About Father Peter
Reverend Father Peter G. Balkas, Protopresbyter
Priest of St. Nectarios since 2001
The Reverend Father Peter George Balkas was born in Lowell, Massachusetts in 1961. He is the third eldest of four children and the only son. From a young age, Fr. Peter always gave his time, energy and love to his home Parish of The Holy Transfiguration in Lowell, Massachusetts.
From good soil, good seeds will flourish. Fr. Peter's father served his parish diligently, sitting on the Parish Council for well over thirty years. His mother brought the Church home for her family and taught the faith lovingly as a Sunday School Teacher for over twenty-five years. Fr. Peter's sisters shared in this zeal and also taught Sunday School.
As a young man, Fr. Peter always participated in the ministries of the Church, such as GOYA, Altar Service, chanting, helping with various fund raisers for the Church, and however else he could volunteer his time.
At the age of 18, after finishing High School, Fr. Peter went to Seminary where he earned his Bachelors in Religious Studies from Hellenic College in 1983 and went on to earn his Master's in Divinity in 1987 from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. It was there that he received his formation and developed some of the closest friendships he would ever know.
At the age of 24 in 1986 he met Karen Cote, the love of his life. In 1989, Presbytera Karen and Fr. Peter were blessed with their daughter Jennie. Two years later in 1992, the family increased again with their son George.
In 1988, on the Feast of St. John the Baptist, Fr. Peter was ordained to the Holy Priesthood by Metropolitan SILAS of New Jersey, President of Hellenic College/Holy Cross . He was ordained to the Holy Diaconate the day before by the late Bishop GERASIMOS of Abydos.
Fr. Peter's first assignment was to Holy Transfiguration in Mason City, Iowa where he served for almost two years. In 1990, he transferred to St. John the Baptist in Des Plaines, Illinois. There, he served as associate pastor under Fr. Emmanuel Leonakis from 1990 until 1994. From 1994 until 2001, Fr. Peter served in Newport Rhode Island as the Proestamenos of St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church. Fr. Peter has served as the Proestamenos of St. Nectarios Greek Orthodox Church in Palatine, Illinois. On December 23, 2012, Metropolitan Iakovos bestowed the office of Protopresbyter to the Reverend Father Peter G. Balkas on the occasion of his 25th Anniversary to the priesthood which was celebrated on January 7, 2013.
In 1989, Fr. Peter received the rank of Father Confessor from Metropolitan IAKOVOS of Chicago. In 1998, Fr. Peter received the ofeikion of Oikonomos from Metropolitan METHODIOS of Boston on the 10th year of Fr. Peter's ministry as a priest.
In 2003 Fr. Peter Balkas was awarded by the United Hellenic Voters of America The Most Distinguished Greek American: In the Field of Religion. In recognition of distinguished service within the Greek American Community and the Community at large.
"My Mission is for the Parish of St. Nectatrios to understand and adapt the Orthodox Faith fully, and to pull the parish together into a Total Stewardship Ministry. This means donation of time, talents, and love to our beloved St. Nectarios. Fund raisers are good, however, I feel, if we are to think of this community as our 'second home' we should support our 'home' totally and not rely on outside sources to fund and take care of our Church."
"We have many wonderful, successful ministries that aid our flock, but I feel we can do better."