Prison Ministry is a direct corporal work of mercy - "visit the imprisoned". The Youngstown Diocese offers an excellent introduction to prison ministry in their lay ministry courses. The Diocesan course helps to spiritually prepare you to minister to the incarcerated.
At this time, our parish minister, Pat Smith, makes visits to the Portage County Juvenile Detention Center and to the adult women at the Portage County Justice Center. With other parishes, we help to provide a one-hour communion service once a week to both the juveniles and adult women. For many years, prior to this, St. Joseph has taken part in the "Shoe Box Ministry" at Christmastime with decorated shoe boxes filled with gifts given to prisoners (no longer allowed). This ministry is open to all those interested in and willing to give their time to people with a special need.
Our pastor is involved with serving the needs of inmates at the Portage County Justice Center and the Trumbull County Correctional Facility. He, along with several other parishioners, is part of the team, In His Presence Prison Ministry, who help provide annual retreats for Catholics at the Trumbull facility.
In His Presence Prison Ministry: Fr. Ed Stafford, David Bultinck, Don Engelhart, Pat & Tom Smith, Kathy Paroff.