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PASTORAL CARE FOR PRISONERS

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VISION

In the spirit of the Vision & Mission of the Diocese of San Jose, Nueva Ecija, the Commission on Prison Pastoral Care envisions to replicate and implement in context, the Thrusts and Integrated Pastoral Program of the Episcopal Commission on Prison pastoral. (see in the Mission & Programs below)

MISSION
      • Promote, organize and sustain the development of VIPS (Volunteers in Prison Service)
      • Sustain the advocacy of Restorative Justice, the abolition of death penalty, the adoption of a special juvenile justice system and other enlightened legislations that promote and serve the Christian values and attitudes towards offenders
      • Establish linkages and partnerships with groups, agencies and organizations involved in prison work
      • Adopt a sustained program for the Diocesan Commission on prison pastoral care’s staff & volunteers
ADMINISTRATION

Director: Msgr. Romeo Nietes, H.P.

BEGINNINGS

Bishop Leo Drona, SDB, D.D. has created the Commission on Prison Ministry and eventually appointed Fr. Ruben Ortiz as its Director until the time that Most Rev. Mylo Hubert C. Vergara, D.D. assumed as the third Bishop of San Jose, Nueva Ecija.

Fr. Ortiz could not take off the Ministry significantly due to financial & material constraints. But during his term, Fr. Nestor Romano, the Parish Priest of St. Joseph Cathedral has also involved actively his parish in the apostolate through regular weekly Eucharistic Celebration, singing practices, irregular formation inputs, follow-ups for speedy process and resolution of Inmates’ cases and even with corresponding financial support, etc. in the District Jail, San Jose City. At present, these practices are (sustained) continuously done by the new Parish Priest of the St. Joseph Cathedral, Fr. Cesar Vergara.

During the major reshuffle of Priests’ work assignments in 2006, Bishop Mylo appointed Rev. Fr. Remigio “Baby” Malgapo, the Parochial Vicar of the St. Joseph Cathedral as the new Director of the Commission. Immediately, Fr. Malgapo has started to plan and implement appropriate Programs and Services little by little with the help of Mr. Romeo Gohil from the Commission on Integral formation on a “Hiram basis”. He continues working of what has Fr. Bong Romano started with the emphasis on conducting Cursillo Seminars to all Inmates as his basic formation program for the Prisoners with the active partnership of the St. Joseph Cathedral. On May 17, 2013 Rev. Msgr. Romeo Nietes was appointed as the new director of this commission by His Excellency Most Rev. Roberto C. Mallari, D.D.

The name of the Commission is at present patterned after the name of the CBCP’s Episcopal Commission Prison Pastoral Care, to wit: “Diocesan Commission on Prison Pastoral Care.

ADMINISTRATION (Organizational Structure)

Aside from a Director, the Commission has 2 volunteer workers to help out in the planning and implementation of its Programs and Services with a minimum allowance. They are Mrs. Liza Villamante and Mrs. Josenia Garcia.

PASTORAL THRUST

A.) Desired Goals and Objectives

      1. Provision of relevant programs & services to Prison society especially the Prisoners
      2. Formation of Prisoners and organizing of their respective families
      3. Facilitation in the speedy resolution and decision of cases of prisoners
      4. Advocacy of Restorative Justice as against Retributive Justice
      5. Coordination with the National & Regional Offices of the Prison Pastoral Care and other agencies, institutions, etc. involved in Prison work

B.) Programs and Activites

      1. Worship & Liturgy - Administration of the sacraments: Eucharistic Celebration, bible services, individual/group rosary, provision of church paraphernalia and music.
      2. Formation/Education - Catechesis & religious instruction, Cursillo seminar, guidance & counseling, recollections, seminars, education inputs, resource collections, etc.
      3. Service – Legal assistance, socio-economic assistance, medical assistance, recreation & entertainment, regular celebration of Prison week, etc.
      4. Advocacy – Forum on Restorative Justice, follow-ups for the improvement of the physical conditions of detention center.
      5. Linkaging & Networking - attendance to Regional & National gatherings, Recruitment of VIPS (Volunteers in Prison Service), Tapping of local PAO (Public Attorney’s Office), etc.

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Account Number
1990063762
Account Name
The Roman Catholic Bishop of San Jose Nueva Ecija Inc.
BDO SAN JOSE BRANCH-MAHARLIKA HIGHWAY, SAN JOSE CITY, N.E