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What We Do

The REC Weekend Retreat

The REC Weekend is a three (3) day retreat experience for about 60 male residents conducted within a New York State correctional facility by a group of 16 to 20 Catholic volunteers. A Lay Director is a volunteer chosen to organize and coordinate a weekend retreat. The REC Team is the group of Catholic volunteers brought together for a number of preparation meetings. These meetings are normally conducted weekly within one of the parishes in the diocese. In addition, a number of inmates are chosen to form the ‘inside team.’ This combined team then presents the REC weekend retreat.

The retreat format includes a is a series of talks that include personal witnessing with themes that include forgiveness, the meaning of being Christian, and how to act as a Christian. Each weekend serves approximately 60 inmates. REC traditionally conducts two retreats per year in each of six correctional facilities.

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The act of praying and performing sacrifices for the residents and writing Palanca Letters which are given to the residents. Letters start with “Dear Brother in Christ,” Your last name is not given and least 60 letters are needed so that each resident receives one.


The Saturday late afternoon activity where outside volunteers join the REC Team and Residents for music, faith sharing witness talk, and frequently a meal. The residents are given a time to witness.

Bible Study

Periodic programs (weekly/quarterly) are provided to serve the inmates in between weekend retreats.  These can be in the form of reunions or bible study/faith sharing in-person group meetings.  They last from 1 to 2 hours and focus on maintaining the relationship that develops during the retreat weekend.  These meetings foster an ongoing and personal relationship between you and the residents.  


Supporting Other Ministries

We are happy to support the development of new prison/jail ministries outside of the Albany area.