Bishop Jaime Soto, left, made a surprise visit to CMF to help celebrate the 25th year of priesthood for Father Amah Pius, CMF's Catholic Chaplain.

Bishop Jaime Soto, left, made a surprise visit to CMF to help celebrate the 25th year of priesthood for Father Amah Pius, CMF’s Catholic Chaplain.

Bishop Soto celebrates anniversary with Father Amah Pius

By Landon Bravo, Community Resources Manager
California Medical Facility

Bishop Soto offers communion to an inmate at CMF.

Bishop Soto offers communion to an inmate at CMF.

Father Amah Pius transferred to the California Medical Facility in December 2013 from recommendation and support of Jaime Soto, the Northern California Catholic Bishop.

Father Pius began his state civil service career with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation on Aug. 1, 2012, in the high security mission as a Catholic Chaplain at High Desert State Prison.

Bishop Soto recognized Father Pius had a unique background and demonstrated a passion for working with elderly inmates and providing the spiritual guidance to a diverse medical and mental health population.

Father Pius began his Chaplaincy work decades ago while working for the military in Nigeria providing pastoral services and counseling.  His career outside of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation encompasses working in three different countries.

As the CMF Chaplain, he has initiated and expanded religious programs such as the Kairos prison retreat, detention ministry outreach, rosaries, masses and several ceremonial enhancements during religious holidays. These programs have heightened the educational, social, cultural, and recreational interests of participating inmates assisting in reintegration, according to those involved.

August 2015 memorializes his 25 years of service within the priesthood and Catholic Chaplaincy.

On Sunday, Aug. 9, Bishop Soto made a surprise visit to CMF and conducted Catholic mass with Father Pius. During the religious service, Bishop Soto congratulated Father Pius on his 25 years of service. The church service was attended by all able and willing inmate participants.

Father Amah Pius blesses an inmate at CMF.

Father Amah Pius blesses an inmate at CMF.