Volunteer Training Schedule


NOTE: The following trainings are for volunteers who have already completed the interview and approval process.  New inquiries must begin by first attending the “Ministry Overview” presentation. RSVP’s can be submitted by going to our Home Page link titled “How to Become a Volunteer”.

RJ/DM Specialized trainings are required for new approved volunteers serving in specific areas of the ministry and for active volunteers beginning in a new area of the ministry or as a training Update to continue in the ministry. Full trainings or Updates must be repeated every 4 years or as directed by the RJ/DM Coordinator.

Volunteers leading services or sacramental prep in the jails or juvenile detention facilities are required to be certified through the training and formation we provide or refer to.  Making a commitment to the ministry means a commitment to the trainings as well (both initial and on-going training Updates).

Following is the list of RJ/DM Initial and Specialized trainings offered.

  1. Ministry Orientation
  2. Small Group Facilitation
  3. One-to-One Pastoral Visitation
  4. Communion Service Leader
  5. Substance Abuse (Drug & Alcohol Addiction)
  6. Gang Awareness
  7. Suicide Prevention
  8. Mental Health/Trauma Care

2020 training dates, times and content are listed in the schedule below. Seating is sometimes limited.  R.S.V.P. as soon as possible.

Volunteers are not allowed to lead services or in some case enter a facility until training requirements are met.  Active volunteers needing training Updates may not be allowed to continue in the ministry until requirements are met. Consult with your RJ/DM Coordinator to confirm your training needs.

RJ/DM trainings are held at our office: 1820 W. Orangewood Ave. Suite 101, Orange, 92868 or unless otherwise noted at: *Christ Cathedral Campus 13280 Chapman Ave. Garden Grove, CA 92840.

NOTE! All trainings begin promptly on time indicated and must be completed from beginning to end in order to receive credit – NO EXCEPTIONS!

To sign up for training, CLICK HERE.



Both sessions One and Two must be completed consecutively in order to receive credit.

2020 Training Dates TBA

9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Training Outline includes:

  • The World of Liturgy
  • The Art and Skills of Leading
  • Flow of the Liturgy
  • Eucharistic Ministry vs. Communion Service Leader
  • Reflection Preparation
  • In Class Communion Service & Critique

NOTE: To lead a communion service, you must complete this training and be a commissioned Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion through your home parish.



For active volunteers to continue leading Communion Services

Spanish Update – TBA

English Update – TBA

Spanish Update – TBA

 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. / Arrival & Check-in 8:45 a.m.

Training Outline includes:

  • The World of Liturgy
  • The Art and Skills of Leading
  • Flow of the Liturgy
  • Eucharistic Ministry vs. Communion Service Leader
  • Reflection Preparation
  • In Class Communion Service & Critique



For new volunteers beginning the ministry.

February 1

May 2 

August 1 

November 7

9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. / Arrival & Check-in 8:45 a.m.

Training outline includes:

  • Why we do what we do
  • Goals
  • Volunteer job description, requirements and role
  • Ministering to the incarcerated
  • Profile
  • How we minister
  • Stats
  • Volunteer team members Responsibilities and Duties
  • Do Not’s
  • Inmate and volunteer correspondence
  • Handing out items to inmates
  • Volunteer attendance and participation
  • I.D. Badge renewals
  • Lost I.D. badges
  • Parking
  • Jail security policies and guidelines
  • Volunteers in Probation 



A required training Update on current policies and facility rules for volunteers already active in the ministry.

February 15 / 9:00 a.m. – 12 Noon / 8:45 a.m. Arrival & Check-in

July 11 / 9:00 a.m. – 12 Noon / 8:45 a.m. Arrival & Check-in

October 15 / 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. / 6:15 p.m. Arrival and Check-in



For doing one-to-one pastoral visits with adults or minors

March 7

September 12

9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. / 8:45 a.m. Arrival & Check-in

Training outline includes:

  • Introduction
  • Volunteers role
  • Responsibilities and Duties
  • Conversations with Inmates/Minors
  • Some Common Problems with One-to-One Visiting
  • Communication Skills
  • Listening Reflection
  • Referrals and Recommendations



For leading group Bible study / faith sharing

March 21  

September 26 

9:00 a.m. – 12 noon / Arrival & Check-in 8:45 a.m.

