Frequently Asked Questions

What is Dismas Ministry’s mission?

Since the ministry began in 2000, it has been striving to fulfill its mission to serve as a national Catholic outreach that promotes this special work of mercy by supporting the spiritual rehabilitation of prisoners. Our faith teaches us that they are members of the Body of Christ, whether they are released eventually or remain in prison.

Why reach out to prisoners?

A major goal of Dismas Ministry’s mission is reaching out to every Catholic prisoner in the United States. Despite their wrongdoing, prisoners deserve the same spiritual care that others receive as members of the Body of Christ. We believe that prisoners are capable of lasting, spiritual change with help and encouragement from their faith community.

What does Dismas Ministry do for prisoners?

Until Dismas Ministry was founded, Catholic resources for prisoners were not readily available. That is why our ministry provides free Catholic scripture, faith and prayer resources to thousands of prisoners across the United States.

Who helps distribute these resources?

Dismas Ministry provides these resources directly to prison chaplains and prisoners who request them. No distributions are made without a request to avoid possible waste. We also collaborate with parish and diocesan prison ministries to the extent possible.

Because the prison chaplains and prisoners have little or no funds of their own, the materials we send are free. This is possible because of donors who care about the spiritual needs of their brothers and sisters in prison. By their gift they serve Christ among the incarcerated because he said: “I was in prison and you visited me” (Matthew 25:36).

Can only Catholic prisoners receive these resources?

Although we provide what is lacking to Catholic prisoners, the incarcerated of any faith may request our services. We also collaborate with non-Catholic prison chaplains who assist us in distributing our materials..

Are there any other resources that Dismas Ministry publishes?

  • Messengers of Hope: A training resource for Catholics interested in prison ministry; includes a DVD.
  • Messengers of Hope – Spanish version Mensajeros de la Esperanza 
  • I Am Beautiful: A special project that publishes a book of the same name containing writings and art by and for women prisoners who are survivors of abuse.
  • Keeping Hope – A Resource for Family and Friends of the Incarcerated
  • Keeping Hope – Spanish version Manteniendo La Esperanza

What can I do to help?

  • Study Responsibility, Rehabilitation and Restoration: A Statement of U.S. Catholic Bishops (www.usccb.org)
  • Visit all the pages on this site for more information about prisoners and victims
  • Pray for victims, inmates, their loved ones, prison chaplains and staff, and those serving in ministry
  • Donate a financial gift in support of the national outreach of Dismas Ministry