Any sentence must always have a window of hope. – Pope Francis

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There are 35 incarceration facilities in the archdiocese with over 10,000 Catholic men, women and youth in federal and state prisons, county jails and juvenile centers. This is a huge mission field for the Church. Many of the offenders are un-churched, have a broken relationship with their family and community and need to hear the Good News of God’s unconditional love and forgiveness. If nothing is done to restore the faith of these offenders, the cycle of crime will continue.


Lay ministers are needed to offer Catholic teaching to the adult/youth incarcerated through bible studies, catechism, RCIA, prayer services and rosary, and a correspondence program. Priests are needed to offer Mass and hear confessions, and deacons/trained lay to lead word and communion services. In the community, parish support groups are needed to assist victims and families of the incarcerated, ex-offenders with basic needs and employment, and those dealing with an addiction. In addition, Kolbe retreats are offered to those inside the walls, mentoring for those on parole or probation, and support in other social justice areas.

Training is offered to all interested in volunteering in the following areas:

Minister to incarcerated adults
Minister to incarcerated juveniles
Coordinate ministry for the parish
Lead a support group for families
Reach out to victims of crime
Help ex-offenders coming home
Join Kolbe retreats in prison
Mentor parolee or probationer
Help with correspondence program
Work on social justice issues


The Catholic Church has a rich tradition in ministry to our brothers and sisters incarcerated in Texas. This is rooted in our social teaching, which directs the community to minister to those who are on the margins of society including those in jails and prisons. This attitude of service comes directly from Sacred Scripture, particularly in the Gospel of Matthew (25:36) where Jesus says, “When I was in prison, you came to visit me.”

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Diácono Adrián Cepeda
Director del Ministerio de Justicia Penal