Serving in the altar is an honor and privilege for the young boys of St. Spyridon. Currently, fifty altar boys, ages seven to seventeen, are divided into three groups led by group captains. From a young age, St. Spyridon’s Altar Boys take their responsibility of serving our Lord very seriously. They are mentored by the older boys to learn their duties for the various liturgical services. The boys meet monthly to discuss and learn more about their altar responsibilities and then conclude with a special lunch or snacks. Over the past few years, many of our young men have heeded the calling to serve our Lord in the priesthood. They include: Fr. Peter Spiro, currently of St. Athanasios of Aurora, Fr. Aristidis Garinis who is serving at St. Nicholas in Flushing, NY, Fr. Christos Mihalopoulos, currently of St. Demetrios, Chicago, and Fr. Nicholas Mataragas serving at Holy Trinity, Waterbury, CT. The altar boy advisors are Labros Malfas and Nicholas Chibucos.
The St. Spyridon Junior Choir was created in 1997 under the direction and guidance of Nicky Glikis. Consisting of about twenty members, the children continue to show their dedication through their amazingly beautiful psalmothia. The Junior Choir is open to St. Spyridon Sunday School students ages eight and up. The Junior Choir chants the last Sunday of the month, and with the senior choir several times throughout the year. Many Junior Choir members participate in the junior division of the Metropolis of Chicago Federation of Greek Orthodox Choirs Conference.
FLOGA GREEK DANCE TROUPE
The Greek dance groups at St. Spyridon have been part of the church community for many years. Teaching Greek dance to the youth of the church is a way to keep our customs and traditions alive and ensures that these special lessons will be passed down to future generation. Greek dance is also a positive approach to get the youth together, meet other people with similar interests and to build meaningful friendships.
In 2017, Saint Spyridon formed a new Greek Dance Troupe called FLOGA. It is for young dancers 7th-12th grades, and the instructor is Mr. Angelo Angelos. With the help of the parish and some generous donors, the performers acquired their costumes from Greece, and their first performance was at the Holy Cross Picnic on June 21st, 2018.
Greek Dance Directors: Mr. Angelo Angelos
Our Sunday School and youth activities will be held on-line with future gatherings as the Covid-19 protocols allow.
The GOYA, or the Greek Orthodox Youth of America is a youth ministry for 7th-12th grade students at St. Spyridon Hellenic Orthodox Church. This organization of about twenty-five teens helps build a foundation for these young St. Spyridon parishioners to eventually become active members and leaders of our church community. Also, the GOYA offers opportunities for Greek Orthodox kids to get to know each other, learn to relate to each other and help each other with spiritual and social issues.
As one of the ministries at St. Spyridon, the athletics program has one simple goal: to build relationships amongst Orthodox Christians that last a lifetime. This relationship also includes a strong bond with the Church and the almighty Jesus Christ. The theme of building relationships is one that is always stressed upon during practice and while competing.
The Athletics Program offers two ways for our St. Spyridon youth, ages five to eighteen, to participate. The fall and winter basketball programs allow our youth to participate in the Metropolis of Chicago Basketball League. The spring focuses on practicing and participating in the Metropolis of Chicago Junior Olympics, hosted by St. Constantine & Helen Church of Palos Hills, IL over Memorial Day weekend.
Cherubs is a mommy and me playgroup that welcomes babies from 40 days to 3 years old, along with their caregivers. Our mission is to provide wholesome and fun activities in which the child and caregiver will work together and to create a venue where Orthodox parents and children can interact with others and create bonds of friendships. Children participate in reading time, songs, games and crafts projects in a developmentally appropriate manner for children of this age.
The Handmaidens began in 2006. It is open to all girls from ages eight to eighteen. This organization is much like a junior Philoptochos whose main goals are to promote community service and philanthropic projects. The girls send cards to shut-ins and veterans, and collect funds and toys for various charities such as SOS Children’s villages and the Treasure Chest Foundation. This organization is not only a fun way to get involved in community service activities, but is also an experience to learn more about the Orthodox Church and Greek traditions. The mission of this group is to teach our girls the importance of helping and giving to those in need in an Orthodox setting. Much is to be expected from the Handmaidens in the future.
All the children of St. Spyridon have a special place in our church. HOPE, gives children, ages four to seven, the opportunity to learn about their faith, their church and the social world around them. HOPE meets once a month on Saturdays. Demetria Papadopoulos is the director.