Prison Ministry Good-Newsletter

Letter from John

Now look what you’ve done! You made a grown man cry!

It may be hard for you to believe that one little birthday card can mean so much, but truly, I hear this all the time! Men who had sad childhoods and are long forgotten by family and friends are overwhelmed with emotion when strangers take the time to scribble “Happy Birthday” and sign their name to a card for them; to think about them for even a moment. Many list and thank everyone who signed by name. John sent two letters, one to the church and one to “Mama-Jo”,  and a card thanking us a total of a dozen times! I’ll post the one letter and the card on the bulletin board.

Last fall John found the church address on “A Timeline of Church History” brochure that he inherited from one of our participants at Alexander Correctional, where Fr. Onouphry holds monthly meetings. He wrote, but his letter got misplaced. Months later, when I finally  sent an introductory packet, he wrote me two 10+ page letters in a week! John, like many of the guys who write, has been seeking God and Studying the Bible for a long time. Finding Orthodoxy is like finding a treasure. Finding a community to pray for and who will pray for them is priceless!

New people ask a lot of questions and share  testimonies about God working in their lives. God is very present in prisons; He is working on men’s hearts! It’s wonderful to see how Orthodoxy can answer burning questions and give their time new purpose. It surely stimulates a lot of conversation!

Thank you for bringing John to tears on his birthday! Thank you for signing cards, for including John and our other participants when you pray for those in prison. Thank you for supporting this ministry with your prayers and donations.

The prayers of people like John are truly lifting our community up before God and we are truly being blessed by them.

The Bishop is Coming!

Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan is coming to our parish!

For the past month we’ve been promoting the 2018 Diaconate Boot Camp that our parish is hosting next week, starting Wednesday, May the 2nd through Sunday, May the 6th.

Joining us will be Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan, along with our teachers: Archpriest Andre Papkov and Protodeacon Vadim Gan. Not only is Fr. Andre the dean of Holy Virgin Protection Cathedral in Chicago, he is also the director of the Jordanville Liturgical Music School and dean of the Pastoral School. Fr. Vadim is the Protodeacon of the Synodal Cathedral in NYC.

Students, consisting of laypeople, deacons, readers and subdeacons, will be traveling from all over the US to learn the art of the Diaconate from these masters! As the weekend arrives, everyone is invited to attend the Hierarchical services: Vigil with confessions on Saturday evening, May 5th at 6:30PM and Divine Liturgy Sunday morning, May 6th at 9:40AM.


To prepare for this important event we are having a parish work day this Saturday, April 28th from 9AM all the way to Vigil at 6:30PM. Lunch and dinner will be provided by St. Nicholas.

Aside from a much needed cleaning after our Pascha celebration, we also want to get the parish and her grounds ready for the extensive filming that will be going on during the Diaconate Boot Camp. So much needs to be done and we are hoping you can make time to help us out!


  • We will focus on the interior, exterior of the temple including the grounds
  • Starts at 9AM then break for Lunch at 1:00PM
  • Continue working at 2:00PM then break for dinner at 5:30PM
  • Vigil with confession, pre-communion rule starts at 6:30PM

For more information about the Boot Camp, visit the Liturgical Arts School website.