News and Events
January 22, 2019
With January being Human Trafficking Awareness Month Saint Catherine's Vision has released this statement regarding the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s Call to Action on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery.
The Ecumenical Patriarch has taken up the call to action against what he has characterized as the “global abomination” of human trafficking and slavery. Over the course of two years, three international forums have been sponsored engaging this issue: Istanbul, Turkey, February 2017; Buenos Ares, Argentina, May 2018 and Istanbul, Turkey, January 2019. By so doing, His All-Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has begun to shape the future of Orthodox public witness against this affliction infecting contemporary human society.
Under Patriarch Bartholomew’s direction, noteworthy Orthodox institutions and persons, as well as international experts in the field were brought together engaging various aspects of this issue. These international events have initiated a Pan-Orthodox collaborative witness of Christians speaking up and acting on behalf of those who cannot do so for themselves.
Saint Catherine’s Vision (SCV) is grateful for and praises the leadership of Patriarch Bartholomew for his call to “awareness, action and impact.” SCV has been on the forefront in raising Orthodox public consciousness regarding this pandemic. Our public service ministry (diakonima) initiated in 2013, “Divine Compassion (Theion Eleos) and Human Trafficking” contributed to the process leading up to these developments. Today, we acknowledge the Ecumenical Patriarchate has demonstrated historic global leadership in this regard. Presvytera Maria Drossos, one of SCV’s Advisory Board Members, also has been serving as a member of the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s Special Task Force on this issue.
The Ecumenical Patriarch has successfully focused global attention on the atrocious sins of human trafficking and slavery. As this initiative continues to unfold, we anticipate that pastoral responses will be fostered within the life of the Church “for the life of the world” (John 6:51), as well as inspiring civil authorities to implement public policy benefiting contemporary society
For additional information:
From the Ecumenical Patriarchate:
From the World Council of Churches:
December 17, 2018
SCV is pleased to announce we are electronically re-circulating as an educational “diakonia”, Orthodox Women Speak: Discerning the ‘Signs of the Time’s'. This book offers a penetrating introduction to vital themes related to the participation of women in the life of the Church. In celebration of its 20th year publication anniversary, the book is now available on our website. With much joy, we encourage you to tell others about this unique, cost-free educational resource!
Published in 1999, this book is the product of ground-breaking, officially sponsored, international Orthodox Women’s Conferences that took place in Damascus, Syria (1996) and Constantinople/Istanbul, Turkey (1997). From all over the canonical Orthodox world women were invited by their regional hierarchs to serve as official representatives of their local churches. Whole-heartedly affirming the conclusions of the historic 1988 Rhodes, Greece Inter-Orthodox Symposium on Women, the official statements from the Damascus and Constantinople conferences present a stunning global consensus expressed by faithful female representatives of Orthodox regional churches that invites thorough consideration today.
Presentations delivered during the conferences are included as articles in the book. These offer very timely engagement regarding several concerns including:
- The participation of women in the life of the contemporary Church,
- Jesus’ relationship with women,
- Women in the early Church,
- Saintly women and Orthodox spiritual life,
- Orthodox women in theological studies,
- Human sexuality and the body,
- The ordination of women to the diaconate,
- Women and the priesthood
- The challenges and opportunities of growing up Orthodox
- Contemporary Spiritual challenges
- and much more . . .
Contributors include: official greetings of His Beatitude, Patriarch Ignatius of Antioch (of blessed memory) and His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew; as well as: Dr. Elizabeth Behr-Sigel (of blessed memory), Mother Maria Rule, Rev. Dr. Thomas FitzGerald, Dr. Kyriaki Karidoyanes FitzGerald, Dr. Despina Prassas, Dr. Sophie Deicha, Dr. Constantine Yiokarinis, Christina Shaheen Reimann, Deborah Malacky Belonick and others.
We believe the research, results and the exchange of information expressed throughout Orthodox Women Speak, will encourage faithful Orthodox Christians, to consider more deeply the many ways the thrice-holy, compassionate God calls women (and men) to serve within the life of the Church, today!
October 31, 2018
On October 26, 2018, Dr. Kyriaki Karidoyanes Fitzgerald visited the Sheptytsky Institute and graciously agreed to an interview. In a wide ranging discussion, she spoke about her recent publications, what Orthodoxy can contribute to contemporary human psychology, women deaconesses in the church and on Orthodox women in the church, the 2016 Pan-Orthodox synod in Crete, and the current relationship between the Russian Orthodox Church and Ecumenical Patriarchate. Click HERE to read more!
October 28, 2018
On October 27, 2018 Anberin Pasha was inducted as SCV’s Young Scholar of the Year for her work as director and producer of the documentary film about Saint Maria of Paris “Love to the End”. Click HERE for pictures from the evening at Maliotis Cultural Center.
She was inspired to the tell the story of Mother Maria of Paris whose unconditional love for people in need and in trouble led her, her chaplain Fr. Dimitry Klepinine and her son Yuri Skobstov, and Ilya Fondaminsky to be arrested by the Gestapo in Paris in 1943 for helping Jewish families.
The documentary weaves Saint Maria’s story with the lives of three contemporary American women whose lives were transformed by their trials and by the grace of divine love that she embodied, leading them to a deeper understanding on their journeys as ex-wives, mothers and professionals.
This film helps each person experience and celebrate the power of love as a divine blessing which helps us navigate the rough seas of life.
