Geronda Joseph Mammis, Abbot of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Monastery, Inc., Michigan

Geronda Joseph Mammis was born George Mammis on August 19, 1972 in Montreal, Canada by parents (Alexandros and Vera) who had emigrated from Greece. He received his general education in Montreal and is fluent in three languages: Greek, French and English. After graduating from high school, he went on to receive his degree in Athletic Therapy from Concordia University which included a two year internship in clinical work. His daily life as a student included politics, athletics, and involvement as an active member of the Greek Orthodox Community in Montreal.

FL Geronda Joseph holding communion cup
Geronda Joseph holding communion cup

Geronda Ephraim has a very strong and loyal following in Montreal. Years ago, Bishop Sotirios decided not to give Geronda Ehraim permission to come to Canada. The Montreal Greek community were so scandalized that they started to make threatening phone calls to Bishop Sotirios warning him what would happen the next time he came to Montreal. They even threatened to burn down his Metropolis. Eventually, Bishop Sotirios lifted the ban and Geronda Ephraim came to Canada, confessed his spiritual children, and the sins of uttering death threats were absolved.

Holy Trinity Monastery Feast Day procession of monks and nuns.
Holy Trinity Monastery Feast Day procession of monks and nuns.

He then entered the monastic life in 1995. He started out as a sub-novice at St. John the Theologian Greek Orthodox Monastery in Picton, Ontario under Geronda Joseph Voutsas (This monastery shut down in the spring of 1997. The brotherhood re-established itself as the St. Nektarios Greek Orthodox Monastery in Roscoe, NY during January 1999). After a couple of weeks at St. John the Theologian Monastery, Geronda Ephraim had sub-novice George sent down to the monastery of St. Anthony in Florence, AZ.

Chapel at Holy Trinity Monastery, MI.
Chapel at Holy Trinity Monastery, MI.

In November of 1996, George was tonsured a monk and given the name Joseph. In Geronda Ephraim’s monasteries, the monks and nuns named Joseph or Josephia usually have St. Joseph the Betrothed as their patron saint. However, as a sort of double speak code, these monks and nuns are also named in honor of Elder Joseph the Hesychast. Also, the monks and nuns named Joseph or Ephraim are usually considered to be exceptional in Geronda Ephraim’s monasteries as he doesn’t give out those names lightly.

Chapel at Holy Trinity Monastery, MI.
Chapel at Holy Trinity Monastery, MI.

On January 16, 1997, Fr. Joseph was ordained to the diaconate by the late Metropolitan Anthony of San Francisco. During this time period, Geronda Ephraim lived in the building known as the Gerontikon. At that time, both Deacons Joseph and Ephraim (Andrei Poonan) also lived in the Gerontikon and served as Geronda Ephraim’s cell attendants.

Chapel at Holy Trinity Monastery, MI. Icon of St. John Maximovitch, Bishop of Shanghai and San Francisco.
Chapel at Holy Trinity Monastery, MI. Icon of St. John Maximovitch, Bishop of Shanghai and San Francisco.

Then, in August of 1998, Fr. Joseph was asked to help establish the monastery of Holy Trinity in Smiths Creek. MI. Geronda Ephraim sent him up with two cousins from Toronto, Frs. Gabriel and Michael. Not long after, Fr. Joseph sent Fr. Gabriel back to the Arizona monastery due to various issues (This Fr. Gabriel was later ordained to the priesthood in Arizona). Fr. Raphael (son of the priest for Holy Protection Monastery, Fr. Mark Andrews) was then sent to Holy Trinity Monastery as a replacement. Not long after, due to numerous problems and disobediences, Fr. Raphael was sent to St. Nektarios Monastery in Roscoe.

