His Eminence, Metropolitan Pavlos of the Genuine Greek Orthodox Church of North & South America, (in the world, Peter Stratigeas) was born on Sept. 26, 1955 in Astoria, N.Y. His parents Panagiotis and Maria were devout people with great faith in God and deep spirituality. From his youth he lived in the bosom of the Church, where he was raised in Christian piety by his uncle, Bishop Petros of Astoria, who baptized him in 1956 in the newly-founded church of Saint Markella. His spiritual father was his other uncle, Archmandrite Niphon (Astyfides).
He completed elementary school in New York, after which he moved to Greece to study at the American Community School in Chalandri. In 1974 he entered the Theological School of the University of Athens, from which he graduated in 1978. On November 17, 1978 he joined the monastic brotherhood of St. Markella, and on Pentecost of 1979 he was tonsured a monk by Bishop Petros, who gave him the name Pavlos. A year later, on Pentecost 1980, he was ordained deacon, and in 1985, also on Pentecost, he was ordained priest and elevated to he rank of Archimandrite. He took active part in the teaching ministry at St. Markella's and participated in the pastoral work of the Diocese of Astoria.
In 1981, with the blessing of Bishop Petros, he began giving theological lectures every Monday night after Vespers, which have continued uninterrupted to this day. For many years he was a preacher for the Diocese of Astoria, and for twelve years he had a weekly television program that reached the Greeks of the diaspora in America.
On Feb. 6, 1998 he was elected Metropolitan of the Metropolis of the G.O.C. of North & South America by the Holy Synod in Greece under the presidency of His Beatitude, Chrysostomos II of Athens and All Greece. He was ordained in Greece on Feb. 13 by His Beatitude.
In 1999, he founded the Monastery of the Holy Ascension in Bearsville, N.Y., and served as the abbot.
On Sept. 15, 2000 at his request, the Holy Synod unanimously elected Archimandrite Christodoulos as Bishop of Theoupolis to serve as his auxiliary bishop. His Grace was consecrated on Sept. 20, 2000 by Metropolitan Pavlos in St. Menas Monastery in Attica, Greece.
In September 2012, His Eminence resigned as abbot of the Holy Ascension Monastery in Bearsville, N.Y., and in late 2013, he resigned from his position as Metropolitan of America. His Eminence, Metropolitan Demetrius is the current Metropolitan of America. Please view the following documents regarding His Eminence's resignation:
Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church in Tucson, AZ, is a beautiful mission parish near downtown Tucson, a city in southern Arizona. It was started in 1997 by Father John Bockman, who was a missionary priest formerly serving missions in Tennessee and Massachusetts since 1990. Read more...
Q. In considering becoming part of the GOC in America, I am getting warnings from various circles that the attitude of GOC people is that of being “walled off,” “arrogant,” “judgmental,” and “in your face” toward those not in the Genuine Orthodox Church, with accusations such as “World Orthodox” priests are “not even Christians” and the like. Could you give me your personal, realistic assessment of this dynamic and possibly refer me to an official statement on how GOC members should and do relate to and communicate with those in “World Orthodoxy”? Read more...