Our Mission

The Charis Prison Ministry is based on the Cursillo method, which is a short course in Christianity. A team of trained volunteers enters the prison to put on this three day Christian retreat. Following the retreat, the team returns to each prison for a monthly follow-up.

The weekend encourages each participant to permanently transform their lives to become a Christian witness in the prison environment and beyond.

During the weekend, the retreat follows a defined progression and purpose:


  • Thursday night is a withdrawal from the outside world. It is a time to look at ourselves and examine ourselves – a reflection time.
  • Friday is the time to proclaim the message – living the Christian life through goals, grace, the church and spirituality.

  • Saturday is a time of transition from simply existing as a Christian to acting as a Christian. We look at the figure of Christ through study, sacraments, apostolic action, obstacles to grace and leadership in the Christian community.

  • Sunday focuses on our presence in the world and our relationship with each other. We examine how Christ wants us to live in the world through environment, a life in grace, the Christian community in action, the security of this new life and the 4th Day, our life after the weekend.

Post Charis Activities

The Grand Reunion

As soon after the completion of a weekend as possible, participants are gathered for a Grand Reunion in order to offer continuing support for the inside residents.

Charis Monthly Reunion (Ultreya)

The Charis monthly reunion is a gathering of the inside residents with Charis volunteers and it is open to all residents of the institution who wish to attend. A reunion usually lasts for two hours and is held at the same date and time each month. Institution residents and volunteers come together to worship, hear both inside and outside witness talks, sing and pray. Volunteers working Charis teams commit to attending these monthly reunions for the twelve months following the weekend.