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. Priests of the Cathedral also provide a variety of counseling and support ministries including the following:
Hospital and Shut-in Ministry
One of the most vibrant and dynamic ministries of our Cathedral is the Hospital/Shut –in/Bereavement ministry. 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. All shut-ins are visited at least monthly, and more often as time allows.
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. These ministries include, but are not limited to, the Sunshine Committee of 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. The Makaria Ministry of Philoptochos is instrumental in helping reduce stress at the time of funerals, as well as helping to provide a sense of closure for families. The Daughters of Penelope, of the AHEPA family, provides additional support to the shut-ins of our Cathedral family and works with the Philoptochos Society.
Support: For individuals who have lost loved-ones and who need help/spiritual guidance and support while going through the grieving process.
Prison Ministries: Orthodox persons who are incarcerated are visited by our priests on an “as-needed” basis.
For more information contact: Church Ministries at 713-526-5377 ext. 260 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 professional counselors in the greater Houston area, and with consent of all the parties will work together with the counselors to help bring about healing and resolution.
Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral
3511 Yoakum Boulevard
Houston, TX 77006
Office: (713) 526-5377
Fax: (713) 526-1048
Office Hours: Weekdays 8am-4:30pm