Fr. Stephen

Christmas Greetings

Christmas Day!! For many of us, those two words bring to mind cherished images: a joyful celebration of the Divine Liturgy rejoicing at the Birth of our Savior, the mystery of presents under the tree, the smiles of children as they unwrap their gifts, the savory smells of Christmas dinner and the warmth of family being together…precious memories that gladden our hearts.

For me, the memories of Christmas Day are a bit different. For almost 26 years, our family would awaken at 5 am to watch our children open their presents. By 7 am I would leave the house to spend the day with the men in prison. In my many years as a prison chaplain, it was our policy for chaplains to be in the institution on Christmas Day. Though I would have loved to spend the day at home with my family, I knew that my presence in the prison was needed.

Christmas is truly the most difficult time of year for men and women living in prison. They long to be at home, rejoicing with family and friends. Many men and women who are incarcerated experience great sorrow and depression this time of year.

We may not be able to reunite those in prison with their families on Christmas Day, but we can do something else: We can let them know that they are not forgotten.

Will you help us? Every item OCPM sends—icons, prayer books, Orthodox Study Bibles, devotional books, and more—lets men and women in prison know that they are prayed for, cared for and remembered. In addition to sending Orthodox materials, we correspond with people in prison, send books and Bibles to prison libraries, and support clergy and laity to minister to those in prison.

Your donation allows us to reach to people in prison not only at Christmas, but throughout the year. By your partnership with OCPM, you will be responding to Jesus’ call to visit Him in prison (Matthew 25:36).

Please join us in this vital ministry.

In anticipation of the Holy Nativity: Christ is Born! Glorify Him!!

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