Local Ministries

A ministry of hope and compassion

Angelica Kulp was confirmed by Archbishop Naumann, flanked by her sponsor, fellow resident Therese Roever. All residents were dedicated to their faith studies and reading Scripture, often coming to RCIA with good questions and praying the rosary after every Communion service. LEAVEN PHOTO BY KATHRYN WHITE

Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann celebrated Mass with the residents of the Topeka Correctional Facility along with masters of ceremonies Father Anthony Saiki and Deacon Tim Ruoff.

Archbishop Naumann baptizes a woman at the Topeka Correctional Facility. LEAVEN PHOTO BY KATHRYN WHITE

It was the first time since the pandemic that there has been the opportunity to baptize and confirm new Catholics. Deacon Ruoff has been helping out with the women’s prison for two- and-a-half years.

Erica Burling talks with Warden Gloria Geither, left, and fellow residents Brooke Colling and Shari Webber. Burling was overcome with emotion before and after her baptism and confirmation. Geither, a parishioner of St. Joseph Parish in Shawnee, has worked for the Kansas Department of Corrections for 32 years. “These residents come in at the lowest point in their lives. Just because of one bad mistake. I believe in providing hope for these residents. To promote dignity and respect. I hope they can re-enter society, get jobs and have an opportunity to share their faith,” she said. LEAVEN PHOTO BY KATHRYN WHITE

“We are so grateful for our volunteers,” he said. “This ministry is not easy, but it is rewarding, and the residents often minister to us more than we minister to them.”

Yesenia Sesmas gave newly baptized and confirmed Brooke Colling one of the flowers she fashioned out of toilet paper. Both maximum and minimum security residents joined together — a rare occurrence — to attend Mass with Archbishop Naumann. LEAVEN PHOTO BY KATHRYN WHITE

The Topeka Regional Prison Ministry volunteers visited twice a week for over a year preparing residents for the sacraments. Deacon Ruoff worked with three other deacons from Topeka along with 14 lay volunteers. 

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The Leaven

The Leaven is the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas.

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