Ordination of His Grace Bishop Anthony of Synada – Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

Ordination of His Grace Bishop Anthony of Synada

Today, Saturday, April 20, 2024, His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America consecrated Bishop Anthony of Synada at the Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity. Axios! His Grace’s family, fellow hierarchs, local clergy and many Greek Orthodox faithful gathered for this special consecration.

Hierarchs present include Archbishop Demetrios, former American, Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco, Bishop Irinej of the Serbian Orthodox Church of North, Central and South America, Bishop Athenagoras of Nazianzos, Bishop Theophan of Philomelion and Bishop Nektarios of Diokleia. Also present at the ceremony was Bishop Anba Suriel of the Coptic Orthodox Church, a colleague in the field of religious education of Bishop Vrame.

Also present were California Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis, Bishop Vrame’s cousin, and Demetrios Katos, president of Hellenic College Holy Cross.

Archbishop Elpidophoros noted: “May your episcopate be imbued with so much grace, so that the ancient glory of Synada and all your predecessors shines through all your ministries. And may your words and actions breathe life into the believers you serve, so that they may know the God of the living.” Full text here.

Addressing the faithful present, His Grace thanked His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, Archbishop Iakovos, Archbishop Demetrios, the Holy Eparchial Synod and his family. He spoke with emotion about his journey and his thoughts on his ministry. Full text here.

“A phrase I learned many years ago during my doctoral studies has stayed with me as a guiding principle: ‘Loyal but open.’ I have done my best to convey our faith and way of life as it has been received, trying to be clear about the treasure we have inherited, while distinguishing between what might be my personal mindset, and open to stand for the ideas and experiences of others, Grace noted.


His Grace, Bishop of Synada, Anton Chris Vrame (Avramopoulos) was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of the late George and Maria Vrame. He grew up at St. Nicholas Church in Oak Lawn, served on the altar and was active with GOYA Parish. He attended DePaul University and graduated in 1981 with a BA in Psychology. From there he attended the University of Chicago, where he earned an MA in International Relations in 1983. For a year he worked as a substitute teacher in the Chicago Public Schools. including teaching eighth grade for a semester. In 1986 he enrolled at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, Brookline, MA, where he received the M.Div. obtained with the highest distinction. As a student and then after graduation, he worked in the Archdiocese’s Department of Religious Education, becoming its deputy director. During those years, 1989-1993, he was active in the creation of the new series of religious education textbooks for parish use. In 1992 he entered the Ph.D. program in Religion and Education at Boston College, where he received his degree in 1997. His dissertation, The Educating Icon: Teaching Wisdom and Holiness in the Orthodox Way, was eventually published by Holy Cross Orthodox Press and became a standard in the field religious education. From 1996 to 2002, he was editor-in-chief of Holy Cross Orthodox Press, where he refocused the publishing program, creating one of its most active periods. During this time he was an adjunct assistant professor at the Greek Orthodox School of Theology of the Holy Cross. From 1999-2002 he also taught religious education at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary.

In 2002, he became director of the Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute of the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California. As director, he oversaw the creation of the MA program in Orthodox Studies, developed an active community education program, and oversaw the Orthodox Christian Fellowship. During that time he was Associate Professor of Orthodox Studies at the Graduate Theological Union. In 2007, he became director of the Department of Religious Education for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, where he developed many new resources for parish programs over the next fourteen years. In 2021, he returned as director of Holy Cross Orthodox Press, revitalizing the mission. Since 2007, he has been an adjunct senior lecturer in religious education at the Greek Orthodox Theology School of the Holy Cross.

Active as a scientist, alongside The Educating Icon, Fr. Vrame has edited other books and published many articles and chapters in books on Orthodox Christian religious education and the history of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. He has lectured in more than 150 parishes of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, as well as other jurisdictions and universities. He has served as president, vice president and treasurer of the Orthodox Theological Society of America; an active member, board member and treasurer of the Association for Religious Education: an association of professors and researchers in religious education. He worked to found the Orthodox Christian Religious Education Association, an international group of scholars in the discipline. He served on the Board of Directors of the International Orthodox Theological Association and continues to serve as co-chair of the Study Group on Orthodox Education. He represented the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese on the Faith and Order Commission of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States from 2005 to 2019, including five years as chair of the commission (2008-2013), making him a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors. He currently represents the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese at the NCC’s Convening Table on Christian Education, Faith Formation and Leadership Development. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of Friendship Press, the NCC’s publishing arm, after a term on the Bible Translation and Use Committee. He was recently appointed advisor to the Church and Society Committee of the Assembly of Canonical Bishops in the United States.

In 2016, he was ordained to the diaconate and priesthood, with the rank of Archimandrite in 2019, and Archimandrite of the Ecumenical Throne in 2022. He served the parish of the Nativity-Assumption of the Theotokos in Cohasset, Massachusetts, from 2019 until his death. election to the episcopate. He was elected Bishop of Synadon by the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople on March 22, 2022. He will serve as assistant bishop to Archbishop Elpidophoros of America.