Dismas Ministry Blog

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

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. It is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares us for Christ’s Resurrection on Easter Sunday, through which we attain redemption. Our foreheads are marked with ashes to humble our hearts and reminds us that life passes away on Earth. We remember this when we are told “Remember, Man is dust, and unto dust you shall return.”

The ashes are made from the blessed palms used in the Palm Sunday celebration of the previous year. The ashes are christened with Holy Water and are scented by exposure to incense. While the ashes symbolize penance and contrition, they are also a reminder that God is gracious and merciful to those who call on Him with repentant hearts. His Divine mercy is of utmost importance during the season of Lent, and the Church calls on us to seek that mercy during the entire Lenten season with reflection, prayer and penance.

During this season of Lent, Join Dismas Ministry in praying for all the inmates we serve and have yet to serve, who are seeking mercy and reflecting on their new or renewed relationship with God.

Read more about Ash Wednesday and the Season of Lent on: http://www.catholic.org/clife/lent/ashwed.php

praying handsDismas Ministry recently launched a new inmate correspondence course called Pray Always-A Catholic Prayer Study for Inmates. Like the ministry’s two other courses, this unique course is designed especially for Catholic inmates who want to learn more about their own faith tradition and be able to defend it against challenges from prison volunteers, staff and fellow inmates.

The course includes a series of three resource books that together provide a comprehensive review of how and why Catholics pray. The first book, Part 1: Prayer in the Old Testament, includes the lives of the great women and men of ancient Israel and examples of how they prayed.This first part presents the background for the next book, Part 2: Prayer in the New Testament. In this part of the course, Jesus, Mary, the disciples and other people of Jesus’ ministry are presented as models of prayer. How the psalms and temple worship influenced Christian prayer are explored. Part 3: Prayer in the Catholic Tradition explores how Catholics have prayed from early to modern times.

Read more about the Prayer Study in our Newsletter>

Become all you were created to be!

– A reflection by Rob Kerby, Senior Editor of www.beliefnet.com

Secret 1. You can do anything!

And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith … even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen.” Matthew 21:21

There’s an incredible promise in those verses. If you can do anything in God’s strength, then you certainly can change yourself. Furthermore, Romans 12:1-2 and Ephesians 4:23 both promise us that we can be changed, in fact completely transformed by renewing our minds. What does that mean? To live differently, we must think differently. We must not seek to be like the world but yearn to be in God’s service. 2 Corinthians 8:5 tells us of Christians who practiced generosity because they first gave themselves to the Lord. What motivates us to want to do that? 1 John 5:3 tells us it is our love for Him. Love is one of the strongest forces in existence. If you are having difficulty changing yourself, read 1 John 2:15-17, Matthew 10:34-37, Matthew 22:37-40, John 14:15 and 2 Corinthians 5:14-17. God’s blessings and mercy are vast. He loves you!

Click here to read the other 6 Secrets on beliefnet.com>

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We’ve created a series of videos of an honest sharing of Prison Ministry volunteers to help you discern if prison ministry is the  right path for you. We hoped you are touched an inspired to act by listening to their stories.

For more ways to get involved click here>