LEAF (Listening, Encouraging, and Accompanying Families of the Incarcerated) is a resource and referral ministry that offers a community of compassion, caring, and support to families and loved ones of the incarcerated, irrespective of faith affiliation.  

LEAF began in the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland in 2014 and later expanded to Columbus.  While ARCH (Accompanying Returning Citizens with Hope) aims to minister to the needs of the formerly incarcerated (returning citizens), LEAF is focused on aiding the families and loved ones of these returning citizens.  

LEAF Ministry Provides

  • A resource referral ministry offering support
  • Comfort and fellowship as we bring together families and friends of the incarcerated
  • Our meetings and website offer resources and answers to address the difficulties you are experiencing
  • Through personal contact and a network of existing resources, we direct you to people, agencies and organizations that can help.
  • Meetings are confidential, and there is no cost to you.

All are welcome regardless of faith affiliation. Childcare may be available - depending on location. Please inquire for more information. 

The www.leafministry.org site is managed by the Cleveland Diocese and has compiled a vast array of valuable resources, information, and toolkits designed to assist families and those impacted by incarceration, like what do to in the "First Days"  as well as Coping Strategies and how to Strengthen Bonds and Create Connections for children with an incarcerated parent. 


Starting a LEAF Meeting in Central Ohio
ARCH has trainers available to help parishes that want to start a local LEAF group.

  • LEAF Introduction Letter- This letter describes what steps are needed to launch a LEAF program at your parish if you are part of the Catholic Diocese. This is for interested leaders in the parish.
  • LEAF Roles and Responsibilities - Descriptions about the LEAF model, including the role of the LEAF Parish Ministry Leader and the role of the Diocesan Representative for LEAF. This page also includes a signature page for the LEAF Parish Ministry Leader.

* We can also help other faith communities start a LEAF group if they are interested* 


For More Information
Please contact us at [email protected] and we will share information about meetings in your area.