On Thursday July 30 at 7pm OCN will be offering myOCN Community Let’s Talk Live discussion with special guest Fr. Martin Ritsi of OCMC, a sister agency of the Assembly of Canonical Bishops in America, on the obstacles facing missionaries around the world during the pandemic. Fr. Christopher Metropulos, our Executive Director, will be offering a “Let’s Talk” 1 hour interactive video session on Zoom with limited availability for two-way discussion.
OCN will also be live-streamed on our Facebook page. Join us and thousands online for prayers and discussion. Families are welcome, and you will have the opportunity to ask questions. If you would like to attend, please register HERE to receive sign-in instructions.
Fr. Martin Ritsi
Rev. Protopresbyter Martin Ritsi is a 1987 graduate of Holy Cross School of Theology in Brookline, Mass., having earned a Master of Divinity degree. He earned a Master of Theology degree in missiology from Fuller School of World Missions in Pasadena, CA in 1991. Sponsored in part by a grant from Leadership 100, he has completed courses in philanthropy and fundraising at Indiana University’s Center on Philanthropy. He completed his undergraduate degree in psychology at the University of California in Santa Cruz, Calif.
Following his ordination in 1987, Fr. Martin and his family, Presbytera Renee, son Stephanos and daughter Nicole, spent four years in Nairobi, Kenya serving the Archbishopric of Kenya and Irinoupolis. His work there included teaching at the Makarios III Orthodox Seminary in Nairobi, serving as parish priest of the St. Anargyroi Cathedral, overseeing the Archdiocesan finances and traveling throughout East Africa (Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania) to preach, teach and baptize.
After returning to earn his degree at Fuller, Fr. Martin served for six years in Albania, working under Archbishop Anastasios to help reopen the long-persecuted Orthodox Church. He was active in catechizing and baptizing hundreds of adults and was instrumental in starting the first Orthodox youth group in Albania. He also established and supervised Diaconia Agape, the Church’s office of relief aid and development, taught at the Ngjallja Seminary, directed the Office of Finance and served as the Archbishop’s representative in the Berat Diocese.
In August 1998 Fr. Martin returned to the United States to become Executive Director of the Orthodox Christian Mission Center, the official missions and evangelism agency of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America. Blessed with the solid foundation laid by Fr. James Couchell (now Bishop Dimitrios of Xanthos), he has been able to lead the Center to increasing its numbers of short- and long-term missionaries, support for mission priests and philanthropic projects around the world.
Fr. Martin also served as a commissioner on the World Council of Churches’ Commission on World Missions and Evangelism (2002 – 2006). He and his family reside in St. Augustine, Florida.