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Friday, June 21, 2024
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A unique job, a mission and a tree change

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The Catholic Diocese of Bathurst is searching for a prison chaplain for inmates and staff at Wellington Correctional Centre. Photo: CNS photo/Tim Hunt, Northwest Indiana Catholic

The Catholic Diocese of Bathurst is searching for the right person to take up a rewarding role in central western New South Wales as a prison chaplain for inmates and staff at Wellington Correctional Centre.

The 600-bed maximum security facility 360kms from Sydney accommodates men and women from varied faith backgrounds among its inmates, and runs innovative rehabilitation programs which aim at getting them back on their feet in the community upon completing their sentence.

“Visiting prisoners is one of the corporal works of mercy and prison ministry is a significant part of the mission of the Church in our diocese,” said diocesan director of mission and renewal Deacon Josh Clayton.

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“Our dedicated team of prison chaplains bring Jesus to those who have committed crimes and made mistakes, and I’m often reminded that any one of us can make a mistake that leads to us being in the same situation.

“They work closely with chaplains from other denominations and faiths and regularly make a substantial difference in the lives of more than 1,700 men and women who are imprisoned in our region.”

With house prices and the pace of life only increasing, Deacon Josh thinks that the current vacancy at Wellington may be an ideal tree-change opportunity for city-dwelling Catholics with a commitment to some of society’s most vulnerable and stigmatised people.

The chaplain provides pastoral ministry leading worship and facilitating prayer as well as related responsibilities, and the role requires a degree or diploma in theology, pastoral experience (which may include life experience), demonstrable communication skills and a clear understanding of the role and responsibilities of chaplaincy.

Wellington’s next chaplain will join a small team which is passionate about its mission, including Fran Schubert who is based at the neighbouring Macquarie Correctional Centre, and who hopes to be “God’s presence for those who need me the most”.

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