The Catholic Diocese of Brownsville encompasses four counties: The Office of Jail/Prison Ministry is headed by a Director who is assisted by volunteer coordinators in each county. A Diocesan priest is assigned by the Bishop to the ministry as its chaplain.There are approximately 150 volunteers who perform the day to day ministry in each of thirty-four facilities. These volunteers provide a myriad of services including celebration of Holy Mass, Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest, scripture classes, faith formation, RCIA preparation and four-day retreats (Kolbe Prison Retreats for adults and Ministry of the Third Cross Retreats for juveniles).
- To bring them the Gospel of Good News, reinforcing Christian values so that they can recover their dignity and to assure them of God’s Love.
- To witness and share with them the fullness of our Catholic Faith, providing scripture and faith studies according to Catholic Catechesis.
To provide RCIA classes for those wishing to complete their sacraments and/or convert to the Catholic Faith.
- To lead those who already have their sacraments to a fuller and richer participation in their Catholic Faith.
- To present opportunities for spiritual transformation via four-day Kolby Prison retreats.
- To provide spiritual growth opportunities for all JPM volunteers so that they may also grow and share their faith more fully.
- To nurture and foster their commitment by providing two annual gatherings where they are recognized and where we celebrate their dedication in God’s service.
A Volunteer is an individual who donates time and services to the JPM. A volunteer may serve as a religious educator, group leader, mentor, coordinator, facilitator, choir director, translator, typist, etc. A volunteer is assigned according to his/her training and gifts in order to accomplish the JPM goals.
Volunteers are asked to commit themselves to attend the assigned facility, JPM meetings, special events and training sessions required. The volunteer should keep in mind that he or she is going to be a role model for the detainees and offenders; punctuality and commitment are a must, besides having the ability to follow instructions and to comply with the specific rules and regulations of the facility.
What type of faith formation studies are provided to prison inmates?
- Good News Bible (English) and Dios Habla Hoy (Spanish)
- Pray in the Spirit (English), Oren en Espiritu (Spanish): Catholic Prayer Book for inmates
- God with Us: A Catholic Bible Study for Inmates by St. Dismas Ministry, a 3-part course (English/Spanish)
- A Reason for Hope: A Catholic Faith Study for Inmates by St. Dismas Ministry, a 3-part course (English/Spanish)
- Pray Always: A Catholic Prayer Study for Inmates by St. Dismas Ministry, a 3-part course (English)
- A Well Built Faith by Loyola Press (English and Spanish)
- The Bible Time Line by Loyola Press( English and Spanish)
- Consecration to Jesus through Mary – a St. Louis de Montfort spirituality
- Catechism of the Catholic Church by the U. S. Catholic Church
Outlines of the Catholic Faith (English and Spanish)
- Catholicism by Fr. Robert Barron
What type of faith formation studies are offered to ministry volunteers?
Catholic Basics: A Pastoral Ministry Series consisting of eight books entitled:
Christology, Scripture, Ecclesiology, Church History, Theological Reflections, Mary and the Saints, Christian Morals, and Sacramental Theology by Loyola Press.