Ministers Needed for the Louisville Jail
The Louisville jail currently includes 3 facilities downtown (plus a 4th overflow facility when needed). There is a population of about 2000 at any given time. The Archdiocese of Louisville currently provides Catholic Communion Services to the residents through the efforts of one Sister of Charity and a couple Deacons. One facility currently has no services at all. Some areas are only covered once a month. Most areas are reached twice a month. It’s a case of too few trying to serve too many.
By way of comparison, the Oakland County Michigan jails (with about the same population) have all areas served weekly. The volunteer ministry team there consist of 1 bishop, 1 priest, 2 deacons and 34 lay volunteers (12 women and 27 men). Most services are conducted by 2 person teams.
We would like to be able to be of better service here in Louisville to our brothers and sisters behind bars. That means calling forth men and women volunteers (30 or more across our Louisville parishes) willing to lead services. Candidates need to be certified by the Diocese as Eucharistic Ministers. Volunteers must be able and willing to go into a difficult environment, relate personally to those they find there, share and reflect on the Word and take Communion to them. Candidates can only go into the facilities after undergoing complete background checks and fingerprinting and receiving formal orientation by the Metro Police and Corrections Department. This process teaches the many policies that volunteers must follow and identifies why most things are contraband and can’t be taken into the jail. We would like to be able to take candidates in on a “check-it-out” basis but that is not currently possible. We can’t rule out that you might go through the complete process and then find that it’s not for you. But we really need your help. We are prepared to give you the kind of training you need to understand how to function inside the walls of the jails. We will provide all with the liturgical and scriptural resources you need. Pray and think about it. Call Deacon Steve Marks, 248-393-2096 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.