Finding the Ancient Church Behind Bars

“In my somewhat limited study of Orthodox theology so far, I have come to realize that because God the Father cannot be understood or fathomed by the limited human mind, any understanding of God that I receive by my own power is idolatry and heresy. I can only understand God the Father by what is revealed in and by Jesus Christ the Only Begotten Son of God. I can only receive true…

A Prisoner’s Attitude of Gratitude

by Fr. Luke A. Veronis  Fr. Luke A. Veronis and his wife Presbytera Faith have served Sts. Constantine and Helen Church since December 2004. Fr. Luke also serves as the Director for the Missions Institute of Orthodox Christianity, which is located at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology and teaches as an Adjunct Instructor at both Holy Cross and Hellenic College.   “You need an attitude of gratitude!” This was the response that an amazing…

Honoring the Ministry of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 2021

Every year we observe Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in honor of the civil rights leader’s achievements in advancing racial equality through non-violent protest. Dr. King’s peaceful approach, inspired by Christ and the teachings of the Holy Bible, revolutionized this nation and its trajectory. Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry honors his legacy and all those who stand up to defend the oppressed. We do this by not only affirming the sanctity of…

Happy New Year from Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry!

Happy New Year! Despite the immense challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic and a generally hectic 2020, your prayers and financial support allowed Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry to adapt and continue to minister to those who are incarcerated and their families. Fr. John Kowalczyk, Director of Field Education Studies at St. Tikhon’s Seminary, federal corrections chaplain, and OCPM board member said that the mantra many prison ministry volunteers adopted during the pandemic is “keep…

How COVID-19 Affects the Future of Prison Ministry

Fr. John Kowalczyk is the Director of Field Education Studies at St. Tikhon’s Seminary, Contract Chaplain at the SCI Waymart facility in Pennsylvania, and member of the Board of Trustees of Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry. In our recent blog post, Fr. John helped shed some light on the current situation in prisons and jails due to the COVID-19 outbreak, which is hitting prisons especially hard. In this post, we will further discuss…

A Thanksgiving Message from Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry

“Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His love endures forever.” Psalm 107:1 Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, We would like to wish you and your family a blessed Thanksgiving! Amidst this difficult and challenging year, we still have so much for us to be grateful for this Thanksgiving season. Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry is forever thankful to all of our supporters, especially during this pandemic, ensuring that those…

The Challenge of Prison Ministry during the Pandemic

It’s Wednesday morning and I say my prayers before a small copy of the Hawaiian myrrh streaming Icon of the Theotokos and I anoint myself with the holy myrrh and ask for Her Holy intercession and protection as I leave the Church rectory for a short 15 minute ride to the state institution at Waymart, Pennsylvania, where I serve as a contract chaplain and coordinate a visitation internship program with St. Tikhon’s…

The Impact of Incarceration on the Family and the Church

There is an amazing story tucked in the Book of Joshua (chapter 7) in the Old Testament that is often overlooked. After the Israelites had taken the walled city of Jericho by the miraculous hand of God, they were to take a very small town called Ai. After the Israelites were soundly defeated, it was discovered that one man, Achan, had stolen something. His theft impacted the entire community and had been…

Orthodox Catechesis for People in Prison

Before offering some thoughts on how OCPM conducts catechesis for people in prison I would like to take the opportunity to recognize those Orthodox clergy and laity who work tirelessly where they are able to help our brothers and sisters who are incarcerated. Despite their sacrifices there is still a difficulty which must be faced: the largest numbers of Orthodox Christians in parts of the United States where people in prison tend…