Twin Cities Prison Ministry
Risen Savior parishioners are grateful to be involved in the larger Twin Cities Prison Ministry. MISSION: We strive to provide an active and meaningful Catholic presence to those affected by imprisonment. “I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.” Matthew 25:36
There are many ways to get involved in Prison Ministry and share your gifts with those affected by incarceration. Click any of the boxes below to learn more about the different opportunities, and scroll to the bottom of the page to submit an interest form for volunteering! Don’t see an opportunity that fits your gifts and schedule? Visit Twin Cities Prison Ministry for more opportunities happening throughout the Twin Cities.
What is Angel Tree? For 2.7 million children in the U.S., their family story may be filled with the abandonment, loneliness, and shame that come from having a mom or dad in prison. For many, it may also include following their parents down the same destructive road to incarceration. Angel Tree®, a program of Prison Fellowship, reaches out to the children of prisoners and their families with the love of Christ. This unique program gives you an opportunity to share God’s love by helping to meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the families of prisoners.
How is Risen Savior involved? Risen Savior typically sponsors 20-25 children of incarcerated parents each Christmas. We call families to confirm their participation, make ornament tags for each child’s Christmas “wish”, wrap gifts, and deliver them to the families before Christmas. Angel Tree is part of the parish’s Advent Giving Tree, sponsored by Faith Formation.
Ways to get involved: There are many ways to get involved! In late October-early November each year, we will post a call for volunteers for the following roles:
- Call caregivers to confirm their child’s participation and Christmas wish
- Create the Angel Tree tags to put on the Giving Tree
- Select a child to purchase a $20-$25 gift for and bring the gift to the parish
- Wrap gifts
- Deliver gifts
Description: Birthday Cards volunteers send anonymous cards to prisoners on their birthdays with messages of hope and support. This program is through Twin Cities Prison Ministry, Prison Fellowship, and Affirming You. Cards are provided; donations towards the cost of cards are appreciated. Affirming You, working in partnership with the Angel Tree program from Prison Fellowship, provides a list of incarcerated people from state and federal prisons. They also provide guidelines that exceed those required by federal and state prisons.
Commitment: Volunteers will meet at Risen Savior to write cards together in a fun environment at the following times. Download the 2023 calendar below.
- January 19, 2023 from 10-11am
- March, May, July, September, November: 1st Thursday monthly from 10am-11am
- February, June, August, October, December: 1st Tuesdays monthly from 7-8pm
- April 18th, 2023 from 7:15-8:15pm
Ignatian Meditation At-Home Video Project Team
Our brothers and sisters “on the inside” (those who are currently incarcerated) are in need of connection and spiritual nourishment.
Their lives, like each of ours, have been affected by COVID-19 with restrictions on visitors and programming as well as fear of contracting the virus while in an enclosed area. Risen Savior’s Prison Ministry is working with Twin Cities Prison Ministry to produce 30-Minute Weekly Meditation Videos that get sent to the Minnesota Department of Corrections Facilities for distribution to those on the inside. The hope is for a variety of people to participate so that those on the inside see they are supported by many on the outside, in our communities. This is something you can do from home!
Thanks to the generosity of the Jesuit Restorative Justice Initiative and Fr. Miguel Kennedy and Rob Garcia, Twin Cities Prison Ministry is using their texts from their 4-hour retreat programs in California prisons to create weekly 30-minute videos based on the Gospel reading each week. Here is an example of one of the videos the TCPM team created:
Commitment as a Risen Savior Volunteer: It can require as little as 10 minutes to film a reading one time, or longer if you are able to create music or help process the DVDS. A script is provided for all recordings; you are not asked to create you own content! You’ll receive instructions no matter what you sign up for! You do need access to a device with a camera/microphone (like an iPhone or computer with a webcam/microphone) and access to internet.
Volunteers are needed for any of the following roles:
- Filming a Gospel reading or another segment of the video meditation
- Helping with music for the videos
- Helping process the DVDs (edit and format)
Pen Pals for Prisoners
Description: The Pen Pals for Prisoners Program is operated through the Order of Malta and Twin Cities Prison Ministry. Letters go directly to inmates using outsider Pen Pal’s first name only or pseudonym. Outside Pen Pals use a provided return address, not their own. Letters from the Inside Pen Pals are forwarded from the Pen Pal Coordinator to their pen pal. Letterhead, sample letters, instructions, guidelines and suggestions are provided.
Commitment: Candidates commit to writing a minimum of 1 letter per month for 1 year. Depending upon inmate’s re-lease date and your commitment, letter writing may continue longer.
Volunteer Pen Pals submit an application through the Social Justice & Adult Faith Formation Coordinator, who will work with the Pen Pal Coordinator to match you with a Pen Pal.
Risen Savior Pen Pals get together 1-2 times/year based on Pen Pals’ schedules for fellowship and sharing of experiences.