4th PanHellenic Meeting of Catechists of the Catholic Church

The fourth PanHellenic Meeting of Catechists took place at the Pastoral Center “Saint Paul” in Posidonia on Syros island from the 28th until the 31st of August with the participation of three hierarchs from the Catholic Church, Their Excellencies Archbishops of Corfu Fr. Ioannis Spiteris, Athens Fr. Sevastianos Rossolatos and Syros Island Petros Stefanou. Around 80 catechists, priests, monks, nouns and lay people from Athens, Thessaloniki, Larisa, Corfu, Patras, Tinos, and Syros, worked on the subject: “Catechism as first proclamation for the increase of faith. The missionary turn in Catechism”.

His Excellency the Archbishop of Syros island during his opening address welcomed the catechists in Syros and wished that the meeting will bear fruit in the field of catechism and will be of everyone’s benefit. At the place where the meeting took place there was also a book exhibit in which the Hellenic Bible Society participated. The representative of the Hellenic Bible Society, Mr. Giorgos Sochos, also addressed the meeting during the opening session. Due to their inability to attend the meeting His Excellency the Archbishop of Naxos and Tinos Island Fr. Nikolaos Printezis and the Mayor of Syros-Ermoupolis Mr. Giorgos Maragos sent their written greeting address.

The opening of the meeting was declared by the President of the Synodal Committee for Evangelization and Catechism and Vice President of the Hellenic Bible Society His Excellency Archbishop of Corfu Fr. Ioannis Spiteris who had the first presentation on the: “The semantic definition of the Terms New Evangelization, Re-Evangelization and First Proclamation: A general presentation”. The next presentation was by Fr. Markos Foskolos, vicar of St. Nikolaos in Chora, Tinos island and Archivist of the Catholic Archdiocese of Naxos-Tinos on the: “The First Proclamation in the New Testament and the early Christian communities”.

The first presentation of the second day came from Fr. Yiannis Maragos, Doctor of Theology, director of the newspaper PAROCHIAL BELLS and vicar of the St. Panteleimon in Foinikas. The imaginative title: “Oh mother, in what kind of world have you brought me” or “The new evangelization in the modern world of postmodern era” directs us to substantial content that caused concern to the people who attended the meeting. The second presentation by His Excellency the Archbishop of the Catholic Church of Athens, Fr. Sevastianos Rossolatos was entitled: “New Evangelization: Who? What? How?” and it was based on the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel) that is the voice of the Catholic Church today.

During the third day Mrs. Anna Maria Printezi-Vasileiou, theologian, presented on: “The First Proclamation in Catechism” and Mrs. Antonia Zaloni, also a theologian presented on: “New Evangelization and family”. During the meeting the catechists participated in experiential workshops and all ecclesiastical provinces of the catechetic movement made presentations.

The last of the meeting was devoted to its evaluation and the catechists that participated had the opportunity, to express in front of the pastors and the prelates, the ones responsible for the catechetic work of the Catholic Church, their concerns and present the new reality they experience in which they are called to transmit the message of the gospel. The catechists that literally come from every part of the world asked from their Bishops, with passion, courage and optimism, to continue to support them in their effort and to provide them with opportunities to get to know each other and involve themselves in creative discussions.

The prelates on their side thanked the catechists for their great efforts, especially in difficult social situations, to respond to the mission the Church has entrusted them. His Excellency the Archbishop of Corfu Fr. Ioannis Spiteris, president of the Synodal Committee for Evangelization and Catechism, when concluding the meeting was particularly encouraging and urged everyone to take advantage of every opportunity they get to acquire further education and seek access to every form of information to enrich their intellect and their knowledge so that they can be of benefit to the people whose catechism they are responsible for. He also highlighted that this was the purpose of the book exhibition that took place during the meeting with the participation and presence of the Hellenic Bible Society’s representative, and the display of their excellent publications and of course the presence of Fr. Savvas Freris, Jesuit hieromonk and member of the Hellenic Bible Society’s Board for his effort to disseminate the good book! Finally, he asked everyone to trust their efforts in the power of the Holy Spirit so that they will receive the light in their minds and their hearts!
The meeting concluded with an Archbishops Concelebration in which Their Excellencies Sevastianos Rossolatos, Archbishop of the Catholic Church of Athens, Fr. Ioannis Spiteris, Archbishop of Corfu and Fr. Petros Stefanou, Bishop of Syros island, surrounded by the priests that participated in the meeting.

