St. John the Baptist Church Gramercy Park Holding Food Festival
By Catherine Tsounis
St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church at 143 East 17th Street near Third Avenue, New York will hold a Greek Food Festival on Saturday, September 28, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. “Once again we are getting ready for our OOOPA Greek Food Festival at St. John`s,” said Very Rev. Vasilios Bassakyros, Proistamenos. “We will be sending out donation slips for items needed for the Festival. Please take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to become part of our fund raising efforts at St. John`s. The thousands of walkthroughs on that day have an opportunity to see and taste not only our delicious food, but also our Greek Orthodox hospitality.”
“Our first Greek Festival as held to commemorate the 60th anniversary of St. John the Baptist Church,” said the Archimandrite. “We are now celebrating the 72nd Anniversary of our Festival. We will have Greek food, a flea market, dancing, desserts, oils and fragrances to help support our outreach effort.”
Father Vasilios, an American born Greek-American with roots in Kastoria, Greece, initiated a unique revival. “In June 2010, our church was in a decline,” he explained. “Our membership was low. The weekly participation was at a standstill. I left the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, facing a challenge. In my first year, I instituted a Thursday night bible study. I opened the church to the community 6-7 days a week for the community. Our sacraments of marriage, baptism and funerals every year are on the rise. We began a “Mommy and Me” program, Greek language study and Greek folk dancing classes. Our conversions to Greek Orthodoxy are increasing. I look forward to a future community of diverse Orthodox Christian groups as in the early years of the church’s history.” My Mother who lived in the old tenements, at 33rd St. between third and fourth avenues, attended St. John the Baptist church. Now in 2013, my daughter and her husband attend services. St. John the Baptist is a beacon of light to all who want to worship Greek Orthodoxy.
The Parish council members and church personnel are listed at https://stjohn.ny.goarch.org/. For more information, contact Tel# (212) 473-0648 *www.stjohn.ny.goarch.org Email: [email protected]; Philoptochos Society e-mail: [email protected].
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idjLqFg5Ldc- video of 2012 Greek festival
https://stjohn.ny.goarch.org/Festival.dsp- festival flyer
Photo- St. John the Baptist Church