Accompanying people in detention
Jesuit Father Richard Sotelo discusses the Jesuit Refugee Service mission of accompaniment, and how it has helped inspire him to minister to detainees at the federal detention center in El Paso, Texas, for 15 years. Fr Sotelo notes that the spiritual aspects of accompaniment flow both ways. The Jesuit Refugee Service USA chaplaincy programmes provide pastoral and religious assistance to meet the needs of non-citizens detained by the Department of Homeland Security in three US federal detention centres located in Texas, Arizona and New York. These programmes enable people of all faiths to have access to pastoral care within their faith tradition. During 2013, Jesuit Refugee Service USA chaplaincy programmes coordinated 1,339 religious services, 504 religious teachings, and 582 spiritual support sessions in which 50,566 detainees participated. The JRS USA chaplaincy staff spent nearly 1,071 hours of direct service offering religious services, religious teachings, and spiritual support. In addition, our chaplains spent 1,086 hours visiting detainees in special housing units as well as another 1,655 hours providing detainees with religious items, processing requests for religious diets. Volunteers played a significant role by giving more than 1,538 hours for religious services, religious teachings, and spiritual support. Learn more on our website: jrsusa.org/campaigns_focus?TN=PROMO-20100907030248.

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