PCGG originated from Faith Sharing Groups (CGG) being formed at St. Catherine Laboure Parish in Harrisburg, Pa., the Cursillo, and from a prior experience in visiting prisons in the Federal System. The first State Correctional Institution (SCI) to be visited was Camp Hill in August 1986.
OUR MISSION is to bring the love of Jesus Christ into every State (SCI) prison where we are welcomed, and into other facilities as the Lord directs us. There are over 51,000 incarcerated in twenty-six SCIs, and 1 motivational Boot Camp in PA. There is a tremendous need for a Catholic presence in these prisons so as to witness the reality in truth about our Catholic – Christian faith and clear up any misconceptions that may exist.
This is a Catholic Ministry, however we invite everyone regardless of religious affiliation and we do not dwell in theological discourse on our differences. We focus on the Love of Jesus Christ that all Christians have in common.
OUR SHARING FORMAT begins and ends with a prayer as to witness our oneness in Christ. A theme is set by selected readings from Scripture followed by a period of meditative music. Most of the remaining time is spent sharing in small groups.
When the larger group re-forms one or more spontaneous summaries are offered. The personal exchanges that follow often give even deeper insight to the lives and problems of the inmates. Those on the teams coming into the prison grow equally with inmates in the understanding of their faith as it is lived.
THE NORMS…Are what makes PCGG unique. Speaking for yourself and not giving advice, unless requested by someone in need of advice; Confidentiality; Sharing is not necessarily talking and does not require a response. One may choose not to speak out, that’s OK. Being there for each other is sharing; Sharing is not discussion. Discussion is from the head, sharing from the heart.