Sometimes in life, one never know in what direction God is calling us to ministry our brothers and sisters.
Towards the end of last year, I started a new and official ministry to Old Colony Correction Center in Bridgewater, MA. The ministry that God called me to is with Afro Americans, Latinos, Cape Verdeans and others. I visit the facility three times a month. On Tuesday night, I meet with African Heritage Coalition Group and on Wednesday with Spanish United. The last Friday of each month I celebrate the Holy Eucharist. The first Mass I celebrated was during the Advent season in which I celebrate the Christmas Mass. It was a powerful spiritual journey in which not only Catholics participated but others brothers from different denominations participated with us in this Celebration.
Each time that I visit this facility and meet with inmates, it is a lesson for me and I leave the jail with great amount of knowledge and understanding why so many brothers are in jail. There is no room for me to judge anyone of them, but, to remember that anyone can end up be in this facility less than one minute. The inmates has thought me to be humble and simple as a Christian man and religious leader. Each visit is an opportunity for me to learn and appreciate my freedom that God has gave me and I must cherished and appreciated this great gift. The level of organizing and preparing events in the jail by the inmates is so unbelievable that one might ask what went wrong with these individuals that resulted to be in jail? Thus, I might say to my readers and friends that Prison Ministry is unique and privilege to anyone who is capable to minister to inmates. It is a courageous invitation from God to His Minister to accept this invitation and allow oneself to be in the presence of those that Society considers so dangerous and fearful. It is always a happy occasion when ever I am getting ready to drive down the prison and spend few hours listening and sharing my spiritual and social life with my brothers inmates.
I am looking forward in this new year to ministry and learn even more with my dear brothers in prison. Through my presence as a Bishop and religious brothers by breaking the Bread and Wine with them, that Our Lord will Bless my vocation and make me stronger and courageous as His follower.