“Then the king will say […] For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me’. Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, […] when did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you? ‘. And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.”

Matthew 25: 34-40

Members

  • Fr. Thomas Connery
  • Marie Sturgill
  • Margaret Kerr
  • Angie Alvey
  • Florence Kaplan
  • Julie Barry
  • Loretta Montalto
  • Lynn McElwain
  • Vicky Kovacs

As Catholics, we are called to recognize the dignity of every human being and to proclaim the kingdom of God to everybody affected by crime: the victims, the victims’ families, the offender, the offenders’ families, the jail and prison staff and chaplaincy, the members of Law enforcement and their families.

The prison ministry is, at this point, focused on bringing the Christian message to the inmates in the jail and the prison facilities in Marion County, on a regular basis.

About prison – The Florida Department of Corrections is the 3rd largest state prison system in the U.S. (after California and Texas). It incarcerates felons convicted to more than a year; from minimal custody to death row.

About jail – The Marion County Jail is run by the Sheriff’s Office and is designed to hold people awaiting trial or serving short sentences (364 days or less).

In Marion County, there are:

  • MARION COUNTY JAIL
  • MARION CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION FOR MEN
  • LOWELL CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION FOR WOMEN: MAIN UNIT, ANNEX AND WORK CAMP
  • FLORIDA WOMEN’S RECEPTION CENTER.

Opportunities

In this Ministry, consistency (to go on a regular basis to jail or prison) is a must. Volunteers can commit with any of the following services that we provide:

Marion county jail for men and women

Under request of a relative, we develop a one-on-one relationship with people in jail with strict confidentiality.

Florida women’s reception center

Sundays 1 to 4 pm.- Liturgy of the Word and every first Sunday Mass and confession. Formation in faith.

Fridays 6 to 8 pm.- Grief group

Lowell main unit for women

Wednesdays 8 to 11.00am.- Program: “Soul, Mind and Body: Discovery, Healing and Renewal” that includes Christian living, Theology of the body, Bible review, and Walking the 12 steps with Jesus Christ.

Wednesdays 6 to 8 pm.- Inner healing

Thursdays 6 to 8 pm.- Liturgy of the Word and every first Thursday Mass with Father Pat. Formation in faith.

Lowell annex

Fridays 1 to 3.30 pm.- Inner healing

To Volunteer

To become a volunteer, you need:

  • To fill out an application
  • To carry out a background check and fingerprinting
  • To follow the State orientation
  • To fulfill the diocesan training
  • To be introduced by Fr. Thomas

The brothers and sisters you are going to meet in jail and/or prison are in need of people that:

  • Are humble and has a non-judgmental attitude.
  • Have a prayer life, spirituality and ability to see God in everyone.
  • Are able to listen and show compassion to those in need.
  • Can be alert and aware of surroundings.
  • Are willing to follow Diocesan, State and Institutional guidelines.
  • Willing to take care of yourself so you can minister to others in need.