OCF Trains Young Leaders at the Summer Leadership Institute 2019

OCF Trains Young Leaders at the Summer Leadership Institute 2019

BROOKLINE, MA — Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF), the official campus ministry of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops, conducted another successful Summer Leadership Institute last month at the St. Iakovos Retreat Center in Kansasville, WI. This year, OCF equipped 44 Orthodox Christian college students with the knowledge, skills, and practices they need to be young Orthodox leaders in OCF, the Church, and the world.

SLI 2019 featured workshops led by OCF staff and student leaders, as well as experts in Orthodox theology, spirituality, and pastoral ministry – helping prepare participants to be Christ-centered servant leaders. In addition to the OCF staff, this year’s speakers included Fr. Panagiotis Boznos, Christian Gonzalez, Anna Kallis, Fr. Philip LeMasters, Matthew Namee, Jonathan Pageau, and Fr. Brendan Pelphrey.

Focusing on how our common Orthodox tradition is at the core of servant leadership, SLI serves students from various educational and jurisdictional backgrounds. Dimitri Gagianas, a senior biomedical engineering student at Ohio State University from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, shared how SLI impacted him this year:

“SLI is an experience you can’t get anywhere else. It allowed me to explore high-level theological concepts and discuss them with students my own age. I especially benefited from Jonathan Pageau who provided us a deeper understanding of symbolism in our society, culture, and faith and how this symbolism finds its truest expression in the Church. Being able to think deeply about theology and ministry at SLI has impacted how I will serve in my role as an OCF leader.”

The newly-appointed OCF Executive Director, Dn. Marek Simon, was in attendance throughout the week and offered the following reflection about SLI:

“The Summer Leadership Institute was a wonderful gathering of Orthodox Christian college students seeking to learn more about their faith, engage with Orthodox leaders and fellow peers on significant topics, and develop their leadership skills as young adults.”

Prior to the official start of the Summer Leadership Institute, the seventeen-member OCF Student Leadership Board met for three days to make plans for the events, programs, and resources they will implement in the 2019-2020 academic year. Their work is central to the ministry of OCF and was highlighted throughout SLI, where attending students were given opportunities to learn from and serve under the Student Leadership Board members.

Summer Leadership Institute 2019 was made possible, in part, by a generous grant from National Philoptochos and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. For more information about Summer Leadership Institute visit www.ocf.net/sli. For further questions and inquiries, please email studentleadership@ocf.net.

OCF transforms the lives of college students in the United States and Canada by guiding them along the path to Jesus Christ through His Church, cultivating a campus community of worship, witness, service, fellowship and education. OCF encourages you to learn more and to support the ongoing work of this vital ministry by visiting OCF’s redesigned website (www.ocf.net) or emailing the OCF National Office (info@ocf.net).

Fr. Barnabas Powell to headline OCF’s College Conference Midwest 2018

50 Goddard Avenue – Brookline, MA 02445

Phone: 617.850.1227 | Fax: 617.850.1460
www.ocf.net | info@ocf.net

 

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p style=”font-weight: 400;”>Contact: Communications Office
communications@ocf.net

Date:  October 27, 2018

Fr. Barnabas Powell to headline OCF’s College Conference Midwest 2018

BROOKLINE, MA — Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF), the official campus ministry of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops, will welcome Fr. Barnabas Powell as the Keynote Speaker for College Conference Midwest 2018.

Fr. Barnabas is the parish priest at Sts. Raphael, Nicholas, and Irene Greek Orthodox Church in Cumming, GA. He is also the sole author and contributor of Faith Encouraged Ministries, a media ministry hosted on Ancient Faith, https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/faithencouraged/about/.

OCF’s College Conference Midwest will be held from December 27-30, 2018 at the St. Iakovos Retreat Center in Kansasville, WI. The 2018 Conference Theme, around which Fr. Barnabas’s keynote addresses will be based, is “Who Do You Say That I Am?”

Limited spots remain, so college students are encouraged to register soon. The registration cost for College Conference Midwest is $325 per person. Registration includes food, lodging, fellowship activities, and engaging workshops with great speakers. Scholarships are available on a limited and first-come/first-served basis.

For more information about College Conference Midwest 2018 or to register, visit http://www.ocf.net/events/college-conference-midwest-2018/. In addition, please feel free to contact OCF’s National Programs Manager, Donna Levas for more information:  donna@ocf.net or (617) 850-1227.

 

Registration Opens for OCF’s College Conference 2018 on September 10, 2018 at 12:00PM EDT

50 Goddard Avenue – Brookline, MA 02445

Phone: 617.850.1227 | Fax: 617.850.1460
www.ocf.net | info@ocf.net

 

Contact: Communications Office
communications@ocf.net

Date:  September 6, 2018

Registration Opens for OCF’s College Conference 2018 on September 10, 2018 at 12:00PM EDT

BROOKLINE, MA — Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF), the official campus ministry of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops, will open registration for OCF’s College Conference 2018 on September 10, 2018 at 12:00PM EDT.

