Hillsborough County – New Prison Ministers Needed

Posted inPrison Ministry

Hillsborough County – New Prison Ministers Needed

‘For I was in prison and you visited me.’ (MT 25:36)

Our Jails are the warehouses of the poor and as we ease out of a long hiatus due to Covid 19, we are in great need of new volunteer ministers to our incarcerated Brothers and sisters in the Hillsborough County Jails. These men and women have been without Catholic services (Mass, Communion Liturgies, Prayer & Scripture Services, Reconciliation) for a long time.  What is required to be a minister to the incarcerated is a loving heart and the desire to serve the least among us as Jesus asks.

Training sessions for new volunteer ministers only will be as follows:

  • Tuesday, Nov. 9th at Falkenburg Road Jail 1:00-4:00pm. Application packages need to be received by October 18th.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 14th at Falkenburg Road Jail 1:00-4:00pm.  Application packages need to be received by November 22nd.

Any returning ministers need not attend the new volunteer classes and will be accepted directly for ministry scheduling after re-certification.

Anyone interested in  volunteering either as a new or returning minister should contact Deacon Dave Lesieur at: deacondave@stmarytampa.org or (813) 255-7417. He will help you with the required forms and other instructions and will personally accompany you to ensure you comfortably adapt to this important ministry. We’ve received an encouraging response from some of our returning ministers, but we are in serious need of more volunteers for this ministry of charity. 

A word on Covid:  We are slowly coming back and will begin to restore this ministry in a ‘crawl. Walk, run’ fashion.  The safety of the inmate population and our volunteers is of paramount importance to us. The Hillsborough County Jail has strict sanitation protocols in place.  Inmates are quarantined prior to being placed in the general population, are tested if they display any symptoms, and removed to a quarantined area if they are positive. Ministers will maintain social distancing from the inmates during our services (6 ft and no touching). Volunteers are encouraged to wear masks and of course, an important means of protection is to be vaccinated.