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ABOUT THE ORATORICAL FESTIVAL
The St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival is a nationwide Department of Religious Education (DRE) ministry of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America that centers around faith, education, and fellowship. Greek Orthodox youth participants present speeches discussing the faith and the Church through exploring and deepening their faith while honing their speech writing and public speaking skills. National finalists earn sizeable monetary awards, and finalists at all four levels earn scholarships. The Oratorical Festival was established in 1983, by DRE Director Ernest Villas and Minerva Stergianopoulos, and began in 1984.
- The National Oratorical Festival
- Scholarships and Awards
- Preparing for your Oratorical Festival
- Oratorical Festival Manual
- Information for Oratorical Festival Chairpersons
2024 Oratorical Festival Information
2024 Oratorical Festival Promotional Material
St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival Logo
St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival Flyer
INFORMATION FOR 2024 ORATORICAL FESTIVAL CHAIRPERSONS
- Forms and Registration
- Oratorical Festival Manual (PDF)
- Archdiocesan District
- Metropolis of Atlanta
- Metropolis of Boston
- Metropolis of Chicago
- Metropolis of Denver
- Metropolis of Detroit
- Metropolis of New Jersey
- Metropolis of Pittsburgh
- Metropolis of San Francisco
About the Oratorical Festival
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 students in grades 10–12
The top speakers in the Junior and Senior Divisions advance to the district level (if applicable). 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 National Finals, which is hosted by a different metropolis each year.
All eighteen finalists at the National Oratorical Festival participate in a weekend of activities, the highlight of which is the delivery of their speeches on Saturday morning. The Oratorical Festival provides college scholarships and awards to the top speakers.
Katherine Orfanakos Demacopoulos serves as the National Festival Chairperson.
National Oratorical Festival
Each year, the National Finals Oratorical Festival is hosted by a parish in a different Metropolis under the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese.
This year the 2024 St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival will be hosted by the Metropolis of Detroit and the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Buffalo, NY, on the weekend of June 7 -9.
The 2023 St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival was hosted by the Metropolis of New Jersey at St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Clifton, New Jersey, from June 9-11.
- News Release: Congratulations to the St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival National Finalists - Way to Go!
- Pictures from the weekend: View on Flickr
Scholarship and Award Information
Participants at the National Oratorical Festival Finals receive awards from the St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival Award Fund ranging from $500 to $2000. The Faith Endowment for Orthodoxy and Hellenism Scholarships and the Chrysostom Scholarship Program of Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology also offer scholarships to the finalists.
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.
Read more about the FAITH St. John Chrysostom Award Scholarships on their website, here.
Each Senior and Junior division First, Second and Third place finalists at the Parish, District, Metropolis and National levels of competition, are eligible to receive a Chrysostom Scholarship upon acceptance to Hellenic College. This scholarship provides awards ranging from $2,500 up to $30,000 per year for four years.
Click here for more information about the scholarship.
To reigister, please fill out the registration form found here.
For a printable Flyer to display at your Parish, District and Metropolis level festivals, click here.
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.