The Reading Corner

This page is your guide to lots of good resources.  A lot of information comes at busy professionals on a daily basis and its easy to miss the good stuff mixed in with everything else.  The OCAMPR executive board hopes this page will help you find the good stuff.  We will be posting on this page links, quotes, short reviews, and reflections about things we discover that are especially helpful, relevant, timely, and nurturing to the professional and spiritual life of the Orthodox Christian care-giver.   Check back frequently for new updates!

  • 1/19/14: Dr. Stephen Muse has updated an earlier article on marriage and published it in LOGOS.  The article can be read here: Transfiguring Voluptuous Choice: An Eastern Approach to Marriage as a Spiritual Path.

  • 1/21/13: December’s edition of The Word features an article “Getting older in a Spiritual Way Embracing God’s Will in Aging” that will be of interest to OCAMPR members.  The article begins on page 6 of the PDF.
  • 1/18/13: Fr. Morelli reflects on Orthodox psychospiritual thoughts and interventions regarding the Sandy Hook shooting in an article on the Antiochian Archdiocese web site.
  • 1/13/13: Dr. Stephen Muse is excited to announce a new book, Being Bread.  From the author, “If as Dostoevsky says, “Beauty will save the world,” it is because beauty arises only in the presence of love. Without love, there is nothing beautiful. There is nothing valuable. There is nothing meaningful. Meaning arises and transformation occurs through the call and response of personal encounter when we discover a third presence Who offers us being-in-relationship that is greater than the determinism and inertia of biological life. The stories and reflections in this volume are offered in celebration of the One who, in surprising ways and unexpected circumstances, becomes the precious and pure gift of our being bread so that we may live the mystery of becoming bread for others. I wish this for all who read this book.”
  • 11/7/12: Sunday, November 11th Deacon Mark Barna and his wife Elizabeth will be the guests an Ancient Faith Radio’s weekly call-in show,  Ancient Faith Today. They will be discussing the Orthodox Christian tradition of death and burial and taking your questions. Tune in on November 11th for an interesting broadcast! You can find out more about the Barna’s work here.
  • 7/2/12: Last evening Fr. Peter Gillquist, an OCAMPR advisory board member and a tireless proponent of Orthodoxy in America, fell asleep in the Lord. We extend our condolences to his family and friends and offer to God our gratitude for the life and work of his humble and faithful servant Peter. May his memory be eternal! Information on the schedule of services surrounding Fr. Peter’s repose may be found here.
  • 6/09/12: Here are two short and enjoyable interviews with Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlakos on Bioethics and Psychotherapy. Thanks to John Sanidopoulos of Mystagogy for sharing these links. Enjoy!
  • 3/19/12: While fasting is directed more toward spiritual than physical goals it is part of the grace of God’s creative work in us that what is good for the soul is good for the body as well. As this study demonstrates.
  • 3/8/12: Ours is an age both nihilistic and consumerist. These ideologies may seem incongruous but they can be brought into perfect confluence as this article on euthanasia in the Netherlands demonstrates.
  • 3/8/12: As the New York Times reports in this fascinating article, the quest for immortality continues.
  • 3/5/12: For any of our friends who expect to find themselves in England this summer, or who would like an excuse to go, we are pleased to direct your attention to the Annual Summer Conference of the Fellowship of Saint John the Baptist. This years conference will discuss questions of death and eternity. Speakers include Metropolitan Kallistos Ware and OCAMPR member, Dr. Frank Johnson.
  • 2/25/12: Here is an short article from the BBC that would seem to suggest that the rhythm of monastic life may hew closer to what is biologically natural for humans concerning sleep.
  • 2/23/12: Here are two interesting articles about the physical effects of spiritual discipline to think about as we prepare to begin Great Lent. The first is about the psychology of self-denial.  The second is about the brain chemistry of a person of prayer. On behalf of our President, Dr. Mike Christakis, and the OCAMPR Executive Board, I wish you good strength and the blessing of God as you begin your Lenten journey.

-Fr. John Cox – V.P.

