Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos was invited as a guest faculty to the Chazen Museum of Art at the University of Wisconsin on March 10, 2017. He spoke on “Mount Athos in Context: Art, History, Ritual and Spirituality of Eastern Orthodox Monasticism” Symposium.
The University of Wisconsin – Madison Department of Art History organized “Holy Mountain: Icons from Mount Athos and Photographs by Frank Horlbeck” in the Oscar F. and Louise Greiner Mayer Gallery at the Chazen Museum of Art. Mount Athos is a UNESCO listed world heritage site, also known to be one of the most sacred sites for Eastern Orthodox Christianity.
It has 20 working monasteries, their dependencies, and a rich cultural heritage dating back as far as the tenth century.
Bishop Demetrios was welcomed by the Dean and other faculty members of the University. During the event, Bishop said, “I will conclude this most cursory introduction to what is perhaps of greatest importance and influence of Mount Athos on the faithful of my Orthodox tradition: the beauty of the Holy Mountain – its physical beauty in its landscape and in its ancient architecture, in its iconography, and the beauty of its liturgical life – is one that inspires every pilgrim and visitor and moves the imagination of those who learn of it from afar.”
Bishop Demetrios serves as a Chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago, under the leadership of Metropolitan Lakovos of Chicago. As a Bishop, he has travelled nationwide and is recognized for his human rights activities and interfaith outreach. He has worked to prohibit the death penalty in Illinois, state resolutions calling for Religious Freedom for the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, and has also been recognized for standing up against Genocide by ISIS against the Christian minority population of Syria and Iraq.
Born Demetri Kantzavelos, Bishop Demetrios is a spiritual leader of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago. In 1992, he was ordained to the priesthood, and in 1995, he was elevated to the rank of Archimandrite by Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago. Since 1995, he has served as an assistant and deacon to the bishop. Later in 2006, Demetrios was considered as the Bishop of Mokissos, and in 2013, he was Chancellor of the Holy Metropolis of Chicago.
He was born to first generation Greek-American, Christos and Merope Kantzavelos. While growing up, he was an active participant in the Assumption Greek Orthodox Community. He completed his graduation in divinity degree and passed with high distinction from Hellenic College and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts, 1987. After his graduation, he pursued post graduation doctorate work in the area of metaphysics at Chicago’s Loyola University.