The 2023 Pilgrimage of Discovery Was a Great Success!

The Pilgrimage of Discovery pilot program was a 7-day, all-expense paid, religious and cultural trip to Constantinople in August 2023. The program connected Greek Orthodox young adults from the Metropolis of Chicago with their ancestral religious roots.  Participants deepened their Orthodox faith by exploring holy sites and having a private audience with His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.

In addition to having a private audience with His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the journey included visits to:

  • Zoodochos Pigi Church at Baloukli
  • Agios Demetrios Church of Kuruçesme
  • Panayia Vlaherna Church
  • Hagia Sophia
  • Bosphorus Strait
  • Prince’s Islands
  • Halki Seminary
  • Ecumenical Patriarchate
  • St. George Church at the Phanar
  • and so much more!

The Pilgrimage of Discovery program is

truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

The Pilgrimage of Discovery is funded by the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate Protecting the Future of Faith.

Learn more about the trip and our upcoming documentary release by visiting our Instagram and Facebook.


Cally Kobza

Cally Kobza is from the Milwaukee area and attends Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church. She works at Dura Software as a Senior Marketing Manager. She loves to travel, enjoys spending time with family and friends, and is a huge Wisconsin sports fan!

Deanna Kolas

Deanna grew up in Rochester, MN, lived for a few years in Chicago, and is now working as a Mental Health Counselor in Minneapolis, MN. She is a member at St. Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church, and she has been involved in church ministries such as youth groups, young adult ministries, and chanting.

Christen Massouras

Christen lives in Lincoln Park, Chicago and attends Assumption Greek Orthodox Church in Chicago. She graduated from the University of Illinois and works as a Brand Manager for Werther’s Original Caramels. Christen has been involved in her faith through OCF, YAL Chicago, YAL Chicago Conference, and her parish of Assumption. In her free time you can find her road-tripping with friends (42 states so far!), attending music concerts and festivals, and completing her daily New York Times crossword.

Demetrios Maroutsos

Dr. Demetri Maroutsos is a recent graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine. Demetri enjoys playing and listening to music, reading, and traveling in his free time. He is a devout member of the Orthodox Church and has a strong connection to his Greek heritage.

George Valcarcel

George grew up in Cincinnati and now lives in Chicago, attending St. George in Lincoln Park. He works as a consultant with McKinsey & Company and graduated from The Ohio State University with a B.S. in Industrial Systems Engineering. Outside of church and work, George enjoys hiking in national parks, vinyl records, running, and rooting for the Buckeyes and Bengals.



For questions regarding the pilgrimage of discovery, please

All application materials should be emailed to