Clergy - Fr. James Diavatis, Protopresbyter
January 28, 1936 - December 23, 2012

[Fr. James Diavatis] Our presiding priest from August 1, 1979 to December 31, 2010, Fr. James S. Diavatis was born in Potamos, Corfu, Greece on August 8, 1936 to Father Spyridon and Presvytera Anastasia Cheimarios. His father was assigned to serve the Church in America by Archbishop Athenagoras and the family arrived in late 1946.

Father James attended schools in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area, Dover, New Hampshire and graduated from High School in San Antonio, Texas. He then enrolled at the Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Theological School in Brookline, Massachussets from which he graduated in 196l. Shortly thereafter he married Helen Govostes, daughter of Spelios and Jenny Govostes in Lowell, Massachussets.

He was ordained to the Diaconate on September 10, 1961 by Bishop Meletios in Fitchburgh, Massachussets and Archbishop Iakovos ordained him a priest on September 14, 1961 at Holy Cross Seminary.

Father James had served only two parishes. For eighteen years he served as the proistamenos (presiding priest) of the Holy Trinity Chuch in Waterbury, Connecticut. Since August 1, 1979 to December 31, 2010 he had served as the pastor of St. John the Baptist Church in Anaheim, California.

He earrned two post-graduate degrees; a Masters of Sacred Theology from Yale Divinity School and a Masters of Religious Studies from Hartford Seminary .

For his faithful service to the Church, he had been awarded the offikia of Economos and Protopresbyter. Also he had served as Vicar for Southern California and President of the Metropolis Clergy Council for three two year terms.

He is survived by Presvytera Helen and their three children, Sperry (Spyridon), Stasi (Anastasios), and Joanna.

Father James was also known for his love of gardening, photography and fishing. He grew award-winning chrysanthemums, and took great care in cultivating beautiful flowers for the enjoyment and appreciation of others.

The obituary for Fr. James Diavatis is online at You may view the obituary and sign the guestbook.