Father Constantine Lazarakis, born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies from Hellenic College and Master of Arts degree in Divinity from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. Prior to attending seminary, he worked in a group home for developmentally disabled adults and adolescents, as a special education teacher’s assistant, developing and implementing learning plans for junior high school students with a variety of developmental disabilities and behavioral problems. He also worked for his father’s residential painting company. Father Lazarakis served as the Ionian Village director from 2001 until 2008, during which time he developed and implemented program curriculum which included catechetical, Greek language and culture, arts and crafts, and athletic spheres. As Ionian Village director, he also recruited, trained and managed a volunteer staff of thirty to forty members each summer. While serving at Ionian Village, Father Constantine also served as interim director of youth and young adult ministries for the Direct Archdiocesan District from 2008 to 2010, where he worked with the District youth ministry team to establish Camp St. Paul, the summer camp program of the Greek Orthodox Direct Archdiocesan District. He has also served in a variety of positions at summer camps and youth programs in the metropolises of Boston and Denver. Father Constantine was assigned as parish priest to the Dormition of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church of Southampton, NY in August of 2010. Father Constantine enjoys writing short fiction, poetry, and personal essays. He and his wife Anastasia Karloutsos-Lazarakis, live in Southampton with their three children, Konstantine, Xanthi and Demetrios.
In this episode of Good News for a Change, Fr. Constantine Lazarakis shares thoughts on the occasion of the commemoration of St. Luke the Evangelist. St. Luke is unique among the Gospel writers because he was not among the original disciples. He was a Physician by trade, trained to heal people. But when St. Luke encountered the power of the Holy Spirit, when he learned that Jesus Christ is Lord, he devoted himself to living the Gospel of Christ and spreading the Gospel of Christ, which is really the Gospel of Love. The Gospel of the Day has Jesus telling his apostles, “Whoever rejects you, rejects me. And whoever rejects me, rejects my Father in Heaven.” The challenge for us is to face the question of whether we have accepted the Gospel of this Evangelist or rejected it. Fr. Constantine suggests that if we have dust on our Bibles at home, we should challenge ourselves to spend more time in the Scriptures and thus further accept the saving power of the Gospel.