, director of the Detention Ministry program that reaches about 10 , 000 inmates in 18 prisons of the Milwaukee Archdiocese.
Years ago there was a Catholic priest assigned to every prison , Sturm
said , but the prison population outgrew the number of priests able to serve it locally.Currently only one priest serves as a prison chaplain at the Ethan Allen School for Boys in Wales , he noted
According to Sturm
, there are 20 , 500 prison inmates in the state of Wisconsin , with slightly more than 8 , 000 of them in the Milwaukee Archdiocese.Sturm has a volunteer group of 20 priests and 30 lay people who regularly minister to inmates in the diocese through activities ranging from Bible study groups that have focused on church history or the rosary , to liturgies , where inmates are involved as choir members or readers
.Such outreach to inmates , Sturm
said , decreases their chances of returning to prison , adding that he's
concerned about the inconsistent spiritual care for about 5 , 000 Wisconsin inmates incarcerated at out-of-state prisons.
and I , not so much as planting seeds , but preparing the ground.It's missionary work , in a sense..
Too often , prisoners are a forgotten group , Sturm
said , so the bishop's visit was meaningful.By going into the prisons he
gave a tremendous show of support of the church in Milwaukee for these people.And that was perceived as such not only by the inmates , but by the officers and the administration..
At Dodge , Sklba's visit included Mass and a liturgy service with the Eucharist , a tour of the facility , lunch in the prison dining room , and meetings with security officers and inmates.
During an informal session with Catholic inmates , Sklba fielded questions ranging from How old is the pope?.