September 8 & 22
October 6 & 20
November 3 & 17
Meet at Frassati House at 5:15 pm
University Catholic continues a 30+ year tradition by providing meals and fellowship to residents of Dismas House.
About Dismas House
The idea for university students and former prisoners to share a home was conceived by a group of students and the late Father Jack Hickey, O.P., a chaplain at Vanderbilt University, as an extension of the Vanderbilt Prison Project. He saw the plight of so many about to be released from jail - no home, no family, no job, and no hope - all of which contribute to recidivism. Father Hickey and the students opened the first Dismas House in 1974 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Dismas is the traditional name of the repentant thief at Calvary (Luke XXII, 39-43.) The ex-offender is also seen as Dismas - punished, repentant, but deserving of a second chance and a new start.
Residents typically live in a house for 3-6 months, leaving with a stable income, a greater sense of self-worth and hope for the future. Residents are expected to gain employment within 2 weeks of moving in, help with the chores, attend nightly meetings, participate in evening meals and pay program fees.
Dismas strives to create a family-based atmosphere, hence the slogan: "Dismas is Family." This slogan reflects a value system that each resident of the house is a member of a family that works together to achieve positive results. This family value also means that an atmosphere of forgiveness and reconciliation is possible.
The staff and student residents help ex-offenders reach their goals by monitoring their efforts and providing encouragement. Community volunteers are constant visitors - cooking dinner, helping with job placement, counseling and advising, maintaining the house, and offering friendship to the residents.