Father Demosthenes Paraskevaides, Proistamenos
Presbyter Demosthenes Paraskevaides was born in Kavala, Greece. He graduated from the Aristotle University in Thessaloniki in 1999.
During his studies he graduated from the School of Byzantine Music of Thessaloniki, where he received the diploma to teach Byzantine Music, which is an official diploma recognized by the Greek Government (Ministry of Civilization). In Thessaloniki, he also participated in fourteen different Byzantine Choirs simultaneously while being both a founder and member for some of them.
In September 2001 he was ordained to the holy priesthood by the Metropolitan of Fillipoi, Neapolis and Thassos, Prokopios in Kavala, Greece. In Kavala, he established and organized a new School of Byzantine Music, which is also recognized by the Greek Government as an official Metropolis Ministry, and he became the main instructor of this newly established School. With the diploma from this program the graduates were allowed to teach Byzantine Music at any of the public schools. He also founded and organized a Youth Center “Η συντροφιά μας” (our parea) under the umbrella of the local Metropolis. He offered weekly events and gatherings for young children and young adults, teaching them the values of their faith and culture.
From 1996, when he was still a high School student, he was invited by His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to fulfill the needs as a chanter at various churches in Constantinople for Holy Week and Christmas. Since then he has visited Constantinople more than fifteen times for the same reason. While living in Constantinople he met a few clergy and lay people from the US. This was his first major connection and exposure with the Orthodox Church in America.
In 2008, His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos accepted his request to come and serve under His Omoforion and serve at Holy Trinity in Portland, Oregon.
In Portland, he established a School of Byzantine Music. He was also involved with the Hellenic School Program, and he worked as an instructor and advisor. He founded and led a new Theater Workshop as part of the revitalizing Hellenic School Program. His main goal was to teach the kids not only the Greek language, but also the values of the Hellenic Culture and History in a hands-on and fun environment. With this group he produced some creative and significant theater performances as well as a short film based on our Hellenic-Orthodox Identity. This film was the starting point of his long term vision to organize a film festival made by the Youth. Theater has been his creative way to teach the Youth about their faith and heritage. In addition to this, he has established a new Hellenic Education and Cultural Committee in accordance to the prototype of the Hellenic Education and Cultural Committee of the Metropolis of San Francisco, with the purpose of fulfilling the Metropolis’ goals of education, as well as to give everyone, especially the children, the values of our rich Hellenic Heritage so that they can form their Hellenic Identity.
From September 1, he serves as one of the presbyters of the blessed community of St. Nicholas in San Jose, California.
Ο πατήρ Δημοσθένης διακονεί από τον Σεπτέμβριο του 2013 ως ο ιερατικός προϊστάμενος του Ιερού Ναού Αγίου Νικολάου στο San Jose στην Καλιφόρνια. Προτού έλθει στις Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες διηκόνησε ως ιερέας στον Ιερό Ναό Αγίου Λουκά Καβάλας και στον Μητροπoλιτικό Ναό Τιμίου Προδρόμου Καβάλας. Εν συνεχεία διορίσθηκε ως βοηθός ιερέας στον Καθεδρικό Ναό Αγίας Τριάδος στο Portland, Oregon, όπου ήταν ο ιδρυτής και ο διδάσκαλος της Σχολής Βυζαντινής Μουσικής “Ρωμανός ο Μελωδός”. Με την έλευσή του στην Καλιφόρνια, μετέφερε την Σχολή Βυζαντινής Μουσικής στο San Jose όπου και διακονεί μέχρι σήμερα. Κατέχει τίτλους σπουδών στην Ποιμαντική και Κοινωνική Θεολογία από το Αριστοτέλειο Πανεπιστήμιο Θεσσαλονίκης, καθώς και στην Βυζαντινή Μουσική. Κατέχει τον τίτλο του εκπαιδευτικού με την διπλή ιδιότητα, ως καθηγητής Θεολογίας και Βυζαντινής Μουσικής.
Father Giannis Verginis, Second Priest