Annual Altar Boy Retreat20 November 2017
As our Church begins to observe the Nativity Fast, our Holy Metropolis organized the second annual Altar Boy Retreat on Saturday, November 18, 2017, for altar boys from across the Greater Toronto Area.
Held this year at the Metropolis headquarters, the day began with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy by His Eminence Metropolitan Sotirios alone. All of the youth approached for Holy Communion, a truly wonderful display of faith.
Following the Liturgy, a Lenten meal was served to all participants, prepared by the Ladies of the Metropolis Philoptochos. This time was also an opportunity for the altar boys to introduce themselves and make new friends.
His Eminence spoke to all gathered on this year’s theme of our Metropolis: “Whoever therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32).
Three additional presentations were also delivered:
I’m Orthodox: What Does That Mean? by E. Sotiropoulos
What is the Divine Liturgy? Why do we celebrate the Divine Liturgy? What are the responsibilities of an altar boy? by PTOTA Students Mihajlo Gnjatic and George Kodogeorgakis
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Ps 133:1) by Rev. Fr. Haridimos Sarris
Following each presentation, there was a discussion, which included questions from the assembled altar boys and excellent dialogue about our faith and the importance of having Christ as the centre of our lives.
This year’s Altar Boy Retreat also assembled School Kits in support of the International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC). Sponsored by the Ecumenical Patriarchate Archons in Canada, this activity taught the youth the importance of almsgiving, being a cheerful giver, and having compassion and mercy on our less fortunate brothers and sisters.
The retreat concluded with a Vespers service, presided over by the V. Rev. Fr. Athenagoras Ziliaskopoulos, our Metropolis Office Director and Dean of our Patriarchal Toronto Orthodox Theological Academy.
A similar Altar Boy Retreat is being organized for Montreal on Saturday, December 16th. Congratulations to all of the organizers and participants for this wonderful and Christ-centred event, which brought our youth and future church leaders together for fellowship in the Lord.