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Theoclitos (Triantafilides)

No change in size, 13:08, January 9, 2010
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The establishment of the Ss. Constantine and Helen parish in Galveston, Texas
[[Image:Theoclitos_Triantafilides2.jpg|right|frame|Source: Ss. Constantine and Helen Orthodox Church, Galveston Texas]]
By this time, Fr. Theoclitos was 61 years of age, was a well traveled man and spoke more than a dozen languages; Greek, Russian, Serbian, Slavonic, Latin, Bulgarian, Arabic, Hebrew, Danish; and some Spanish, English, French, German, and Romanian. The Ambassador of Russia to the United States acquired U. S Citizenship for him even before he left Russia. Prior to leaving Russia, Fr. Theoclitos was given the heavy cross he always wore by Tsar Nicholas II and he was elevated to the rank of Right Reverend Archimandrite, because he would soon be the Priestly leader of a flock of Christians so far away with little known chance of a visiting Bishop anytime soon. His journey to the far off land of Galveston, Texas began with six companions. With him were; the Very Reverend Archimandirte Archimandrite [[Raphael of Brooklyn|Rafael Hawaweeny]] (Glorified a Saint in March of 2000 by the Orthodox Church in America) and his three Deacons Constantine Abu-Adal, Istvan Moldowanyi and John Shamie (later Shame was a Priest in Galveston); and Archimandrite Fr. Theoclitos’ two Russian Deacons, Theodore Pashkowsky and Joakim Zubkowsky, and his Romanian Deacon Pavel Grepashewsky; and Fr. Peter I. Popoff. The first leg of the trip was by train to Berlin, serving liturgy there at the Russia Embassy Church; then on to the Port of Bremen. The next leg was by passenger ship to Southampton for a change of ships, then on to New York aboard the passenger ship, S.S Havel out of South Hampton, as a United States Citizen. Only 82 passengers sailed that day. Although a group of Priests were at the port of New York to greet them on the Morning of November 14, 1895, they were required by customs to spend one night in Quarantine. The Next Morning, they were joined in New York by Bishop Nicholas Ziorov of the Russian Orthodox Mission in America, who’s Diocesan headquarters were in Sitka, the Aleutian Islands, Alaska, to consecrate the First Arab-Syrian Orthodox Church in America under the Russian Mission’s jurisdiction, and to install Archimandrite Rafael as Pastor, with his three deacons. A few days later, Arch. Fr. Theoclitos, his three Deacons; and Fr. Popoff traveled with Bishop Nicholas by train to Washington D.C., then to western Pennsylvania, where Fr. Popoff was to serve and then on to Kansas City. At this point, it was decided that only the Romanian Deacon Grepashewsky would travel to Galveston with Fr. Theoclitos; and Bishop Nicholas and the other two Deacons would go on to San Francisco. Fr. Theoclitos stopped in Hartshorne, American Indian Territory, Oklahoma, to have Liturgy for a group of Russian Miners, just outside of Tulsa, Oklahoma before reaching Galveston.
The distances from Galveston to either San Francisco or New York are about 1600 miles. Although his rightful rank was high, which gave him the right to consecrate his own chapel including the right to wear a Mitre and carry a staff; he lived his life in Galveston as a meager Monk, teacher, and Pastoral Priest. The Church Congregation never paid Fr. Theoclitos, because he received his pay directly from the Tsar (1500 rubels a month and 500 rubels as expenses; about $120 total, at that time) until Fr. Theoclitos passed away in 1916, a year and a half before Tsar Nicholas II and his Family were murdered.
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