• image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
Wednesday, 05 October 2011 16:58

Offering a journey of reconnection

Rate this item
(0 votes)

As a Catholic Chaplain in one of our prisons in Western Australia for a number of years, I am aware of the plurality of Christian and non Christian religions represented both in the wider community and the prison environment. I endeavour to operate in close cooperation with ministers and religious visitors from other denominations. I am aware of the constrictions of age, and social control, which exists in prisons, yet I wish to make myself available to all who wish to respond and confide in me.

As a representative of the Catholic Church, I affirm by word and deed the power of the Spirit, the power greater than myself, to heal the wounds. Recognising that relations are the key to both social and religious wholeness, my ministry is to show that Jesus is present, by friendship and then hopefully healing and wholeness.

I also see my ministry as one of:

Affirming people in a Christ-like manner, providing them with the opportunity to grow in self-knowledge and spiritual awareness.

Extending an unconditional acceptance of them, so that there is an opportunity for healing fractured relationships, with family and those affected by their actions.

Offering a journey of reconnection for those who feel shame and alienation from family and mainstream society, by creating links whilst they are in prison and ongoing support in their initial attempt to integrate in society after their release from prison, using Church net-works.

Providing appropriate Church services at regular intervals for all who wish to attend in order that they can express their faith in a communal way, receive affirmation from one another, and on those occasions when events such as sudden death, impact heavily on clients.

A spiritual journey that is both relational and communitarian, affirming the role of other professionals such as Psychologists, Counsellors, Medical staff and Prison officers in the pastoral field and strive for a harmonious and cooperative relationship with them for the ultimate benefit of the clients. I see it as being very important that I walk on a communal search with these people in the process of seeking, questioning and eventually finding satisfactory answers to their needs.

I am always available for Prison management staff, who may feel the need for chaplaincy services.