MI Geronda Joseph and Geronda Modestos
Geronda Joseph and Geronda Modestos

Deacon Joseph was ordained to the priesthood at the Holy Monastery of the Archangels in Kendalia, TX on November 4 1998, by then Archbishop of America Spyridon, and was appointed Abbot of Holy Trinity Monastery in Smiths Creek, MI. He has since served as abbot and spiritual father of the community, which now includes a brotherhood of nine, the majority being immigrants from Canada. Holy Trinity Monastery Monk and Baby Deer 1 Geronda Joseph (Mammis) sometimes tells pilgrims an interesting story relating to his blind obedience to Geronda Ephraim while he was a monk in Arizona. One day, while he was cooking a big pot of food, Geronda Ephraim came into the kitchen. He went over to the pot, took the spoon, and tasted what Fr. Joseph was making. He then immediately spit it out into Fr. Joseph’s face and started insulting him and the food. These are some of the tests Geronda Ephraim does to test the loyalty of his disciples, but also to give them an opportunity to gain crowns and grace.

Holy Trinity Monastery, 125 Sturdevant Road Smith Creek, MI 48061. Tel: (810) 367-8134
Holy Trinity Monastery, 125 Sturdevant Road
Smith Creek, MI 48061. Tel: (810) 367-8134

http://detroit.goarch.org/about-us/clergy/fr.-joseph-mammis

Geronda Joseph performing the Artoklasia service at Panagia Parigoritissa Monastery in Quebec with Bishop Sotirios watching over.
Geronda Joseph performing the Artoklasia service at Panagia Parigoritissa Monastery in Quebec with Bishop Sotirios watching over.

Metropolitan Sotirios of Toronto Slandering the Athonite Monasteries, Elders and Confessors

The following is transcribed from a youtube video of Metropolitan Sotirios’ speech during an undated Christmas Lent. There are usually a couple buses organized to take Greek Torontonians down for confession at St. Nektarios in NY and Holy Trinity in MI. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7EMKMvdQzc

Metropolitan Sotirios of Toronto,  agreed Ephraim's monasteries & methods of collecting young and vulnerable adults is cultic.
Metropolitan Sotirios of Toronto has  stated that Fr. Ephraim’s monasteries & methods of collecting young and vulnerable adults is cultic.

We are now in the period of Christmas Lent. You very well know that sometimes our Metropolis brings over father-confessors. This year, in this particular period, we are not going to bring in any father-confessors. But, all of us must confess. All of us must prepare ourselves to receive the Prince of peace, Christ, Who is God and is coming to be born as a human being. And i want all of the faithful Christians to go in repentance and confess to our priests.

Geronda Ephraim and Bishop Sotirios (Ελληνικός Τύπος)
Geronda Ephraim, Bishop Sotirios and Gerondissa Alexia, Abbess of St. Kosmas Monastery  (Ελληνικός Τύπος)

There are certain things we must know when we are confessing: 1) If we confess for the first time, we should repent and confess all our sins from the very beginning until the moment of our confession. When I do that in true repentance, and the priest or bishop forgives us in the name of Christ—or Christ forgives us through the priest or bishop—then we must know that those sins we have repented for and confessed through the priest or bishop have been erased by God and they will not exist anymore. 2) When you go to confession a second or another time, you must know that you should never repeat the sins, you should never confess the sins again that you confessed in previous confessions that you had. For if you do, you commit a greater sin. If you do that it means that you are not believing in the healing and forgiving power and the mercy of God. I want all of you to prepare yourselves for Christmas and for receiving Christ. Christ Who is the Messiah. The only Redeemer and Savior of the world.

Geronda Ephraim, Bishop Sotirios and Gerondissa Alexia, Abbess of St. Kosmas Monastery  (Ελληνικός Τύπος)
Geronda Ephraim, Bishop Sotirios and Gerondissa Alexia, Abbess of St. Kosmas Monastery (Ελληνικός Τύπος)

Some of our people make the mistake that they don’t trust their priest. And of course, the Church tries to understand it, and by economy and showing love to the people, we sometimes bring over father-confessors from other regions. And we will do that during the period of Great Lent for Easter.

