Rev. Father Demetrius T. Dogias of Blessed Memory
Rev. Father Demetrius T. Dogias was born on March 9, 1939, in Elizabeth, NJ, and was raised in Poughkeepsie, NY. He fell asleep in the Lord on Monday, February 4, 2013, the Third Day of the Presentation of our Lord to the Temple.
Ordained into the Holy Priesthood of the Orthodox Church in Troy, NY, on 10 March 1963 by His Eminence Metropolitan Germanos Polyzoides, Father served in several Parishes: 1963-65 at St. Paul’s, Hempstead, NY (as assistant); 1965-68 at St. George, Oklahoma City, OK; 1968-71 at Assumption, Danbury, CT; 1971-74 at Sts. Constantine and Helen, Washington, DC (assistant); 1974-81 at St. George, Albuquerque, NM; and finally 1981-2006 at Annunciation of Sacramento.
Following his retirement he also served as interim Dean of the Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Honolulu, HI, 2007-2008. He also assisted in Stockton, Modesto, San Francisco, Castro Valley, Salinas, El Cajon, and San Diego, CA, Reno, NV, and Albuquerque, NM during his retirement.
In 1974 Father was granted the title of Father Confessor, and in 1975 that of Stavrofor Economos. And in June 1988, marking his Silver Anniversary in the Holy Priesthood, he received the highest honor for a married Orthodox priest, that of “Protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Throne of Constantinople.”
On August 4, 2013, with joy-filled, yet humbled hearts, the Parish of St. Anna honored our founder and Pastor Emeritus of blessed memory by establishing the “Reverend Father Demetrius Dogias Seminarian Scholarship Fund”, to express our continued prayers and financial support of our Parish Seminarians and Theological Students. In the Spring of 2019, the fund was endowed so that his memory will forever be an inspiration to all of our theological students.
We elevate the scholasticism as well as the faithful, distinguished, and humble service of our beloved Fr. Demetrius, hoping that his years in Seminary, his marriage, his family and his years of ordained ministry, most notably to our parish, will serve as an inspiration to each of our young men and women. Eternal be his memory!
Saint Anna Parish is blessed to have Ten stewards who have graduated and/or are currently studying Orthodox Christian Theology
Christian Burkhard (Holy Cross, 2014)
Christian Burkhard grew up in the foothill town of Auburn, California, and attended the Parish of Saint Anna’s. He completed his undergraduate degree in Religious Studies at Hellenic College in 2012 and graduated with his Masters of Divinity from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in May of 2014. He was involved in various field placement programs while in seminary, including; short term missions, youth and young adult ministries, hospital ministry and prison ministry. The experiences gained there have been the source of lasting inspiration and have greatly shaped him and his faith.
Since graduating, Christian has been working as the Pastoral Assistant and Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries at Saint George Greek Orthodox in Fresno California, under the guidance of Fr. Jim Pappas. Serving the Parish of Saint George has been wonderful and has afforded Christian the opportunity to continue on in prison ministry at California State Prison, Corcoran. While Fresno has become his new home, Christian very much enjoys visiting his parish family of Saint Anna’s and is forever grateful for the love and support they have and continue to show him. In addition to his ministry and studies, Christian enjoys the outdoors, Gods creation and spending time with his fiancée Maria whom he is blessed to be marrying later this year.
By the Grace of God and through the laying on of hands by His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco, Christian will be ordained to the Holy Diaconate on September 8, 2019 at the Parish of St. Anna.
