What Is A Pen Pal Ministry?

A group of volunteers have expressed an interest in corresponding with someone in prison.

A ministry you can engage in without leaving your home, and at your own convenience.

An exchange of friendly letters provides a diversion from the endless grind of prison life.

A way of reaching out with compassion to those on the margins of society and are disconnected from the outside world.

Pen Pal Ministry will make contact and discuss guidelines for correspondence and how to address correspondence to an assigned Pen Pal.

Down Load Pen Pal Brochure

NACC & CPMC – Pathways of Formation

The National Association of Catholic Chaplains and the Catholic Prison Ministry Coalition program called Pathways of Formation is for those who want to train to minister to those affected by incarceration in our prisons and jails.

  • Foundational is for those who wish to become involved in supporting pastoral care to
    those affected by incarceration.
  • Intensive is for para-professional who commit to further a wider ministry to those
    incarcerated and strengthen their gift of service in prison, re-entry and community.
  • Leadership is for those committed to be responsible for assuring that all elements of
    pastoral care are addressed as a Diocesan Coordinator of Prison Ministry.

The Foundational is the basic program and covers all the training needed to work in a prison and reentry ministry with the appropriate tools to provide the services the men and women need. The preparation is grounded in three dimensions of formation ministry enough to begin to discern the call to pastoral care in prison ministry:

  • Academic Preparation: 16 hours of formation using CPMC Prison Ministry 101 with
    accompanying reflection booklets.
  • Clinical Preparation: 8 hours of reflection with an assigned mentor or supervisor to
    review reflection questions from the webinars and process experiences in jails and
    prisons etc.
  • Ministry Experience: 6 hours of mentoring in multiple settings aimed to help discern the
    understanding and comfort level for prison ministry.

Information Contact: Louis Slapshak (obkministry2@gmail.ocm) (618-234-8334)

OBK Volunteer Positions Open

OBK continues to search for lay volunteers who have specific gifts that would mesh with the needs of our returning citizens. The following positions are open and OBK would welcome all who have the desire and ability to work with our returning citizens. The following positions are for review:

  • INTAKE Specialists and INTAKE Aide Specialists
    • Conduct INTAKE of new clients with emphasis on background information and
      to discern the client’s situation, needs and develop potential solutions.
  • OBK Educators and Returning Citizens-Sharing Their Stories.
    • Assist clients to recover from Traumas and work to recognize and treat Literacy
      deficiencies, mental health and other substance abuse patterns.
  • OBK Clothing Manager
    • Secure and maintain a small inventory of seasonally appropriate women’s and
      men’s clothing. This would also include securing and packaging hygiene kits.
  • OBK Housing Manager
    • Oversee the OBK housing needs and find the right housing based on limited client
      funds and restrictions on where they can live.
  • OBK Client Reviewers
    • Conduct periodic client reviews in person or by telephone and takes extensive
      notes on the clients past history and progress made on his short and long term

OBK Volunteer Contact: Mike Schuette, 618-271-7821 (obkpmschuette.@gmail.com)

OBK Volunteer Service Needs

OBK is searching for a variety of lay volunteers with specific gifts that could dove-tail into the needs of OBK to continue to provide reentry services to their clients. There is a continuing need for services as requested by parole, probation and half-way houses for classes in Life Skills (Behavioral, Morals, Ethics, Integrity and; Faith) and also Job Skills (Job Resume’, Job Searching and Applications, Interview Skills and Money Management Skills). If you have interest in serving in some areas of these needs we would provide the training required and also provide a flexible work schedule arrangement. If interested or to visit the reentry center, contact the OBK Program Director, Mike Schuette (618-271-7821) or by email (obkpmschuette@gmail.com).

OBK Reentry Center – Continuing New Challenges 2021

The OBK Reentry Services Center continues to grow with the need for more staff and lay volunteers so that the Multi-Step Reintegration Process can be fully implemented. This includes (1) INTAKE and Relationship Building, (2) Resource Assessment of Needs, and (3) Goal Development. OBK has developed sophisticated digital computer software for the INTAKE process that allows for tracking of the clients progress in relation to their service needs as they are working to meet their short and long term goals. This computer tracking provides documentation at their 3, 6, and 9 month review periods and continue up to one year. This also allow OBK to provide documents that they are providing those services in a timely manner that the client needs for a successful transition back to their family and community.