Book Release for 100 Years of Faith and Fervor
by Constantine Skedros

Title: 100 Years of Faith and Fervor
Author: Constantine Skedros
Publisher: Greek Orthodox Church of Greater Salt Lake City
Place and Date of Publication: Salt Lake City, Utah, 2005
ISBN: 061512977-3
Price: $29.95
Description: hardcover, 176 pages, oversize;includes over 100 color and black-and-white illustrations and 1100-name index.
Availability: Greek Orthodox Church of Greater Salt Lake City, UT. To order a copy, contact: Constantine J. Skedros, 801-484-9708; Mike Korologos, 801-350-0636; Mary Chachas, 801-521-0880; Greek Orthodox Church of Greater Salt Lake, 801-328-9681

When immigrant laborers from Greece arrived in Utah in the early 1900s they were persecuted, ridiculed and regarded as unsavory interlopers. Yet they persevered. With their Greek Orthodox Church serving as the catalyst, they were driven by a fervent hope of proving their children an opportunity to experience a better life.

Today, first and second generation Greek-Americans whose roots are in the thriving Salt Lake Greek community are the beneficiaries of that legacy, including many who are prominent in business, political, social, educational, ecumenical, legal and medical circles locally and nationally.

That evolution is chronicled in book entitled 100 Years of Faith and Fervor, published by the Greek Orthodox Church of Greater Salt Lake City. The 176-page, coffee table-sized book was published in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Greek Orthodox Church in Salt Lake City in 1905. A three-day celebration on Oct. 27, 28, and 29 will commemorate the anniversary, according to Manoli Sargetakis, general chairman of the observance.

Constantine J. Skedros, Salt Lake City native and chronicler of church activities for more than 50 years, is the author of 100 Years of Faith and Fervor. A one-time high school history teacher, Skedros used church records (often kept in a haphazard manner in the early years) and his personal collection of materials (primarily newspaper clippings such as obituaries, wedding announcements, programs from community events, committee minutes and news articles) as the foundation for the book. In many instances over the last half century, Skedros was personally involved with the committees, parish council boards and activities that were instrumental in the expansion and growth of the church-community.

Those materials are supplemented by brief first-person accounts of the toils and triumphs experienced by several early-day church members whose experiences are on file at the Greek Oral History Collection, Manuscripts Division, at the University of Utah J. Willard Marriott Library.

The book was edited by Mike C. Korologos and Mary P. Chachas, professional journalists, long-time members of the parish and both with experience in producing historical books.

The commemorative publication is enlivened by 128 color and black/white photos and illustrations that span the 100 years and its historical significance and research value are enhanced by a 1,136-name index. The publication was underwritten by the Sotiriou family of Salt Lake City so all proceeds from its sale will benefit Greek church programs, according to Sargetakis.

In the book’s “Forward”, Allan Kent Powell, historian for the Utah State Historical Society, says of the publication: “It is a book to be cherished for the heritage it preserves -- a book to be read for the individual experiences and human interaction that are revealed in its pages. The book is an invitation to understand and savor the story of a people, a religion and a culture whose heritage has helped shape who we are as Utahns.”

Skedros believes his work “Is a book that needed to be published as it highlights and perpetuates the legacy left to us by our forefathers.” He adds that the book “pays tribute to the early Greek immigrants to America and to later generations who had the vision to establish and perpetuate a Greek Orthodox Church in Salt Lake City. It is a story that needs to be handed down to generations yet to come.”

About the Author

The son of Greek immigrant parents, Constantine (Con) was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, March 9, 1923. His penchant for history and education was forged early by his parents. Con graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in Education and History in 1949. He received an MS in History there in 1951. His college education was interrupted while he fulfilled his World War II military obligation in England, France, and Germany from 1943 to 1945.

Con has been extensively involved with the salt Lake Greek Orthodox Church community since 1947, organizing the parish's first youth groups and also serving as the president of the parish council. That participation has kept him in an ideal position to witness--and record-- the unfolding history of his parish.
He is one of the founders of the Greek community's Hellenic Cultural Museum and is a member of the Hellenic Heritage Committee. He was designated as the church's volunteer historian in 1988. In 1995 he was named an Archon of the Greek Orthodox CHurch by the Ecumenical Patriarch.

The author taught history for 37 years in Salt Lake City schools, before retiring in 1987. He has served on the board of trustees of Guadalupe School of Salt Lake City, the Oral History Institute of Utah, the Utah Humanities Countil, and the National Council of Community and Justice.

(Posted December 2005; updated March 03, 2008)

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