Metropolis of Boston 2021 Ministry Awards

Congratulations, Parish Council President Mario Bolivar

In the fall of 1977 Mario Alonso Bolivar emigrated from Colombia, South America with his parents and 2siblings. At that time, Colombia was experiencing a great deal of turmoil due to the violence and pervasive influence of the drug cartels. Thus, Mario’s parents dreamed of a better life for their young family in the United States. They settled in Holyoke, with its thriving paper factories and worked tirelessly to provide for their 3 children.  Assimilating into this new country was not easy at the age of 11, but Mario and his family always confronted the challenges they faced with their strong faith and a fierce determination to succeed. Mario attended parochial elementary schools in Holyoke and upon graduating from Holyoke High School in 1985, he attended Holyoke Community College where he earned an Associate Degree in Engineering. He went on to receive his Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Western New England College. Mario has worked for Parker Hannifin Corporation for 17 years and has been their National Sales Manager for the past 4 years. 

While in college, Mario met Elizabeth Vulopas who was studying to become a teacher. She is the daughter of Father Harry and Presbytera Tula Vulopas.  Fr. Harry served at the Church of The Holy Trinity in Holyoke, MA for 51 years, until his retirement in 2012. Mario espoused the Orthodox faith in 1993 with much love and dedication. He and Elizabeth were married in October of that year.

Mario has been an active member of Holy Trinity since those early days and quickly became part of the church’s close-knit family where he would offer his time and services wherever they were needed. He joined the Parish Council in the mid 90’s and became Vice President from 2000-2014. He has served as the Parish Council President for the past 7 years. Mario, along with the dedicated fellow council members, has been involved in numerous fundraising events, annual dinners/dances, and construction projects during the time of his tenure. He has a deep love for his father in-law’s former parish and has desired to continue Fr. Harry’s legacy by serving this relatively small but dynamic community with all his heart. He treasures his relationship with Holy Trinity’s present dedicated priest, Fr. Thomas Cokotis. Mario and Elizabeth, a Health and Physical Education Teacher in Westfield, MA, have 3 children: Nicholas, 24 who works and resides in Boston. Alexander, 22, a recent UMASS graduate and Kathryn 18, who will be entering The Isenberg School of Management in September. •