2022 St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival - Parish Level - Summary


The 2022 St. Nicholas Oratorical Festival was held as follows:

  • Junior Division (Grades 6-9)
    (All students in 6th-9th Grades should be present):
    Saturday, March 19, 2022,
    9:00-11:30 AM (all students must arrive by 8:45AM)
    Inside the Church

  • Senior Division
    (All students in 10th-12th Grades should be present)
    Sunday, March 20, 2022
    9:00-11:30 AM (all students must arrive by 8:45AM)
    In the Social Hal

Total No. of Speakers: 11

Comments from Fr. Nick:

The speakers in both divisions were excellent. Well done!

JUNIOR DIVISION SPEAKERS (Grades 7-9; 4 speakers)


Helen Kolias, Topic #3

Runners-Up (in alphabetical order):

Olga Bekiares, Topic #2
Theadora Yocum, Topic #3

Honorable Mention (in alphabetical order):

Zannis Res, Topic #4

6th Grade (3 Speakers, in alphabetical order):

Melina Bekiares, Topic #3
Konstantinos Kloumasis, Topic #3
Vicki Kotsis, Topic #3


    1. Share what you learned about yourself after a “technology fast” of at least 21 days. What can we learn about our relationship to God and the world by fasting?

    2. In our personal prayer and liturgy, we usually make requests of God. Discuss why we make these petitions and how God fulfills them.

    3. Choose a saint whose life has been important to you or your family. Discuss what you find most inspiring about this saint and what others can learn from how they lived their life.

    4. Discuss how you would share your Orthodox Christian faith with a visitor to your parish.

    5. Discuss your favorite Church service of the year and why it is meaningful to you.

SENIOR DIVISION SPEAKERS (Grades 10-12; 4 speakers)


Catherine Kent, Topic #1

Runners-Up (in alphabetical order):

Jonah Radwanski Topic #3
Alexander Theros Topic #4

Honorable Mention:

Harry Kotsis Topic #3

Written Submission (but unable to speak in person):

Marisa Andoni-Savas - Topic #2


    1. Discuss the significance of Orthodox iconography (historically, symbolically and/or artistically) and how icons enhance our worship.

    2. From the earliest days, Christian worship has been community-based, not only solitary, and Christians formed communities where the members learned from and took care of one another. Why is it important to be part of a Church community, and how is this relevant today?

    3. The Orthodox faithful pray to the saints for physical healing and we have examples of saints like Cosmas and Damian who were doctors. What does this teach us about the Orthodox perspective on faith, health, and medicine?

    4. Discuss ways that a young person can respond to God’s call to love God with heart, soul, mind, and strength and one’s neighbor as oneself (see Luke 10:27).

    5. In every Church service, we pray for “peace in the world,” usually many times. Yet, war and violence persist. What is the Orthodox Christian approach to war and violence?



Rev Fr. Nicolaos H. Kotsis

Junior Division - Judges & Timekeeper:

Gail Altenburg (Coordinating Judge), Thea Johnson, Alexandra Veliche, Timekeeper: Rev Fr. Nicolaos H. Kotsis

Senior Division - Judges:

Brendan Haug (Coordinating Judge), May Hays, Pauline Skinner, Timekeeper: Anastasia Mitropoulos- Rundus

Church School Directors:

Fr. Vasilis Pliakas, Photios G. Ioannou (website)

Church School Teachers:

Tony Michalopoulos, Dani Nadra (Video, Photos)
Dr. Sophia Grias
Ioana Nadra (Video, Photos), Deno Prokos

Event Support:

Christina Vlahopoulos - Hosting, Sunday Fellowship Hour
Kalliroy Warhurst - Speaker Gifts
Dimitris Papageorgiou - Posters
Craig Theros - Video/Photo back-up
Daughters of Penelope - Hosting, Sunday Fellowship Hour
Chris Bekiares - Hosting

Special Recognition:

Michael Kapetan - Sculptor, Festival Finalist Recognition Board and Iconography
Mara Krause - In loving memory

Oratorical Festival Chairs:

Dr. Vicki A. Kiningham, Anastasia Mitropoulos-Rundus