ARLINGTON, Mass. — An Arlington priest delivered his final sermon Sunday morning, just days after being told he was being fired after nearly 30 years at the church.
Parishioners packed Saint Athanasius the Great Church in Arlington Sunday morning and gave several standing ovations to their much-loved priest, Father Nick Kastanas.
Just days ago, the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston sent a letter out that Father Kastanas had been relieved of his duties for “unchristian behavior” and that Sunday would be his final service.
Those outraged by the firing of Father Kastanas showed up with signs in support of him and many took to Twitter with the hashtag #BringBackFatherNick.
Hundreds turn out to show Father Nick our love & support. The communion line has been going for a VERY long time. #bringbackfathernick pic.twitter.com/oaYcsmyMhU— Carissa B. Caramanis (@CarissaO) July 30, 2017
Shopping for a new church as the kindest priest out there was fired unjustly #bringbackfathernick— Kristina Markos (@KVMarkos) July 30, 2017
This was the sentiment of the 1000 + ppl attending serv's @St.Athanasius Greek Orthodox Church in Arlington MA today!#bringbackfathernick pic.twitter.com/af3jZfnOrL— Vicky K🇬🇷/🇺🇸 (@Skaliotisa) July 30, 2017
"I’ve been truly blessed to be part of your family and you to be part of my family,” said Father Nick in his final service. “I know we're all deeply moved because we've been a family, together for 27 years and 8 months, but who's been counting the days?"
There is a petition to bring back Father Kastanas, which already has well over 1,000 signatures.
The church has not announced specifics as to why Father Kastanas was fired. All that was said was what was released in the letter from the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston:
Boston 25 News reached out to the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston for comment, but have not heard back.
Cox Media Group