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Young Adults of the Diocese of Los Angeles and the West participate in OCF's "Real Break" Trip to Greece - 03/31/2006

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For many college age people spring break is a time to get away, party and engage in activities that are contrary to our Church’s teaching.  Through the OCF program "Real Break", a group of young adults and college students from around the country and from difference jurisdictions (including some of our young adults from this Diocese) took part in a project trip to Greece. The project took place in Central Greece, near the city of Karditsa. This is an area rarely visited by the average tourist from abroad.

The team was based in the sixteenth century monastery of the Twelve Apostles, known by the locals as “Red Church,” just outside of Karditsa. Twelve Apostles works closely with St. George Monastery near Mavromati which is famous for housing one of the four icons of the Virgin Mary associated with St. Luke the Evangelist. This monastery is one of two historic monasteries in the local Diocese which have been recently reopened. The other, near the village  of Katafigi, is the sixteenth century monastery, Moni Petras. Moni Petras is famous for its wonder-working icon of the Virgin Mary. Both sisterhoods of St. George and Twelve Apostles, as well as the brotherhood of Moni Petras are international in character consisting not only of Greeks but people from various other countries such as the United States, Russia, Germany, Georgia, England, South Africa and Israel, to name a few.  These monastic communities are under the direction of the well-loved and respected Geronda Dionysios.

It was the goal of the Real Break team to help the monasteries face the material challenges involved in the rebuilding and the rehabilitation of long neglected facilities and properties and participated in reconstruction and renovation projects.  Led by the Rev. Fr. Apostolos Hill, pastor of Assumption Cathedral in Denver, Colorado, the team worked tirelessly at whatever tasks were placed in front of them.  Highlights of the trip included a day-long visit to the Holy Meteora and a Vigil service on the eve of the feast of the Annunciation.

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