gianakouras, Mar-do Lachapelle & Palumbo, Joseph Sciacca Esq, Walpole Cooperative Bank, and Bank Newport. The Hole in One prize of a 2017 Lincoln MKZ was sponsored by Carl Tasca Jr. and Tasca Automotive Group. Also, a very special thank you to the volunteers who spent their Sunday afternoon helping to make things run smoothly: Theofanis Markos, Kevin Phelan, Dina Mihos, Voula Devlin, and Anthony George.

Through the generous support or our sponsors and participants, the golf committee was able to make a donation to both the Interfaith Food Bank, in an effort to help the homeless and hungry, as well as our church’s general fund to aid with the opera-tional expenses of the church. To date, the Annunciation Golf Tournament has raised $125,000 since it began in 2009.

We look forward to seeing everyone at next year’s tournament!



We are nearly completed with the first project of our Capital Improvements to the interior of our church. The new iconography has been installed in the Platytera. It is beautiful.

We have started the official fund raising effort and pledge cards have been mailed out. Below is a list of all those people who have submitted their pledges and contribution. We have received 34 pledges as of Dec. 9th. The total amount that has been pledged is $102,042.00. The amount of contributions received and deposited is $65,717.00 

Mrs. Elaine Allendorf, Dr. & Mrs. James Andriotis, M/M Dimitrios Arsenis, Dr. & Mrs. Peter Baziotis, M/M Michael Baldoumis, M/M Constantinos Dafoulas, Mr. Haralambos Dafoulas, M/M Gabby Daiaa, Mr. Louis Dostou, Drs. Nicholas & Sadie Elisseou, M/M Stephan Erinakes, Rev. Andrew George, M/M Peter & Argiri Ghionis, Mr. Michael Giouras, M/M Paul Hosey, Mrs. Elizabeth Marses, M/M George Melanis, M/M George Mihailides Jr., M/M Andrew Mitrelis, Dr. & Mrs. James Pascalides, M/M Kevin Phelan, Philoptochos Society, M/M Carroll Promades, Mrs. Mary Quinn, Mrs. Mary Samaras & Family, Dr. & Mrs. Peter Sardella, M/M Dimitrios Sterpis, M/M Nicholas Tanionos, M/M Stavros Theodosiou, Mrs. Antonia Vanikiotis, M/M John Vanikiotis, M/M Peter Vassilopoulos, M/M Christos Xenophontos, Mrs. Maria Zaharakos.

Thank you all for your very generous donations. Submitted By James Silva

Join us in a friendly family vs family night of triv-ia, brain teasers and physical challenges. For fami-lies with children from Pre-K through 12th graders.

When: Tuesday December 27th 

Where: Church of the Annunciation – 175 Oaklawn Ave, Cranston RI
Time: 5pm-8pm
Main dish will be provided, families are asked to bring a side dish or dessert.

Text/email CJ Mitrelis at (401)632-8752
To RSVP by December 18th

Baby Sitters Sought 

A number of new families who have come to our parish from out of state are seeking baby sitters, thus our Stewardship / Welcoming Committee would like to establish a listing of people available to baby sit. Contact Lisa Wheatley if you would like to be placed on this “call list” at 943-0859.

Special At Our Parish Bookstore 

The newly published book through Thomas Nelson Publishers on the life of His Holi-ness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on the occasion of his 25th anniversary as Patriarch, is available in our parish bookstore. The book contains a forward by Pope Francis. Also with New Years Day on the horizon and the celebration of St Basil’s Day with the traditional Vasilopita breads for our family dinner tables, the “St Basil Coins” are at our bookstore as well.

Ideal Gifts for our Teens 

Parents, grandparents, Godparents are urged to consider giving the “gift” of funds so a teen can attend winter or summer camp of our Metropolis (in NH) or of the Archdio-cese (in Greece), or other special youth programs such as the up-coming one-day Goya ski / snowboarding trip. This can be a Christmas gift just ahead, or for a birth-day, name day graduation or special commemoration.

International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) 

A regional, Pan-Orthodox Dinner will be held for the benefit of IOCC here at our par-ish on Sat, April 22. In preparation for this gathering, Lou Zagami, IOCC develop-ment officer will visit our parish on Jan 8 to spearhead the formation of a committee to work with our parish council for the April gathering. IOCC is the world-wide hu-manitarian arm of the Assembly of Orthodox Bishops. Learn more at <>

Attention College Students 

Applications for the Pan Hellenic Scholarship Foundation are currently available on their web site and due on Jan 31, 2017 <>

A total of $250, 000 will be awarded….
20 awards of $10K based on academic achievement and financial need
20 awards of $2,500 based solely on academic achievement
These are available to undergraduate students of Hellenic descent. 

