In September 2005, a 100th Anniversary Commemorative Memory Book will be published to mark this historic event. As such, the Centennial Committee of the St. John parish is asking all those individuals and families who lived or have had relatives live in Pueblo help to contribute to this monumental volume. The early Greek immigrants who traveled to America faced hardship and frequent changes in employment. These intrepid Hellenes were not afraid to move at a moment's notice for a better job, to observe a fellow villager's funeral or to attend a relative's wedding no matter the effort required or distances involved. Since this was the case, the Centennial Committee of the St. John parish is reaching out to anyone who might have memories or historical information about the larger Pueblo Greek community.
In 1903, under the direction of Dr. Christos Argyriou, a Greek committee formed and in 1905 the Greek Orthodox Community Association of Pueblo Colorado was registered with the state. The three points of this new corporation was to build a church, secure and maintain cemetery facilities and to help Greeks establish themselves in the region. On February 10, 1907, such was the drive of these early Greek immigrants that the St. John the Baptist church structure was fully completed (largely through volunteer labor) at 1010 Spruce Street. The parish community, with Rev. Father Kalistos Papageorgopoulos as its first priest, soon served a geographic area that spanned from just south of Denver south to Raton, New Mexico, from Garden City, Kansas west to eastern Utah. The multi-community character of the first days of the parish has continued to the present.
Alamosa, Aspen, Canon City, Colorado Springs, Garden City KS, Grand Junction, La Junta, Lamar, Leadville, Questa NM, Raton, NM, Salida, Trinidad, Walsenburg and a host of other small hamlets and towns in eastern Utah and the southern Colorado region. As a consequence, those with memories of the Pueblo Greek community have never all been exclusively from that city.
A very generous donation from Ted Argys from Salida, CO, in memory of his wife Helen, jump-started the Renovation Fund and projects at St. John. From this donation, The Royal Altar, the Proskomidi and the Honorteron were covered in white marble. Other donations served to finish the present engraving and the future engraving to be done on the Centennial Plaques.
The Aspe (the curved east wall in the Holy Altar) will soon be lined in white marble as well. The names of deceased loved ones will soon be inscribed upon a marble Centennial plaque. Another marble plaque will be used as a Living Tablet. The positioning of these tablets on the west wall of the church will allow parishioners to see the names.
There is still time for acceptance of a donation for the Centennial Plaque or the Living Plaque. If you would like to have your loved one remembered in this very special way, please let us know by sending in a check for $100.00 per name, with the information and correct spelling of your loved one.