The Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco is pleased to present the 2023 Metropolitan Anthony Humanitarian Award to Rev. Protopresbyter Jon Magoulias.

FDF2023 GM Met Anthony Humanitarian Award

Born and raised in Centralia, Illinois, the Reverend Father Jon Magoulias received a Bachelor of the Philosophy of Religion from Hellenic College in 1974. He continued his post-graduate work at the Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology where he graduated with a Master of Divinity in 1977 with high distinction.

In 1973, Fr. Jon was selected to go on a public relations tour to promote Hellenic College-Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. This six-week tour took him across the United States where he met his wife, Georgia Poloynis.

Presvytera Georgia was born in Taft, California and raised in Los Angeles. She attended the Cathedral of St. Sophia and completed her college education at the University of California – Los Angeles, in 1974.

Fr. Jon and Presvytera Georgia were married June 6, 1976 at the Cathedral of St. Sophia. They moved to Brookline, Massachusetts so that Fr. Jon’s studies could be completed at Holy Cross.

On September 19, 1976, at the Chapel of the Holy Cross, Fr. Jon was ordained to the Holy Diaconate by His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos of North and South America. Upon graduating from the seminary in 1977, Fr. Jon was ordained to the Holy Priesthood on September 25, 1977, at the Annunciation Church in Decatur, Illinois by Archbishop Iakovos of North and South America. He was assigned as the assistant priest to the Assumption Cathedral in Denver, Colorado on October 1, 1977.

Transferred in 1980 to the Chicago, Illinois, Fr. Jon expanded his ministry by serving as the parish priest at the Church of the Holy Cross in Justice, Illinois. During this period, he was appointed as the Spiritual Advisor of the Diocese of Chicago Young Adult League. Under his leadership the Chicago Diocese YAL Conference began and was considered the premier Diocese Conference in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Fr. Jon also served as the Diocese liaison to the Diocese of Chicago Choir Federation. In that capacity he presented a number of seminars on Byzantine Iconography and Church Hymnography and also served as the spiritual advisor of the choir’s pilgrimage to the Holy Land and Greece in 1982. In addition to these many responsibilities Fr. Jon was also appointed the first Christian Orthodox chaplain to the Chicago Police Department. While in Chicago, Fr. Jon also directed a number of television programs in conjunction with the Chicago Council of Churches. In 1984, he was appointed to a special task force of the Archdiocese of America to evaluate the curriculum of Hellenic College – Holy Cross School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts.

After six years of service in the Diocese of Chicago, Fr. Jon was appointed the parish priest of the Annunciation Church in Modesto, California. At the same time, he also accepted the responsibility as the Youth Director for the Diocese of San Francisco. Continuing in this position for four years he encouraged further development of youth programs that included religious, cultural, and athletic activities.

During his time in Modesto the entire church complex was renovated. This included: proper ecclesiastical appointments; working with woodcarvers from the island of Crete; and an iconographer from Athens; Fellowship Hall and kitchen remodel; landscaping; parking lot expansion; and renovations to the Administration and Educational Center. The culmination of the church renovation produced a one-hour video written and narrated by Fr. Jon and in conjunction with CableOne of Modesto entitled “Orthodox Iconography: Visions of Victory.” The video received recognition as a “Finalist” in the 2000 Telly Awards and Fr. Jon received a Telly Award as the executive producer.

Fr. Jon has been recognized by the Church as a Father Confessor (1978); Oikonomos (1982); Protopresbyter of the Archdiocese (1988); and Protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Throne (2002).

In 2004, Fr. Jon published a book of the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. The book included the original Greek with English translation, English with Greek transliteration, and an interpretation. In 2012, at the request of Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco, Fr. Jon published a book entitled: “The Priest as Liturgist: A Handbook of Rubrics.”

Along with his responsibilities as a parish priest, Fr. Jon has served in various capacities within the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. As a member of the Metropolis Council of San Francisco, he has spoken at many seminars in Parish Leadership and Stewardship Development. From 1998-2001 and again from 2006-2012, he served as the Metropolis Chairman of Stewardship and Finance. In 2008, Fr. Jon received the FDF Heritage Hall of Fame Award and was inducted into the FDF Hall of Fame. He also served on the Archdiocese Council and the Stewardship Task Force and made presentations to benefit ministry developments in the parish church. Fr. Jon also served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Hellenic College – Holy Cross School of Theology from 1998 – 2002; and again from 2004-Present and since 2019, serves as the Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees.

Celebrating the Centennial of the Archdiocese of America, His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America selected Fr. Jon as a recipient of the Archdiocese Centennial Award.

On July 31, 2022, Fr. Jon retired from active parish ministry. He continues serving the Church, however, visiting parishes, assisting priests, and sending a Daily Spiritual Lesson via email.

FDF2023 Magoulias Family

As Fr. Jon has inspired so many with his steadfast devotion and his pastoral work, he has truly been an inspiration and mentor to young men who have followed the calling to serve the Church as priests. This legacy includes his own family, where there are now four generations of clergy educated and serving in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

Fr. Jon and Presvytera Georgia have four children: Presvytera Matia (Fr. Michael) Prevas, Anastasia (Damian) Kotsis, Maria (Jaylen) French; and Fr. Efstratios (Presvytera Danae) Magoulias. They enjoy the blessings of their nine grandchildren, and anxiously await the arrival of their 10th grandchild in April.


Photo Credit: GM Photography