‘There is no place that the Mercy of God cannot reach, no place and no one that it cannot touch.’

Pope Francis spoke these words to the inmates of Ciudad Juarez prison, in Mexico, in February 2006. Without help from outside, it is unusual for prisoners to find their way to a new beginning and to inner conversion. They need something; they need tangible signs of love, they need to be able to turn their eyes to the Lord, in a chapel, in the Bible.

You are making this possible in a number of different prisons. For example in Livingstone, Zambia, where you have supplied 120 Bibles for Father Roman, the prison chaplain. Or in Maua, Kenya, where you are helping Father Jediel to build a chapel dedicated to Saint Jude, the patron saint of lost causes. Or again in Mbeya, Tanzania, where you have provided Father Innocent with the money for prayer books and hymn books, Bibles, catechisms, videos and other study books for the 150 prisoners there.

After serving their time, some of these inmates want, and are able, to show their gratitude, by serving the Church as trained lay catechists. The ways and workings of the Good News know no frontiers. They are the ways of mercy.


This article can be found in Mirror 0416.