What is MOTTC?

 The Ministry of the Third Cross (MOTTC) is a retreat ministry for persons in the criminal justice system. Through the weekend retreats, attendees experience the love of Jesus Christ within a Spirit filled, supportive, community environment. The retreats are times of reflection, repentance and renewal.


In 1997, a Retreat was offered for young, “high risk” male felony probationers in Bexar County Department of Supervision and Corrections’ Young Offender Program (YOP). YOP was a federally supported program that included a faith-based component for the probationer’s rehabilitation plan with the overall objective to decrease recidivism. The MOTTC grew from YOP and is now a state- recognized not-for-profit program open to persons on probation, parole, or in the Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD)


I didn’t want to go on the retreat but it sounded better than trash picking on the highway {community service option}.  I was surprised by how these people seemed to really care about me and all of us on the retreat.  It is still hard for me to stay on track but MOTTC and Jesus help me.” M.E., Retreatant


Who attends MOTTC retreats?

MOTTC retreats are held for youth, men, and women in the criminal justice system, primarily in Bexar County. Some retreats for the participants in the TJJD have been held at TJJD prisons as well. MOTTC’s work with Bexar County judges has resulted in referrals from judges for probationers under their supervision; these persons are often offered the opportunity to attend a MOTTC retreat as part of their community service. Recently, MOTTC has grown to include separate retreats for persons who have been recently paroled from the Texas Department of Corrections to Bexar County.

Attendees of MOTTC retreats are encouraged to maintain mentoring relationships with retreat team members as they continue their faith journeys after the retreats. To encourage continued follow-up, reinforce the conversion experience, and increase life skills training, MOTTC sponsors monthly reunions open to any past retreatants.


MOTTC retreat attendees are highly encouraged to continue working with MOTTC through serving on a future MOTTC retreat.  


When these women started smiling at us, and singing, and talking to us, I did not think they were real. They are real, and they keep doing these retreats.  I have been on a team now, and I am glad to help show other people that you can change your life. ”D. F., Retreatant

On my first retreat with MOTTC, I could not comprehend how much more the Holy Spirit was truly present than any of my many previous parish ACTS retreats.  I was truly Blessed by this experience and will devote my time to continuing this ministry and what it represents for the women in the criminal justice system.  An opportunity for our Lord to be present in their life and mine in a way I never envisioned.  Thank you Lord.   First time MOTTC Team Member

MOTTC Support

 MOTTC is supported through charitable donations and fund-raising. MOTTC is not aligned with any single parish or benefactor. MOTTC has a working relationship with Haven for Hope, the Center for Health Care Services, and Our Lady of the Lake University, Oblate School of Theology, and the University of the Incarnate Word to name a few.  MOTTC raises funds primarily thorough two annual charitable events: a golf tournament in the spring and an Annual Appeal in the fall.


MOTTC welcomes ongoing donations to continue its evangelical ministry. The average cost of a retreat is approximately $8000. Retreat Directors are responsible for raising funds to support the overhead costs of their retreats.


MOTTC Outreach

From 1997-2014, MOTTC has provided over 100 retreats, reaching nearly 3200 persons in the criminal justice system. Over 1500 men and women from numerous parishes in the San Antonio archdiocese have offered their service to MOTTC.


I never thought that I would sit beside a convicted criminal and hear his story and recognize myself in his words and pain. MOTTC has opened my world beyond my parish ministry and broadened my view of how to serve my God.  T.J., Retreat team member.

"In my life, would I ever think I would be involved in this ministry - NO - in Law Enforcement for over 30 years, I spent my life placing people behind bars. The grace of God and His Love for me revealed His true purpose for the rest of my life - TO LOVE OTHERS as HE has LOVED me! "  First time MOTTC Team Member

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