Deacon Ken Perrett
I have been a Catholic since 1990 and was ordained a deacon in June 4, 2004. My wife and I became involved in prison ministry during Nathaniael and are part of a Sunday night non denominational faith sharing group at Stony Mountain's Rockwood Institution. We meet at 7pm, pray, sing four or five favourites, have a spiritual topic for discussion and end with amazing fellowship, more singing and prayers.
I have a small company that teaches First Aid/CPR and offer the institution at no cost a two day standard first aid course for inmates once a month. This may help them gain employment on their release among many other benefits as they journey towards rejoining their families. We also work with ex inmates in the community supporting them in getting started over again and finding jobs etc. We are part of MCC's Open Circle supporting their coffee house for offenders. Our church Holy Redeemer puts on four events a year for Open Circle which includes a UCOOK preChristmas dinner where the fellows and volunteers plan and prepare their own dinner. Fellows come from both the institution and beyond the walls. Lots of potato peeling, butter tart mixing and smiling take place along with music ministry, fellowship and fun. For some this is their only Christmas gathering.
We often individually take inmates on non security escorts, to their homes, church, school, meetings as part of their ongoing programing. Recently, my wife picked up an inmate and took him to the airport as he finished serving his sentence. He is someone we have been sharing faith with for the past several years and has been an inspiration to all who have met him. At the prison his job was chapel cleaner and he was referred to by fellow inmates as the "Deputy Minister". Although we will miss him, we celebrate with him as he goes home to rejoin his family. He with many others credit prison as saving their lives.
We also do the Communion service at HSC at least once a month (with my grandaughter), and the same for Kildonan Personal Care Home. I also have the privledge of doing the Homily at Mass from time to time. We are always looking for more volunteers, the opportunities are life giving, whether it be visiting someone who has no-one, taking part in organized support groups, or being someone who can offer a small glimemr of hope for people who are trying to turn their life around. Some of the fellows have no family or friends and will be held behind bars for a very long time.
If anyone is interested in writing a letter from time to time to a specific inmate we could co-ordinate this through the Deacons office, using first names and having our church as the address shown. Please call the Holy Redeemer office for more information on any or all of these opportunities or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for all,
Ken and Francine Perrett
Crime is a community affair.