Rev. Protopresbyter Jon Magoulias
Born and raised in Centralia, Illinois, the Reverend Father Jon Magoulias received a Bachelor of the Philosophy of Religion from Hellenic College in 1974. He continued his post-graduate work at the Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology where he graduated with Master of Divinity in 1977.
In 1973, Fr. Jon was selected to go on a public relations tour to promote Hellenic College-Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. This six-week tour took him across the United States where he met his wife, Georgia Poloynis.
Presvytera Georgia was born in Taft, California and raised in Los Angeles. She attended the Cathedral of St. Sophia and completed her college education at the University of California – Los Angeles, in 1974.
Fr. Jon and Presvytera Georgia were married June 6, 1976 at the Cathedral of St. Sophia. They moved to Brookline, Massachusetts so that Fr. Jon’s studies could be completed at Holy Cross.
On September 19, 1976, Fr. Jon was ordained to the first order of the Holy Priesthood by His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos of North and South America. He continued his studies and served the Holy Cross Chapel and the Church of the Annunciation in Woburn, Massachusetts.
Upon graduating from the seminary in 1977, Fr. Jon was ordained to the Holy Priesthood on September 25, 1977, at the Annunciation Church in Decatur, Illinois. He was assigned to the Assumption Cathedral in Denver, Colorado on October 1, 1977.
Among Fr. Jon’s experiences as the Assistant Priest of the Assumption Cathedral in Denver, Colorado was the opportunity to develop ministries for people of all age groups that included guidance to youth advisors. He was instrumental in organizing retreats and workshops for the Cathedral parish during this assignment. In addition, he co-produced a weekly one-hour Greek Orthodox radio program.
Transferred in 1980 to the Chicago, Illinois, Fr. Jon expanded his ministry by serving as a parish priest at the Church of the Holy Cross in Justice, Illinois. During this period he was appointed as the Spiritual Advisor of the Diocese of Chicago Young Adult League. Under his leadership the Chicago Diocese YAL Conference began and was considered the premier Diocese Conference in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. It was through his initiative that workshops preparing priests and speakers were developed to further enrich this program. Fr. Jon also served as the Diocese liaison to the Diocese of Chicago Choir Federation. In that capacity he presented a number of seminars on Byzantine Iconography and Church Hymnography. He also served as the spiritual advisor of the choir’s pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 1982. In addition to these many responsibilities Fr. Jon was also appointed the first Christian Orthodox chaplain to the Chicago Police Department. During this time the Chicago Police Department developed its program to meet the spiritual and emotional needs of its officers. While in Chicago, Fr. Jon also directed a number of television programs in conjunction with the Chicago Council of Churches. In 1984, he was appointed to a special task force of the Archdiocese of America to evaluate the curriculum of Hellenic College – Holy Cross School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts.
After six years of service in the Diocese of Chicago, Fr. Jon was appointed the parish priest of the Annunciation Church in Modesto, California. At the same time, he also accepted the responsibility as the Youth Director for the Diocese of San Francisco. Continuing in this position for four years he encouraged further development of youth programs that included religious, cultural, and athletic activities. In this capacity he has developed a number of ministries to better serve the people of Stanislaus County. He has encouraged further involvement and development of activities to the local community and has been a speaker at numerous service committees in the area.
One of the main developments in Modesto has been the renovation of the worship center. The church was renovated to meet the standards and teachings of the Greek Orthodox Faith. This included research into proper ecclesiastical appointments that would adorn the church. Fr. Jon oversaw the project that included working with the woodcarvers from the island of Crete and the iconographer from Athens. The culmination of this work produced a one-hour video written and narrated by Fr. Jon and in conjunction with CableOne of Modesto. The video, entitled “Orthodox Iconography: Visions of Victory,” was submitted for a rating and received recognition as a “Finalist” in the 2000 Telly Awards. Fr. Jon also received a Telly Award as the executive producer of this video that is now being distributed by GoTelecom, the video ministry of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
In addition to his responsibilities as a parish priest, Fr. Jon has served in various capacities within the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. As a member of the Diocese Council of San Francisco, he has spoken at many seminars in Parish Leadership and Stewardship Development. From 1998-2001 he served as the Diocese Chairman of Stewardship and Finance. He also served on the Archdiocese Council and the Stewardship Task Force and made presentations to benefit ministry developments in the parish church. Fr. Jon also served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Hellenic College – Holy Cross School of Theology from 1998 – 2002; and again from 2004-Present and currently serves as the Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees.