By Ate Heidi Temporal, SSDM
Last March 19, the SLRP parishioners visited with the inmates of the Correctional Institute for Women (CIW) in Mandaluyong City as part of the prison apostolate of the parish. This second visit, again spearheaded by the Social Services and Development Ministry, was fully supported by Fr Luke, the PPC and the Restorative Justice Ministry of the diocese.
This time, 43 joined the apostolate together with Sister Charisse who helped organize the trip. Everyone had to attend the orientation given three days prior to the event. For some, it was their second visit and therefore their second orientation.
Donations from generous donors totalled P21,000, which covered a major portion of the cost of the food and gifts for 100 inmates. They were grateful for the hour given to them to interact with us visitors, sharing with us their blessings as they related the conditions they faced in the CIW.
For our part, seeing the grateful aura of the inmates gave us a feeling of deep fulfillment, that somehow we were able to bring Christ to them in our own small way, that by empathizing with them we shared in Christ’s own offering of Himself.
The celebration of the Holy Eucharist presided by Father Luke capped the visit and everyone was heartened by the message of hope in his homily.
On arrival in the parish, a meeting was held to allow for feedback and evaluation of the visit before partaking of a hearty lunch. Once again the SSDM and the organizers thank all who had given their support not only during the visit itself but even during the preparation and the culminating activities of the mission.