Geronda Joseph Mammis, abbot of Holy Trinity Monastery, MI (originally from Montreal, QC)
Geronda Joseph Mammis, abbot of Holy Trinity Monastery, MI (originally from Montreal, QC)

But some other people make the big mistake to go to some monasteries in the United States. Believe me, I am for the monasteries, but sometimes some of the father-confessors who are so inexperienced—there is one of them I have in mind but I am not going to say any names and who has been a priest for only two years—then damage is done to the souls of the people.

Hieromonk Michael Santos of St. Nektarios Monastery, NY (originally from Toronto, ordained in November 2009).
Hieromonk Michael Santos of St. Nektarios Monastery, NY (originally from Toronto, ordained in November 2009).

I don’t want to recount the story of a young man who went to one of those monasteries. But I want you to know there are some father-confessors who, instead of being an example of love and forgiveness, what they do many times they pass judgment on our priests who serve our communities. Many times they say that these priests are not worth your going to confess to them because some of them do not have beards, or some of them do not have the experience. But in reality, they don’t have the experience. I do not allow our priests to receive people for confession if I know that they don’t have the necessary experience.

Geronda Joseph Voutsas, abbot of St. Nektarios Monastery, NY (originally from Thessaloniki)
Geronda Joseph Voutsas, abbot of St. Nektarios Monastery, NY (originally from Thessaloniki)

And one of these abbots, I’m not going to say any names, he goes as far as to think he’s above the Church. And though the rule says of the people have not been married in the Church they cannot receive Holy Communion until they are married in the Church, he allows them to receive Holy Communion. And he is the one who passed judgment on our priests. I want all of you to be very careful. I want you to repent. I want you to purify your souls. And I want you to be prepared for the coming of Jesus Christ. He is the only Redeemer and Savior of the world. He is the Messiah. Let us prepare ourselves for His coming.

NOTE: In the spring of 1997, Geronda Joseph, with the help of Fr. George Passias, took his brotherhood from St. John the Theologian Monastery in Picton, ON and immigrated to the United States via St. Anthony’s Monastery in Arizona. They sought refuge there from Bishop Sotirios’ persecutions until December 1998, when they relocated and founded the St. Nektarios Monastery in Roscoe, NY. This was followed by a series of accusations by Bishops Sotirios of stolen money, etc., which were countered by Geronda Joseph’s rebuttals in the Toronto Greek newspapers.

For those unfamiliar with the St. John the Theologian brotherhood, it consisted of:

*Fr. Germanos, who came with Geronda Joseph from Philotheou Monastery.

*Novice Anastasios, now Fr. Theophanes at Panagia Pammakaristos Monastery (NC). Bishop Sotirios once investigated the cells of the monks. Fr. Theophanes relates the bishop was scandalized because he had lots of pictures of Geronda Ephraim on his wall, and only one icon of Christ. Fr. Theophanes mother also became a nun at Holy Protection Monastery (at the original property in Weatherly, PA).

*Novice Athanasios, now Fr. Kassianos at St. Nektarios Monastery (NY)

*Novice Nikos, he was sent home from Arizona in 1998. Apparently he hid his thoughts from his Geronda, and couldn’t detach himself from his sister whom he frequently called. Thus, the devil isolated him from the brotherhood through his disobediences and he didn’t progress. It is said that shortly before he left the monastery, he started punching and breaking things and was losing control of his temper and composure.

Geronda Nektarios, Abbot of Panagia Pammakaristos Monastery in North Carolina.
Geronda Nektarios, Abbot of Panagia Pammakaristos Monastery in North Carolina.

*Novice Demetrios, now Geronda Nektarios, abbot of Panagia Pammakaristos (NC).

*Novice Iraklis, now Fr. Epifanios at St. Nektarios Monastery (NY).

Also, George (Mammis), now Geronda Joseph at Holy Trinity Monastery (MI) stayed as a sub-novice in Picton for a week or two and then afterwards was sent down to St. Anthony’s Monastery (AZ).