Chicago’s Largest Greek Church Is Now Led by a Twentysomething

Sfikas was appointed head priest of the church in January. (Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral)
Sfikas was appointed head priest of the church in January. (Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral)

The oldest Greek church in Chicago is now led by a twentysomething.

Stamatios Sfikas, 28, has been head priest and dean of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral in the Gold Coast since January.

It’s a watershed moment for the church at 1017 N. LaSalle Blvd., which had been led by the Rev. Nicholas Nikokavouras since the 1970s. It’s also a big assignment for Sfikas, who is now the face of the Cathedral seat of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago, which oversees 58 parishes throughout the Midwest.

“It was a great honor for me to be assigned to this community,” Sfikas said. “We’re definitely rebranding and rebuilding.”

Some slight changes have already occurred, including the renaming of the parish’s Greek Food Fest to make it seem more welcoming to the neighborhood. The church, built in 1910 and styled after the Cathedral Church in Athens, serves 400 families, Sfikas said.

A first-generation Greek-American, Sfikas grew up attending St. Demetrios Church in Lincoln Square, where he was an altar boy and active in the parish’s sports and other youth groups. He later graduated from Mather High School and the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he earned a degree in political science. He then pursued the clergy and graduated with a masters of divinity from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in 2012. He was class president and taught Greek school at three different congregations while in Boston.

He was ordained the next year and served St. Andrew parish in Edgewater until his latest appointment Downtown.

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David Matthews

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