Prison Ministry

Jesus’ concern for the care of the hungry, the thirsty, the homeless and prisoners (cf. Mt 25:34-40) sought to express the core of the Father’s mercy. - Pope Francis, February 17, 2016

What is Prison Ministry?

Prison Ministers share the Gospel with the poor and marginalized by offering spiritual support to those who are incarcerated. Each correctional facility in North Carolina provides unique opportunities for outreach, including worship services, scripture studies, and sacramental preparation. These services are opportunities for fellowship and catechesis with the inmates before and after the service.

Why get involved?

In the Diocese of Raleigh, Prison Ministry has been growing since 2017 and is in need of people who are willing to spend time with inmates. Many of these men and women have never heard the authentic message of Christ and desperately need to know that they are loved. All Christians are baptized priest, prophet, and king; prison ministry is an opportunity to fulfill your baptismal promises by sharing the Gospel with those on the margins of society.

How do I get started?

To join a Prison Ministry team in your area, contact Deacon Mike Vandiver, the Coordinator for Prison Ministry for the Diocese of Raleigh.

If you feel called to Prison Ministry, please take the time to prayerfully read over Matthew 25:31-46.

More information

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops published a statement on Prison Ministry entitled Responsibility, Rehabilitation, and Restoration: A Catholic Perspective on Crime and Criminal Justice in November 2000. It continues to guide the work being done today.

North Carolina houses approximately 38,000 inmates in 56 state prison facilities. The Diocese of Raleigh includes 26 state facilities and 2 federal facilities. Download a map of those prison facilities (PDF).

In addition, numerous counties and municipalities have jails. Download a map of those jail facilities (PDF).

View the latest Department of Public Safety Research Bulletin (PDF).