“I was in prison and you visited me.” – Matthew 25:36

From Maureen Lavely:
Last Spring I saw an announcement from the Massachusetts Council of Churches to join them and Refugee Immigration Ministries (RIM) for training to visit those being detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).  I applied and was accepted to attend RIM’s training. The instructors did a great job preparing us to visit detainees

Since I live in Boston, I asked to be placed in a facility close to my home.  My CORI passed and my request for permission to visit detainees at Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department (jail) on Bradston Street in Boston was approved.

Just getting there can be difficult but very rewarding.  My only language is English but I’m happy we visit as a team; I “go in” with two or three others and usually with someone that is fluent in Spanish.  Besides Spanish, we’ve encountered men who only speak French, Italian, or Chinese.  We introduce ourselves as being representatives of many people who care about them and their situation.   Our sole function is to be there because we care about them and are willing to listen to what is on their hearts.

Last Saturday I attended a Spiritual Care Giver’s retreat.  It was an opportunity to meet other folks doing this ministry, to share our experiences and ask questions.   Please note some additional information I brought back to share.

Blessings and peace,

Maureen Lavely

If you feel a call to this kind of ministry, please speak to Maureen. Here is the additional information she brought back to share with us:

A Symposium on Traumatic Issues Faced By Asylum Seekers
sponsored by Refugee Immigration Ministry
February 19th, 6:30 pm
At St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 26 Washington St., Malden
Suggested Donation: $20

Spiritual Care Givers Training
sponsored by Refugee Immigration Ministry
This series of training events is for those who are interested in participating in the ministry described above by Maureen. As she wrote, caregivers go in teams to visit persons held in local county jails.
Dates for the training are:  February 19, March 1, 8 and 15th.
There is an information sheet at church, and you can find out more by clicking here.