My cousin, Father Eugene Pappas, is the priest at Three Hierarchs Church in Brooklyn, New York. He is also the host of a weekly radio show, “Matters of Conscience” which airs on Saturdays at 1:00 p.m. eastern time at CosmosFM – Hellenic Radio in New York City. He invited me to speak about my experiences this past summer in digitizing the church books in 140 villages in Lakonia, and that interview was held yesterday.
The URL to listen to the broadcast is here.
I had written about Father Eugene in 2016 when he was honored for serving 50 years as a Greek Orthodox priest, and 35 years at Three Hierarchs Church (see this post). He is a man of boundless energy, and is committed to serving his community as an activist and a teacher, along with his countless hours of priesthood duty. I have great admiration and respect for him.
We are related through the Papagiannakos (Pappas) line — my mother was a Papagiannakos. Many years ago when I was first inquiring about my family roots, my relatives encouraged me to contact Father Eugene because “he is the only one in the family who knows our history.” Now there are two of us! His enthusiasm for this topic has encouraged me to keep digging.
Our discussion yesterday covered many topics such as:
- How did this project get started, and why are you doing this work?
- What is the condition of the books and records in the villages and at the Metropolis?
- How far back do the church books go? What type of information do they contain?
- What type of support do you have from Bishop Efstathios and the local priests?
- Why is MyHeritage sponsoring this work?
- Is anything like this being done in the U.S.? If not, why?
Our conversation was lively and punctuated with Father’s insights and memories. He thanked me for digitizing the books at Three Hierarchs Church, and expressed gratitude and admiration for our team which is advancing the preservation work in Greece.
When I was at the Metropolis, sitting alone at a desk for hours on end, “flipping and clicking” (flipping pages and clicking the camera), I maintained my enthusiasm by thinking of the many people who would benefit from having access to these images. I so appreciate yesterday’s opportunity to inform people of the work we are doing and the opportunities they will soon have to review records that were previously inaccessible.
Again, the URL to the radio broadcast is here, and “Matters of Conscience” begins at the 1:16:53 mark.