Cherry Hill, NJ – On Sunday, the St. Thomas Greek Orthodox community hosted an entire morning of celebrations during its Divine Liturgy conducted by his Grace Bishop Apostolos. Reverend Archimandrite Avgoustinos Psomas, the new parish priest, took part in his second service. Reverend Archimandrite Christoforos Oikonomidis, Chancellor of the Holy Metropolis of New Jersey, several other members of the clergy, and dignitaries, were also in attendance for this special day that saw a united community in attendance.
Fr. Avgoustinos received his assignment as the new priest at St. Thomas, from His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, after the appointment of Fr. Christoforos Oikonomidis as the full-time Chancellor of the Holy Metropolis of New Jersey. Fr. Christoforos served the parish for six years.
Several leaders in the community addressed the attendees. The Honorable Susan Shin Angulo, Mayor of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, thanked the St. Thomas parish for their dedication to the city and welcomed Father Avgoustinos into the community.
The St. Thomas parish council was also sworn in for the New Year, and a Vasilopita cutting by his Grace Bishop Apostolos completed the services during church. A banquet at the Danielle Kousoulis Center followed, where Fr. Avgoustinos received gifts from various organizations. One of the presents, a T-shirt, was given by the St. Thomas GOYA members that welcomed Fr. Avgoustinos. It featured their colors and logo. Fr. Avgoustinos then cut a cake made in his honor and thanked the attendees.
Fr. Avgoustinos Psomas was born and raised in Corfu and settled in the village of the Saints Theodore in Lefkimmi, Corfu. While completing his undergraduate studies, he studied electrical engineering at the Electrical Engineering Department of the Sivitanidios Technical School in Athens. He also attended Byzantine music classes at Saint Marina in Illisia under Dr. Athanasios Vourlis.
After completing his military service in 2000, he passed the qualifying exams for admission to the School of Theology at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in 2003, from which he graduated in 2007. In 2008, he graduated from the Conservatory of Northern Greece, where he completed his Master’s Degree in Byzantine Music with courses in Speech Training, Choir Directing, Liturgical Studies, and Reciting Readings.
During his theological studies, he studied for three consecutive years in the Byzantine School of Music under the guidance of the famous Panagiotis Neohoritis. He served the Holy Analogion of the Church of St. George of Ormylia, where he had the privilege of serving as the head chanter from 2004-2012 until he arrived in the United States. From 2013 to 2019, he served at the Hellenic Community of Saint Demetrios of Astoria as head chanter until his ordination to the Holy Diaconate on Christmas Eve 2019. He was then ordained to the Holy Priesthood on September 29, 2020, and elevated to the rank of “Archimandrite” on June 21, 2021, both by the hands of His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America. Since his ordination to the holy diaconate, he served the Greek Orthodox Community of Holy Trinity in New Rochelle, NY. He recently graduated from the Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology program in Boston.