Heading to Greece!

The Katholikon (main church) of the Holy Monastery of St. Paul, Mt. Athos.

So, some exciting news: I’ve been holding back talking about it because up until last week it was still very much up in the air, but, by the grace of God, I will be traveling to the Mediterranean in a few short weeks!  I will be traveling as part of a group of brother seminarians, led by the dean of St. Vladimir’s Seminary, Fr. John Behr, as well as our liturgics/canon law professor Fr. Alexander Rentel.  Our group will be traveling first to Istanbul, followed by time on Mt. Athos, with a brief stop in Thessaloniki before heading to Athens before flying back to the U.S.  We’ll be there abroad for about 18 days, visiting churches, monasteries, and historical sites.

It’s going to be an intense experience, given that we’re only allowed to bring what we can carry, so I will not be bringing a laptop. And given that we’re going to be on Mt. Athos for the better part of two weeks I don’t think regular updates on here will be possible.  However there might be ways I could do so from my phone, but that will depend on finding wi-fi when we’re in civilization.  So live updates will be a rarity, but once back I’ll definitely write a series of posts about the trip with photos of the various places we get to.

As you can imagine I’m feeling both excited and trepidatious about the trip, but the group going is full of great guys and we’ll be with the very capable Fr. Behr and Fr. Rentel.  The other really neat thing is that the senior trip of seminarians from Holy Cross in Brookline will be in Thessaloniki and on Mt. Athos during the times we will, so we’re hoping to meet up at some point while there.  All is in God’s hands!

As it will be my first time in Turkey and Greece I’m looking forward to seeing the Mediterranean and experiencing those different countries firsthand.  And having a real gyro (amongst other things…).  Getting to visit Mt. Athos for such an extended period of time will be, I hope, the highlight of the trip.  We’ll be staying at Aghiou Pavlou, the Holy Monastery of St. Paul on the western side of the peninsula.  Because of the extended stay we’ll also be helping with the daily work at the monastery so we’ll be experiencing life there in a much fuller way than most pilgrims who only make brief sojourns at the monasteries.

So that’s the update for today, I’ll be posting about the trip to Montreal this past weekend in the coming days so stay tuned!



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