2015-02-04 / Book Review

New Book On St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church

St. Nicholas icon. St. Nicholas icon. Unsung heroes are the builders of societies. The average person, unknown to many of us, creates centers of civilization and religion. They were and are part of something bigger: doing something for their children so they can hold onto their religion and culture. Sacrifices of many have built St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church of Flushing.

Through My Eyes: St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church of Flushing, New York 1987- 2014 is a collection of newspaper articles written by Catherine Tsounis, a journalist/photographer.

Her writings are eyewitness accounts, the raw material for future studies.

“This book reflects the growth from 1987 through 2014 from my viewpoint with primary sources. Many of these newspapers are not digital media. The information will be lost in time. I am attempting to pass the truth on to the next generation,” said Tsounis.

Author Catherine Tsounis. Author Catherine Tsounis. The book is written in chronological order. It narrates: parishioners and educators’ successes; the ministries of Very Rev. George Passias,Very Rev. Paul Palesty and the late Very Rev. Anastasios Diakovasilis; the work of principals, Mrs. Athena Kromidas, Mrs. Chris Arlis, the late Mrs. Catherine Zangas and Mr. George Kanellopoulos; efforts and the petition in 1990 to secure a federal grant; involvement of local Greek organizations; education and PTA social events of William Spyropoulos School and Stephen and Arete Cherpelis Afternoon Greek School, as well as school expansion; political leaders and the support of the NYPD; annual festivals and the historic visit of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch, the spiritual leader of the 300 million Orthodox Christians worldwide.

The writings show the church’s emergence from isolationism to integration into the global community of New York City. The recurrent theme is building for the future based on the foundation of forefathers.

The firsthand accounts by the author prove what Pericles said more than 2,000 years ago: “What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven in the lives of others.”

Tsounis was born in Astoria and was educated at St. Demetrios Greek-American Parochial School, and Bryant High School in Astoria. She acquired a Bachelor of Arts degree from Queens College. She has a Master of Arts degree in Byzantine History from the Queens College Graduate School of CUNY. The author is a veteran educator from elementary school to university levels in the metropolitan area, with an emphasis on bilingual-Greek language studies. Tsounis is a photographer and journalist on the national and international scene from 1974, whose works can be found on the internet and in magazine and newspaper mediums.

She was inducted into Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, in 2002 and 2005. She was the first third-generation Greek-American to be awarded the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation USA scholarship in category B in 2002-2003 for advanced teacher training. In 2005, she was awarded the New York City Council Proclamation in commemoration of the 184th anniversary of Greek Independence for her outstanding contribution to the Greek American community and was also honored at the 19th Hermes International Expo at Atlantic City in 2010.

Her other books include: Greek-American Experience; Greek-American Experience II; Greek-American Experience III; Greek American Experience IV; Greek-American Anthology 2005- 06; 2005 Anthology of Greek-America; Greek- American Anthology 2005; Transfiguration of Christ Church Mattituck, 1978-2005 and Transfiguration of Christ Church, Mattituck, New York, 1969-2013.

The East Flushing Library at 196-36 Northern Blvd. will host a book workshop on March 10, 2 p.m. in their recreation room. A similar book presentation focusing on music, culture and Greek cuisine will be held on March 21 at 12:30 p.m. at the Key Luck Club in the CCNS Bayside Senior Center located at 221-15 Horace Harding Expressway in Bayside. For more information, email President Irene Cheung at irenecheung3@yahoo.com or call 646-752-1302.

Catherine Tsounis’ Through My Eyes: St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church of Flushing, New York 1987-2014, is published by Tsounis Publications, 326 pp., $20. All those interested in the publication can email the author, Tsounis at ctsounis@aol.com.

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