HALLOWELL — All are welcome to learn more about prison ministry in the Diocese of Portland on Friday, June 9, at the annual Catholic prison ministry gathering in the hall of Sacred Heart Church on 7 Summer Street in Hallowell from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. A remote option will also be offered.

The event draws those who minister in Maine’s jails and prisons, others who minister to those returning to society, individuals who support families of incarcerated persons, and people who wish to discover ways in which they can help the ministry. Sponsored by the Parish Social Ministry program of Catholic Charities Maine, the gathering is an opportunity to connect with others in these ministries and to learn about the various aspects that flow from Jesus’ call to visit the imprisoned.

The theme for this year’s program is “Speak Up for Those Who Cannot Speak for Themselves,” a reference to Proverbs 31:8-9, and will include updates on federal and state legislative issues related to criminal justice, incarceration, re-entry, and recovery programs.

Participants will include Bishop Deeley and Christy Williams, the senior manager of Catholic Charities USA’s Social Policy and Government Affairs department. Updates will be offered on the latest developments from the Maine legislature as well as on Rose’s Room, a monthly, nonsectarian support group in Maine for those with a loved one in prison or jail that meets via Zoom.
“I hope that this gathering may be a step toward what Pope Francis called ‘A better kind of politics’ in his encyclical Fratelli tutti,” said Deacon Frank Daggett, director of Parish Social Ministry for Catholic Charities Maine. “Rather than coming at an issue from opposite partisan perspectives, we can approach a concern for members of our parishes and communities by bringing our Catholic principles to bear and enlighten civil discussion, simultaneously exercising our citizenship and our religious liberty.”
For more details or to learn about the remote option, send an email to Parish Social Ministry at psm@ccmaine.org. To learn more about prison ministry in the Diocese of Portland, including ways you can help, visit www.portlanddiocese.org/prison-ministry.