May God bless Anberin’s work always! If you are interested in helping fund this important documentary film, please click on this link to donate: www.gofundme.com/lovetotheend
October 20, 2018
Earlier this week, the heavenly realm received the soul of the faithful servant of God, Professor Evangelos Theodorou. Distinguished, Emeritus Professor of the University of Athens School of Theology, he also served as a theological faculty member of the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki. His accomplishments of service in theological education, included teaching, serving as dean on both faculties, representing the Church of Greece at international theological consultations, including the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches. He has also served as the Editor of the noteworthy periodical, Theologia and other journals. Click HERE for the full press release.
May his memory be eternal!
July 9, 2018
On July 4, Dr. Kyriaki Karidoyanes FitzGerald began teaching a three-work course entitled “Explorations in Eastern Christian Spirituality” at the Sheptytsky Institute in Toronto, Canada. The course serves as a broad survey of the ascetico-mystical theology (Spirituality) of the Eastern Churches, as represented by a multiplicity of authors and texts (using both secondary and primary texts in English translation). The course uses the writings of the Desert Fathers and Mothers through the works of prominent Greek authors – Basil the Great, Symeon the New Theologian, Gregory Palamas etc. – to modern interpreters of the Tradition. Dr. Presb. Kyriaki FitzGerald, co-founder and executive director of SCV, is pictured below with some of the students from the class on the steps of the Sheptytsky Institute. Click HERE to read more!
May 14, 2018
Under the auspices of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, a second international forum on modern slavery convened in Buenos Aires, Argentina, May 5-8, 2018. This forum, entitled Old Problems in the New World, was cosponsored by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Buenos Aires and South America, and the Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute (Berkeley, California). The purpose of this gathering was to bring together distinguished practitioners, policymakers, theologians, and scholars, from within Latin America and other parts of the world to explore the myriad dimensions of the scourge of modern-day slavery.
Presbytera Maria Drossos, a member of the Ecumenical Patriarchate's Commission on Human Trafficking and SCV Advisory Board member read the Forum Declaration to the delegates in introductory session at the Second International Forum on Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking held in Buenos Aires. Saint Catherine's Vision is one of the first Orthodox organizations to publicly denounce human trafficking through their on-going Divine Compassion and Human Trafficking Diakonima (public ministry). Please find pictures below of Presbytera Maria speaking at the forum (pictured left) and a group of several distinguished guests and dignitaries (pictured right) present for this important event.
In addition, pictured above, some of the forum participants visited the Instituto Griego Athenagoras I High School of the Metropolis of Buenos Aires and South America. Two classes visited part of the forum. Pictured are His Eminence Tarasios, the school principal Professor Sofia Antonoglou, Deacon Perry Hamalis, Arlene Siavelis-Kehl, Kathy Siavelis and Presbytera Maria Drossos.
February 2, 2018
In cooperation with the World Council of Churches’ Faith and Order Commission, Saint Catherine’s Vision (SCV) recently developed and inaugurated a Survey for Orthodox Christian Faithful. The survey sought participants’ input regarding “Challenges and Opportunities of the Role of Women in the Church” for the Consultation on “Ecumenical Perspectives on the Role of Women in the Churches,” held at the Monastery of Bose in Mangano, Italy on October 3-7, 2017.
Please CLICK HERE for a report of the results. We pray these findings will be helpful toward the discernment of future initiatives for the sake of “building up the body of Christ” (Eph. 4:12).
October 18, 2017
Professor Kyriaki FitzGerald Speaks at Conference in Italy
Dr. Kyriaki Karidoyanes FitzGerald, Adjunct Professor of Theology at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology and Co-founder and Executive Director of Saint Catherine’s Vision (SCV), offered the key note presentation at the Consultation on “Ecumenical Perspectives to the Role of Women in the Churches.” This was held at the Monastery of Bose in Mangano, Italy on October 3 to 7, 2017. She spoke on “Challenges and Opportunities of the Role of Women in the Church from a Theological Perspective.”
The Consultation was sponsored by the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches with support from the Monastery of Bose. Twenty- eight theologian and church leaders from Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant Churches in twenty countries participated in the Consultation. There were also representatives of regional ecumenical organizations including the All Africa Conference of Churches, Caribbean Conference of Churches, Consejo Latinoamericano de Iglesias, Middle East Council of Churches, National Council of Churches in India, and the Conference of European Churches.
The Orthodox delegation was led by Metropolitan Seraphim of Zimbabwe, of the Patriarchate of Alexandria. During his remarks to the Consultation, he included an update of the Patriarchate of Alexandria’s progress regarding the rejuvenation of the ministry of deaconesses.
Metropolitan Seraphim also commended Professor Kyriaki Karidoyanes FitzGerald for her scholarly studies on the diaconate and for SCV’s monograph: Call for the Rejuvenation of the Ministry of the Ordained Deaconess. He informed the consultation participants that the bishops from the Patriarchate of Alexandria made use of SCV’s “Call” to assist with their participation during the Holy and Great Council which took place on the island of Crete, June 2016. Furthermore, he also emphasized that the SCV document has served as a helpful resource throughout the Holy Synod’s on-going discernment process regarding of this ministry.
Orthodox participants came from the Churches of Constantinople, Alexandria, Russia, Romania and Greece. Oriental Orthodox participants came from the Churches of Alexandria and Armenia.
The participants shared reports from their churches and regional contexts identifying important new developments. There was recognition that the opportunities related to the role of women in the churches vary from place to place. Yet, there is a common commitment to seek unity in the Church while focusing on Christ, and welcoming the gifts of women and men fully into the life of the churches. The participants acknowledged that, without these gifts, the life of the churches could not have continued, especially in difficult times.
September 9, 2017
Saint Catherine’s Vision is releasing this update and reminder for responses from faithful members of the Orthodox Church to our “Open Invitation Survey” for the October 3-7, 2017 Bose Consultation on the “Consultation on the Role of Women in the Churches.” The September 20th due date is quickly approaching.
