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  • Writer's pictureProfiles in Catholicism

Prison Challenges

Updated: Feb 1, 2021

A Message from the Editor

We pray for Prison Reform globally and ask God to protect prisoners and prison staff from Covid-19.

Be sure to read Eileen Quinn Knight’s review of Father James Martin’s new book Learning to Pray which we predict will soon be on the New York Times Beet Sellers List/

For insight into what Israel thinks about the attack on the US Capitol, read the interview with Rabbi Dr. Ronald Kronish.

HBO has a new film of the Murder of Monsignor Juan Gerardi The Art of Political Murder produced by George Clooney, Twenty years ago, I commissioned Judith Berry to interview Daniel Hernandez about the Monsignor’s murder, Here is the article

I subsequently gave him The Jonathan Mann Human Rights Award

Also read

You will notice three Featured Reports in this issue. Here is a link to to all of our Featured Reports


A Prayer for Prisoners

Lord, you are close to those who are most alone.

Be present to our brothers and sisters in prison

who suffer from the coronavirus.

In their dark hours, be a light of hope.

In their sad plight, stir us to compassion.

In their daily routine, stir the kindness of their guards.

In their physical struggles, pour out a healing balm.

Lead them and us, one day, home to you. Amen

by Father Louis Cameli Profiles in Catholicism

A prayer for all prisoners who have died from Covid-19:

“Jesus, remember me” (Lk 23: 42)

You said to a man, like us, in the hour of death:

“Today you will be with me in paradise” (Lk 23: 43).

You did not speak from some remote place, from a

Safe distance, from far away – you were next to him

Nailed to a cross through your hands and feet.

We do not know this man’s name, like we do not know

The names of many people who are imprisoned, their

History or the crimes they have committed.

But who is not waiting on the mercy of God?

You said to a man, like us, in the hour of death:

“Today you will be with me in paradise” (Lk 23: 43).

You know the locked door’s immovability, like the nails;

You know what it is to be unable to escape, trapped,

As it were, into a dialogue with your Father (cf. Lk 23: 34).

You did not choose your companions, your place of death;

But you knew the presence, however silent, of those who

Love you, and you know those who come close:

We glimpse, through them, you, through you, them.

You said to a man, like us, in the hour of death:

“Today you will be with me in paradise” (Lk 23: 43).

We know that many people die, often alone except for the

Nurse or the doctor, bearing with them a final isolation from

The society in which they lived, suffered and sinned.

You did not ask what he had done or whom he had wronged

As he turned to you in truth and love (cf. Lk 23: 40-42); and,

Just as you remembered your mother (cf. Jn 19; 25-27) –

Remember our families, Lord, and the help we need!

You said to a man, like us, in the hour of death:

“Today you will be with me in paradise” (Lk 23: 43).

We know, too, that some are unjustly imprisoned, burdened

By prejudice, coincidence or whatever brought them

Within reach of a sentence, like you, beyond being overturned.

You were vulnerable to the wind, the cold and the pain;

Just as many, now, are vulnerable to the possibility of

Illness as well as short if not absent exercise hours –

You know the help we need in life and death.

You said to a man, like us, in the hour of death:

“Today you will be with me in paradise” (Lk 23: 43).

You have given us reason and faith, to work together for the

Effective help and healing, whether of the heart or of the

Body, that we may make fresh discoveries and new beginnings.

You know us, our families, friends and enemies, our

Circumstances, situation, health and those who care for us,

Live with us and will die with us – so let the words of the

Good thief speak for us all: “Jesus, remember me” (Lk 23: 42)

by Francis Etheredge Profiles in Catholicism

A Prayer for Prisoners with Covid-19

Heavenly Father, you are sovereign over all, giving justice and proclaiming liberty to the captive. You were with Joseph when he was imprisoned in the king’s jail. Your spirit visited Paul during his incarceration. And you sent your son, Jesus, to proclaim good news and freedom. God, we ask you to be with all those who are incarcerated today, for those living out sentences, and those awaiting trial or bail. Let your spirit of peace and comfort be upon them. They are some of your most vulnerable children and they are at high risk of exposure to coronavirus Covid-19. Provide them with resources to keep them healthy and safe, let the ears and hearts of those in power be turned to hear the needs of your children. Keep all those who work in prisons and jails healthy and prevent the spread of the virus to all those they interact with, especially those who have no means of protecting themselves. All this we pray in your name. Amen.

by Pastoral Intern Sarah Swindall Augsburg University Campus Ministry

A Prayer for Holocaust Survivors Who Have Died from COVID 19

Our Father, Avinu, we bow our heads and hearts in prayer.

Many of your People, the Jewish People,

who by Your Grace survived the Holocaust in Europe,

have been infected by and died from coronavirus.

