We’re halfway through the week and once again enjoying another enlightening day at Fanari Camp!
In preparation for receiving Holy Communion at the Divine Liturgy on Saturday, we all participated in the sacrament of Holy Confession during OL. Thank you to our visiting clergy, Fr. Nicholas Georgiou and Fr. Leo Gavrilos, who served along side Very Rev. Fr. Christodoulos Margellos, Fr. George Pappas, Fr. Panteleimon Dalianis, Fr. Ciprian Sas, Fr. Peter Sarolas, Fr. Panagiotis Boznos and Fr. Dimitri Tobias, to hear confessions. A beautiful opportunity to free us of all the sins that weigh us down.
With rain heading in tonight, we switched up our “Flex” activity today with Athletics, so we could enjoy being out on the fields one last day. Campers played some exciting games of kickball, volley ball and a round of Octoball!
The temperature is rising outside each day, but our athletic fields and courts were filled with friendly competition during free time. Other’s stayed cool inside the Main Lodge, visiting the Camp Store, making bracelets and enjoying their 1 free ice cream bar per day, generously donated in honor of Nun Theologia.
Tonight’s evening activity was the miraculous, “Night with the Saints”. Rotating between two activities, we first welcomed Fr. Loukas Gikas who brought relics of St. John Chrysostom, St. John the Baptist, St. George, the Holy Cross, St. Paul, St. Nicholas, St. Basil, St. Constantine, St. Helen, St. Anna, SS. Nicholas, Raphael and Irene and many more for us to venerate. We learned that the saints are an extension of Christ, and when we pray to the saints, we ask them to intercede for us. We venerate the relics because they bring us closer to Christ. These saints remind us that our faith is real and Christ is true. We also had the blessing of being anointed with the Holy Myrrh from the weeping icon of St. John the Baptist at Assumption, Homer Glen, IL.
Our next rotation was with Fr. Dimitri Tobias who relayed stories of saints, the miracles they performed and the healing powers of their relics. The campers enjoyed watching a “Be the Bee” video about relics and how the campers at Ionian Village in Greece, visit the Island of Zakynthos to venerate the relics of St. Dionysios. A truly inspiring night, discovering the intricate nature of the relationship between Christ and his saints.
Rounding out our evening activity was our traditional Sing-a-long. Leo Fotos treated us by playing the guitar and leading everyone in some rousing renditions of, “Deep”, “Pharaoh, Pharaoh”, and “I Am a C”. We ended with an action packed “Boomba! Hey!”, “Boom Chicka Boom”, and campers made their own indoor “rain” with their hands, which was the pinnacle of our fun evening together.
At Closing Day, counselor Anthony Ruggerio talked about an experience he had venerating the miraculous icon of the Panagia Kardiotissa, while he was at Camp Nazareth in Pittsburgh. The priest that brought the icon, told the camp the story of His Eminence Metropolitan Iakovos, of blessed memory, venerating the icon when it was here in Chicago and how he believed that the Panagia was constantly interceding for us to Christ, and offering the miracle and healing power of this icon. An inspiring story and example of faith for us all!
As some storms roll in tonight, all the campers are tucked into bed after such an emotional and Christ filled day. May the blessings of the Lord come upon us, and prepare us for another glorious day of Fanari Camp!