Executive Board meeting Delhi 2014

Board meeting Delhi 2014

Present: Brian Gowans, Jacky Atabong, Peter Carroll, Jorge Garcia Cuerva, Sebastian Vadakumpadan, Ted Hughes and Ryan van Eijk.

Absent: Sebastian Vadakumpadan (on Friday), Peter Kimani Ndungu and mgr. Malachy Keegan.



Brian welcomes all and adds that our main focus of this meeting should be preparing the congress in Panama and Fundraising issues. He received an invitation letter of the Archbishop of Panama who has been responding fast on mails.

Sebastian says a word of welcome and presents the proposed time schedule. At the end it is agreed to visit Taj Mahal and travel from there to the National Conference of the Indian Prison Ministry where we will join the Opening Day in Faridabad, after which we travel back to Delhi to continue our own meeting.



We discuss the question "What is ICCPPC?" because of the fundraising. The proposal as presented is not realistic. We need to convince donators that we are useful to them. So why is it useful to support ICCPPC? It brings us to an exchange of ICCPPC benefits. Benefits are:

  • Cooperation puts prison chaplaincy on the agenda of national and regional bishop(s') conferences
  • ICCPPC gives status which makes it possible to have an entry in countries
  • ICCPPC informs and motivates for it is eye opening on issues and best practices
  • There is prove that even prison government benefits from ICCPPC.

We should have a programme to make clear who and what we are. Elements of this programme are:

  • basic human rights for prisoners (International Minimum Standard Rules)
  • and working for Restorative justice, by lobbying for IMS and banning the death penalty, implementing prisoners' rights, training of prison chaplains, exchanging information.


Networking by our website is important. Sharing news and documents, initiatives. A list of contacts of all representatives should also be available.

Regional representatives will be the collector of information and will screen the contributions before it goes on line for not all can be published on the web site (because of security matters etc.). They will have a blog to put regional news etc. on line.

Wish: a web site for donations, and prayer intentions, tweets of pope on prisoners; prize giving ceremonies on web site.



The Reports of the President, Vice-President and Secretary-General are presented.

Europe has no report because it was difficult in the recent period. Malachy took over from Marc but for a long time the situation was unclear concerning the question who was functioning as coordinator. Malachy is currently no prison chaplain anymore and declared he wants to be available as trainer only. There will be a meeting in Vienna and they who are present there will elect a new representative. Gerard Loman will be attending that meeting to take care of it. At the same time there are all kinds of initiatives going on. Gerard is not part of the world board, but is an advisor.

Jacky has increased contacts within Africa.


During the morning session bishop P. Remigius, official inviter and president of J&P India, visits our meeting. Asked about the ICCPPC relevance he says that ICCPPC is important in motivating and informing people. It broadens what is happening and what is possible.



We have no report from the treasurer but we need funding for the congress. It opens discussion on costs and who is responsible for what. Until now ICCPPC was responsible and guaranteed certain expenses (reservation of accommodation). What we spend should also come in. People/countries have to be invited to pay their membership fee. The fee is 125 euro a year, so 500 in 4 years. It has to be clear who is a member.


World congress

Then there is a discussion on the next xiv world congress: Latin America is invited to suggest the central theme. The proposal is to take something from Evangelii Gaudium.

We have the invitation letter of the Archbishop of Panama City; his auxiliary bishop will be contact person, next to Pedro Hughes (Celam) and Jorge. There should also be an invitation letter of the host country/bishops' conference.

Panama is a good choice; it has good accommodation and is political stable and secure. Suggested is a week in October 2016 and to start/end in a midweek, for that makes flights cheaper.

Information about travelling, visa requirements, health issues, climate etc. should be collected and made available.

After receiving the lists of countries the missing ones should be contacted.

Suggested themes for the programme: overcrowding, capital punishment, human trafficking etc.

Which (inter)national VIPs/officials will be there? A protocol is needed.

Next to the official programme there should be an entertaining break in the programme.

Important is to organise local volunteers and local prison chaplaincy for "boots on the ground" and to solve logistic questions etc.

