Thursday, January 14, 2010

Knights of Malta Prison Ministry

The Knights are one of the oldest orders in the Church—founded in 1048—and though they have always been concerned with social issues, their entry into prison ministry is relatively new; and it is one we heartily pray will be very successful.

One page of their prison ministry section of their website introduces their goals.

• To provide Mass and other religious services for prisoners.
• To provide religious instruction to prisoners, especially through the Right of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) program.
• To recruit and train volunteers to visit prisoners and/or help in other ways; i.e., corresponding as a pen pal.
• To provide the prisoners with religious materials, such as Order of Malta Bibles and Prayer Books, rosaries, other books, magazines, and materials.
• To inform the public and legislators of needed reforms in laws and practices.
• To improve the public perception of people who are imprisoned.
• To support halfway houses and foster employment opportunities for prisoners after they are released.
• To work with families of prisoners to offer them hope and support at a difficult time in their lives.