If you already have responded, please accept our heartfelt gratitude!
Our survey is essentially a qualitative, more than a quantitative, survey, and your honest, personal response is important! At the same time, it is important to note that the greater the number of verifiable, thoughtful responses coming from around the Orthodox world, the more helpful the future conversation and potential witness for the Church may be!
Please, encourage other Orthodox Christians you respect to send in their responses to the Survey, as well! For most people, this should not take more than 10-15 minutes to complete! The link is: Open Invitation Survey for Orthodox Faithful. We are deeply grateful by the sincerity by which the Survey-participants have responded thus far.
As we sincerely ask for your Survey response, we also seek your prayers, for the sake of the “building up of the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12).
We thank you for your time and prayers!
August 10, 2017
Saint Catherine’s Vision is pleased to announce its Executive Director, Dr. Kyriaki Karidoyanes FitzGerald, has been invited to serve as a representative of the Orthodox Church at an international conference hosted by the World Council of Churches: “Consultation on the Role of Women in the Churches” to be held October 3-7th, 2017 at the Monastery of Bose, in Bose, Italy. Dr. Fitzgerald will speak on the “Challenges and Opportunities of the Role of Women in the Church from a Theological Perspective”.
This international conference (and certainly, Dr. FitzGerald’s topic) is of extraordinary significance. Its impact depends not only on the speakers but also on their capacity to express the lived experiences of women whose work is directly connected to “building up the body of Christ.” (Eph. 4:12). Pan-Orthodox collaboration with the faithful is indeed, crucial.
The consultation will assess developments regarding the participation of women in Christian churches since the 1980’s. To engage as many faithful Orthodox Christian men and women as possible, SCV is reaching out through this “Open Invitation Survey” to facilitate candid and constructive input for this historic event.
Deadline for participation in the survey is September 20, 2017. The responses from the surveys will be referenced in Dr. FitzGerald’s presentation and highlighted during the October Consultation. After the Consultation, we will release more details through a report relating more of our findings.
To participate in this important survey and for further information, please click on this link:
We ask members and friends of SCV (both old and new friends!) to pray these findings may be helpful toward the discernment of future initiatives for the sake of “building up the body of Christ”.
February 24, 2017
SCV's Co-Founder and Executive Director Dr. Kyriaki FitzGerald offers a SCV Exclusive of Emeritus Professor Evangelos Theodorou of the University of Athens School of Theology, a respected authority of liturgical theology and the historiography of the ordination of deaconesses appraisal regarding the recent blessing of deaconesses for the Orthodox Church in Africa to assist in the mission field.
Click HERE for the full article.
February 9, 2017
SCV participated in the recent “Forum on Modern Slavery ‘Sin before our Eyes’” cosponsored by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and the Church of England. Advisory Board Member, Presbytera Maria Drossos, pictured below with His All Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew I, represented SCV for this historic event. Participants were inspired by the addresses and call to action offered by both the Ecumenical Patriarch and the Archbishop of Canterbury. The conference gathered clergy and laity, academics and practitioners who presented and shared great insight on efforts addressing the various aspects of human trafficking. A Joint Declaration was signed at the conclusion of the Forum. For the full text, please click HERE.
Early in 2015, SCV launched our Diakonima or “Public Service Ministry” engaging “Divine Compassion and Human Trafficking”. Our goal in this initiative is to help promote awareness, collaboration, advocacy and action helping to equip the Orthodox Church in addressing the multifaceted aspect of this humantragedy.
For further information about our SCV Divine Compassion and Human Trafficking click HERE.
November 25, 2016
SCV's Co-Founder and Executive Director Dr. Kyriaki FitzGerald offers a SCV Exclusive of Emeritus Professor Evangelos Theodorou of the University of Athens School of Theology, a respected authority of liturgical theology and the historiography of the ordination of deaconesses response to the Patriarchate of Alexandria’s decision to restore the Ministry of Deaconesses for the Orthodox Church in Africa.
Click HERE for the full article.
May 20, 2016
SCV's Co-Founder and Executive Director Dr. Kyriaki FitzGerald was honored last night at the Hellenic College Holy Cross School of Theology Alumni Dinner with the "Alumni of the Year Award". She was recognized for her love and service to the church and to HCHC community as a student being the first female graduate and as a professor as well as her contributions to the church locally, nationally and globally.
Archbishop Dimitrios of America and Metropolian Methodios of Boston presented Dr. FitzGerald with a beautiful icon of Saint Katherine in honor of her work with Saint Catherine’s Vision. She was introduced by Dr. Despina Prassas and Dr. George Stavros. Congratulations to Dr. Kyriaki! Axia!
February 2, 2016
In December 2015, Saint Catherine’s Vision (SCV) launched an open “Call for Proposals” requesting help from qualified persons seeking their expertise and practical support in our first public service ministry or “diakonima” engaging “Divine Compassion and Human Trafficking”.
We are announcing the extension of the deadline for submissions to Thursday, February 18, 2016 to allow adequate time for additional individuals and organizations to respond to this open “Call for Proposals”.
Click HERE for the updated "Call for Proposals".
January 13, 2016
NEW FAQs Document on the Public Service Ministry “Divine Compassion and Human Trafficking"
Over the last 2-3 weeks, SCV has received numerous warm responses, inquiries and proposals from interested parties regarding their open "Call for Proposals," among which included a number of very good questions.
Through this new update, SCV hope to help clarify the parameters of our "diakonima" in "Divine Compassion and Human Trafficking." SCV is distributing this document to encourage those who are interested to learn more about this initiative.
Click HERE to download the document.
