Auburn Council 6149
Youth Detention Ministry
Deacon Mike Young
Last updated Fabruary 11, 2016
When Deacon Mike Young arrived at St. Joseph's in November 2002, there was only one priest, Fr. Ronan Brennan (retired) who was badged to go into the jail or ministry as professional clergy and there was no outreach or services offered by the Catholic community in Auburn. Deacon Young became Spiritual Director for Council 6149 at that time and PGK Bill Gilsdorf wanted the Knights to get involved in providing detention ministry to the nearly 600 men and women in Placer County Jail, and was an old friend of Deacon Young's and he knew the deacon had years of experience in jail ministry in San Mateo County. He asked his friend and fellow Brother Knight to consider doing something about it. Knowing that jail ministry needs to be parish oriented, the deacon, with the blessings of the pastor, inaugurated the ministry and got permission from the Jail Captain to start Sunday services in Minimum Security and two of the men's tanks, four services every Sunday. Two of the priests were badged to hear confessions and counsel inmates and we started the ministry with six volunteers, three of them Knights, the priests and the deacon also being Knights.
seven years later in 2010, the detention ministry supplied by
the Catholic community of Auburn has twenty members in all, two
priests, two deacons, and sixteen lay ministers. We provide the
sacraments and one-on-one counseling and conducting nine services
every Sunday (468 a year.) Out of the twenty volunteers
involved, there are seven knights and two women that are wives of
This program started in 1996 with one Knight and a Chaplain with a dream! Then Grand Knight, Tony Zanic of Council 10623, working with Fr. Leo John Celano, Catholic Chaplain at the California Youth Authority (CYA) in Norwalk started this ministry because so many young men (12-18) are sitting in these correctional facilities and no one is visiting them. They are in their cells for up to 22 hours per day. The first groups of 12 Knights, working with the Chaplain, were able to include a ministry solely devoted to providing the necessary religious background to enable the Wards to receive their First Holy Communion. More information is available on Page C-50 of the 2001 Grand Knights Handbook.
Gentlemen, we have this same need here in Northern California and with your help, a group of Knights can be organized to fill this ministry.
The two facilities are:
· Northern California Youth Correctional Reception Center 3001 Ramona Ave. Sacramento, CA Chaplain: Fr. Liam McSweeney ·
Preston Youth Correctional Facility 201 Waterman Rd. Ione, CA Chaplain: Fr. Humberto Gomez.
Both of these Chaplains have said that they would welcome volunteer help in working with the Catholic youth in their facilities. Fr. Humberto said, "please plan on sharing your faith, praying, discussing the Seven sacraments and reading the Catechism. This is not a Bible Study". Fr. Liam said, "please be sure to work with the Detention Ministry Coordinator of the Diocese, Deacon Tom McGill. It is imperative that everyone is trained before they come to help." Your help is URGENTLY needed now! Begin your own personal ministry by coming to the Orientation Meeting planned for Thursday August 30th at 7:00 PM @ Diocesan Pastoral Center 21st. & Broadway (behind the am/pm Market) Sacramento The orientation will run about an hour and you will hear from Deacon McGill, Fr. Humberto and Tony Zanic who started this program down in Norwalk. All Grand Knights are encouraged to come along with any interested Knights from their Council but especially their Youth Committee Chairman so he can spread the word.
Notes on the last meeting
By Deacon Mike
The Placer County Sheriff's Department has given us its blessing to start our detention ministry at the Placer County jail.
We have started on Sunday, Jan 4th with Communion services at the minimum security facility at H and I pods in the central jail.This is four services from 9:15 am till 2 pm or 3 pm each Sunday.
I will begin taking anyone who wants to help into the facility each Sunday for training. Eventually, you will be able to conduct a service on your own. If you are not a Eucharistic minister, we can train you for that also. Each Minister will be asked to do one service a month. As we increase the size of the Ministry, we may be able to increase our services into other areas, such as the juvenile Authority. Please consider in this vital ministry.You will be assisting the Catholic Chaplain and bringing Hope to EVERY Ward that you meet whether he be a Catholic, Protestant, Jew or? You will, as mentioned above, share your Catholic Faith but mostly do a lot of LISTENING. In the end, you will get back two to three times what you give Many of the Wards are Catholic in name only and would like to get some very basic information so they can build on it when they get out of prison. It is hard for Father to start an RCIA program because the Wards stay from 3 months to 4 years with an average of 28 months. Father has brought some Wards into the Catholic Faith but maybe with our new ministry, more could be done. Remember these kids are between 16 years and 19 years YOUNG. If you would like to try this out, send me your name, address, phone number etc so I can leave your name at the Guard House to let you in to the Volunteer Training Meeting which is held on the last Thursday of every month @ 7PM in Ione. You will learn, what you can do, where you can go and in general will be and indoctrination and safety meeting. If you are still interested, and they invite you, they will run a free TB test and background check. Very shortly thereafter, you will receive a photo ID (Yellow Card). I will be the anchor and more. We will work together to find the best times, days of the week and or ministry to use your talents. Every person is a beloved child of God. Every person has a free will and is capable of change. And every person needs hope. Helping someone who is trying to change for the better may be the greatest gift you can offer. I was in prison and you visited Me Just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of My family, you did it to Me. Matthew 25:36,40