The St. Iakovos Retreat Center is an active ministry of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago ( Its daily functioning is the effort of many dedicated people including our Hierarch, the board of directors, and on-site employees.


His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael of Chicago

His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael (Symeonides) of Chicago is of Pontic and Asia-Minor ancestry, and was born in Thessaloniki, Greece (1978). He is the third child of Irene and Vasilios Symeonides. He received his early education from the Greek American Institute of the Zoodochos Peghe Parish of the Bronx, NY. He later graduated from Hellenic College (BA, 2000) and from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology (MDiv, 2003). He earned an STM (2003) in Christian Ethics and a ThD (2007) in Bioethics from Boston University. Fr. Nathanael has also studied the History and Ethics of Public Health at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. 

He has served as a guest professor of Orthodox Christian Ethics and Bioethics at Fordham University, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, and Saint Vladimir Theological School. He has authored numerous articles in theology and bioethics. He has delivered a series of presentations to clergy of the Archdiocese and to regional pan-Orthodox clergy associations.

On February 7, 2018, the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate unanimously elected him Metropolitan of Chicago, succeeding His Eminence Metropolitan Iakovos of blessed-memory. He was ordained a Bishop on March 17th in the Holy Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, New York, and was enthroned on March 24th in the Holy Cathedral of the Annunciation, Chicago

The St. Iakovos Retreat Center Board of Directors

The St. Iakovos Retreat Center is a non-profit organization overseen by an active, dedicated, and faithful board comprised of both parishioners and clergy throughout the Metropolis, as well as our Hierarchs. The board meets monthly to discuss issues and make decisions to continuously improve the facility and service to guests. The St. Iakovos Retreat Center Board members are; 

His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael of Chicago  - Ex Officio

Rev. Fr. Chrysostom Panos - Ex Officio

Mr. Bill J. Vranas - President 

Mr. Thomas Kanelos - Vice President 

Mr. Nicholas Kirkeles - Secretary 

Mr. Theodore Pappas - Secretary 

Mr. Nicholas Karafotias - Treasurer 

Ms. Pam Argyris - Ex Officio

Fr. Chris Avromapoulos 

Rev. Fr. Andrew Georganas

Rev. Fr. Jim Grenias

Rev. Fr. John Ketchum

Rev. Fr. Theodore "Ted" Poteres

Mr. George Haralampopoulos

Mr. Ernest Karras

Rev. Fr. Kosmas Kallis - Ex Officio

Rev. Fr. Christos Margellos - Ex Officio

Mr. Harold Peponis

Mr. Theodore Sepsis

Mrs. Joanne Stavrakas

The On-Site Staff

In addition to the Hierarchs and board, the St. Iakovos Retreat Center employs five full-time employees to cater to the needs of all  guests and visitors.