December 19, 2015
Seeking Specialists’ Through “Call for Proposals” for SCV’s “Divine Compassion and Human Trafficking ‘Diakonima’”
Feast Day of Saint Catherine of Alexandria, November 2015, Sandwich, Massachusetts: Saint Catherine’s Vision (SCV) recently announced their “Call for Proposals” requesting help from qualified persons desiring to assist in their first public service ministry or “diakonima” on “Divine Compassion and Human Trafficking”.
The objective of this courageous initiative is to facilitate dialogue and bridge-building through a competent and safe platform to help establish a pan-Orthodox Christian response to the on-going tragedy of Human Trafficking. “As God blesses,” states Dr. Kyriaki FitzGerald, Executive Director of SCV and Adjunct Professor in Theology at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, “we envision cultivating a dialogue to help promote sound collaborative initiatives across Orthodox Christian jurisdictions, agencies and interested persons. . . Together, we desire to humbly bear witness to the unconditional love of God, while bringing a measure of competent, practical relief to facilitate healing and liberation in as many contexts as possible.”
SCV is planning to bring together a small, select pan-Orthodox group of experienced theologians, leaders and practitioners whose proven work and expertise directly engage in this domain of ministry or service. “We are extending this invitation to respected non-Orthodox experts in the field, as well,” added Dr. FitzGerald.
In order to help build the first phase of this collaborative framework, SCV anticipates a three to five year process of private consultations, which hopefully will also be organized in conjunction with an annual public event (e.g. a lectureship or conference), so that Orthodox Christians and the general public may benefit from these conversations and service.
Saint Catherine's Vision is an international, pan-Orthodox Christian, non-profit organization. SCV brings women theologians together with ordained and lay servant-leaders addressing contemporary concerns in a manner that is established in and accountable to the living tradition and canonical heritage of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Founded in 2001, SCV is an endorsed organization of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America.
CLICK HERE for a copy of the “Call for Proposals.”
For further information about SCV's initiative, "Divine Compassion and Human Trafficking" CLICK HERE.
November 18, 2015
Saint Catherine's Vision (SCV) presented Divine Compassion Conference III: Divine Compassion and Women: Healing, Authority and Ministry in Orthodox Spiritual Tradition on Saturday, November 7th at the Archbishop Iakovos Library Learning and Resource Center of Hellenic College Holy Cross School of Theology.
Dr. Helen Creticos Theodoropoulos, a graduate of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology presently serving as Adjunct Professor of Theology at St. Savas Serbian Orthodox Seminary and Dr. Evangelia Amiridou, Associate Professor of Church History of the Aristotelian University School of Theology in Thessaloniki, Greece, offered the keynote address and keynote response, respectively.
This Conference was presented by Saint Catherine’s Vision (SCV), and co-sponsored with Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, and the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston.
SCV is an international, Pan-Orthodox fellowship of women theologians together with ordained and lay servant-leaders engaging contemporary issues within the life of the Orthodox Church, blessed by the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America.
Dr. James Skedros, Dean of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, served as Host and Moderator for the event. Dr. Kyriaki FitzGerald, Adjunct Professor in Theology at Holy Cross and SCV Executive Director offered an introduction to the conference topic and brief history of SCV’s progress to date.
Three afternoon seminar presentations engaging Divine Compassion, Women and: 1) Healing, 2) Authority and 3) Ministry were offered by co-authors of SCV’s upcoming book Encountering Women of Faith: The Saint Catherine’s Vision Collection, Volume III. During the seminars, co-authors offered highlights from their research engaging the lives of women saints. A fourth optional seminar was presented just after the official close of the Conference for persons interested in taking part in SCV's ongoing "diakonima" discussions regarding "Divine Compassion and Human Trafficking".
For further information, please visit SCV’s website, www.saintcatherinesvision.org and co-sponsors: Hellenic College-Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, www.hchc.edu and the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston, www.boston.goarch.org
Video footage and photographs from this event will be posted on Saint Catherine’s Vision website soon. For further information about SCV’s initiative “Divine Compassion and Human Trafficking” visit: http://saintcatherinesvision.com/collaborative-work/divine-compassion-and-human-trafficking
October 14, 2015
Saint Catherine's Vision (SCV) is pleased to announce Divine Compassion Conference III on: Divine Compassion and Women: Healing, Authority and Ministry in Orthodox Spiritual Tradition to be held Saturday, November 7th from 9 am- 4 pm at the Archbishop Iakovos Library Learning and Resource Center of Hellenic College Holy Cross School of Theology.
Dr. Helen Creticos Theodoropoulos, a graduate of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology presently serving as Adjunct Professor of Theology at St. Savas Serbian Orthodox Seminary and Dr. Evangelia Amiridou, Associate Professor of Church History of the Aristotelian University School of Theology in Thessaloniki, Greece, will be offering the keynote address and keynote response, respectively.
This conference and the preceding year-long period of preparation will culminate in the publishing of SCV's third collaboratively written book: Encountering Women of Faith, Volume III (Holy Cross Orthodox Press). Afternoon presenters will be Volume III co-authors, leading seminars highlighting their research engaging the lives of women saints. This past summer, H.E. Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware) of Diokleia served as special advisor during SCV’s most recent Writing Colloquium. The Saturday November 7th conference is co-sponsored with Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology and the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston.
The afternoon session will include an opportunity for audience members to participate in one of three seminars: "Divine Compassion, Women and . . . 1) Healing, . . 2) Authority and . . .3) Ministry. Opportunities for full audience participation engaging these three inter-related topics also are scheduled. Afternoon seminar presenters include SCV ‘s Volume III co-authors who have been engaging through collaborative study, the lives of various women saints. A fourth optional seminar will be offered just after the official close of the Conference for persons interested in taking part in SCV's ongoing "diakonima" discussions regarding "Divine Compassion and Human Trafficking".
