BROOKLINE, Mass. – The Archdiocese National Ministry that has direct impact on nearly every parish in the United States in presenting the Orthodox Christian faith to each generation is the Department of Religious Education.
Through its Sunday School materials, including curriculum books, various other religious education publications including books on the faith, pamphlets, multi-media presentations, icons and electronic and digital programs, the department offers an enormous selection of resources for parishes and individuals seeking to enhance their faith.
Each year the Department of Religious Education organizes and administers the St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival, in cooperation with its National Chairman, Presvytera Margaret Orfanakos, which involves developing speech topics to be considered by participants.
Director Dr. Anton Vrame travels the country conducting various workshops, lectures, conferences and retreats throughout the year. Since June, his presentations have included the Halki Summit in Istanbul, other events in California, Atlanta, New York, the Boston Metropolis Clergy Laity Assembly, conferences in Cherry Hill, N.J., Westchester, Ill., Antiochian Village and Cincinnati. Dr. Vrame, along with Presvytera Aimee Ehers of Burlington, Vt., and staff member Angeliki Constantine also produces the ‘Zines’ used in many Sunday schools. Assumption College, a Roman Catholic institution in Worcester, Mass., has been using one zine for its Introduction of Scripture class.
The department also acquired the Orthodox Marketplace, which will be accessible online beginning in the spring. Until then, materials may be ordered directly from the department, located on the campus of HCHC.
Department staff members stand ready to assist parishes, organizations and individuals with orders and other requests.
They include Presvytera Cori Katinas, customer service, bookkeeping; Maria Klonaris, customer service, catalog sales and flyer preparation and ordering of materials; Dimitra Dogias, customer service representative and invoice processing; and Angeliki Constantine, project coordinator who helps develop curriculum and Oratorical Festival topics.
The office manager is Anestis Jordanoglou who oversees the staff and serves as managing editor of Praxis magazine. Praxis goes to 1,500 subscribers. Subscription rates are $15 per year, $27 for two years. It is complimentary to all clergy and religious education directors.
The department offers a wide range of religious education materials and receives between 3,000 and 5,000 orders per year, amounting to more than 30,000 items from throughout the U.S., and overseas, including Australia, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Greece and others. The department deals with about 250 vendors who supply the various products sold, including curriculum books, teaching resources, gifts, adult education materials and multi-media items.