Early this morning, the participants woke up and went into Cambridge to break bread with our less fortunate neighbors. In small groups, the CrossRoaders approached homeless people, bought them breakfast, and sat and ate with them, learning about their lives and getting to know them. It was an extremely moving experience for all. It is very profound to acknowledge Christ in the face of the neighbor that we often overlook.
After a nap, the participants engaged in the staff-led session, “Life-Giving Relationships”. Tonight, they encountered the saints in a very personal staff-led session and then venerated the relics of many saints in our chapel at Holy Cross.
It is beautiful to watch the participants learn how to take all of the information they have received over the past week and put it into action by serving their neighbor!
Today the CrossRoaders had their last day of theology classes! They spent the afternoon in the beautiful Boston Commons enjoying a picnic and throwing around a football. After, we went to the Prudential Center, the tallest building in Boston, and went up to the skywalk for a spectacular view of all of Boston. In the evening the participants visited St. Mary’s Antiochian Church in Cambridge and listened to a talk by the parish priest, Fr. Antony Hughes.
This evening was the end of Stage 2, “Vocation and Christ”. The participants were again given the chance to journal and reflect on all they learned during Stage 2. Many of the CrossRoaders got up in front of their peers and shared their reflections. We closed the night by preparing for Stage 3, “Vocation and Christ in the Face of the Other”. They were challenged to answer the question, “who is my neighbor” and explored what it means to serve our neighbor.
Today the participants had their third day of classes with Fr. Paul Tarazi and Fr. Alkiviadis Calivas. The participants are learning a lot and have many wonderful questions in their discussion groups.
In the afternoon the participants were able to call home and visit the bookstore. After, they were given time for a break from our packed schedule with some free time! Most of the participants gathered around a guitar, sang, and enjoyed each other’s company.
This evening they visited a local Bulgarian Orthodox church, Holy Resurrection, where they had vespers and heard from the priest Fr. Patrick Tishel. After, they engaged in a staff-led session on the relationship between Faith and Science.
Today the participants had their second day of classes with Fr. Paul Tarazy and Fr. Alkividis Calivas. For Fr. Calivas’s class, they took a field trip to a local church full of beautiful icons which he used to teach the theology of iconography. The CrossRoaders loved this interactive presentation. This afternoon and evening the participants heard from Dr. Albert Rossi who spoke to them on prayer and purity.
After a long day of learning, the CrossRoaders took a night time walk where they were challenged to get to know someone they have not spent much time with yet. They ended they night with a big group devotional where they sat outside and learned a lot about one another. The love and support shared in the circle was moving to say the least. It is beautiful to see this group growing as a community.
Today the participants had their first day of classes with Fr. Alkiviadis Calivas and Fr. Paul Tarazi! The participants were very interested in the engaging lectures and had much to reflect on after during the staff led discussion groups.
After their sessions, the participants went to Faneuil Hall in downtown Boston where they had lunch, shopped, and got to see some of the oldest, most historic sites in the country! After, we visited Holy Trinity, the OCA cathedral in Boston for dinner and vespers and the priest Fr. Robert Arida spoke to the participants. This evening, Fr. Maximos of Simonopetra gave an inspiring talk to the CrossRoaders on the importance of “living in the world but not of the world”.
It is so wonderful to witness the participants taking ownership of their faith, growing as a group in Christ, and having a ton of fun in the process!
Today, the participants engaged in two staff-led sessions, Sanctification of Creation and Pop Culture. The participants were challenged to look around at the world God has created and to both acknowledge the beauty and intricacies of this creation but also the ways that we have distorted creation and can be negatively affected by it.
This evening the CrossRoaders heard from Dr. Elizabeth Prodromou about how her faith has informed her career in Public Activism.
It is hard to believe it but tonight was the end of Stage 1, “Wrestling with Vocation”! At the end of the day, the CrossRoaders reflected on all they have learned in Stage 1 and shared there thoughts with each other.
As you can see it has been a busy couple days! The participants are learning so much and are already bonding so closely as a group! They are eager to learn and are having a lot of fun!
The CrossRoaders started their day with a Divine Liturgy at the Holy Cross Chapel. Many of the participants joined the chanters and participated in the liturgy by chanting with them!
After Liturgy and breakfast the participants were whisked away to a ropes course where they challenged their fears and bonded as a group.
From the ropes course, the CrossRoaders came back to HCHC and participated in a session run by CrossRoad Director, Mike Tishel, on Vocation. They learned our definition of vocation as, “your unique and ongoing response to Christ’s call to love God with heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself.”