When Father Athanasios Nenes was named as the new priest at the Taxiarchae Church in Watertown, he was returning to a familiar place.
On Jan. 18 Bishop Metropolitan Methodios came to Watertown for the installation of Nenes as priest of Taxiarchae Church.
“It was very emotional, to tell you the truth,” Nenes said. “A great number of people came to greet me.”
Nenes was born in Bridgeport, Conn., and moved to Greece at a young age. He began his career in Thessaloniki, Greece, before moving back to the United States. He first served under Father Emmanuel Metaxas, the priest who led the Greek Church in Watertown for 50 years, and then moved on to Assumption of the Virgin Mary parish, in Manchester, N.H.
“Father Metaxas supported me – teaching me and showing how to run the ministries he had at the church,” Nenes said.
Returning to Watertown is a welcome challenge for Nenes. The transition has been a quick one. Since being assigned to Watertown, Nenes has been busy moving from New Hampshire and getting settled in his new parish.
While it may not be the oldest Greek church in the Boston area, it is a strong one, Nenes said.
“It’s a beautiful parish with wonderful people. I am meeting with them – sitting down and planning for the future,” Nenes said. “It’s a very active parish.”
While parishes in Greece are divided geographically, in the United States people can choose which one to attend. Nenes said he has parishioners coming from as far as Chelmsford to attend church in Watertown.
Along with meeting his parishioners, Nenes is also getting to know other church and religious leaders in Watertown.
“It is not only good relations (between churches) but we are also family living together,” Nenes said. “We are solving common problems, sharing the word, showing fellowship and sharing love.”
Nenes is married with two children, Maria and Vasilis. He also lives with his mother.
Along with his theology, Nenes also has a love of music. He has been involved with musc and choirs since his childhood and before he studied double bass and music at the National Conservatoire of Thessaloniki in Greece.