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Archbishop Christopher Prowse and Tony Stuart outside the Goulburn Correctional Facility (Catholic Voice)

Behind the high walls and iron bars, inspirational messages of hope and recovery emerged during Canberra-Goulburn Archbishop Christopher Prowse’s visit to the Goulburn Correctional Centre. Source: Catholic Voice. 

Accompanied on his December 14 visit by Catholic chaplain Tony Stuart, Archbishop Prowse’s prison outreach for Christmas included celebrating separate Masses in the maximum and minimum security sections and lunch with the facility’s Governor.

“I think it was a remarkable visit,” Mr Stuart said. “There were 70 people at the first Mass [today] when the last time the Archbishop was here, there were perhaps five.

“Things are really changing for the positive. The [inmates] are so grateful.”

Archbishop Prowse said it was important for him to visit the centre, especially at Christmas time, “to bring the closeness and the tenderness of the baby Jesus of Bethlehem here in what’s often perceived as a very tough environment”.

Referring to the importance of human dignity for those within the prison system, Archbishop Prowse said he was approached by inmates over the years who admitted they had done wrong but would say this didn’t necessarily mean they were bad people.

He said many shared their concerns over being separated from their partners and families, especially at times of the year such as Christmas.

“The prisoners, by and large, are very God-conscious, as I’ve found over the years,” Archbishop Prowse said.

“They’re very appreciative of the Mass and sacraments, confessions and anointing of the sick, particularly for those that are scarred with addictions of one sort or another.


‘Redemption in the darkness’ Archbishop visits Goulburn Correctional Centre (By Don Smith, Catholic Voice