St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival
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Introduced in 1983, the St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival provides Greek Orthodox teenagers the opportunity to write and talk about their faith. The Oratorical Festival Program begins at the parish level and is divided into three divisions:
- Elementary Division (local festival only) for students in grades 4–6
- Junior Division for students in grades 7–9
- Senior Division for student in grades 10–12
The top speakers in the Junior and Senior Divisions advance to the district level. Two finalists in each district division represent the district at the Metropolis Oratorical Festival. The top speaker in each metropolis division is then selected to participate in the Archdiocese Finals, which is hosted by a different metropolis each year.
All eighteen finalists at the Archdiocese Finals participate in a weekend of activities, the highlight of which is the delivery of their speeches on Saturday morning. The Oratorical Festival Scholarship Fund provides college scholarships to the top speakers. In 2013, the top three speakers of each division received college scholarships of $2,000, $1,500 and $1,000. This year, each Honorable Mention speaker was awarded an iPad.
Presvytera Margaret Orfanakos serves as the Archdiocese Festival Chairperson.
The 2015 National Oratorical Festival will be hosted by the Metropolis of San Francisco and the Parish of St. Anthony in Pasadena, CA on June 5-7!
The 31st National Oratorical Festival was hosted on June 13-15, 2014, by the Metropolis of Pittsburgh at the Annunciation Church in Cleveland, Ohio. Click on the to read about the weekend, and check out page 6 of the to read the top speeches and see pictures from the festival.
Each finalist receives an additional scholarship award from FAITH: An Endowment for Orthodoxy and Hellenism as part of its grant to the Archdiocese. FAITH has made these awards to Oratorical Festival Finalists since 2007. We are grateful to the Founders of FAITH for their generous support of the youth of our Archdiocese and the Finalists of the St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival.
The Chrysostom Scholarship for Hellenic College
The Holy Resurrection Greek Orthodox Church in Brookville, NY, has held one of the more successful Oratorical Festival programs in our Archdiocese. A key to their success has been excellent organization and ongoing contact by the festival's chairperson with everyone involved at the local level, as well as with the District, Metropolis, and Archdiocese.
The Department is very grateful to Mrs. Vivian Casil for sharing a set of downloadable (pdf) letters and handouts used by the Resurrection parish that you might find helpful as you organize your parish Oratorical Festival.