Ralph Conlin, a retired government worker, said volunteering in prison ministry “is a calling, it’s a way to serve.”

For the past 15 years, Conlin has volunteered in prison ministry. He assists with Communion services and Masses at the Howard County Detention Center in Jessup, Maryland, and works with Deacon Chris Schwartz in the Good News Jail and Prison Ministry in Prince George’s County, helping to lead Bible studies at the Prince George’s County Detention Center in Upper Marlboro. Conlin and his wife Ann are members of St. Louis Parish in Clarksville. Ann Conlin, a retired operating room nurse, has also served in prison ministry.

At the Archdiocese of Washington’s March 9 prison ministry conference held at St. Joseph Parish in Beltsville, Maryland, Ralph Conlin received the Deacon Frank Salatto Award for commitment and service to prison ministry. The award is named for Deacon Frank Salatto, who serves at St. Raphael Parish in Rockville and has done prison ministry in Montgomery County for many years.

Speaking of his experience participating in Bible studies with incarcerated men, Ralph Conlin said, “The greatest blessing is the Lord is using it to help me grow in my faith. The Lord has used them to help me grow in my faith. When you share the word of the Lord, you get different insights from different people, and you learn from each other.”

Conlin added, “It’s a blessing. The Lord has given me this opportunity to experience this growth and to serve Him.”