With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Iakovos, His Grace Bishop Demetrios had the distinct honor of visiting His All-holiness, Patriarch Bartholomew I, at the Phanar from Dec. 26 - Jan 1. His Grace conveyed to His All-holiness the best wishes and enduring support of His Eminence, the clergy of the Metropolis and all the faithful for the great and venerable mission of the First Throne.

 His Grace with His All Holiness, Bartholomew I, Ecumenical Patriarch

His Grace in the private office of His All Holiness

His Grace with Dn. Niphon Tsimalis, who serves as Patriarchal Deacon, originally from the Metropolis (SS. Constantine & Helen, Merrillville, IN)

During His Grace's visit, he was deeply moved by the small, yet powerful and consistent witness of the Constantinopolitan faithful, who continue to practice their Orthodox Christian faith amidst great adversity, trial and suffering.

His Grace with the children of the venerable and historic Great School of the Race

This was especially felt when His Grace witnessed the celebration of the Vasilopita at the Phanar, where it was manifestly clear that the ancient and holy traditions of our faith are indeed vibrantly lived, even in the present situation. It is His Grace's first wish, upon returning home, to convey to faithful of the Metropolis, the need to lift up our own voices in prayer for our brothers and sisters in the Queen City of Constantinople, and especially for those who guide the flock: that they never tire of their role as guardians of the places and traditions of our Holy Orthodox Church, and that the spiritual liberty which Christ brought to us by means of His incarnation, never be extinguished in that most historical center of Christianity.

His All Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew I celebrating the VasilopitaThe Chanters singing at the celebration of the Vasilopita led by Leonida Asteris, Great ProtopsaltiThe Constantinopolitan faith celebrating the cutting of the Vasilopita