“WHEN I WAS IN PRISON, YOU CAME.”
The St. Noel Jail Ministry was begun in the spring of 2001 as a program supported by the Social Justice Ministry. Once every three weeks, four members of the ministry visit the Lake County Jail and conduct four Communion services for those who wish to attend. (We have enough people currently serving in the Jail Ministry that each individual minister is scheduled about once every six weeks.) The Sunday evening ministry is shared with members of St. Anthony Church in Fairport and St. Mary’s Church in Painesville who conduct services on other Sundays of the month. Parishioners of St. Noel also participate in the Tuesday evening men’s Bible Study.
According to a statement of the Catholic Bishops of the United States, the scriptural foundations for the ministry are many. “The Old Testament provides us with a rich tradition that demonstrates both God’s justice and mercy.” The Lord offered to his people Ten Commandments. When they are broken, “punishment was required, reparations were demanded, and relationships were restored. But the Lord never abandoned his people despite their sins.” In the New Testament, “Jesus, who himself was a prisoner, calls us to visit the imprisoned and to take care of the sick (including victims of crime), the homeless and the hungry (Mt. 25). In our day, we are called to find Christ… in prisoners in our jails. The lost who have been found are to be welcomed and celebrated, not resented and rejected”
Pope John Paul II said, “Christ never tires of encouraging each person along the path of salvation.”
Mt. 25: 35-36, 40. “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me. I was ill and you comforted me, in prison and you can to visit me…As often as you did it for one of my least brothers, you did it for me.”
It is in this spirit that the Jail Ministry was started and that its members serve. If you would like to learn more about St. Noel’s Jail Ministry, call the church office for more information.
We are grateful for those currently serving at the Lake County Jail:
- Clarence Bucaro
- Georgeanne Botek
- Mary Jo Baden
- Ada & Joe Gornik
- Liz Fabry
- Barb & Mike Mills
- Alice Hinkel
- Joe Toth
- Anthony Camino