“Real Break” for College Students 

The college ministry of the Assembly of Orthodox Bishops (OCF) offers a “travel out-reach program” to various locations, serving those in need during the spring break from classes. For details visit <



Our Annual Greek Food Fair and Christmas Bazaar was an overwhelming success this year. Thank you to all who supported this major Philopto-chos fund-raiser in any way. A big “EFHARISTO” to all our donors (too numerous to list) to our wonderful ladies of the Philoptochos who work tirelessly all year long for our cause, to our volunteers, to our men (and women) in the kitchen for the delicious food preparations, to the women who came on the baking nights, to Fran and Elaine in the office, to our Custodian Donald, and to Father Andrew for his constant support. While our final figures are not ready, we are happy to an-nounce that as of now, we have grossed over $40,000.00. KE TOU CHRONOU!

Meanwhile, Philoptochos continues on its journey of Philanthropy. Thank you to Josie Aliferakis, Karen Drager, Megan Sarkis, Michael and Bessie Papigiotis for shopping and preparing the Thanksgiving Baskets which were delivered to various families to help make their Thanksgiving Celebration a little brighter. Thank you to the Faith Nursery School children and the children of our Church Sunday School for their dona-tions of nonperishable items for these baskets. What a wonderful learning experience for all these children.

Recently, our beautiful Church was enhanced by the Platytera which was placed over our Altar. Philoptochos, with much love for our Church and our Faith, presented a check to our Parish Council in the amount of $20,000.00 for this very beautiful iconography.

ANNUAL VASILOPETA LUNCHEON: As is the obligation of every Philoptochos Chapter in the country, we are now preparing for our Annual Vasilopeta Luncheon which will be held on January 22, 2017. Chairing this event is Kate Silva, Roula Proyous, and Eleni Trikoulis. Reservations may be made during the Coffee Hours following Divine Liturgy or by calling Kate Silva 946-1935. Tickets are $10 per person.

PHILOPTOCHOS PROJECTS: We continue with our Prayer Shawl Ministry and ask that anyone with knitting or crocheting skills please help us with this project. We will provide the yarn. All we ask is for your talent to make a prayer shawl which we need at this time. Please call Anna Demetrakas, 946-0550, and offer to help. She will provide you with the yarn.

We are also continuing to collect health and beauty aid items which we bring to Homeless Shelters when we have enough to donate. We also collect eyeglasses of any type. Please place in the bins provided in the Demetrakas Hall entrance.

Thank you to all who donated scarves, mittens, hats, etc. to Make a Difference Day in Honor of His Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios’ Name Day which was a combined effort with Philoptochos and our Church School Children. All these items were donated to McCauley Village Ministry to help the homeless keep warm during these winter months. Chairlady was Nancy Harritos, assisted by Marianne Phelan.

In another act of philanthropy and Christmas spirit, Philoptochos donated (4) $25 phone cards to service men deployed overseas to call home and wish their families a Merry Christmas

CHRISTMAS PARTY: Thank you to Karen Drager and Josie Aliferakis for Chairing our Christmas Celebration Party this year. Mile and a Quarter House was the venue this year, and a wonderful evening was enjoyed by all.

As the end of the year draws near, we remind everyone to be sure their membership for the year 2016 has been remitted to Mary Samaras. Please keep in mind when remitting your membership for the 2017 year, that $15 per capita is sent to National Philoptochos and $5 to the Metropolis Philoptochos. If you have any questions regarding member-ship, please call Mary Samaras 781-5528. Please mail to the Church Office, Attention, Mary Samaras. Thank you. We ask you to also remit your $5 for the Sisterhood of St. Basil’s Academy which should be mailed to the Church Office, Attention Carol Rothemich. Thank you.

DONATIONS: National Philoptochos: Hellenic College-Holy Cross Scholarship Fund $500, Retired Clergy/Presvyteres’ Benevolent Fund $100, Louisiana Flood Re-lief, $500, and Special Olympics $100.

In the spirit of this Christmas Season, we wish for all


The Children Of St. Basil’s Academy Need Your Help!!
Please Support Our Vasilopeta Luncheon
Let’s Put a Smile on the Children’s Faces….

Date: Sunday, January 22, 2017
Place: Mihailides Center
Time: 11:30 AM
DONATIONS: $10.00 Per Person


Call: Kate Silva 946-1935
Roula Proyous 781-8567
Eleni Trikoulis 944-4530

Late December 2016—Early January 2017 



Friday Dec 23—Royal Hours—9:30am (NO Communion) 

Saturday Dec 24—Vesper & Liturgy of Chrysostom—6PM 

(Caroling at the end…departure around 8PM) 

Sunday Dec 25—Orthros & Liturgy of Basil The Great 

(Usual morning hours) 

No fasting until Jan 5 




Sun Feb 5– God Parents’ Observance

Mon Feb 27—Clean Monday—1st Day of Great Lent

Sun March 12—Oratorical Festival

Sun March 26—Annunciation Parish Luncheon

Sun April 9—Palm Sunday (Eastern & Western together)

Sun April 16—Easter (Eastern & western together)

Sat April 22—Pan-Orthodox IOCC Dinner

Sun April 30—Showing of the Film “Beneath the Olive Tree”

Sat / Sun—May 6-7—Spring Greek Food Fair

Thu May 25—Ascension Day

Sun June 4—Pentecost

Fri / Sat / Sun—Sept 8,9,10—Greek Festival