Workshop Level: Intermediate
Rev. George Williams SJ PhD
San Quentin State Prison
San Francisco, CA
Rev. Dustin Feddon PhD
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church
This formation training program is offered in collaboration with the Catholic Prison Ministry Coalition.
An introduction to prison pastoral care ministry, focusing on the spiritual, pastoral care, and skill/knowledge formation needed for this ministry. It will include one’s own discernment for this ministry, an emphasis on the unique spiritual, psycho-social, and ministerial needs of the incarcerated, and the diverse relationships that need to be nurtured. This 6-hour program will provide foundational knowledge and the practical tools needed for successful prison ministry in order to form the next generation of professional prison chaplains.
As a result of this program, participants will:
- Be introduced to prison ministry with an emphasis one’s own discernment for this ministry, as well as the unique spiritual, psycho-social and ministerial needs of the incarcerated.
- Learn core knowledge and practical tools needed for successful prison ministry.
- Consider joining and inviting others to join the next generation of professional prison chaplains.
Session One Pray - Spiritual Formation I
What goes into the initial discernment for this ministry? This addresses the question of what one considers when thinking about pastoral care in jail and prison ministry and the importance of one’s own spirituality as grounding for this ministry.
Session Two Pray - Spiritual Formation II
What is one’s motives for this ministry? This explores the roots of this ministry in the Catholic tradition, and the relational nature of this ministry.
Session Three Listen - Pastoral Care Formation I
How is one pastorally present to the incarcerated? How does one accompany the incarcerated? This addresses the realities of sin/human brokenness, forgiveness/reconciliation/mercy, grief/bereavement, empathic listening, awareness of one’s own biases/resistances.
Session Four Listen - Pastoral Care Formation II
How is one representative of the Church’s Social Teaching? This grounds one’s ministry in the Church’s teaching on human dignity, social and restorative justice, evangelization, recognizing racism, empowering people, collaborative ministry.
Session Five Love – Skill/Knowledge Formation I
What do I need to be aware of and prepared for to serve in these settings? This addresses the importance of knowing/keeping boundaries, understanding prisoners’ characteristics/motivations, understanding issues related to substance abuse, safety, having a situational awareness of types/levels of jails and prisons.
Session Six Love – Skill/Knowledge Formation II
How do I navigate and work within the system? This final session explores a variety of pastoral do’s and don’ts in diverse relationships with others, from relating to those of other faiths to developing the faith community, from working with prison staff to relating to families of incarcerated and working with ex-prisoners.
CLICK HERE to access the list of presentation materials for this workshop.