Fifty-seven smiling faces enlivened the Hellenic College Holy Cross campus on Friday, April 5, marking the beginning of a three-day alumni retreat for past participants of the CrossRoad Summer Institute. CrossRoad is a ten-day program for sixty Orthodox Christian high school juniors and seniors; it will celebrate its tenth anniversary this summer.
The retreat began with a combined session on campus, featuring all four past and present CrossRoad directors--Dr. Ann Bezzerides, Dn. Nick Belcher, Mary Long, and Mike Tishel--who presented on different aspects of the Office of Vocation & Ministry’s definition of vocation, “One’s unique and ongoing response to Christ’s call to love God with heart, soul, strength and mind and one’s neighbor as oneself. “ Young men and women traveled from as far as California and Tennessee to engage in a weekend of theological and vocational reflection, worship, quiet time, and communal recreation. Attendees were challenged to re-examine their understanding of vocation in relation to their faith and their call to love.
For the first time ever, post-college CrossRoad alumni had their own retreat track designed especially for emerging adults.
The March Roundtable session took place at the home of Dn. Nick Belcher, who also generously provided a deligious Arabic dinner for the group as they discussed this month's topic, "Evolution and Creationism." The students delved into a dialogue which touched on how we tend to think about reason and faith, and what we can ultimately say about our place in Creation. The group is facilitated by students, and participants are given materials prior to the event to help prepare for an informed discussion. The next Roundtable discussion will be centered on "The Role of a Spiritual Father."
On a beautiful Saturday morning in March, a group of Hellenic College Holy Cross students gathered for the second installment of the Women in Leadership & Service Breakfast Series with Sarah Byrne-Martelli, a Board Certified Chaplain endorsed by the OCA. Fruitful discussion took place as Sarah shared her story as an Orthodox woman serving the Body of Christ. She spoke of her undergraduate experience studying abroad in Greece, graduate studies at Harvard Divinity School (enrolling in various Holy Cross courses through the Boston Theological Institute), and her current role as a chaplain. As a hospice chaplain, Sarah offers a compassionate presence to those nearing end of life and their families in hospital and home care settings. For her work, Sarah draws on Matthew 25, understanding these individuals as Christ, Himself. Students greatly appreciated Sarah's visit, which has introduced them to a new possibility for inspiring service in ministry. The Women in Leadership and Service group is led by Holy Cross graduate student Danielle Xanthos, who also serves on CrossRoad staff.
The Office of Vocation & Ministry at Hellenic College Holy Cross announces the 2013 Women Leaders of the Church Lecture. Mrs. Aphrodite Skeadas, National President, Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society, will deliver the lecture at 1:00 PM on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 in the Archbishop Iakovos Library Reading Room, Hellenic College Holy Cross, Brookline, MA.
President Skeadas is speaking on behalf of all Philoptochos women across time that have served in incredible leadership roles in their parishes and communities. To attend, RSVP to Anna Colis at 617-850-1312 or email@example.com. The Women Leaders of the Church Lecture will be streamed live online.
The Office of Vocation & Ministry hosted a group of Gordon College students for an evening of dialogue and fellowship on Saturday, February 16, 2013. The Gordon students are members a great books honors program called the Jerusalem & Athens Forum at Gordon College, a non-denominatioinal Christian liberal arts college in Wenham, MA. The group of Gordon students joined a group of eight Hellenic College Students for Great Vespers in the Chapel followed by a Q&A on the Orthodox Church led by Holy Cross professor Dr. Jim Skedros. The evening was capped off by a lively time of food and fellowship at the local historic Doyles Café. Students from both schools expressed an eager desire to maintain contact in an effort to learn more about one another’s faith traditions and backgrounds.
The Hellenic College sophomore class was invited to dinner and a talk by the Office of Vocation & Ministry for the annual Sophomore Dinner on Thursday, February 7, 2013. HCHC Director of Institutional Advancement Fr. Jim Katinas teamed up with his daughter Catherine, a Hellenic College senior, to give a ‘down to earth’ career services presentation based in large part on the research and methodology of career expert Richard N. Bolles in his book What Color is Your Parachute? Fr. Jim tied in personal examples of how he initially used this excellent resource to discern a career in financial consulting, and his presentation stimulated a variety of questions and discussion. Catherine shared her experience interning for a renowned Boston-based laboratory, and how this guided her decision to pursue graduate studies after college. After an evening of intellectual nourishment and a gourmet buffet, the Sophomore’s were serenaded by the soulful acoustic melodies of local musician Annalise Emerick.
Holy Cross alumnus Fr. Milad Selim, came back to campus on Thursday, January 22, 2013 to share his ministry experience with undergraduate seminarians. Fr. Selim, who served on CrossRoad staff during his time as student at Holy Cross, is currently the head priest at St. George Antiochian Cathedral in Worcester, MA. He was born in Baghdad, Iraq, and lived there until the age of 10, and then moved to Jordan until the age of 13. In 1998, Fr. Milad moved to Michigan with his family where he went to high school and met his wife, Khouria Nichole
Fr. Milad, who is a young parish priest pastoring a congregation of over 800 families, shared many stories and experiences ‘from the field.’ He held the students’ attention for over an hour, and ended his talk with an insightful reflection on how the Christian life and pastoral ministry involve imitating Christ’s perseverance on the cross. The talk was followed by an engaging Q&A session, in which the students received practical advice to help them explore a vocation in ministry. Fr. Milad exhorted the students to take full advantage of their time as students at Hellenic College Holy Cross.
Ten Hellenic College students gathered at Dn. Nick Belcher's house for an evening of discussion, scrumptious Chinese cuisine and fellowship. The conversation focused on the topic of "Faith Healing and Modern Medicine." The group is student-facilitated, and all participants are given a short list of preparatory readings in advance in order to prepare for the event. This was the final meeting of the semester. Roundtable will resume its monthly meetings in January, 2013.
Early on a cold and rainy Saturday morning students from both Hellenic College and Holy Cross embarked for Harvard Square in Cambridge, MA. Upon arrival they were instructed to break up into small groups and walk around the square with the intention of meeting a homeless person and inviting him/her to breakfast and a friendly conversation.The experience was preceded the night before by a presentation on Matthew 19:21: "If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me" led by seminarian and student-organizer Christian Siskos. Siskos posed the question what does it mean to "sell what you possess"? Does it mean literally selling all of our material possessions, or simply not being attached and "possessed" by them? Following the breakfast in Harvard Square, students returned to campus to debrief the experience and discuss possibilities for further communication with local homeless communities.
The Office of Vocation & Ministry (OVM) at Hellenic College trains and educates faithful, energetic, high achieving, and service oriented Orthodox Christian young people to be leaders in the church as priests and lay people.
CrossRoad Session 1: June 22-July 2, 2013
CrossRoad Session 2: July 8–18, 2013
OVM programs are made possible through the generous assistance of the following organizations: