Trisagion for Rev Fr Thomas J Paris – Oakland CA
Very sad news. As a personal note, I went to Skyline High School with Fr Paris kids Maria and Paul. We’re class of 1980.
Here’s the obituary:
OAKLAND, CA – Reverend Father Thomas J. Paris, Dean Emeritus of the Ascension Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Oakland, passed away on August 8, following a long battle with cancer.
“Father Tom Paris embodied the heart and soul of the Ascension Greek Orthodox Community in Oakland for 50 years. His service to the local community and the Greek Orthodox Church in America was a shining example to all our fellow clergy,” said Rev. Father Thomas J. Zaferes, Proistamenos of Ascension Cathedral.
Fr. Paris, the son of James and Grace Paris, was born and raised in Chicago, IL on September 15, 1935. He served as president of his parish youth group and was the captain of the altar boys. Fr. Paris earned the rank of ‘life scout’ and served as an assistant scoutmaster. He received the Phi Beta Kappa and B’nai B’rith Youth of the Year Awards and was selected for the Chicago Tribune all-city football team.
Fr. Paris graduated from Chicago’s Amundsen High School in 1953. In 1959, he graduated from Holy Cross School of Theology in Brookline, MA, where he was class president and newspaper and yearbook editor. After graduation, he married Vaso Katinas of St. Louis, MI and traveled with her to Greece on a honeymoon that lasted two years. There he completed his Licentiate of Theology with honors at the Theological School of the University of Athens and the happy couple was blessed with the birth of their son, James.
Fr. Paris was ordained as a deacon in Athens in August of 1961 and as a priest in Chicago that December. He was assigned to the St. Paul Greek Orthodox Church in Savannah, Georgia where he served almost 10 years. Under his leadership they paid off the church mortgage and purchased five nearby homes for expansion. He was president of the Family Counseling Center and Travelers Aid Society and the Chatham Clergy Conference, the city’s first inter-racial clergy body – he played an important role in the peaceful integration of Savannah.
In August of 1971, Fr. Tom, Presbytera Vaso, and their five children arrived in Oakland, where he lived and served the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Ascension for the next 50 years. Under his leadership the parish was elevated to Cathedral status in 1992 and hosted four Patriarchs as well as two heads of state. The parish was able to liquidate its mortgage and build a large multi-purpose Community Center. The last edition to the master plan for which fundraising is ongoing is the completed parking pavilion and the chapel which still needs to be completed. During his tenure endowment and scholarship funds were established, including one in his honor. The parish Summer Camp was founded in 1972 and continues to be a vibrant ministry, creating many bonds and lasting friendships.
Fr. Paris organized the parish Spiritual Renewal Organization, authored six 24-week bible studies, and oversaw three bible study groups. He and the parish helped Ethiopian, Bulgarian, and Eritrean Orthodox parishes get organized by providing facilities, financial support for their clergy, and social services for their members. Fr. Paris helped organize the immensely popular Festival of Greece (which was later renamed the Oakland Greek Festival) along with the highly successful weekly Senior Center Program. He was a champion of the Ascension Cathedral Golf Tournament and took it to a new level, for which he is recognized annually by The Father Tom Paris ‘Halfway to Heaven’ Long Drive Contest. He was a charter member of the Interreligious Council of Oakland, which responded so effectively to help alleviate the suffering caused by the Loma Prieta Earthquake and the Oakland Hills Firestorm.
In service to the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco, Fr. Paris served as Retreat Master, was chairman of the Spiritual Renewal Committee, and the Northern California Youth Organization. He also co-founded and led the Senior Camp and helped form the Northern California Chapter of the International Orthodox Christian Charities. Fr. Paris helped raise $75,000 for Ethiopian famine relief and traveled to visit the Patriarch of Ethiopia to deliver the funds at his own expense. He served on the board of directors of the Trinity Homes for fifteen years and as president for eight years. He also served three years as president of the Brotherhood of St. Nicholas for the St. Nicholas Ranch and Retreat Center and was chairman of the board and chaplain of the Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute in Berkeley.
On the national level, Fr. Paris served on the Board of Directors of Hellenic College/Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. He was a member of the Archdiocesan Council, chairing the Clergy and Clergy Family Committee, which inspired the establishment of a crisis hotline for clergy, their spouses and their children, providing professional support to prevent clergy burnout and family distress. He also was elected to the National Presbyters Council for eight years and served as its treasurer for four years. Following his retirement in 2009, he served the community of Prophet Elias Greek Orthodox Church in Santa Cruz, California for several months until a permanent priest was appointed.
“Father Paris faithfully served our Oakland community for more than 50 years,” said TNH contributor Theo Karantsalis, whose best childhood friends were Fr. Paris’ sons, who followed their father’s footsteps in the priesthood, Rev. Jimmy Paris, who serves in Clearwater, FL and Rev. Paul Paris, who serves in Portland, OR. “We grew up in each others’ homes and went to Greek school, GOYA events, and served in the altar together under the guidance of Father Paris.”
Last month, Karantsalis penned a story about what it was like for Paris in 1971 when he arrived in Oakland, and how the Ascension cathedral parish sought to comfort him with uplifting videos. “When we last spoke by phone, I confessed and we prayed together,” Karantsalis said. “May his memory be eternal.”
Fr. Paris will be remembered for his gift of encouragement, his joyful laugh, and a loving nature. He loved his family and his flock and he was tireless in his efforts to serve others and to do what was pleasing to God. He was present in times of joy and times of sorrow, providing the love and support that was needed.
Fr. Paris is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 61 years, Presbytera Vaso Paris and four children, Fr. James T. Paris (Presbytera Eleni), Maria Delvizis (James), Fr. Paul T. Paris (Presbytera Stephanie) and Connie Paris. He was preceded in death by his son Thomas Nicholas Paris and his sisters, Marie Klink and Helen Christ (Chris).
