The GOYA ministry educates teenagers grades 9-12 about our Greek Orthodox Christian Faith, and inspires them through discussions, service projects, activities and fellowship to incorporate those teachings into their daily lives.  

GOYA meets weekly at the church on Monday evenings from 7:30 - 9 p.m. from September through May, beginning September 11, 2023.  This year the youth ministry will explore the theme:  “In the World...but Not Of the World.”  We welcome and encourage our high school youth to join us


2023-24 Calendar


  • JR. OLYMPICS takes place each year at Saints Constantine & Helen Church, Palos Hills, with a full offering of more than 15 competitive events for youth between 7-18 years old.  Team Ascension participated in the 43rd Annual Metropolis of Chicago Jr. Olympics over Memorial Day weekend, May 25-26. See photos HERE!  Visit our Jr. Olympics webpage.

    IS SOMEONE IN YOUR HOUSE CELEBRATING A GRADUATION MILESTONE THIS YEAR? Ascension’s annual graduate tribute will take place following Liturgy on Sunday, June 9th and will honor graduates of Elementary School, High School, College, Graduate and Post-Graduate programs. Please email the following information no later than Friday, May 24th to suzannesaric@ascensiongoc.com: Name(s) of your graduate(s); parent’s names; school from which they are graduating; full name/location/major of school they plan to attend; university or post-graduate degree earned (and if applicable, post-baccalaureate program if they're going on); and, most importantly, a photo (.jpg portrait/headshot). We look forward to recognizing and honoring our graduates at the conclusion of the June 9th Divine Liturgy!

    CLICK HERE for information on Ascension's Parish Oratorical Festival program.  Express Your Faith! Represent your Parish! Do you like to write? Draw? Chant? Present your point in front of an audience? Don’t miss the opportunity to show your God-given talents as a writer, speaker, artist and vocalist by participating in the St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival. If you are in 4th – 12th grade, you are encouraged to participate in this program, which gives you the opportunity to reflect upon and express what your faith means to you.  Ascension's Parish level Oratorical Festival took place on Wednesday, April 10, 2024 in the Anagnos Fellowship Hall following 9th Hour & Pre-Sanctified Liturgy. Submissions were due Wednesday, April 3, 2024. Submissions that advance from the Junior and Senior Divisions (grades 7-12) will present at the Metropolis Oratorical Festival on Bright Saturday, hosted this year by Holy Apostles, Westchester, and were submitted to the Metropolis by April 22, 2024.  More details can be found on the Oratorical webpage HERE, or by contacting Mrs. Despina Petros, Ascension's Oratorical Chairperson at ddpetros@comcast.net.


  • YOUTH SUNDAY A much-loved tradition in our Parish, Youth Sunday is held every year to honor and celebrate our youth and the vibrancy they bring to our community through our many ministries.  Youth serve in many capacity in church during Youth Sunday, and there's an extended celebratory fellowship hour in their honor.  Witness the exuberance our youth brings to Ascension's Parish life by watching a video presented during our 2024 fellowship celebration HERE.   Photos from Youth Sunday 2024 can be seen HERE.

    Youth Sunday Slide Show

  • FANARI:   FALL, WINTER, LENTEN & SUMMER camps are offered by the Metropolis of Chicago.  These camps take place at the St. Iakovos Retreat Center in Kansasville, WI  for 5th - 12th graders and activities include: Worship, Orthodox Life, Fun activities like Olympics, tubing, and much more!  There are also opportunities to join the Leadership Team and/or be a counselor.  Read more information and see graphic below.
  • FANARI SUMMER CAMP Fanari Summer Camp is the Metropolis of Chicago summer camping ministry, available for rising 6th grade through rising 12th grade campers. The Summer camp program has four individual sessions each year, running from mid-June through mid-July. Each year, 150-160 campers join each week of Fanari Summer Camp for growth in their faith & friendships, while having a ton of fun along the way. Some of our most enjoyable activities include: Worship, Orthodox Life & Bible Study, Boating & Swimming, Summer Olympics, dances, field trips, and much more!

    2024 SESSIONS
    Registration for Summer Camp opened Monday, March 11, 2024 @ noon

    Session 1: Sunday, June 16 – Saturday, June 22, 2024
    Session 2: Sunday, June 23 – Saturday, June 29, 2024
    Session 3: Sunday, June 30 – Saturday, July 6, 2024
    Session 4: Sunday, July 7 – Saturday, July 16, 2024
    Session 5: Sunday, July 14 – Saturday, July 20, 2024

    CLICK HERE for more information!

