Our mission is “to bring Christ’s message of compassion, reconciliation and hope through person-to-person response to the needs of prisoners, their families, those recently released from prison, victims and others involved in the justice system within the St. Louis Archdiocese.”
We coordinate jail and prison ministry in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Volunteers go to 13 county jails and 4 prisons. We have prayer services, bible study, one-on-one visits, tutoring, anger management class and pen pals for folks who are incarcerated.
We give direct service to ex-offenders who are recently released. We have housing programs for veterans with a prison record, for people who have lived on the street, and for the very poor who have no other assistance when they are released. The folks we house can always use a pastoral person to help them.
*A desire to see the face of Christ in the poor.
*Each intern is required to have the Missouri criminal background screening completed with the results received before the semester begins.
*Illinois residents must also have the Illinois criminal background screening completed with the results received prior to the start of the semester.
Service time in an institution is set by the institution. Various time slots are available. Service with the housing program is flexible.
Number of Positions Available: 2
Past Aquinas Institute Interns at This Site:
Br. Raphael Christianson, OP (SP13),
Br. Adam Zawadzki, OP (FA12),
Br. Tan Do, OP (FA10),
Br. Augustine DeArmond, OP (FA09/SP10),
Mary McDonough (FA09)
Supervisor's Bio/Additional Comments:
Sister Rose Rita Huelsmann, SSND has served as a teacher in the Catholic Education system of the Archdiocese of St. Louis as well as the Dioceses of Belleville, Illinois and San Bernardino, California over a span of 30 years. Eleven of those years were spent in administration. Sr. Rose Rita also acted as a house parent for Boys Hope, Girls Hope for four years, served as a missionary in Honduras for two years and as an administrator at the Notre Dame Motherhouse for four years. She is a certified Spiritual Director with a M.A. degree in Counselor Ed from Kansas University at Emporia.
Tom Cummins is second person available to serve as a site supervisor at CJM. Tom graduated from Aquinas Institute and is presently serving as volunteer chaplain at Potosi Prison and at Bonne Terre Prison.
If a student wants to volunteer inside, Sr. Rose Rita will assist him/her with the process of getting approved and setting up class or prayer time. She will meet with the intern as often as needed to process the experience of ministry to inmates. Sr. Rose Rita’s approach is to reflect together, focus on gifts and talents, draw out what could improve the activity, and decide on an action plan to learn the improved methods.