Mentally Ill Prisoners: Icons of Christ

For nearly three years, Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry (OCPM) staff have been regularly writing to a prisoner, whom I will call Michael, who lives in a state mental hospital and suffers from delusions. The staff send Michael personal letters, cards with pictures of nature and wildlife, icon cards and even funny illustrations. Often, Michael’s letters […]

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Beyond the Bars Blog

The Person In Front of You

When seminarian Brad Given first got involved with prison ministry this year, he found he had to “deprogram” the ideas he had about prisoners from the media. “Media portrayals are understandably very negative because someone may commit a crime and is unrepentant,” says Given, who is a third-year student at St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary […]

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News

Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry Appoints Dr. Theodore Saclarides to Board of Trustees

Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry (OCPM), the national prison ministry of the Orthodox Church, is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Theodore Saclarides to its Board of Trustees. Dr. Saclarides is a cancer surgeon and a deacon at Sts. Peter & Paul Greek Orthodox Church in Glenview, IL. It was the litany petitions of the […]

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Beyond the Bars Blog

Why Peter and Christina are part of Matthew 25:36 Fellowship

When Peter and Christina became Orthodox a few years ago, they brought over an element of their Protestant upbringing: they are committed to tithing. Peter and Christina, who are in their mid-thirties with three young children and one on the way, tithe 10% of their income to their local Orthodox parish in California. Beyond that, they […]

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Press Releases

Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry Board of Trustees Meet for First In-Person Meeting Since the Pandemic

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media Inquiries: Amal Morcos (973-714-0510) (Denver, CO: August 23, 2021) Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry (OCPM), the national prison ministry of the Orthodox Church, recently concluded its first in-person meeting of its Board of Trustees since the outbreak of the pandemic. The Board of Trustees met in Denver, CO. “It was rewarding to […]

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Beyond the Bars Blog

What is Life Like Behind Bars?

We often forget that our Lord Jesus Christ was a prisoner, that he himself experienced the loneliness, isolation and restriction that is prison. Perhaps that is why He commanded us to visit prisoners (Matthew 25:36 – “I was in prison and you visited me.”) But what is prison like and how does a prisoner spend […]

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Beyond the Bars Blog

What Role Does Demonic Spiritual Warfare Play In Our Struggles?

In this second part of a series, Fr. Stephen Powley answers some provocative questions he received by email. Question:   “In your opinion, do you think the role of evil, the devil, demons, and spiritual warfare is understated and not given fair recognition for the sins and/or crimes that are committed in today’s age? I […]

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Beyond the Bars Blog

Are We Forever Marked By The Worst Thing We’ve Ever Done?

In this first part of a two part series, Fr. Stephen Powley answers some provacative questions he received by email. Fr. Stephen is the priest in charge of St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church in Pueblo, CO. Fr. Stephen began serving as a Prison Chaplain in 1985. He has ministered in every prison security […]

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Beyond the Bars Blog

She Tried Prison Ministry, Then She Got Hooked

Mary-Jo Dukas is an Orthodox Christian who is serious about whether she is fulfilling the Lord’s commandments. She went through Matthew 25:35-36 like it was a checklist and saw that the one thing that was missing was that she hadn’t visited someone in prison. “I really felt called to prison ministry, but I was afraid,” confesses Dukas, […]

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Beyond the Bars Blog

Breaking Free From Prison

Christ is Risen!  Every Pascha, Orthodox Christians around the world venerate the Paschal icon of the Lord storming hades and breaking the chains of death. That icon provides a visual reminder of a spiritual reality – something that has happened and continues to happen for everyone who sincerely repents and cries out to Christ for […]