Retreat Held at Prison in Texas, Bringing Faith to Inmates

Retreat Held at Prison in Texas, Bringing Faith to Inmates

TEXAS, Pena Catholic – Jerry Trzeciak leads several Catholic retreats. However, the participants were not ordinary parishioners, and they lived in places that not many people dared to go.

Well, for the past few years, Trzeciak has worked closely with the Texas Department of Corrections. He works as a volunteer at the Jim Ferguson Correctional Institution, located in Midway, Texas. It has a maximum capacity of more than 2,000 men and mostly houses those who are violent and affiliated with gangs in Texas.

Trzeciak worked with a Catholic lay group called Kolbe Prison Ministries (KPM). Trzeciak and his fellow volunteers were brought into the prison to lead three-day retreats for inmates, about 66 people at a time. These volunteers share their faith through lectures, pray with inmates, and give them the opportunity to attend Mass and receive Communion. After the retreat ended, these volunteers continued to provide assistance to the prisoners, including by holding Bible studies.

KPM’s work with prisoners not only changes the lives of the prison inmates. Changes also occurred in Trzeciak’s life.

“These retreats are always received positively, and it is amazing to see not only the growth of the ministry but also the growth and testimony of how the Holy Spirit works in their lives,” said Trzeciak, a parishioner of St. Mary’s Parish. Antinus Padua is located near Houston.

“I cannot tell you how much God rewards those who do works of mercy, and especially those who do prison ministry. It’s not easy to get in there, right? It’s not for everyone.

Of course there is fear, but Trzeciak is trying to develop himself and put his fears aside. When he does this, and does what God wants, then he is sure that he will be rewarded.

“When you set yourself aside for what God wants, He will continue to reward you. It’s just a constant blessing, a gift.”

Security measures in prisons mean the likelihood of harm coming to prison service volunteers is very low. But of course,

Maximum Security Prison

The idea of ​​entering a maximum security prison, let alone with the goal of sharing Jesus with the inmates, can be intimidating and takes some getting used to. Trzeciak found the key, namely to come with a non-judgmental and loving attitude as much as possible.

“In general, society does not have a positive image of prisoners. The majority of the prisons we go to are high security, maximum security units. And for a lot of people, until they’ve done it once or two or three times, they might feel a little uncomfortable,” Trzeciak told CNA.

In this work, KPM was supported by a large donation of study materials from Ascension, a Catholic publisher based in Pennsylvania. Through this donation, work for prisoners can continue and have a positive impact on them.

Perhaps because it is so challenging, Catholic prison ministry across the United States has been a struggle for many years, especially to attract volunteers and, with limited financial resources. It is not easy to provide the materials needed to stir the faith of men and women in prison. Difficulties often make the volunteers leave.

But that changed, at least in Texas, in March 2022, when Catholic publisher Ascension connected with KPM. The partnership coordinated a $338,000 donation of Bible study materials. Thanks to the large donation, Kolbe said there are now nearly 400 inmates participating in “Bible Timeline” Bible studies at prison facilities in Texas and other states.

Trzeciak said prisoners are often interested in talking about forgiveness, both for others and for themselves. Here, this Bible course helps inmates find answers to their questions.

“It’s amazing to see the growth of men and women thanks to Bible courses,” he said.

Ascension, in its press release, added that the inmates have felt much more confident and able to answer questions about faith from fellow inmates of other religions. The retreat provided by KPM is not only intended for Catholic prisoners. Even though the theme is very Christian, every prisoner is welcome to attend. Trzeciak said Catholic inmates are generally the most enthusiastic to participate. Some of the inmates came initially because they were motivated by the free food, but some ended up staying to attend the retreat session.

“From our perspective, if it was food that brought them, praise God, because once again, at the end of the third day, God had performed a miracle,” Trzeciak commented. (AES)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Slot Gopay

Slot Mahjong

Scatter Hitam

Rokokslot

Slot Mahjong

Scatter Biru

Slot Mahjong

Rokokslot

RTP Slot Gacor

Scatter Pink

Rokokslot

Live Casino

Rokokslot

Rokokslot

Rokokslot

Rokokslot

Rokokslot

Rokokslot

Rokokslot

Rokokslot

Rokokslot

Rokokslot

Rokokslot

Rokokslot

Rokokslot

Rokokslot

Rokokslot

Rokokslot

Berita Random

Berita Terkini

Pusat Kesehatan

Wisata Masa Kini

Pusat Kuliner

Kamu Harus Tau

Gudang Resep

Berita Seputar Olahraga

Fakta Menarik