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Social Justice & Outreach

Prison Ministry

Prison Ministry is relatively new at St. Thomas Becket. Here are two ways to participate in this ministry:

1. STB Prison Ministry Steering Committee, which develops opportunities to offer our Parishioners. One example is the Angel Tree project through which parishioners purchase and deliver gifts to children of those imprisoned. It meets approx. once a month for about 1/5 hr.

2. South Suburban Prison Ministry Coalition, attended by at least one STB representative every month. Some of the goals are to assist parishes with promotion, education, ministry sources, workshops, inmate release support. etc. The meetings are the 3ed Tuesday of each month for approx. 2hr.

 In Matthew 25:36 Jesus said, “I was naked and you clothed me,        I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.”  These three groups of people have one thing in common; they are all neglected.   As part of our outreach ministry, we say “YES” to Jesus and meet him in prison for the benefit of the imprisoned and for us.

Overview:

  • Additionally, 4,814,200 adults at year-end 2011 were on probation or on parole
  • In total, 6,977,700 adults were under correctional supervision (probation, parole, jail, or prison) in 2011 – about 2.9% of adults in the U.S. resident population
  • In addition, there were 70,792 juveniles in juvenile detention in 2010
  • 1 in every 100 American adults are in a prison
  • 75% of women are mothers
  • 1 out of 3 are parents
  • When released, they are unable to find work, earn less money when they do find work, making it harder for them to integrate back into society.
  • Rates of recidivism are very high. Studies show that with religious instruction, the rate of return to prison is reduced.
  • This dynamic affects not only the individuals who are incarcerated, but the families and communities around them, who have to pick up the burden while they are away

Offenders can and do change. Hope is necessary for a person to grow and change

  • The community benefits when offenders change their lives
  • Studies show that inmates who have an on-going, positive one-to-one relationship with a community member are 40% less likely to offend again

Why should we do this?

Experience the power of the Holy Spirit in changing lives

  • Increase Catholic based presence in this ministry
  • Assist families in need on the outside
  • Fill acute need for Catholic mentors through prayer, pen pals, onsite retreats, bible study,
  • Assist in reentry – faith community, housing, job search
  • Follow Pope Francis example of Holy Week last year
  • Precepts of Catholic Bishops statement on Criminal Justice: Responsibilities, Rehabilitation and Restoration

Opportunities

  • Increase lay participation in Prison Ministry;  Assist churches to start their own prison ministry outreach
  • Easiest & Most Powerful – pray for inmates and their family
  • Participate in a bible study program with insiders
  • Support groups for family, friends of incarcerated
  • Foster parent children of incarcerated parents
  • One to one mentorship
  • Participate in a retreat inside of the prison – lots of training provided!
  • Assist in finding jobs and housing for newly released
  • Invitation to come to worship 

Please contact us with your ideas/questions/suggestions and to volunteer for this life changing ministry.  God’s blessing and peace be with you.  Kevin & Fay Connors  kjc379@gmail.com 952-426-8633;  fay.connors@gmail.com  952-250-7613.

Sponsored by Church of St. Joseph, Rosemount MN Prison Ministry Outreach