Bibles in English and Spanish donated with devotional materials
For the St. Dismas Ministry to the Incarcerated, 2017 has been one for the books — specifically, Bibles and prayer books.
Through July, the ministry has received donations of about 450 volumes, according to Jennifer Bugner, the ministry's coordinator.
The first to arrive were 33 copies of The Catholic Youth Bible and 15 copies of La Biblia Catòlica Para Niños from the Bible Grant Committee of Saint Mary's Press, arriving in February.
"That is close to $1,000 of free youth Bibles donated to the ministry," Bugner said.
Most recently, in July, the St. Dismas Ministry received about 100 devotionals and Bibles in English and Spanish from the Order of Malta, Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta United States.
In between, the ministry received 100 copies of the New American Bible, revised edition, from the Dismas Ministry, a National Catholic Prison Outreach organization in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and over 200 Pieta Prayer Books for the inmates from the Miraculous Lady of Roses in Hickory Corners, Michigan.
The inmates' response has been enthusiastic.
"They love them," said Bugner. "They're always talking of the Catholic Bibles and the devotionals. That Pieta Prayer Book has become one of their favorites. When they run out, they're always asking for more."
Bugner is not expecting more books at the moment, but she hopes to receive more.
"I've gone through all of them except the Order of Malta that I just got," she said. "Those are new. All the other ones I've already gone through and distributed at the jails and the prisons in the diocese. They go directly to the inmates."
Furnishing Bibles and prayer books to the inmates gets expensive.
"The cheapest I can get them is $3.50 apiece, and the catechisms are about $7 apiece," she said.
"It would be wonderful to receive about a 100 Bibles a month. It would be awesome," Bugner said. "It would be great, because we could definitely give them out."

Interested in prison ministry?
Those interested in prison ministry may ontact Jennifer Bugner at 316-269-3900 ext. 165 or at