Oratorical Festival to Celebrate 25th Anniversary
- Oratorical Festival to Celebrate 25 th Anniversary
The St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival will mark its 25 th anniversary
with the national finals in June 2008. Over the years, the festival has
given thousands of teenagers "an opportunity to learn, write and speak about
their Orthodox faith, Church and heritage." A program that began with the
participation of 73 parishes in 1984 has grown to 203 parishes in 2007.
In 1983, Mr. Ernest Villas, the Department of Religious Education Director,
established the Oratorical Festival. Mr. Villas and Minerva Stergianopoulos,
the first Archdiocese Oratorical Festival chairman, wrote the first
Oratorical Festival Manual.
The first national Oratorical Festival finals were held in New York City at
the 1984 Clergy-Laity Congress where finalists from the 10 dioceses, which
then included Canada, participated. The top speakers in each division took
part in a panel discussion the following day.
The 1985 Oratorical Festival finals were held in St. Louis and the Rev.
George Zervos served as the national chairman. In 1986, the finals were held
at the Clergy-Laity Congress in Dallas. Detroit was the host city in 1987
and the final time that the Oratorical Festival was combined with a
Clergy-Laity Congress was in 1988 in Boston.
Since then, the Oratorical Festival finals have been hosted by parishes
within each of the metropolises on a rotational basis each year during a
weekend in June.
The Rev. John and Presbytera Margaret Orfanakos have been serving as
Archdiocese National Festival co-chairs since 1985. Mr. Villas was succeeded
as director of the Department of Religious Education by the Rev. Dr. Frank
Marangos in 1997, who served for 10 years. The current director is Dr. Anton
The Metropolis of Boston will host the 25th St. John Chrysostom Oratorical
Festival finals on June 6-8, 2008. Fr. Agathonikos Wilson, pastor of St.
Nicholas Church in Lexington, Massachusetts will chair the host committee,
which will begin its planning meetings in October.
Each year, former Diocese/Metropolis Oratorical Festival finalists from the
host metropolis are invited to the finals. As part of the 25 th anniversary
observance, the Department of Religious Education asks previous finalists to
contact the department to provide an update on what they have been doing
since their participation. Please contact the Department of Religious
Education at 50 Goddard Avenue, Brookline, MA 02445 -7415, or via e-mail at
religioused@... , or telephone at (617) 850-1218.
GREEK ORTHODOX ARCHDIOCESE OF AMERICA
8-10 East 79th St. New York, NY 10075-0106
Tel: (212) 570-3530 Fax: (212) 774-0215
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 9, 2007
Contact: Anton C. Vrame, Ph.D
Tel.: (617) 850-1218; Fax: (617) 850-1489