To provide opportunities for Inmates at our 19 Prison Facilities in the Diocese to continue to practice their Catholic faith and grow closer to Jesus Christ during their time of incarceration.
How many Prisons are in our Diocese?
The short answer is that there are 19 separate facilities in our Diocese, spread from Delta Correctional Center near Grand Junction to Trinidad Correctional Facility near Trinidad.
Where are they located?
The majority are clustered in the Canon City/Pueblo area, with Canon City housing 7, Florence 4, and Pueblo 3. The other 5 are located in Crowley, Delta, Las Animas, Olney Springs, and Trinidad.
What do we attempt to do at the Prisons?
The Diocese tries to accomplish several basic services for each of the facilities. We attempt to have Confessions and Mass at least monthly at each facility where the gathering is allowed. Not all Custody Levels of the facilities allow for group gatherings (ie ADX at the Federal Complex, CSP, Centennial and SCCF). In these facilities a priest or volunteer visits cellside with individual inmates. At all the other facilities we attempt to have Confessions and Mass available at least monthly, and more often if possible. On the weeks where there is no Mass scheduled, volunteers hold Word/Communion Services with those who gather. After this minimum service threshold is established, volunteers attempt to conduct Bible Studies, studies of the Catholic Faith, inspirational movies, and other activities such as “The 4 Levels of Happiness”.
How can I get involved?
There are several ways to assist in this outreach to our incarcerated brothers and sisters. You can assist with a Word/Communion Service, lead a Bible Study or a Catholic Faith Study, help to present a movie, or be a mentor for an offender who is being released. Even if you do not want to lead a service, you can be a participant and thus allow more offenders to participate in already staffed events. There are weeknight, weekend, and weekday afternoon volunteer times available.
How do I get started?
Call Deacon Dan Leetch to express your interest. A background check for criminal history is required before a person can begin to volunteer. A training class is then provided by the DOC Faith and Citizens department. Finally, a Tour of the facility is arranged ...and you are off! You can ‘dip a toe’ first, by arranging to visit as a ‘Red Badge’ volunteer as well. It all starts with a phone call or an email ...is Jesus calling you?