Metropolis of Chicago

Family Synaxis


Lenten Retreat

March 30 2019

Bring your family for a day of fun and learning at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Oak Lawn for our annual Lenten Retreat.

  • The retreat leader will be Elissa Bjeletich, a wife and mother, raising five daughters. Elissa converted to Orthodoxy in 1999 and now writes and speaks primarily on parenting and Christian Education. She is the author of:
    • Blueprints for the Little Church
    • In God's Hands: A mother's journey through her infant's critical illness
    • Welcoming the Christ Child: Family Readings for the Nativity Lent
    • Tending the Garden of our Hearts: Daily Lenten Meditations for Families

She also has two podcasts available on Ancient Faith Radio.

Flyer: download here

Schedule: view SCHEDULE here

Almsgiving: During the retreat, we will be assembling Blessing Bags, which will be filled with helpful items appropriate to give someone who is homeless. We invite you to donate $10 or $25 when you register (using the drop-down menu on the paypal button) to help us purchase the items for the bags.

We will also be collecting items for the local food pantry. (Link coming with list of ideas.) Please consider bringing some items to donate.

Once you've registered for the Lenten Retreat, submit your payment, either by check (made out to St. John the Baptist Church with Family Synaxis Lenten Retreat in the memo) or via paypal, using the button here. (Remember to use the drop-down menu to make a donation for the Blessing Bags, if you'd like.)

Labor Day Weekend Retreat

August 30–September 1 2019

Get away with your whole family to the St. Iakovos Retreat Center over Labor Day Weekend. Our retreat leader will be Fr. Joisah Trenham, who has served as pastor of St. Andrew Orthodox Church in Riverside, California since 1998. He is the founder and director ofPatristic Nectar Publication, a company dedicated to "nourishing the spiritually thirsty with the sweet teaching of the Holy Fathers" in quality audio recordings. Fr. Josiah's weekly homilies and additional theological reflections are published weekly and listed to by thousands all over the globe on The Arena podcast on Ancient Faith Radio. Fr. Josiah was married in 1988 and is the father of 10 children.


Did you attend our Labor Day Weekend Retreat this year?

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The Family Synaxis is featured on the TV show Different Drummers

Bobby Maddex interviews Christine Drechsler and Fr. John Rallis

Past Events

Women's Retreat 2019

Women of all ages were invited to this wonderful retreat which ran from Friday evening through Saturday afternoon (1/25-1/26) at the St. Iakovos Retreat Center. The retreat leader will be Mother Macrina of the Dormition of the Mother of God Orthodox Monastery in Rives Junction, Michigan. She has served the monastery for over 20 years, and is a warm and devout servant of God, and a gifted speaker.

Friday evening: Confident Women Saints to Emulate.

Saturday: Prayer—the Backbone of our Lives (parts 1 and 2).

PHOTOS coming soon

Men's Retreat 2019

Theme - Great Lent: From False Freedom to True Freedom

Friday Feb. 22–Saturday Feb. 23

Join this fellowship of men of all ages for a relaxing and thought-provoking retreat, which will run from Friday evening through Saturday afternoon at the St. Iakovos Retreat Center. The retreat leader is Rev. Dr. Perry Hamalis, a native Chicagoan who is a professor of religion at North Central College where he teaches courses in Religious and Philosophical Ethics. He is a deacon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and has lectured across the U.S., Europe, Korea and Australia.

Flyer: download here

Schedule: Click here to see the schedule

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