Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in Imvros
On Monday, August 19, 2013, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew arrived in his native island of Imvros (Gökçeada). In his home village of Sts. Theodores, His All-Holiness inaugurated the reopening of a Greek primary school with an Aghiasmo service and with the first ringing of a bell since its closing in 1964. The newly restored and reopened school, which is also named after the village's patrons, Sts. Theodores, was granted permission to reopen by the Turkish Ministry of Education.
During his visit, His All-Holiness attended and spoke at a book launch event for Joachim Boutaras' new publication "Education in Imvros 1800-1964," and on Friday morning, he celebrated the Divine Liturgy for the Apodosis of the Feast of the Dormition in the Church of his village named after this great feast.
Among the many in attendance throughout this one-week trip were Metropolitans Kyrillos of Imvros and Tenedos, Chrysostomos of Myra, Barnabas of Neapolis and Stavroupolis and Pavlos of Drama, Protopresbyter Thomas Synodinos from the Archdiocese of Athens, Patriarchal Deacon Joachim Billis, Deputy Secretary of the Holy Sacred Synod, Mr. Lakis Vingas, representative of the minority institutions with the General Board of Foundations in Ankara, Ambassador Nikolaos Matthioudakis, Consul General of Greece in Istanbul, Ms. Lina Mendoni, General Secretary of Greece's Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs, Ms. Anna Koutsomali, the founder of the school, Mr. Paris Asanakis, chairman of the Imvrian Association of Athens, Mr. Zorlos, chairman of the local Imvrian Association, and Greek journalist Ms. Anna Panayiotarea.