• Freedom from Fear of the Future for Your Child with Disabilities Webinar

    Center for Family Care

    October 8, 2021

    Parents of children with disabilities often have compounded fears about their future. Panelists share their insights surrounding these fears, with a particular emphasis on how to cultivate freedom from fear of the future in order to enjoy life with our families now. Read More

  • Growing the Virtue of Philoxenia in Our Families and Communities

    Center for Family Care

    September 8, 2021

    Presvytera Melanie speaks with Charlotte Riggle about her familial experience of invisible disabilities; how she came to see God's commandment to not bear false witness against one's neighbor as the virtue of philoxenia—the love of strangers—the Giant Cookie Test; and the value of online support for families with special needs. Read More

  • Out of the Mouths of Babes You Have Perfected Praise

    Center for Family Care

    August 18, 2021

    Presvytera Melanie speaks with Sarah Riccardi-Swartz about her involvement with disability rights, how her Autistic daughter further developed her advocacy role, the need for the Church to listen to and incorporate the stories of those with disabilities and their guardians to develop a theology of disability, and the pure-hearted offerings to God in triumphant "Amens!" and Daniel Tiger songs. Read More

  • The Heusel Family: All Children Can Learn, and All Children Can Teach

    Center for Family Care

    August 10, 2021

    Presvytera Melanie speaks with Matt and Louise Heusel on medical practitioners' adverse reactions to prenatal discoveries of disabilities and the pressure put on parents to abort their children, how their daughter with Down Syndrome has enriched their family life, and the special gifts she contributes to their parish family. Read More

  • UOC St. Nicholas Summer Camp for Families with Disabilities

    Center for Family Care

    July 14, 2021

    Pres. Melanie speaks with Natalie Kapeluck Nixon, the Director of Youth & Young Adult Ministry for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA and founder of the St. Nicholas Program, a church camp experience for persons with special needs of all ages, and their families. Read More

  • Fostering Independence in Families with Disabilities Webinar

    Center for Family Care

    July 6, 2021

    Panelists offer their personal and professional lessons learned in a discussion of what healthy independence looks like in families with disabilities. Read More

  • Memory Eternal Rev. George Livanos

    Orthodox Observer

    July 1, 2021

    This morning, Rev. George Livanos, Protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Throne, peacefully passed away surrounded by his family. Read More

  • Metropolitan Savas’ Concentric Rings of Love

    Center for Family Care

    June 29, 2021

    Presvytera Melanie speaks with His Eminence Metropolitan Savas of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Pittsburgh on theological "whys" of disability, the need for all of us to learn an etiquette regarding disability, and his exhilarating experience on an OCF Real Break mission trip when visiting "The Four Homes of Mercy," a group home for persons with disabilities. Read More

  • The Christy Family - Life in Christ, Life with Cerebral Palsy

    Center for Family Care

    June 10, 2021

    Presvytera Melanie continues her conversation with William Christy, this time including his father and mother, Father Paul and Presvytera Mary, and his twin sister, Gabriella. Each family member shares their personal perspective related to William's diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy - the joys, challenges, and the way their love for God and His love for them was made manifest through their experiences. Read More

  • Light in Times of Darkness Webinar

    Center for Family Care

    June 7, 2021

    How can we find light in times of darkness? How can we be a light? How can we help our families become lights in darkness? Join us as we discuss these questions and more in this GOA Center for Family Care webinar. Read More

  • Eulogy for George Korkos

    News Release

    June 4, 2021

    Like so many of you in this Cathedral today, I have traveled here to pay tribute to one of the great Hellenes of America, and one of the great human beings of our time, Dr. George Korkos. Read More

  • The Gift of Life

    Center for Family Care

    June 1, 2021

    The gift is Life – not merely abstract or even of visible cycles and experiences – but one born from the love of a Person, “He Who Is… Life.” (Exodus 3:14, John 14:1) The precious Gift is the Antidote to all of the tragedies and wounds of our fallen existence, and as He once offered Himself for the life of the world, so now and so always He continues to poor Himself out to all willing to receive Him. Life is Jesus Christ our Lord. And this Life is worth living. Read More

  • Son of Man: Jesus a Fully Human Being

    Center for Family Care

    May 5, 2021

    It is difficult to see through murky, cultural distortions when defining what makes a person fully- alive, purposeful, worthy, or important. Cultural “norms” marginalize large groups of people, including those who do not meet accepted physical, mental, or cognitive standards of what is considered “normal.” To put it bluntly, people with disabilities are often seen as less than alive, less than purposeful, less than worthy, less than important - less than human. Read More

  • Gauging Resource Needs for Families with Disabilities

    Center for Family Care

    May 1, 2021

    We seek input from those we wish to serve in order to guide our priorities as we begin this work. Thank you for spending a few minutes taking this short, confidential survey. Read More

  • William Christy - On Faith, Wheelchair Basketball, and How The Teachings of the Fathers Shape…

    Center for Family Care

    April 28, 2021

    William Christy - On Faith, Wheelchair Basketball, and How The Teachings of the Fathers Shape His Response to His Disability. Presvytera Melanie speaks with William Christy about being a young adult with Cerebral Palsy, a PK (priest's kid), his love for English Literature, Wheelchair Basketball, and how the teachings of the Fathers of the Church encourage him and inform his worldview. Read More

  • Prune Your Soul

    Center for Family Care

    April 26, 2021

    I used to be fearful of pruning my rose bushes, wanting them to have full freedom to grow any which way they would. I didn’t want to be like a highly caffeinated hairdresser lopping off more than enough inches, leading to something that looked like a shearing rather than a trim. ‘Don’t be afraid to prune’ gardening experts say, “pruning leads to new growth and continued blooming.” (Marie Ianotti) Read More

  • A Mom and a Mission: St. Matrona the Wonderworker Miracles of God Ministries

    Center for Family Care

    March 17, 2021

    Presvytera Melanie speaks with Presvytera Elaine Stavropoulos regarding her daughter's Autism diagnosis, and the ministry to families with disabilities which blossomed forth as a result. Read More

  • Obituary for Rev. Protopresbyter George Vaporis

    Orthodox Observer

    February 27, 2021

    ​Rev. Protopresbyter Fr. George Vaporis fell asleep in the Lord February 26th, 2021. Fr. Vaporis is survived by his belowed Presbytera Kalliopi and their four children: Michael, Katherine, Basil, and Markella and 7 grandchildren. Read More

  • Introduction of Family Matters: Fully Human Edition

    Center for Family Care

    February 24, 2021

    Fr Alex Goussetis speaks with Prevytera Melanie DiStefanos about the launching of a new podcast series that is dedicated to special needs families. Read More

  • Ver. Rev. Archimandrite Demetrios Simeonidis Obituary

    Orthodox Observer

    February 17, 2021

    Ver. Rev. Archimandrite Demetrios Simeonidis (July 31, 1938), lovingly known as Father D., fell asleep in the Lord Sunday, February 14, 2021. He served the Holy Greek Orthodox Church faithfully for fifty-two years, becoming a guiding light, Spiritual Father, and dear friend to thousands of people he met throughout his ministry. All who met Father Demetrios loved him. He was humble, kind, generous, and wise, and exemplified every day what it means to live a Christ-centered life. Read More