Archon News

Archon Youth Committee Launches Pilgrimage of Discovery (POD) Journey to Constantinople Pilot Program

With the blessings of His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America and His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael of Chicago, the National Youth Participation Activity (YPA) Engagement Committee of the Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in America has launched a new initiative, the Pilgrimage of Discovery Journey to Constantinople (POD) Pilot Program. Through the National Youth Committee, the Pilot Program representing the Archons has been assigned to the Metropolis of Chicago as a test program.

His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America stated: “This is truly a delightful initiative, which will surely enrich our young adults — both spiritually and intellectually — as they are exposed firsthand to the sacred sites and precious treasures of our Orthodox Christian faith and heritage in the Queen of Cities.”

The POD Journey to Constantinople pilot program will grant five young adults from the Metropolis of Chicago (ages 23-28) an all-expenses-paid round-trip journey to Constantinople to meet with His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarchate Bartholomew and travel to ancient holy sites of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The Youth Participation Activity (YPA) Engagement Committee announced the pilot program on January 15, 2023 with applications available on February 1, 2023 and is planning its travel to Constantinople in August 2023.

50/50 funding for the POD was made possible by donations by the Archons from the Metropolis of Chicago and funding from the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in America, Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle. This funding will cover travel costs, travel guides, meals, lodging, air fare, and more, including the expenses of a film crew from the United States and Turkey. The first Pilgrimage of Discovery Journey to Constantinople will be extensively filmed; then a documentary will be produced featuring the personal experiences of those who participated.

The pilgrimage to Constantinople is just the beginning. Upon return, the five participants will become Archon Ambassadors, participating in Archon outreach and presentations for two years, thereby further supporting Archon youth education regarding the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Their ability to serve in this capacity will be part of the criteria for their selection.

A successful Pilot Program can offer the possibility of becoming a National Archon Program in 2024 and subsequent years, opening up candidacy applications to all Metropolises in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and through the program of the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in America.

Likewise pivotal to the development and launching of this program were the Archons of Chicago and the team consisting of National Secretary & Regional Commanders Gus M. Pablecas and Regional Commander John G. Manos, Archon Perry Siatis, Archon Hon. Jeff and Hellena Chrones, Archon John Fotopoulos PhD, and Joan Berg, Esq. and the very talented social media team of Fig Marketing (Fotini Anastopoulos and Tina Manikas), and many others.

Instrumental in the development of this groundbreaking and much-needed program were Archon Regional Commanders Nick Tranto of the Metropolis of Pittsburgh and Chair of the National Youth Participation Activities, Committee, and Hon. Steven Counelis of the Metropolis of San Francisco, as well as Archons Perry Siatis Esq. of the Metropolis of Chicago and George Moutis of the Metropolis of New Jersey, all of whom are the Co-Chairs of the Youth Participation Activity (YPA) Engagement Committee.

Subscribe to our mailing list

More Posts

Share