Romanian Orthodox youth from across United States and Canada came together this Thanksgiving weekend alongside His Eminence Metropolitan Nicolae of the Romanian Orthodox Metropolia of the Americas and His Grace Bishop Ioan Casian of the Romanian Orthodox Diocese of Canada for the annual ROYA Fall Conference. The event took place in Beaverton, Ontario, at the Fair Havens Ministry Christian Education Center.
The theme of the event was “Understanding and Overcoming 21st Century Challenges for the Christian Youth”. Among the activities which took place, notable were conferences by bioethicist Virgiliu Gheorghe, Father Theodore Paraskevopoulos, Father Siluan Sandor, and Hieromonk Hrisostom.
After their arrival Friday evening, the youth attended the prayer service and were greeted by HG Bishop Ioan Casian. Saturday began with the morning prayer and the greeting of HE Metropolitan Nicolae followed by the conference of Virgiliu Gheorghe, biophysicist, PhD in bioethics, Vice-president of the Institute of Psychosocial Research and Bioethics in Bucharest, which touched several subjects significant to Orthodox youth of the 21st century. Topics covered the effects of television on the mind, modern addictions, self-perception and media, modern society on gender, and the effects of pornography.
Rev. Father Theodore Paraskevopoulos, professor of Pastoral Theology at the Toronto Orthodox Theological Academy and Former National Youth Director of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Canada followed with a talk on how to witness the Christian faith and on the secularisation in churches, school and society.
In the evening of the same day Rev. Father Siluan Sandor, counsellor in the department for youth cultural activity of the Romanian Orthodox Diocese of Spain and Portugal held a conference detailing the structure of NEPSIS Youth Organization, their achievements and their challenges as in this field.
Sunday morning was marked by the Divine Liturgy, which was served by His Eminence Metropolitan Nicolae and His Grace Bishop Ioan Casian, along with Hieromonk Hrisostom, Hieromonk Atanasie Popescu, Rev. Father Siluan Sandor, and Rev. Father Nicolae Clempus.
Following the service, His Eminence gave a sermon relating three instances in the Holy Gospels in which Christ interacts with youth. Later in the evening, Hieromonk Hrisostom from the Putna Monastery held a conference on relationships, spiritual gifts, and the love of God.
Monday, after the morning prayers and another time spent together, the youth took the blessings for the two hierarchs and departed towards their homes.
Photo credit: ROYA