Get On the Bus program reunites children with incarcerated parents

Sacramento Auxiliary Bishop recommends supporting program for Lent

Father and daughter see each other at Folsom State Prison as part of the Get on the Bus program (photo: Reuters)

My Dear Brothers in Christ,

Each year, a program called Get On The Bus rallies Catholic faith communities throughout the state to provide the children of incarcerated parents with a visit with their mother or father – a parent they likely see one day a year thanks to Get On The Bus.

This year, over 1,000 children will board buses and travel to prisons hundreds of miles from their homes for Mother’s and Father’s Day. Several of those buses will be filled with children from our own community and it is my hope that our Christian community will embrace them. Get On the Bus recognizes, as should we, that these children are innocent victims, who are essentially serving the same sentence as their parents.

Get On The Bus was founded in Los Angeles and the Archdiocese, but dozens of parishes all over the state have a long legacy of active participation and support – a tradition that should be celebrated and expanded to help meet their growing needs.

As a Church, we advocate for a more restorative model of justice that strives to bring about healing and to restore the brokenness caused by violence and criminal activity. Attending to the needs of children who have a parent in prison is a critical component of this restorative process. It also helps to maintain family bonds and decrease recidivism.

I am inviting you, as individuals, and as a faith community to heed this call and be partners in this special ministry by informing others, encouraging their participation and support of Get On the Bus through your donations, volunteer efforts and your prayers for the program and the children it serves.

Get On The Bus affords us all the opportunity to live out our Gospel values, “I was in prison and you visited me.” (Matthew 25:37) DIOCESE OF SACRAMENTO 2110 Broadway • Sacramento, California 95818 • 916/733-0200 • Fax 916/733-0215

If you have any questions or would like to learn more, please contact John Watkins at 916-733- 0254 or email jwatkins@scd.org. I am grateful for your consideration and with prayerful wishes during this Easter Season.

In the Peace of Christ,

+Myron J. Cotta, Auxiliary Bishop

Detention Ministry Director

Diocese of Sacramento

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