At some point or another, as Orthodox Christians, we may come to a difficult juncture in our life, face serious problems or must confront complex situations in which the care of the Church, through the priest, is needed. The pastoral care of the Ascension is never more than a phone call away. If a member of the Church needs to consult the priest or is in need of special prayers, a person should contact the Church Office and if necessary, make an appointment to see the priest. There is never any shame in needing the love and guidance of a brother or sister in Christ, most especially our spiritual Father, the priest. Furthermore, all consultations with the priest are strictly confidential.
“Is any among you afflicted? Let him pray. Is any merry? Let him sing psalms. Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up…”
Counseling and Support
The Orthodox Church recognizes that all persons, including Orthodox Christians, experience times of crisis and the need for healing, physically, emotionally and spiritually. The Divine Mysteries (sacraments) of the Church are provided for this purpose. Orthodox faithful are encouraged to receive Holy Communion, Holy Unction, and Holy Confession and Absolution regularly. In addition, the faithful are encouraged to contact their priests for personal spiritual guidance, prayers for protection, blessings of homes or businesses and so on.
Hospital or Home Visitations
One of the most vibrant and dynamic ministries of our parish is hospital or home visitations. The purpose of this ministry is to provide spiritual support to those individuals who, due to physical and/or psychological limitations, are confined to nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, psychiatric facilities or their own homes.
In addition to praying with these individuals and administering the Sacraments to them, part of the scope of this ministry is to provide supportive counseling to patients as well as to their families, enabling them to cope more effectively with illness or loss. In the case of the terminally ill, counseling is provided as needed in order to address and resolve end-of life-issues for patients as well as for their families.
For individuals who are confined to hospital due to an acute or chronic illness or trauma, or those who are in need of a life-saving surgery, pastoral visitations are made on a regular basis. In addition to visits from the clergy these patients are also supported through the efforts of other ministries and organizations of our church such as the Ladies’ Philoptochos Society. Additionally, Philoptochos provides translators as well as arranges and coordinates physician appointments for those patients who come from Greece as well as other countries for the purpose of receiving treatment for various types of cancers, or in need of a life-saving procedure.
For individuals who have lost loved ones and who need help/spiritual guidance and support while going through the grieving process are encouraged to reach out to the Church Office and the priest for support, guidance and care.
Marriage and Family Counseling
The Church offers Orthodox healing of the soul to all who are experiencing stress in personal or family life. For Orthodox Christians, this therapy is experienced through spiritual direction and the sacraments, including Holy Unction, Confession, and the prayers for healing and protection which are an integral part of the life of the Church. Where psychotherapy or professional marriage or family counseling are indicated, our priests will refer individuals to others, and with consent of all the parties will work together with the counselors to help bring about healing and resolution.