New York – The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America mourns the passing of Fr. Demetrios J. Constantelos, one of the most respected Orthodox theologians and scholars of Greek culture, who fell asleep in the Lord Jan. 10, after a short illness. He was 89.
His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios Geron of America stated: “The passing of Fr. Demetrios Constantelos constitutes a very significant loss for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. I have known him since 1946 and throughout the years I have been impressed by his great success in studies and scholarship, which made him one of the most respected scholars in the field of Byzantine Theology and History. In a substantive way, Fr. Constantelos upon his ordination to the priesthood served equally the Church and the people with amazing dedication. He will be permanently remembered.”
He was born July 27, 1927 in Spilia, Messinia, Greece, fifth child of Christine and Ioannis Constantelos. Upon completion of his high school studies in Greece he was offered a scholarship to study at Holy Cross School of Theology in Brookline, Mass., from which he graduated in 1951. He was ordained in July 1955 and assigned to St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Perth Amboy, N.J. During his diakonia at St. Demetrios (1955-1964) he pursued post-graduate studies at Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, NJ, (1957-59), receiving a Th. M. in New Testament studies, and Rutgers University receiving an M.A. in 1963 and Ph.D. in 1965 in the history of Byzantine Civilization. He was the Charles Cooper Townsend Sr. Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History and Religious Studies at Richard Stockton College in New Jersey and also a Distinguished Scholar in Residence.
He served in several parishes of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese mainly in New Jersey, but also in Massachusetts, Maryland and New Hampshire. He taught at Hellenic College/Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, Rutgers University, Boston College, New York University, Richard Stockton College and lectured at several other universities and colleges. Fr. Constantelos published more than a dozen books and hundreds of articles on Hellenism, philosophy, history and theology.
He was predeceased by Presvytera Stella in March 2010. He is survived by his four children, Christine, John, Helen and Maria, and six grandchildren.
The viewing will take place Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017, 3:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Greek Orthodox Church of the Holy Trinity, 7004 Ridge Ave, Egg Harbor Township, NJ 08234.
The Funeral will take place in the same church, Mon, Jan. 16, 2017, with Archbishop Demetrios of America officiating together with Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey. The Orthos will be at 8:30 a.m., followed by Divine Liturgy at 9:30 a.m. and the Funeral Service at 11:00 a.m. Interment will take place at Laurel Memorial Park and a memorial luncheon will follow at Holy Trinity Community Center.