One of the first works of our congregation was prison ministry. This was in Kilmainham Prison in Dublin, and today we continue this tradition of prison ministry in all our provinces and regions.
Prison ministry in Ireland involves:
- prison visiting, providing a listening ear and assurance that the person is valued and respected
- links with and care of the families of prisoners
- preparation of Sunday liturgy in the prisons, preparation of prisoners for the sacraments, Bible studies for prisoners
- counselling for prisoners and those leaving prison
- after-care of ex-prisoners
- seeking and promoting the human rights of prisoners, locally, nationally and internationally and advocacy on behalf of prisoners with lawyers, police, courts and government ministries
- work with Amnesty International
- victim/offender mediation on the pre-sentencing model, which is part of the process of restorative justice being piloted by the Department of Justice
Contact can be made through the prison chaplaincy service, but we also find that we meet other visitors in the waiting room, and this gives us an opportunity to talk to them and let them share their struggles and hopes.