The Antiochian Village is a center for Orthodox activities in Bolivar, Pennsylvania 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.
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 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 one thousand 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. In the summer of 2006, there will be "Sacred Arts Camps" for Byzantine Chanting and Iconography.
In addition to St. Thekla and St. Raphael, the camp's patron saints are the child saint Artemius, St. Herman of Alaska and St. Ignatius of Antioch. The reliquary at the St. Ignatius Chapel includes relics of St. Herman, St. Moses the Ethiopian, and others.
The camp is currently conducting a capital campaign called "Village 2010" to raise money for many neccesary 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 was the vision of His Eminence Metropolitan Philip of the Antiochian Archdiocese. The 280-acre 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.
1979-1988 Fr. John Namie 1989 Fr. Matthew George 1990-1991 Fr. Paul Finley 1992 Fr. George Alberts 1993-1996 Fr. Joseph Purpura 1997-2006 Fr. Michael Nasser 2007-Present Fr. Anthony Yazge
Fr. John Namie served as the camp's founder and first camp director. Under his tutelage and leadership the camp grew from a meager 2 camper session into an ACA accredited camping program that served hundreds of Orthodox Youth each summer bringing our country's children closer to their faith.
After an unsteady 8 years of turnover of the camp director position, Fr. Michael Nasser brought the turbulent camping program back on track, as the camp again started to realize Metropolitan PHILIP's original vision.
to the perennial powerhouse of all Orthodox camping and youth development institutions in all the universe. The camp now serves