Praying for lives to be changed

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 29, 2020

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LAPLACE – Each week, the Rev. Ernest August and volunteer ministers from churches in St. John Parish strive to bring light into the darkness of jail. Each week, these ministers meet with inmates, offering them hope and healing. They pray for lives to be changed, for hope to be restored, and for darkness to be replaced with the promise of a bright future.

“We hope the teachings that they learned here will be applied when they leave here to return to their families and return to society,” said the Rev. August, who serves as chaplain of the Sherman Walker Correctional Facility in St. John Parish.

Providing spiritual care to inmates is the focus of the St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office’s jail ministry. Through ecumenical activities, ministers work with inmates to help improve their well-being during incarceration as well as to guide them in a positive direction for their return to their families and society. Bible study, religious discussions, and one-on-one spiritual counseling are available to all inmates.

The jail ministry also serves as a liaison between inmates and their families in times of tragedy such as the death of a loved one. Prayer and spiritual support are provided, if needed and requested.

“I enjoy bringing the word of God’s love and light to these men and women,” the Rev. August said. “We want them to know they can be worthy of God’s grace of forgiveness. It’s a privilege to serve in this ministry.”