Kolbe Prison Ministry

Kolbe Prison Ministries

Sharing Christ’s Love with Prisoners

Kolbe Prison Ministries (“KPM”) is named after Saint Maximilian Kolbe who was martyred in a German concentration camp during World War II. He is the patron saint of prisoners.


Our mission is to share the agape love of Jesus Christ with those in prison and to teach the fullness of truth of the Catholic Church to the incarcerated. We do this by presenting a three-day retreat within the prison followed by ongoing Catholic formation.


Each prison is served by local Catholic volunteers who bring into the prisons training materials, literature, and videos with the purpose of educating inmates about the Catholic faith and answering those who have shown an interest in learning more about the Catholic faith after attending a retreat. St. Anthony of Padua parishioners have led and participated in numerous Kolbe retreats over the last six years at multiple prisons in the area. Our adopted unit is the Ferguson unit in Midway, Texas.

Watch a video of St Anthony’s men volunteering at one of the retreats and a “Glorify” session held at the Ferguson Unit:

About Kolbe Retreats

A Kolbe Prison Ministry retreat is brought to the units to help the offenders enter into a spiritual relationship with Jesus Christ. Those participating in the retreat will be given the opportunity to share in the love and joy of knowing God and will learn more about the truth of our Catholic faith. Inmates are given guidance to help them in their faith journey. Holy Scripture and the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church are the guides for the retreats. It is a powerful community-building experience.


The Kolbe retreats were originally modeled after “ACTS” retreats administered by ACTS Missions. ACTS is an acronym that stands for “Adoration (prayer), Community, Theology, and Service.” Given the security measures and other restrictions in the prisons, the ACTS approach and design needed to be tailored to fit the realities of prison life.


Kolbe retreats typically take place in a single, large indoor space such as a gymnasium or chapel. The space is usually large enough to handle over 100 participants and outside team volunteers on the retreat.


A retreat usually runs from Thursday morning through Saturday evening. Depending on the prison’s location, the outside team may stay at a motel near the prison, commute from home, or make other lodging arrangements.


The retreat days often start early with the volunteers going through security searches as they enter the unit. Meals are usually provided by the outside team, making arrangements for the meals prior to the retreat.


With the approval of prison leaders, Eucharistic adoration is offered during the retreats, and the results are often amazing.

Volunteering with Kolbe Prison Ministries

As a Kolbe ministry volunteer, you will need to complete the following:


You will need to a) seek to be approved as a volunteer from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) and b) once approved, be trained to volunteer by TDCJ c) obtain Safe Environment certification by the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.


a) Go here first to apply to be a Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) volunteer:
b) Go here to be trained as a TDCJ volunteer (recertification every 2 years):
C) Go here to be obtain Diocesan Safe Environment training (recertification every 5 years):

``A single act of love makes the soul return to life.``

-Saint Maximilian Kolbe