PORTLAND — Whether you are just curious about prison ministry, have served or currently serve in the ministry or have an interest in getting involved, a special virtual gathering on Thursday, June 17, may be for you.

The virtual gathering will be held from 7-8 p.m. and will include Bishop Robert Deeley as well as featured speaker Fr. Dustin Feddon of the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee, Florida. Fr. Dustin is an experienced chaplain at a Florida state prison and executive director of Joseph House, which serves people re-entering the community. He is also pastor of two Florida parishes and a speaker for the Catholic Prison Ministries Coalition. If you wish to attend, email Deacon Frank Daggett, director of Catholic Charities Maine’s Parish Social Ministry, at fdaggett@ccmaine.org.  

“There will be time for questions and discussion,” said Deacon Daggett. “In addition, we’ll have an update on prison and reentry ministries in Maine. Anyone interested in any aspect of the ministry is encouraged to participate on June 17.”

Funded in part by the Catholic Appeal, prison ministry provides care and counsel to Maine prison inmates and their families, helping them to discover God’s merciful presence, love, and forgiveness. Parish Social Ministry supports the work of jail and prison ministries from parishes across the diocese. Each month, more than 125 parishioners journey to over 600 inmates in Maine’s correctional facilities. These parishioners are responding to Christ’s call to visit the imprisoned (Matthew 25:36) and are helping them to understand and enjoy more fully the riches of redemption God has intended for us all.

“This rewarding ministry helps bring Jesus’ embodiment of unconditional love and true forgiveness to those who often find themselves cast aside by society and living a life without much hope,” said Deacon Daggett.

There are many ways to help with prison ministry, including:

  • participation on a parish prison ministry team;
  • meeting with inmates for faith sharing opportunities at your county jail or a state prison;
  • writing letters to inmates, many of whom receive no mail at all;
  • forming or joining a prayer group to pray for those who are incarcerated, their journey towards healing and wholeness, their communities, and the victims and others affected by their crimes;
  • advocate by talking or writing to legislators about supporting policies that uplift the dignity of the human person for those who are or were incarcerated, including policies involving sentencing and restorative justice;
  • prayerfully gathering to support family and friends of those incarcerated or those who have returned to living in our communities; and
  • donating religious materials.

For more information about what is being done in your parish community or what opportunities exist for volunteering, please contact Catholic Charities Parish Social Ministry at psm@ccmaine.org or 207-523-2772.