IN MEMORIAM: Father A. Photius Pentikis, Priest of the West

What Made Greece Great

Father A. Photius Pentikis, Priest of the West

July 16, 1922 – January 25, 2017

Very Rev. Archimandrite Anthony Photius Pentikis fell asleep in the Lord on January 25, 2017 at the age of 94 years old in Bellingham, WA. Father Photius enjoyed a full and rich life and ministry, and was a “priest of the West,” serving only parishes throughout the Western states. He lived alone until more recent months when his health began to fail rapidly.

His passing was announced by the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco with “joyful sorrow.”

“Father Photius was a devoted servant of the Lord for nearly 70 years, always maintaining the highest standards for his priesthood in the many parishes he served,” noted His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco. “I had the opportunity to be with Father Photius this past September and was always uplifted by his genuine spirit.”

Born in Fort Worth, Texas on July 16, 1922 to his parents James and Thespina, Father Photius lived there with his family until he completed high school. He was the second to the youngest of 13 siblings, all of whom predeceased him. He enrolled in Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Pomfret, CT and was ordained in 1948. Father Photius also studied at the historic Halki Theological Seminary in Turkey, and was a Deacon to the late Patriarch Athenagoras.

Father Photius served numerous parishes in the West including: Holy Trinity in Portland, OR; Holy Trinity in Phoenix, AZ; St. Nicholas in Northridge, CA; Assumption in Seattle, WA; St. Spyridon in San Diego, CA; Sts. Constantine and Helen in Honolulu, HI; St. Nicholas in San Jose, CA; and St. Sophia in Bellingham, WA. He also assisted the formation of the new Greek Orthodox parish in Victoria, BC by making monthly visits and celebrating Holy Week services there. He was a regular visitor as well to Seattle at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church and St. Spiridon Orthodox Cathedral of the Orthodox Church in America.

Father Photius was always conscientious in his ministry, and devoted of himself unselfishly for the spiritual edification of the faithful he served.

A voracious reader, Father Photius’ home was filled with books, and he was always eager to learn. He was also a prolific writer and has many unpublished works including extensive synopses on the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, the Epistles of Peter, James and John and the Book of Revelation.

Father Photius never wanted any recognition for his years of devoted service to the Church. Though he was hesitant to agree, the parish of St. Sophia in Bellingham was planning to recognize him during the weekend of Sunday of Orthodoxy in March 2017 during a forthcoming visit by His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco.

Since his retirement, Father Photius resided in Bellingham and was blessed to have the care and friendship of Rev. Father Mel Gimmaka from St. Innocent Antiochian Orthodox Church in Everson, WA, along with his family, with whom he formed a very close bond for the past 20 years.

He was well-known and much-loved in the greater Bellingham community through his extensive walks in the city, riding the local buses, and regular patronage of restaurants. One online tribute noted his “kind word, bright smile, and friendly nod,” for everyone, and another from his regular UPS delivery driver was appreciative for Father’s help with the man’s family issues, adding “He seemed like an angel of sorts.”

Services for Father Photius were held at St. Sophia Church in Bellingham.  His Eminence Metropolitan Archbishop Sotirios of Toronto (Canada) led the Trisagion on January 31. His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos officiated at the Funeral Service on February 1, assisted by His Grace Bishop Apostolos of Medeia, Chancellor of the San Francisco Metropolis and 21 priests from throughout Western Washington as well as from California, Colorado, and British Columbia. The interment was at Bayview Cemetery, followed by the Makaria at St. Sophia Church.

In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Father Photius may be offered to St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Church, 510 East Sunset Drive, Bellingham, WA 98225 or to St. Innocent Antiochian Orthodox Church, 7461 Goodwin Road, Everson, WA 98247.

May his memory be eternal!

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Email the author: Giuliana Harris

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