Press releases and big announcements about Dismas Ministry and our projects.

Prodigal Son-Tissot

Today, on Tuesday, December 8, 2015, which is also the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Pope Francis opens the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy.

In proclaiming this special year long focus on the gospel theme of mercy, he is calling the Catholic community, and the global community, to reflect on the reality of God’s mercy. He calls us as followers of Jesus to accept this mercy for ourselves, and to share it with our fellow sojourners on earth.

For Dismas Ministry, this is a special challenge to work with even more dedication to fulfill the words of Jesus, “when I was in prison you visited me”. This means providing support to our sisters and brothers in prison. It also is a call to work closely with our fellow Catholics to bring the message of God’s all-embracing mercy to the dark and often hopeless life behind bars.

As a powerful symbol, Pope Francis opens wide the doors of St. Peter’s Basilica: “No one can be excluded from the mercy of God; everyone knows the way to access it and the Church is the house that welcomes all and refuses no one. Its doors remain wide open, so that those who are touched by grace can find the certainty of forgiveness. The greater the sin, so much the greater must be the love that the Church expresses toward those who convert.”

He asks all of us as members of Christ’s body to

“rediscover the richness encompassed by the spiritual and corporal works of mercy.”

“The call of Jesus pushes each of us never to stop at the surface of things, especially when we are dealing with a person. We are called to look beyond, to focus on the heart to see how much generosity everyone is capable…We want to live this Year in the light of the Lord’s words: “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:36).

This Holy Year begins today on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception (December 8, 2015) and ends November 20, 2016, on the Sunday dedicated to Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. He is the living face of the God’s never ending mercy.

Feature article: Saints Who Were in Prison

Thomas More (1478-1535) was a good husband and father, had a sense of humor, and a pleasant personality. He also was a successful lawyer, scholar and writer, and his talent won both the friendship and recognition of King Henry the Eighth of England. Eventually, the king appointed him to the post of Lord Chancellor – the highest position in the government. It was a great honor and Thomas served with fairness and justice. What at first seemed like a dream-come-true turned into a nightmare that cost Thomas his life. Eventually, the king decided to divorce the queen because they had no children. He desperately wanted a son to succeed him as king. When the pope refused to dissolve the marriage, the king declared himself head of the church in England, divorced the queen and took a new wife.

When citizens were asked to make an oath of loyalty to the king as the head of the church, using his knowledge of the law, Thomas claimed the right to remain silent and retired from public life, resigning as Chancellor. Nevertheless, he was summoned to back to court and jailed in the Tower of London, where he remained in solitude for 15 months …

Click here to read the newsletter

Also included in this issue: An Update from Director Ron Zeilinger, Responsibility, Rehabilitation, and Restoration: A Catholic Perspective on Crime and Criminal Justice & Christ’s Body Behind Bars.

Because of Pope Francis’ call,
we’d like to share a special event with you:

Attend the Hearts United 2013 Eucharistic Rosary Rally For Peace and the Family In Milwaukee on September 7 at 12:30 pm

For advance tickets click here // tickets also available at the door

Urgent Worldwide Gatherings for Peace!
September 7, 2013

May we all respond to the Holy Father’s Plea!

Excerpts of Angelus Message from Pope Francis to the world Sept 1. 2013 at St. Peter’s Square in Rome:

I make a forceful and urgent call to the entire Catholic Church, and also to every Christian of other confessions, as well as to followers of every religion and to those brothers and sisters who do not believe: peace is a good which overcomes every barrier, because it belongs all of humanity!………

……I have decided to proclaim for the whole Church on 7 September next, the vigil of the birth of Mary, Queen of Peace, a day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria, the Middle East, and throughout the world, and I also invite each person, including our fellow Christians, followers of other religions and all men of good will, to participate, in whatever way they can, in this initiative.

On the 7th of September, in Saint Peter’s Square, here, from 19:00 until 24:00, we will gather in prayer and in a spirit of penance, invoking God’s great gift of peace upon the beloved nation of Syria and upon each situation of conflict and violence around the world. Humanity needs to see these gestures of peace and to hear words of hope and peace! I ask all the local churches, in addition to fasting, that they gather to pray for this intention.

Let us ask Mary to help us to respond to violence, to conflict and to war, with the power of dialogue, reconciliation and love. She is our mother: may she help us to find peace; all of us are her children! Help us, Mary, to overcome this most difficult moment and to dedicate ourselves each day to building in every situation an authentic culture of encounter and peace. Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us!

God Bless,
Men of Christ Leadership Team

Families of the Incarcerated Gathering October 26th

A special gathering on Saturday, October 26, 2013

Time: 8 A.M. to Noon

Location: Cardinal Stritch University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

A Gathering to Learn, Support and Share Resources for the loved ones of the incarcerated, and those who serve them in churches, organizations, professional agencies and communities.

Keynote Speaker Amalia Molina

Attendees will hear her story and how detention impacted both her, her husband and her children. Participants will have the opportunity to hear a panel of family members of the incarcerated, ask questions and discuss how to minister to these families and keep them connected to their loved ones.

Click here to download the event flyer>

Or visit our Family Outreach page for more information>

July 18, 2013 – Milwaukee, WI – National Catholic Prison Ministry Meeting – Board members from around the country met Thursday, July 18, in Milwaukee for the annual meeting of Dismas Ministry, a national Catholic prison ministry based in Wisconsin but serving Catholic inmates in the nation’s county, state and federal prisons. The board members met with executive director Ron Zeilinger to set the annual budget for the outreach and to approve proposals to advance the ministry’s mission to bring free Catholic scripture, faith and prayer resources to chaplains and inmates.

Attending members included Amalia Molina (Restorative Justice Office-Archdiocese of Los Angeles), Rev. George Williams, SJ (Catholic chaplain at San Quentin State Prison, CA), Schauneille Allen (Director of Outreach Ministries, St. John the Evangelist Cathedral), Mark Henry (cordinator of Jail & Prison Ministry=Diocese of Boise ID), Brian Kennedy, MD (Detention Ministry-Waukesha County), Rev. José Moreno, SJ. (Pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, Milwaukee, Prison Outreach to Spanish-Speaking-Wisconsin), Deacon Richard Niggemann (Detention Ministry-Waukesha County & Juvenile Detention Ministry-Milwaukee County WI), Sr. Ruth Poochigian, OP (Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa and Catholic Prison Ministry WI), Deacon Al Stockert (Office of Prison Ministry-Diocese of
Biloxi MS). Newly elected members attending for the first time were Schauneille Allen, Sr. Ruth Poochigian, OP, and Rev. George Williams, SJ.

The ministry serves thousands of Catholic inmates annually, providing them with Bibles as well as faith and prayer resources designed specifically for inmates. The ministry was founded in 2000 and is approved by the Catholic Church. Bishop Donald J. Hying serves as the ministry’s ecclesiastical liaison.

Click here to view photos from the meeting on our Facebook page>

More information on this unique Catholic response to this unique work of mercy – visiting the imprisoned – can be found on the ministry’s website: