Prison Ministry

Wherever there is someone hungry, a foreigner, a sick person, a prisoner, there is Christ himself, who is waiting for our visit and our help.— Benedict XVI, December 18, 2011

The Chaplaincy Office at the State Institutions provides services for inmates of the Adult Correctional Institutions, Rhode Island Training School, Wyatt Detention Center and patients of Eleanor Slater Hospital. Priests offer weekly Mass and communion services, hear confessions, administer the sacraments for inmates and patients of these facilities, and assist in maintaining the presence of the Catholic Church in these state institutions for residents, families, and staff. The program is supported by a team of dedicated deacons, lay chaplains and volunteers

Pastoral Care
The Church ministers to the whole person, understanding that we are all God’s children – valued, special, and worthwhile – and therefore should treat ourselves and each other with respect and dignity. The Chaplaincy Office provides spiritual support to all inmates through religious services, bible study, prayer groups, and one-on-one pastoral counseling. Additionally, when there is a loss to the loved one of an inmate, we ensure that the notification is delivered in a timely and pastoral manner. We also provide grief counseling to inmates that are having a difficult time with their loss. Sometimes it is simply a ministry of presence.

Volunteers Needed
If you would like to assist at religious services inside the prison (inmate contact) or provide light clerical support to the Chaplaincy Office (no inmate contact), please contact the office for additional information. Volunteers are trained, supervised and supported in their ministry by the members of the Catholic Chaplaincy Team listed above. Volunteers not only assist inmates in meeting their social and spiritual needs, but may also serve as advocates after their release, should the volunteer wish.

Examples of Volunteer Activities

  • Become a Eucharistic Minister
  • Lead in singing or choir
  • Monitor legislation regarding issues related to inmates
  • Donate bibles, greeting & holiday cards
  • Become a mentor
  • Help with finding jobs for those who are to be released
  • Doing office work (e.g. typing a newsletter or help with mailings )
  • Participate in letter exchange

Interested? For more information, please contact:
Martha Paone, Catholic Chaplaincy Coordinator RI Department of Corrections
Martha.Paone@doc.ri.gov

Catholic Chaplaincy Services at State Institutions
ACI – DIX Building
Wilma Slesger Road (2nd floor)
Cranston, RI 02920
401.462.5238 (ACI)
401.421.7833 (Diocese)