The 2022/23 Jr. GOYA and GOYA ministry serves the youth in our parish currently in 6th-12th grade.  The primary focus of this important youth ministry is to educate our pre-teens and teenagers about our Greek Orthodox Christian Faith, and inspire them to incorporate those teachings into their daily lives.  Through discussions, Diakonia (Service) projects, activities and spending time together, our Jr. GOYANs and GOYANs learn how to live our Greek Orthodox Faith.   

In the 2022/23 Ecclesiastical year, Ascension's Jr. GOYA and GOYA programs will join forces and focus on a nationally renowned program developed by Faithtree Resources called "The Relationship Project."  Using "The Relationship Project" as a guide, supplemented by many social and fun activities planned throughout the year, Fr. Sotiri will deliver a truly special year of content that will present the life-giving road map to Christ through the lens of a teenager.

Jr. GOYA and GOYA meets weekly at the church on Monday evenings from 7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. from September through May.  We welcome and encourage our youth in 6th through 12th grade to join us

  Click for the 2022-2023 Calendar  

Here are a few highlights of “The Relationship Project”

  • Materials that are uniquely Orthodox, rooted in the faith traditions of our Church yet focused on how we live and learn in the twenty-first century
  • Relevant, and highly engaging content offered around 3 themes: Understanding Our Identity with God, family and friends; Understanding Intimacy with God and our heart; Understanding Mental Health as we discuss anxiety and depression
  • Meets our youth at their level and helps them explore difficult issues facing them today in a safe space while forming lifelong friendships along the way
  • High-quality, professional material that has been developed and vetted by more than 50 theologians, hierarchs, priests, educational professionals, laity and youth
  • Successfully implemented by more than 200 Orthodox churches around the world
  • Heralded by many as one of the best programs to come to the Orthodox faith in a long time!

    Learn more about “The Relationship Project” HERE
    Learn more about Faithtree HERE
    Purchase Supporting Materials for the 2022/23 Program HERE




View Photos from Youth Sunday 2023

View our Slide Show highlighting Youth Events throughout 2022

  • FANARI LENTEN RETREAT Registration for this year's Metropolis-wide Fanari Lenten Retreat is open. The retreat takes place on April 1st from 2 - 8 p.m. in eight satellite locations across the Metropolis, including Palatine, Westchester & Palos Heights. For more information, click HERE.
    CLICK HERE for information onAscension's Parish Oratorical Festival program.  In 2023, our Parish Festival will take place on March 22nd and then Ascension is blessed to host the Regional Oratorical Festival on Saturday, April 29 for the entire Metropolis of Chicago.  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 2023 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. 

    Our Lenten retreat for our youth in grades K-9 will be held on Friday, April 7th from 6-8:30 p.m. A Lenten dinner will be served. Please RSVP by March 31st to faithjoyascension@gmail.com to reserveyour child's spot. Click flyer for more information! 

  • JR. OLYMPICS RETURNS MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND - MAY 27-28!  With much excitement, the Metropolis of Chicago announced this week that the 42nd year of Jr. Olympics will once again take place at Saints Constantine & Helen Church, Palos Hills, with a full offering of more than 15 competitive events for youth between 7-18 years old.   Ascension is recruiting players, coaches and volunteers so we can form our teams quickly. Interested? Contact Anna Goldenstein at anna.goldenstein@gmail.com or text at 847-858-7474.  For more information, visit our Jr. Olympics webpage.
  • 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!

    Session 1: Sunday, June 18 – Saturday, June 24, 2023
    Session 2: Sunday, June 25 – Saturday, July 1, 2023
    Session 3: Sunday, July 2 – Saturday, July 8, 2023
    Session 4: Sunday, July 9 – Saturday, July 15, 2023
    Session 5: Sunday, July 16 – Saturday, July 22, 2023

    Registration Opened March 6 @ noon.  Registration Cost: $700/camper.  CLICK HERE for more information!

    Fanari is looking for wonderful young adults to join the Leadership Team! To learn more and apply, click here.

  • FANARI CAMP COUNSELOR opened on February 21 for summer camp 2023.  There will be priority given to those who submit their applications early.  The early priority deadline will close on April 4th.  Stay tuned to the Metropolis Fanari website for more information.

  • Fanari Camp FACEBOOK Page and Instagram 
  • METROPOLIS OF CHICAGO SEEKING COUNSELORS & LEADERSHIP TEAM MEMBERS:  Lighthouse Counselor Applications are open!  To learn more and apply, click here.  Fanari is looking for wonderful young adults to join the Leadership Team! To learn more and apply, click here

  • LIGHTHOUSE FOR HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS: Lighthouse is a 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.  In the summer of 2023, Lighthouse will offer be a week-long summer camp that will help high school seniors build a stronger sense of their identity and allow them to form relationships they need to transition into the next phase of their life - adulthood.   Lighthouse Counselor Applications are open!  To learn more and apply, click here.  Lighthouse registration for HS Seniors opened March 6, 2023 @ noon.
  • 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 2023 programs:  Session One:  June 19 – July 9, 2023; and Session Two:  July 18 – August 7, 2023.  Registration opens on Saturday, January 21, 2023.  Ionian Village is the international camping ministry of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America with campgrounds located in Peloponnesus, Greece. Each 20-day session is open to young people who will have completed grades 9 through 12.  For more information, CLICK HERE to 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.    




  • Sunday, January 15, 2023: DIVE FOR THE CROSS OUR ANNUAL DIVE FOR THE CROSS EVENT took place 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.

  • Sunday, February 5, 2023: YOUTH SUNDAY A much-loved tradition in our Parish is our annual Youth Sunday celebration, a day to honor our youth. On Sunday, February 5, 2023 we celebrated and honored the important role our children play int his parish.  Witness the exuberance our youth brings to Ascension's Parish life by watching a video presented this year during our fellowship celebration HERE.
    See photos of this year's Youth SundayHERE.