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Congratulations to Marina Dimas and Peter Kokkinias, members of the Metropolis of Chicago selected to participate in the 2024 Pilgrimage of Discovery. Originating in the Metropolis of Chicago, the Pilgrimage of Discovery is a program of the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate that organizes annual all-expenses-paid trips to Constantinople for young adults across America to learn about Orthodox Christianity, the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the history of the Church, and the challenges facing the Ecumenical Patriarchate, among other opportunities. The Metropolis of Chicago is excited for Marina and Peter as they prepare for their trip, August 4 – 11, and hope it is rewarding and rejuvenating. AXIOI!


What is your age and what parish do you belong to?

Marina Dimas: 27, I grew up at Holy Apostles of Westchester, IL and now belong to St. George of Chicago. 

Peter Kokkinias: 27, St. Nectarios of Palatine, IL


What do you do for a living?

Marina Dimas:  I’m an account manager working in media /advertising and create high-impact, animated, mobile, ad-services across industries. 

Peter Kokkinias: I am a pharmacist that works in Pharmacovigilance at AbbVie where I author safety documents to the FDA and other regulatory agencies around the world related to how our patients are responding to their treatments to ensure the benefits of our medications outweigh the risks. 

What are you most looking forward to on your trip to Constantinople? 

Marina Dimas: I am most excited about meeting His All Holiness, Patriarch Bartholomew, holding a conversation with him about the future of the Church, and visiting the Phanar. I also look forward to exploring holy and historic sites, like the Hagia Sophia, as well as familial sites—I have family roots in Skopos and Smyrna!

Peter Kokkinias: I am most looking forward to learning about the rich history of our Orthodox faith from faith leaders and religious experts at the sites where many of our Church Fathers walked.

How are you making a difference in your parish? 

Marina Dimas: For the last 9 years, I have had the incredible privilege of being a staff member at Fanari, Ionian Village, and the CrossRoad Summer Institute. Additionally, I served on the board for YAL Chicago. I’m a new steward and active member of the YAL chapter at St. George and serve as an Ambassador for the national Telos Project, which aids parishes in reimagining how they minister to their young adults.  

Peter Kokkinias: I hope I am enhancing the liturgical life of the church by participating in byzantine chant during liturgy. I’m also the co-president of the St. Nectarios YAL and work hard to create the conditions so that young adults feel welcomed, appreciated, and engaged in the life of the church. Lastly, I volunteer at multiple philanthropic programs in our parish.