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 towards 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 a 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. 


Central Ohio LEAF Meetings & Locations

Sunbury, Ohio   

Meeting Schedule: 2nd Sunday of each month at 4:00 pm (Active)
Location: St. John Neumann Catholic Church, 9633 State Route 37, Sunbury, OH 43074- in the Faith and Family Center (classroom 9)
Fliers: Click here for the Sunbury meeting flier
RSVP/Questions: Chris - 740-833-6693 

Columbus, Ohio 

Meeting Schedule: 2nd Sunday of each month from 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm (First Meeting Begins March 10th)
Location: Corpus Christi Catholic Church, 1111 Stewart Ave. Columbus, OH 43206 (corner of Linwood Ave. and Stewart Ave.)
Fliers: Click here for the meeting flier
RSVP/Questions: Mary Ellen - [email protected] or Linda - [email protected] 

Cleveland, Ohio 

Meeting Schedule: There are multiple meetings in Cleveland, please visit www.leafministry.org 


Starting a LEAF Meeting in Central Ohio

ARCH has trainers available to help parishes who 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. 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.

For more information, please contact the Office for Social Concerns at [email protected] or call 614-241-2540. You may also ask to be placed on our contact list so you can be notified if additional LEAF locations are formed in the Central Ohio area.