Prisoner looking out behind locked cell

Jonathan Landolfe brings compassion to prison ministry and life

It was a moment of awakening. Jonathan Landolfe, RC ’09, remembers it well. He was on a Regis University service-learning trip to Ghana, and his group was helping build a library with the students of Sandema Secondary Technical school. “Their passion for learning and excitement for books, just their raw energy, made me want to take my life as a student more seriously.”

Back at Regis, Jonathan switched his major to political economy, and joined Romero House, an intentional community dedicated to shared responsibility and service. There he discovered the power of relationships, what it means to count on others and have others count on you. He also became more connected to the Denver community through a variety of service experiences.   

The Jesuit Volunteer Corps seemed a logical step after graduation. Jonathan spent two years in Belize City, Belize, where he worked in prison ministry at the Belize Central Prison, the country’s only correctional facility.Two men looking at the camera giving a fist pump handshake He taught life skills and basic academics to incarcerated teenagers, and forged transformative relationships. “I learned a lot from the boys. I was able to see myself in them, even the murderers. And I was able to see God in them, too. There is good in everybody. We all need attention and love to unlock our potential.”

Jonathan recently returned to the United States. His next stop is a L’Arche community in Tacoma, Wash., where he will live and work with men and women with intellectual disabilities. His long-term goal is to help start a learning exchange between youth in the United States and those in Belize City.

In just a few years, Jonathan Landolfe has journeyed from his moment of awakening to a life of dedicated service. He has not forgotten where the journey began. “Regis is a gem,” he says. “There are so many opportunities. It is such an incredible place to learn and grow.”

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