It is difficult to imagine a place where a person would feel more abandoned, forgotten, or neglected than prison. Throughout the Gospels, Jesus identifies with the poor, the downtrodden, and the outcast. In Matthew’s Gospel, He challenges his disciples to recognize that when they neglect the prisoner, they neglect Jesus, Himself. The purpose of the Veronica Guild is to provide people with abundant opportunities to minister to Jesus in our neighbor. How can we neglect the inmate or the prisoner? Jesus’ challenge is practically a command, insisting that we be mindful of those incarcerated. He is not implying that the people for whom we should be caring are the innocents, but precisely the guilty ones. They are the ones in greatest need for the mercy of God. The volunteers of the Prison Ministry Team are dedicated to bringing the compelling message of the Gospel to those who need to hear it the most. The exultation of our Easter Joy as Christians can permeate even into the dark recesses of our local prisons and jails.
The members of the Prison Ministry Team will undergo thorough training in how to interact appropriately with the people to whom they will minister. Through prayerful intercession, letter writing, in-person visits, and serving on retreat teams, the volunteers of this team will be ministering to Jesus hidden in the imprisoned. People who have been cast out from society and locked away, some of them for truly evil deeds, are in dire need of God’s love and mercy. This team, guided by Fr. Joe Fowler, will work to witness to God’s merciful love.
If you are interested in volunteering for the team or if you know of someone who could benefit from the team’s pastoral care, please contact Fr. Joe.