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The Antiochian Village is a center for Orthodox activities in Bolivar, Pennsylvania (5 miles north of Historic Ligonier ) that was founded in 1978. It is under the jurisdiction of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America and consists of a conference center and a camp. It was the site of the Ligonier Meeting in 1994. Antiochian Village consists of two elements: A Conference and Retreat Center, and a Summer Camp with off-season offerings.
Conference and Retreat Center
The conference center has one hundred guest rooms, meeting rooms, a banquet hall, dining facilities, and a theological research library. The Saints Peter and Paul chapel is also located within the center. In 2004, the Antiochian Village Heritage Museum was opened, featuring historical artifacts of Orthodox significance, such as icons and vestments.
"The Village" hosts Orthodox as well as external events and retreats. The Orthodox Christian Fellowship East Coast College Conference takes place at the conference center each December. There is an annual Sts. Thekla and Raphael Pilgrimage every fall. St. Thekla is the patron saint of an outdoor chapel on the camp grounds, and St. Raphael is buried just next to the outdoor chapel. The Antiochian Archdiocese has many of its national delegate's meetings and its biennial Clergy Symposium at the conference center, due to the central location and facilities that are conducive to host such meetings.
The Conference and Retreat Center also has four regulation football fields, used for football camps, soccer camps, cheerleader training, marching bands and tournaments. In the Winter of 2013 the dining hall was converted into "The Cedars" banquet facility. The Cedars can accommodate up to 300 people for Weddings, Reunions, Dances, and Proms.
The current Executive Director of the Antiochian Village Conference and Retreat Center is Mr. John Scanlan.
The Antiochian Village Camp program holds both a summer and winter camp each year. The summer camp consists of four 2-week sessions from June to August each year. Approximately nine hundred campers between the ages of 9 and 17, as well as sixty staff, attend the camp every summer. Some main parts of the summer camp program are daily services in the St. Ignatius chapel, Christian education classes, a challenge course, an overnight camping program, and afternoon sports and activities. There are two 4-day winter camp sessions for older campers (12 to 17 years old) over long weekend breaks from school in the winter. Winter camp includes a day trip to go snow tubing and various outdoor winter activities. The camp also has a family camp for families to attend together, and in 2005 started the Villedge Adventures program for 16 to 18 year old campers. Since 2006, there are "Sacred Arts Camps" during the summer for interested campers to learn Byzantine Chanting and Iconography.
In addition to St. Thekla and St. Raphael, the camp's patron saints include the child saint Artemius, St. Herman of Alaska and St. Ignatius of Antioch. The reliquary at the St. Ignatius Chapel includes the relics of St. Herman and St. Moses the Ethiopian.
The camp is currently conducting a capital campaign called "Village 2010" to raise money for many necessary upgrades to facilities. The St. Ignatius Chapel will be expanded, five new cabins will be built, a new dining hall will be created, as well as numerous other projects.
The Antiochian Village Camp has been accredited by the American Camp Association since 1982.
See also: Antiochian Village Camp History
The Antiochian Village was set up by Metropolitan Philip of the Antiochian Archdiocese. The 280-acre (1.1 km2) grounds were purchased from Camp Fairfield, a Presbyterian camp, in 1978, and the first camping season was the summer of 1979. The Conference and Retreat Center was built in 1985 and doubled in size in 1990. Fr. John Namie was the first director from 1979 to 1988. Under his directorship, the camping program grew from a two-camper session to an ACA accredited camping program that served hundreds of Orthodox Youth each summer.
After a succession of directors, Rev. Joseph F. Purpura was the director from 1993–1996, during which time the Ligonier Meeting was held at the conference and retreat center.
Fr. Michael Nasser was made director in 1997. He grew the camp from a three-session summer program into the current format of four fortnight-long summer sessions, as well as two winter camp sessions, family camp, and sacred arts camps.
The current Camp Director is Fr. Anthony Yazge. He took up this position in 2007, having previously participated in the camping program as session priest.
H. Paul Finley was the Director of the Conference and Retreat Center from 2006 to 2012. The current Conference and Retreat Center Director is John Scanlan.
- 1979-1988: Fr. John Namie
- 1989: Fr. Matthew George
- 1990-1991: Fr. Paul Finley
- 1992: Fr. George Alberts
- 1993-1996: V. Rev. Dr. Joseph F. Purpura
- 1997-2006: Fr. Michael Nasser
- 2006–2012: H. Paul Finley (Conference Center)
- 2006–Present: Fr. Anthony Yazge (Camp)
- 2012–Present: John Scanlan (Conference Center)
- "Antiochian museum opens near Ligonier". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 2004-06-17. Retrieved 2009-05-11.
- "Antiochian Church Buys Ligonier Camp". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 1978-04-29. Retrieved 2009-05-11.