"ONCE A YEAR,
GO SOMEPLACE YOU'VE
NEVER BEEN BEFORE."
Archbishop Nikiphoros Baltatzis
Nicholas, son of Andreas & Panayota Baltatzis, was born in the city of Xanthi, Greece, on July 1, 1944, where he finished Elementary School. In the district of Komotini he studied the first three years of High School. He arrived in Jerusalem on August 8, 1961 and was enlisted in the Patriarchal School of St. Demetrius. On June 2, 1962 he was tonsured Monk by Patriarch Benedict and was renamed Nikiphoros.
On June 24, 1962 he was ordained Deacon by Archbishop Claudius, according the decision of the Holy Synod. On July 2, 1964 he was ordained a Priest by Archbishop Stepanos and was assigned Supervisor of the Patriarchal School and Priest of the Church of St. Demetrius, of the Patriarchal School. On February 20, 1965 he was assigned Superior of the Monastery of the Archangels of the Jerusalem and Supervisor of the Monastery of St. George. On June 6, 1966, according to the decision of the Holy Synod, was appointed Member of the Committee for the Properties, and Priest of the Patriarchal Church of Sts. Constantine & Helen. On August 12, 1967, was appointed by the Synod Superior of (the Monastery of Prophet Elias and Pastor of the Community) of Haifa. On August 30, 1967 was named Archimandrite and on April 18, 1969 was appointed Superior of (the Monastery of St. George and Pastor of the Community of Lod (Lydda).
On August 30, 1970 departed for the USA where he remained more than 10 years, and returned to Jerusalem, on September 18, 1981. He is a graduate of the Florida International University with Degrees in Philosophy and Religious Studies. On December 22, 1981 was appointed by the Synod Secretary of the English Department, Superior of the Monastery of St. Nicholas and Priest at the Patriarchal Church of Sts. Constantine & Helen. On March 11, 1983, was appointed Acting Chief Dragoman and on December 12, 1984 was appointed Acting Superior of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. On January 18 was appointed Superior of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and Member of the Holy Synod. On August 12, 1986 was appointed Member of the Education Committee of the School (of the Patriarchal School).
On February 12, 1988, By Patriarchal and Synodical decision, was elected Bishop of the historical Bishopric of Constantine and on February 29, 1988, the 3rd Sunday of the (Great Lent) of the Veneration of the Holy Cross, by Patriarch Diodoros, Bishops, Priests and Deacons of the Patriarchate was ordained as a Bishop in the Holy Cubicle of the All Holy and Life Giving Sepulchre.
On February of 1988, Bishop Nikiphoros of Constantine was appointed Patriarchal Vicar in Irbet, Jordan.
According to the Decision of the Holy Synod (April 28, 2006) he was elevated to the Rank of Archbishop.
Fr. Gregory Rubis lives with his family in New Jersey and serves as a second priest at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Westfield, NJ. With a degree from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, including a semester at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, Fr. Greg has degrees also in finance, law and economics. A visitor to more than two dozen countries, Fr. Greg was last a pilgrim in the Holy Land with Bishop Ilia Katre (under whom Fr. Greg serves) and a Heritage Tours group in 2010. Having lived in eight states and the District of Columbia, Fr. Greg now spends most weekdays in New York, employed as a lawyer.
In Loving Memory
HIS EXCELLENCY METROPOLITAN ILIA+