The Orthodox Student Center of the Orthodox Church in Tirana, offers its service to students to help them in their spiritual, social, cultural and study needs.
The Student Centre is located at the upper entrance of the Student’s City, in Budi Street, near to the entrance of the dormitories. Various activities and services of this center are helping them to study and become familiar with the life away from their families.
With its motto, "Together in the footsteps of Christ" this centre aims to contribute to the creation of a healthy youth, living together in a society of love. Although for the vital and study needs think their families, the spiritual need was left behind until 1994, when the Orthodox Church took the initiative to build a small spiritual nest, where the students can come together to learn about God, to worship Him and to walk toward the goal of life. The deep spiritual needs of the students had done that for years to be dreamed for a center of this type. At first it seemed impossible, but over the years, the Orthodox Church under the care of its Shepherd, Archbishop Anastasios, realized this dream.
In November 2005, it purchased a two floor building, and in January 2006 this building began to operate as the Orthodox Student Centre. On 14 January 2007, Archbishop Anastasios held at this center the service of the Blessing of the Waters. After the blessing of the centre he said to the students, "You are a deprived generation. The knowledge that you have about faith is limited. You are still in the early stages of faith, and the fact that we know some things about the New Testament and the Old Testament is not enough. You have many things to learn about faith. All the human personality is open to God's grace, and this is not issue of the intellect. To learn your faith means that you have in front of you a large ocean. These little things that you know, you have the responsibility to share these with others. Youth is a group that must take responsibility even at this age. Do not quench this little faith." He stressed also that the Albanian youth faces a crisis of values." Within the Christian faith is emphasize freedom, but in order this freedom to bear fruit should be inspired by love. In this regard, the Christian faith is irreplaceable. This faith gives examples of how these things can be accomplished. Christ is the perfect example of love."
In the Orthodox Student Center of the Orthodox Church you will find: the hall of the services of prayers and of the meetings; the informative corner with various materials about religion and society; the socialization hall where small groups meetings are held; the rich library with over 1000 various scientific and religious books; the study hall; the computer room in which are installed 6 computers in the service of students, as well as the corner with different models of handicraft. Since it was built during the communist regime, it is understood that Student City never has offered to the students the opportunity to know the Orthodox faith, the faith that the Apostle of Christ, Saint Paul, brought up in our country. Very soon after the opening of the Churches in 1994, the Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania has shown a particular interest to the students.
Father Luke Veronis, a missionary from America, was the initiator and he invited the students to gather and discuss about the Christian faith. The first meetings were held in the rooms of the students. It was necessary to hire a room, which would be in service to students and the activities that will be organized for them. This became possible in 1995, when at Kinoklubit of the Student’s City (center where activities for students were held) had been rented a small hall. In this hall were not only organized meetings with small groups, but also meetings attended by more than 60 students. Once per week was celebrated the Divine Liturgy and other activities, such as conferences, excursions, and pastoral visits. A valuable contribution to the organization of the work for the students has been given by the students of the Theological Academy "Resurrection of Christ", collaborating with the most active students of the Student’s City. The participation in such activities gave the students the opportunity to learn how to cope more easily with the difficulties of student life, to cast the foundations of life with God and to build Christian friendships, and at the center of everything to be Christ, the Savior.
In 2002, at the City Hall of the Student’s Centre was created a small library for the students. Besides the weekly meetings with different topics, the Divine Liturgies on Thursdays, and other activities such as conferences and excursions, students began to meet in this hall every Monday for Bible Study, and other days every afternoon for the service of the Vespers or for the prayer directed to the Mother of God, Theotokos, while on weekends they assisted in the catechism given for children which was held in different parts of Tirana. Twice a year were organized vigil services where the students of Tirana together with some students and professors of the Theological Academy "Resurrection of Christ", in St. Vlash, Durrës, participated in these vigil services. After each meeting, to students were distributed spiritual materials to read and study.
In 2005, with the help of "Diakonia Agapes" Offices, was prepared a three year draft proposal for all the activities of the Orthodox Student’s Center. This proposal planed to add more activities and to provide also other services to the students: a richer library, computer room, pastoral visits, trainings, teamwork, etc. When this project was approved and started to be implemented, arose the need for the expansion of the environment, which made possible the realization of the 10 years dream. So, in November of 2005, the Albanian Orthodox Church bought a building, which is functioning as the Orthodox Students Center and made possible the growth of the number of students and the quality of these activities for students.
