The Office of Prison and Jail Ministry was established in 1995 to serve incarcerated Catholics and others throughout the Diocese of Las Cruces. The mission of this all-volunteer lay ministry is to coordinate access for incarcerated persons to the Sacraments, celebration of the Liturgy and bible studies. The ministry works closely with parishes across the diocese in developing and training parish-based lay ministers to serve the incarcerated in local facilities and their families.
Prison and Jail volunteer staff members are available to visit parishes to speak about this ministry and our mission. These informational visits to the local parishes offer an opportunity for those who may be interested in becoming a lay minister to the incarcerated to hear more about the program. After the presentation, interested individuals may meet with a Prison and Jail lay volunteer for a one-to-one question and answer conversation. Training seminars for new lay volunteers are held several times a year in Las Cruces. Additional training seminars are available to parishes throughout the diocese.
The Prison and Jail Ministry of the Diocese of Las Cruces requires new volunteers to register and complete the diocesan training program before they may minister to the incarcerated as a Catholic lay minister. After successfully completing the training program the volunteer is awarded a certificate. In addition, new volunteers must attend an orientation sponsored by the correctional facility where he or she will volunteer. Volunteers for the Prison and Jail Ministry are normally members of a local parish in the vicinity of the facility where they wish to serve as a lay minister. In the course of registration and orientation, the volunteer's Pastor will be asked to comment briefly as to the volunteer's talents and skills for this ministry.