Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. – Matthew 11:28
In the community, there is a great need to support families of the incarcerated. Many of them come to Mass, sit in the pew, but because of great shame they don’t want others to know about a loved one in jail/prison so they ‘suffer in silence’. Matthew 11:28 says “Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” As Church we need to be Christ’s hands and feet to help them find peace in the midst of their struggles. If you have a loved one in jail or prison, please contact Deacon Adrian Cepeda for assistance.
When one come home from prison or jail, they face 3 major challenges:
• Finding employment
• Acceptance and support from family
• A spiritual home where they might feel welcome
Bexar County Reentry Service Center
Bexar County Reentry Service Center (222 S. Comal, San Antonio, TX 78207 – Directions) offers services to those coming home to the community (see attached weekly schedule of programs). Also, Chrysalis Ministries collaborates to help with ID’s, preparing a resume, interview skills, job leads, dress clothing and transportation. In addition, Chrysalis along with Catholic Charities and St Vincent de Paul offer support for families during and after a loved one’s incarceration.
Welcome Home Training
The Bexar County Faith-Based Reentry Committee has developed “Welcome Home Training”, a curriculum which provides an understanding of those in the Criminal Justice system, safety and boundaries issues, and pastoral care skills. If your parish would like to participate in this training, please contact Deacon Adrian Cepeda for further details. The training for parish volunteers will provide the do’s and don’ts to effectively minister, and offer spiritual support to the formerly incarcerated, so they receive acceptance and love, which is the foundation for positive change to occur in their lives.
New Life Ministry (NLM)
Besides this initial outreach, as Church, we need to provide ongoing support for families. New Life Ministry (NLM) is an active program that provides continued support for families. NLM Support groups are active at the following parishes:
|St. Timothy Catholic Church||1515 Saltillo St., San Antonio, TX 78207|
|St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church||2829 Ackerman Rd., Kirby, TX 78219|
The archdiocesan reentry plan includes establishing at least one NLM support group in each deanery. Several other parishes are considering this ministry. To learn more, please watch the Catholic Television of San Antonio airing of Discovering Our Faith from November 2016. Please contact Deacon Adrian Cepeda if your parish would like more details about starting a NLM parish support group.
Questions or Comments?
Deacon Adrian Cepeda
Director for Criminal Justice Ministry