This saddens the hearts not only of Jews,

but people of all faiths,

especially Christians, who were the major perpetrators of the Shoah.

We Christians today, repenting for what Christians then did,

join with the Jewish People in praying today for the survivors

of the Nazi genocide.

We Christians join with the Jewish People is calling on people of all faiths to pray for these good people, stricken a second time, this time by a pandemic which is out of control and killing many innocent people of all faiths. Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, people of all faiths must come together in prayer in this country and around the world, for the survivors of genocide who are in danger and who have died. May they rest in your Peace, Oh Lord.

And may their memory be for a blessing.

by Dr. Eugene Fisher Profiles in Catholicism

A Prayer for the Murdered Father John Gbakaan Yaji

Loving God, I cannot trust my words to even begin to convey an adequate response to the tragic death of Father John Gbakaan Yaji. We pray for the repose of the soul of Father Yaji that he will share the good news of our Lord's resurrection. We pray for the safety of his brother and for the consolation of his family and friends. May their faith be a source of strength and encouragement during these trying times. Amen.

Father Rene Regalado was murdered near his Carmalite church in Bukidnon . he stood for justice and truth he served the poor, he stood with the downtrodden, he was your true friend Lord .And may justice be done for him may his murderers be brought to justice and may we all have the courage to condemn every evil and continue to do only good and make your love present in society. Amen by Father Shay Cullen Profiles in Catholicism

Prayer for the victims of mass murders and genocide

Lord we remember the holocaust the most heinous crime the world has ever known. Six million murdered most of the victims were like you Jesus. Jews, innocent victims, children, women, teenagers, men. The world said never again, but it has and is happening again, ethnic cleansing, mass murder.

Lord may your example of love and service change the violent people to peace makers, call the wrongdoers to repent, inspire leaders to end violence and war, may we live in unity in your friendship. Amen

by Father Shay Cullen Profiles in Catholicism

A Prayer for the Indonesian Earthquake Victims Good and gracious God, We ask you to bless those who are left after the horrid earthquakes in Indonesia. Indonesian rescuers on Sunday retrieved more bodies from the rubble of homes and buildings toppled by a strong earthquake, raising the death toll to 78, while military engineers managed to reopen ruptured roads to clear access for relief goods. Please help them all to be patient and helpful in assisting others who are still not found. Bless their families and all who are part of this tragedy. More heavy equipment reached the hardest-hit city of Mamuju and the neighboring district of Majene on Sulawesi island, where the magnitude 6.2 quake struck early Friday, said Raditya Jati, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency’s spokesperson. A total of 67 people died in Mamuju and 11 in Majene, said the director of preparedness for the National Search and Rescue Agency, Didi Hamzar. Help us to realize the fragility of our earth and all that it encompasses and that all of us will take care of the earth and its people. Amen.

by Eileen Quinn Knight, Ph.D. Profiles in Catholicism

Prayer in honor of Jose G.Burgos Jr.

He was a man of the truth, and he wrote to set us free from oppression, lies and deceit, from the evil of martial law. He was, Lord Jesus, a man after your own heart, like you he lived and died for the truth and freedmen of expression. He wrote with honesty and integrity, he inspired so many, and even his son followed his love of justice and goodness. His son was abducted and disappeared by sinister forces that his is father fought against with the power of the Word.

Jesus we are inspired by Jose and his son and what they achieved in the darkest of times. Let the light of truth shine on our hearts and penetrate our spirit to encourage and inspire us to follow you and serve the poor and the oppressed as you have done and Jose Burgos has done too. Amen . by Father Shay Cullen Profiles in Catholicism

A Quote to Remember

“With regard to prisoners, it would appear that in many cases practical measures are urgently needed to improve their living conditions, with particular concern for those detained while awaiting trial. It must be kept in mind that penal sanctions have the aim of rehabilitation, while national laws should consider the possibility of other establishing penalties than incarceration. In this context, I would like once more to appeal to governmental authorities to abolish the death penalty where it is still in force, and to consider the possibility of an amnesty." by Pope Francis


Prison Interviews

General Interviews

Prison Articles/Commentaries

Featured Report

General Articles/Commentaries

Featured Report

Featured Report

Please support one of our organizations, colleagues, and friends who need help

Book Reviews/Commentaries

Film Reviews/Commentaries

Television Reviews/Commentaries

Remembering Those Who Have Passed

Feasting with the Saints

  • February 09 The Anniversary of Agnes Sorrel's Death


This Is What It's Like to Be in Prison During Coronavirus

Six dead as coronavirus restrictions trigger Italy prison riots

Life Inside Bali's Infamous Kerobokan Prison

Tumaini gerezani by Kamiti Medium Prison catholic choir


For purchasing information contact Nancy Alfano 312-623-0001


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