Welcome to the challenge of Prison Ministry.
Prison Ministry at the Shrine grew out of a Just Matters Study Module, produced by Just Faith Ministries. These study modules present numerous social justice issues, in this case, prison Ministry and takes one through the demographics of prison inmates, social and economic causes of incarceration, recidivism rates, etc., and facilitates a pastoral response after each module is studied.
Catholic Services at South Bay House of Correction facilitates fifteen Liturgy of the Word with distribution of Holy Communion services and/or Mass on Sundays and High Holy Days, in two shifts: 8-11:30 a.m. and 12:30-2:30 p.m. We seek volunteers with collegiate education and experience in the fields of Roman Catholic Parish Ministry, Pastoral Studies and Theology.
Additionally, our volunteers are experienced – or in the process of becoming – Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion and Lectors. Prospective volunteers are members in good standing with their local parish, and can serve twice a month on Sundays through a one-year commitment or more if desired.
Our shared ministry is firmly rooted in Matthew 25.31-41 and pastorally guided by John 7:21-23. We invite those interested in volunteering or discerning a calling in prison ministry to first visit and experience our shared ministry. Thereafter, by expressing their interest by completing in detail a volunteer application package, which can be obtained from Br. Alan Blevins, the Catholic Chaplain at the House of Corrections.
Prospective volunteers will need to complete:
1) A Volunteer Application Package with a clear copy (front and back) of their driver’s license, identification and/or passport,
2) Successfully pass a Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) check and Background Investigation, and
3) Attend a Volunteer Orientation.
Most of the people at South Bay House of Corrections are there because of Drug and Alcohol abuse, Domestic Violence and Immigration issues guided by ICE ( Immigration and Customs Enforcement).
Unfortunately, many of these inmates are deported back to their country of origin even though they have been in the US for most of their lives, are raising families and have not engaged in criminal behavior. Many do not speak their native language. This act of deportation is inhumane and unjust according to the Social Teachings of the Catholic Community.
If you are interested in this challenging ministry, please contact Fr. Gene Pistacchio, ofm @ 617.542.6440 x121.
May God guide your discernment process.