This pan-Orthodox Christian conference is designed especially for men and women who desire to learn more deeply about the participation of women in the life of the Church, especially through the powerful witness of female saints through history. Orthodox Christians involved in various aspects of ordained and lay ministry within the life of the Church; including students of theology, seminary students and spouses, monastics, practitioners in parish and social philanthropic ministry, religious educators, parish council members, administrators and interested Christians are warmly encouraged to attend.
Tickets are available now through SCV’s Eventbrite site: divinecompassionconferenceiii.eventbrite.com.
October 2, 2015
Saint Catherine's Vision announces their upcoming Divine Compassion Conference III, Women: Healing, Authroity and Ministry in the Orthodox Spiritual Tradition. We are honored that Dr. Helen Creticos-Theodoropoulos, of St. Savvas Seminary, Literybill, Ill will be offering the keynote address with Dr. Evangelia Amiridou, Associate Professor of Church History at Aristoelian University of Thessaloniki will be offereing the keynote response.
This is event is being cosponsored by Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology and the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston. For more information and to register, click HERE.
Click the poster below to download and print.
September 22, 2015
July 1, 2015
H.E. Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware) of Diokleia delivered the Divine Compassion Distinguished Lecture at Hellenic College-Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology Saturday June 20th,, 2015. He spoke on Divine Compassion and the Restoration of the Human Icon. This Lectureship was presented by Saint Catherine’s Vision (SCV), and co-sponsored with Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, and the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston.
SCV is an international, Pan-Orthodox fellowship of women theologians and other lay servant-leaders engaging contemporary issues within the life of the Orthodox Church, blessed by the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America.
Greetings and introductions were offered by: Dr. James Skedros, Dean of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, on behalf of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of New York and H.E. Metropolitan Methodios of Boston and Dr. Kyriaki FitzGerald, Adjunct Professor in Theology at Holy Cross and SCV Executive Director. HCHC President-elect, Rev. Dr. Christopher Metropolis served as Master of Ceremonies on behalf of Fr. Nicholas Triantafilou, President of HCHC.
Over 200 participants attended this event. Metropolitan Kallistos movingly spoke on the centrality of Divine Compassion to which all human persons are called, created “in the image of God”. He elaborated how this “image” is in the image of Christ the Logos of God and simultaneously in the image of the Holy Trinity. The Divine Compassion Distinguished Lectureship also marked SCV’s official roll-out of their first public service ministry or “diakonima” engaging the issue of Divine Compassion and Human Trafficking. Presvytera Maria Drossos, member of the SCV Advisory Board, offered a brief presentation on the severity of human trafficking, “the elephant in the room” both locally and globally in contemporary society. An elegant brunch was served after the program, where audience participants were invited to an additional forum on “Divine Compassion and Human Trafficking” facilitated by Matushka Vera Proctor (M.Div., SVS), Director of FOCUS, Minneapolis, MN.
In his description of humanity’s creation in the image of Christ, Metropolitan Kallistos introduced four fundamental qualities of the mystery of human personhood: 1) all human persons are endowed with “logiki” and the “royal dignity” of their heavenly Father, God the King; 2) all are endowed with freedom. This is a heavy burden as it requires the “cross of choice and conflict.” When we fail to choose responsibly “we reject the divine image within us, we become less than human…” And consequently, “if we deny others their freedom, we dehumanize them...” From this perspective, Metropolitan Kallistos stressed the importance of SCV’s new diakonima on: Divine Compassion and Human Trafficking, “It is precisely here that we discern the wickedness, the grievous and shocking sinfulness of all human trafficking, of all forms of sexual exploitation and abuse. We are treating human beings in such cases not as subjects (of our Heavenly King and Father) endowed with freedom, but as commodities to be manipulated as we wish. We are now treating them not as persons in the image (of God), but as objects. We lose all reverence in this way for the Divine Image and so we lose all sense of relationship with the O/other. That is why human trafficking is so disgraceful. . . ”
Metropolitan Kallistos’ third point focused on how all human persons are called to be “creators”. Reflecting the human ability to have both self-awareness and God-awareness “We give creation a voice. . . . We render it articulate in praise of God.” This serves as a foundation to his fourth point: all human persons are capable of offering back to God praise, doxology and thanksgiving. That which most distinguishes the human from the other animals “in his privilege as priest of the creation is the ability to bless God”.
Metropolitan Kallistos also identified how each human person is created in the divine Trinitarian image of God. On the level of creation, “all that has been affirmed of God as Trinity, is to be affirmed also to the human being in God’s Trinitarian image. . . All of this makes clear the central value of compassion for any undertaking of the human icon made in the image of God… It is only through compassion that we become totally human, through our ability to suffer with and for others in loving and generous companionship.” He concluded his presentation by reflecting on the icon depicting three angels at table, known as “Rublev’s Trinity”. This scene, adopted from the Old Testament account of the three angelic strangers visiting Abraham and Sarah (Gen. 18:1-15), has become an image pointing to the mystery of the Holy Trinity in the Orthodox Church. In the icon he noted how the Trinity is in dialogue and engaged in mutual intimacy, stressing “we too, are somehow included in the mutual love among the members of the Trinity.” He reflected on how the three “are engaged in dialogue and what is the subject of their communication? They are saying to each other, ‘God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son’ (John 3:16). They are speaking of the act of self-emptying compassionate Love, whereby Christ Jesus died in sacrifice upon the cross.” The metropolitan asserted that the icon known as “Rublev’s Trinity” bears witness as a supreme expression of the Divine Compassion…. “It is this same Divine Compassion that is the inspiration of the whole program of diakonima of Saint Catherine’s Vision.” The metropolitan concluded his lecture by stressing how compassion is costly, how the exercise of Divine Compassion for us “is both costly and luminous….both sacrificial and intensely joyful”.
