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JOHNSTOWN, PA [Diocesan Chancery]  Eight Diocesan college students, accompanied by Diocesan Priests,  Jonathan Bannon and William Bennett,  will be taking part in an OCF Real Break Trip to Thessaloniki, Greece, from March 10-18, 2017 in order to personally experience the living μαρτυρiα (witness) and διακονiα (service) of the Christian communities of Northern Greece. The host institution will be the historic Great Church of the Theotokos, that is, the Church of the Acheiropoietos, which was built in the center of Byzantine Thessaloniki in the fifth century.

During Real Break Thessaloniki, the students will visit many of the region’s sacred sites and venerate the numerous relics and icons that have adorned them for centuries. This includes the churches and relics of St. Demetrios, Sts. Cyril and Methodios, St. Gregory Palamas, St. Theodora and St. David, as well as the churches of Rotunda, Haghia Sophia, St. Nicholas Orphanos and the Holy Apostles. Participants will also visit the Holy Monasteries of Meteora and Ormylia. Additionally, trip participants will have the opportunity to experience several outreach ministries of the Metropolis of Thessaloniki. 

Thanks in a large part due to a generous grant from the Kulis Foundation,  our Diocesan Students will join approximately two dozen Orthodox College Students on this once in a life time, service learning trip.

While in Thessalonica they plan to maintain a photo and video blog to allow the faithful of the Diocese to follow them in their spiritual journey.  Watch for periodic updates at