The Ritsi Family
Serving in Albania
Dn. Stephanos & Dkn. Alexandria arrived in Albania as long term missionaries in April of 2013. Dn. Stephanos serves as a Deacon at the Resurrection of Christ Cathedral in Tirana. He also works in the Archdiocesan Young Adult Office as well as teaches a class on Orthodox Missiology at the Resurrection of Christ Seminary. 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 first son, Moses Anastas who is learning both English and Albanian.
Dn. Stephanos Ritsi, son of Father Martin & Presvytera Renee, grew up in the mission fields of Kenya and Albania for ten years. Upon arriving back in the United States the Ritsi family moved to Saint Augustine, Florida. Dn. Stephanos attended his last years of middle school, and high school in Saint Augustine. He then got his Bachelors degree 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 recently graduated with a Masters of Divinity and a certificate from the Boston Theological Institute in Missions and Ecumenism.
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 has lived in Chicago all of her life and was very active in her Church community and youth groups. Growing up, Dkn. Alexandria knew she wanted to serve the Church and be a teacher. Dkn. Alexandria went to Hellenic College and while a student there, learned about the missionary ethos of the Orthodox Church. Through experience in Mission Classes 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. They were very active in teaching Sunday School and leading retreats serving at Fr. Luke Veronis' Parish of Sts. Constantine and Helen in Webster, Massachusetts.
Together, Dn. Stephanos and Dkn. Alexandria, have traveled to Kenya on OCMC missions teams in 2010 and 2011 to help prepare themselves to become missionaries. Dn. Stephanos and Dkn. Alexandria were engaged in Yosemite, California in 2009 and married in Saint Augustine, Florida in 2010.
Since arriving in Albania, Dn. Stephanos and Dkn. Alexandria have been learning about the Albanian culture and have been studying the Albanian language. On January 22, 2014 Stephanos was ordained to the Diaconate by His Beatitude Archbishop Anastasios.
The Ritsi Family looks forward to many years serving in Albania.