To listen to the presentations click HERE. For more information of our co-sponsors click on their links: Hellenic College-Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, www.hchc.edu and the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston, www.boston.goarch.org.
May 6, 2015
His Eminence Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware) of Diokleia will offer the keynote on “Divine Compassion and Restoring the Human Icon” for the Divine Compassion Distinguished Lectureship at HCHC Saturday June 20, 2015 from 8:30 a.m. to about 12:30 p.m. This event is being presented by Saint Catherine’s Vision (SCV). Saint Catherine’s Vision is an international Pan-Orthodox organization of women theologians and other lay servant-leaders addressing contemporary concerns of the Orthodox Church. SCV recently announced their new initiative engaging the issue of “Divine Compassion and Human Trafficking”. From this event, a donation will be made by SCV from the net proceeds towards this new initiative. SCV will begin encouraging theological and spiritual reflection on this issue, by initiating educational programing and promoting various ways members of the Church may respond. A fall/winter of 2016 consultation on this topic is presently being considered by SCV.
This Distinguished Lectureship and Brunch is co-sponsored by Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology and the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston. This event will take place at the Maliotis Center of Hellenic College. A brief discussion-group opportunity related to the “Divine Compassion and Human Trafficking” initiative will be offered as a supplemental option at the end of the event. Donation for the brunch is $35.00 per person with sponsorship opportunites available.
Please visit divinecompassionrestoringthehumanicon.eventbrite.com for reservations and sponsorship opportunities.
Click HERE to download the event flyer.
SCV is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and all donations are tax-deductible to the full extend allowable by law.
April 17, 2015
Save the Date released by Saint Catherine's Vision for upcoming Distinguished Lectureship Series on June 20, 2015.
March 19, 2015
Saint Catherine’s Vision’s Young Scholar, Presbytera Athanasia Mellos Kostakis, M.Div., MSW, a student at Boston University’s School of Theology is conducting research for her Doctor of Ministry project thesis. It is a confidential study on Orthodox Christians in Lay Ministry.
She was first highlighted at our Divine Compassion and Women of the Church: Theological Perspectives conference in June 2014 and was enthusiastically received by conference participants. SCV’s Young Scholar Initiative promotes dedicated Orthodox Christians whose work reflects the “building up of the body of Christ.”
Presbytera Athanasia is seeking to interview Orthodox Christians in Lay Ministry. These interviews will be conducted through March 2016. Please click here to view the flyer for more information and eligibility. Contact Presbytera Athanasia directly at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in participating and/or have questions about participating including eligibility.
March 3, 2015
Saint Catherine's Vision Executive Director and Co-founder, Dr. Kyriaki FitzGerald will speak at the "Orthodox Christian Women Lenten Retreat" in Akron, OH on March 14, 2015.
She will speak on "Divine Compassion and Psalm 50." Click on this link for further information and registration.
February 10, 2015
SCV will be working on Volume III of the Encountering Book Series this coming June 2015. To order our first two volumes click here.
February 10, 2015
SaVe the DaTe!
Saint Catherine's Vision is excited to announce the Divine Compassion Distinguished Lectureship!
Saint Catherine's Vision is pleased to announce for June 21, 2015, cosponsored by Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology and the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston, the Divine Compassion Distinguished Lectureship with return keynote speaker Metropolitan Kallistos Ware of Diokleia.
SCV in deep gratitude thank His Eminence Metropolitan Kallistos Ware of Diokleia for kindly accepting our return invitation for a second year. Click here to view his keynote address from the Divine Compassion and Women of the Church: Theological Perspectives conference held on June 20-21, 2014.
February 9, 2015
SCV’s Co-founder and Executive Director, Dr. Kyriaki FitzGerald presented at the Deaconesses, Ordination of Women and Orthodox Theology International Conventional and Electronic Theological Seminar and Conference in Thessaloniki, Greece on January 22-24, 2015. More information about this conference can be found by clicking here.
This conference recommended restoration of the ordained deaconesses. With the Orthodox Church for more than a generation taking a concrete position on this issue as expressed by the famous 1988 Rhodes, Greece Conference document which affirms that “the apostolic order of deaconess should be revived,” many have come to the forefront of this important issue. Many sections of Dr. Kyriaki FitzGerald’s paper which was delivered in Thessaloniki reflects what was previously included in Saint Catherine’s Vision June Conference, Divine Compassion and Women of the Church: Theological Perspectives. Click here to view the full video presentation by Dr. Kyriaki FitzGerald.
In addition to presenting on this important topic, Dr. Kyriaki FitzGerald honored longtime mentor Emeritus Professor Evangelos Theodorou, now 94 years old, with a Laudatum. It was he who 60 years ago opened the discussion within the Orthodox theological circles regarding the Ordination of Women with his dissertation on deaconesses. Click here for the full Laudatum about Professor Theodorou by Dr. Kyriaki FitzGerald.
January 10, 2015
SCV's Executive Director, Dr. Kyriaki Fitzgerald-Karydoyanes will be presenting at the International Theological Conference on Deaconesses, Ordination of Women and Orthodox Theology to be held in Thessaloniki on January 22-25, 2015. Click HERE for more information on this conference.
November 29, 2014
Saint Catherine's Vision has published "A Call for the Rejunvenation of the Ministry of the Ordained Deaconess." The document is addressed to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the Secretariat of the Great and Holy Council. It is being widely distrbuted for prayerful reflection by hierarchs, clergy and laity.
