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 explores the Gospel passage in which we learn that “It is easier for a Camel to go through the Eye of a Needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” (Matthew 19:24). Jesus’ words to the man, “Give all that you own to the poor and follow me” are a challenge not just to the man, but to all of us. We don’t want to hear that we really need to sell all we have. And we don’t want to hear that it is impossible for us to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. To fully understand this passage, we need to reflect on who the wealthy man is, where we should invest our time and riches, and finally, on how great God’s love is.
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