Amazing story: “Catechist to the Incarcerated” finally released after 25 years of unjust confinement.

While in prison–and this is the big lesson for me–Ford made impressive use of his unjustly mandated solitude. He wrote articles for Catholic publications, co-founded the Alabama prison system’s GED program and founded the Killian Mooney Catechetical Institute, earned a business degree, helped facilitate an anger management course for inmates, and is the only Alabama convict to to have  published a book,The Missionary’s Catechism. Oh, and over 100 convicts entered the Catholic Church under his mentorship.

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And here is a remarkable teaching: happiness is an inside job.

In the first reading for Tuesday’s daily mass there is a remarkable description of an event in the life of Paul and Silas. And, even more remarkable than the event itself is their reaction to it.

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China Builds Special Prison for Forced Abortion Opponent

Chinese officials are building a special prison to house forced abortion opponent Chen Guangcheng, who has been subjected to home detention and monitoring since his release from prison earlier this year.

Chen, who exposed a massive campaign of forced abortions and sterilizations in Linyi, China to the western world in an interview with the Washington Post, spent more than four years in prison for his “crime.” Family planning officials held a bogus trial on charges that Chen supposedly destroyed property in a local protest he never attended. During the trial, Chen’s attorneys were prevented from appearing.


Roman archeologists find more evidence for the truth of Catholic tradition

Crucifixion of St. Peter

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Tradition holds that St. Peter was jailed in Rome’s maximum security Mamertine Prison before he was crucified upside down and buried on the hill where St. Peter’s Basilica was later built. And now after recent excavations in Rome’s oldest prison, archaeologists say they have uncovered evidence that, while not providing direct proof, does support that belief.

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Persecuted Archbishop’s story: How I met Christ in prison, and what I learned

Dear Friends,

I should like to share a unique experience with you: how I met Christ in prison, where I spent more than thirteen years, nine of which in solitary confinement, without ever having been tried or sentenced, all alone, without a friend in the world, without ever seeing my family, constantly under the eyes of two guards. At times I experienced despair; I could no longer pray. Without a special grace, I would have gone out of my mind.

I. My non-Christian fellow prisoners often asked me: “Who is this Jesus? Why do you love him to the point of being willing to sacrifice your life for him here in prison?” My jailers asked me: “Does Jesus really exist? What is he like? Have you ever met him?”

I had gotten to know Jesus in Scripture and in other books, at the university and in prayer, but in the utter deprivation of prison, all the outer trappings fell away, and I met Jesus in the total transparency of the Gospel.

My dear friends, I am sharing a very personal secret with you: I met the living Jesus; he fascinated me. I followed him – because I love the defects of Jesus. I could name at least ten of them, but since time is short, I shall tell you about only five of these defects of Jesus.

First Defect: Jesus does not have a good memory (Luke 23:42-43)

During his agony on the cross, Jesus heard the voice of the thief at his right side: Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom. If it had been me, I would have answered him: “I won’t forget you, but you must pay for your crimes by spending some 20 years in purgatory”. On the contrary, said: Today you will be with me in Paradise. Jesus just forgot all about his sins. As for Mary Magdalene, Jesus never questioned her about her scandalous past life. He simply said to her: Your sins have been forgiven you because you loved so much. When the father sees his prodigal son coming home, he runs to meet him, embraces him and does not even give him time to pronounce the little speech he had prepared. He calls his servants and says: Kill the fatted calf to feast my son. My dead son has returned to life … Jesus doesn’t have a memory like mine. Not only does he forgive, he forgets everything.

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Re: Term Limits for Politicians

Submitted by Jerry V.

Terrorist who shot Pope John Paul II to get out of jail

Ali Agca will leave a high security Sincan prison in Ankara after serving a 29 year sentence in Italy and Turkey for the attack on John Paul II and the murder of a Turkish journalist.

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On being Catholic and incarcerated

By Dean Preston

COLUMBUS — I’m Catholic, and I’m in prison.

I converted to Catholicism in prison and was baptized just over a year ago. Before this, I was lost in contradiction and depression, and although I didn’t formally call myself this, I was militantly anti-Catholic. I was a faux Bible scholar with no need of a church to tell me what to do, think or believe. I was my own authority in such matters.

In conversion, my theology, dogma and ethics changed without warning. To finally know what I believe — without contradiction — brought freedom and confidence that I’d never known before.

And it took something away as well — my insatiable need to argue to prove myself right. That changed into a desire to share my faith more by deeds than words.  Was anyone ever won over by argument? I doubt it.

In prison, there is no shortage of argument — especially in matters of faith — but it’s more about ego than anything else. There are lot of teachers without students.  But I am once again a student, ready to learn.

There are few days in prison that one looks forward to. One is the day you get out, and the other is any day you get a visit from family or a friend. Holidays, birthdays and anniversaries are days of numbness at best. But as incarcerated Catholics, we are given weekly Mass and Catholic instruction classes that add to the other, rare bright days for prisoners. For me, with a parole date of 2029, being able to add these days to the list is vitally important.

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