By Deacon Dan Leetch
Bishop Fernando Isern traveled to Delta on May 30 to baptize and confirm 12 inmates at the Delta Correctional Center. This facility, in a beautiful pastoral setting far to the west of the city of Delta, houses 500 minimum security inmates.
Approximately 90 inmates attended the Mass at which the 12 candidates completed their full initiation into the Catholic Faith. The candidates were prepared for reception of the sacraments by the Delta Catholic Prison Ministry Team; of Dennis Doerer, Barb Lockwood, Fr. Canice Enyiaka, Tom Felder and John Hassell. Other members of St. Michael parish in Delta who attended were Thomas Knob who acted as server, Ralph Mangum, Bill, Jeanie, and Trish Hellman, Al Martinez, Darrin Scott, Elizabeth Forest, Paul Stamsen, Nancy Doerer, Richard Ziegman, and Eric Reed. Bill Potter a center chaplain and Darryl Proffit, the DOC regional coordinator for Faith and Citizenship Programs were in attendance, as well.
“Our ministry is growing here at DCC like wildfire. We have grown from just a very few folks each week to over 30 on a regular basis,” said prison minister Dennis Doerer. “A lot is going on for Catholic inmates, and non-Catholics attend as well.” This can be seen in the large group of candidates for the sacraments of initiation.
Fr. Canice goes to the prison each month to hear confessions and celebrate the Mass, and the team goes weekly to do a Communion service and a Bible study. Several inmates are Oblates of St. Benedict and pray the Liturgy of the Hours in common each week. The dedication of the team members is truly paying off and the growth shows it. “All to God’s glory” is the comment by Bishop Isern of the good work happening at DCC.