" When I was in prison , you visited me." (Gospel of Matthew 25:36)
Purpose: As Church-in-the-City partners, St. Ignatius and St. Ladislas have formed a parish ministry to support the Diocesan Ministry to the Incarcerated. In particular, it is hoped that this collaboration will extend the ministry beyond the prison walls to connect with the families—especially the children—of prisoners. Also, the collaboration is intended to increase the parishes’ awareness of the social justice concerns associated with the criminal justice system.
Commitment: This parish ministry includes those that volunteer in prisons and others who are simply interested and supportive. Regular meetings are intended to support the development of programs that engage the parishes in the ministry. Examples of such programs are a school supply drive for the children of the incarcerated and the development of a website that will engage parishioners in the social justice aspects of the ministry. Those who would like to volunteer in prisons as ministers are also encouraged to join this group.
Contact Person:George Williams 440-385-7927
The Christmas cookies elves from St. Ladislas Church were hard at work again this season bringing good cheer to the “clients” at the Judge Mary R. McDonnell Community Based Corrections Facility in Cleveland. The call for cookies went out and the elves got to work measuring, shaking and pressing love into their work. Their response was overwhelming – 300 dozen homemade cookies (that’s 3600 individual cookies! ) were baked up within a few days. There were snicker doodles, chocolate chip, peanut butter, sugar cookies, little cake balls, buckeyes and chocolate dollops to name a few. There were cookies with spirals, cookies with sprinkles, cookies with nuts, cookies with raisons and cookies to satisfy the choosiest palate. (The only thing missing were cookies with no calories!) The quantity of cookies was only out down by the vast diversity of the offering. It was obvious these elves took the challenge to heart by baking for the imprisoned as if they were baking for their own family.
The exuberant packing elves dug into this mountain of cookies and using tremendous self restraint, made personal variety packs for those who couldn’t be with their family due to incarceration. Many hands make for short work and soon the Christmas Cookie Express was ready roll.
A small group lead by Deacon John Travis met at the facility and got buzzed in by security who eyed the booty with some envy. The team was happy to share with the pleasant staff. Setting up in the kitchen area the “clients” began to file in slowly. Many brought their bibles and seemed more eager to hear the Word proclaimed than to actually get the cookies, while others took the preaching in stride as an ends to the cookie means. A short reading was giving and Deacon John gave an energetic and inspirational lesson on how the world is Satan’s domain and where he is definitely at work. Fortunately for us, a young girl said “yes” to God and brought our Savior into the world. God gave us freewill and he continues to ask our participation in doing His will. Our “yes” and our “no” have consequences; sometimes good and sometimes not so good. The past is behind us and we have all made mistake. Only our “yes” to follow the Lord is what’s important. When tempted – say “yes” to follow Jesus. When faced with a difficult life choice – say “yes” to live like Jesus. When wronged by someone else, say “yes” to respond like Jesus. Now is the time to say, “yes” to Jesus.
The group was engaged with the Deacon’s message. Unlike the typical pew Catholic hearing a Sunday homily, this group would have stayed longer to absorb the Advent message of hope we on the outside take for granted. Unfortunately the room was needed for another event (lunch) so we had to move along.