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Antiochian Village Concludes Busy Winter Season

SOYO Mid-Winter MeetingSOYO Mid-Winter MeetingWrapping up a busy schedule of winter events, Antiochian Village served as the host for the "Men in Black" Clergy Appreciation Luncheon on February 22. The Village's first event was the January winter camp session. These two events bookmarked several key conferences and meetings which took place in the very busy month of February.

During the first weekend in February, the traditional mid-winter meetings were held for SOYO's leadership. Reports Fr. Joseph Purpura, Chairman of the Department for Youth Ministry, "The February 4-6, 2011 Midwinter Meetings of SOYO brought over thirty teens and advisors from across the archdiocese. SOYO continued its work begun at the 2010 SOYO Leadership Conference. The SOYO Diocesan officers reported on their progress and shared ideas with one another. SOYO Officers continued the development of their leadership skills, as Fr. Fouad Saba explored the scripture and its relationship to leadership. Elizabeth Mamey, a past NAC SOYO Officer, came back to SOYO to share with our current group of officers the skills she learned through her SOYO and Leadership training experiences. It was a weekend rich in fellowship, spirituality and accomplishments for SOYO."

Then on February 8-12,  about two dozen OCF chaplains gathered for their three day conference to discuss the theme "Following Christ through Crisis." Fr. Michael Nassar, OCF's North American chaplain, noted that "People from both coasts and in between" came to hear the main speaker, Fr. John Abdalah, focus on equipping those who work with students to deal with the emotional and spiritual challenges faced by today's collegians. "There were actually three different meetings back to back, all week long," explains Fr. Michael. "First we had the chaplain conference, followed by a meeting of regional chaplains, and then the student advisory board met--the students are our 'idea generators.'"

During the weekend of February 18-20, the Village played host to a completely different kind of group during the popular annual Marriage Enrichment Retreat. Led by Antiochian priest Fr. Don Hock and Kh. Maggie Hock, Director of Marriage and Parish Family Ministries, the Retreat's theme was "Crowned with Glory and Honor: tools for marriage enrichment." The weekend, characterized by fellowship and relaxation, coincided with the second winter camp session, which allowed for the children of attending couples to enjoy camp while their moms and dads participated in the Retreat.