Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church
 West Avenue, Newport News, VA 23607

    I remember touring this magnificent church with my Brownie Troop 82 back in 1956.  The sight of the colorful ceiling inside the dome - navy blue with stars to resemble the heavens, and replete with images and metaphors - has remained with me for nearly fifty years.  What a wondrous thing to behold it was!


  Carol Buckley Harty of NC - 01/04/03

Saturday, October 28, 2000 Saturday, October 18, 2003 probably about 2003  
Carol Buckley Harty of NC - 01/04/04 Courtesy of Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 10/19/03

Thanks, Dave!
Courtesy of - 05/17/04

West Avenue
Newport News, VA 23607

 Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church
60 Traverse Road
Newport News, Virginia 23606

Carol, today is Epiphany, the manifestation of Christ to the gentiles.  Everyone in the Roman, Episcopal and Orthodox
churches celebrate it; others may celebrate it as well.  This is, of course, the day the Wise Men reached the Christ Child.

Do you remember what happened annually on January 6 in Newport News?  I'm sure that many will remember that the
priest of
Sts. Constantine and Helene Church took a bejeweled cross down to the coal piers.  He was accompanied
by all the young men of the congregation.  He threw the cross out into the river and the young men dived for it.  The one
who came up with the cross was expected to have an excellent year full of faith, love and success.  It was quite an honor
to retrieve the cross.  I don't believe it is done any more and that's a shame.  Today will be mostly sunny and we happen
to have a temperature of 72 degrees so it wouldn't be a bad day to go into the water.  But in many years past, it was very
cold and certainly took a literal 'leap of faith' to jump in for the cross!  

- Kathy Pilgrim Clark ('63) of VA - 01/06/05
Thanks, Kathy!

Hi, Kathleen:
Since you described this (Epiphany) scene so well in your recent message to Carol, take a look at a photo,
and notice the ice in the James River. As you said in your message, the practice has been discontinued in Newport News.
It is sure celebrated at Tarpon Springs, Florida each year. Of course, it is much warmer.

- Joe Madagan ('57) of FL - 01/07/05
Thanks, Joe!

The Epiphany celebration at the Greek Orthodox Church was discontinued for two reasons -
murky, dangerous waters and too cold, icy.  My uncle, Jim Mariades, was one of the first
to retrieve the cross at the bottom of the coal piers.  At the time he was a 1st Lt. in the USMC -
his last assignment was Commandant of the Marine Corps Barracks, Brooklyn Naval Yard. 
He is now retired, 82 years young, and can still proudly wear his Colonel's uniform.

- Evelyn Vretos ('55) of VA - 01/09/05
Thanks, Evelyn!

I have a notation in my 1965 Anchor - in my mother's handwriting - that on Epiphany of 1965,
the bejeweled cross was retrieved by Harry Pasquier ('66). 
I remember that I used to have the accompanying news article as well,
but some of my darling angelic little boys relieved me of 90% of my news clippings
when they raided my yearbooks back in about 1977.

- Carol Buckley Harty ('65) of VA - 01/10/05

       The Rev. Peter H. Makris

    YORKTOWN - The Rev. Peter H. Makris, retired priest of the Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church, fell asleep in the year of the Lord, on Jan. 31, 2010, at the age of 76. He was a devoted father, a loving grandfather, a dedicated cleric and a 40 year resident of the Peninsula.

Father Makris, born in Lowell, Mass., the son of Harry G. Makris and Anastasia Goumenis Makris. He graduated from high school in 1951, as a National Honor Society member and was accepted to the Holy Cross Theological Seminary in Brookline, Mass. He graduated in 1957 with a Bachelor of Arts Theology degree. He carried on his family tradition of the priesthood. He was the nephew to the late Fr. Charles Goumenis of Norfolk, Va., and late Fr. Homer Goumenis of Atlanta, Ga., who were his mentors; and cousin, Fr. Frank Marangos, who is currently the Dean of Holy Trinity Cathedral of New York.
The Rev. Peter H. Makris

Upon completion of his theological training, he accepted a lay position at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Columbia, S.C. There he served as a Greek language instructor, secretary, and cantor. After his petition to his Eminence Archbishop Iakovos, he was ordained a priest in 1960 and was soon assigned to his first parish in Great Falls, Mont. After three rewarding years of ministry in Montana, he was transferred to All Saints Church in Canonsburg, Pa., and served six fulfilling years.

In 1969, Father Makris arrived at Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Newport News. During his tenure, he was extremely proud of the accomplishments of his church community. One of which was the building and relocation of the Saints Constantine and Helen Church and the building of the Sacalis Community Center. One only needs to look inside and marvel at the beautiful byzantine architecture of the Greek Orthodox Church to truly appreciate why he was so proud.

Father Makris took immense pleasure in church events. His participation in the many celebrations of weddings and baptisms, as well as church and Greek community festivities, were always a source of remembrance to many and a calling he always cherished. He celebrated many of the church's milestones, including the 50th anniversary and more recently the 60th anniversary of the church's founding. As a longtime Peninsula resident, he enjoyed and participated in his community. He served as the director of International Seamen's Friendship House, president of the Virginia Council of Orthodox Churches, member of the Newport News Association for the Study of Childhood Cancer, and member of the Downtown League of Churches.

Even after his retirement he continued to serve as an interim priest at the Nativity of Theotokos Church in Fredricksburg,Va., as well as the Saint Elpis Church in Hopewell, Va. Father Makris was always active in his community. He could be seen playing gin rummy with his friends at the AHEPA hall, having lunch at his son's restaurant, where many knew him, or keeping up with his Boston Red Sox baseball team. He took great pleasure being papou to his grandchildren. He touched the lives of many people carrying out the duties as priest, father, relative, and friend. He will be missed deeply by many.

He was preceded in death by his loving son, Gregory Peter Makris, who passed away Jan. 23, 1970.

He is survived by his son, Harry George Makris of Newport News, Va.; daughters, Christine Makris Fulmore and husband, Carl Fulmore of Stafford, Va.; Anastasia Makris Krisik and husband, Jay Krisik of Williamsburg, Va.; and three grandchildren, Nathan Fulmore, Kaitlyn Fulmore and Nolan Krisik.

Visitation hours will be from 1 to 8 p.m. today, Feb. 2, at Sts. Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church. Trisagion service offered by area clergy at 7 p.m. The funeral service, also at the church, will be presided by His Eminence Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey, will take place at noon Wednesday, Feb. 3, preceded by the Orthros at 9 a.m. and the Divine Liturgy at 10 a.m. Burial will follow at Peninsula Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to the Gregory Makris Scholarship Fund, c/o H.W.P.S/Hellenic Woman's Penelope Society, 60 Traverse Rd., Newport News, VA 23606.

Arrangements are under the care of Riverside-Altmeyer Funeral Home. View and post condolences on our online guestbook at .

Published in Daily Press from February 2 to February 3, 2010.

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February 02, 2010
I will deeply miss my cousin, Fr. Peter. I have fond memories of him visiting his parents in Lowell, Massachusetts. His mother was my mother's sister, and my family lived upstairs from his. We would regularly get together for Greek dinner and Greek desserts made by Yiayia. May his memory be eternal! Love, Sofia Marangos Dakos.

~ Sofia Marangos Dakos, Suffolk, Virginia

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February 02, 2010

Words cannot express the sadness felt by James, Demetra, and myself at the loss of such a remarkable person. Father Makris will truly be missed by all who knew him. He always made you feel welcomed in the Greek community. May he rest in eternal peace.

~ Helen, Demetra, and James Panags, Surry, Virginia

February 02, 2010

Father Makris will truly be remembered. He baptized all six of my sisters and myself. He is in heaven with the angels now.

~ Demetria Doulgerakis, Newport News, Virginia

February 02, 2010

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family. Father Makris will be missed by all. He baptized our daughter and will always be special to us. To his family, remember the happy times together, and he will always be in your hearts. Polydefkis and Georgia Kypriandes

~ Polydefkis Kypriandes, Newport News, Virginia

February 02, 2010

Rest in peace.....

~ Marcus Xipolitakis, Portland, Oregon




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