October 20, 2014
Saint Catherine's Vision is happy to announce that all of the videos from the Divine Compassion and Women of the Church: Theological Perspectives conference are available. Please go to our Media Video Gallery for these fruitful presentations on an important topic in the Church today!
August 12, 2014
Saint Catherine's Vision has released the first in a series of videos from the Divine Compassion and Women of the Church: Theological Perspectives conference. Click HERE for the keynote address of the conference by His Eminence Metropolitan Kallistos Ware held of June 20, 2014 at Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology.
August 5, 2014
Read about the Divine Compassion and Women of the Church: Theological Perspectives conference held on June 20-21, 2014 at Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in the July-August 2014 Orthodox Observer on Page 5. The article was written by Executive Director of Saint Catherine's Vision, Dr. Kyriaki FitzGerald.
July 2, 2014
(Brookline, MA) His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios of Boston warmly welcomed the renowned theologian Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware) of Diokleia to the Metropolis and the conference on “Divine Compassion: Women in the Church, Theological Perspectives.” The conference was held at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, MA on June 20-21, 2014.
In his welcome, Metropolitan Methodios of Boston spoke of the profound influence which the lectures and writings of Metropolitan Kallistos has had on the life of the Church. He also took note of Metropolitan Kallistos’ distinguished service to the Ecumenical Patriarchate and his participation in the Orthodox-Catholic International Theological Consultation and the International Orthodox-Anglican Theological Consultation on which he is the chairman. This was followed by greetings from Dr. James Skedros, Dean of Holy Cross School of Theology and Dr. Kyriaki FitzGerald, Executive Director of St. Catherine’s Vision.
The Conference on Divine Compassion and Women of the Church: Theological Perspectives held on June 20-21, 2014 gathered over two hundred participants from throughout the United States and Canada. This conference is the second in a series engaging themes related to Divine Compassion (theia eleos), co-sponsored by Hellenic College-Holy Cross School of Theology, the Metropolis of Boston, and St. Catherine’s Vision (SCV).
Professor James Skedros, Dean of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of theology warmly greeted Metropolitan Kallistos to the campus. Dr. Skedros noted the rich contributions the life and work of Metropolitan Kallistos has made in the Orthodox Church throughout the world. Following Dean Skedros, Dr. Kyriaki FitzGerald Adjunct Professor in Theology at Holy Cross and Executive Director of St. Catherine’s Vision, stated, “this second Conference on Divine Compassion provided the opportunity for Orthodox Christians to appreciate a little more deeply the reality of Divine Compassion, theia eleos, and the various ways this influences the life and participation of women and men within the Church and society.”
Metropolitan Savas of Pittsburgh, a former doctoral student of Metropolitan Kallistos, was invited to introduce Metropolitan Kallistos.
Metropolitan Kallistos began his keynote address with, “In the Jesus Prayer, mercy is the link between the glory of God and the sinner.” His presentation focused not only on God’s compassion but also the suffering that Christ experienced while on earth. He is the “wounded healer” and he does this with the “salvation exchange” expressed by St. Athanasius: “God became man so man could become God.”
Regarding the ministry of women, two schools of thought were pointed out on the gifts of women and men. One school, of which Metropolitan Kallistos expresses some “reservations”, is associated with the work of Professor Paul Evdokimov (1901-1970), who argues that man is represented in a particular manner by Christ and woman is represented in a particular manner by the Holy Spirit. Another school of theological thinking is represented by the early church Fathers who, for the most part, emphasize the humanness (as anthropos) of Christ and all persons, stressing in his conclusions that “we must be careful when distinguishing the gifts of men and women. All diakonia (service) “means laying down your life for others . . . both men and women.”
A day-long series of presentations related to the conference theme followed the next day. The presenters were: Dr. Despina Prassas (Providence College and Holy Cross), Iulia Curtright, Ph.D. cand.,(Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, Lincoln, Nebraska) engaging themes related to: “Incarnated Mercy: The Theotokos and the Saints”; Fr. Robert and Matushka Susan Arida (Holy Trinity Church, Boston MA) engaging themes related to “The Healing of Relationships concerning ‘Adam and Eve’, Today”; Kh. Christina Reimann, MA., M.Ed., CADCII, (St. Anthony the Great Church, San Diego, CA), Dr. George Stavros (Boston University Danielsen Institute), engaging themes related to “Encountering Divine Compassion through Everyday Relationships: Home, Community and the Workplace”; Dr. Fotini Kapsalis (Trinity College, Eastern and Orthodox Christian Studies Program, Toronto, CA), Dr. Kyriaki FitzGerald (Adjunct Professor in Theology, Holy Cross and Saint Catherine’s Vision, Executive Director), engaging themes on Divine Compassion: Women, Worship and Ministry; Pres. Athanasia Kostakis, M.Div., MSW, D.Min. cand., (Holy Trinity Church, Dallas, TX) offered the “Saint Catherine’s Vision Young Scholar’s Initiative” pre-conference seminar on: “Resilience in Lay-Ministry from and Orthodox Perspective”.
Metropolitan Kallistos closed the conference noting the uniqueness of every human person; as “no one is redundant” while still being created in the image and after the likeness of God. He also stressed that we need to “continue to explore new ways for the roles of women in the Church . . . and that compassion transforms our relationships with others.”
SCV is a Pan-Orthodox organization of women theologians and other lay servant-leaders dedicated to developing and implementing spiritually and theologically sound initiatives “for the building up of the body of Christ” (Ep.4:12) and is endorsed by the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America.
