Report ICCPPC Oceania 2017


Oceania is newly established; geographically disparate, with very expensive internal travel costs coupled with adverse travel connections. Australia has only managed national Prison Chaplains gatherings over recent years which has provided an opportunity to introduce ICCPPC.


International Prison Chaplains Association Congress, 2015

A major benefit for our region was the IPCA Congress, 2015 as it provided the opportunity to meet with colleagues from the Oceania region, of which there were more than 100 chaplains of the 250 who attended.


Catholic Prison Chaplains Gathering 24 - 26 September 2015, Mary MacKillop Place, Sydney

The IPCA congress also provided the opportunity to dovetail a Catholic Prison Chaplains Gathering. There was a high participation rate and people came away refreshed and stimulated.


Strengthening relationships

2015 saw the beginning of strengthening relationships between Australian and New Zealand, a joint meeting provided a platform for progress in this area. We are seeking opportunities to continue this progress and also to reach out to the Pacific Islands.

New Zealand and Australia have a rapidly expanding prison population unrelated to an increasing crime rate. This is resulting in long lock downs, reduction in programmes reduced or cancelled church services and reduced access to chaplains.
The need to improve operations and drive down reoffending and to deliver better value for money for the taxpayer drives a push for privatisation of prisons. Preparing, training and on-going professional development for prison ministry are a priority. Engaging volunteers is a major challenge.


Jubilee for Prisoners, 6 November 2016

Australia and New Zealand took advantage of the Year of Mercy. In Australia the Australian Catholic Prisons Pastoral Care Council finalised a statement for Prisoners which was distributed via the network of Catholic Prison Chaplains through their direct pastoral relationships with prisoners, and their families. Also many Chaplains arranged for Bishops to celebrate Masses/Liturgies in prisons and/or parishes.

In New Zealand a prayer card was developed in conjunction with Caritas for every inmate and distributed by the Chaplains. Also an Adopt-a-Cell card was distributed at Masses throughout the country. Each Bishop thanked the chaplains and volunteers for their contribution to the ministry.

Peter Carroll MSC