International Youth Conference 2007 Day 1
The posted photos show scenes from the Second International Youth Conference hosted by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. Arriving safely in Constantinople after nearly 24 hours of travel from the Pittsburgh region of the diocese, our diocesan delegation participated in opening ceremonies on Wednesday Evening July 11, 2007. The following is the delegation's first impressions upon arriving in diocesan territory of the Great Church of Christ.
Twenty Four Hour Journey
By Fr. Peter Paproski, Diocesan Webmaster
The journey to Constantinople began with a journey by the Pittsburgh area delegates, early on Tuesday morning to JFK Aairport in New York, where they met their fellow diocesan travellers from Connecticut and New Jersey, and the Greek Archdiocese of America participants, headed by His Grace, Bishop Savas. After more than 24 hours of journey by rail, subway and by air, we arrived safely in Constantinople having briefly paused in Paris for a connecting flight. While our group leader Fr. Jonathan Tobias, worked diligently to prepare us for our journey, we were not prepared for the beauty and majesty of city of Istanbul, (Constantinople) the former seat of the Byzantine Empire, the the home of the Great Church of Christ. Constantinople is a paradox of modernity and antiquity, being at the same time, the site of the Second, Fifth and Sixth Ecumenical Councils, and presently a cosmopolitan city with every modern convenience that we enjoy in the west. We and the more than one thousand participants from throughout the world were warmly greeted by His All-Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch, Bartholomew, who spoke with great love and concern for the youth of the Church. It is hard to describe how welcome and at home we were made to feel, with His All-Holiness being a most gracious host, seeing to it that we were well fed and given proper lodging. While exhausted in body, we ended the day with a great sense of peace and anticipation for our first full day in conference and in exploration of the multi-faceted city of Constantinople on Thursday
Ataturk Airport in Istanbul
The Metropolitans from the Ecumenical Patriarchate, listen intently to the openning remarks by His Eminence, Metropolitan Gennadios of Sassima, the coordinator of the conference.
The delegation poses at the JFK airport in New York, prior to boarding the Air France flight to Paris.
Ruins of the ancient aquaduct system which supplied water to the City of Constantinople in days gone by.
The beautiful Grand Oztanik Hotel in Istanbul, the temporary home of our diocesan delegation
A view of the Bosphorus Sea on the ride to the hotel from the airport.
The delegation poses in front of the Hilton Hotel in Istanbul, the site of the Youth Conference.
His All-Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew introduced the theme of the Conference, "Members of the Church, Citizens of the World."
Remains of the stone protective walls built by the Emperor Constantine in the fourth century to protect the City from foreign invasion.
The day ended with a delicious Dinner at the Istanbul Hilton which featured traditional Turkish Food
After a 6.5 hour flight to Paris, the group set off on the final 4.5 hour flight to Istanbul