Altar Boys From Around the Country Convene at Hellenic College/Holy Cross for First National Altar Boy Retreat
May 3, 2005
Brookline, MA - Over 100 altar boys from throughout the Archdiocese, representing the Direct Archdiocesan District and each Metropolis, recently gathered on the campus of Hellenic College/Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology for the first annual National Altar Boy Retreat. The retreat, which was held during the weekend of April 7 to 10, was a joint effort between the Archdiocesan Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries and the Admissions Office of Hellenic College/Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology.
The boys and their chaperones, totaling over 150 participants, arrived on the Brookline campus on Thursday evening from as far away as San Diego, California, for a weekend of classes and workshops. The retreat was designed to give the boys a better understanding of the Orthodox liturgy of which they are such a vital part.
The program began on Friday with a series of classes and workshops led by Fr. Eugen Pentiuc and Fr. Gerasimos Makris, followed by a variety of sessions throughout the weekend conducted by other clergy and youth directors. His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios of Boston gave the Keynote Address on Saturday morning. Following Great Vespers, His Eminence Metropolitan Maximos also addressed the boys. Fr. Nick Triantafilou, President of Hellenic College/Holy Cross, gave the altar boys their final address, following the Divine Liturgy on Sunday. Workshops included such topics as Diakonia and Service, the Importance of Scriptural Understanding of Service; and a detailed break down of services before, as well as preparation for, the Divine Liturgy.
Fr. Mark Leondis, the National Director of the Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries stated "We thank His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios and members of the Holy Eparchial Synod for their vision and support in this project. This first annual retreat was an amazing opportunity for our young altar servers to come together as one unified body on the grounds of our beloved school, learning about their Faith and important service in the Altar. Plans are underway for next year's retreat, which will once again take place at Hellenic College/Holy Cross."
Fr. Panayiotis Papageorgiou from the St. George Greek Orthodox Church, New Port Richey, Florida, whose son took part in the retreat added with enthusiasm, "It was both a spiritually uplifting experience and an opportunity for theological learning. All of these elements are important in a world where our children are bombarded constantly by a variety of messages, all of which are foreign and many times contrary to our Faith and Tradition."
The retreat presented the altar boys with an opportunity to familiarize themselves with Hellenic College/Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, home of the Archbishop Iakovos Library and Learning Resource Center, and the only fully accredited Orthodox undergraduate liberal arts college, graduate center for Orthodox higher education, and Greek Orthodox Seminary in America. Hellenic College serves liberal arts minded students with an undergraduate curriculum of professional preparation grounded in Orthodox Christian values as well as a Religious Studies program designed to prepare students who will continue their graduate studies at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Seminary. The schools are located at 50 Goddard Avenue in Brookline, Massachusetts.
For more information on Hellenic College/Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, please contact Sonia Daly, Director of Admissions at (617) 850-1285. For more information on the National Altar Boy Retreat and next year's schedule, please contact the Reverend Mark A. Leondis, National Director of the Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries at (646) 519-6180.
Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries