Orthodox Christian Mission Center - Make Disciples of All Nations
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The Ritsi Family

Serving in Albania

Dn. Stephanos Ritsi, son of Father Martin & Presvytera Renee, grew up in the mission field (Kenya and Albania). Upon returning to the United States, the Ritsi family moved to Saint Augustine, Florida. Dn. Stephanos attended High School in Saint Augustine. He then received his BA in Political Science from the University of Florida (Go Gators). In 2006, Dn. Stephanos went on a Short Term Missions team to Kenya. On this trip he realized that he was called to become a long term missionary. He applied to Holy Cross School of Theology to prepare himself for missionary service and graduated with a Masters of Divinity and a certificate in Missions and Ecumenism from the Boston Theological Institute.

Dkn. Alexandria Ritsi, daughter of Louis and Valerie Polychronopoulos, grew up in a south suburb of Chicago and attended Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Palos Hills. She grew up in Chicago and was very active in her Church community and youth groups. Growing up, Dkn. Alexandria knew she wanted to serve the Church and to be a teacher. Dkn. Alexandria went to Hellenic College and there she learned about the missionary ethos of the Orthodox Church. Through experience in classes in missiology offered at Hellenic College, Dkn. Alexandria realized her vocation in becoming a missionary.

Dn. Stephanos and Dkn. Alexandria met at Holy Cross/Hellenic College in 2008. Dn. Stephanos and Dkn. Alexandria were engaged in Yosemite, California in 2009 and married in Saint Augustine, Florida in 2010.

While at seminary, Ritsi's led the missions committee of the school. They also were active in teaching Sunday School, leading retreats, and serving under longtime missionary Fr. Luke Veronis at his Parish of Sts. Constantine and Helen in Webster, Massachusetts. Dn. Stephanos and Dkn. Alexandria, traveled to Kenya on OCMC missions teams in 2010 and 2011 to help prepare themselves for long term service. The Ritsi's graduated from HCHC in 2012 and were deployed in Albania in April of 2013.

Albania is a country that has faced many challenges throughout its history. The greatest challenge it faced was its war on religion during the reign of Enver Hoxha, a communist dictator who led Albania to become the only country in the world to constitutionally outlaw religion! The results of the systematic attack on religion and faith are still echoing through the country. The Ritsi Family, together with local leadership and other Orthodox missionaries, is working to share the message of the Gospel in the country of Albania.

Dn. Stephanos serves as a Deacon at the Resurrection of Christ Cathedral in Tirana. He also teaches Missiology at the Resurrection of Christ Seminary in Durres, helps in the office of the Archbishop with correspondence, and works with Archdiocesan Young Adult Office. He is working on his Doctoral Thesis in Homiletics at Aristotle University in Thessaloniki (via occasional trips to Greece combined with field work in Albania). Dkn. Alexandria works at the Protagonist School teaching English, helps with young adult events and is one of the Church photographers. In April of 2015, they welcomed their son, Moses Anastas who loves Church and is learning both English and Albanian.Through your prayers and support we are working to inspire and train disciples and leaders here in this country and we look forward to many years serving our Lord and God in Albania.

 
1-877-463-6784
Contact Information

Address:

220 Mason Manatee Way
St. Augustine, FL
United States
32086
Phone:
(904) 829-5132

Toll Free:
1-877-463-6784

Fax:
(904) 829-1635

E-mail:


CFC Number:
10304


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Prayer for Missions

God of truth and love: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Hear our prayer for those who do not know You. That they may come to a saving knowledge of the truth, and that Your Name may be praised among all peoples of the world. Sustain, inspire, and enlighten Your servants who bring them the Gospel. Bring fresh vigor to wavering faith; sustain our faith when it is still fragile. Continually renew missionary zeal in ourselves and in the Church, and raise up new missionaries who will follow You to the ends of the world. Make us witnesses to Your goodness full of love, full of strength, and full of faith for Your glory and the salvation of the entire world. Through the prayers of all the missionary saints, Have mercy on us and save us. Amen.