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Officials with the Catholic Church have announced plans to form a support group for Department of Corrections employees.

The Adrian Group is open to anyone employed by DOC who is willing to travel to the Jefferson City area. They hope to eventually expand to other parts of the state.

For seven months, the Rev. Richard Litzau, a Dominican priest who is a former correctional center officer, and the Rev. Joseph Corel, Catholic Diocese of Jefferson City vicar for prison ministry, have been meeting about twice a month with prison staff, including Chaplain Jeffrey Anderson, at the Algoa Correctional Center in Jefferson City.

The group is named after Adrian, who was a correctional officer in the early church who saw the persecution of Christians and eventually became a Christian himself. For Catholic Christians, he is considered the patron saint of correctional officers.

The planning team believes there is enough anonymity in Adrian Group to spark curiosity and ask about it without being so blatant when inviting someone to consider being a part of it.

Adrian meetings will be from 5-7 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month beginning in September, in the lower level of the Taos Knights of Columbus Building, 7128 Route M.

The format of the evenings will include an opening ceremony and prayer, then a meal provided by an area church group, followed by a presentation given by a peer about a particular topic experienced correctional staff believe would be beneficial for all to hear. After the presentation, there will be table talk about the topic.

Adrian Group is part of Prison Ministry, an umbrella of Catholic Charities of Northern and Central Missouri.

To RSVP for the Sept. 5 appreciation dinner and talk, call 573-635-7719, ext. 7.

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