2017 St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival - Parish Level - Summary


Date: March 12, 2017

Time: 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Place: Started and finished in Social Hall

Total No. of Speakers: 15 (+ 5 students in Grade 6)

Results: Please see below.

Congratulations to all students who participated in our parish Oratorical Festival and delivered speeches!

They are all winners!


[Students with "Honorable Mention" are listed in alphabetical order.]

7th-9th Grade: 12 students presented their speeches:

  • Finalist: Anastasia Papageorgiou - Topic 1

  • (will represent St. Nicholas at the District level)

    • Runner-up: Elizabeth Kolias - Topic 5

    • Runner-up: Sam Radwanski - Topic 4

    • Honorable Mention: Maya Abdallah - Topic 2

    • Honorable Mention: Zack Chalogianis - Topic 2

    • Honorable Mention: Stephanie Cotitsas - Topic 4

    • Honorable Mention: Ethan Hochendoner - Topic 3

    • Honorable Mention: Zoe Patselas - Topic 4

    • Honorable Mention: Constantina Perakis - Topic 2

    • Honorable Mention: Jonah Radwanski - Topic 4

    • Honorable Mention: Luke Savas - Topic 3

    • Honorable Mention: Alex Theros - Topic 4

6th grade participants:

Marisa Cotitsas - Topic 3

Katina Dernbach - Topic 2

Alex Rouman - Topic 3

Alexa Weber - Topic 4


    1. The opening petition of the Divine Liturgy is “In peace let us pray to the Lord.” What is this peace, and why do we need it to begin our prayers?

    2. St. John Chrysostom said, “Our alms are judged not by the measure of our gifts, but by the largeness of our mind” (Homily 52 on the Gospel of Matthew). Discuss how even small acts of kindness and generosity can make a difference.

    3. Discuss the role of bread and its symbolism in the Bible and the life of the Church.

    4. The Orthodox Church venerates saints and martyrs every day. Talk about a saint whose life inspires you to be a better Orthodox Christian.

    5. Explain why the Orthodox Church focuses more on the resurrection than it does on the passion and suffering of Christ.


[Students with "Honorable Mention" are listed in alphabetical order.]

10th-12th Grades: 3 students presented their speeches:

    • Finalist: Gabriel Necula - Topic 1

    • Runner-Up: Alex Chalogianis - Topic 2

    • Runner-Up: Chrysanthe Patselas - Topic 2


    1. The gap between the rich and the poor in the United States and worldwide is arguably wider than it has ever been. How should we as Orthodox Christians address such terrible financial inequality?

    2. Although many people diet for health or vanity, the discipline of fasting is found in many religious traditions. What is the difference between dieting and fasting, and why is it important?

    3. Psalms are an integral part of matins, vespers, and many other Church services. Talk about a psalm that impacts or influences your life.

    4. The Lord commanded us not to create idols (Exodus 20:4), yet people continue to do so. Discuss the kinds of idols people make or worship today and the response that an Orthodox Christian should have when confronted by them.

    5. Jesus said, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (Matthew 22:21). When no political party represents genuine Christian teaching, how does an Orthodox Christian navigate political conversations and make political judgments?



Anastasia Kotsis, George Vlachos, Gail (Mary) Sinwell

Church School Directors:

Katherine Phan, Photios G. Ioannou

Church School Teachers:

Tony Michalopoulos, Dani Nadra,

Nick Chapekis Jr.,Robert Templeman,

Brendan Haug, Ioana Nadra, Deno Prokos

Opening Prayer: Deno Prokos

Timer: Nick Chapekis, Jr.

Speaker Order/Room Coordinator: Pam Petropoulos

Videography: Deno Prokos

Photography: Jennifer Patselas

Church coordination: Eva Michail, Harry Kotsis

Hospitality - Judges: Kaliroy Warhurst, Luke Warhurst

Hospitality - Parish: Stacy Garris, Nellie Guibert

Oratorical Instruction/Education: Artemis Alex

Festival Chair: Vicki Kiningham

Closing Prayer: Rev. Father Nick Kotsis