behold-i-stand-at-the-door-and-knock-sarah-broadmeadow-thomas[1]   Centering Prayer and Prison Ministry

  • Prison Ministry is an on-going part of the Contemplative family. This important ministry is committed to support volunteers and organizations willing to serve the prison population. For more nationwide locations go to and click on Prison Outreach contacts.
  • Prison contacts for San Diego is Otay Mesa Detention Center
    • 7488 Calzada de la Fuente Road, San Diego, Cal., 92158
    • Chaplain: Charles Wilson.
    • Volunteer Contact: Pauline Rippel :

In San Diego we have the opportunity take Centering Prayer to the world.  The Otay Mesa Detention Center houses over  1500 men and women with problems relating to immigration.  They come from many troubled places around the globe, and because of the severe challenges that they are facing, they are open to a deeper relationship with God.  It is a ripe field for teaching the rich benefits of a Centering Prayer practice.  Chaplain Wilson and Pauline Rippel will help you get started  in sharing this wonderful gift.

Is the Holy Spirit calling you to this ministry?




Pauline Rippel

First, I never dreamed I would ever set foot in a prison. Second, I never dreamed I would be able to share Centering Prayer with people from all over the world.

But that is what has been happening for the last 15 years. And it has been one of the most rewarding and spiritually enriching experiences of my life.

I am inviting you to join me in this wonderful ministry at the Otay Mesa Detention Center which houses men and women who are detained for immigration issues. I have the privilege of leading small groups in Lectio Divina and Centering Prayer. The participants are amazingly receptive. They tell me that it gives them much peace in the midst of their fragile and insecure situations. Many of them share it with their worried families via phone calls or letters.

We are blessed to have a Chaplain  who supports Centering Prayer at this facility.

It is best to volunteer at least two times a month for 3-4 hours. All the training you need to work in the prison will be given to you through Chaplain Wilson. I will be happy to help you if you would like some ideas about content for the groups you will lead. You won’t be asked to do anything until you feel ready.

This is truly a golden opportunity to share Centering Prayer with the world.   Please call me or Chaplain Wilson if you feel the Holy Spirit whispering to you about this and tell others who might help us continue this wonderful work.

Pauline Rippel (619-466-6462) or Chaplain Wilson (

Book Resources regarding this ministry:

  • Contemplative Outreach and Prison Contemplative Fellowship, A new Partnership by Ray Leonardini
  • Find God Within by Raymon Leonardini . A book on centering prayer for prisoners and jail inmates that is theologically sound and spiritually grounded, scripturally based and personally healing.

Prison Contemplative Fellowship is an affiliation of prisoners, former prisoners, their families, volunteers, and prison chaplains whose focus is the support of centering practices in prisons and jails. For more information on this book go to and click on bookstore.