“In fidelity to the example of the Master, it is vitally important for the Church today to go forth and preach the Gospel to all: to all places, on all occasions, without hesitation, reluctance or fear. The joy of the Gospel is for all people: no one can be excluded.” — Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, 23

The Office of Prison Ministry strives to “go forth” with the joy of the Gospel and to be missionary disciples to the poor, especially the poor who are in need within the county jails and state prisons. It is our belief that by bringing Christ to the incarcerated and their families, we can assist them to encounter the living Christ in their day to day activities, social life and the familial experiences that create their individual realities.

The Office of Prison Ministry is an evangelizing community and relies heavily upon our diocesan volunteers who are not afraid or hesitant to bring the joy of the Gospel to all people in all places, especially those who are incarcerated in jails and prisons. As such, this office must continue to support their administrative, logistic and spiritual needs to keep them in the streets evangelizing. This evangelization keeps them and us in the “smell of the sheep” and provides this office with the ability to maintain a pulse on what is happening within the flock of the ministry.

We pray that by sowing the seed of the Gospel to the incarcerated, it may land on fertile soil and assist them in finding salvation and lead to an experience of true conversion. This conversion and acceptance of salvation would thus free them of sin; alleviate their sorrow, and diminish the inner emptiness and loneliness in which they all experience. God’s word is unpredictable in its power (Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, 22).

The Office of Prison Ministry understands and recognizes that every encounter with the incarcerated, the poor and their families and our volunteers, is an encounter with the living Christ. Each encounter should lead to a greater solidarity within the Church through our “apostolic courage of disseminating the Word” and the individual witness of our lives.