  • METROPOLIS OF CHICAGO SEEKING COUNSELORS & LEADERSHIP TEAM MEMBERS:  To learn more about the Fanari Leadership Team and Lighthouse Counselor Applications within the Metropolis of Chicago, click HERE.  

  • LIGHTHOUSE FOR HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS: Lighthouse is a week-long summer camp ministry for Orthodox high school seniors offered by the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago, administered by Orthodox clergy and laypeople who work with campers to prepare them in a Christ-centered way for the social, emotional, practical, and spiritual challenges they will face in college.  This summer, it will take place Saturday, June 22 - Saturday, June 29, 2024.  Lighthouse registration for HS Seniors opened on March 11, 2024.

  • FANARI CAMP COUNSELOR opened in February of 2024 for summer camp 2024.  All applications (CampDoc and recommendations) were due by April 25th.  All counselors must be at least 18 years old and be roughly one year past their date of high school graduation (ex. after freshman year of college). Stay tuned to the Metropolis Fanari website for more information.

  • Fanari Camp FACEBOOK Page and Instagram 

  • SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITIES Visit the Young Adults webpage and scroll to the bottom for information about local and national scholarship programs.

  • AHEPA RECENTLY ANNOUNCED LOCAL AND NATIONAL SCHOLARSHIP opportunities for current high school seniors and college/graduate students.  Applications are open until mid and late March.  For more information, visit: https://ahepadistrict13.org/scholarship.htm#D13 and/or https://ahepa.org/education/

  • AHEPA LOCAL  SPORTS AWARD BANQUET & SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM: The 13th District of AHEPA sponsors an annual Sports Award Banquet which honors Greek American and AHEPA family high school and college athletes who have played any sport on their high school or college teams. HS Seniors may also apply for a scholarship. In 2023, the banquet took place on June 2nd at Fountain Blue Banquets. Applications were due May 22nd. Please visit https://ahepadistrict13.org/athletics/Current-Sports-Award-Packet.pdf for more information.

  • AHEPA Athletics NATIONAL Scholarship Application AHEPA has a proud history of awarding scholarships to a number of deserving scholar-athletes competing at the high school and college levels. These scholarships are funded through the generosity of Ahepan(s) and or their families, often in honor of an active and committed Brother or in the memory of a deceased Brother. The grants recognize and reward the accomplishments, academic and athletic, of young Greek Americans who will be the community’s future leader(s)! An applicant must be nominated by a member of the AHEPA family.  Applications are typically due in March or April of each year.    CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE 2024 PROGRAM.  Applicants were due April 15, 2024.

  • Y2AM Ministry At Home Resources   Check this wonderful resource out!

  • GOA Center for Family Care Comfort Food for Families

  • IONIAN VILLAGE announced the dates for the Summer 2024 programs: Session One: June 25 – July 14, 2024; and Session Two: July 23 – August 11, 2024. Registration opens in February 2024. Ionian Village is the international camping ministry of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America located in Peloponnesus, Greece. Each 20-day session is open to young people who will have completed grades 9 through 12. For more information, visit www.ionianvillage.org/

    CrossRoad is a ten-day academic summer institute that prepares high school juniors and seniors to make big life decisions and invites them to connect with the Orthodox Christian theological and spiritual tradition. Historically, CrossRoad has been hosted solely on the campus of Hellenic College Holy Cross; however in recent years, it has also been offered in Chicago on the campus of North Park University.  Application Deadline is typically in February.  For more information, visit www.crossroadinstitute.org; or, or call 617-850-1310.    

    GOYANs and Jr. GOYANs look forward to this tradition of assembling college care packages for college freshmen each year from our parish. This long-standing tradition at Ascension lets our freshmen know we're thinking of them when they're away from home!  



  • DIVE FOR THE CROSS In 2024, our annual Dive for the Cross Event took place on January 21 at the Wheeling Park District indoor pool.  See photos HERE.  In 2023, we held the event on Sunday, January 15th from 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. at the Highland Park Rec Center Pool for K-12th Graders.  See photos HERE.

  • YOUTH SUNDAY 2022, 2023:  Witness the exuberance our youth brings to Ascension's Parish life by watching a video presented at our 2023 celebration which highlights our 2022 youth programs and events HERE.  See photos of the 2023 Youth Sunday HERE.  The 2022 Youth Slide show is available for viewing HERE