Thursday, 6 May 2010
He came to set the captives free...
Details, from CNS:
A hazy sun settling slowly behind Tucson's "A" mountain softly illuminated the 20 women in bright-orange uniforms who were gathered in the razor-fenced yard. Every face was aglow and smiling as they filed back into the prison. They had just taken part in an event unusual -- perhaps unprecedented -- at the minimum-security Southern Arizona Correctional Release Center: the full initiation of five inmates into the Catholic faith. Correctional officers looked on as Tucson Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas baptized and confirmed the five young women in outdoor ceremonies witnessed by the quintet's sponsors and friends, while other inmates at the 300-resident facility ate dinner and then relaxed in an adjacent yard. Carmelite Father Ron Oakham, pastor of St. Cyril of Alexandria Parish and a prison chaplain, assisted the bishop, after earlier listening to several confessions in a far corner of the yard. Deacon Oscar Chavez traveled from Yuma to play a guitar and lead the gathering in song. Tears flowed, along with holy water, as Bishop Kicanas baptized three of the inmates and anointed them with chrism, and all five were confirmed. The five are Ashley Ireson, Eve Medina, Tammy Judd, Hermelinda Arzate and Kimberly Antone.Photo by CNS/Bern Zovistoski, the New Vision
God wills for all men to be saved (his antecedent will), and wishes that no man be refused the message of the Gospel. There are so many poor souls, who are rejected for past errors, and are not regarded worthy of forgiveness. Those behind bars are often less imprisoned than us who claim to live a free life but are willing slaves to sin. Let us not abandon those in need of our assistance and prayers, even if they seem to be beyond redemption. They may be less wretched than we are. They are still our brothers.
'There is more rejoicing in heaven for one repentant sinner, than for ninety-nine righteous men in no need of repentance.'