Detention Ministry Serves the Incarcerated in Miami Area
“The Bible is a tool to find God, and it’s a tool to teach us how to live our lives.”
That is how Deacon Edgardo Farias, Director of Detention Ministry for the Archdiocese of Miami, describes the importance of the Order of Malta’s Bible and Prayer Book Distribution Program. Deacon Farias has spent the past 22 years working in Prison Ministry, first as a lay person and then as an ordained deacon. Today, his efforts are focused on recruiting and training lay volunteers from Archdiocese of Miami parishes to be part of Prison Ministry, maintaining good relationships with the various detention facilities, and providing Bibles to prisoners in the Miami Area.
Deacon Farias sees the volunteers working in Prison Ministry as ambassadors of the Catholic Church and the Bibles as critical to helping inmates. “When we go into a prison, we go to support the work of God,” he said. “God is already working there. Our mission is to be a companion to those who suffer incarceration or detention.”
He places orders for Bibles and Prayer Books two or three times a year. “They wait for the Bibles,” he said. “And they are so happy when they receive them.” Deacon Farias said the Bibles support the prisoners’ Catholic identity. “It is a consolation for them to have something to remind them that they are Catholics,” he said. “Because they don’t lose this identity inside the prison. The Bibles provided by the Order of Malta are a blessing.”