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Last Updated on : 20 April 2018
The Priest by virtue of his canonical ordination and assignment heads and administers the Parish and exercises on its behalf the priestly duties, which consist in shepherding the Parish entrusted to his care, directing its orderly life, preserving its unity and keeping it faithful to its divine purpose. He shall sanctify his parishioners through the administration of the sacraments and the performance of all other prescribed services of worship. He shall also proclaim the Gospel and impart knowledge of the doctrines, traditions, canons and disciplines of the Church. Further, he shall guide the growth and progress of the Parish in the Christian life through the performance of his pastoral duties. Priests are accountable to their respective Hierarch and will submit a report of their ministry to him at least annually. The Eparchial Synod shall determine the format for these reports." (Uniform Parish Regulations, Section Three, Part One, Article 3, Section 1)
Fr. Michael Varlamos was born in Highland Park, Michigan on August 14th, 1962, and grew up in the western suburbs of Detroit. He graduated from Livonia Bentley High School in 1980. He pursued studies in electrical engineering at Schoolcraft College and Lawrence Technological University. Before completing his engineering studies Fr. Michael decided to seek studies in Orthodox theology at Hellenic College in Brookline, MA where he received several academic honors. He graduated in 1987 as Valedictorian of his class with a BA in Religious Studies.
In 1988, while a student at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology he married Presvytera Tina. In addition to his studies, Fr. Michael served as assistant to the Dean of Admissions for Hellenic College/Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology for four years. In January of 1989 he was ordained a deacon and served the bishop of Boston, and the Assumption parish of Lowell, MA. In May of 1989 Fr. Michael graduated from Holy Cross with high distinction receiving a Masters of Divinity. Immediately after graduation Fr. Michael was ordained a priest by His Grace Bishop Timothy of Detroit on May 28th 1989 and assigned as the proistamenos to the Nativity of the Virgin Mary parish in Plymouth, Michigan.
The parish had fewer than 80 when Fr. Michael arrived. Within two years of his ordination, Fr. Michael was given the offikion of Confessor, since he served as the spiritual advisor for the GOYAL and later the Orthodox Christian Fellowship at the University of Michigan. Within five years of his ordination, the Nativity Church grew to over 300 families. A campaign began to raise funds and build a new church. It was completed in March of 1994, at which time Fr. Michael received the offikion of Economos.
Fr. Michael served the Nativity of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church in Plymouth, Michigan for over 14 years. He has served as secretary and treasurer of the Detroit Diocese Clergy Syndesmos. In 1999, he was appointed by His Grace Bishop Nicholas of Detroit as chairman of the Diocesan Greek Language and Culture committee.
On December 20, 2002 a fire destroyed many icons and furnishings of the Assumption Church. Shortly thereafter, His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas assigned Fr. Michael to the Assumption Church as its Proistamenos to oversee its reconstruction and pastoral service to its flock. His pastorate began on Sunday, July 27, 2003. He was assisted in his duties by the then associate priest, Fr. Tom Michalos until September of 2007.
In the early summer of 2007, His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas designated the Assumption parish as a “training ground” for newly ordained priests of the Metropolis of Detroit. Under the guidance of Fr. Michael, the newly ordained priests would learn from Fr. Michael while assisting him in his liturgical, pastoral and administrative duties for approximately two years before being assigned to their own parish. Fr. Anthony Cook was the first assistant to serve in this capacity from July 2007 to June 2010.
In the Fall of 2007, Fr. Michael was accepted to the graduate school of Wayne State University in Detroit Michigan, where he pursued a Masters degree in Classics (ancient Greek and Latin) and ancient civilizations of the Greeks and Romans.
On September 13, 2009, Fr. Michael was elevated to the ecclesiastical rank of Protopresbyter, the highest priestly rank a married clergyman of the Orthodox Church can attain by His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas. In October of 2009, he oversaw the beginning of the new iconography in the church and is directing its completion with the Iconography Committee and iconographer.
In May of 2010, Fr. Michael completed his graduate studies in Classics at Wayne State University with his second Masters degree. In addition to continuing his duties as Proistamenos of the Assumption parish, Fr. Michael is planning on pursuing Ph D. studies in history at WSU and spending time with his wife Tina and four children Nicholas, Olivia, Stavroula and Panayiotis.