History of Saint Anthony

On June 26, 1999, St. Anthony’s celebrated three important anniversaries with a fund-raising dinner at our Hellenic center.

  • 45th year of the granting of our church charter
  • 40th year of purchasing our church property
  • 15th year of the church consecration

Charles Christodulelis was chairman of the gala fund-raising event. The guest speaker was Maria Pantelia, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Classics and Thesaurus Linguae Graecae Director for the University of California, Irvine.

History of the Church
(excerpt from the 1984 Consecration Album)
On June 6, 1965, family photos and community memorabilia were sealed in a time capsule embraced by a block of Pentelic marble in a historic cornerstone. The cornerstone now sits at the southwest corner of the Hellenic Cultural center. The center was dedicated in May of 1966 and added nine classroom, office space, and an auditorium to the church’s physical plan.

With the completion of the Hellenic Cultural center the St. Anthony’s Community would now seek to construct a larger church to meet the needs of the growing parish. In May 1974, the Parish Council formed a Building Committee to execute plans for a new church and help with fund raising. Ground was broken on St. Anthony’s Day in January 1975 with Father Nicholas Liberis and Bishop Meletios presiding. Actual demolition of the old church did not occur until November of that year.

Over the next two years the church’s unique Byzantine style, designed by Harry Harrison, would take form out of the masonry, concrete and scaffolding which were an all too familiar sight. Our own James Hagelis was the contractor and Tom Pappas the structural engineer. Eventually the church would be embellished with a 22-ton concrete dome and icons by the noted iconographer George Filippakis. The congregation of St. Anthony’s would hold church services in the center during construction until September 1977, when the magnificent Byzantine edifice held its first service.

The Narthex furnishings and other Church appointments would not be completed until two days before the historic Consecration on June 10, 1984. The ancient and elaborate Consecration ceremony conducted by Archbishop Iakovos, assisted by Bishop Anthony, Father John Zanetos and other clergy was the final touch to a building program which spanned 12 years of planning and construction and $850,000 in costs. The building program was carried by an able committee headed by George Gianopulos.

The beautiful church and community center which now grace the grounds of St. Anthony’s are a tribute to the dedication, ambition, love and sacrifice of the Greek Orthodox Community of Pasadena and the San Gabriel Valley.

Nikitas J. Tripodes
1984 Parish Council member