Brookline, MA ––August 9, 2011— While many college campuses experience a calm and quiet summer, Hellenic College once again bustled with activity as the Office of Vocation & Ministry (OVM) welcomed high school juniors and seniors to its CrossRoad summer institute, now in its eighth year. The OVM greeted 60 high school juniors and seniors from 29 states as well as Canada and the Bahamas. Due to overwhelming interest from Orthodox youth and the generosity of several benefactors, this summer the program continued to offer two sessions. Beginning in 2004, CrossRoad has inspired hundreds of Orthodox youth to grow in their faith, explore their strengths, engage in serving others, and discover how their gifts and talents can serve the needs of Church and society.
The 2011 CrossRoad Summer Institute, directed by Mary Long, combined the greatest offerings of Hellenic College and Holy Cross: faculty instruction, an enthusiastic staff of graduate students, a beautiful campus overlooking Boston, and the exciting city of Boston itself. Students visited historic Faneuil Hall, the New England shore at Manchester-by-the-Sea, and cruised Boston harbor on a Duck Tour. The high school students enjoyed these fun and cultural activities, but found the unique elements of the program the most valuable: the daily classes with theological faculty, evening visits to attend vespers at neighboring Orthodox parishes in the Boston area, and putting their learning into practice by participating in two service activities during the last stage of the program.CrossRoad draws its name in part from the metaphorical crossroad at which high school seniors and graduate find themselves as they prepare to embark for further studies and careers. “College bound students experience a paradoxical mix of eagerness and apprehension as they face the future—CrossRoad helps them discern how Christ calls us all to act in the present, and from this vantage point, their own future becomes clearer,” says Hellenic College dean, Demetrios Katos. CrossRoad participants Peter Somi of Worcester, MA, and Katherine Katsivalis of Oak Lawn, IL agree. “My purpose in life is clearer now, my calling is to love God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength and my neighbor as myself,” says Peter. Katherine , commented, “CrossRoad is the perfect name for this program because all of us are at a point in our lives where we are experiencing change—this program really helped us to see our choices, and with the help of CrossRoad, I trust that I can make the right decisions that will have [put] me on a path to doing God’s will.” Katos adds, “Hellenic College is very proud of the service CrossRoad provides to the Church. The OVM staff have done an incredible job in developing a stellar program.”
CrossRoad participants left campus after ten days with life-long friendships, a deeper understanding of their faith, and a strong desire to participate actively in the Church both now and in the future. Paulina Kordonis of Charleston, South Carolina shared, “My life is forever changed—the experiences I’ve had and the lessons I’ve learned will be things that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.”
CrossRoad is funded by grants from the Lilly Endowment Inc., the Archbishop Iakovos Leadership 100 Endowment Fund, and the Virginia H. Farah Foundation, and through the support of benefactors from the greater Orthodox community. The Office of Vocation & Ministry is led by Director Ann Mitsakos Bezzerides, Ph.D., and Development Coordinator Stephanie Callas Skedros. For further updates and information and to download an application for CrossRoad 2012, please visit the CrossRoad website .