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Oratorical Festival—Growing in Faith, Empowering Leaders

One of the keystone programs of our Archdiocesan youth ministries is the St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival, which annually offers children in grades 7-12 the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of the faith in one key area and then share that knowledge with their fellow believers. Hundreds of children around the Archdiocese prepare their speeches—usually with the assistance of their dedicated Sunday School teachers and parents—and then have the opportunity to present them at least once, via the local parish.

The Oratorical Festival is not only an aid in engaging more deeply in the theology of our Church, but it is also a wonderful tool to assist our growing future (well, present and future) of the Church in mastering the art of public speaking and persuasion—a skillset which will assist them in their further education, in professional settings, and in bringing others to Christ. The judges who volunteer for the Festival at each level are able to provide more than a mere “scoring” of performance, but are available to assist the speakers afterward in learning how to improve their technique and presence.
Many who begin participation through the Oratorical Festival continue their church service as clergy, lay leaders, teachers, school administrators, and other active and God-gifted members of the Body of Christ.

In the 2020 St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival, each Senior and Junior division First, Second, and Third place finalist in each category (Oratory, Poetry, and Essay) at the Parish, District, Metropolis, and National levels of competition is eligible to receive a Chrysostom Scholarship upon acceptance to Hellenic College. This scholarship provides awards ranging from $2,500 up to $30,000 per year for four years. (Please visit the Oratorical Festival website for the terms and conditions: goarch.org/oratorical.) To register and participate at your Parish, contact your Parish Priest or Sunday School Director, and for more info, visit: goarch.org/oratorical