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Bishop Burbidge Makes Pastoral Visit to Federal Prison

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The Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge and the volunteers who make up the Prison Ministry team at the Federal Corrections Center in Butner visited the facility February 5.

The Bishop was accompanied by Dominican Father Art Kirwin, who serves as Catholic chaplain at the facility, Deacons Bert L’Homme, Larry DeCarolis and Michael Sanchez, Sister Carol Loughney, Father Carlos Arce, Father Robert Benko, Father Pius Wekesa and several lay men and women who are part of the prison ministry team at Butner.

The pastoral visit began at 7:30 in the morning with the group meeting with patients at the prison hospital and then proceeding to visit the six different prison units in the facility. At each location, Bishop Burbidge held a prayer service and spoke with each prisoner who attended.

At a luncheon, the Federal Corrections Center Chaplaincy Program presented a plaque to Father Kirwin and Deacon L’Homme for their leadership in the Catholic prison ministry program at Butner. Father Kirwin celebrates one Mass a month at each of the six units. Deacon L’Homme coordinates the volunteers who conduct Communion services and teach in the RCIA program at the facility. A plaque was also presented to Bishop Burbidge for the Diocese’s commitment to the federal prison ministry program.

The plaques were presented by Lutheran Chaplain Russell Helbig. Also attending the luncheon was Chief Chaplain Grady Zickefoose. Both chaplains spoke highly of the pastoral care and commitment of the Catholic prison ministry team.

Above: Catholic Chaplain Father Art Kirwin, O.P.; Bishop Michael F. Burbidge; Sister Carol Loughney, IHM; Father Carlos Arce; Father Robert Benko, OFM Conv.; Father Pius Wekesa during visit to Federal Corrections Center in Butner.

Below: Bishop Michael F. Burbidge with ten members of the Catholic Prison Ministry serving the Federal Corrections Center in Butner. Members are: (Back row) Larry Green, George Cummings, Deacon Bert L’Homme, Deacon Michael Sanchez and Chuck O’Malley. (Front row) Pat McIlmoyle, David Lucas, Bishop Burbidge, Joan Harrington, Sister Carol Loughney and Deacon Larry DeCarolis.