The 82nd Annual AHEPA Excursion to Greece, Cyprus, and the Ecumenical Patriarchate commenced on the 1st of April 2010 with the AHEPA family delegation’s arrival in Constantinople to attend the Holy Week services.
The excursion is led by Supreme President Nicholas A. Karacostas. Daughters of Penelope Grand President Elaine M. Sampanis, Maids of Athena Grand President Sia Zois, and AHEPA Canadian President Nick Aroutzidis, and several AHEPA family members representing chapters across the AHEPA family domain joined the supreme president.
On Friday, the 2nd of April 2010, Supreme President of AHEPA, Nick Karacostas met with U.S. Consul General Sharon Anderholm Wiener for a comprehensive briefing of bilateral relations between the United States and Turkey and issues regarding religious freedom and human rights in Turkey.
In addition, on Good Friday, the entire AHEPA family delegation had a private audience with His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, where His All Holiness once again expressed his contentment for the support of the AHEPA family towards the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
Supreme President Karacostas also had a private meeting with the Ecumenical Patriarch for a quick review of the dire situation that the Ecumenical Patriarchate faces on a daily basis. A small exchange of gifts concluded the visit, and the entire delegation attended Holy Friday Services.
Delegation Tours Halki Seminary
The delegation also visited the Theological School of Halki and was given a private tour of the seminary and the 600- year- old document library. A brief review of the seminary’s history was also provided by the Metropolitan in charge of the school who thanked the AHEPA family for its tireless work in support of the plight of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
The delegation attended the Resurrection Day services with the capacity crowd of St. George Church at the Phanar. After services, the supreme president attended a private dinner with His All Holiness. The evening concluded at 4:30AM. On Monday April 5, 2010, the delegation left for Thessaloniki.
AHEPA delegation visit Thessaloniki Prefect, Panagiotis Psomiadis
A delegation of the Supreme Council of AHEPA was received on Tuesday Morning, April 6th 2010, by the Prefect of Thessaloniki Panagiotis Psomiadis at the conference room of the Prefecture of Thessaloniki.
“You alone, have done a lot for your birthplace. Therefore, we all owe the Greeks of the Diaspora an apology, as they have done more for Greece than Greece has done for them. We owe it to you, our brothers, because you hold high the flag of Hellenism” said Mr. Psomiadis, upon welcoming the delegation of AHEPA.
The Prefect had a discussion with the members of AHEPA on the course and actions of the Greek Diaspora, on the difficulties that Greeks encounter from time to time, the financial crisis, as well as the support of our national issues from organizations of the Diaspora in Greece and abroad.
On his part, the Supreme President of AHEPA, Nicholas A. Karacostas thanked the Prefect for his noble hospitality and handed to him the emblem of the organization as a gift.
Mr. Karakostas made reference to the difficulties that Greeks abroad are facing and spoke about the efforts of the organization to strengthen its campaign for the promotion of Greek and Cypriot national issues abroad.