BOSTON – V Rev. Protopresbyter Demetrios Tonias resigned from the Deanship of the Annunciation Cathedral of Boston for health reasons. Fr Demetrios made the announcement at the end of the Divine Liturgy on Sunday November 21st surprising his congregation. Fr. Demetrios became ill a few months ago, and thus he arrived to the painful decision to resign. He served faithfully and diligently Boston’s Cathedral from December 1, 2014 until now. Prior to that he had served at Taxiarchae parish in Watertown Massachusetts and before that at the Holy Trinity parish in Concord, New Hampshire.
Speaking to The National Herald His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios of Boston stated that “Fr. Demetrios is a very good priest, educated, active” and added that “I am so sorry that he became ill and had to resign.”
Fr. Demetrios was also an ecumenical officer of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston. Prior to entering seminary, Fr. Demetrios was an engineer by profession and a member of the Adjunct Engineering Faculty of Union College in Schenectady, New York. He is the author of several works on civil engineering, including an award-winning textbook on Bridge Engineering. In 1996, Fr. Tonias left his career as a professional engineer to pursue Holy Orders in the Greek Orthodox Church. He attended Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts where he graduated with the degree of Master of Divinity in 1999 and Master of Theology in 2006, both with highest distinction. Fr. Tonias was ordained to the deaconate in May of 1998 and the priesthood in March of 1999. In the course of his ministry, Fr. Tonias helped bring numerous students to the Greek Holy Cross School of Theology and his love of teaching and theological inquiry moved him to pursue further graduate studies.
Fr. Tonias graduated from Boston College with a PhD in theology where he specialized in Jewish-Christian relations with a focus on the Eastern Christian-Jewish dialogue in general and the early church Jewish-Christian relationship in particular. His doctoral dissertation, titled, Abraham in the Works of John Chrysostom, examined the numerous references to the great patriarch of the Jewish bible by the fourth century Christian preacher and bishop. A book based on his dissertation was published by Fortress Press in March 2014. As a result of his studies, Fr. Tonias is involved in a variety of ecumenical and interfaith dialogues where he represented His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios and the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston. Presently, Fr. Tonias serves on the board of the Massachusetts Council of Churches. He also served on the inter-religious and Jewish-Christian convening panels of the National Council of Churches and as a consulting scholar for the International Council of Christians and Jews.
Fr. Tonias’ theological publications include two textbooks, which he co-authored, and are used to teach liturgical Greek at the Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. He has given lectures on Church History and Orthodox Theology and was invited to speak at a conference on Jewish-Christian relations sponsored by the World Council of Churches in Constantinople. Fr. Demetri’s family includes his wife, Presbytera Maryann and their four children Allan, Elias, Catherine, and Josephine.