Especially during this time of the pandemic, many in our Catholic community are isolated and feel forgotten; one of those places is our prison system.
While nearly all inmates are isolated due to their own actions, many have recognized the error of their ways and have turned to (or back to) God. Those men and women, who are open to God's word, need our reassurance that they have not been forgotten by the Church. Those who are not yet open to God's word may only need an invitation provided by simply knowing someone cares about them, due to God's love, to soften their hearts.
A lifetime of work, by any of us, is justified by one soul saved by the Body of Christ. While a single letter seems to be a small thing to us, it is magnified by Christ's 100 fold to those who feel the most completely lost. We are collecting letters and sending them to the Catholic Prison Chaplain's ministry. Electronic, printed or written letter's can be dropped off at the Parish office or emails sent to email@example.com.
If you are open to corresponding with inmates during this trying time (inmates in general, no specific person) then the following points should be considered when writing to them:
Never provide a phone number or address for return correspondence.
It is recommended you don't use your last name either, just sign your first or nickname.
Do not try to provide any way for return mail (stamps, etc.).
Do address letter's generically like "To the men of Hunt Correctional" or "My friend" or "My Brother (Sister) in Christ"
Do let them know that they are the one that the letter was meant for. The Holy Spirit is in charge of delivery and He chose them to receive it.
Do let them know the God loves them and forgives them (and all of us) our sins.
Do talk about things going on in our community and Church, especially good stories of people helping people, virus heroes, etc.
Do encourage them to be strong, that this too will pass and things will get better. We all look forward to a return to worshiping together.
Do let them know you will pray for them.
You can watch Masses daily or weekend live on our facebook page St. Jean Vianney Catholic Church or view it at a later time on our website (www.stjeanvianney.org)