The Saint John Chrysostom Oratorical and Fine Arts Festival
The Saint John Chrysostom Oratorical and Fine Arts Festival is a long-standing tradition that provides a unique opportunity for our youth both to learn about their faith and to display their talents in various areas. The Oratorical Festival begins at the parish level and is divided into three divisions: Elementary (optional/parish festival only) for grades 4–6, Junior Division for grades 7–9, and Senior Division for grades 10–12.
Those who are successful at their individual parish festivals in the Junior and Senior divisions are invited to participate in a day of fellowship at the Metropolis Festival, where the top three finalists in each category and division will be awarded. Those who place first in the Junior and Senior Speech (only) divisions will then move on to participate at the National Festival, which is hosted by a different metropolis each year.
2023 Chicago Metropolis Festival
With the blessings of His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael, we are pleased to announce that the 39th Annual Saint John Chrysostom Chicago Metropolis Oratorical and Fine Arts Festival will be held on Saturday, April 29, 2023 (the week after Bright Saturday) at Ascension of Our Lord Greek Orthodox Church, 1207 Riverwoods Road, Lincolnshire, Illinois, 60069. We are excitedly anticipating a weekend of spiritual celebration and fellowship for all in attendance. Please keep in mind the following important dates and information as you begin your preparations:
The Metropolis Festival will offer 6 categories (Speech, Essay, Poetry, Iconography, Vocal Solo, and Vocal Chant), each with 2 divisions (Senior and Junior). New this year, we will be adding a separate Vocal Chant category to accommodate the growing interest in this ministry. Once again, our Metropolis youth are invited to register for as many as two separate events at the Metropolis Festival. The guidelines for all categories are contained in the Parish Information Packet below. We hope these changes will welcome more participation.
In addition to the Parish Information Packet and Schedule, we have also included below a list of this year’s Topics (for Speech, Essay, and Poetry), the Music Selections (for Vocal Solo and Vocal Chant), which are contained in the Parish Information Packet, and the Tips and Resources from the Archdiocese. Please take time to read through these documents and forward copies to all participants.
This year’s poster features the icon written by George Bentley of Ascension of Our Lord Greek Orthodox Church of Lincolnshire, Illinois, winner of the 2022 Senior Iconography Division. Download Poster>>
2023 Oratorical Festival Event Booklet
The expenses involved in hosting the Metropolis Festival increase with each passing year; however, we remain committed to investing in our youth and providing them with a forum to enhance their knowledge of Orthodoxy. Currently, our Metropolis is the only one to offer such a range of categories, and with your help, we can continue to provide innovative opportunities for our youth to express their faith.
We ask that you consider including this year’s Metropolis Oratorical Festival as a recipient of your philanthropic giving. With your help, we can once again organize a memorable program for our youth and their families—one that will strengthen their faith and warm their hearts.
For 38 years, participants, parents, and parishes have experienced the impact of this powerful program. We aspire to share this rich, inclusive tradition with future generations and are grateful for your generous support.
We encourage you to share the Donation Letter and Donation Submission Form linked below with any friends who may wish to support the Festival.
We ask that you forward this Metropolis Festival information to everyone at your parish who is involved in a youth ministry, as well as parents of your church school registrants. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to e-mail or call us with any questions. We look forward to celebrating with everyone in April!
Chicago Metropolis Oratorical Festival Committee
Andrea Tsakopoulos, Co-Chair: (219) 789-4474
Audrey Polite, Co-Chair: (219) 742-7679
2022 National Festival
The Chicago Metropolis representatives did very well at the National Oratorical Festival in Dallas, Texas over the weekend of June 3-5, 2022. Demetra Feradouros (SS Constantine & Helen, Palos Hills, IL) placed second in the Senior Speech Division, and Chris Zouras (Ascension of Our Lord, Lincolnshire, IL) placed first in the Junior Speech Division. We look forward to again supporting the high quality of our 2023 Chicago Metropolis participants this year!
The Role of the Mother of God in Our Lives
Gabriella E. | St. Demetrios, Libertyville, IL
What is the importance of service in the Orthodox Church?
Luke C. | Holy Apostles, Westchester, IL
What is the Mother of God’s role in the Church?
Eleftheria A. | Assumption, Town and Country, MO
Showing Hospitality to Strangers
Alex K. | SS Peter and Paul, Glenview, IL
How have modern-day saints from the past 100 years, from St. Nektarios to St. Paisios and others, helped Orthodox Christians live their lives today?
Anthony T. | St. Demetrios, Chicago, IL
What is the significance of Constantinople and Church History, and the struggle that Orthodox Christians in Constantinople face today?
Katherine S. | Kimissis Tis Theotokou, Racine, WI