Father Paris was the proud pappou of eight grandchildren, Grace Paris, Michael Delvizis, Nicholas Paris, Vasi Paris, Lucas Paris, Sophia Paris, Alexander Delvizis, and Thomas G. Paris. Additionally, he is survived by his sister Joanne Julian (David) and a host of cousins, nieces, and nephews.
All services for Fr. Paris will be held at the Ascension Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 4700 Lincoln Avenue in the hills of Oakland, CA, and officiated by His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco: Viewing from 4 PM and Trisagion at 6 PM on Friday, August 13. Matins 7 AM, followed by the Divine Liturgy. Funeral service at 10 Am on Friday, August 14. Interment immediately following at Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland, CA.
Due to the recent resurgence in COVID cases, Alameda County and the Bay Area have reinstituted the mask mandate in public indoor settings for all people ages 2 and older.
Live streaming of all services will be available from the Ascension Cathedral website at ascensioncathedral.com and on Facebook Live at https://www.facebook.com/AscensionCathedral/
In lieu of flowers, the family is grateful for your support of the Chapel completion to the Fr. Thomas J. Paris Legacy Tribute in his memory. Donations may be offered online at ascensioncathedral.com/frtomparis or mailed to Ascension Cathedral, 4700 Lincoln Avenue, Oakland, CA 94602. Checks should be made payable to “Ascension Cathedral,” please note the “Fr. Paris Tribute.”
Note from Zennie62Media and OaklandNewsNow.com : this video-blog post demonstrates the full and live operation of the latest updated version of an experimental Zennie62Media , Inc. mobile media video-blogging system network that was launched June 2018. This is a major part of Zennie62Media , Inc.’s new and innovative approach to the production of news media. What we call “The Third Wave of Media”. The uploaded video is from a YouTube channel. When the video is “liked” by Zennie62 YouTube, then it is automatically uploaded to and formatted automatically at the Oakland News Now site and Zennie62-created and owned social media pages. The overall objective here, on top of our is smartphone-enabled, real-time, on the scene reporting of news, interviews, observations, and happenings anywhere in the World and within seconds and not hours – is the use of the existing YouTube social graph on any subject in the World. Now, news is reported with a smartphone and also by promoting current content on YouTube: no heavy and expensive cameras or even a laptop are necessary, or having a camera crew to shoot what is already on YouTube. The secondary objective is faster, and very inexpensive media content news production and distribution. We have found there is a disconnect between post length and time to product and revenue generated. With this, the problem is far less, though by no means solved. Zennie62Media is constantly working to improve the system network coding and seeks interested content and media technology partners.
You may also like
Oakland News Now Recent Posts
- KTVU Frank Somerville Suspended For Gabby Petito Social Media Debate – Answering Your Questions September 26, 2021
- Bill Carroll’s Saturday Superlatives WRs Week 3 Drake London, Treylon Burks, Calvin Austin III. September 26, 2021
- Mary Everett Of Everett & Jones BBQ Berkeley Dies Of COVID-19 65 Years Old September 26, 2021
- Bill Carroll’s Saturday Superlatives Defense Week 3 Cade York, DeAndre Square, CJ Brewer, Ty Boeck. September 26, 2021
- Bill Carroll’s Saturday Superlatives WRs Week 3 Treylon Burks, Drake London and Deven Thompkins September 26, 2021
- Bill Carroll’s Saturday Superlative-TE Week 3 Xavier Gaines,Charlie Kolar,Trey McBride&Gerrit Prince September 25, 2021
- Amtrak train headed to Seattle, Portland derailed in Montana September 25, 2021
- Jen Friel Of “Talk Nerdy To Me” On Her New TV Show At CES 2011 Las Vegas September 25, 2021
- Brian Laundrie Motel A 7 minute Walk From The Last Spot Kylen & Crystal were last seen alive September 25, 2021
- Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte Being Investigated By Eric Pangilinan September 25, 2021
- Las Vegas Raiders Sign Running Back Trey Ragas To The Active Roster By Eric Pangilinan September 25, 2021
- Las Vegas Raiders Keys To Victory For Week Three Vs The Dolphins By Eric Pangilinan September 25, 2021
- Bill Carroll’s Saturday Superlative RBs Week 3 Sean Tucker, Ronnie Rivers Shermari Jones&Rasheen Ali September 25, 2021
- Staunch Moderates – Rapper Casanova Ace and DJ Staunch Launch New Album ‘The First Realm’ September 25, 2021
- In Memory of Our Friend, Willie Garson September 25, 2021
- Bill Carroll’s Saturday Superlatives QBs Week 3 Tannner Mordecai, Austin Kendall, and Jaxson Dart. September 25, 2021
- Las Vegas Raiders Mogul Steve Wynn To Light Al Davis Torch At Allegiant Stadium By Eric Pangilinan September 25, 2021
- KTVU’s Frank Somerville Suspended For Good Says Rich Lieberman – Not Over Gabby Petito Social Media September 25, 2021
- Free Football Pick UCLA Bruins vs Stanford Cardinal Prediction, 9/25/2021 College Football Best Bet September 25, 2021
- Stanford Football: UCLA Motivational September 25, 2021
- Washington vs Cal 9/25/21 Free College Football Picks and Predictions Week 4 2021 September 25, 2021
- Mail thieves caught on camera in Oakland September 25, 2021
- Home For Sale – 2364 E 16th St Oakland, CA 94601 September 25, 2021
- 2018 SUBARU Outback Walnut Creek, San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, Vallejo J3219216 September 25, 2021
- Brian Laundrie search: INSIDE motel where Gabby Petito’s fiancé stayed after the traffic stop September 25, 2021