Oh!! Know who said that? A young girl said this after Mass to her mother on Sunday. Her mom and I told her that the Church has seasons but they’re liturgical. Unlike schools, the Church is never closed. Vacations? We all need them, young and old alike. The Church recognizes this and invites us to spend some time away rejuvenate ourselves.
As Director of Prison Ministry, I oversee over 100 people who deserve a little time for themselves: our prison ministry volunteers. They’ve spent time away from family to help bring the gospel of Christ to our incarcerated brothers and sisters throughout this Archdiocese of Baltimore. They don’t have to look at their calendar to see which prison institutions might be open because they never close either. But as generous and dedicated as they are, they still need time away too. We’ll be gathering this Saturday to do just that. It’s also a great opportunity for anyone interested in prison ministry to get to know more about it. If you’d like to join us, please call Chris Mahaley at (410) 547-5406 for details.
In fact, the Office of Prison Ministry is always in need of new volunteers to continue the mission of Christ. If you feel that prison ministry is something that might interest you, one place to learn more is to read When We Visit Jesus in Prison by Chaplain Dale S. Recinella. It’s a guide for Catholic Ministry, which I found to be very refreshing and informative.
You can also go to our website to find more information about being a prison ministry volunteer. One such gentlemen did just that and is now volunteering at one of our correctional institutions. When asked what made him interested in prison ministry he said, “So many of our children are losing hope and committing crimes and most are for drug offenses. I too was a drug user but nobody knew. I went to work day in and day out, usually under the influence of a pain pill, which led to my addiction. With help from others and God’s strength, I have been clean for 13 years. If I can help you [with prison ministry] in any way let me know.”
You can also call me directly and I would be happy to speak with you about it: Deacon Seigfried Presberry, Director, Office of Prison Ministry, (410) 547-5575, or (410) 547-5406.
The Church never closes. Prisons never close. The need to serve is always with us. But we do need that time to rejuvenate so that we can witness to the joy of the gospel even as we do the hard work of service. So please enjoy your well-earned vacation!