Instead of a simple table with different materials that was to the informative corner, since 2007 are available many brochures and books, in order for the students to have the opportunity to read them, to increase the knowledge of their faith and society. The simple library consisting of a shelf with some books, in 2007 was furnished with shelves and other books, and in early 2009 was replaced with a very rich library with religious, scientific, artistic, historical and educational books. Along with the library was born also the idea to have an angle where ecclesiastical items would be sold, and the incomes would be used for the maintenance of the Student Center. This angle is in the same room with the library, and offers these items: icons, prayer ropes, crosses, pendants, postcards etc. Some of these items are made by the students. On the second floor are the computers room, and the office of the workers. Already this center is the nest of love and peace, where participate many students, and is the place where they learn about life.
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The Student Centre of the Orthodox Church
This center is in your service every day offering:
- Spiritual and social materials;
- Study hall with a rich library;
- Lessons for the Sacrament of the Baptism;
- Computer courses for the basic formation;
- Computer Room for the preparation of the school duties;
- Fb: Qendra Studentore (E Kishës Orthodhokse)
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This center also organizes weekly activities:
- The general meeting with different topics - Every Tuesday, 17:00.
In these meetings participate around 40 to 50 students. Are referred diverse spiritual and social themes by special guests such as bishops, theologians, and specialists in various social fields. Their goal is to help students to recognize better the orthodox faith and to live it every day, and be aware of the acute social problems that they face every day.
- Prayer/Bible Study - Every Wednesday, 17:00.
During these meetings participate around 20 students, where they pray and sing to God together in church services. In this way, to young people is given the opportunity to learn to communicate with the Creator and ask Him for their lives and desires, but also to pray for others. Besides the prayer, around 20 minutes is held a discussion based on the Holy Bible. The purpose of this discussion is to know better the Holy Bible and the valuable lessons that come from it.
- Small group meeting: "To grow in our knowledge" - Every Thursday, 17:00.
Based on a book, the students discuss together in these meetings on topics dealing with life and its problems, and deepened more in recognition of our faith. In these meetings, participate around 15 students.
Every first Saturday of the month, 8:00
- Divine Liturgy;
- Pastoral Visits;
- Sports activities;
- And handcrafts.
On Wednesday afternoon, 15:30 – Presanctified Liturgy
Twice a year, during the period of the Great Lent, approximately 15 students participate in the Presanctified Liturgy at the Holy Monastery of Saint Vlash, Durrës. On the day of the Annunciation Feast (March 25) and on the Sanday of Palms, at 13:00, 50 students prepare lunch together and celebrate this feast of the Church. Here we learn the importance of the feasts and the students prepare for the start of the Week of Passions of Christ.
Overnight meetings, which aimed at strengthening the students community in the experience of the Christian life and their awareness for the role that they have in the society, as conductor of the Light of Christ. In these meetings participate 20 students. These meetings are held outside of the Student Center, in environments that help to reflect and concentrate.
Overnight meetings with social themes, provided by Diakonia Agapes Office, help in sensitizing the students about the social problems that they encounter every day. In the trainings that take place in the premises of the Student Center participate around 20 students.
Two-day meetings are organized outside of the Student Center with the participation of 100 students, and aim at strengthening the student community and their spiritual growth. These meetings have varied program filled with prayers, meditations, lectures, group discussions, pastoral visits, sports activities, entertainment activities etc.
Are organized two-day activities related to the recognition of historical, cultural, religious and artistic values our country. In these pilgrimages take part 60 students who visit and see close the values of cultural and historical monuments of the country. These pilgrimages program contains in prayer, group discussions, lectures and entertainment activities. These and many other activities are offered to the students, to learn about life and live every according the commandments of the Creator traveling together toward the goal of life.
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Wishing you success and prosperity in your intellectual formation,
We also invite you to become part of the activities of the Student Center.
Use this opportunity to offers to you the Orthodox Church.
For more information contact:
069 46 16 300
For more information follow:
Fb: Qendra Studentore (E Kishës Orthodhokse)