..For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me…Matthew 25:35-36
The call to serve and do the will of God is a calling for everyone and not only for a few. At St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, the call is very special as we have the presence of the Idaho Correctional Institution in our community. The proximity of the place and the need to minister to our incarcerated brothers rings truer than any other things we need to do for God.
In 1997, Father George King, Sister Petronella and the future Deacon Philips together with two parishioners from this church, Susan Jensen and Rip Remen, started the Prison Ministry with the simple aim of bringing the Eucharist and the Word of God to the prisoners of ICI-O. Every Saturday, these people from our church will go to the Prison to minister to the Catholic prisoners and those who longs for God and shares with them the Body and Blood of Christ. In the words of Rip Remen, the only one left from the original group, just to be there and give a listening ear to the prisoners is more than what you can do for them. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit whenever they minister to these inmates have them realized that their ministry transcends talent and resources, you said have to said yes to His calling and He will do the rest.
Through this ministry, Father King in all his humbleness and service to God did perform baptism on several of the inmates who expressed their desire to be Catholics and minister to their spiritual needs.
Today, Father Sipho, Jim O’leary and Rip Remen typifies the vibrant answer of our church to minister to these prisoners.
…’I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25: 40