Helen Malachias has dedicated herself to the work of Philoptochos for 55 years, the first three at the “Epta Paides” Chapter in Shreveport, and the last 52 with the “Elpis” Chapter in New Orleans. Over the years, she has served her chapter as President, Vice President and Secretary and innumerable chairmanships.
Born in Athens, Greece, her first years were spent at the family home in Megalo Pefko, a small town between Piraeus and Megara. In 1946, after the end of World War Two, the family emigrated to America. She attended school in DeRidder, Louisiana and graduated with a B.A. degree in Business Education from Northwestern State College in Natchitoches, Louisiana.
After a short professional career with Standard Oil of New Jersey, she met her husband Charlie at an AHEPA Convention. They have been married for 52 years, and are the proud parents of sons, Ilya and Bobby, and two daughters, Kris McGee and Stacy Cosse. They are also blessed with eight precious grandchildren.
Her priest of many years, Fr. Anthony Stratis, says, “Helen is a woman of firm and dynamic faith with indomitable energy and a thoughtful and compassionate heart. While others stand around and talk about what needs to be done, Helen is already on the way toward accomplishing the task – with superior results! She is the backbone of a loving and supportive family, a sage advisor when one seeks her perspective, and eminently loyal and trustworthy to anyone who calls her their friend. In short, Helen is a woman of class who is genuinely good-hearted and compassionate and is a pillar of the church community in New Orleans.
Helen was awarded the Archdiocesan Medal of St. Paul as a tribute to her service to the church by His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos of blessed memory. She served as Secretary of the Diocese Philoptochos Board in 1995-97, and in 2004, she was awarded the Archangel Michael Award. As Chapter President, she co-chaired a major endeavor, the Metropolis Clergy- Laity/Philoptochos Conference of 2011.
“Working with all the Clergy and the individuals involved with all these projects, has brought me the greatest blessings and the realization that so many offer so much love, hope, aid and joy to improve the lives of those less fortunate.”
Helen was appointed to the National Board by his Eminence Archbishop Iakovos in 1994 and has been a member for 20 years. She has chaired the AIDS-HIV Committee and the Credentials Committee at the National Conventions. She chaired the Aid to Greece and Cyprus Incentive for the Metropolis of Atlanta Philoptochos and helped raise funds for the Center of Philanthropy. She is currently encouraging participation in the rebuilding of the St. Nicholas Shrine.
In Fr. George Wilson’s words: “She epitomizes stewardship as she unselfishly gives of her time, talents and treasures to her beloved Cathedral community.”
As a member of the Holy Trinity, Helen co-chaired the fundraising for the Cathedral’s Interior & Iconography Committee, fundraising for the Hellenic Cultural Center, and co-chaired the Greek Festival Pastry Committee for over 40 years. She has continued to be a member of the choir for 45 years, and co-chairs the Archive’s Committee for the preservation and verification of the history of the Cathedral.
In her words she says, “Working with all the Clergy and the individuals involved with all these projects, has brought me the greatest blessings and the realization that so many offer so much love, hope, aid and joy to improve the lives of those less fortunate.”
After 43 years, Charlie recently retired from the family business, and they now have time to spend enjoying family, friends, and travelling but are still supporting the Holy Trinity Cathedral.