Dismas Ministry Blog

“Windows of the Soul”

Inmate Art Show April 19th

An Exhibit of Artwork by the Incarcerated

Works of art done by men, women and youth incarcerated in detention centers, county jails and prisons throughout the United States. These pieces depict the humor, love, hurt and healing that have transpired in their lives.

This is a joint exhibit between The Cathedral of St. John, Dismas Ministry and Project Return in participation with the Historic Third Ward Association’s Gallery Night and Day, held Friday, April 19 and Saturday, April 20, 2013.

The inmate exhibit will be open Friday, April 19th from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at 802 N. Jackson Street, Milwaukee.

Click here to RSVP to our event on Facebook> 

Holy Week – A Reflection by Ron Zeilinger


As we begin Holy Week it is a happy coincidence (or no coincidence?) that Monday March 25 is the annual feast of Saint Dismas, the patron of our national Catholic prison ministry. The things that unfolded on the cross between this “good thief” as he has been called traditionally and Jesus is truly remarkable. The entire passage of Luke 23: 33-43 is so profound in meaning that centuries of reflection by many holy people have not plumbed the depths of it.

The words and melody of the great American southern hymn “What Wondrous Love Is This?” keeps running through my mind. It is wondrous that God went to such stupendous lengths to reveal to us the infinite, unconditional love that He has for us fumbling human beings.

If Dismas can make it into the kingdom as the saint of the last minute rescue, there is always hope for the likes of us too. That is why we call ourselves in this prison ministry business “messengers of hope.”

My hope for everyone is that hope abounds in your lives as Holy Week unfolds in all its wondrous love.

And thank God for the beautiful example of Pope Francis who will hold a Mass in their prison and wash the feet of youthful offenders in Rome on Holy Thursday. He could have been doing it in the splendor of St. Peter’s but he chose the prison setting instead.

Ron Zeilinger, Director

Pope Francis washes the feet of Christ in Prison - Join Dismas in Prayer

Inmate Voices

More inspiring testimonials from inmates on their spiritual journey. inmate testimonialinmate testimonialinmate testimonialinmate testimonials

Inmate testimonialinmate testimonial

Dismas Ministry at the Men of Christ Conference

This past Saturday, Dismas Ministry enjoyed having a table at the 2013 Men of Christ Conference in Milwaukee.

“Hello Men of Christ!” 

“Men of Christ is a group of Catholic lay men, from all walks of life, that have come together to make a difference in this world… and that difference, we believe, begins with faith filled men. Our vision is to create a conference that will evangelize, catechize, and unify Catholic men. The mission is to honor our Lord Jesus Christ by bringing Christian men together; forming a brotherhood that will empower each man to boldly live his Catholic faith.”

The Conference offered a morning and evening Mass (Evening Mass was led by Dismas Ministry Board Member, Auxiliary Bishop Donald J. Hying) and inspirational speakers including Joe Lombardi. Read more about the 2013 Conference here>

For Dismas Ministry, the conference was an opportunity to share our work with many Catholics who haven’t interacted with us before.  Ally, Dismas Ministry’s Assistant Director worked our table from 8 am to 5 pm, asking if people had heard of our ministry before. The majority of people learned about Dismas Ministry for the first time. They left with knowledge of our services, as well as easy ideas on how to get involved like joining our union of prayer.  It was a great day of interacting with others and generating interest in our ministry!

dismas ministry information table

Our Dismas Ministry table set up for the conference.

Lunch during Men of Christ Conference

Men at the Conference join Ally for Lunch at Dismas Ministry Table.

On December 1st, Dismas Ministry launched our National Prison Ministry Awareness Campaign, “Where are the Catholics?” It has been 94 days and we’ve been steadily working, connecting with those who have sent in the response postcard or filled out our “Share” Form on our website. Here is a summary of the campaign’s impact so far.

dismas ministry awareness campaign info graphic