Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral
About Annunciation Cathedral
Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral is the proto-cathedral of the Metropolis of Denver, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, under the spiritual authority of His Eminence Metropolitan ISAIAH of Denver. Located at 3511 Yoakum Boulevard in the Museum District, just north of St. Thomas University, the Cathedral is a well-known Houston landmark.
In 1917 the Annunciation community organized the first Greek Orthodox Church in Houston, located on Walker Avenue in the present-day Tranquility Park in downtown Houston. Required to move because of city construction and its own expanding membership, the congregation erected its present sanctuary on Yoakum Boulevard in 1952. Annunciation gained the distinction of "Cathedral" in 1967 when Houston became the See of the 8th Diocesan District of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America. While the Metropolitan Center is now located in Denver, Colorado, Annunciation Cathedral remains one of the largest Orthodox churches in America and a center for Orthodox education, ministry, and Greek cultural events in the Houston area.
The Annunciation Cathedral complex includes the Cathedral sanctuary; the Polemanakos Educational Building; the Steve G. Caloudas Athletic Center; the S. P. Martel Hall, with kitchen and banquet facilities for 500, and the Cathedral bookstore; the Administration wing; the Festival Center; and the St. George Chapel. An outdoor courtyard with fountain, reminiscent of Greece, provides an attractive space for visiting outdoors, with an adjacent playground and two nurseries for the children. Ample parking is provided on Yoakum Boulevard across the street from the Cathedral.
A variety of ministries and organizations emanate from the Annunciation Cathedral. There are two celebrations of the Divine Liturgy (one in English and the other in Greek/English) each Sunday morning, preceded by Orthros or Matins (morning prayers) and followed by a fellowship coffee hour, with Sunday Church School following the first Liturgy. Weekday Liturgies are celebrated on feast days according to the schedule of the Metropolis of Denver (see the Sunday bulletin for listings).
The Religious Education Department provides classes on Sundays for all ages, including a choice of adult study-groups addressing different topics. Weekly Bible studies for adults meet on Wednesdays at noon and in the evenings in the Education Building, with additional Bible Studies meeting monthly in homes in the Sugar Land area. Classes for inquirers are offered for ten weeks, three times annually, along with individual instruction in the Christian Orthodox faith and life, at the Cathedral.
The Annunciation Greek Language & Culture School, operating continuously since 1917, provides Greek language and cultural education for all ages. Evenings and weekends at the Cathedral also include activities of the various ministries of the Cathedral as well as Hellenic and fraternal organizations, such as group meetings and spiritual retreats. Dancing groups for various age groups practice and perform Greek folk-dances throughout the year, with highlight performances at the annual Greek Festival in Houston, and also in national and international dance competitions.
In common with other congregations within the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Annunciation Cathedral hosts a variety of ministries. These include the Ladies Philoptochos Society; the Cathedral Choir; GOYA (Greek Orthodox Youth of America); FAITH, HOPE and JOY groups (for young children); Annunciation Cathedral Festival Dancers (young adults). A chapter of Sea-Scouts of the Boy Scouts of America is sponsored by the Cathedral. Other ministries, which meet on a regular basis, include marriage preparation and a grief-support group (see listing).
Annunciation Orthodox School was organized in 1970 as a pre-school for young children of the congregation. The School grew dramatically during the following decades and today is independent from the Cathedral. With a current enrolment of more than 600 students from pre-school through eighth grade, AOS is well known in the Houston area for its academic excellence and spiritual atmosphere. All AOS students and faculty gather weekly at the Cathedral for a worship-hour, and a close relationship between the School and the Cathedral provides for a unique Christian Orthodox atmosphere.
The annual Annunciation Greek Festival, held on the Cathedral campus each year during the first weekend in October, is said to be one of the largest festivals of its kind in the United States. It originated in 1967 as "Greek Night," held in celebration of the Cathedral’s fiftieth anniversary. The following year saw the institution of an annual Festival to celebrate Greek culture, food and Orthodox life. Today, the Festival draws some 40,000 visitors over a period of four days, and is one of the tourist attractions of the Houston area.
Through its Philoptochos Society and other organizations, the Cathedral contributes to a large number of charitable organizations in the Houston area and nationwide. These charities include both religious and non-religious agencies which help the poor, the sick and those who are in distress. In addition, volunteers from the Cathedral assist by translating for Greek-speaking international patients in the medical center, visiting with patients, preparing food for the needy, and so on.
The primary function of Annunciation Cathedral, however, is spiritual: to serve as the sacramental home for Orthodox Christians. In turn, we invite into our midst all who wish to draw near to God through the Body of Christ, the Holy Orthodox Church. Orthodox Christianity is the ancient Church of the New Testament and is unchanged since it's origination. We invite everyone to "come and see" the beauty of Orthodox worship and to participate in the life of Christ.
Inquirers are encouraged to contact us through this web site, or to telephone for an appointment with one of our priests. We will be happy to speak with you. Until then, may God bless you!
Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral
3511 Yoakum Boulevard
Houston, TX 77006
Office: (713) 526-5377
Fax: (713) 526-1048
Office Hours: Weekdays 8am-4:30pm