St. Demetrios Project

To the Distinguished Clergy, Youth Advisors, and Catechists of our Metropolis,

The National Committee of Spiritual Education has developed a project/essay contest to commemorate St. Demetrios of Thessaloniki. Grade school students will be asked to create a biographical icon of St. Demetrios, while Middle School and High School/College students will be asked to submit an essay. Students will have the opportunity to win up to $300 for their Parish Catechism Program. We created this project as a method of getting the youth of our Metropolis engaged in activities above and beyond their daily routines. With your cooperation, we can make this activity very successful and spiritually nourishing for everyone.

Click on the links to download the instructions, the flyer, and the troparia.

Why St. Demetrios? St. Demetrios was a young man in his 20’s when he was martyred. His feast day falls on Saturday, October 26th (o.c.)/ November 8th (n.c.). By discussing his biography we hope to inspire our youth to apply his example to their own lives.

We would also like to reward their efforts with a $100 grant from the NCSED to the winning entry for each level. You will be receiving a biography of St. Demetrios—O God of Demetrios: The Story of St. Demetrios of Thessaloniki, by Angeline Eliakopoulos—in the mail within the next few days to supplement the written directions enclosed.

In the midst of the festivities, we would like to encourage our youth to prepare to receive Holy Communion on the day of the saint’s feast. Moreover, we encourage our Parish Priests to perform, if possible, an All Night Vigil on Friday evening (November 7) leading into Saturday morning. All-night Vigils transport the faithful to the services of the earliest Christians; they set the day apart as a feast of the Church; and they offer an entrance into the time and being of the Church. An All-Night Vigil will allow our children and youth to see the feast as a special day.

We would like to document these festivities throughout our Metropolis. Please appoint someone within your Parish to take plenty of pictures and videos for our documentary, as this is one of the most important parts of the project.

As the Priests, Youth Advisors, and Catechists, we also welcome your creativity. Please feel free to creatively adjust the activities/questions as you see fit.

Also, we suggest for the Elementary School project that you begin Sunday, October 26th with the reading of St. Demetrios’ life, and spread out the drawing sessions throughout each Sunday until Saturday, November 8th. This Saturday will be used as a finalizing session before presenting the finished product to the Parish on Sunday, November 9th. Finally, enclosed you will find both a Greek and English version of the Troparia for St. Demetrios. Try to get the Elementary School Level to become familiar with the first few paragraphs and prepare them to read as many as they can before the Parish along with presenting their completed Biographical Icon project.

That same Saturday (11/8) will be used as a constructive discussion session for both the Grades 7-10 and Grades 11-College Levels. Here not only will the same biographical book be read and discussed, but the participants should be given time to write their essays and finish them the same day. They are due the next day, Sunday, November 9th. They are not required to be typed unless the participant wants to, but the deadline still remains.

Please send your parish’s essays by Monday, November 10, via US mail to:

St. Demetrios Essay Contest c/o Despina Avgoustis 38578 Alma Lane Westland, MI 48185

Also, email an electronic image of your grade school photo entry to Despina Avgoustis by November 10. The photo entries and essays will be read and judged by a panel of clergy. The results will be announced by the first week of Christmas Lent.

In conclusion, we sincerely thank you for your Parish’s participation in the Metropolis-wide St. Demetrios Feast Day Project/Essay Contest. If you have any questions regarding any aspect of this project, please contact either Leonidas Pittos at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (708) 717-0842 or Despina Avgoustis at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (734) 516-1659.

We wish you the greatest success in our first ever Diocesan youth endeavor.

With Kindest Regards,

Despina Avgoustis

National Director of the Committee of Spiritual Education and Development

Orthodox Awareness

A Brief History

In the early 20th century, the idea of promoting the union of Churches (Orthodox and heterodox) began to gain ground among circles in the Eastern Orthodox Church by establishing a "Communion of Churches" modeled on the League of Nations.

The Patriarchal Encyclical of 1920 foresaw a series of steps toward the “union of the Churches,” of which the first was the change of the calendar for the simultaneous celebration of feast days by all the “Churches.” The content of the encyclical was kept secret from the faithful and only after a few years became known. Read more...

Missions

Saint John of Kronstadt - Bunnell, Florida

St. John of Kronstadt Orthodox Church began as a mission parish in the year 2000, in a home chapel in Palm Coast, FL – a small town on Florida’s northeast coast located between St. Augustine and Daytona Beach. After two years, it became necessary to have services in area community centers, rented for Sundays and other Holy Days. Read more...

Youth

Registration is now open for the 2017 St Xenia Camp. Please visit the St Xenia Camp website for more information and registration.

--------

The Family Youth Conference will be held Friday, October 20 - Sunday, October 22 at The Dormition of the Theotokos Orthodox Church in Concord, NH.

Registration | Flyer

Ask A Priest

Morning and Evening Prayers

Q. Are the prayers in the blue prayer book [A Prayerbook for Orthodox Christians by the Holy Transfiguration Monastery —ed.] compulsory for everyone? I mean their morning prayers and the service of Small Compline. My confessor gave me a special rule but wasn’t clear about whether this replaced the book prayers or was in addition to them. Read more...