Our Spiritual Father and Hierarch: May His Memory Be Eternal!
With the most profound sorrow and sense of loss, yet with confident hope in the Resurrection we sadly inform the faithful and clergy of the Holy Metropolis of Chicago that our spiritual father, His Eminence Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago, fell asleep in the Lord this Friday evening, June 2, 2017, following a sudden, unexpected illness.
Visitation and funeral arrangements will be announced as soon as possible.
His Eminence Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago was elected to the episcopacy of the Greek Orthodox Church by the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in 1969. He was enthroned by His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America on May 1, 1979 as the Bishop of Chicago at the Annunciation Cathedral. In November, 1997, the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate elected His Grace Bishop Iakovos of Chicago as the active Metropolitan of Krinis and Exarch of Ionias. In this capacity, His Eminence continued to serve the Greek Orthodox Diocese of Chicago as its Presiding Hierarch. In 2002, His Eminence was elected the first Metropolitan of the newly-elevated Metropolis of Chicago.
Beginning his higher education in Athens, Greece and continuing his studies and service in the Boston area, Metropolitan Iakovos was appointed Archdiocesan Vicar of the Diocese of Detroit by Archbishop Iakovos in February, 1968. One year later he was elevated to the rank of Bishop by the Holy See of Constantinople. He was consecrated Bishop of Apameia (an Auxiliary Bishop of Archbishop Iakovos) on Christmas Day of 1969, and appointed to the Archdiocesan District of Detroit.
In 1971 he was appointed President of Hellenic College and Holy Cross School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts, while remaining as administrative overseer of the District of Detroit. He simultaneously served as the Bishop of the New England area during his five-year tenure as President of Hellenic College and Holy Cross School of Theology.
The Metropolis of Chicago consists of thirty-four parishes in Illinois, with another twenty-four parishes in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, northern Indiana, and eastern Missouri. The general offices of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago are located in Chicago, Illinois.
Since assuming archpastoral responsibilities for the Diocese and now Metropolis of Chicago, Metropolitan Iakovos fulfilled his ministry by many initiatives. Under his leadership the Metropolis has increased its efforts to assist the homeless and those in need, as witnessed in the labors of the Metropolis Philanthropy Committee. He has founded new Youth programs, established various local Dialogue Commissions with other faith communities and continues to work with other area Religious leaders in promoting justice and truth in our society. Most recently, a long-time dream of His Eminence was realized with the establishment of the Saint Iakovos Retreat Center and Camp near Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Various other programs of the Metropolis established by Metropolitan Iakovos include the Bishop Iakovos Scholarship Assistance Program, the Bishop’s Task Force on AIDS, the Metropolis Junior Olympics, an annual Folk Dance Festival, as well as numerous programs in religious and Greek education.
For nearly 40 years, His Eminence has faithfully guided the Holy Metropolis of Chicago and the Flock entrusted to his archpastoral care. In addition to numerous honors and awards, His Eminence earned and held the admiration, friendship and respect of civic and religious leaders in one of the most ethnically and religiously diverse cities in the world.