Source: Catholic Diocese of Syros

Postgraduate Program on Bible Translation in an Orthodox Context

Bible translation stands at a unique intersection of linguistics, translation studies, hermeneutics and biblical studies. It is also an activity which has been carried out continuously from the time of ancient Alexandria (the Septuagint translation) until today, thereby providing a rich corpus of historical material for study. Within this framework the special characteristics of Bible translation in the Orthodox tradition are less well known.

From the 27th of September until the 29th a postgraduate program began at the offices of the Hellenic Bible Society that will lead to the award of a postgraduate degree. The program combines distance learning and residential seminars that will take place in various historical Orthodox centers. The participants in this program, coming from countries such as Greece, Albania, Romania, FYROM, Serbia, and Russia, will attend courses through which they will have the opportunity to get to know the history, theory and practice of Bible translation in the Orthodox world, with special attention paid to the delicate balance of tradition and innovation.

In the first meeting that took place in Athens and was hosted at the offices of the Hellenic Bible Society, participants had the opportunity to attend lectures by esteemed scholars both from Greece and abroad. The lectures were given by: Prof. Emeritus of the Faculty of Theology at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Ioannis Karavidopoulos with the title “Bible in Orthodoxy”, the Dean of the Nida Institute Rev. Dr. Phil Towner with the title: “Bible Translation and Bible Societies”, Assistant Professor of the Faculty of Theology at the University of Athens Konstantinos Zarras with the title: “Biblical Scholarship in the Orthodox World”, Dr. Simon Crisp, Manager for Interconfessional Scholarship and Training and scholarly editions of the UBS with the title: “Introduction to Translation Studies”, and finally the Dean of the Faculty of Theology at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Miltiadis Konstantinou with the title: “The Translational Work of the Hellenic Bible Society”.

Those completing the course will be well prepared not only for activity in the specific field of Bible translation, but also for work in areas like textual editing, libraries, documentation centres and museums. The postgraduate program is co-organized by the Hellenic Bible Society, Nida Institute for Biblical Scholarship of the American Bible Society, and Fondazione Universitaria San Pellegrino.




Third educational seminar of translators of the Bible

Paratext 3_62For five days (16th -20th of June) in the Educator’s Laboratory of the Faculty of Theology on the ground floor of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 31 people in total, trainers and trainees from Greece and abroad from 09.00 am until 17.00 pm dealt intensively with the issue of translation of biblical texts and possibilities of specialized Paratext 7.4 software, which offers the possibility of continuous communication and exchange of information between translators around the world on issues relating to translation of the Bible. The trainees, graduate students, doctoral candidates, PhD, members of thParatext 3_75e Hellenic Bible Society and faculty members of the two theological schools of Greece attended presentations (in Greek and English) on the translation of the biblical texts and the various difficulties, the intertextuality (quotations, allusions and echoes passages of the Old Testament texts in the New Testament), the relevant background, the relationship of the books of the Old Testament with those of the New Testament, but also their respective listeners / readers of texts. The seminar also included practical exercises the trainees using Paratext 7.4 and its capabilities, translation of an indicative passage from the Prophets, as well as evaluating the translation efforts.

Throughout the seminar an Paratext 3_70Internet platform was operating as a digital classroom (e-class) through which the members of the seminar were communicating directly with each other and the supporting material, as well as the speakers’ presentations was constantly available. The Hellenic Bible Society and Professor of Theology AUTH Miltiadis Konstantinou, who had the scientific responsibility of the entire project, from the beginning of the first training course, hope that young translators who received specific training and the special software will directly enhance the translation work done in our country.