Parish Registration Now Available
Topic Tips and Resources Now Available
The Department of Religious Education has released the 2021 Topic Tips and Resources for the St John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival. Simultaneously, the parish registration is now available. Both can be found at https://www.goarch.org/en/oratorical
Now in its 37th year, the St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival is a speaking program for Junior High and High School Students in our parishes. Each year, approximately 800 young people from grades 7-9, and 10-12, research from one of the approved topics, develop a short speech, and then deliver it at a parish Oratorical Festival. Top speakers move to District (regional) Festivals or straight to a Metropolis (and the Direct District) level Festival. The top speaker in each division then progresses to the Archdiocese Festival.
Due to Covid, the 2020 Festival was cut short, but the planning for 2021 commenced over the summer. His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros approved the topics for 2021, which were released in September. The Topic Tips and Resources offer suggestions for speakers and their teachers about approaches that a speech can take. The Parish Registration information allows the Department to know which parishes are holding a Festival and have that information shared with their local coordinators.
At this time, even with the many challenges that Covid restrictions are still presenting, the Department believes that in-person Parish and District Festivals are possible, given their relatively small size. Each Metropolis and the Direct District will have to determine whether or not it is possible to hold an in-person Metropolis Festival, which are usually held in April or May. Also, at this time, the Department is making plans for an in-person Archdiocese Festival to be held at the St. Spyridon Church in Loveland, Colorado (the 2020 location) in June 2021 but also looking into the possibility of a virtual Festival, should conditions not allow for such a gathering.