The Greek Ladies’ Philoptochos Society
The name indicates the “Philoptochos” (Greek for Friends of the Poor) is a women’s organization that practices Christian charity by helping those who need the spirit of fellowship and material assistance.
The “Philoptochos Society” was born about 45 years ago when small groups of women in several Greek communities throughout the United States joined together under the auspices of Athenagoras, Patriarch of North and South America. He was later to become His Holiness Athenagoras 1, Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople and spiritual leader of world orthodoxy.
The Society’s main purpose is to aid the sick, the distressed, the aged, the orphaned and the destitute. Today there are more than 450 chapters throughout North America and membership is over 35 thousand. fifteen chapters are currently active in Canada.
Philoptochos chapters are part of every Greek Orthodox parish and each chapter structures its program to suit the needs of its particular community. However, although primarily concerned with church and community matters, many chapters extend their activities to works of local, national and international significance.
Among the many projects undertaken by “Philoptochos” is a program of support for St. Basil’s Academy, Garrison, New York. St. Basil’s was founded by Athenagoras in 1944 while Patriarch of North and South America. He recognized the need for an educational institution which would preserve the Greek language and culture.
Each January, “Philoptochos” chapters across the continent hold an annual fete, the “Vassilopata”. The proceeds from the fete are donated to St. Basil’s Academy, thereby giving community members the opportunity to support a worthwhile cause.
Acculturated, but not assimilated, “Philoptochos”, despite a synthesis of customs, old and new, retains its Greek identity and nourishes its roots in the Greek Orthodox Church. It continually supports the use and teaching of the Greek language and endeavors to instill in the Diaspora a pride in its Hellenic heritage.
The St. Catharines Chapter of the Greek Ladies’ Philoptochos welcomes any ladies 18 yrs and older to join and give back to our community. Today it is an integral part of our community and, in cooperation with the parish priest, helps the troubled and needy. Functioning within an atmosphere of shared responsibility, fellowship and love, its members work to create meaningful lives for others.
Our current Philoptochos members are as follows:
For any inquiries regarding Memorials, please contact Dora Vavaroutsos
Tel: (905) 937-7654
For more information on our Church and Community please contact: