Fr. John Lardas was raised in the parish of St. Nicholas Cathedral in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Being tonsured a reader by Metropolitan Maximos while in high school; he was under the spiritual direction of the Dean of the Cathedral, Fr. Sarantos Serviou. He served as a Sunday school teacher, G.O.Y.A. advisor and as a counselor at Camp Nazareth.
Fr. John Lardas
Educated at the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Science in Education in 1987, Fr. John completed his Master of Divinity with honors at Holy Cross School of Theology in 1991.
While a student at Holy Cross, Fr. John participated in the Ride for Life, which was a bike tour across the country to raise money for Coolie’s Anemia. He served on the Student Government. He was the ecclesiarch for the academic year of 1989-90, and was the senior class president and lay-out editor for the yearbook.
Fr. John worked at St. Basil Academy from 1991-95. He served as Dean of Students and Chaplain. During his time at St. Basil, he was ordained to the Deaconate by Metropolitan Maximos on September 11, 1993 and to the Priesthood by Bishop Philotheos on October 3, 1993. He also served as the Orthodox Chaplain to the Orthodox Cadets of West Point Academy, and as Co-Director of Camp St. Basil.
The church building, which had already been expanded in 1946, was renovated again and rededicated in 1960. A true Byzantine Church with valuable icons, many by the famous iconographer Constantinos Yioussis, Sts. Constantine and Helen became Brooklyn’s Cathedral in June 1966 at the same time the community celebrated the graduation of the first eighth grade class of the A. Fantis School. The Cathedral became the center of Hellenism in Brooklyn and is visited by many dignitaries from Greece, Cyprus and the United States.
From 1995 through 1998, Fr. John served as an assistant at the parish of St. Nicholas in Flushing, New York under the pastorship of the Rev. Fr. George Passias and the Rev. Fr. Paul Palesty. His direct responsibilities were the G.O.Y.A, Joy and YAL, teaching the 1st, 3rd through 5th grade classes at the William Spyropoulos Day School, Bible Study, Hospital Ministry, along with a very busy liturgical and sacramental life.
In the year 1998, Fr. John was transferred to the St. Nicholas Parish in Troy, MI as the pastor. After two years, he returned to the St. Nicholas Parish in Flushing, NY. Since returning to St. Nicholas, he has been active in helping to establish The Joy soccer program for the Church, the children’s involvement in the Archdiocese Olympics for Joy and Goya.
In 2004, Fr. John was appointed by Archbishop Demetrios to be the spiritual father of the National Young Adult Conference.
On August 15, 2005, Fr. Lardas was assigned as the Presiding Priest of the Cathedral of Sts. Constantine and Helen. The presiding priest of the Cathedral has the overall spiritual responsibility for all aspects of the Cathedral community. Daily responsibilities include: maintaining the sacramental life of the church through the Divine Liturgy and all the other Mysteries of the church; teaching religion at the A. Fantis Parochial School; preparing sermons and lectures; administrative work for the proper functioning of the church; Pastoral Care ministries such as catechism and visiting the sick. And of course in today’s technological society, trying to remain up to date with technology that helps expand the ministry of the church.
Since serving at the Cathedral, working with the lay leadership of the community, Fr. John has been instrumental in helping to revitalize the youth programs by restablishing the Sunday School Program, encouraging the development of Joy and Goya and also beginning OPA (Orthodox Professional Association) for the Young Adults.
For the Direct Archdiocesan District Fr. John assisted in establishing the Emmaus Lecture Series sponsored by the Orthodox Priest of Brooklyn. He has served on the Camp St. Paul Committe and continues to serve by offering his service to the camp for a week. He is currently on the Direct Archdiocesan Distrtict Council and serves on the Marriage Seminar Committee.
He is married to Eleni Paxos of St. Nicholas, Flushing, New York and they currently have three children, Vasilios, Maria and Kemon.