Prison Chaplains

The mission of the Prison Chaplains Ministry is to provide the sacraments and spiritual counseling to incarcerated Catholics, creating a Catholic presence within the prisons and jails.  Priests and chaplains provide the sacraments, bibles, catechisms, rosaries, and confession guides. Prison chaplains serve not only Catholics but also persons of all faiths, providing spiritual counseling and solace.

This ministry serves 36 correctional facilities in the 12 county Archdiocese. Led by Deacon Tim Zinda, the ministry provides a Catholic sacramental presence in these facilities, and support to inmates of all faiths. There are 104 active Catholic volunteers which include priests, deacons, and lay persons from the Archdiocese ministering in these facilities.

The Residents Encounter Christ (“REC”) weekend retreats are held 6 times per year and at each retreat, approximately 65 inmates attend.

In 2015 the Prison Ministry also began the EMBRACE program, linking a prisoner about to be released with parish volunteers. The volunteers will provide housing, transportation, and work connections to the individual with the hope of helping the former inmate reintegrate into society. This program has continued to grow in 2016.

Did you know?

  • In addition to visiting, through this Prison Ministry, Mass and the Sacrament of Reconciliation are being offered to inmates as often as possible.
  • About four Jesuit novices serve in the Prison Ministry from September – December every year.

2017 Goal Amount: $45,345

Bill, tutoring Tyrece in Math. Tyrece went on to achieve his GED.
Bill, tutoring Tyrece in Math. Tyrece went on to achieve his GED.

For most ministries, CSAF funds only part of their annual budget. Some ministries have other sources of funds, such as participant fees and direct donor gifts for some of their programs.