With the blessings of His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America and in consultation with His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco, Dr. Anthony J. Limberakis, National Commander of the Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, has appointed Archon Hon. Steven G. Counelis Regional Commander for the Order in the Southern California region, Metropolis of San Francisco, joining Regional Commander Theodore D. Konopisos.

His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros stated: “For many years, the Hon. Judge Counelis has blessed the Church with selfless and dedicated service. Archon Counelis is one of these selfless servants of our Holy Church. As an Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, he has devoted considerable time, talent, and treasure to the support and defense of our Mother Church of Constantinople. May the Lord grant him and all the Archons of the Metropolis of San Francisco many more years of fruitful labor in the Lord’s Holy Church.”

“I am honored and pleased to make this appointment,” said Dr. Limberakis. “The Hon. Archon Counelis has shown himself in myriad ways to be a worthy and devoted Greek Orthodox Christian, with an unshakeable determination to protect and defend the Ecumenical Patriarchate. He and his beloved wife Stacia have long been distinguished for planning and working at events in Southern California in order to strengthen devotion to our Orthodox Faith among our youth, along with many other important initiatives.”

Archon Counelis remarked: “I am deeply grateful to His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros, His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos, Commander Dr. Limberakis and the Order's leadership for their confidence and trust in me to serve as a Regional Commander in Southern California. I consider it an immense honor and duty to continue and deepen my service to the Order by taking on the responsibilities of a Regional Commander.”

A parishioner of Saint John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church in Anaheim, California, the Hon. Steven G. Counelis was invested as an Archon by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on October 31, 2021 and conferred with the offikion Nomophylax.

The Hon. Archon Counelis is Judge of the Superior Court of the State of California in the County of Riverside. He graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Government, and with his Juris Doctor degree, from the University of San Francisco. As a college student, he served at the United States Supreme Court, in the Office of the Administrative Assistant to the Chief Justice. He and his wife Stacia have served as the Conference Advisors to the Young Adult League (YAL) Conference Ministry of the Metropolis of San Francisco since its renaissance in 2018, and continue to guide in the execution and planning of the annual Conference.

According to the Bylaws of the Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Order’s National Commander, following the election of the National Council officers, is to appoint Regional Commanders to serve for a period of one year. Each Regional Commander serves as the representative of the National Council in the region in order to carry out the purposes, objectives and principles of the Order.

An Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate is an honoree by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew for his outstanding service to the Church, and a well-known, distinguished, and well-respected leader of the Orthodox Christian community.