I love supporting companies that contribute their earnings to worthy causes. That’s why I was really excited to try this Mint Merry Soap made by the fathers of Hermitage of the Holy Cross monastery. The soap is scented with mint, rosemary and lavender which makes it smell so wonderful and perfect for not just Christmastime but all through winter.
This year, when you purchase a bottle of soap, the monastery is donating 10% of it’s proceeds to the Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry.
The thought of helping this ministry really struck a cord with me because it made me realize how seldom I even think about prison ministries. There are always projects going on where we can help feed the poor, or donate things to various orphanages, etc., but I can only remember one or two projects that helps those in prison. Somehow, people in prison are more easily overlooked. Perhaps it’s because on some level we subconsciously feel like they got themselves in there and so there’s not that sense of urgency to help them like there is to help people who lost their jobs, homes and other things beyond their control. I really don’t know what the reason is, I just know that I don’t give a whole lot of thought to those in prison and that’s so wrong.
Christ tells us in Matthew 25: 35-40,
35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?
38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
Until a friend of mine began working for the Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry, I didn’t really know much about the organization. I had heard of it here and there but didn’t know exactly what their mission was or the type of outreach that they provided. When I read the following information I was so impressed and thankful to know that there are people out there doing this sort of work because it is so very necessary. I want to share that information with you.
Here are some random bits of info about the OCPM:
To bring the love of Christ to those who are in prison by providing encouragement, material support, transition and reintegration services, Christian education, spiritual guidance and the sacramental life of the church.
We carry out our mission by providing resources and services to people in prison and their families, lead training and involvement opportunities to churches, and reintegration services to people coming out of prison.
-Provide Orthodox publications, Bibles, prayer cards, icons and catechism courses to those in prison.
-Linking prisoners to Orthodox priests.
-Provide spiritual guidance and publications to families of prisoners.
Church Outreach and Training
-Educate and train churches and priests on prison ministry.
-Provide ongoing guidance to priests on prison ministry.
-Disseminate publications to churches on prison ministry.
-Provide mentoring programs for people coming out of prison.
-Share meals with people transitioning out of prison.
This is a terrific opportunity to support one of our monastic communities here in the US as well as a very important Orthodox ministry. I know I’ll be taking advantage of it and packing several of these lovely bottles into baskets I deliver this holiday season. Maybe, I’ll even knit up a few of these to include with them…
Click here to learn more about The Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry and find out how you can help.
To view a full catalog of the products offered by the monks of The Hermitage of the Holy Cross, click here.