YOUTH »  ACTIVITIES/EVENTS

THE YOUTH OF CEPHALONIA AND THE HOLY METROPOLIS

From October of 1984 to date, I have taken a position, in addressing the clergy and the congregation, on the responsibility towards our children.

We, myself and my associates in the clergy, would be undeserving of our mission had we ignored this obligation since we know very well the significance of children to the family, to society, to the Church and what God mandates that we do for them.

Our children are our real treasures, the most precious gift of God to man. They are in essence the continuation of our lives, the core of our existence. The Lord expressed His interest in children when he told His Disciples: "Let the children come to me" and when He emphasized to adults: " If you do not become like children, you shall not enter the Kingdom of Heaven".

These children today are vulnerable to a multitude of perils. They may be tempted into unfaithfulness, materialism, Rationalization, and Nihilism. They are vulnerable to bad influences by their peers, the negative examples set by adults, the indecency and obscenity that is everywhere. They may be tempted into drug abuse and promiscuity with all the devastating consequences.

The Church, the loving Mother who gave birth to Greek Youth and is the Holy Fountain of Baptism, who desires them to become good Christians, to believe in God, and to have humanity, cannot remain uninterested in the face of the many perils that endanger this youth. For this reason, we never ceased to show our interest in spite of the fact that Catechism (Sunday Schools) is an institution in deep crisis in our days, in spite of the fact that there is a shortage of Gospel workers in Cephalonia, in spite of the fact that the local Church is not assisted in this endeavor by the family and the school as all initiative is left at the child's free will - at an age when that child's personality is not fully developed and certainly needs support, advice, assistance and protection. Yet we were not discouraged and did not forget our obligation and responsibilities towards our young ones.

The Church is present at the start of every new school year to conduct the Blessing and to wish teachers and students a good new academic year, good health, God's Blessing and Protection, and divine inspiration in fulfilling their mission.

Their Metropolitan is there to wish them in person the very best in this important period of their lives. He is there to incite them to study diligently, to obey the Will of God, to obey their parents and teachers, to attain faith - the ultimate weapon in life which enables us to better face the circumstances of life.

The Church joins all Greeks and the Greek Youth at National Holidays in praying and expressing gratitude to God for all the achievements of the Greek people throughout the centuries, and to underline the assistance of God and Theotokos in all the just struggles of the Nation - from which the Church was never absent.Their Metropolitan is there to bless and be proud of the students, to welcome and bless them in the church and in the parades and other functions held during these celebrations, and to speak to them through special festive addresses in their schools.

The Church and the Metropolitan are present during the significant period of Graduation and College Entrance Examinations. By officiating Divine Liturgy at Evangelistria Church of Argostoli especially for the Graduates, facilitating the children's contact with God in order to receive the Divine Will which always enlightens, supports and strengthens a person's own powers. By giving a reception in the Metropolitan Building where we are given the opportunity to congratulate the Graduates and to wish them success in their Entrance Examinations, and, to give them a gift of remembrance.

All students who have succeed in their Entrance Examinations are invited back to the Metropolitan Building for a simple ceremony in December, to receive their Shepherd's congratulations. Afterwards they all visit St. Gerasimos Convent to express their gratitude to God and their Patron Saint Gerasimos for granting them this gift, which of course was also due to their efforts and diligence.

Our young people acknowledge that the Church stands by them. A huge folder of letters have been addressed to the Metropolitan. Letters so moving that evidence this acknowledgement.

A message by Metropolitan Spyridon

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