Introduced in 1983, the St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival provides Greek Orthodox teenagers the opportunity to write and talk about their faith. The Oratorical Festival Program begins at the parish level and is divided into three divisions:
- Elementary Division (local festival only) for students in grades 4–6
- Junior Division for students in grades 7–9
- Senior Division for student in grades 10–12
The top speakers in the Junior and Senior Divisions advance to the district level. Two finalists in each district division represent the district at the Metropolis Oratorical Festival. The top speaker in each metropolis division is then selected to participate in the Archdiocese Finals, which is hosted by a different metropolis each year.
All eighteen finalists at the Archdiocese Finals participate in a weekend of activities, the highlight of which is the delivery of their speeches on Saturday morning. The Oratorical Festival Scholarship Fund provides college scholarships to the top speakers. In 2012, the top three speakers of each division received college scholarships of $2,000, $1,500 and $1,000. This year, each Honorable Mention speaker was awarded an iPad2.
Fr. John and Presvytera Margaret Orfanakos serve as the Archdiocese Festival Co-Chairs.
On June 7-9, 2013, the 30th National Oratorical Festival will be hosted by the Metropolis of Detroit at the Annunciation Church in Memphis, Tennessee! Click on the News Release for more information.
On June 8–10, 2012, the National Oratorical Festival was hosted by the Metropolis of New Jersey at St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Bethesda, Maryland. Read the top speeches and see pictures from the festival on page 25 of the July/August 2012 issue of the Orthodox Observer.
The Chrysostom Scholarship for Hellenic College
Hellenic College offers The Chrysostom Scholarship to each parish’s top senior division speaker. The Chrysostom Scholarship provides 100% of tuition for the recipient’s first year of study, and, based on a GPA scale, up to 80% of tuition for three additional years. For more information visit hchc.edu.
Additional Information about the St. Demetrios Festival
- We have held an Oratorical Festival for over 20 years
- At least 3 of our students have spoken at the National Festival (Chris Nichols, Mary Kirifides, Elias Selimos)
- The Festival is part of the Sunday school curriculum and teachers spend class time helping students prepare their speeches.
Our Oratorical Festival will be held on March 17th in the Church. For more information on how to participate please contact Paula Kirifides at firstname.lastname@example.org.