Indian Catholic News

Prison Ministry India invites new volunteers

Started in 1986, Prison Ministry India currently has over 6,000 volunteers.


Inspired by the positive response to its various initiatives during the Year of Mercy, the Prison Ministry India aims to increase its presence in jails across the country. It has invited youth and adults to live a year of voluntary commitment.

"In 1382 Indian jails over 400 thousand people languish without love, hope and help. The commitment is an opportunity to be involved in the recovery and rehabilitation of prisoners, in and out of Indian jails", said Fr. Sebastian Vadkumpadan, national coordinator of Prison Ministry India.

Prison Ministry India is a voluntary organization recognized by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India to work for the release, renewal and rehabilitation of prisoners.

The new volunteers will follow an intensive training program to be held at the Camilian Pastoral Health Center in Bangalore in May.

The course is aimed at priests, nuns, lay people who "want to engage in this work of compassion and to continue to show care to those who are behind bars", the priest said.

"It is up to us to find the 13th prisoner who seeks comfort and support," said Bishop Peter Remigius, president of Prison Ministry India, recalling an incident that happened last year.

Archbishop Kuriakose Bharanikulangara of Faridabad had celebrated Holy Thursday Mass in the prison in Tihar. After the rite of the washing of the feet of 12 prisoners, another prisoner showed up at the altar begging to also be among the apostles. The Archbishop accepted, and washed the feet of the 13th prisoner. The man then told the Archbishop he was a victim of false accusations and is innocent.

Bishop Remigius said "within the Church there will always be a place of reception and solidarity and compassion for those in prison."

Started in 1986, Prison Ministry India currently has over 6,000 volunteers who bring enthusiasm and energy to give hope and improve the quality of life of prisoners in Indian jails.

The precious experience of the Jubilee Year has motivated Prison Ministry India to reach out to more prisoners in more jails.

In the Year of mercy the Catholic Church had organised many initiatives of pastoral closeness and solidarity in Indian prisons. Hundreds of prisoners have been released or have benefited from alternative sentences due to the support of many dioceses, congregations and church institutions.

Source: Agenzia Fides

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