Hellenic College Summer CrossRoad Program Overwhelming Success

Brookline, MA — August 25, 2004 — While most college campuses throughout the country experience a calm and quiet summer, Hellenic College remained active as the Office of Vocation and Ministry (OVM) welcomed its first group of CrossRoad program participants. CrossRoad, an innovative program designed to lead high school juniors through a personal exploration of vocation, is part of a five-year program sponsored by the Lilly Endowment Inc . The goal of the CrossRoad program is to help students discern how their faith in Christ can inform their life calling to match their personal gifts with the needs of the world.

From June 27 through July 7, 2004, twenty-seven Orthodox high school students arrived from 16 different states and Canada to participate in the ten-day program. The program was led by Ann Bezzerides, Director of the Office of Vocation and Ministry, in conjunction with a team of Holy Cross students: Stavros and Ourania Chatzis, Micah Hirschy, Mary Long and Elenie Poulos. The CrossRoad program combined the greatest gifts of Hellenic College/Holy Cross through faculty instruction and participation, an enthusiastic staff of graduate students, the beautiful campus overlooking Boston and of course the exciting city of Boston itself. The students took daily classes with on-campus faculty and each night left the campus to attend vespers at neighboring parishes in the Boston area. Furthermore, participants visited historic Faneuil Hall, the New England shore in Cohasset, and even took in a game at Fenway Park.

CrossRoad led participants through three areas of exploration. The first area led by Rev. James Katinas and Michael Kallas was titled Wrestling with Vocation. During this session the students took the StrengthsQuest™ exercise to reveal their strengths and discuss how to use the gifts they have received. Participant Marianna Ruggerio of Glenview, IL, stated, “CrossRoad has made me think a little more about what I plan to do after high school…as juniors we are at a crossroad in our life, our actions and our decisions are going to affect the rest of our lives.” The second area consisted of two academic classes taught by Rev. Dr. Theodore Stylianopoulos and Dr. James Skedros which focused on Vocation and Christ. The students relished the two captivating courses titled “Caller and Called in St. John’s Gospel” led by Fr. Stylianopoulos and the historical course titled, “From Christ to Constantine” led by Dr. Skedros. The final stage of the program, titled Vocation and the Neighbor, was led by Fr. Kevin Scherer, founder of Orthodox Youth Outreach on the West Coast. Fr. Scherer led the participants in an outreach ministry project in which they formed small groups and asked homeless people to join them for breakfast. Upon returning from this experience, participant Erin Ely of Merrillville, IN, stated, “Even though we may seem very different from homeless people, we are actually very much the same.”

Described by many as a “life-changing experience” CrossRoad achieved what it set out to accomplish. Rev. Nicholas Triantafilou, President of Hellenic College and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, stated, “The fact that we have been able to expand our outreach to another group of individuals and be a part of their positive formation is truly gratifying. Through this program we have provided 27 youth with tools to make a difference in their lives through personal reflection and exploration and have also been a part of the positive difference they will contribute to others in the future.”

The Office of Vocation and Ministry at Hellenic College will be accepting applications for CrossRoad 2005 in January. Applicants must be in their junior or senior year of high school. For further updates and information please refer to the CrossRoad website at http://www.crossroad.hchc.edu.