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Inmates receive sacraments for first time since pandemic began

For many of us, COVID-life halted many of our social interactions with one another. We found ourselves missing our communities. For the inmates at the local prison where I serve —alongside other monastic priests and our Brother Zachary, who coordinates the Catholic ministry—life was just as chaotic in the prison as it was for many of us on the “outside.”

I was ordained a priest this summer on June 27, 2021. Two weeks later I heard confessions and presided at Mass for a small group of Catholic inmates. This was the first time they had received the sacraments since the first lockdown at the beginning of the pandemic. We were the first volunteers or family, for that matter, visit them. I have been involved in prison ministry off and on since high school – so, for about 17 years. It has been a grace to now preside at Mass in prison, and, even more so, a tremendous grace to be some of the first from the “outside” to be physically present to the inmates and pray and worship together with them.

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