Fr. Andrew was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming to Fr. Konstantinos and Presv. Pauline Pavlakos. In his youth he also lived in Dallas, TX, Syracuse, NY, Denver, CO, and Falls Church, VA. Fr. Andrew graduated from Hellenic College in 2010 and Holy Cross in 2013 with Distinction in both degrees. While a student he was a part of the Sonia Belcher Ambassador's program, traveling around the country leading youth retreats. Fr. Andrew also was the Campus Activies Board Director and President of the student body. Upon graduation from Seminary, he served as Youth Director and Lay Assistant to the Dean, Fr. Nicholas Bacalis, of Sts. Constantine and Helen Cathedral in Richmond, Virginia for two years. While in Richmond Fr. Andrew created Camp Good Shepherd-Virginia with Thomas Manuel, who was the Youth Director of Annunciation Cathedral in Norfolk and now serves as a missionary in Guatamala. In the spring of 2016 Fr. Andrew moved to Clearwater, Florida to begin serving as the Pastoral Assistant at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church. That summer he was ordained to the Holy Diaconate on July 9th and the Holy Priesthood July 10th by the worthy hands of His Eminence Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta at the Metropolis Cathedral of the Annunciation. While serving at Holy Trinity as the Ephemerios Fr. Andrew was appointed to the Metropolis and District Council Youth Ministry and Christian Education Committees. Fr. Andrew met his wife, Presv. Caroline in the summer of 2005 while flying home on Olympic Airlines from the Ionian Village summer camp. They were married April 27, 2014 at Presv. Caroline’s home parish of Holy Cross in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Presv. Caroline is a teacher in the Pinellas County School District. Fr. Andrew has been serving the parish of St. George as the Proistamenos since June of 2019. When he is not serving the parish Fr. Andrew can be found working on home projects, relaxing on the beach, or working on photography.
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Question: How Do You Listen to God in Prayer?
I have not yet been able to speak to God as Moses was, face to face, like a man speaks to his friend, so I have resorted to less grand ways of listening to God in prayer. From my experience it has come through prayerful reading of the scripture, as well as silent prayer that has allowed my heart to soften.
When prayerfully and slowly reading the scriptures, particularly from the Wisdom literature of the Old Testament, I find myself hearing many lessons to my life, how I act, how I treat others, how I live generally. This has been God’s fatherly advice in my life, speaking to me when I am willing to hear him.
The other way that I have heard God in prayer has been by focusing on taking the time to sit in silent prayer, praying “Lord, have mercy” or the Jesus Prayer. This time spent in prayer has allowed me to more gently approach others, to hear them and their needs, and to better attend to them. This to me has been the voice of God spoken to me by my neighbor who is made in His Image and Likeness.
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