Father of Mercy, the secrets of all hearts are known to you alone. You know who is just and you forgive the unjust. You alone are the Almighty Judge. We are not worthy of judging anyone. Your mercy is enough for sinners. Hear our prayers for those in prison. Give them repentance and let them believe in you. Give them patience and hope in their sufferings, and bring them home again soon. Comfort their near and dear ones. Let them trust in Jesus Christ and live with hope. Amen.
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.
When a crime is committed, it offends not only the immediate victim, but the rest of society as well. Supporting the work of faith-based rehabilitation provides those who feel powerless against crime with a practical way to do something about it. Such an approach goes to the very heart of the problem - the need for God in the lives of all who have been affected by crime. Many inmates have been abused when they were children. In turn, their victims have suffered abuse from them. In the end, the only true healing is spiritual. Only God can transform suffering into victory as He did for Jesus. (Source: DISMAS Ministry website)
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.
Documents and Links
- Responsibility, Rehabilitation, and Restoration: A Catholic Perspective on Crime and Criminal Justice
Prisons Served in the Diocese of Tyler
TDCJ Beto Unit - Tennessee Colony
Billy Moore Correctional Facility - Overton
TDCJ Boyd Unit - Teague
TDCJ Cofield Unit - Tennessee Colony
TDCJ Eastham Unit - Lovelady
East Texas Treatments Facility – Henderson
Bradshaw State Jail - Henderson
TDCJ Duncan Unit - Diboll
Diboll Correctional Facility - Diboll
TDCJ Ferguson Unit – Midway
TDCJ Gurney Transfer Facility – Palestine
TDCJ Hodge Unit – Rusk
TDCJ Johnston Unit – Winnsboro
TDCJ Michael Unit - Tennessee Colony
TDCJ Powledge Unit – Palestine
TDCJ Skyview Unit – Rusk
TDCJ Telford Unit - New Boston
Federal Correctional Institution - Texarkana