THE MISSION OF REC
It is the mission of REC to serve the Lord within our
diocese by encouraging the prison inmate population to become more active
Christians during and after their incarceration. Our service to the Lord is done primarily
through an intense 3 day program. The major theme for the experience is: to
know, love and serve the Lord and to die to self, to rise again in the Lord,
and to go forth together (The Paschal Mystery).
The basic techniques used emphasize personal and community growth. A community grows by developing its members
(not isolation) and by improving its environment (not avoidance.)
The REC Weekend.: A three (3) day retreat experience for
about 60 male residents conducted within
a New York State correctional facility by a team of 15 Catholic
volunteers. The weekend usually starts
on a Friday morning and ends on Sunday afternoon.
The Lay Director: A
volunteer chosen to organize and coordinate a specific REC weekend
REC Team: A group
of Catholic volunteers brought together for to form a team and work together to
prepare their talks that will be given on the weekend. They form the outside team. A group on inmates are selected to give talks
and are the inside team.
THE REC WEEKEND
Friday: John 12:24 “Unless the grain of wheat falls
to the ground and dies it remains but a seed…” This day is devoted to ‘dying to
self’ and changing. Talks are given by
both the outside team and the inside team.
In the evening there is a Paschal Vigil Service including the Sacrament
Saturday: John 12:24 “…if it dies it produces much
fruit…” This day starts with a talk on rising again with the Lord and how it is
rooted in Scriptures. Talks are given by
the outside team with a Liturgy followed by a Hootenanny. During the “Hoot” more outside volunteers
arrive. There is singing, a talk given
by a volunteer give a Peace Talk and the residents have an opportunity to
Sunday: Matt. 28:18-20
“As the Father has sent me so I send you…” The purpose of this day is to
encourage the residents to continue the process they started on Day One and to
continue trying even if they fail. They
are also encouraged to make a conscientious effort to bring Christ to others
and share by their example.
Monthly follow up meetings occur and some facilities have
The weekend will be from 8 am to 9 pm on Friday and
Saturday, and 8 am to 3 pm on Sunday.
Meetings prior to the Weekend for team formation. Dept. Of Correction application, orientation,
TB test are also required for new members.
Palanca: The act of praying and performing sacrifices
for the residents and writing Palanca Letters which are given to the
residents. Letters start with “Dear
Brother in Christ,” Your last name is not
given and least 60 letters are needed so that each resident receives one.
Hootenanny: The Saturday late afternoon activity where
outside volunteers arrive singing. A
faith sharing witness talk is given. The
residents are given a time to witness.
YOU CAN HELP BY:
work as a team member and music minister.
in the Hootenanny.
Palanca and writing palanca letters – English and Spanish are needed.
Supporting the REC program.