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St. Dismas Prison Ministry

"For I was...in prison and you visited Me...
whatever you did for one of these least brothers
of mine, you did for Me"

Mt 25:36-4

Prison MinistryThe St. Dismas Holy Name Society Prison Ministry is committed to serve the spiritual needs of incarcerated Catholic men and women through the unity and power of the Holy Spirit. This ministry awakens the Body of Christ in prisoners through personal conversion to the teachings of Jesus Christ. By offering retreats in prisons, we witness and teach our Catholic faith, share the Holy Gospel according to Catholic catechesis and create a sensitive, charitable atmosphere so prisoners experience the dignity and love of Jesus Christ.

The St. Dismas Prison Ministry began in 1980 and is an all volunteer organization devoted to the ministry of reconciliation for prisoners in federal, state, and county prisons, as well as juvenile detention centers.

The ministry was named after the "good thief" who was crucified with Jesus. It was through the call to be ambassadors for Christ, given as an exhortation by St. Paul in his Second Letter to the Corinthians, that the St. Dismas Prison Ministry was conceived by the Holy Spirit.

Now, over 100 volunteer team members, including priests, nuns, permanent deacons and laypersons provide weekend retreats in over 20 correctional institutions throughout Pennsylvania, Florida, Texas, California and Louisiana.

Metanoia Retreats

Inmate in PrisonBy providing an atmosphere of spiritual awakening and renewal during retreat weekends, prisoners have an opportunity to experience a metanoia (Greek word meaning "change of heart") and the opportunity to change their lives. Metanoia retreats begin on Thursday evening and end on Sunday afternoon. They include meditative talks, discussions, prayer and praise times, celebration of the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist, and fellowship. To assist the prisoners in their on-going spiritual growth, they are offered follow-up monthly meetings as St Dismas Holy Name Society Outreach.

The structure of the Metanoia Retreats includes two different formats. The retreat can be conducted in eight-90 minute sessions over the course of 2 days, or a three day retreat weekend with Friday, Saturday & Sunday sessions. Both retreat formats include the most important dynamics of the retreat and offer inmates an opportunity to experience conversion, embrace their Catholic faith with a greater knowledge and understanding, and begin their journey anew as a disciple of the Lord Jesus.

Metanoia Retreat Formats

Contact Information

For additional information, please contact:

Harry "Bud" Cope
1823 Service Lane
Monessen, PA 15062-2317

Please prayerfully consider providing financial support to this worthwhile ministry.

Please make checks payable to:

St Dismas Holy Name Society Prison Ministry
c/o Mr. L.P. Manns
298 Rolling Hills Road
Ruffsdale, Pennsylvania 15679