Prison Ministry
200 N. Glebe Rd.,Suite 506, Arlington, VA 22203
(703) 841-3830 Fax: (703) 841-3840

Catholic Charities Prison Ministry

"I was in prison and you came to visit me ... I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." Matthew 25:36

 

Prison Ministry in the Diocese of Arlington is a pastoral care ministry whereby the Christian Community shares in the healing ministry of Christ. It is a ministry of presence and witness.  Prison Ministry is facilitated through a network of parish-based volunteers from throughout the diocese who offer spiritual and emotional assistance to the imprisoned, including those who are being released, and to their victims and families.

Catholic Charities supports the efforts of the parishes to hold ministries in regional/state jails within the Diocese of Arlington.  Our volunteers also support Kairos prison ministry at four locations.  Catholic Charities assists with recruitment of volunteers, provides missals and hymnals and other materials, hosts a Christmas Mass in Jail with the Bishop, assists with arranging for priest visits, and supports the Jail Ministry Program Coordinators in their work at the locations below.  Catholic Charities serves as a focal point to answer questions from members of the diocese on prisons, friends in prison, and related inquiries. Catholic Charities ministry also acts as a conduit to share pertinent information among parish groups. Upon request, Catholic Charities will provide talks to adult and youth religious education groups.  Each year, we provide Christmas cards for the incarcerated to use to send to their loved ones.  We will also work with jails within the Diocese to initiate prison ministry programs.

 

Current locations of Jail Ministry Programs by location and by Parish (Feb. 2017)

Alexandria Detention Center, St Mary Catholic Church

Arlington County Detention Center, St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church

Fairfax County ADC, St. Leo the Great Catholic Church

Loudoun County Jail. St. John the Apostle Catholic Church

Prince William/Manassas Regional ADC, All Saints Catholic Church

Northwestern Regional ADC, Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church

Coffeewood Correctional Facility, Precious Blood Catholic Church

Kairos at Buckingham, Fluvanna, Virginia Correctional Center for Women (Goochland), Nottoway

At these locations, Jail Ministry Volunteers of the parish and local community bring the message of hope and the unconditional love of God to the inmates, sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the ministry of presence, celebration of liturgies, reception of sacraments, study of faith and Holy Scripture.  Volunteers provide opportunities of witness to the Faith and evangelization to the unbaptized and those that seek union with the Catholic Faith.  Each location has various schedules, times and needs. 

Bill Hall is the Catholic Charities Coordinator of Prison Ministry.  For information regarding locations, times, opportunities, and the application process for volunteering inside the jails and prisons, please contact him at whall@ccda.net or call him at (703) 841-3832.

Sally O’Dwyer is the Director of Volunteers for Catholic Charities.  Please contact her at sodwyer@ccda.net or call 703 841 3838


Re-Entry Program

Catholic Charities is working with a number of partners to serve those who are leaving incarceration and returning to the community.  Our goal is to welcome them, promote their success, and to avoid re-incarceration.   Life for an ex-offender can be very difficult.  It is hard to gain employment and housing with a criminal record.  There is often very little family or community support available to these men and women as they transition back into our community. In addition to the many programs we offer that support those leaving jail, we also offer support in their job search and provide clothing. 

 

Backpack Program  

Catholic Charities is currently providing backpacks to those leaving jail.  These backpacks demonstrate our love for our brothers and sisters.  They contain toiletries and other needed survival items.  We also include hand-written welcome notes, religious materials, and a gift card for the recipient.  Donations for this project gratefully appreciated.  We rely on groups to hold backpack drives to support this effort.  For information on this service project, contact sodwyer@ccda.net

 

Additional Aftercare Services 

Catholic Charities is meeting with other organizations that provide aftercare services to those leaving jail/prison.  We are currently partnering with the Temporary Aftercare Program (TAP) in Leesburg and working with volunteers at All Saints Catholic Parish as they look at services needed.  There are other organizations we would like to reach out to see how we can work together to create a network of services to our brothers and sisters re-joining us in the community.  Volunteers are needed to help us with this effort.

 

For more information on Prison and Jail Ministry, please see:

Responsibility, Rehabilitation, and Restoration: A Catholic Perspective on Crime and Criminal Justice.  A Statement by the Catholic Bishops

http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/criminal-justice-restorative-justice/crime-and-criminal-justice.cfm#intro

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