Training outline includes:

  • Introduction
  • Responsibilities and Duties
  • Communication and Small Group Skills
  • Group Roles
  • Discipline Skills
  • Scripture Study Format and Resources 



To better understand those suffer with drug & alcohol addiction and our pastoral response

April 18 

October 24

9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. / Arrival and Check-in 8:45 a.m.

This training is extremely important because so many or those we serve in our jails and juvenile facilities have addiction problems that requires an appropriate pastoral response.

Training outline includes:

UNDERSTANDING ADDICTION: Definition of an addict; how does someone become an addict; why does someone become an addict; risk factors; the effects of alcohol on gender; drug & alcohol abuse; current trends; symptoms of addiction.

TREATMENT & RECOVERY: Detox (Detoxification), medication, relapse, conditioning, the recovery problem, conditioning cues, help for the unwilling addict, the addicts problem is our problem, character traits of an addict, character traits of a recovered addict, obvious & visible warning signs, doing the right thing and how we minister to the addict.

ALSO INCLUDED: What is a drug (Drug definitions), how are drugs & alcohol harming society, the 12 steps of recovery, drug references, contents of various drugs, their effects, street names, resources.



June 13

9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. / Arrival & Check-in 8:45 a.m.

Session one training outline includes:

  • Purpose of training
  • What this training is not
  • What is a gang?
  • What gangs offer youth
  • Profile of progressive gang involvement
  • Gang structure
  • Gang facts
  • Current trends
  • Basic characteristics of gangs (3 types)
  • Causes for joining a gang
  • Where did gangs come from? (History of gangs in America and in California, DVD
  • presentation included)
  • Gang recruitment
  • Gang initiation
  • Cycle of gang violence
  • Getting out of a gang
  • Staying out of a gang (What works and what doesn’t)
  • How we minister
  • Q & A

Appendix includes:

Gang members 12 Step Recovery, common terms and definitions, attire and look, language, list of most active O.C. gangs, graffiti, tagger crews, tattoos, hand signs, photo’s and resources.



*August 20 (At Christ Cathedral Pastoral Center)

7:00 – 9:30 p.m. / Arrival & Check-in 6:45 p.m.

Presented by: Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services

This training is open and encouraged to all our volunteers and is a requirement for volunteers doing one-to-one visits or Sacramental Prep.

Training Outline:

  • The nature of suicide
  • Suicide Statistics
  • Risk Factors
  • Myths
  • Suicide warning signs
  • How to provide support for someone who is suicidal
  • Role playing
  • Resources and referrals



*July 23  (Christ Cathedral Pastoral Center)

7:00 – 9:30 p.m. / Arrival & Check-in 6:45 p.m.

Most all those we serve in our juvenile detention and adult jail facilities are suffering from some level of trauma that has affected their physical, psychological and emotional development from childhood into adulthood.  Such experiences dramatically shape the way a person thinks, acts and feels and are primary causes of criminal behavior leading to incarceration.  As ministers, it is important to have a deep awareness and understanding of what is going on inside the person so that we may respond with the quality of pastoral care that offers healing and hope.

This training is open and encouraged to all our volunteers and is a requirement for volunteers doing one-to-one visits or Sacramental Prep.

PRESENTER: Pamela Kahn, MPH, BS, RN, O.C. Dept. of Education, Health & Wellness

Training will cover:

  • Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE): stressful or traumatic events that occur to people beginning at a young age
  • Understanding what happens on the inside of the person as a result of ACE
  • How ACE dramatically increases the likelihood of violence, crime and incarceration from childhood through adulthood
  • How childhood trauma impacts lifelong emotional, physical and mental health as well as personal relationships
  • Secondary Trauma – showing compassion to those we serve while balancing our own self-care






Santa Clara University, MA in Pastoral Ministry/Restorative Justice

San Diego’s Santa Clara University, MA degree in pastoral ministry with an emphasis in restorative justice.  The newly developed curriculum is the first of its kind in the US and is sanctioned by the California Conference of Catholic Bishops, Office of Restorative Justice.  Many of the classes are done on-line, so traveling is minimal.  Click here for more information.

Volunteers: please be sure to submit documentation when you’ve completed any other formal trainings, college degrees or certifications in religious formation so we can update our records.