REV. FATHER GARY (KYRIACOS) KYRIACOU
Rev. Economos Father Gary Kyriacou began his ministry at St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral on December 1, 2022. He is married to Presvytera Christie, and they are blessed with three children – Harrison (22), Jacob (21), and Elena (14).
Father Gary received his bachelor’s degree in Film Production and Screenwriting from California State University at Northridge (1995). In 1992, he met Presvytera Christie at St. Sophia Summer Camp while he was working for Universal Studios. His work with Universal led to a job with DreamWorks, but his calling to the priesthood intensified. He and Presvytera married on July 6, 1997, and the newlyweds moved to Holy Cross seminary 3 weeks later. Father received his Master of Divinity from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology and was ordained to the Diaconate at St. Sophia Cathedral (May 27, 2001). On June 1, 2001 he was assigned to Ascension Cathedral in Oakland, and on September 9, 2001, was ordained to the Holy Priesthood, and worked closely with Fr. Tom Paris of blessed memory.
Fr. Gary was assigned to serve Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Camarillo, California in August of 2004. During his service as the Proistamenos of Saint Demetrios, he guided the parish through a successful capital campaign. The community purchased 4.1 acres and was able to move from a former Air Force chapel to an interim location of the city’s public library, ultimately arriving “home” at the Agape Building in 2015. The two-story, multi-use structure houses a chapel, reception hall, conference room, offices and classrooms. His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos celebrated the Thyranoixia (door opening ceremony) on May 31, 2015.
While serving St. Demetrios, Father Gary was appointed to FDF as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees. Thousands of faithful gather each year for the Folk Dance Festival, which is the largest gathering of Greek Orthodox youth in the world. It has expanded to focus on Faith, Dance, and Fellowship by offering workshops for parents, a choir competition, scholarships, Diakonia service projects, and a partnership with our esteemed Philoptochos to benefit worthy causes such as Feeding Children Everywhere, Compass Family Services, and Rise Against Hunger.
On November 2019, His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America appointed Fr. Gary as the Director of Ionian Village, the official international summer camping ministry of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. It is located on a private facility on the shores of the Ionian Sea in the western Peloponnese. Father Gary gathered a team of young adults to lead youth from around the world in a life-transforming summer experience by bringing them closer to the Orthodox faith and exploring the rich Hellenic culture and history. Father Gary’s work was recognized by Leadership 100 in February 2022 and was presented the Archbishop Iakovos Leadership 100 Award for Achievement.
His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos expanded the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries in the Metropolis of San Francisco and in February of 2021, Fr. Gary was designated as the Pastor of Youth and Young Adult Ministries for the Metropolis of San Francisco. In this role, Fr. Gary worked with Clergy, lay leaders, parents, young adults and children to further develop youth ministry programs. He collaborated with a Young Adult on his first project. The program, Journey to Lent, brought 600 participants together, weekly, via Zoom, during the darkest days of Covid 19 isolation. Keeping young people connected to Christ and each other through the ministries of the Church is one of Fr. Gary’s strengths and passion.
Fr. Gary and Pres. Christie enjoy living in Southern California, where they both were born and raised. Returning to serve the Cathedral that introduced them to each other is truly by God’s Divine Providence. St. Sophia gave them their life together. In return, they now feel blessed to give their all back to St. Sophia. The Kyriacou family enjoys going to the beach, rooting for the Dodgers, and watching movies. They love sushi, traveling, playing Apples to Apples, and spending summers at St. Sophia camp.