Day 10 – July 2015

Yesterday, the participants spent the day at the beach and upon their return, they were given an opportunity to reflect on all they learned in Stage 3. After, they participated in a closing session and then had an opportunity to share their talents with one another in a group talent show! Wow, you have some talented children!!!

We are sad to say goodbye to this amazing, smart, talented, and wise group of students. We have grown to love them dearly and have been so inspired to watch them “take the challenge” of CrossRoad. We do however look forward to returning them to you, their friends and family, spiritually refreshed, rejuvenated, and probably a little exhausted!

Day 9 – July 2015

Yesterday, after celebrating Orthros on campus, the CrossRoaders heard part two of Dr. Rossi’s talk. In the afternoon they were given an opportunity to serve their elderly neighbor, another neighbor that is often marginalized. The participants went to two different nursing homes and spent time talking and engaging in activities with the elderly. It brought the residents much joy to have so many loving visitors!

In the evening we enjoyed a special visit from Fr. Luke Veronis who gave a talk on his experiences serving as a missionary in Africa and Albania.

Day 8 – July 2015

Early Tuesday morning, the participants woke up and went into Cambridge to break bread with the homeless. In small groups of one staff member with 3-4 students, the CrossRoaders approached 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 a neighbor that we often overlook.

After a nap-time, the participants engaged in the staff-led session, “Vocation & Suffering”. In the evening, we had the blessing of hearing a talk on Prayer & Purity by our beloved Dr. Albert Rossi, who has been a CR guest speaker since the first program in 2004.

The participants have been busy learning how to take the information they have received over the past week and put it into action by serving Christ and neighbor!

Day 7 – July 2015

Yesterday, the CrossRoaders had their last day of theology classes! Following the lectures, we took our second adventure into downtown Boston where we had lunch and walked around Faneuil Hall, one of the oldest, most historic sites in the country!

After our Boston adventures, the participants visited St. George’s Antiochian Church where they had a vespers service and listened to a talk by the parish priest.

Last 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.

Day 6 – July 2015

After starting their day with Orthros at Holy Cross Chapel, the participants engaged in their third day of theology and Scripture courses! They are learning so much and are asking many wonderful questions. The staff has been really impressed with their participation in discussion groups.

Last evening we ventured into Boston to visit St. Nectarios Greek Orthodox Church where we celebrated vespers and the parish priest spoke to us about the life of St. Nectarios and his many miracles.

The CrossRoaders also participated in an interactive staff-led session titled “Vocation & Technology.” We concluded the evening with a brief presentation on the life of St. Paisios of Mount Athos, whose feast we commemorated yesterday.

Day 5 – July 2015

Yesterday, we had our second day of theology and scripture classes which have sparked thoughtful and insightful questions and comments from the participants!

After lunch, we had an opportunity to participate in two interactive staff-led sessions, one on the life of Mother Maria Skobtsova and one on Faith & Science.

Last evening concluded with a parish visit to Holy Resurrection Bulgarian Orthodox Church and was followed by a very special staff-led session in the Holy Cross Chapel titled, “Night with the Saints.” In this session, the participants were divided into small groups to “meet” different Saints, venerate icons and relics in the Holy Cross Chapel, and learn what sainthood means. The takeaway of the evening was that every person has the opportunity and calling to be a Saint.

Day 4 – July 2015

Yesterday the participants had their first day of theology and scripture classes with Fr. Maximos Constas (Senior Research Scholar at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology) and Fr. Thomas Fitzgerald (Professor of Church History and Historical Theology at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology). Small staff-led break out discussion groups followed their theology and scripture lectures.

In the afternoon, we all went downtown and had a picnic on the Boston Common. We then took a tour at the Skywalk of the Prudential Center, the tallest building in Boston that offers a 360 degree view of the city.

Following our adventures in Boston, we visited St. Catherine Greek Orthodox Church in Braintree, MA for dinner and vespers. There, the parish priest spoke with us about iconography and the architecture of an Orthodox Church. In the evening, Mother Photini from All Saints Monastery in Long Island, spoke with the participants about vocation and monasticism.

It was a full day of fun, learning, and growing close as a group!

Day 3 – July 2015

Yesterday morning after Orthros, the participants explored the magnitude and beauty of God’s creation through the interactive session, Sanctification of Creation. In the afternoon, we had an engaging interactive session on popular culture. After, we took a tour and heard a talk at St. Mark’s Coptic Church. Yesterday evening, Dr. Elizabeth Prodromou (International Relations at Tufts University) and Dr. Thomas Crea (Graduate School of Social Work at Boston College) offered an engaging session on Orthodoxy in the Public Square. Their session was based on a topic we explored at our Office of Vocation & Ministry 2015 Faith & Learning Symposium, “Understanding the Other.” If you want to get a sense for what Prodromou and Crea spoke about, audio from that full symposium can be found on our Down the Road CrossRoad Alumni Podcast series, found here.

Yesterday evening completed stage 1 of CrossRoad. All of the participants were invited to share their reflections on the first stage of CrossRoad, “Wrestling with Vocation.” It is very moving to hear how much they participants are learning already!

They are all really engaging with the content as well as growing close as a group. The laughter in the cafeteria and on the bus is such a joyful sound to hear! Please continue to keep us all in your prayers.

Day 2 – June 2015

After starting their day with Orthros at Holy Cross Chapel, we participated in the second part of our StrengthsFinder reflection where the students were able to share their strengths by acting out skits!

We then headed up north to a ropes course run by Project Adventure where we engaged in some great team-building activities.

After the ropes course, we returned to HCHC and participated in a session run by CrossRoad Director, Mike Tishel, on vocation. The CrossRoaders are invited to consider 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.”

Day 1 – July 2015

Yesterday the participants arrived excited and ready to “take the challenge” of CrossRoad! They came from 15 states across the US – from California to New Jersey, Colorado to Alabama.

While half of our staff greeted participants at Logan Airport, the other half of the team stayed on campus to assist the participants with getting settled in the dorm, taking tours of campus, and getting to know each other. We attended Vespers in the Holy Cross Chapel and then after dinner began icebreaker activities. With lots of laughter, the group started to get to know each other!

Following icebreakers we learned more about one another’s strengths utilizing the StrengthsFinder inventory that each participant took prior to coming to CrossRoad. The participants broke down into smaller groups to discuss the results of the StrengthsFinder activity and how they might develop these strengths in their daily lives.

We look forward to sharing more about this session of CrossRoad each day!