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A Prison Chaplaincy Manual cover


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Keywords:

prison chaplaincy, correctional chaplaincy, prison workers, correctional work, faith support, chaplaincy at work, clergy resources

A Prison Chaplaincy Manual
The Canadian Context by Donald Stoesz and Hank Dixon




The manual provides a rationale for chaplaincy by using Winnifred Sullivan's three categories of religious secularism, irreligious secularism, and areligious secularism to outline the essential and transforming value of spiritual care services (preface, introduction). The manual provides a history of justice initiatives and chaplaincy services in a Canadian context (chapters one and two). The manual provides a rationale for spiritual care-giver training by showing how chaplaincy courses at a university level can build on the competencies of leadership and core knowledge that many ministers, rabbis, imams, priests, nuns, and other faith group representatives have. Emotional intelligence, professional practice skills, and diversity are additional competencies needed for spiritual care-givers to become effective prison chaplains (chapters three to six).

Six principles shape the content of this book: (1) integration of chaplaincy into corrections (chapters three to six) (2) understanding of prison dynamics (chapters seven to ten), (3) complementary use of sociology and psychology (chapters eleven to fourteen), (4) provision of faith formation, rites and rituals, programs, pastoral care, and a ministry of presence (chapters fifteen to eighteen), (5) ecumenical and multi-faith religious accommodation (chapters nineteen to twenty-one) and (6) professional development (chapters twenty-four and twenty-five).

The manual concludes with a statement of best practices by Dr. Thomas Beckner, long-time chaplaincy educator (Correctional Chaplains: Keepers of the Cloak, p. 24). "Chaplains are to have highly polished counselling skills, strong management and facilitation abilities, a working knowledge of various faith group requirements . . . and a strong commitment to serve all residents of the institution regardless of their faith identity or lack thereof."


Don’s comprehensive, balanced, and compassionate work is a piece of the puzzle that has been missing in prison chaplaincy. The bibliography itself stands as a rich resource for anyone venturing into this world. Terry Richardson, Former Director General Chaplaincy (2003-2010), Correctional Service Canada, Lutheran parish pastor

Chaplain Stoesz combines more than thirty years of chaplaincy experience with a broad base of research to provide an accurate assessment and excellent manual for those called to this specialized ministry. Dr. Thomas Beckner, author of Correctional Chaplains: Keepers of the Cloak

With the diverse cultural/spiritual/religious traditions, it is imperative for Chaplains to be aware of procedures to adequately assist offenders. This manual should be considered a 'must read.' Fr. Joe Ostopowich, Ukrainian-Greek Orthodox Catholic Priest and Chaplain

The five paradigms of chaplaincy competencies discussed in Chapter Three are especially important in the training of chaplains. Teresa Kellendonk, Department Head, Pastoral and Parish Services, The Catholic Archdicese of Edmonton, Alberta

Chaplains, administrators, and faith community leaders require common ground from which they can create a meaningful understanding of prison ministry. This Manual provides a good understanding of how chaplaincy works in our secular age. Bernie Mullins, Chaplaincy Coordinator, Manitoba Community Safety Division


Donald Stoesz is an ordained Mennonite minister who has worked for over thirty years as a Protestant/site-based chaplain in federal correction facilities in Quebec and Alberta. His years of experience at all levels of security, with a diverse religious population of offenders, and as community reintegration chaplain have provided, together with Hank Dixon, the wherewithal of resources to write such a book.

Stoesz' previous works include a series of one hundred pastoral vignettes (Glimpses of Grace: Reflections of a Prison Chaplain, Friesen Press, 2010), and a theology of prison ministry (Magic of Fiction in Illuminating Transformation, Friesen Press, 2020). Stoesz has recently developed an on-line prison chaplaincy course for Ambrose University, Calgary, Alberta.

Hank Dixon is in the process of writing a book entitled, Reflections on Prison Chaplaincy: A Lifer's Journey. He works as Program Director at Initiatives for Just Communities - Open Circle in Manitoba.


Contributors

Author
Donald Stoesz
Author
Hank Dixon
Editor
John Williams

What People are Saying


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