Since October of 2010, when this Prison Ministry was first initiated beginning with no more than 8 Catholic inmates and two generous patrons/benefactors, we have expanded our efforts to include
- 49 inmates, many of them on fire for the faith;
- 16 benefactors that have made this work possible;
- More than $7,500 worth of Catholic books sent free to an ever-growing number of inmates in as many as 8 separate corrections facilities;
- 9 inmates have undertaken some form of Catholic Action among fellow prisoners and their families;
- Several have begun conducting prayer and study sessions;
- Others have been circulating good reading material among fellow prisoners;
- More than 130 copies of the spiritual classics, The Imitation of Christ and the Sinner’s Return to God have been sent to the inmates and their cellmates, along with some 85 copies of the Catholic fiction Yuma, which book jump-started the entire undertaking of serving the needs of those doing time and which remains a popular item among our prison contacts;
- Dozens of rosaries and brown scapulars have also been distributed;
- Prayer requests from inside the prisons have been met by many hundreds of generous souls on the outside;
- There is serious talk among one of the inmates to launch a Catholic Action newsletter as a Prison Apostolate to reach many other incarcerated souls with the saving message of the Gospel and the edifying truths of the Faith;
- Over-all, this Prison Ministry has proven a powerful means of grace which has inspired countless works of mercy on both sides of the prison walls;
- It has likewise brought hope and friendship to some of the men who were sadly lacking in both;
We could not be more pleased with all the good works and manifold graces that have been channeled through this humble ministry. Please God this important missionary work will continue and even escalate, as the demand necessitates. Will you assist us in continuing this work, reaching out to an ever-larger number of men that are reaching out to us? Specifically, will you make a monetary contribution, large or small, that will enable us to keep furnishing these needful men with the solid reading material they are asking for? The great importance in providing these Catholic men and their brother inmates with good reading is underscored by the fact that, while most of them have been, or have recently begun, praying the rosary, and some of them have the grace of a traditional Catholic priest visiting them from time to time, they are in every case denied the right to a Traditional Catholic Mass. It is therefore a greater and more urgent work of charity to help us help them due to the greater privation and needfulness on their part. Moreover, assisting in this Prison Ministry is in keeping with the Biblical exhortation to “Remember those who are in bonds as if you were bound with them…” (Heb. 13:3).
Thank you and God bless.
In Jesus our King and Mary our Queen,
May 24, 2012
League of Christ the King
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CATHOLIC ACTION RESOURCE CENTER
It was unintended, but a blessing all the same, that this apostolate has now added to its manifold Catholic Action projects an already active and growing traditional Catholic Prison Ministry.
Background: About two years ago an independent traditional prison ministry made contact with us, purchased our novel Yuma in bulk and sent free copies to a number of Catholic inmates in corrections facilities located mostly in the West and Southwest, USA. They also solicited and were granted permission to photocopy select chapters of Yuma to send to an even larger number of Catholic men behind bars.
The result of this initiative of mercy was that, to date, 19 men have contacted this author with long and inspiring letters. Some write on a regular basis. They have been asking many questions, seeking to learn more about their faith, to nourish the spirit and discipline of Catholic manhood, to better practice their faith, and, most important to many of them, seeking guidance and direction on how best to develop and energize a Catholic Action apostolate even during their period of incarceration – but also beyond.
Needless to say, the enthusiasm and zeal for the faith of these men is most encouraging. We have been doing everything possible to provide the guidance they so earnestly seek, though the demands on our time have been exhausting, to say the least. We are limited in what we can do. We are limited especially in the area of funds, for these good men are also asking, among other things, for free reading material. We have sent what we can, but we are not wealthy. This is a humble apostolate with very limited financial resources. We’ve sent a total of 10 free copies of Yuma requested by some of the men who’d read a sample chapter, but we’ve had to decline others asking for the same. No fewer than 9 others have asked for additional free copies of the book to share with fellow inmates they are attempting to bring to the faith. Quite frankly, as worthy a cause as this certainly is, we simply cannot afford to respond to the needs of these inmates who are obviously famished for good reading. They are specifically requesting our publications, as they have become most interested in the virile work of Catholic Action. And of course they are right. Catholic Action is not just the most important, powerful and fruitful of all the lay apostolates recommended by the Church; it is also a tremendous tool to help all men – in prison or not – heal and grow and re-direct their lives towards a noble end. In many ways Catholic Action, whenever its rules are fully adhered to, is no less a means of spiritual, intellectual and apostolic fortification for the soldier of Christ, which includes every baptized and confirmed Catholic, than the 5-day Ignatian Retreat. In one sense, but in a very real way, Catholic Action is the Retreat lived to the fullest in its apostolic spirit, and on a daily basis. If you think this an exaggeration, you must read A Concise Manual of Catholic Action, The Theology of Catholic Action, The Exalted Mission of Catholic Action, Catholic Action and the Clergy, Meditations for the Lay Apostle, and Catholic Action for Christ our King (all but the last title are available from CatholicActionResourceCenter.com).
Will you assist us in this endeavor? Specifically, will you make a monetary contribution, large or small, that will enable us to furnish these needful men with the solid reading material they are asking for? There is also the need to keep Yuma in print. Our third printing is almost depleted. Will you help us fund a 4th printing? The great importance in providing these Catholic inmates with good reading is underscored by the fact that, while they have all begun praying the rosary and have the grace of a traditional priest visiting them from time to time, they are mostly denied the right to a Traditional Catholic Mass. It’s therefore a greater work of charity to help us help them due to the greater privation and needfulness on their part, and assisting in this Prison Ministry is in keeping with the Biblical exhortation as well to “Remember those who are in bonds as if you were bound with them…” (Heb. 13: 3).
Thank you and God bless,
in Jesus our King and Mary our Queen,
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