CHILE, by Susy Jacob •
As a way to cultivate the Works of Mercy during this special year and being obedient to Pope Francis’ call, the Punta Arenas Mothers’ Branch are carrying out different apostolates in their city’s jail, especially in the women’s section.
One of the first activities carried out was to approach the authorities of the Gendarmerie to find out the prison’s needs; this is how a campaign to collect clothes began. They also organized a breakfast for the inmates in order to make contact with them, to listen to them, accompany them and share with them.
A children’s corner
One of the jail’s needs that they took on was to prepare a children’s corner for visits from their children, so they will feel more comfortable, and according to their age, they can spend a relaxed time. Consequently they decorated and painted a space in the visitor’s area with designs especially appropriate for children, they also set up small chairs and tables, and they provided toys, coloring and activity books.
Visit the prisoners
The objective of this approach was to fulfill one of the Works of Mercy: to visit prisoners. The Branch’s women wanted to transmit the importance of faith, friendship with God and the Blessed Mother to cope with their living situation. It was also a way for them to share in harmony and balance, in the midst of a reality that is so different and extreme to the one we know in the world outside the bars.
It was a strong and different experience for all the women who participated and who helped for other women to experience God’s mercy and forgiveness through other people.
Source: Magazine Vinculo , Chile, August 2016. Original: Spanish. Translation: Celina M. Garza, San Antonio, TX USA