This is an archived article that was published on in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The Rev. Archimandrite George Nikas, new senior priest for the Salt Lake Valley's Greek Orthodox community, has promised parishioners that he comes with "an open heart and mind."

Nikas, who will be welcomed formally at downtown Salt Lake City's Holy Trinity Cathedral on Pentecost Sunday, June 4, wrote his new flock that he is "hoping to learn from all of you, to share your vision for an even brighter tomorrow for our community and to help in ensuring that this parish continues to be a shining gem of our Holy Metropolis of Denver."

Nikas, 47, was born in Athens, Greece, but grew up in the northeastern United States, himself the son of a Greek Orthodox priest. He succeeds the Rev. Matthew Gilbert, 58, who died in September after being diagnosed with an aggressive bone cancer.

"I am optimistic about our future together as I know that I enter fertile ground already carefully cultivated by my predecessors," he stated. "Together, we can ensure that our much beloved Holy Trinity/Prophet Elias community will continue to shine brilliantly as a beacon of Orthodoxy in Salt Lake City."

As senior priest, Nikas joins the Rev. Elias Koucos in serving the parish, which includes Holy Trinity Cathedral, 279 S. 300 West, and Prophet Elias Church, 5335 S. Highland Drive, Holladay.

After combined services June 4 at Holy Trinity Cathedral, the parish council will host a luncheon to formally welcome Nikas and his mother, Presvytera Golfo Nikas.

Twitter: @remims