Great Lent is a significant period of fasting, prayer, and spiritual reflection for Orthodox Christians around the world. This solemn season marks the forty days of preparation leading up to the commemoration of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and it is a time for Christians to examine their faith, repent of their sins, and renew their commitment to living a life according to God’s will.
Dear believers and seekers,
The beginning of Great Lent is marked by a special service known as Forgiveness Sunday or Cheesefare Sunday. During the Forgiveness Sunday service, the faithful ask for forgiveness from one another, in recognition of the communal nature of sin and the need for each other’s support and forgiveness on the journey towards salvation.
Following Forgiveness Sunday, the fast begins in earnest, with strict guidelines for fasting and prayer. In addition to abstaining from meat, dairy, and other animal products, Orthodox Christians are encouraged to limit their intake of food in general and to increase their focus on prayer, scripture reading, and acts of charity and service to others. The goal of the fast is to detach oneself from worldly distractions and to focus on the spiritual life, deepening one’s relationship with God and strengthening one’s commitment to living a life of faith.
During Great Lent, the Orthodox Church also commemorates the lives of many saints and martyrs, who exemplify the virtues of faith, courage, and self-sacrifice. Through these commemorations, the faithful are inspired to emulate the example of these holy men and women, and to strive for holiness in their own lives.
As the season of Great Lent progresses, Orthodox Christians are encouraged to examine their hearts and to repent of their sins, seeking the forgiveness and grace of God. Through prayer, fasting, and acts of charity, the faithful strive to draw closer to God and to deepen their understanding of His will for their lives. And as they journey towards the celebration of the Resurrection, they do so with hearts filled with hope, joy, and a renewed sense of purpose in their lives as followers of Christ.
In His Service,
Shaped by a life of service to Christ’s Church, Fr. Christopher has dedicated
himself to using all the tools God has placed at his disposal to spread the light of
Orthodoxy across the United States of America and around the world. Speaker,
Radio Host, Professor, Founding Father of the Orthodox Christian Network
(OCN), Pastor, Leader of 12 Pilgrimages to the Holy Land and the Ecumenical
Patriarchate, Author, Father, Grandfather and Defender of the Faith.
As founder, host, and executive director of the Orthodox Christian Network he
shepherds a dynamic and rapidly expanding ministry bringing joy, hope, and
salvation in Jesus Christ to close to 1 million people a month in more than 190
countries. A nationally known radio personality, Fr. Christopher co-hosted the
groundbreaking, internationally televised Epiphany Celebration of Tarpon
Springs, Florida in January 2006, presided over by Ecumenical Patriarch
Bartholomew and seen on the Hallmark Channel. He was also featured in a
2012 television broadcast on TLC entitled “4 Weddings.” In May 2014, he
offered live English commentary from Rome via Radio Vaticana and EWTN for
the worldwide televised broadcast of the historic meeting of Pope Francis and
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in Jerusalem. In November 2014, he
returned to Rome to provide the English commentary on a second Radio
Vaticana/EWTN worldwide televised broadcast, this time on the occasion of
Pope Francis’ visit to the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul in celebration of
the Feast Day of St Andrew. He worked alongside a team of professionals from
the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America on these broadcasts. Currently
serves as Vice President, International Association of Digital Media Orthodox
Fr. Christopher holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Hellenic College of
Brookline, Massachusetts, a Master of Divinity Studies Degree from
Brookline’s Holy Cross School of Theology, and a Doctor of Ministry Degree
from the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. His dedication to the family unit
drove Fr. Christopher to be certified as a Family Mediator by the Chief Justice
of the Supreme Court of the State of Florida. Fr. Christopher has also studied
extensively at the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. He has served
the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese for more than 40 years. He has held many
different assignments as: Representative to the United Nations and United
States Missions; Assistant Priest St. Demetrios Cathedral, Astoria, NY; Dean of
the Assumption Cathedral in Denver, CO; Pastor of the Archangel Michael
Church, Roslyn, NY; Pastor of the St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Ft
Lauderdale Florida, President of Hellenic College Holy Cross School of
Theology, Dean of Admissions and Registrar of the Hellenic College and Holy
Cross School of Theology; member of the Archdiocesan Council; President of
the Archdiocesan Presbyter’s Council for two consecutive terms; and council
member of the Metropolis of Denver and the Metropolis of Atlanta. He also
served as Vicar of the South Florida Conference from 1998-2011. In the
summer of 2008, he was elevated by His Eminence Metropolitan Alexios to the
rank of Protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Patriarchate with the blessings of the
Holy and Sacred Synod, the highest honor bestowed on a married clergyman.
Fr. Christopher and his late wife, Presbytera Georgia Mitsos, have six children
and four grandchildren.
With the blessings of His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros and Metropolitan
Gerasimos of San Francisco he was appointed as Interim Pastor of St. Nicholas
Greek Orthodox Church in San Jose, Ca in October 2021.
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