About Youth Programs
St. Katherine Youth (S.K.Y.) - Fellowship Programs
Budding Angels (Parent & Toddlers) -- (Infants to Preschool)
Join us once a month to meet moms and their KIDDOS! Our youngest youth program is created specifically for moms and their newborn – 4 years old. The mission of Budding Angels is to introduce church fellowship to our children and also connect moms with each other in a supportive environment. Meetings usually take place at parks or at the Educational Center in our beautiful church. We know parenting can be challenging, but it is always easier when you can share and connect with others. We will be more than happy to welcome you in our Budding Angels family!
Little Lambs, HOPE (LL, H) & JOY (Jr. Orthodox Youth) -- (Elementary School)
Designed specifically for elementary school children, our program fosters special relationships with our priests while learning important stories, life-giving teachings, and traditions of the Orthodox Church. Activities are structured to bring together children in the spirit of love and joy, strengthening their relationship with one another, and with Christ. Connecting with their faith and community at a young age, youth are able to truly engage with the Church, make new friends, and learn more about Jesus Christ.
Jr. G.O.Y.A. (Greek Orthodox Youth Association) -- (Middle School)
Jr. GOYA at St. Katherine is designed for special for middle schoolers, with input from middle schoolers! This program fosters faith, fellowship, and service by meeting monthly for faith-based conversations with our priests, on and off-site bonding activities, and participating in local community service. We encourage our Jr. GOYAns to participate in diocese camps to meet kids in neighboring Greek churches too. The easiest way to make long-lasting friendships is to join Jr. GOYA!
Sr. G.O.Y.A. (Greek Orthodox Youth Association) -- (High School)
Sr. GOYA meets once a month for self-run meetings to discuss new events, ways to fundraise, and collaborations with neighboring GOYAs. Our Sr. GOYAns engage in special conversations with our priests to discuss the Orthodox faith and other topics that affect high schoolers today. We encourage all GOYAns to hold board positions that teach leadership skills, foster new friendships, and look great on college resumes! Sr. GOYAns are encouraged to participate in GOYA organized events such as ski trips, sports tournaments, etc. and attend diocese and archdiocese programs such as youth retreats, camps, and Ionian Village.
We prepare our seniors to be strong and active in their Orthodox faith as they become Young Adults.
YAL (Young Adult League) -- (College - Postgrad)
Welcome to YAL Southern California, St. Katherine’s young adult group led by our own Fr. Peter Dogias. Meet and reconnect with Orthodox friends from all over SoCal as we come together for social, religious, and networking events. We also attend regional and national YAL Conferences. Our group is open to College and Young Professionals ages 18-32.
Connect with us on Instagram @YAL_SoCal and with our diocese conference @YALConference.
Moving out of the area? Stay connected with Greek Orthodox Young Adult events in your area by visiting TheGreekend.com
Altar Boys (Boys ages 6-18 -- Grades 1-12)
The role of the altar boy remains a genuine and vital one in the “eucharistic assembly” of the faithful, as well as in other services. He stands ready to serve God in whichever capacity he is called upon. It is a stewardship of young men; a service that they offer to God as their regular Sunday offering of talent and ability. The purpose is to serve God and His Church in the Holy Altar faithfully and reverently and also to assist the clergy in all the church services and to grow in one’s own faith with an Orthodox Christian commitment. Altar boys serve every Sunday as well as Holy Week, Pascha, and major feast days of the Church. Altar boys learn the meaning and order of each Divine Liturgy through repetitive participation in those services. Through their love-offering of service during the Holy Liturgy of the Church, they fulfill a sacred and indispensable role in the liturgical life of the Church.
Myrrhbearers (Girls grades 3-12)
The Holy Order of the Myrrhbearers is open to all girls at St. Katherine. The Gospels tell us about the women disciples and followers of our Savior Jesus Christ who ministered to His needs and went to anoint His body with myrrh after His burial (Mark 15:43-16:8; Matthew 27:55-56; John 19:38-20:18). Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome were faithful to Jesus and were the first witnesses of the Resurrection. The Order also represents the five wise virgins (Matthew 25:1-13) who were prepared to meet the bridegroom because they had oil for their lamps.
Serving as a Myrrhbearer is a special opportunity to be involved in Holy Week services and to serve our Lord. Myrrhbearers may also participate in other services as requested by Father Michael. The third Sunday of Pascha is known as the Sunday of the Myrrhbearers.
Basketball (Ages 11-18)
Our youth basketball program is available to Orthodox boys and girls from middle school to high school. Teams hold regular practices, play in games and tournaments with other local Greek Orthodox churches, and are led by qualified, dedicated, and caring volunteer coaches. The teams have a great time and enjoy Orthodox Christian fellowship. We have a seven (7) week season competing against other Southern California churches, finishing with a playoff tournament and banquet.
Greek Dance School
St. Katherine’s Greek Dance School offers dance instruction for youth of all ages. Dancers are placed into groups based on age and grade. Greek Dance is a wonderful opportunity to build lasting friendships while celebrating and sharing our Greek culture. Youth learn about their faith, culture, history, and music through dance. Dancers have the opportunity to meet other Orthodox Christians from outside our parish as they compete in the annual Greek Orthodox Folk Dance Festival (FDF), a national Greek cultural dance competition created for our youth held annually on President’s Day weekend. In addition, you will also see our dancers perform throughout the weekend at our annual South Bay Greek Festival fundraiser in July. Youth and their families have fun building life-long relationships and memories through Greek folk dancing!
Greek Language School
St. Katherine Greek Language School offers classes for all age groups and all levels. Our popular Mommy and Me class (for newborns to 3 yrs.) is a 45 min class learning Greek through music. We have two Pre-K classes; Kavourakia for children ages 3-4 and Asteries for ages 4-5. The age-appropriate curriculum teaches children the alphabet, colors, numbers, animals, day-to-day vocabulary, and songs, as well as early reading and writing through crafts and activities. Our Psaria class (ages 5-7) uses a reading and writing book. Children quickly learn to read and write basic words and simple sentences and are encouraged to use conversational Greek. All our Upper-Level classes are structured so that students can develop their reading, writing, and conversational Greek to comprehend grammar and prepare for the Certificate of Attainment in Greek. We also offer a class for children over 8 years who are new to Greek in addition to an adult class. All our teachers are native speakers.
St. Katherine Youth Choir is open to all children and young adults at St. Katherine. Our primary focus is learning hymns for worship service during the Divine Liturgy each Sunday, but we also have fun singing contemporary Christian songs and use our music for benefit concerts and hospital ministering. This past year we competed in the Greek Folk Dance Festival Choral Division and took home 1st place and Sweepstakes, the highest award. Youth will not only learn the traditional hymns of our rich Orthodox faith but also will benefit from our musically talented and educated instruction. We welcome you to join our Youth Choir!
Vacation Bible School
An outreach ministry sponsored by St. Katherine Philoptochos, Vacation Bible School (VBS) is a one week half-day camp for children four years and older. It provides an opportunity for participants to have fun and make friends as they learn about God and our Orthodox Christian faith. High school and middle school students serve as leaders and junior leaders. Daily activities include: worship and lesson with Father Michael, songs, crafts, games, Bible stories, snacks, and fun.