June 23, 2014
Praise God and thanks to everyone who participated at the Divine Compassion and Women of the Church: Theological Perspectives conference! It was a huge success! Stay tuned to our website and our facebook page at www.facebook.com/SaintCatherinesVision for pictures and videos coming soon!
May 7, 2014
Divine Compassion and Women of the Church: Theological Perspectives Conference to Take Place at Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology June 20-21, 2014
Divine Compassion and Women of the Church: Theological Perspectives is the theme for the second in a series of conferences to take place at HCHC June 20 & 21, 2014.The Conference Opens Friday evening June 20th at 7pm with honored guest speakers followed by an opening reception at the Maliotis Center on the HCHC campus.
“It is very gratifying for us to be co-sponsoring this conference with the Metropolis of Boston and Saint Catherine’s Vision. We are delighted and honored that His Eminence, Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware) of Diokleia will be delivering the keynote address engaging the theme, ‘Divine Compassion and the Ministry of Women in the Church,’ stated Professor James Skedros, Interim Dean of Holy Cross.
“Truly, it is our joy and privilege to welcome into our midst, His Eminence Metropolitan Kallistos. His love of Scripture and the Church Fathers, scholarly acumen, teaching, pastoral experience and writing (from which a great many have benefitted, including myself), have made him a unique witness and contributor to the life of the Church today. We welcome him to Boston with open arms and hearts!”
“Engaging this important topic through the lens of Divine Compassion, we believe, may inspire further theological and spiritual reflection in a number of other facets of Orthodox Christian life.”
“Divine Compassion, the “eleos” of God is Love Applied. Divine Compassion is at the very heart of what it means to be a human person and at the same time, what it means to be a member of the Church. There will be a specific focus during our two days together on how Divine Compassion influences the participation and ministry of women (and men!) within the life of the Church.” stated Dr. Kyriaki FitzGerald, Adjunct Professor of Theology at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology and Director of Saint Catherine’s Vision.
Saint Catherine’s Vision is an association of women theologians and other lay servant-leaders, blessed by the Canonical Assembly of Orthodox Bishops in North and Central America. “We pray that Orthodox Christians, interested friends and persons in active service to the Church, especially, will make the time and join us,” stated Dr. FitzGerald.
The two day Conference will be held at the Maliotis Center on Hellenic College Holy Cross Campus presenting distinguished speakers who will highlight a select number of dimensions of theology, Church life, and human life, itself, regarding the “eleos”, the Compassion of God, from an Orthodox perspective.
Topics and speakers in the program are: Divine Compassion, as Incarnated Mercy: The Theotokos and Women Saints, by Dr. Despina Prassas and Iulia Curtright, Ph.D. cand.; Divine Compassion and the Healing of Relationships between ‘Adam and Eve’, Today, by Fr. Robert and Matushka Susan Arida; Encountering Divine Compassion through Everyday Relationships: Home, Community and the Workplace, Dr. George Stavros and Kh. Christina Reimann, M.A., M.Ed., CADA II; Encountering Divine Compassion: Women, Worship and Ministry, Dr. Fotini Kapsalis and Dr. Kyriaki FitzGerald. There is also a pre-conference seminar scheduled on Resilience in Lay Ministry from an Orthodox Perspective, offered by Pres. Athanasia Kostakis, M.Div., MSW, D.Min., cand..
May 2, 2014
Registration is now open for the Divine Compassion and Women of the Church: Theological Perspectives conference at Hellenic College Holy Cross School of Theology on June 20-21, 2014. Click here to register now!
Click on flyer to download
April 8, 2014
Divine Compassion and Women of the Church with keynote address by His Eminence Metropolitan Kallistos Ware will be held on June 20-21, 2014. Save the date as registration will be opening soon!
December 28, 2013
SaVe ThE dAtE for our upcoming conference Divine Compassion and Women of the Church! Tentative dates for the conference are June 20-21, 2014.
December 9, 2013
The Divine Compassion Conference: Orthodox Christians in Service of Perfect Love was co-sponsored by Hellenic College Holy Cross, the Metropolis of Boston and Saint Catherine’s Vision on November 14-16, 2013, was a fruitful success! Over one hundred participants from the USA, Canada, and Europe gathered to discuss theological, ministerial, and caregiving aspects of God’s love and compassion. Click here to read more and view photos from the conference.
Meet Some of the Featured Speakers:
Metropolitan Methodios Bishop John V.Rev.Fr.Roberto Ubertino
Dr. Lewis Patsavos Dr. Beth Dunlop Rev. Dr. Ioan Sauca
Dr. Timothy Patitsas Rev.Dr.Tom FitzGerald Dr. Kyriaki FitzGerald
Dr. Peter Bouteneff Dr. George Stavros Dr. Despina Prassas
Presb.Maria Drossos Vera Proctor Dr. James Skedros
Dr. Tony Vrame Fr. Demetrius Nicoloudakis
V.Rev.Fr. Antony Hughes
Video footage and photographs from this event will be posted on Saint Catherine’s Vision website soon. For further information about SCV’s initiative “Divine Compassion and Human Trafficking” visit: http://saintcatherinesvision.com/collaborative-work/divine-compassion-and-human-trafficking
In celebration of its
Orthodox Women Speak: Discerning the "Signs of the Times"
is now available FREE
This book offers a penetrating introduction to vital themes related to the participation of women in the life of the Church.
Published in 1999, this book is the product of ground-breaking, officially sponsored, international Orthodox Women’s Conferences that took place in Damascus, Syria (1996) and Constantinople/Istanbul, Turkey (1997).
"Let us praise Catherine the radiant bride of Christ, guardian of Sinai, our helper and supporter. By the power of the Spirit, she silenced the arrogance of the ungodly. Crowned as a martyr, she now implores great mercy for all."