Glimpses of Grace Donald Stoesz
Transformative Moments in Chaplaincy


Section One: Community Initiatives
Up From the Grassroots

Chaplains’ Stories: An Introduction                                       
Community Chaplaincies
Joan Palardy: Over and Above the Call of Duty                  

Section Two: Correctional Service Canada
Establishment of the CSC Mission Statement
Debbie Fawcett: Reintegration Chaplain at Mustard Seed
Overview of Pierre and Judy Allard’s Ministry

Jerry Moran: Catholic Chaplain, Edmonton Remand Centre

Section Three: Restorative Justice
Radical Vision of Biblical Justice and Healing

John DeVries: Christian Reformed Chaplain, Quebec   
IPCA and Just Equipping

Ramon “Snowy” Noble: Reintegration Chaplain             
Excerpts from Joan Palardy’s Rwanda Journal

Jonathan Nicolai-deKonig: Reintegration Chaplain  

Section Four: Tributes and Reflections
Pierre Allard’s Stories
Teresa Kellendonk: Director of Pastoral Services  
Tributes and Reflections

Hank Dixon: Director of Initiatives for Just Communities  
Use of Imago Dei Theology in Chaplaincy

Amanda Strain: Chaplain, Edmonton Institution for Women

Pierre Allard’s Curriculum Vitae


 The word “kairos” refers to a quality segment of time that comes around every half century or so. Various forces coalesce at the same time to provide a new way of viewing and operating in the world. Wikipedia suggests that kairos represents a “right, critical, and opportune moment,”[1] in which action can be taken to create something new. It also suggests that this passing moment represents a relatively small window of opportunity in which changes can be made. Kairos can be contrasted with the word “chronos,” which refers to a quantity length of time that is linear.

This book focuses on three kairotic moments in the last fifty years regarding corrections and prison chaplaincy. The first has to do with the virtually simultaneous initiatives in the 1970s that saw various groups establish prison visitation programs, spiritual retreats for inmates, community reintegration centres, and restorative justice activities. These community initiatives mushroomed into full fledged organizations and charities that have sustained the reintegration work of chaplaincy. The optimism of the 1960s resulted in citizens engaging prisoners at a variety of levels. Their belief that faith needed to be put into action and that offenders could become law-abiding citizens spurred them on.

The second providential moving of the Spirit came about in the early 1980s when Protestant and Regional CSC Chaplain Pierre Allard collaborated with Correctional Service Canada Commissioner Ole Ingstrup in establishing a new Mission Statement for the Service. Pierre’s enrollment in a Doctor of Ministry program coincided with Ole Ingstrup’s 1984 submission of a document entitled Report on the Statement of CSC Values.[2] Rev. Allard analysed the report, interviewed senior CSC managers, and came up with a theological model that could be used by chaplains to bring about healing and reconciliation in their work with inmates.[3]

The reason this collaboration was so kairotic was because corrections as well as chaplaincy were facing serious issues at the time. The penitentiary service was emerging from a punishment oriented philosophy and policy that had been in place for many years.  The frequency of riots and violence in prisons during the 60s and 70s required proactive solutions.[4]

Chaplaincy, in turn, was being forced to come up with a modern understanding of its role in corrections. Secular agencies were replacing the historic role of the churches in providing human social services. Hospitals took over medical care, social agencies took over citizens’ welfare, and parole officers, program officers, and psychologists took over the task of rehabilitation within a prison setting. Chaplains were asked to address the specific religious and spiritual needs of inmates within this process known as differentiation.[5]

Ole Ingstrup developed a Mission Statement that stated clearly what was needed in corrections. Correctional Service Canada, “as part of the criminal justice system, contributes to the protection of society by exercising safe, secure, and humane control of offenders while helping them to become law-abiding citizens.”[6]

Pierre Allard outlined a theological model of chaplaincy, based on the four principles of biblical justice, imago dei, wall of separation, and reconciliation.[7] Paul’s proclamation in Ephesians 2:14 that “God has broken down the dividing wall of hostility” represented a litmus test of how chaplains and correctional staff could make a difference in their work with inmates.[8]

A third kairotic moment came about twenty years later when Pierre and Judy Allard were asked by the international community to become engaged in restorative justice work in Africa. Pierre and Judy had been involved for ten years on an executive level with International Prison Chaplains’ Association. Pierre had served as President and Judy as Executive Director (1995-2005).

Pierre’s clear articulation of the possibilities of reconciliation in his doctoral thesis enabled their chaplaincy team to establish a victim-offender protocol in Rwanda that was used to bring about confession and forgiveness within the context of grace and compassion. The institutional and community work that Pierre and Judy had been involved with for thirty years in Canada flowed naturally into an overseas restorative justice initiative that they established through an organization known as Just Equipping.[9]

The book is organized accordingly. The first chapter traces six grassroot movements that sprang up in the late 60s and early 70s. The second chapter details the work of these organizations, outlines similar activities of other groups across Canada, and shows how they became established.

