PJM Newsletter
July/August 2023
Dear Volunteers and Friends,

Please join me in welcoming our new administrative assistant for Prison and Jail Ministry, Sally Cranson! Sally began on June 20 and will be in the office on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. You may contact Sally during that time at scranson@grdiocese.org or 616-246-0592.

In May, we also welcomed Father Michael Goodwin, Father Stephen Durkee and Deacon Nick Baker to the ministry. Father Michael joined us for Catholic services at West Shoreline in Muskegon as a seminarian and is now an active program volunteer at Richard A. Handlon Prison (MTU) in Ionia. On Sunday, May 28, Father Michael joined me for Catholic services at MTU and heard confessions and celebrated Mass. Father Michael will continue to celebrate the sacraments as his schedule allows.

On Wednesday, May 31, Father Stephen and Deacon Nick joined me for Catholic services at Muskegon Correctional (MCF). Then, on June 21, they returned to MCF to confirm two men, Justin and Kevin! Father Stephen will continue to celebrate the sacraments at MCF as his schedule allows. Deacon Nick will lead Catholic services again in July while he is here for his internship and hopefully return as a priest when he is ordained.

On Thursday, June 22, DJ Florian, director of Pastoral Services and Kathy Glynn, Kent County Jail volunteer, attended a new volunteer orientation at MTU. DJ joins us when Bishop Walkowiak visits the prisons and will now be a regular program volunteer as well. Kathy Glynn began volunteering at Kent County Jail in 2016 and is excited to now begin serving in prison.

I recently attended a meeting with Reach the Forgotten’s Regional Director, Scott Hall and Kent County Jail Chaplain Sarah Heaton to discuss Catholic services at Kent County Jail. During this meeting I was informed that the jail administration will not allow us to bring the Eucharist into the facility indefinitely. We also discussed the lack of attendance at our Catholic services as well as all religious services at the jail. Due to these and other factors we are cancelling our Saturday Catholic services. However, if the need arises and they allow us to bring the Eucharist, we will resume services at that time.

Although we will no longer hold bimonthly Catholic services at Kent County Jail, we will still meet the needs of our Catholic brothers and sisters at there. We will continue to accommodate priestly visits for those requesting a priest and we will continue to donate Catholic religious material as needed.
Informational Sessions
On June 26 we held two informational sessions for 35 potential new volunteers. During these sessions participants reviewed the training manual, discussed the "ins and outs" of the ministry and learned about all potential volunteer opportunities. Many of the participants are now discerning where they want to serve and completing diocesan paperwork. Please hold them in prayer as they begin this process of becoming program volunteers.

Offender Success Re-entry Summit 2023
On Wednesday, Aug. 2, Prison and Jail Ministry will again host and sponsor the Michigan Department of Corrections Offenders Success Annual Re-entry Summit. This summit offers individuals on parole and probation the opportunity to meet with over 20 support service providers and includes a free raffle, breakout sessions and a keynote speaker. In the past, over 100 individuals attended this event. Prison and Jail Ministry is seeking the following donations to be given to the summit attendees and to include in the raffle:
New or gently used adult bikes
New Chromebooks
Backpacks for men and women containing some or all of the following items:
·       shampoo
·       conditioner
·       body wash
·       razors
·       razor blades
·       feminine hygiene products
·       deodorant
·       body lotion
·       wash cloths
·       hand towels
·       bath towels
Wallets containing gift cards to:
·       restaurants that do not sell alcohol (Subway, McDonalds, Panera Bread)
·       barber shops/hair salons
Donations are being accepted now through Monday, July 17. All donations can be delivered, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. to Cathedral Square Center, 360 Division Ave. S., Grand Rapids, MI 49503.

If you are interested in collecting these items or perhaps leading a service project at your parish or school to benefit those returning from incarceration, please contact me.
Don't Forget!
This newsletter contains all ministry information, updates, schedules and resources. Program volunteers, please be sure to read it in its entirety. You may also locate all volunteer information and resources on our page on the diocesan website at anytime.

May the peace, joy, and love of Christ live in your heart today and always!

Tricia Worrell
Director, Prison and Jail Ministry
Communion Service Sheets


*the Communion service format used in our service sheets is liturgically accurate
for a lay volunteer leading a Communion service in places other than a church

*Communion Service sheets in Spanish are available upon request