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Alessandro Catholic Prison Ministry

The Alessandro Prison Ministry welcomes prisoners who are genuinely interested in growing deeper in their Catholic faith through study and through living a religious Rule of Life.


Through the Alessandro Ministry, incarcerated men and women may enter formation in the Confraternity of Penitents, live the Rule while in prison, and prepare to live the Rule when released. Special concessions are made for those serving life sentences.

There are many groups which provide Catholic instruction, Bible Study, and fellowship to prisoners. Many Third Orders and Oblate groups also accept prisoners into membership.


Because the Confraternity is much more than a Bible Study or Catholic fellowship and because its members are following a rather rigorous Rule of Life which many may find difficult to live in the secular world, the following policies are in place to underscore the penitential, repentent, and life long nature of this charism.

Alessandro Serenelli

Saint Maria Goretti



Prisoners applying for formation in the Confraternity of Penitents may become part of the CFP’s Alessandro Ministry, named after Alessandro Serenelli, the convicted and later repentant murderer of Saint Maria Goretti. 


Those who are incarcerated must complete all Inquirer Reflections and Inquirer Intake Questions prior to postulancy. They must also reveal the nature of the crimes for which they have been convicted (these are public knowledge) and have made restitution for them, or are trying to make restitution as much as is possible and prudent, before continuing with formation.  


Prisoners must be made aware in writing that all information shared with the Confraternity is not under the seal of confession and that members of the Confraternity are bound by and will follow all mandatory reporting laws.  


Because of the unique prison environment which often makes living the Rule easier inside of prison than outside, prisoners shall be permitted to participate in formation in the Confraternity of Penitents in the same manner as other penitents but without being formally admitted into the Confraternity as members.


Should they complete their four years of formation while still in prison, they may continue with ongoing formation as do other penitents, again without being formally admitted as members of the CFP.


Upon release from prison, former prisoners will be eligible to become Associates of the Confraternity of Penitents. They will continue as Associates for a minimum of two years, without any infractions of the law, continuing their formation, and living the Rule as their formation requires, before being eligible to apply for membership and pledging.  


Should a former prisoner wish to continue with the discipline of life of the Confraternity of Penitents and apply for formal membership, he or she should meet with the Minister General and Visitor to discuss what this process would entail. Requirements may include but are not limited to assurances of worthiness of life through a minimum two year waiting period, psychological evaluation, regular background checks, etc.  


Should a prisoner, who is serving a life term without parole and who has completed formation successfully, request evaluation of status within the Confraternity, the Minister General and Visitor shall conduct the evaluation and make a recommendation to the Bishop who will decide if the individual can be admitted as a CFP member, can pledge, and/or can vow to live the CFP Rule and Constitutions for life while incarcerated. However, due to limitations of prison life, a prisoner will be unable to hold office or be a formator.

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