Prison and Jail Ministry
Prison and Jail Ministry of the Diocese of Grand Rapids is called to serve by providing a Catholic presence to the incarcerated and those returning from incarceration, within our diocese. This presence comes in the form of Catholic religious services and the sharing of Catholic educational material. For a list of our program services, click here.
Prison and Jail Ministry has been offered by the Diocese of Grand Rapids for over 40 years. Currently, the ministry serves 21 Correctional Facilities throughout our 11 counties. These correctional facilities include jails, prisons and juvenile detention centers. This ministry has over 100 active priests, deacons and volunteers who bring messages of hope to those affected by incarceration within our diocese. Through our volunteers, we offer 46 weekly services, including Masses, Communion services, RCIA classes, and prayer services.
In addition to our programs within our facilities, Prison and Jail Ministry has a re-entry outreach ministry, GROW (Guiding Returning Citizens to Our World), for people returning from incarceration. GROW helps break the cycle of recidivism by educating parish communities on the spiritual needs and concerns of returned citizens and their families. GROW helps create welcoming faith communities through building awareness and relationships. Through GROW we journey with our Catholic brothers and sisters as they re-enter society and help find them a faith community where they can continue to grow spiritually. Are you interested in joining our ministry? Please contact us at 616-475-1255.
Want to learn more?
Watch the video below
Letters to the Incarcerated
Are you willing to visit the imprisoned through writing a letter? A simple note of encouragement and prayer is a very special gift to one who is incarcerated. People in prison have little or no contact with people on the outside in normal circumstances but during this pandemic they have none. All Catholic services in our prisons and jails have been suspended since mid-March. Receiving a letter is something to treasure for the incarcerated.
If you would like to write letters to the men who attend our Catholic services in prison, please mail them to Attn: Tricia Worrell, 360 Division Ave. South, Grand Rapids, MI 49503. Do not include your name on the letter, sign it as a Catholic brother/sister in Christ. The Prison and Jail Ministry office will then forward it to the prison chaplains for them to distribute to the those who attend our Catholic services.
Christmas Drive 2020
Prison and Jail Ministry of the Diocese of Grand Rapids is seeking donations for our annual Christmas Drive. Your gift of NEW white tube or crew socks or NEW plastic reading glasses will help us spread Christmas joy to our incarcerated brothers and sisters.
Will you join us in praying a weekly rosary for our incarcerated brothers and sisters and their families during this pandemic? We pray our rosary Friday mornings, but pray yours at a time that works well for you. If you have particular intentions you would like us to pray for, please send us those by Thursday afternoon and we will be sure to include them in our weekly rosary.
On Saturday, Oct. 3 Bishop David Walkowiak presided at our 3rd Annual Restoring, Reconciling and Healing prayer service for:
- - all who are incarcerated and their relatives
- - prison & jail volunteers and chaplains
- - police officers and employees of correctional facilities
- - associations that offer assistance to our prisons and jails
- - victims of crime and their families
The service was recorded and sent to our prison chaplains to play for all the those who attend our Catholic services. Watch the prayer service here: Restoring, Reconciling and Healing Prayer Service
View images: Journey of Hope Through Restorative Justice
Artwork by Eric Boldiszar:
This artwork was created as gift from Eric Boldiszar, inmate at Richard A. Handlon Correctional Facility to those who contributed the 3rd Annual West Michigan Restorative Justice Conference. Each piece is unique and portrays some aspect of the healing power of restorative practices. To view images, hover and click on the left/right arrows, or click on the image to visit Flickr and view the album. To learn more about the artwork, or prison and jail ministry in the diocese, please contact Tricia Worrell, director.
Restorative Justice Conference Radical Forgiveness
CPI Students of Richard A. Handlon Correctional Facility in Ionia organized this years Restorative Justice Conference held at Cathedral Square Center on Oct. 19.
For those who were not able to attend, please view the conference videos below.
Eric Boldiszar welcomes attendees to "Radical Forgiveness"
CPI students at MTU discuss their understanding of forgiveness and the transformative affect on their lives.
Volunteer Schedules / Sign-Ups
Volunteers, please select the appropriate facility below and sign up for your available date and time.