  • 1/12/12: Dr. Dan Buxhoeveden’s lecture from the 2011 OCAMPR Conference is up! You can listen to it at OCN.
  • 12/3: During the 2011 OCAMPR conference the Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) sat down with Dr. Timothy Patitsas of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology for a conversation about Dr. Tim’s reflections on St. Maximus the Confessor’s theology of the existence of the soul and body .  We hope you appreciate this interesting conversation.
  • 12/2: During the 2011 OCAMPR conference the Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) sat down with OCAMPR president Dr. Mike Christakis to learn more about what OCAMPR is doing now and where we are going in the future. You can listen to Dr. Mike’s talk about strengthening OCAMPR’s role as an Orthodox ministry here.
  • 12/2: The Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) was gracious enough to  record the 2011 OCAMPR conference. OCN recorded not only the conference presentations but also interviewed each of the speakers on a variety of questions. Here is OCN’s engaging interview with OCAMPR presenter and Orthodox Christian, Dr. Gayle Woloschak.
  • 11/12:  For all the nurses out there here’s a link to a documentaryabout the experience of loss among perinatal nurses.
    • Here is breaking news about the FDA’s approval of the first blood cord product.
  • 9/10:  Death and burial aren’t exactly popular topics of discussion and if you try to make them so people will probably stop inviting you to dinner parties but for Orthodox Christians they are important aspects of our faith.  Many Orthodox Christians may be unaware however that the Church has a traditional way of going through the process of death and burial that has little in common with the world of funeral homes; a way that is both more meaningful and less expensive. THIS book by J. Mark and Elizabeth Barna brings that tradition of death and burial to light and shows us the way to reclaim it today.  As a testament to the value their work the Orthodox practices Deacon Mark and Matushka Elizabeth describe were successfully employed in the death and burial of the ever-memorable Archbishop Dmitri, retired Archbishop of Dallas and the South (OCA).
  • 9/7:  A number of years ago OCAMPR board members began collaborating on a document intended to aid Orthodox Christians in their end-of-life preparations.  The result was a document entitled Living Wills and a Christian Death, which helps Orthodox Christians understand and make use of Advance Directives and Living Wills.  To our pleasant surprise this document is still being used in parishes throughout the country and so we reissue it HERE in the hope that it will be helpful to any Orthodox Christians who have not yet availed themselves of this resource.
  • 8/30:  The next two OCAMPR conferences are dedicated to helping you the caregiver gain greater insight into the medical, psychological, and spiritual world of conception, child-birth, and childlessness, and develop the tools that will enable you to more fully appreciate and minister to those inhabiting this complicated universe.  THIS blog will be a good resource for anyone concerned particularly with the phenomenon of child loss.

-Megan Brightwell

  • 8/30: Memory Eternal!  It is with sadness that the OCAMPR executive and advisory boards take note of the repose of Archbishop Dmitri of Dallas and the South, a true patron of Orthodoxy in America.  Please join us in offering our condolences to the Diocese which he founded and in asking that our gracious Lord would grant him rest in his heavenly kingdom.  Funeral information and a short biography of the late Archbishop may be found HERE.
  • 8/16: THIS is an excellent sermon by Fr. Alexander Veronis on the healing of soul and body and the ministry of healing that belongs to us all.
  • 8/2: Event Notice:  OCAMPR is pleased to share with its friends and members news of the upcoming conference hosted by our sister organization, the Orthodox Peace Fellowship. In addition to the summary below please find attached a flier as well as a registration form for the conference.
    Annual North American Conference
    Orthodox Peace Fellowship
    Madison, WI – September 16-18
    Conference Theme: “Forgiveness”

    About OPF: The Fellowship is a worldwide membership organization — a society of Orthodox Christians and others striving to realize the peace of Christ on earth. OFP wishes to help eliminate violence as a means of resolving conflicts, protect those who are endangered, and reject the taking of life in any context. (We are an Endorsed Organization of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops.)

