Inmates get spiritual support from female chaplain

| 16/07/2012

Prison Chaplain Cathy Gomez (242x300).jpg(CNS): Cathy Gomez has been appointed as the new prison pastor, officials announced Friday, a key position that has been vacant for several years. Gomez’s will provide pastoral counselling for inmates, to assist them with inter-personal issues, and to work with families and other members of the community. Although her focus will be on spiritual beliefs she will also play a part in the management and rehabilitation of her new captive flock. Gomez has been providing volunteer counselling and spiritual guidance to inmates and their families since 2006 and she says she became drawn to prison ministry during a counselling practicum in the prisons.

“For the past six years I have felt a calling from God to do His work in this particular environment,” said Gomez, who started in her official capacity as the chaplain for the Prison Service on 3, July 3.

Gomez is working with male and female inmates from the Northward and Fairbanks prisons, as well as the young offenders in Eagle House.

As part of the rehabilitation process she acknowledges the problems resulting from crime and recidivism. “Crime is a great concern to all of us, and I believe that deep, spiritual change is the most meaningful answer for individuals,” she said. “Through genuine remorse forgiveness, and reconciliation, rehabilitation efforts will be enhanced and the recidivism rate will hopefully decrease.”

Relating that she has seen many inmates turn their lives around, she said several have become lay-preachers, and others are dedicated to evangelism, locally and overseas.
“There is much work to be done in the areas of forgiveness and reconciliation, and I am confident that the inmates, prison staff and the entire community can work together to make a real difference.”

Music has been a primary tool for her volunteer work, and Gomez formed and conducted the prison’s Voices of Hope choir for three years. She now hopes to revive the choir although many of the former members have now been released.

Prison Director Dwight Scott said welcomed Gomez’s appointment as chaplain. “It is a role that provides a great opportunity to touch, in a positive way, the lives of individuals incarcerated, and will indeed enhance the rehabilitative effort of the service.”

A veteran civil servant, Gomez served for more than three decades in healthcare, in both the clinical and administrative areas. In 2008 she obtained a Master of Arts in Pastoral Psychology and Counselling from St. Stephen’s College in Canada. This followed a Master of Science degree in Public Policy and Management from the University of London in 2003.

Following the sudden loss of her own job as a senior civil servant in 2006 and understanding the impact of job loss, she published a book Coping with Sudden Job Loss: Experiences in the Cayman Islands some two years ago.

Category: Local News

Comments (18)

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  1. Jeff says:

    So if I'm lock up in prison and want nothing to do with Christianity, but I am on a point system where my good behavior could merit me a shorter sentence, then tough luck for me. Ms. Gomez is not going to give me a good word. Thanks to UDP and their Nation Building funds, I believe this is where our monies just went.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Nothing personal against Ms Gomez, but I hope this is not a paid position. Government should not be using OUR money to promote a religion to a captive audience.

    If you think about it, the entire concept of prison pastors is sad. The bodies of these men are in cages but that's not enough. We also have to do everything we can to make sure that their minds are in cages too.

    If any prisoners can read this, please get your life together. Reject the life of crime to free your body  and also reject religion to free your mind.

     

  3. Anonymous says:

    Where Cathy is today is an example of how she was raised.  Her mother blessed her children by living a consistently Christian life, mentoring and encouraging her children and others, and now her children are doing the same. She is a Proverbs 31 lady.

    Cathy has been through some hard times but she is a fine example of how God can turn what was meant for evil into good for those who love and seek Him.  She needs our daily prayers as she ministers to the prisoners – for protection against evil assignments, for provision of wisdom and for  the ability to extend God's grace and love, in meaningful ways, to those who need it most.  I thank God for her life and her fine example and pray His abundant blessings on her!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Prisoners have only one goal in life:  To get out !!

     

  5. Anonymous says:

    Cathy is the best thing thats has happened to the prison system in years.  If anyone can help at least one of these inmates to turn from thier wicked ways it will be her and she needs all our prayers.  God bless you, Cathy…..SR

  6. Peter Milburn says:

    Well done Kathy.Keep up the great work you are doing.Hopefully it will inspire the inmates to greater heights and help with their coming back into society.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Well done Cathy!  You are a woman of inspiration to many, just like your Mother has been a mentor for many years.

    • Anonymous says:

      Congratulations to Cathy. Thank God that she has taken up this position where I know she will make a big difference in the lives of the inmates.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Encouraging all Inmates! Congratulations Cathy!

    I praise the Lord for this precious Bodden Towner Cathy! I am a Bodden Towner.

    I am so proud of you for being obedient to God when He called you to do for His

    Glory.

    1) God has a plans for EVERYONE on earth. Jeremiah 29:11

    2) "As it is written, There is NONE righteous, no not one." Rom. 3:10

    3) "But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that contrary to sound doctrine; According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust. And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that He counted me faithful putting me into the ministry." 1 Timothy 1:8-12

    Cheryl G.

    • Stiritup says:

      I would not like to be sat next to this person on a long flight.

      • Anonymous says:

        Tue, 07/17/2012 – 10:04. You need not make such snide remarks. If it is who I think it is she is deaf. Very intelligent and very religious, which is her right.

  9. Knot S Smart says:

    Cathy. Thank you for your contribution to this society!!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations to Ms. Cathy on this amazing new opportunity. I  know that the inmates at both prisons will benefit from her counsel.  Good luck Ms. Cathy and may God continue to bless you.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and do not depend on your own understanding.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations Cathy. I am sure you will continue to be a blessing to those who are in prison.

    God be with you.

  13. Atheist says:

    Once they enter into prison, they come out worse like a kookoo bird that lost its head. And then you can't bame them for committing crimes in the name of God. They feel justified. 

    • Anonymous says:

      If men are enslaved to their passions and desires which makes them into bad animals, why can't they be enslaved by a religious belief to transform their minds into good ones?