Next to accommodation (plenary room, workshop rooms, sleeping, meals (diets!), water, micro's, communication facilities (Wi-Fi and beamer, fax, cell phone etc.), and medical facilities) look at costs of key speakers (f.i. Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Opcat people), translation (Spanish into FR and EN and vice versa), meeting goodies (like pen, paper etc.). In case translation is not realistic to realise we can work in language groups.

In former congresses there was sponsorship which was possible for those who could not afford to make the trip; ICCPPC and the local responsible took care as mediator for this.

Plan B: there should be an alternative location if Panama is not possible.

Jacky will send her paper to SG, and Gerard's expertise will be asked.

Asked why a world congress is needed: there is a positive impact on national/regional prison chaplaincy, it motivates, exchange of best practices, expression of being a universal church.

There should go a letter to Panama and P. Hughes with the most important aspects: accommodation 150-200 people, availability of volunteers, translators(facilities). It is important that Panama's Bishops' Conference invites us and not only the Archbishop.

There should an announcement letter be send to all Bishops' Conferences to send the national head chaplain to the world congress.

Hughes will be asked to be the mediator/initiator to arrange a meeting in Panama in Jan/Feb '15 to discuss the details and wishes we have. Jorge, Brian and/or Jacky will go to Panama.

Until now we have paid those who couldn't pay. Brian will have a meeting with a donator organisation; Ryan will contact Gerard about funding ideas and contacts. Question is whether the countries (BC) are not themselves responsible to do this. Card. Stella will be asked by Brian to send a letter on this: to appoint resp. send the head chaplain. There are countries where the PCy is not organised/structured yet. Well known theologian would be good as a key speaker.

Voting will be possible only after paying the registration (125 euro a year). Invoices should be send yearly (125 euro).

A mailing will be send to the national and regional BC and the J&P Comm with an introduction annex donation letter (including our recent brochures). Addresses will be asked in the Vatican.


65 years ICCPPC

In 2015 ICCPPC will exist 65 years. It is an opportunity to reflect and publish on our history, our wishes for the future and on the theology of prison chaplaincy. Gerard will be asked to be a kind of chief editor. Johann Linden will be contacted to share the theological material he collected already. Focus: Theological Reflection on activities of PM. Social figures and legal facts could be used to ground the theological reflection.


Art contest

Brian will send the posters and the other relevant information like the awards etc.. Everybody is asked to promote the contest. Fund raising for new catalogue is necessary.

The received paintings will be valued/priced by people who have expertise on this. After looking at the financial and organizational consequences (taxes, income, shipping) steps will be made to put them for sale. May be prison museums are interested in this art? Marc Helfer has still 40 paintings. Someone has to go to Strasbourg to collect them.




It seems wise to make arrangements concerning our representation in other organisations.

IPCA is an association of individuals so in a certain way it is unnecessary to represent ICCPPC there. At the same time it is now a UN-NGO and a partner in lobbying; contact about cooperation to the future should be started. There is an official seat for a ICCPPC representative on their board. IPCA will be informed that Gerard left our board. He will be contacted to see what his presence there meant.

Peter Carroll informs us about the IPCA worldwide meeting planned in Australia next year. He directs us for further information to the website. He will be our liaison man for the congress in Australia. Catholic prison chaplaincy in Australia uses the congress to organise also a national conference. It would be an opportunity to have our next meeting there?


UN New York: a representative there seems not necessary, though S. van Balen will be contacted by Brian about this.

UN Vienna: UNODC, we are known/represented there very well for M. Platzer and Chr. Kuhn have built a network there for ICCPPC.

UN Geneva: this will be decided in the Europe meeting in Vienne these days. Probably M. Schmitz (Germany) will do it.

Vienna meetings have been paid from private money, not from ICCPPC.


The relationship in general improved the last years. A lot depends on the persons. The contacts and experiences vary.


Certification Training programmes

The several training programmes which are offered should be send to the SG with the purpose to be shared. Then everybody can know about them and make use of the offered trainings.


Justice Reflections

We have to inform them about the changes. We can improve it ourselves by our contributions. The work of the current editors and the quality of the current articles is not discussed though there is concern.



Sebastian informs us about PMI. It does not accept foreign donations; it is funded by the second collection on prisoners' Sunday which is held yearly.