Greek Orthodox Church Blesses Greenport’s Waters
The Saints Anargyroi, Taxiarchis and Gerasimos Greek Orthodox Church of Greenport, New York held a procession and a parade to “Bless the Long Island Waters” at the Maritime Festival on Saturday, September 24th. Prominent religious, business and political persons and organizations attended Rev. Gerasimos Ballas is the minister of Saints Anargyroi, Taxiarchis and Gerasimos Greek Orthodox Church that is directly under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.
Spectators were from New York City areas, such as Astoria, Brooklyn, Flushing and Whitestone. “The Blessing of the Waters” is the main attraction at the Maritime Festival,” said Rev. Gerasimos Ballas. Youth dived for the cross tosswed into Greenport Harbor by clergy.
“The town was planning to demolish the church and build apartments,” explained past church founders. “Sts. Anargyroi, Taxiarchis and Gerasimos Greek Orthodox Church was created, leading to a rebirth of Greenport. A parade was created that led to the harbor, where the religious ritual of the blessing of the waters was performed. This unique custom gave birth to the Greenport Maritime Festival.” According to Rev. Ballas, “the Maritime Museum joined in 1990 and added to the Procession and parade. This is a very spiritual day for me and my congregation.”
Rev. Ballas continued saying that “Sts. Anargyri and Gerasimos Church held a ‘Greek Night under the Stars’ on Saturday, July 16th. Live Hellenic music entertained all. A homemade 5 course dinner was served. The event was overcrowded, with continuous dancing.”
Father Gerasimos and Presvitera Kiriaki are members of all Cephalonian organizations. He is from Argostoli. Presvitera Kiriaki is from Mani in the Peloponnese. “Presvitera Kiriaki helps in organizing church events,” explained the minister. “She is always helping to make the church beautiful. In the mornings, she sets up the candles and the candelia (lanterns). She aids in organizing the Fellowship Coffee Hours and the Philoptohos events. Presvitera Kiriaki goes to hospitals to visit the sick as my representative. Every Sunday morning, Presvitera picks up all seniors so they can come to church. I have served the community for eleven years.” For more information, call Father Gerasimos of Saints Anargyroi, Taxiarchis and Gerasimos Greek Orthodox Church at (631) 477-1801.