The third chapter shows the priority that the CSC Mission Statement placed on a client driven philosophy, dynamic security, family and social supports, programming, restorative justice, and the importance of volunteers.

The fourth chapter outlines the specific work that Pierre and Judy did regarding institutional chaplaincy. Pierre’s new role as CSC National Director of Chaplaincy enabled him and Judy to establish community chaplaincy on a solid foundation, incorporate the importance of volunteers in helping offenders reintegrate, implement a contract model for institutional chaplains, establish a CSC Restorative Opportunities program for offenders and victims, and convince faith groups to become more involved with the restorative justice process.

The fifth chapter analyses Rev. Dr. Pierre Allard’s theological model of chaplaincy. God’s forgiveness, forbearance, and healing enabled offenders to be liberated from the harm that they had caused and victims from the hurt that they had experienced. The sixth and seventh chapters outline how this reconciliation work was carried out in Africa from 2006-2023.

The eighth, ninth, and tenth chapters represent a type of festschrift in which a variety of authors offer their tributes and reflections on the impact that Pierre and Judy Allard have had. Community chaplain Harry Nigh offers various stories that Pierre told over the course of his ministry.

Jim Collins, Vern Neufeld-Redekopp, Ron Nikkel, Hallett Llewellyn, and Wayne Northey offer tributes and reflections on the many ways in which Pierre and Judy’s lives intersected with their own.

I offer a chapter on the usefulness of an imago dei theology for prison ministry. This book has as much to do with honouring Pierre and Judy Allard’s lives and call to ministry as to name the innumerable other ways in which the Holy Spirit is working within history.

Celebration of these kairotic moments enables renewal  of spirit and new energies to emerge as we wait for the next quality moment of time to come along.

Documenting the work of prison chaplaincy within a correctional context tends to become explanatory. While overseas ministry stories and Pierre and Judy’s contributions have been included, the historical priorities of the first two sections have resulted in fewer illustrations of what has been possible in Canada.

Nine stories of chaplains who work in Canadian settings have thus been included to show how healing and hope are possible. These interviews are dispersed in between each of the analytical chapters in order to keep the focus on spiritual care providers, counsellors, religious leaders, faith representatives, and others who are practicing restoration and reconciliation.

In summary, a painting and a metaphor encapsulate the work of correctional officers, volunteers, communities, and chaplains. The cover of this book shows Jesus the Good Shepherd caring for sheep and goats within a greenery of trees and birds singing (John 10). Staff, volunteers, and chaplains serve as good shepherds in challenging milieus. They protect the weak and keep the community safe while proclaiming divine presence and grace, offering comfort and belonging, and exemplifying love, forgiveness, hope, and faith.

The necessity of new wineskins that Jesus refers to in Matthew 9:17 can be compared to the 1970s grassroots movements of community chaplaincy initiatives that resulted in new organizations being established. These healing visions of restoration required new frameworks to channel the fermentation of the gospel message that was occurring.


[1] Wikipedia, Kairos, Kairos - Wikipedia Retrieved 23 November 2022. Another definition suggests that kairos represents “"a passing instant when an opening appears which must be driven through with force if success is to be achieved.”

[2] Ole Ingstrup, Report on the Statement of CSC Values (Ottawa: Correctional Service Canada, 1984).

[3] Pierre Allard, The Statement of the Correctional Service of Canada Values and a Biblical Perspective for the Role of Chaplain, Doctor of Ministry Dissertation (North Baptist Theological Seminary, 1986), unpublished, 192 pages.

[4] Three correctional officers were killed on July 25th in Archambault in 1982 as a result of an inmate riot. The small cubicle in the central control area where the officers were killed became the Protestant chaplain’s office, Montreal Gazette, History Through Our Eyes: History Through Our Eyes: July 25, 1982, Archambault prison riot | Montreal Gazette Retrieved 23 November 2022.

[5] “Parsons saw differentiation as the separating out of each social sphere from ecclesiastical control: the state, science, and the market, but also law, welfare, and education, etc.," David Martin,  On Secularization: Toward a Revised General Theory (London: Routledge, 2005), 20.  Martin comments a little later in the book, “the state has extended its role at the expense of volunteer organizations and churches, demanding secular certificates of competence divorced from any kind of confessional or religious background. . . . The question now is whether these liberal and humanist elites, secular and Christian, will retain their influence” regarding “a consumer ethos mainly interested in measurable utility,” 67. Note institutional chaplains’ responses to the Mission Statement, Allard, The Statement of the Correctional Service, 37-46.

[6] Ingstrup, Report on the Statement, 18, quoted in Allard, The Statement of the Correctional Service, 18.

[7] Allard, The Statement of the Correctional Service, 4, 70-125.

[8] Allard, The Statement of the Correctional Service,  94-100.

[9] Just.Equipping, Just.Equpping Retrieved October 2018.