WATERVILLE — Those engaged in or simply interested in all aspects of ministries to the incarcerated are invited to attend a special Prison Ministry program on Friday, June 10, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Notre Dame Church (112 Silver Street in Waterville). The program will be livestreamed for remote participation as well. Joe Cotton of the Archdiocese of Seattle and the Catholic Prison Ministries Coalition will serve as the main presenter and topics will include prayer in prison and the ongoing formation of those who minister to those impacted by incarceration. Members of St Thérèse of Lisieux Parish in Sanford will also share about ministries to the incarcerated and their families. The day is planned to be prayerful, informative, and both socially and spiritually refreshing. Lunch is included. Those interested in attending are asked to contact Catholic Charities Maine’s Parish Social Ministry at psm@ccmaine.org or (207) 781-8550.

Though access has been intermittent due to the pandemic, over the last decade, more than 125 parishioners across Maine have worked with inmates at Maine’s correctional facilities, responding to Jesus’ call to visit the imprisoned and helping them understand the riches of redemption God has intended for all. Funded by the Catholic Appeal, Prison 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.

Parishioners participate in a variety of ways, including on parish prison ministry teams that meet with inmates for faith sharing opportunities at county jails or prisons; in prayer groups that pray for those who are incarcerated, their journey towards healing and wholeness, their communities, and for the victims and others affected by their crimes; as advocates who talk and write to legislators about supporting policies that uplift the dignity of the human person for those who are or were incarcerated; and as donors of religious materials.

 “Our mission is, by our very presence, to bring the love of God to those we serve,” said Bishop Robert Deeley. “In these cases, it is people who oftentimes feel unworthy. The presence of parishioners helps them to know of their worth and of their importance to us in the Church.”

If you are interested in becoming involved or supporting the work of those who are, contact Catholic Charities Maine’s Parish Social Ministry at 207-523-2772 or psm@ccmaine.org. For more information about the ministry, visit www.portlanddiocese.org/ministries/prison-ministry.