Nestled in the heart of Pittsburgh’s Oakland area, Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral stands proudly among six prominent institutions: the Universities of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon, Carlow, and Chatham, as well as the nearby Duquesne and Robert Morris Universities.
For the past eight years, the devoted Cathedral Moms & Dads have hosted an annual Welcome Brunch for both new and returning college and graduate students. This heartwarming tradition is scheduled on the Sunday right before the commencement of the academic term at the largest area universities. This year, the event coincided with the Orthodox Christian Fellowship’s (OCF) College Student Sunday. At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, a collection was undertaken to further the mission of the OCF.
Fr. Eleftherios Constantine, the recently appointed Cathedral Dean, extended a warm welcome to the students on behalf of the Cathedral community. In his remarks, he emphasized the importance of finding a spiritual home during their academic tenure in Pittsburgh. He invited them to join in the parish life of the Cathedral or to explore other Orthodox parishes nearby.
Following the Divine Liturgy, the students were treated to a hearty brunch and were given take-out containers with more food. The Cathedral Moms and Dads also lovingly curated gift bags for each student. These bags included home-baked treats, a variety of snacks, and a $10 Starbucks gift card.
This College Student Welcome Brunch can be mirrored in parishes throughout the Archdiocese. Other parishes are encouraged to host similar events, especially during September. The goal should be ensuring that the students know they have a parish home away from home and supportive parish clergy who are available if/when needed.
For those interested in the Orthodox Christian Fellowship and its Grant-matching Back to School Challenge, more details are available at www.ocf.net.
Photos: Archdeacon Ryan Gzikowski
Source: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America