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Philoptochos Ladies Society of Calgary

As the name indicates, the “Philoptochos” (Greek for “Friend of the Poor”) is a women’s organization that practices Christian charity by helping those who need the spirit of fellowship and material assistance. The first official Philoptochos chapter started in 1902 in New York City. Philoptochos chapters are part of almost every Greek Orthodox parish. Today there are more than 530 chapters throughout North America.

What is our mission?

The mission of the Greek Orthodox Philoptochos Ladies Society of Calgary is to help the poor, the destitute, the hungry, the aged, the sick, and those who need the help of the Church. This is accomplished through volunteerism and fundraising efforts. Our activities focus mainly on charitable works of local significance, but we also support national and international initiatives when needed.

Additionally, we work to preserve and promote the Greek Orthodox Faith through the activities of the Greek Orthodox community, with the cooperation of the Parish Priest and the Parish Council.

Philoptochos – Calgary Chapter

The Philoptochos of Calgary work tirelessly, throughout the year, in order to be of service to those in need. We fundraise by serving coffee and refreshments on Sundays, offering our services for memorials and funerals, and by hosting bake sales, luncheons, and an annual Philoptochos Bazaar. We donate a substantial amount of money from our fundraising, to numerous charities each year. In addition to our regular volunteer opportunities, once a month, we also make approximately 1200 sandwiches for the Calgary Drop-In and Rehab Centre.

Support for the Elderly

Philoptochos is also aware of the importance of visiting the elderly. We will visit the elderly in their homes or nursing homes, when the family has requested it of us or has made us aware of a relative in need of some company. If you are know of any aging individual or family member who might enjoy a visit from the ladies, please contact the President of Philoptochos, Mrs. Georgina Tsavaras (403) 815-8098.

Funeral Services

We advise the family of the departed to contact the funeral home of their choice, then please connect with Fr. Thomas at or at (403) 246-4553 ext 2 to make funeral arrangements. Then, please contact the Hall Manager at or (403) 246-4553 ext 1 to confirm hall availability for the fellowship and payment of the facility rental.

Support for Grieving Families

Philoptochos is available to help support grieving families through our difficult time. We offer services for both funerals and memorials.

How does Philoptochos help on the day of the funeral or the day of a memorial?

If the family of the departed has contacted the President of the Philoptochos, Mrs. Georgina Tsavaras (403) 815-8098 to make arrangements for Philoptochos services, then, the day of the funeral, the ladies will arrange the refreshment tables in the hall, including the head tables for the family. We will also serve coffee to those that come into the hall for fellowship. Finally, we will clean up the hall prior to leaving.

What is typically provided after a funeral or memorial service?

The type of refreshments offered for the fellowship is left to the discretion of the family of the departed.

Some examples of what can be provided by Philoptochos are: biscotti type cookies, koulouria, paximathia, and coffee. As the baked goods take time to prepare, please let the President of Philoptochos, Mrs. Georgina Tsavaras (403) 815-8098 know you will need them in the initial phone call to her.

If the family would like to offer more, for example, sandwiches, vegetable trays, fruit trays, etc., this would be brought in by the family or friends of the departed, already prepared in trays. the Philoptochos ladies can then arrange it on the tables and serve it.

What are the costs of the Philoptochos services?

The money collected for the following services goes towards fundraising that supports local charities and our overall mission.

Trisagio ($150)
The prayers the night before the funeral – same Philoptochos services as a funeral.

Funeral ($250)
(with the Trisagio, it is $400 )
Philoptochos will serve and provide the koulouria and other cookies, coffee, sugar, cream/milk and cups, and napkins. We will set up the hall and will clean up after well. Any food required for the funeral is to be brought in by the family already prepared and in trays.

Memorial ($450)
Philoptochos will prepare and provide: the Koliva/sitari and the koliva/sitari on the tray, the prosforo (bread offering for liturgy), the wine (wine offering for liturgy), the oil (offering for liturgy), paper bags and spoons for the koliva, coffee, cream, sugar, and stir sticks. We will set up the hall in preparation and will also clean up after as well. Any food required for the memorial is to be brought in by the family already prepared and in trays.

For more information on the Philoptochos Society, please contact them at