Rev Fr. Nicholas Mueller (Holy Cross, 2015)
Rev Dn Nicholas Mueller is a 2015 graduate of the Masters of Divinity program at Holy Cross and a Roseville native. He grew up serving in the altar at St. Anna Greek Orthodox Church, and participating in GOYA. The loving formation he received at St. Anna's eventually guided him to enroll at Holy Cross after completing his undergraduate studies in English Literature at the University of California, Berkeley. As a seminarian he particularly enjoyed field work in prison and elder ministry and exegesis courses. He is deeply thankful for the support of the St. Anna's community, his brother seminarians and fellow students at Holy Cross and Hellenic College, and the San Francisco Metropolis in his studies and formation. Deacon Nicholas currently works at the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Department of Religious Education which is based on the Holy Cross campus, and hopes to pursue further studies in social work and clinical pastoral care. He and his wife Dena currently live in Somerville, MA, where Dena continues her doctoral studies in English Literature at Harvard University.
Deacon Nicholas was ordained on Sunday, December 18, at the Parish of St. Anna by His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco. Photos from this blessed day are available at: http://andrewandbethanyphoto.pass.us/deacon-nicholas-ordination/
On July 25, 2017, Dn. Nicholas was ordained to the Holy Priesthood at St. Anna Parish and assigned to the Parish of the Holy Archangels in Watertown, MA. He is returning to the Holy Metropolis of San Francisco to begin his ministry in the summer of 2019.
Rev. Fr. THomas Felactu(HOLY CROSS, 2016)
Tommy Felactu is originally from Redondo Beach, California. He attended St Katherine Greek Orthodox Church where he participated in every activity offered to youth. He completed his undergraduate degree at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo before working for 14 years as a retained executive recruiter. Upon returning to Redondo Beach, he served as a GOYA advisor, a parish council member, and the youth committee liaison at St. Katherine Church. Tommy and Tina married at St. Katherine Church. On their first date, Tommy shared his plans to attend seminary and her response was, “if that’s what God has in store, great!” They have two beautiful children, Odysseas and Sophia. “Ody” attends first grade at St. Joe’s Catholic School and Sophia is in Pre-K at Theophany Orthodox School.
Tommy was assigned to serve as a pastoral assistant at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Parish in Belmont, California. His ministry has continued at Holy Cross Church upon his ordinations to the Holy Diaconate and the Holy Priesthood, respectively.
Jennifer Rice (Holy Cross, 2016)
During the summers of 2014 and 2015, Jennifer Rice participated in several short term mission teams offered through the Orthodox Christian Mission Center which assisted in discerning her call to serve the church as a missionary upon graduation from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. Jennifer partnered with the newly Orthodox faithful in Guatemala in the pioneering efforts of the first music ministry mission team sent to offer catechetical instruction on the hymns of the church. She was fortunate to return the following summer to collaborate with local communities by assisting in the renovation of a building into a future medical clinic in an ongoing effort by the Orthodox Church in Guatemala to tend to both the bodies and souls in the communities she serves. Jennifer is appreciative of these opportunities as well as the blessing to continue to serve in a long term capacity with the Orthodox Church in Guatemala by drawing on her experience and love for singing the hymns of the church. Jennifer has been very grateful for your prayers, enthusiastic encouragement, and support in sending her on behalf of St. Anna’s to serve the Church.
While attending Holy Cross, Jennifer also completed coursework towards a certificate from the Boston Theological Institute in Missions and Ecumenism. In addition to her studies, Jennifer served as President of the Missions Committee, assisted in the Office of Student Life, tutored students in the campus Writing Center, and was a staff member for the CrossRoad Institute.
Jennifer also holds a Master of Science degree in Higher Education from Drexel University, as well as a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and a Bachelors of Art in Studio Art from California State University, Sacramento. Prior to attending Holy Cross School of Theology, Jennifer assisted in many facets of the youth and young adult ministries and was involved in the chanting of the services at St. Anna’s in addition to her responsibilities as a high school English teacher. Jennifer is currently serving as a long term missionary through the Orthodox Christian Mission Center in Guatemala.
