St. Photios National Shrine Announces
Winners of Essay Contest

St. Augustine, FL – On behalf of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, the V. Reverend Father Nicholas Graff and the St Photios Foundation, Associate Director Polly Hillier is pleased to announce the results of the 2006 Essay Contest, chaired by Katherine Bacalis of Jacksonville and Renee Gahagan of Daytona Beach, Florida.

The 1,000 word essay contest invited high school students to choose a topic among the following: St Photios the Great, the missions patriarch and his impact on the nations surrounding Byzantium; The Colonists' Odyssey -investigating those who came to America with the Turnbull expedition in 1768; and Archbishop Iakovos, the impact today of his lifework.

Eight submissions were received. The winner is Emmanuel Maginnas of Kimisis Tis Theotokou in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania. His essay choice was the COLONISTS' ODYSSEY. Placing second is Nicholas Kostopoulos of Annunciation Cathedral in Atlanta, Georgia and in third place Nicholas Caros of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Clearwater Florida. Both entrants chose ARCHBISHOP IAKOVOS as their theme.

Vicky Yiannoulis of Holy Trinity in Bridgeport, Connecticut, Connie and Angela Pitenis of St Demetrios in Daytona Beach, Florida, Krtisto Pantelides of Holy Trinity Greek in Canton, Ohio and Erica Krantz of Holy Trinity in Lansing, Michigan also submitted fine essays and will receive participant certificates.

Emmanuel Maginnas will read his essay at the National Shrine Day Pilgrimage Luncheon on February 4, 2007 at the Casa Monica Hotel. He will also receive a $500.00 savings bond. As second prize winner, Nicholas Kostopoulos will receive a $250.00 savings bond and Nicholas Caros will receive a $100.00 savings bond. All prizes are courtesy of Archon Sam Constant of Daytona who has underwritten the awards in honor of Father Nicholas Graff, Executive Director of St Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine.

Special thanks are extended to the judges – the Honorable Eleni Elias Derke of Jacksonville, Professor Louis A Gaitanis of St Augustine, and Mr. William Gahagan of Daytona Beach.

St Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine is an institution of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in America. It is situated in Avero House on 41 St George Street, St Augustine. Listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, Avero House was the place where the survivors of the 1768 New Smyrna Colony were granted sanctuary and solace as they began their new life in St Augustine in 1777.

(Posting date 18 January 2007

For more information about St. Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine, located in St. Augustine, Florida, visit the shrine's website at the URL

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