Our convocation this year will be held in Houston, Texas from July 24-26, 2014. Please stay tuned for further details on speakers and involvement opportunities!
His Grace Bishop
Demetrios of Mokissos
The message of His Grace, Bishop Demetrius on uncovering what is already a present reality, hidden from sin, prejudice, and preconceived ideas.
Please be patient the audio files below may take a few minutes to appear.
Bishop Demetrios was ordained to the Diaconate October of 1989. In 1992, he was ordained to the priesthood, and in 1995 elevated to the rank of Archimandrite, all by the hand of Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago. Since then, he has served as assistant and deacon to the bishop, as associate pastor of Annunciation Cathedral of Chicago, and presently serves as Chancellor of the Metropolis of Chicago.
Bishop Demetrios is the immediate past President (2008-2009) of the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago. The Council is composed of chief leaders of the Greater Chicago faith Communities and embraces a broad diversity of theological and religious traditions. It is a microcosm of American religion as it exists in the American heartland.
He is a current representative of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America to the National Council of Churches of Christ (NCCCUSA) and served as the chairperson of several of its committees over the past eight (8) years.
With an unyielding commitment to the sanctity of life, Bishop Demetrios works for justice and humanity in the prison system. He has served as a board member and past two-term President (2003-2005) of the Illinois Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and received the coalition’s Cunningham-Carey Award in 2007. He has spoken and written extensively in support of abolition of the death penalty and has advocated extensively for individual death row inmates. Having met with the Illinois Governor on several occasions on the subject of Capital Punishment, Bishop Demetrios was recognized for his advocacy as an invited guest at the ceremony where Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed legislation abolishing the death penalty in 2011.
For all these and related activities, in 2008 he was appointed as a member of the Illinois State Advisory Committee of the United States Commission on Civil Rights. In 2011, Bishop Demetrios was honored to be re-appointed for a second term on the Committee.
“The Holy Cross and The Sacred Call to Abolish the Death Penalty” article by His Grace Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos.
Confirmed Speakers for 2012 Convocation:
|Bishop Mark (Maymon) of Baltimore and the South was received into the Church through Holy Chrismation on Great and Holy Wednesday 1989. Soon after, he requested Metropolitan PHILIP’s blessing to attend St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Seminary. He received his Master of Divinity degree at St. Vladimir’s in 1991. Bishop MARK was ordained a deacon at the hand of Bishop ANTOUN at St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania on August 17, 1997. On September 7, 1997, he was ordained to the Holy Priesthood at St. George in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Bishop MARK was consecrated to the Holy Episcopacy on December 5, 2004. His consecrating bishops included His Beatitude IGNATIUS IV at the Patriarchal Cathedral in Damascus, Syria. He was enthroned at St. George Cathedral in Toledo, Ohio on August 25, 2005 and now serves as Bishop of the Diocese of Baltimore and the South under the Orthodox Church in America. Bishop MARK is the Assembly of Bishops (formerly SCOBA) Appointed Spiritual Overseer of OCPM. Aside from his spiritual supervision, His Grace has hands on experience, having personally visited with the inmate Orthodox community of believers at the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City, IN. Under His Omophorion the ministry of OCPM has spread across the U.S.
|Archpriest John Kowalczyk, Director of Field Education and Senior Lecturer in Ethics, graduated from St. Tikhon’s Seminary, Marywood University (M.S. in Religious Education), and the Moscow Theological Academy (Candidate of Science in Theology). He also received counseling certification and privileges for group psychotherapy from Farview Hospital.
Fr. John is the Rector of St. Michael’s Church in Jermyn, Pa, since 1985, the Chancellor of the Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania and a Chaplain at S.C.I. Waymart’s Forensic Treatment Center. (Fr. John has completed nearly seven thousand Preliminary Religious Assessments for the Treatment Team on Forensic inmates since 1987. He has taught at St. Tikhon’s since 1986 and is the Director of Field Education at the Seminary. Seminarians from St. Tikhon’s complete an internship at the prison in their second year of Theology. OCPM has certified this Prison Program and makes an annual trip to the Seminary during a “Field Education Commencement”
Fr .John is secretary of the Board of Directors of Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry (OCPM). Fr. John is the Theological Consultant for Orthodox Christians for Life (OCL) and organizes the Annual March for Life in Washington D.C.
|Monk Cosmas (Shartz) was born in the 1950′s and was raised Methodist as a son of a minister. Soon after he entered college he drifted away from Christianity, seduced by the allurements of secularism and decadence, and spent many years in the spiritual far country. He entered the Greek Orthodox Church in 1996, therefore, as a repentant sinner. He is a tonsured reader. In 2004 he joined the brotherhood of the Monastery of St. John of Shanghai and San Franisco. He was tonsured to the small schema on March 20, 2008. His obediences at the monastery include duties for the monastery’s publication division, Divine Ascent Press. He is also active in the Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry, keeping up correspondence with several people in prison and supplying the OCPM website with inspiring and challenge articles.
|Father Emmanuel (Manny) Mantzouris is the priest at St. Basil Orthodox Church in Troy, NY since1983. Father Emmanuel attended Hellenic College and Holy Cross School of Technology in Brookline, MA and received his Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Religion. During his last year in the Master’s program, he was ordained a Deacon through the hand of the late Biship Gerasimos of Abydos, on November 29, 1981. He was ordained a priest through the hand of the late Archbishop Iakovos, on November 21, 1982, and took his first assignment to Rochester, NY. Father Emmanuel has served since January 1991 as the Greek Orthodox Chaplain for the New York State Department of Correctional Services. He travels extensively to the state correctional facilities located throughout New York State in order to monitor the presence and movement of Orthodox Christians throughout the system. He is an active member of the national Board of Trustees of OCPM where he has served since 2005.
|Father Demetrius Nicolaudakis is the pastor of St. Matthew’s Greek Orthodox Church in Blandon, PA and has been involved in Prison Ministry for over 12 years. He has extensive Graduate work in Scripture, Theology and Church History (teaching as an adjunct on both undergraduate institutions) as well as training in Counseling. Fr. Demetrius has helped coordinate St. Matthew’s into an “integrating environment” that receives those newly released who desire to continue pursuing healing and recovery as well as ministering to those out in correctional institutions. He ans his wife Despina (who has also worked in prison ministry) have been married for the last 23 years and have 5 children.
|Father Deacon Jeff Smith leads the prison ministry for the parish of St. Mary in Cambridge, MA. Holding a weekly study/prayer service with men at Concord State Prison, Deacon Jeff has used iconography to help his students see beyond their existence as “prisoners” to obtain an understanding of their true human worth In Christ.
|Paul Goetz is the Director of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology and St. Peter and St. Paul Prisoner Education/Scholarship Program. An Honors Graduate of UW-Madison, he is also a Member of the City Council, Monroe, WI. Paul was the project coordinator and first draft editor for the Orthodox Study Bible. Under the spiritual guidance of V. Rev. Fr. Jack Sparks (Memory Eternal) he graduated from the St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology in 1996. One year later he became director of the Prisoner Education Project for the St. Athanasius Academy. He and his wife, Anastasia have been married since 1992.|
2012 Convocation Slideshow: