By Maria Pittos
With the blessing of His Eminence, Metropolitan Pavlos of America, the 2013 Eparchial Family and Youth Conference was hosted by the Parish of St. John the Forerunner in Willow Springs, IL. Participants came from Ontario, New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida, Maryland, and Michigan to listen to clergy and scholars of our Eparchy expound on the teachings of St. John Chrysostom.
On Saturday, October 12, 2013, primary school students learned about the life of St. John and about being obedient, and love for God, the church, and their parents according to St. John's teachings. Middle school students likewise explored the saint’s life and teachings. Parents and young adults actively listened and participated in panel discussions pertaining to marriage, morality, Orthodox Christian family life, child-rearing, and Christian education based on the teachings of St. John Chrysostom.
On Sunday, we celebrated a beautiful hierarchal Divine Liturgy, presided by His Eminence, Metropolitan Moses of Toronto, concelebrating with His Grace, Bishop Christodoulos of Theoupolis, and with revered clergy from across our Eparchy. Chanting were the combined Byzantine choirs of St. John the Forerunner Parish (Illinois) and St. Mark of Ephesus Cathedral (Massachusetts), conducted by the First-chanters Elias Pittos and Spyridon Antonopoulos. The conference ended on Sunday afternoon with a banquet. At the banquet, the combined choirs performed a recital of Byzantine hymns and traditional Greek demotic songs.
The Parish of St. John the Forerunner thanks Metropolitan Moses, Bishop Christodoulos, and all of the clergy, scholars, and chanters that participated at the conference for their spiritual talks and chants. Also, we thank all those who came from near and far for spiritual edification. May the Holy Hierarch St. John Chrysostom intercede for us before the throne of our Lord, God, and Savior. Amen.
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