Sensitivity Towards Prisoners by RJ Limpo

(As seen on page 4 of the June 12 issue of the Parish Bulletin)

The Prison Ministry is always a hard sell. It is a ministry that
is easy to ignore. Unless you’ve had previous affiliations
or have had any experience whatsoever with prisons,
this would probably be the least interesting ministry to be
involved in. This would probably even be the last article you
would read in this parish bulletin had you not previously
opened up to take a glimpse into the plight of a prisoner’s
life.

Perhaps it is due to the notion of it being a “dumping ground”
of all sorts for people who have done wrong, committed
sins or crossed the line of the law.

It is either very hard for us to forgive or it is oftentimes hard
to forget a wrong that is done to us. The hurt that it brings
oftentimes leaves a bitter taste in our mouth that it is hard
to forget. Or maybe because oftentimes to forgive means
we need to look into our own sinfulness and see the infinite
mercy of God in order that we can forgive others as well.
And looking into our own sins is something none of us
really like to do.

But if you look closely at the words and mission of St.
Anthony, the patron saint of our parish, he says that we
must be sensitive to our perceptions. St. Anthony says
that no one is innately bad or hopeless and that we must
recognise that everyone needs to be helped.

St. Anthony is by the way, the
patron saint of prisoners!

It has therefore become our mission in the prison ministry
to bring Christ to the inmates by sponsoring activities that
integrate the inmates with the world outside the walls of the
prison bars. And hopefully by doing so, they feel a sense of
hope and not abandonment which can ultimately lead to a
true conversion and a finding of oneself as they journey on
the road to salvation.

Everyone is invited to join in the weekly catechism classes
and the various activities we have planned out for the year.
We also welcome donations to the Prison Ministry through
the SSAP Parish Office.

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