Rev. Christopher H. Stamas, Presiding Priest
Voice: (413) 737-1496, x12
Fr. Chris was born and raised in Lowell, MA and graduated from the University of (Massachusetts) Lowell in 1989 with a degree in Industrial Technology. After working in the field for five years, he left his position and enrolled in Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in 1994. Simultaneously, he met and married his wife, Penny, who has given him two beautiful daughters, Christiana and Elaina.
During his time at Holy Cross, he was selected to be the driver for Archbishop Iakovos, to represent the youth of America at the first Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) in Thessaloniki, and to represent the Diocese of Boston on the national board of the Young Adult League.
At the end of his third year, he was ordained a deacon on May 11, 1997. He was ordained a priest on September 21, 1997 and immediately assigned to St. Demetrios Church in Weston, MA as the assistant to Rev. Dr. Nicholas C. Manikas. In May of 1998, Fr. Chris graduated with high distinction from Holy Cross with a Masters of Divinity degree.
On October 1, 2001, he was assigned to St. George Cathedral in Springfield, MA. During his time in Springfield, Fr. Chris implemented a stewardship program, and an endowment incentive program that have seen remarkable results for the community. He has seen the number of youth increase and their participation in camp and other programs grow significantly. In addition, he has hosted retreats, trips to various religious sites including the Holy Lands in 2017. He will be taking more than 50 people to the Holy Lands again in 2019.
In 2007, as the Patriarch of Constantinople and the Pope of Rome declared 2008-2009 as the year of St. Paul, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Springfield appointed Fr. Chris to a commission made up of local theologians, biblical scholars and pastors. He hosted Archbishop Demetrios and many other nationally-renowned biblical scholars and theologians are three symposia.
From 2008-2010, with the blessing of Metropolitan Methodios, the cooperation of local Orthodox clergy, and various other scholars, he began a local cable TV show – An Orthodox Approach - which was shown in more than 10 cities and towns in the Greater Springfield area. This TV show focused on reaching out to Orthodox and non-Orthodox Christians alike by giving them a compare/contrast description of Byzantine icons, theology, ethics, social issues, and other topics.
In 2009, he published a children's book called Alexander Discovers the Cross and has also published several prayer books and liturgical translations. Fr. Chris is occasionally asked to speak on the topic of Ecumenical Relations and the views of the Orthodox Church for the Springfield Council of Churches and other related agencies. He continues his work studying and teaching Purist Greek, having taught classes for both parishioners and groups outside the Church. He has done extensive work over 20 years to teach laypeople the liturgical language of the Church. As a musician since his youth, he occasionally writes liturgical music for his choir and was recognized for his abilities by the Metropolis of Boston Federation of Church Musicians during their annual conference held in Springfield in 2012.
In 2013, he was elected to the board of the Springfield Council of Churches. He is an active leader of the Orthodox Christian Fellowship program at UMass Amherst and the Five College system in the area. Fr. Chris was the founder of the Fellowship of Orthodox Churches of Western Massachusetts, a council of canonical Orthodox Churches in the Greater Springfield area encompassing the Greek, Antiochian, and Russian Churches.
Over the past several years, he continues publishing liturgical books for priests, deacons, and laypeople, compiling and translating from various sources. Fr. Chris also continues to develop his computer skills with audio and video recordings that can be seen on his own YouTube channel. He has also developed training programs for Parish Councils around the Metropolis, an extensive Bible Study program with both written and video materials, and a Sunday School curriculum from Pre-K through grade 12.
In 2019, he was selected by the Archdiocesan director of the Center for Family Care to be trained on how to reach out to fellow clergymen for Peer Training Groups within the Metropolis. He also started a monthly Soup Kitchen ministry for the parish, feeding over 100 people at a time. Also, he began a ministry at a local home for single mothers and their children, teaching life skills, self-discipline, financial discipline, and Scriptural lessons to adults and children alike.
He currently lives in Longmeadow with his wife and two daughters.