Everything is coming back to life!!

“Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?” Matthew 25:44 Springtime is an even more desperate time to be in jail. Who isn’t happier with the longer days of sunlight we now enjoy, and who hasn’t looked forward to seeing the last pieces of ice to melt away from yards and yield to the green that grows? And hurray for walking outside without a coat! “Chap, what’s the weather like?” I don’t want to answer. Winter was easier for me to spend most […]

Chaplain’s Corner Fall 2018

“Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?” Matthew 25:44 We are blessed to work in Jail Ministry. While our roots source from diverse faiths and traditions, we share the same passion to serve people out at the farthest margins and with the greatest needs. There are scarcities of windows and hope when people come into jail. In this lack of true light, many people lack healthy relationships, mental wellness, and healthy behaviors not chained in addiction. Most people come here also lacking […]

Channel 19 Explores Impact of Jail Ministry

WXOW-TV interviewed a La Crosse area resident in May 2018 to tell her story, and the story of the La Crosse Jail Ministry.  Elizabeth was arrested in 2013 for driving under the influence and seriously injuring two people. In the interview, Elizabeth readily acknowledges that she was indeed driving impaired. She also says that, despite having a history of receiving formal substance treatment, she was not ready at the time of her arrest to do the hard work needed to recover including Drug Court. After her entry into the penal system in La Crosse County she was transferred to a […]

Hellos and Goodbyes

Saying hello and goodbye happens frequently in a volunteer organization. New people join eager to contribute, while others end their involvement for various reasons. The La Crosse Jail Ministry is no exception. In January three long-time Board members completed two consecutive three-year terms and, as our Bylaws require, said farewell: Vicky Gunderson, Sr. Mary Ann Gschwind and Maureen Freedland. These women care deeply for jail ministry and have contributed greatly. Sr. Mary Ann served in various capacities for 20 years or more. Maureen served two years as Board President and fully embraced every necessary task. Fortunately, she will continue to […]

Chaplain’s Corner

When I first met this young lady, she was 17 and already a meth addict. In Wisconsin, 17 year olds are treated as adults, and though there have been some changes in how we treat 17 year olds in the adult jail, this is where they come when they are arrested. I knew her family because most of them had also been in jail. Over the years that I got to know her, her addiction especially showed in her teeth. Meth does terrible things to a heavy user’s teeth. This young lady didn’t tell me her whole story at once, […]