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Last May 30, 2014, we had the Santa Cruzan in Makati City Jail. 40 Residents joined the procession dressed in beautiful gowns and barongs donated by our parishioners. They all looked so different . . . not wearing their usual yellow shirts with BJMP stamped on them. They have smiles on their faces, looking proud of what they were wearing and the roles they were portraying for the procession.

Nowadays, others think of the Santa Cruzan as a fashion event. . . but this year, in MCJ, the participants gave a description of the Saints they were portraying. It gave a deeper meaning of what the Santa Cruzan is all about. Atty. Jolly Gomez gave the residents the history of Santa Cruzan in one of the Monday Catechism classes.

We started the event with a mass, celebrated by their Chaplain Fr. Bouban. In the sermon, he talked about embracing and carrying our own cross, as Jesus Christ did. Words cannot express the crosses being carried by the residents of MCJ. Some have been there for more than 10 years and their cases have not been heard. Others are proven innocent after 2 years of being in jail. They are away from their families, they are forgotten and abandoned. They are confined within the 4 walls of Makati City Jail, uncertain of what tomorrow brings.

We, we who are outside those walls, have our own crosses too. . . yet we are reminded and called by Jesus Christ to follow His example and help carry the crosses of others who have lost their freedom , who have lost hope, who are alone. . . those hardest to love . . . those who are imprisoned.

“For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’

-Matthew 25:42-43