Father Demetrios Gardikes, Cathedral Dean
“My Little Children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.”(1 John 3:18)
I look forward to getting to know you. If we have not met, allow me to introduce myself as I offer a brief autobiographical sketch:
I was born on August 3, 1966, the middle child of my parents, Dr. John (Blessed Memory) and Helen Gardikes. We attended the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Columbus, Ohio and have been active members since the early 1970’s. Over the years, my family and I have participated in various organizations and responsibilities: i.e. parish council, Annual Greek Festivals, Philoptochos, GOYA, choir, and acolyte.
I entered Ohio State University in 1985 and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in 1989. After graduation, I took a position with a major corporation as a sales and marketing manager.
On September 20, 1992, I was joined in the Sacrament of Marriage to my loving wife, (Sherri) Susanna Gardikes. The Lord blessed us with two wonderful boys, who are such a joy to our lives.
In the spring of 2001, I graduated from the Masters of Divinity Program at St. Vladimir’s Theological Seminary. I was ordained to the Deaconate by His Eminence Metropolitan MAXIMOS of Pittsburgh on August 4th, 2001 at St. Gregory Palamas Monastery (Haysville, Ohio), and to the Priesthood on January 26th, 2002 here at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Columbus. Upon completing my studies at Holy Cross, I was assigned as associate pastor to the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral beginning June 1st, 2002.
At the request of His Eminence in June of 2005, I was assigned as the presiding priest of St Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church in Monessen, PA. On December 12, 2008, the Feast of St Spyridon, His Eminence bestowed the honor of Stavrophoros Economos. Nine months later, I was assigned as the Dean of the Metropolis Cathedral in Pittsburgh. Finally, to come full circle to the entrusted ministry at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral which began on the 100 year anniversary celebration, September 30, 2012.
Father Dean Kokanos, Associate Pastor
Reverend Father Constantine John Kokanos was ordained to the Holy Diaconate on July 27, 2013 by His Eminence, Metropolitan SAVAS of Pittsburgh. Immediately following his Ordination, Fr. Constantine and his family were warmly welcomed to their new Church home in Columbus, and he began his new position as Deacon of the Annunciation Cathedral. On November 24, 2013 Deacon Constantine was ordained a Presbyter by His Eminence, Metropolitan SAVAS, and assigned to be the Cathedral’s Assistant Priest.
Father Dean and Presbytera Gabrielle grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he attended undergraduate and graduate school, earning a Master of Music Degree from Carnegie Mellon University. In 2011, with the blessings of Metropolitan MAXIMOS, then Presiding Hierarch of Pittsburgh, Father Dean and Presbytera Gabrielle began their new life in Boston, which would take them through many experiences including the birth of their son Peter. Father Kokanos graduated from the Holy Cross School of Theology with High Distinction in May of 2013. While at the Seminary, Father Dean was active in the school’s Byzantine Music program, and also acted as a parish assistant to the Annunciation Cathedral of Boston.
It is Father Dean’s great joy to be a part of the ministry team at our Cathedral home and throughout the greater Columbus area.
The Mission as Dean:
The mission is to uphold the Great commission of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, “to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Mt. 28:19), teaching them to observe the commandments. Man’s vocation in Christ as far as his soul is concerned, is to bring the body and all of creation into relationship with God. My hope is to always do God’s will and be a vessel in whatever capacity. As a priest, I believe one must observe the needs of the community and then create situations to connect with the people, and to bring the remembrance of Christ into their hearts. Connections are made through the services, being present at meetings, functions, social activities, visitations, church organizations and creative situations, which give opportunity to preach the Gospel without discrimination.
As you surf through the web site pages, I also hope that you will remember that the Christian community is like every other part of life. To paraphrase scripture, we reap what we sow. Therefore, the greater your involvement, commitment and support, the greater will be the benefit to you and our church. The greater your commitment and time to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the closer your relationship will be with Him. I look forward as we encourage one another to continually grow in the faith of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for the building up of His Church. Glory to You O Lord, Glory to You!