Providing emotional and spiritual support to prisoners
The South Eastern Region is involved in a program that is operated by the Catholic Prison Ministry in Victoria. Prison Chaplains visit men and women in every prison and correctional centre in Victoria, offering emotional, spiritual and sacramental support. During prison visitation, Chaplains listen, connect, endeavour to understand and comfort people who may otherwise feel lost or abandoned and can also provide support to prisoners’ family members and/or significant people in their lives.
Members of the South Eastern Region participate in this ministry accompanying the Chaplains. It involves attending Mass with prisoners, sharing a cup of coffee and spending time with them individually. Members report that very often the prisoners “open up” about their situation as they see in the member someone “safe” with whom they can confide. They say that once you are accepted by an inmate the battle is half won because then they are more apt to listen to what you have to say and accept you as a friend, and in so doing learns to accept himself as a valuable human being. Getting the inmate to realize that not everyone “on the outside” has rejected them plays a major role in learning to know and relate to him.
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