ISNA Rep Attends Chaplains and Endorsers Meeting

The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) recently held a Chaplains and Endorsers Meeting at its Management and Specialty Training Center in Aurora, Colorado. The Federal Bureau of Prisons has regular Professional Chaplaincy Training for its chaplains, and 100 men and women participated in this particular program. ISNA, as an endorser of Muslim chaplains, was invited to attend part of this weeklong training, experience some of the chaplaincy program, and strengthen the collaboration between the program administrators, chaplains and endorsers. The two days at the BOP meeting were very informative, giving insight into the unique work of chaplains, which is based on compassion – compassion for the special needs of incarcerated men and women across our country. Some chaplains are fairly new to this work, while others have dedicated decades to this special calling. The chaplains shared their experiences about the challenges and successes in their work. One especially touching moment was the conversation between a new chaplain and an experienced chaplain, one recognizing the other “from somewhere.” As their chat continued, they realized that the experienced chaplain had counseled the younger man when he was incarcerated, thereby changing his life to one of encompassing spirituality, becoming a chaplain and serving others in need. “The crucial work that chaplains do is admirable and inspiring. This special group of dedicated men and women provide vital service to those in need, which also impacts their families and society at large,” said Sr. Habibe Ali, Chief Operations Officer of ISNA, who attended the Chaplains and Endorsers Meeting. Spirituality, with justice and mercy, has a positive impact on changing people’s lives, and, with pastoral care, is a focus of helping incarcerated men and women re-enter society as productive, contributive citizens. The chaplaincy programs work to “Reach, Reconcile and Restore” individuals for “Reentry” into society. This calls for communities of faith to fulfill their moral obligation to help these men and women become part of their society. The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) is the largest and oldest Islamic umbrella organization in North America. Its mission is to foster the development of the Muslim community, interfaith relations, civic engagement, and better understanding of Islam. —END— CONTACT: ISNA Communications Director Edgar Hopida, 317-839-1820 or 317-679-6350,