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Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry (OCPM), the national prison ministry of the Orthodox Church, is very pleased to announce the Very Rev. John Kowalczyk as its Director of Training and Spiritual Care.

Fr. John is the rector of St. Michael’s Church in Jermyn, PA, and the Director of Field Education and Senior Lecturer in Ethics at St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary (STOTS). As the contract chaplain at S.C.I. Waymart’s Forensic Treatment Center, Fr. John facilitates the prison ministry practicum for seminarians at STOTS.

Fr. John formerly served as the Executive Secretary of the Board of Directors of OCPM, where he gained greater insight into the budgetary needs of the organization, but now he sees his role differently as a member of OCPM’s staff. Among his plans for the future of the organization include holding OCPM retreats, attending more speaking engagements, and hosting ministry workshops wherever there is a need.

“Seeing the dedication of Fr. Duane Pederson [Founder of OCPM] and working with Zossima Daugherty [Director of Prison Correspondence] has inspired and prepared me in a unique way,” says Fr. John. “I feel positively about my new position, especially sharing this role with Fr. Stephen Powley who has been my inspiration and brother in Christ for so many years.”