May 21, 2017
To all the Clergy and the Laity of the Holy Orthodox Churches in the United States;
Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ: CHRIST IS RISEN!
The Hierarchs of The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America have approved the sixth Sunday of Pascha, Sunday, May 21st of this year, to be Prison Ministry Awareness Sunday in all Orthodox parishes of North America.
“Don’t neglect your brother in his distress while you decorate His House. Your brother is more truly His temple than any Church building” (St. John Chrysostom, On Matthew: Homily 50.4).
We who do not live in the darkness of a prison or jail cannot truly comprehend the incredible distress men and women prisoners live with each and every day. OCPM needs all our help to bring the love and light of Christ to these precious souls. The Orthodox Church, through OCPM, offers both hope and healing to those living in such distress.
Please remember “these the least of my brethren” by assisting OCPM with this vital ministry, not forgetting that even a “small gift may earn a crown of glory” (St. John Chrysostom). After passing a tray for the ongoing work of your parish, please pass a second tray on Prison Ministry Awareness Sunday, May 21st and send these gifts to OCPM as soon as possible to:
Post Office Box 1597
New York, NY 10025
With paternal blessings and love in our Risen Lord,
+MARK, Archbishop of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania
Orthodox Church in America
Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States, Liaison
Fr. Stephen Powley