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Our Priests

Father John Rallis

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 (Menas) Dimas - and eight grandchildren.

Father Dimitri Tobias

Rev. Fr. Dimitri Tobias was assigned to the parish of St. John the Baptist in November, 2023. Born in Colorado Springs, CO to Dr. Richard and Angela Tobias, Fr. Dimitri is the middle of three sons. Both parents served in the United Air Force, so Fr. Dimitri grew up traveling from base to base.

  • 2000, May– Graduated High School in Germantown, Tennessee

  • 2004, May – Graduated Hellenic College (B.A. in Religious Studies)

  • 2007, May – Graduated Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology (Masters in Divinity)

  • 2007-2009 – Served as Registrar to the Metropolis of Chicago

  • 2009-2012 – Served as the Pastoral Lay Assistant at St. Nectarios Church in Palatine, IL

    • January 14, 2012 – Married Mary Sourounis

  • 2012-2013 – Served as Deacon and the Associate Priest at SS. Peter & Paul Church in Glenview, IL

    • June 29, 2012 – Ordained to the Holy Diaconate on the Feast of SS. Peter & Paul at SS. Peter & Paul Church in Glenview, IL

    • September 2, 2012 – Ordained to the Holy Priesthood on the Feast of St. Mamas at St. Nectarios Church in Palatine, IL

  • 2013-2017 – Served as Proistamenos of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Sioux City, Iowa

    • October, 2013 – Hosted Metropolis of Chicago Clergy Laity Conference

    • 2016 – Welcomed son Vasilios-Chrysovalantis into the world

    • December 10, 2016 – Received the Priestly Rank of Confessor

    • 2017-2019 – Served on the Metropolis Council

  • 2017-2021 – Served as Proistamenos of St. Basil Church in Chicago, IL

    • 2019-2021 – Served on the Metropolis Council

  • 2021-2023 – Served as Interim Proistamenos of St. Andrew Church in Chicago, IL

    • June 10, 2023 – Received the Priestly Rank of Economos

    • July 30, 2023 – Appointed Spiritual Advisor to Special Needs Ministries of the Metropolis of Chicago (Pick up Your Cross and TEAM Belong)

    • 2022-2023 – Served on the Metropolis Council

  • 2023 – Present – Serving as the Associate Priest under Fr. John Rallis, Protopresbyter at St. John the Baptist Church in Des Plaines, IL

    • 2024-2025 – Serving on the Metropolis Council

“I cannot wait to get to know each of you as we journey towards salvation together. I live by a credo: 'No one will care what you know until they know that you care.' Therefore, rather than talk about my experiences over the course of my 11+ years as a priest across five churches, I want to talk about you. In particular, I want to know YOUR story, who you are, what you love, why you come to St. John the Baptist, why you believe in Christ, and how I can assist you through my role as your Associate Priest.

As we develop our relationship, I ask you to introduce yourself to me! Several times! Please be patient as I get to know you and do not be sad if I forget your name in the beginning. I want to get to know you and consider it my honor that I get to serve you under the blessing of Fr. John!”

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 of St. John the Baptist 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 but continued to actively serve the Parish of St. John as Priest Emeritus well into his 90's. 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

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