A young student from the University of Georgia in Athens and a parishioner of All Saints Church in Dunwoody called me. She asked if I would consider starting a Catholic ministry in the Clarke County Jail in Athens since there was not a regular Catholic presence in the jail. Some of the students from the Catholic Center on campus had been called to do a prison ministry. I said yes and made a trip to Athens to meet the County Sheriff and the Chaplain at the jail.
I went through certification training, got fingerprinted, ID’ed, and put into their system. I began making weekly trips to visit one young prisoner who was facing 22 felony counts. After I learned their system, rules and regulations, I got 8 students certified, trained, fingerprinted and ID’ed. I took them in two at a time over the next few weeks to train them in the inside ministry.
After I felt they were ready to carry on the ministry without me there, I stepped back and now support them from the outside with literature, Bibles, Rosaries, etc. They have since gotten a priest certified and hold regular services at the jail. They identified 11 Hispanic inmates they visit on a weekly basis. This process took about 6 months to complete.