Bp. Anthimos of Olympos  2007

On November 19, 1934, George Draconakis was born to Nicholas and Kalliopi in Kastelli, Meramvellou, Crete. He attended school in his village until going to Neapolis for public high school. Then in 1951, he entered the prestigious Patriarchal Theological School in Halki, Constantinople. Graduating Cum Laude from this sacred institution in 1956, he immediately began working at the Ecumenical Patriarchate under the direction of the late, Patriarch Athenagoras.
Ordained to the Holy Diaconate on March 28, 1954, he was given the ecclesiastical name of "Anthimos"; two and a half years later, in October of 1956, he was ordained to the Holy Priesthood. In June 1958, Fr. Anthimos was elevated to the rank of "Archimandrite" by his spiritual father, Archbishop Evgenios of Crete, of blessed memory. Fr. Anthimos' first assignment was in 1956 when he was sent to Belgium to serve the thousands of coal miners sent there under contract with the Greek government. While serving the miners, he received the highest medal the Greek State gives for meritorious service "the Silver Cross of the Phoenix', which was bestowed upon him by His Majesty Paul, reigning King of Greece. In 1957, Fr. Anthimos attended the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium studying Canon Law and Pastoral Theology. While serving in Belgium he also established four ecclesiastical communities and an Afternoon School. In 1960, he was transferred to Berlin, Germany. In 1961, he was assigned to Northern Germany as the Vicar of the Archbishop of Thyateira (England and all Europe). Then in 1964, he was transferred to Nurnberg. While serving in Germany, Fr. Anthimos established eight communities! In 1969, at the invitation of Archbishop Iakovos of North and South America, Fr. Anthimos came to the United States. His first assignment was to the parish of St. Nicholas in Clinton, Massachusetts. While serving in Clinton, he attended classes at Harvard Divinity School. Two years later, he became the Dean of the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New York City. As Dean, he undertook the ambitious task of renovating the Cathedral. He was very instrumental in the development of the Cathedral School and Cathedral ministries. Elected Titular Bishop of Christoupolis in 1977, Bishop Anthimos was given the responsibility of administering the Diocese of Pittsburgh.
Two years later, in 1979, he was elected the first ruling Bishop of the newly established Diocese of Boston. In 1983, Bishop Anthimos was elected to serve as the first ruling Bishop of the Diocese of Denver. From 1991 to 1996, he served as Chief Secretary of the Synod Bishops at the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America. Following the retirement of Archbishop Iakovos in July, 1996, His Eminence Metropolitan Anthony, of blessed memory, requested the assistance of Bishop Anthimos to help administer the Metropolis of San Francisco. For ten years Bishop Anthimos was active participating in the ministries of our Metropolis. Ever since their youth, Bishop Anthimos and the late Metropolitan Anthony were good friends. This friendship grew with the guidance of their spiritual father, the late Archbishop Evyenios of Crete. In addition, they both belonged to the monastery of St. George of Epanosifi in Crete. During the illness and eventual repose of Metropolitan Anthony, Bishop Anthimos made sure that every need of the Metropolis was met. He worked diligently to support the efforts of Metropolitan Anthony and to ensure the growth of our Church. In addition, Bishop Anthimos had been helpful to Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco. His experience and guidance has enabled our Metropolis to have a smooth transition from one hierarch to another. On Friday, May 29, 2015, His Grace Anthimos Bishop of Olympus, fell asleep in the Lord.