A Chaplain Experience

group picture of inmates, corrections officers and chaplain in Finding the Way program

What a wonderful and great experience it has been to help and assist our incarcerated brothers and sisters during the past few years of service at the South Facility.

Tears, smiles, thanks to God and to us for having been there for them in their struggles. As a chaplain, every day is a new experience, especially during the pandemic. Our approach to helping them due to Covid 19 had to change. We did not have meetings of 30, 40, and sometimes even 60 persons, but we were present and that meant a lot to them.

Instead of decreasing our jail services, we increased them more than we expected. We implemented our Finding the Way in Jail program by mail. Hundreds of men and women responded to the program with questions, prayers, and thanks for the service.

Because their families had no contact with them, we also implemented our A Path to Wholeness program for the families of the Incarcerated. With so many letters to answer, we had to invite more volunteers to help us with the "good problem" on our hands.

Finding the Way by mail has increased more than 200%, not only for our incarcerated brothers but also for their families. Two weeks ago, just before I left the south facility, a man waves to me and says, “Chaplain, I received my certificate of completion by mail, just one day before I was due to go to court. I showed it to the judge and thanks to that, I would leave the jail and go to a rehabilitation program. Thank you so much". This is one of the many great experiences we witness every day where we see how God works through these great opportunities. Thank you also for the CCHD grant.

We are convinced that restorative justice must reach more men, women, and whole families to change souls, minds, and spirits. May God bless you all and bless us all.

Deacon Fermín Gómez

Chaplain and Facilitator of the Finding the Way to Restorative Justice program at the South facility.

The picture above is a group of men showing their certificates of completion, corrections officers, and chaplains from the Finding the Way Program. 

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