It is our belief as Catholic people that we can bring a message of faith, hope, justice, and reconciliation to all affected by the tragedy of crime and violence whether they are offenders, victims, or public servants. Criminal Justice Ministry (CJM) for the Archdiocese of San Antonio recruits, screens, and trains volunteers from parishes throughout the archdiocese to minister both inside the walls and in the community. In order to serve this special population, we work directly with our parishes and offer formation and on-going education to help people understand the needs of those we serve. As Catholics, we are called to social ministry and must act with justice, love tenderly, serve one another, and walk humbly with God.
The CJM Program focuses on 4 areas:
• Organize and lead Catholic worship, prayer and catechetical programs for the adult and youth offenders and Kolbe Retreats in the state prisons
• Provide parish support through New Life Ministry to families, victims and all others impacted by crime in the community
• Assist ex-offenders and their families, including those on parole and probation, with basic needs and spiritual direction
• Support community efforts to address various social justice issues
Incarceration Facilities & Ministry Efforts
Volunteer with Criminal Justice Ministry
Within the 19 counties of our archdiocese, there are 34 incarceration facilities with over 10,000 Catholics making our prison population one of the largest “parishes” in the archdioceses. In addition, two immigrant centers are also served. Needless to say, it takes many dedicated volunteers (lay, religious and clergy) who are willing to minister to these fellow Catholics through worship services, prayer, and teaching. If you feel God is calling you to this ministry and would like more information about the various areas to service, please contact Deacon Bob.
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 Bob 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.