Fr. John Rallis was born in Athens, Greece, the second of two children to Mr. and Mrs. Nicholas Rallis. After receiving a diploma in Shipping Studies in Athens, he traveled to England and Wales, where he studied Port and Shipping Administration, and graduated in 1980 with an equivalent Bachelor of Science degree. It was there, in England, that Father met his wife, Presvytera Irene. They were married in New York City in September 1980, and Father went on to attend Holy Cross as a "second" profession from 1986-1988. He served the parish of St. George in Asbury Park, NJ before taking his assignment at St. John the Baptist in Des Plaines, IL. Fr. John and Presvytera Irene have three daughters: Elpida (Anthony) Platis, Presvytera Nikolia (Fr. Panagiotis) Hasiakos and Katerina.
Father Athanasios Papagiannis
Fr. Athanasios was born at Lutheran General Hospital and grew up in Des Plaines. He comes from a family with two older sisters and a younger brother. Father's parents were both born in Greece. Although he grew up at St. John's he was never an altar boy. He graduated from Maine West High School, went to college at Illinois State University, and then became a teacher and social worker. His hobbies include reading the lives of the saints, playing sports and writing. He also used to write for the Chicago Tribune. He is married to Presvytera Katerina and they have a daughter, Alexandra.
In Loving Memory of...
Father Manousos Emmanuel Lionikis
January 10, 1920 - June 24, 2016
Reverend Manousos Emmanuel Lionikis, 96. Passed away at his home on June 24, 2016. Father Emmanuel was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey the son of Emmanuel and Audrey (Androniki Psalidakis) Lionikis. He was one of five children. He was preceded in death two years ago by Katherine, his wife and Presvytera of 70 years, his parents, and his sisters Helen (the late Charles) Coffas, Thelma (the late Joseph) Maiorano, and Irene Kay Lionikis. Father Emmanuel and Presvytera Katherine were blessed with and are survived by four sons, Emmanuel (Athanasia), Nemo (Janis), James (Katrina), and Paul (Susan), grandchildren Manousos, Katina (Brian) Perkins, Demetri, Michael, Andrew, Aleko, and Flora, and great-grandchildren Elias and Gus Perkins.
Father is also survived by a brother, George (Irene) Lionikis, of New Jersey and numerous nieces and nephews. Father Emmanuel began serving the church at the age of eight when he became an acolyte in his home parish, St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Piscataway, NJ. He entered the Greek Theological School in Pomfret, Connecticut in 1938 and graduated in 1944. While visiting the Assumption Church in Chicago, Father met Katherine Spiropoulos who was active in the church choir and Sunday school. They were married on March 11, 1945. While a student, Father Emmanuel managed the Seminary print shop where many Greek language materials were printed for the Greek Archdiocese in the United States. For over 40 years he continued to create and print religious materials. These include a Wedding Service Book, The Consecration Vespers and Service, and a bi-lingual version of the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, now in its fourth edition. For many years, he also edited and printed a Greek Orthodox religious calendar used in many parishes throughout the United States.
Father Emmanuel was ordained in 1945 and during his career served parishes in Cheyenne, WY, Waukegan, IL, Racine, WI, Joliet, IL, Gary, IN and Des Plaines, IL. While in Cheyenne, in addition to his normal duties, he ministered to the military personnel at Ft. Warren and often traveled the entire state as well as the surrounding states to meet the religious needs of the Greek Orthodox faithful. In Waukegan, while devoting himself to his parish, Father also held prayer services at the Great Lakes Naval Station for the personnel there. While serving the parish in Joliet, Father Emmanuel attended Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in Evanston, IL, and received his Master's Degree in Sacred Theology in 1956. In Des Plaines, under his guidance, the parish at St. John embarked on an ambitious building program that culminated in the completion of the main Sanctuary, which is used today. In addition to his other spiritual duties, Father served on several Diocese Councils and Committees throughout his career in the church. He was an early advocate for medical insurance for the clergy, and for a number of years he headed the Diocese Medical and Hospitalization Program before it was finally incorporated into the National Archdiocese Plan. For many of his parishioners, Father Emmanuel was a vital part of their spiritual life: he married them, baptized their children, performed the marriage ceremony when these same children grew, and then baptized the grandchildren. And day or night, at any time, Father would drop what he was doing to visit the ill or grieving. Father Emmanuel retired in 1996 and, until quite recently, continued to actively serve the St. John Parish as Priest Emeritus. Father had survived 6 cancer surgeries, the first in 1958, and the loss of his mother at an early age. These trials and tragedies gave him a clear understanding and appreciation for the life struggles faced by his parishioners. Because of his own medical history, he regularly ministered to and counseled cancer patients throughout the Chicago area. Throughout his years, Father displayed a strong and positive attitude and fostered this attitude in others. He would always say that the word "can't" was not part of his vocabulary.
May His Memory Be Eternal