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Prison Ministry

The Prison Ministry initiates and supports projects addressing the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of inmates at Illinois correctional facilities.

2021 Christmas Cards

A huge thanks to St. Edna parishioners for their generosity in helping restock our Christmas card supply.  This past year, we sent almost 10,000 cards to nine different Illinois prisons.  The Chaplains all quickly expressed their appreciation.

If you didn't get a chance to drop off your card donation, you can still do so.  Please place them in the marked bin outside of door 6 at the church office entry. We will accept new, unused and glitter free Christmas cards for the rest of the year.

Thank you once again.  May the Lord Bless the members of our church.

St. Edna Prison Ministry

Prison Fact: The Illinois Department of Corrections is the code department of the Illinois state government that operates the adult state prison system.  The IDOC, established in 1970, is led by a director appointed by the governor.

Activity Update and Thank You

This season, we mailed 22 fully packed boxes to nine Illinois prisons.  Your dontations of calendars and playing cards allowed us to generously respond to the Chaplain's requests.  The items were shipped to the correctional centers as follows:

Danville:  Calendars - 360, Playing Cards - 50

Illinois River:  Calendars - 50

Lincoln:  Calendars - 373

Pinckneyville:  Calendars - 348, Playing Cards - 86

Robinson: Calendars - 192

Shawnee:  Playing Cards - 50

Vandalia:  Playing Cards - 205

Vienna: Calendars - 90

Western Illinois:  Playing Cards - 238

Totals:  Calendars - 1413, Playing Cards -628

All the Chaplains quickly responded expressing their gratefulness for the needed items, especially in the midst of the Covid 19 lockdown.  St. Edna Parish has a reputation for caring for the least of our brothers and sisters.  Thank you from St. Edna Prison Ministry.

Prison Fact:  Lockdown is defined as being confined to a cell for 24 hours a day, no visitors, meals are delivered to your cell, no outside recreation, Church, School, library, etc. 2021

Pen Pals

“And they said, Lord when did we see prison and did not help you? He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me’.” (Mt. 25:40-45)

Many of us will find it challenging to visit inmates in prison, but there is another way we can visit prisoners - by mail.  So many of you have generously helped in sending Christmas cards to the prisoners. Here is a chance to take it a step farther by becoming a pen pal with a prisoner. If you missed our speaker, Jana Minor, but are still interested in becoming involved with the prisoner pen pal program, please contact June Hoogenboom at 847-398-1397 for more information.  

Help Wanted

Have you ever considered getting more involved with St. Edna Prison Ministry?  We would love to have you.  We are currently looking for new members, especially for anyone who may be interested in helping in the following roles: 
* Secretary for our monthly meetings and writing articles for the bulletin,
* Lead for the annual christmas card drive (many workers/volunteers, but need someone to take over the organization and scheduling)
* Lead for the (semi-)annual bible drive
* Lead for the (semi-)annual toiletries drive
* New members - assistance on christmas card, bible, toiletries drives, contact prison chaplains

We do not believe that any of these are big or overwhelming projects overwhelming, but many hands make light work and would love to get some new voices, ideas and energy in our ministry. 

Please contact June Hoogenboom at 847-398-1397 if you would like more information. 

Information About the Criminal Justice System

Going through the process of having a loved one facing imprisonment or already caught up in the criminal justice system, is a frightening and frustrating experience.  Where do you turn?

The St. Edna Prison Ministry offers a free opportunity to parishioners to learn about how the criminal justice system works and provides referrals to local agencies which specialize in substance abuse, anger management/domestic violence, gambling problems, etc.  Perhaps you may be looking for someone to prayerfully meet with and discuss such issues.

Meetings are scheduled on an as-needed basis and are located at St. Edna.  Your anonymity is respected and all meetings are confidential.

Please call St. Edna at 847-398-3362 x315 to request to be contacted by an expert in the field of criminal justice.

How our Program Works

Ministry members gather to plan for and implement the upcoming projects for the inmates at Illinois correctional facilities.  Duties and activities for the projects are assigned during the meetings.


Bibles are collected for Bible-study participants at Correctional facilities.


We have a relationship with a local parole officer who is willing to partner with families or recently released persons for questions, counseling and mentorship.  Please contact Sue Perek at 847-577-4666 for more inforamtion. 


Toiletries are collected for the women at Logan Correctional facility for the "Christmas in July" program.  Over 1000 bags of toiletries will be given the inmates in the Health and Intake areas of the facility.

Kairos Cookies 

There is an unspoken rule among the residents of prisons, "Don't trust, don't talk, don't feel."  The Torch / Kairos weekend is targeted specifically to be presented to the unchurched, to the isolated, the unloving, and the unloved.

Parishioners are asked to bake cookies to be used at retreats in various Illinois correctional facilities.  Recipes for the cookies are made available to all baking them. Cookies are then brought to the church for pickup.  Volunteers deliver them to the correctional facility retreat.    Kairos Cookie Recipes and Instructions

Kairos Hands of Love

Share your love with the boys at the St. Charles Illinois Youth Center by making a 'Hand of Love.'  Kairos Hands of Love, Posters and Placemats

Kairos Posters

The intent of the posters is to greet these men that come to the Torch or Kairos program, with love.  (See the details in the link above.)

Kairos Placemats

At every meal, we have placemats at each dining seat.  These placemats are a gift of love and encouragement that we use to reinforce the message that God loves them.  These can be done on simple letter or legal size pieces of paper.  This is a great project for children.  Make placements decorated with drawings and messages of God's love.  (See the details in the link above.)

Kairos Letters 

When our Prison Ministry is participates in the Kairos retreat, parishioners are asked to consider handwriting one or more letters to the men who will attend.  The attached provides more information and guidelines.  Kairos Letter Guidelines

Christmas Cards

Cards are collected and signed by St. Edna parishioners.  Cards are then distributed to inmates of a correctional facility in Illinois.  

Join Us

Our committee meets at St. Edna on the 3rd Wednesday of each month at 7:00PM, September through May.  All are welcome.

June Hoogenboom

Sue Perek