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 and supports the spiritual rehabilitation of prisoners as members of the Body of Christ whether they are released eventually or remain in prison.
Why reach out to inmates?
A significant aspect of Dismas Ministry’s mission is to reach out to every Catholic prisoner in the United States. Despite their mistakes, prisoners deserve the same spiritual care that others receive as members of the Body of Christ.
What does Dismas Ministry do for Inmates?
Until our Dismas Ministry was founded, Catholic faith and Bible resources for prisoners were not as available as those of other denominations. That is why Dismas Ministry provides free Catholic Bible, faith and prayer resources to thousands of Catholic prisoners across the United States.
Who helps distribute these resources?
Dismas Ministry sends the resources directly to the prison chaplains and the prisoners who request them. We also collaborate with parish and diocesan prison ministries to the extent possible.
What do these free faith and Bible resources include?
- New American Catholic Bible (English) and Santa Biblia (Spanish)
- Pray in the Spirit (English), Oren en Espiritu (Spanish): A pocket-size Catholic Prayer Book for prisoners
- God with Us: A Catholic Bible Study for Prisoners, a 3-part correspondence course (English/Spanish)
- A Reason for Hope: A Catholic Faith Study for Prisoners, a 3-part correspondence course (English/Spanish)
- Prayer Always: A Catholic Prayer Study for Prisoners, a 3-part correspondence course (English only currently)
Can only Catholic Inmates receive these resources?
Although we provide what is lacking to Catholic Prisoners, inmates of any faith may request our services. We also collaborate with non-Catholic prison chaplains who assist us in distributing our materials. Because the prison chaplains and prisoners have little or no funds of their own, the materials we send a 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). We believe that prisoners are capable of lasting, spiritual change with help and encouragement from their faith community.
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“Mensajerosde la Esperanza-Un Recurso de Entrenamiento para Ministerio Catolico de las Prisiones”
- 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“ManteniendoLa Esperanza–Un recurso para las familias y los amigos de los enarcelados”
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