The mission of this ministry is to bring The Word of God to inmates at the Volusia County Jail and the Correctional Facility. We provide a weekly celebration of the Liturgy of the Word (with Optional Holy Communion) to male and female inmates separately, thus bringing them hope and strengthening their faith. We strive to make all inmates better Christians and better human beings, and hope to inspire them to become active in their parishes upon their release.
Through the Liturgy of the Word, we provide inmates with the same Readings and Gospel which were read at Mass the previous Sunday thereby keeping Catholic inmates up to date with the liturgical year. These readings are supplemented with an appropriate reflection obtained from the internet, assuring it has been composed by a priest. These are performed within the context of a Liturgy of the Word Service document, which is in accord with the guidelines issued by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. After the regular service, we also provide a brief educational lecture on a subject related to the Gospel, which is aimed at refreshing the basics of Christianity for the inmates. This is in harmony with our goal to make better Christians those who attend our services.
Adequate preparation ahead of time is essential to the success of our efforts. We provide the service to male inmates on Monday evenings between 6:30 PM and 7:30 PM., while we provide the service to female inmates on Friday evenings at the same time. Our big challenge is to positively impact inmates, many of them transients, in one hour. Thus preparation and a good foundation in the Catholic faith are essential to our mission.
Our ministers are exemplary Catholics who live our faith, are not judgmental, desire to help all others, are not afraid to address groups of inmates, and are dependable. Every minister is expected to serve twice a month, in accordance with a schedule published monthly.
The ministry presently has 16 members, many of them from other parishes, some as far away as Deltona, Altamonte Springs, DeBarry and Winter Springs. If you are interested in helping those less fortunate in jail, call the Receptionist at The Basilica, and she will arrange for the Group Leader to meet with you and give you more details.
As St. Anthony of Padua said, “let your actions speak and your words teach.”