“I was in prison and you visited me.” –Matthew 25:36

Prison. Not a pleasant thought, but a reality for more than 49,000 prisoners in the state of Georgia.

Incarceration… the very thought of it makes most of us feel uncomfortable. As a society, we’ve “put away” the men and women serving time in prisons and written them off as cold, hardened criminals. Our thoughts and words flow all too easily, with little emotion, “They got what they deserved.”

But, even for those surrounded by walls of thick concrete and razor wire. The Body of Christ is there and as children of God and of the Catholic Church, it is our responsibility to bring Holy Communion to anyone who wishes to receive it, no matter what their circumstances. It is not our role to judge, only to serve and to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ. 

There are many things we can’t give them. What we can give them is God’s message of Hope, Love, and Forgiveness. As a result, many inmates are baptized and confirmed into Holy Mother Church each year. The vineyard is ripe. Jesus said in St Matthew’s gospel, “I was in prison and you visited me.”

An inmate who was baptized and confirmed wears a rosary bracelet. Photo By Michael Alexander

“If you can’t go inside yourself, please continue to help me go inside for you.” – Paul Caruso

Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory distributes the Body of Christ to an inmate during an evening Mass at Arrendale State Prison, Alto, May 2. Photo By Michael Alexander

” It is not our role to judge, only to serve and to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ.” – Paul Caruso

Transitional deacon Brian McNavish joins hands with an inmate during the praying of the Our Father. Photo By Michael Alexander
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