Just Visiting

An Edge Night on Visiting the Imprisoned

Edge Night Outline

Goal of this Night

The goal of this Edge Night is to teach youth about the call to be compassionate and forgiving by practicing the Corporal Work of Mercy of visiting the imprisoned.

About this night

Jesus teaches us and shows true compassion, redemption, and forgiveness. Those who have broken the law are often sent to jail or prison. As Christians, we are called to practice compassion by the work of visiting the imprisoned, which is one of the Corporal Works of Mercy. During the night, the youth will explore how to act with compassion and how they can practically participate in this Work of Mercy.

During the Gather, two games will be played to get the youth thinking about the imprisoned and how they can step outside of their comfort zones to reach out to those people. This transitions into the Proclaim, which teaches the power of forgiveness and compassion to help those who are imprisoned. The Break offers an opportunity for discussion with an activity for small groups to write a letter to an inmate. The Send reminds middle school youth of the need to pray for the imprisoned, ending with reciting the Prayer of St. Dismus.

Before the Night

Collaborate with the parish or diocesan jail/prison ministry coordinator to find out practical ways the youth can help in this particular ministry. Ask the coordinator to brief you on local jail/prison and juvenile detention policies and procedures.  Be sure to find out what the regulations and processes are about sending letters to inmates. Collect all the materials for the environment and prepare for the opening Gather game, be sure to read through the game well ahead of time to know what you need to make.

Also, as a Core Team, check out and read the article in AMPLIFY 6 entitled “Breaking Through Shackles” which discusses a personal experience of a young woman as a prison minister.

Environment

Using the four walls of your gathering space, you will put the youth inside a Monopoly© board. Project an image of the Monopoly© game’s “jail” or “go to jail” space on a screen in the front of the room. You can search online for “monopoly jail space” for several options. Setup the rest of the room as a Monopoly© board that leads to the jail at the front of the room. Spaces can be drawn on paper and taped to the floor or wall. Print or create a large Monopoly© logo on the floor (or ceiling) in the middle of the gathering space along with a dotted rectangle using painters or masking tape and labeled “Chance” and “Community Chest.”

Supplies List

  • Paper
  • Markers
  • Items to create game board for environment
  • Tape
  • Chance and Community Chest cards
  • Monopoly© money
  • St. Dismas prayer cards

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