Jail & Prison Ministry

The church is a community that embodies the Love of Christ

Female in prison

The Diocese of Saginaw is called to serve in the jails and prisons throughout our 11 counties by providing a Catholic presence to incarcerated individuals. The celebration of Mass, Sacrament of Reconciliation, prayer/Communion services, resources and religious materials are provided by our priests and volunteer ministers as they bring hope to those affected by incarceration.


As Messengers of Hope our ministers offer the;

  • Hope of God’s Mercy and Love
  • Hope for restorative justice
  • Hope for a second chance at a new life


  • Offer a listening presence
  • Are compassionate and non-judgmental
  • Restore human dignity
  • Are the Body of Christ serving the Body of Christ

New Ministers are offered:

  • Encouragement with discernment process
  • Education and mentoring
  • Ongoing training and support
  • Opportunities for prayer and reflection

Be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ. Ephesians 4:32

The first principle of Catholic Social Teaching is the Life and Dignity of the Human Person

The fundamental starting point for all Catholic social Teaching is the defense of human life and dignity. Every human person is created in the image and likeness of God and has dignity, value, and worth, regardless of who they are and the experiences they have had. Therefore, both the victim and the person who committed the crime retain their humanity. For this reason, any system of justice must provide those necessities that enable incarcerated people to live in dignity with food, clothing, shelter, personal safety, timely medical care, education and meaningful work.

Human dignity is not something that can be negated by behavior; it is something we have inherently as children of God. We believe that because we are all created by God, none of us are defined by individual acts or experiences.

As Catholics, we are called to cherish, defend, and protect those who are most vulnerable, from the beginning of life to its end, and at every point in between. This includes the protection of the dignity of the incarcerated as children of God.

Pope Francis states in Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel);

44. Everyone needs to be touched by the comfort and attraction of God’s saving love, which is mysteriously at work in each person, above and beyond their faults and failings.

114. Being Church means being God’s people, in accordance with the great plan of his fatherly love. This means that we are to be God’s leaven in the midst of humanity. It means proclaiming and bringing God’s salvation into our world, which often goes astray and needs to be encouraged, given hope and strengthened on the way. The Church must be a place of mercy freely given, where everyone can feel welcomed, loved, forgiven and encouraged to live the good life of the Gospel.

Matthew 25:31-36

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

Are you hearing the call?

To learn more about this important ministry, contact Lori Becker, Coordinator of Diocesan Outreach at 989-797-6652 or email at the link at bottom of page.

Prayer: Your Heart Today

Where there is fear I can allay,
Where there is pain I can heal,
Where there are wounds I can bind,
And hunger I can fill:
Lord, grant me courage,
Lord, grant me strength,
Grant me compassion
That I may be your heart today.
Where there is hate I can confront,
Where there are yokes I can release,
Where there are captives I can free
And anger I can appease:
Lord, grant me courage,
Lord, grant me strength,
Grant me compassion
That I may be your heart today.
When comes the day I dread
To see our broken world,
Protect me from myself grown cold
That your people I may behold.
And when I've done all that I could,
Yet, there are hearts I cannot move,
Lord, give me hope,
That I may be your heart today.

- Fr. Manoling Francisco, SJ

Upcoming events:

Respect Life Sunday Mass with Bishop Gruss

Foundational Training for Jail & Prison Ministry – February 2024 (date to be determined)

Resource Links:

Catholic Prison Ministry Coalition - https://www.catholicprisonministries.org/

Advocacy - https://www.catholicprisonministries.org/advocacy