(St Augustine, FL, January 12) – On behalf of the St Photios Foundation, Katherine Bacalis, chair of the Greek Orthodox National Shrine Essay Contest committee, is pleased to announce the results from the Twelfth Annual National Shrine Essay Contest. “This year’s entries were so well written in expressing closeness to family and faith. The writers showed their expectation for their future involvement in the spirit of Orthodoxy and Hellenism.”
All essayists hail from parishes in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. They are Amelia Antzoulatos of St. John the Theologian, Tenafly, NJ; Stephanie Edwards, St. Nektarios, Charlotte, NC; Christopher N. Karafotias, St. Andrew, Chicago, IL; Odysseas Vasillios Nikas, St. George, Chicago, IL; Cindy Samaan, St. Demetrios, Daytona, Beach, FL; Demetri Lagoutaris, Venetia Lagoutaris and Ellie Stamatogiannakis (St. John the Divine, Jacksonville, FL).
The theme choices invited high school students to compare the immigrant story of a family member with the immigrant story of the Greeks who arrived in America with the Turnbull expedition in 1768 or to defend the historic and significant importance of St. Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine as a historic and sacred place.
Ellie Stamatogiannakis placed first, Christopher Karafotias placed second, and Cindy Samaan placed third. Dr. Constantine Santas, one of the three judges said, “Some essays may have been lighter than others, all essays were interesting and showed the focus of the writers.”
The St Photios Foundation Board of Trustees joins the Essay Committee members in offering congratulations to the students, their parents and their parishes. First VP Archon Dr. Manuel N Tissura called to mind the steadfast generosity of AHEPA Speedway Chapter 410 and Essay benefactor Mrs. Kate D ‘Anna. Mrs. D ‘Anna fell asleep in the Lord on July 25, 2016. “May her memory be eternal. We thank God for her and all her family who gave so much to St. Photios. We will include her in the Founders memorial on Sunday, February 5. We will honor the AHEPA Speedway Chapter at the National Shrine Day Banquet when we present them with the 2017 St. Photios Award.”