Prison Ministry

For I was … in prison and you came to see me.

Matthew 25: 35-36

St. Mary’s has two prison ministries: a local outreach program and Kairos.

Trenton Correctional Institution

St. Mary’s is building a Catholic presence at the Trenton Correctional Institution. We started this new outreach program in October 2017 and have been working with the facility to have a regular Mass and formation session on the second Tuesday of every month. There are many challenges in reaching Catholic residents because of staff changes, prison lockdowns, and communication barriers. In eight months, we have celebrated Mass four times, had two times that no one attended, and two times that the facility was on lockdown. But we intend to persevere and grow this ministry, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We also are trying to establish a presence in the Aiken County Detention Center.

If you have a family member or loved one in prison or detention, please consider providing us with their contact information. At your request, we will maintain all information as confidential and only share with your express permission.

We also ask you, our Parish family, to pray for all those incarcerated and for the success of this ministry to bring the light of Christ to those most in need.

  • We pray for all those in our prisons and those, who through sickness, addiction, and other reasons, live in their personal prisons.
  • We remember and pray for those who seek to change difficult life stories.
  • We remember and pray for the victims of crime on the outside.
  • We remember and pray for the countless victims of crime on the inside.
  • We remember and pray for the whole criminal justice system, its processes, and its employees.
  • Keep all of us ever mindful of your great love, so that we may always remember you as a God of Mercy and forgiveness. Amen

For more information, please contact Bette Ross at 803.649.4777, ext 101 or bross@charlestondiocese.org.

Kairos Prison Ministry

The mission of Kairos Prison Ministry is to share the transforming love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ to impact the hearts and lives of incarcerated men and women.

Kairos is a ministry whose mission is to develop a Christian community inside prisons.
The Kairos program brings positive and negative leaders together, in both male and female institutions, for a 3 ½ day Weekend led by same gender Kairos volunteers.  Volunteers from St. Mary’s join other men from around South Carolina to minister in the Broad River Correctional Institution in Columbia.

The Weekend is based on:

  • A series of talks,
  • Discussions,
  • Chapel meditations, and
  • Creating a Christian community.

For many participants, the Kairos Weekend creates the desire to become a Christian, and for others the desire to continue his/her spiritual growth.

The Kairos program concept is to build the Christian community inside the institution where the Kairos Community prays and fellowships together on a regular basis. These are called “Prayer-and-Share” Groups and meet weekly.

In addition, each month Kairos volunteers return for a “Reunion” of the entire Kairos community. The fact that we return again and again to each prison is what distinguishes Kairos from other prison ministries. Without our follow up support, the efforts of the 3½ day retreat would quickly be lost to the prison environment.

To learn how to volunteer, please contact Don Trapp at 803.648.4727 or scraphappybeth@bellsouth.net, or Carlos Dorthalina at 803.641.1481 or cmdorthalina@gmail.com.

Click here for additional information on Kairos.