Rev. fr. Seraphim IVEY (HOLY CROSS, 2017)
Jason Ivey was born and raised in the small, Gold Rush-era town of Grass Valley, California. He graduated with a B.A. in Philosophy from Cowell College, University of California at Santa Cruz, in the fall of 1998. In the spring of 2008, he graduated with a multiple subject, elementary school teaching certificate from the California State University of Sacramento. In the fall of 2013, Jason was admitted to and started attending Holy Cross Greek Orthodox seminary. In July of 2015, Jason married his wife, Renee, and moved to Redondo Beach, where he spends his vacations from school with her exploring Southern California and spending as much time in the ocean as possible. Upon graduating from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in the spring of 2017, Jason and Renee relocated to Redondo Beach. In January of 2018, Jason began his ministry at St. Anna Parish as a Pastoral Assistant. Ordained to the Holy Diaconate and Holy Priesthood at our Parish, he now serves as the Second Priest of our community.
KEVIN MELLIS (HOLY CROSS, 2018)
Kevin Mellis was born in San Francisco, and grew up there and in Los Angeles, where he moved with his family. He grew up in the Orthodox Church, and discerned a calling to service in the Church at a young age. His studies have been wide and varying, from vocal performance to mathematics to natural philosophy.
Upon graduation from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology with a M.Div., he began his doctoral studies at the Graduate Theological Union at Berkeley. Kevin hopes to advance Orthodox contributions to academia, and to promote the Church’s intellectual life. Heeding the admonition of Lord through the prophet Isaiah to “Comfort my people, speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned,” his studies at present are directed towards pastoral care, especially as pertains to ministry to marginalized groups in American society.
Rev Fr. PETER DOGIAS (HOLY CROSS, '19)
Peter Dogias, the son of Rev. Fr. Demetrius, of blessed memory and Presvytera Eleftheria, is married to Dimitra Alexopoulou Dogias and is the father of one beautiful daughter Varvara. Peter graduated from Hellenic College (BA, Religious Studies) in May 2016 and graduated from Holy Cross with his MDiv in the Spring of 2019. While on campus, he served as a student intern at the Office of the President, at Hellenic College/Holy Cross, and as the Holy Cross chapel ecclesiarch.
Ordained to the Holy Diaconate and Priesthood at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in the February 2019, the parish that which his father of blessed memory served for so many years, Rev. Fr. Peter will serve as the Second Priest at the Parish of St. Katherine in Redondo Beach.
Dimitra is currently employed by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America with the Department of Religious Education.
Kyle Sterner (Holy Cross, 22)
Kyle Sterner was born and raised in Pennsylvania and chrismated with the baptismal name of Dionysius (after St. Denis of Paris). He has served six years in the United States Air Force; working in the field of military intelligence and completing service in 2016. In the Spring of 2018 he graduated Hellenic College with his Bachelor's in Religious Studies. Although he has completed his first year of his Mdiv studies at Holy Cross, Kyle will be attending the Hebrew University for the next two years to attain a Masters Degree in Semitic Studies. He will then return to Holy Cross to complete his graduate degree. Kyle then plans to pursue doctoral studies focusing on the Old Testament.
Jessica Elizabeth Rentz (YAle Divinty, 19)
Jessica is a distinguished 2016 graduate of William Jessup University with a double major in Bible/Theology and History as well as a minor in Archeology. In 2016 she attended the Summer Session of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens and then continued her studies in Greek and Hebrew. In the fall of 2017, she began her graduate studies at Yale Divinity School, focusing primarily on the early Church. In the winter of 2019, having completed her catechetical studies at the Parish of St. Barbara in Orange, Connecticut, Jessica was received into the Orthodox Church, taking the name Theophania Elizabeth here at St. Anna Parish. She is a 2019 graduate of Yale Divinity School with a Master of Arts in Religion with a concentration in the history of Christianity.
In the summer of 2019, Jessica will take part in her fourth archaeological dig in Israel, supervising the excavation of a 6th century church near Galilee before she begins her doctoral studies at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. Jessica has refined her area of interest to liturgical studies in late antiquity. Specifically she hopes to research baptismal and burial practices in Eastern Christianity in Liturgical Studies/Sacramental Theology program.