Profile of a Reader: Anastasis Kassapidis of the Transfiguration Church in Mattituck
By Catherine Tsounis
Anastasis Kassapidis is being honored for his exceptional service to the Community of Mattituck, New York for August 2013. He lives in Whitestone, New York and Mattituck, Long Island. He is a sophomore at Fordham University. Anastasis is twenty years old. He has served as an altar acolyte (assistant) for fifteen years. His seriousness and attention to detail is unique. He was granted the honor of “Reader” by his Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios of America. The Reader is responsible for reading excerpts from the scriptures and epistles during the liturgy.
There is a demographic trend. The grandparents bring two generations of their family to the Transfiguration Church in rural Mattituck. The church fills up in the summer, because of love shown to the seniors by their children and grandchildren. Bill and Helen Condos are immigrants from Karpenisi, Greece. They had their grandson Anastasios Kassapidis serve in the altar as a child. A tradition he continues to the present day. Their granddaughter Vassiliki (Vicky) has been singing in the choir from childhood to her college years. Their daughter, Dr. Rany Condos and her husband, Dr. Sotiris Kassapidis support every church activity since1998.
“Anastasi was brought close to Greek Orthodoxy through the efforts of Father Dionisios Marketos,” said his grandmother. “He was my grandson’s Mentor.”The Condos family is from the heart of Central Greece that was part of the original Greece of 1821. The Karpenesiotes have always been at the core of battle for freedom from Ancient Greece to our Modern era. Their trademark is a rugged, determined purpose. Their miraculous icon of the Panayia Prousiotissa has sustained their religious faith through the turmoil of W.W. II and the Greek Civil War that destroyed their families and homes. They were reborn. The Evrytanon Karpenisiotes are prominent in mainstream America.
On Friday, August 23rd, Mrs. Eleni Condos baked five loafs of bread for the Feast day of Panagia Prousiotissa. “We have our own Metropolitan of Karpenisi, who represents our Holy Monastery of the Most Holy Theotokos Proussos (Pyrsos) and houses the icon called Theotokos Prousiotissa,” explained Mrs. Condos to me in August 2012. “The icon came there during the iconoclastic era (829 A.D.) of Theophilos from Proussa. The icon was honored in the Church of Proussa by kings and archons. A noble of the court refused to destroy the icon, escaped to Greece, lost it and found it in the mountain where the Monastery of Prousiotissa stands.” Anastasi is an up and coming Greek-American.
Photo1- Anastasi Kassapidis
Photo 2 – His family: Family: Vicky Kassapidis (left to right), Dr. Rany Condos, Eleni and Bill Condos