    About the Conference: Speakers will include: Bob Enright, professor of forgiveness studies, University of Wisconsin/Madison and director, International Forgiveness Institute; Rev. George Morelli, PhD and Chairman of the Department of Chaplaincy and Pastoral Counseling Ministry, Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese; Ms. Judith Toy, author, Murder as a Call to Love and ordained Buddhist cleric.

    About the Venue: Meetings, meals and accommodations will be arranged through the Bishop O’Connor Pastoral Center, 702 South High Point Rd., Madison, WI 53719 – both local residents and conferees from elsewhere are welcomed.

    Contact Alex Patico at  for more details.

    Conference Flier
    Registration Form
  • 7/30:  Today we received the news that OCAMPR Advisory Board member, Archimandrite John Abdalah, was one of three clergymen of the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America tasked with the awesome responsibility of the episcopacy.  Details are as yet forthcoming but please join us in thanking God for his worthy servant Bishop Elect John, and offering a heartfelt “eis polla eti despota!

– Fr. John Cox (On behalf of the Executive Board)

  • 7/26:  Memory Eternal! 

Dear OCAMPR friends,

I am sorry to report to you that Georgia Photopulos fell asleep in the Lord yesterday.   Georgia was an early supporter of OCAMPR in the 80’sand 90’s and a truly remarkable woman.  She developed breast cancer in her thirties and had every complication imaginable but she courageously faced all her problems with the strong support of her Christian Orthodox faith and her loving husband Bud, and by God’s grace she overcame them all.  Together Georgia and Bud raised two children while all this was going on.  She lived a long and full live, dying in her 70’s of heart complications.  Georgia always reached out to others to help them through their cancer problems.  She was  a caring, loving person.   She became the first person the American Cancer Society used for a national breast cancer hot line.   She also wrote a marvelous book, Of Tears and Triumph, with her husband that discussed her battle with breast cancer and how with help of her Christian Orthodox faith she was able to persevere and to overcome her disease.  I used to give this book to all my cancer patients and still give it to anyone I meet who is struggling with cancer.

Georgia was a bright, beautiful, charming and witty individual.  Once a year I would have her address the second year medical students at Loyola University – so they could understand what a woman with breast cancer goes through.  The students loved her and couldn’t get enough of her.  Her lectures were always filled. She was a great inspiration to all who knew her.  On behalf of OCAMPR’s members and Board of Directors I extend condolences to the Photopulos family and say,  “may Georgia’s memory be eternal.”

                                                                         – Dr. John Demakis

  • 7/19:  The Rev. Dr. Panagiotis Bistolarides, a long time member of OCAMPR,  will be moderating this important conference on ministering to the dying sponsored by the Ecumenical Patriarchate.   Check back often as we will post content from the conference here as it becomes available.  Additionally, if any of OCAMPR’s friends or members are fortunate enough to attend the conference we would love to read about your experience.

-Dr. John Demakis

  • Stephen Muse, Ph.D., OCAMPR Advisory Board member, has written a new book entitled When Hearts Become Flame, published by the Orthodox Research Institute.   This pastoral counseling resource approaches counseling from an Orthodox perspective focusing on the partnership between natural intuition, psychological science and charismatic spiritual discernment.  It has had wide advanced reading by pastoral theologians of a variety of jurisdictions in the U.S. and Russia.

Brenda O

  • I ran across this some time ago.  It’s a touching little poem written by a dying young girl.  We would do well to heed her words.  After all, the Bible never says that Jesus was in a hurry and he healed more people than we might dare hope to heal ourselves.  Enjoy.

– John D

  • Attached is a fascinating presentation entitled Health and Healing in Byzantium that Dr. John Demakis gave for OCAMPR a few years back.  It is inspiring to discover the heritage we Orthodox have in the healing arts and the Executive Board thought our readers would enjoy this paper.

-Dn. John C on behalf of the Executive Board

  • Our own Very Rev. Dr. George Morelli is a prolific writer on a variety of topics related to Orthodox Christianity and the healing arts.  An archive of many of the important articles he has written over the years is available here.  We hope they become a valuable tool for our readers.

-Dn. John C on behalf of the Executive Board