Each year during Christmas Break, OCF’s College Conference hosts hundreds of college students from across North America for four days of fellowship, education, and prayer. OCF will offer two College Conferences from December 27-30, 2018 – College Conference East at the Antiochian Village (Bolivar, PA) and College Conference Midwest at the St. Iakovos Retreat Center (Kansasville, WI).

The 2018 Conference Theme, around which the keynote and workshop sessions will be based, is “Who Do You Say That I Am?” Keynote Speakers include Fr. Silviu Bunta (East) and Fr. Barnabas Powell (Midwest).

Registration cost for College Conference (East or Midwest) is $325 per person. Registration includes food, lodging, and engaging workshops with great speakers. Scholarships are available for both conferences on a limited and first-come/first-served basis.

For more information about College Conference 2018 or to register, visit ocf.net/college-conference/. In addition, please feel free to contact OCF’s National Programs Manager, Donna Levas for more information:  donna@ocf.net or (617) 850-1227.

Real Break 2017 – Spots Still Available!

Official Logo

November 25, 2016

Spots are limited, but still available for Real Break 2017!  Register by clicking on the below trip links!

For answers to specific questions, please contact OCF National Programs Manager, Donna Levas at donna@ocf.net, Real Break Student Leader, Oana Grigoras at realbreakstudent@ocf.net, or call the OCF National Office at (617) 850-1227.

Saint Catherine the Great – An Example of Godly Scholarship

Saint Catherine the Great – An Example of Godly Scholarship

Saint Catherine was born in Alexandria, the daughter of Cinstus or Cestus. A virgin with great beauty and wisdom, she was famous for her wealth, noble origin, and education. By her remarkable knowledge, she conquered the passionate and untamed soul of Emperor Maximin. By the strength of her discourses, she reduced to silence rhetors who wished to dispute with her. She obtained the crown of martyrdom about the year 305.1

This photo is from the Wikimedia Commons

This photo is from the Wikimedia Commons

It is believed that Saint Catherine was martyred in her late teens or early twenties. As a young person, she dedicated her life to learning about Christ and using that knowledge to bring her, and others, closer to Him. How many of us can truly say that we understand our pure Faith, and that, if necessary, we could share the Light of Christ and explain the foundations of our Faith with others? They say knowledge is power—but so often we are swimming against the tide in a time where having faith without knowledge is the norm.Saints of the Church are uniquely special—they were real people, with real struggles and joys, who willingly chose to direct their lives toward Christ. Saint Catherine is no exception. Life circumstances aside, we all have things we can define in our lives as blessings. Saint Catherine was indeed blessed—as the daughter of an Alexandrian governor she was wealthy, beautiful, and highly intelligent. However, as it goes with blessings, when they are given, we are entrusted to not abuse or neglect them. Saint Catherine did neither.

With forced exposure to pagan celebrations and many men seeking her hand in marriage, Saint Catherine quickly came to discover that she desired something greater. Her mother, a secret Christian, sent her to her own Spiritual Father for guidance. It was here that Saint Catherine experienced a conversion, was baptized in the Faith, and became a pillar of Christian wisdom. As an educated person to begin with, Catherine’s ability and thirst to articulate the beauty of Orthodoxy was unparalleled. Her love for Christ led to many conversions, including that of fifty of the most learned philosophers and rhetoricians of the Empire, and it also led to her martyrdom.

Let us follow the example of Saint Catherine—study the Faith, love the Church, and become a pillar of Christian wisdom, just as she did at your age. Pair the power of knowledge with your love for Christ and see where it takes you in your journey towards Him.

The marble chest containing the relics of Saint Catherine is located at the south side of the sanctuary in the catholicon of the holy monastery. It is the construction of Procopius the stonecutter, who took nine years to complete the shrine in honor of Saint Catherine. This shrine replaced the earlier marble chest, which is preserved today in the monastery’s treasury. Inside are to be found two precious reliquaries given by the Russian Empire for this purpose, the one enshrining the precious head of the martyr, and the other her left hand. The relics of Saint Catherine are brought out for the veneration of the faithful on special occasions, at which time each pilgrim is given a silver ring bearing the monogram of the saint, in honor of the ring that Saint Catherine received from Christ. These are preserved by pilgrims as a blessing from the saint.2

Apolytikion in the Plagal of the First Tone:

Let us praise the most auspicious bride of Christ, the divine Katherine, protectress of Sinai, our aid and our help. For, she brilliantly silenced the eloquence of the impious by the sword of the spirit, and now, crowned as a martyr, she asks great mercy for all.

If you wish to learn more about the life of Saint Catherine the Great, visit oca.org.


1. Orthodox Eastern Church., Hieromonk, M. S. P., Hookway, C., Rule, M., Burton, J., & Holy Convent of the Annunciation of Our Lady. (1998). The Synaxarion: The lives of the saints of the Orthodox Church. Ormylia, Chalkidike, Greece: Holy Convent of the Annunciation of Our Lady.
2. Found at The Holy Monastery of Mount Sinai.