From August 13–16, 2014, I traveled to Dallas, TX, to meet with the student leaders for the Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF). At their Student Leadership Institute (SLI), I offered a presentation on Conflict Resolution. Fifteen collegians, three administrators with the Fellowship, His Grace Bishop Gregory, primate of the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese of the U.S.A., and Managing Director of Holy Trinity Publications Nicholas Chapman, joined this outstanding group for a time of prayer and discussion, as they prepared to face the challenges of the coming 2014–2015 academic year.
Bishop Gregory, the liaison between OCF and the Assembly of Bishops, offered a wonderful talk and celebrated the Divine Liturgy, and Nicholas gave a presentation on the history of Orthodoxy in the United States.
During the Institute, the students discussed at length how they would cooperate, plan, network and strengthen the OCF chapters in their area. There are about 200 OCF Chapters, and thus the 15 student leaders each have a sizable group of chapters to coordinate. Despite the daunting task ahead of them, the student leaders are clearly committed to Christ and to spreading His Word on college campuses, and are energetically working to strengthen OCF. They have planned a myriad of activities for the upcoming year, including three geographically separate College Conferences over Christmas break, many Real Break ministry trips to varied countries, and other regional retreats.
I was deeply moved by my interactions with them; they inspired me to work harder to do all I can for collegians, and I certainly am stronger in my faith after my time with them.
Dr. Al Rossi teaches courses in pastoral theology at St. Vladimir’s Seminary and is the Director of Field Education. He was a member of the SCOBA Commission on Contemporary Social and Moral Issues. He has written numerous articles on psychology and religion and published a book through Paulist Press entitled, Can I Make a Difference: Christian Family Life Today. After teaching at Pace University for 24 years, he retired as Associate Professor of Psychology, and is a licensed clinical psychologist in the state of New York. His podcast on Ancient Faith Radio is titled Becoming a Healing Presence.