Fr. Achilles Karathanos was born in Chicago, 1971, and was raised in childhood in Cape Girardeau, MO, where he graduated from Cape Central High in 1989. He attended William Jewell College in Liberty, MO where he earned B.A.s in Institutions and Policy and in Spanish Language and Literature. At William Jewell he met his future bride, Yianna, who completed B.A.s in History and English Education. Presvytera Yianna is of East Indian heritage and was raised in Winfield, KS. Upon graduation from Jewell in 1994, Fr. Achilles and Yianna worked together for two years with an inner-city youth mission in Camden, NJ. This experience, along with short mission trips to Guatemala and Mexico, have given them a zeal for Christian missions, outreach, and evangelism.
After returning to the Kansas City area, Fr. Achilles worked for one year as a counselor for a boys’ home, worked in sales, and as an auto mechanic. He and Yianna were married in the Orthodox Church in June of 1999, and gave birth to their first son in 2000. They have since been blessed with three more wonderful children.
After making a pilgrimage to Mt. Athos and other holy places throughout Greece and America, Fr. Achilles responded to the sacred calling of the Priesthood, moved to Boston, and began studying at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in the Fall of 2001. Fr. Achilles was ordained to the holy diaconate by His Eminence, Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver at Annunciation Parish in K.C., MO on July 12, 2005, and was elevated to the holy priesthood on November 6, 2005 by His Eminence, Met. Iakovos at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in St. Louis, MO. His first parish assignment was at St. Nicholas in St. Louis where he served under the Very Rev. Fr. Douglas Papulis for three years.
In November 2008, Fr. Achilles was assigned as the as Parish Priest of the Greek Orthodox Church of Sts. Constantine and Helen in Swansea, IL where he continues to serve today.