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Fr. John Kowlaczyk (STOTS Director of Field Education) attended a national board meeting of the Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry (OCPM) on August 8–10 in Wichita, KS. Travelling with him, as a guest, was Seminarian Gregory Matlak (‘20).


The evening before the meeting, a lovely dinner was held at the home of OCPM Treasurer Eric Namee. A presentation was given on a successful mentoring program designed to help inmates successfully transition back into regular society.


At the board meeting, Fr. John reported on his recent invitation to give a three hour workshop at the upcoming Pennsylvania Forensic Rights and Treatment Conference at Drexel Medical College, to be held on December 4-5. He also resigned as long-time Secretary of the OCPM board, yet renewed his commitment to the organization by reaffirming his role as a member of the executive staff and by accepting a new role as an executive board member.


Gregory was asked to offer a short presentation on his experience with prison ministry, during which he especially highlighted the excellent training he is receiving at St Tikhon’s as a part of field education classes.


It is an exciting time for the OCPM, as they recently approved a ground-breaking and ambitious new strategic plan. Both Fr. John and Gregory are involved in task forces addressing specific goals of this plan. The mission statement of the OCPM is: “To share the love of Christ and His Church with those who are incarcerated and their families so that lives are transformed and God is glorified.”


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Article written by Gregory Matlak