Friday, February 24, 2012


The Southern Regional Conference of Prison Ministry India from four states consisting of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu gathered at Don Bosco in Ramanthapur, Hyderabad. The Conference officially commenced at 6. 00 Am., with the recitation of Rosary offered exclusively for our brothers and sisters behind bars followed by Morning Prayer. Thereafter we had a solemn Concelebrated Holy Mass presided by Most Rev. Bishop M.D Prakash, Regional Chairman, PMI. Bishop in his introductory remarks said that we are carrying out a precious ministry which should be strengthened by the divine intervention which in turn would inspire many more to take up the cause in welfare of our brethren behind the bars.

The Inaugural function began with lighting of the lamp by the dignitaries Most Rev Peter Remigius, National Chairman, PMI who presided over the function, Most Rev M D Prakasam, Regional Chairman, PMI the Chief guest for the occasion along with guest of honours Rev Fr Vincent Xavier, South Regional Co-ordinator & Fr Sebastian Vadakumpadan, National co-ordinator, PMI, they were assisted by AP Unit Co-ordinator, Rev Fr Chinnappa Reddy and Hyderabad Unit Co-ordinator, Rev Fr Anthony Sagayaraja.  This was followed by invocation of God’s Blessings, where Sr Praneeta led the delegates in prayer. A warm welcome dance enthralled the delegates; this was presented by postulants of St. Ann’s Pirangipuram, Hyderabad province.

The dignitaries were invited on dais thereafter and given floral tribute and felicitated with shawl after which Fr. Sebastian Vadakumpadan, National Co-ordinator was invited to address the gathering, he beautifully highlighted with anecdotes the role of PMI members in taking the ministry ahead in leaps and bonds. He acknowledged the contributions made by the pioneers of PMI, Most Rev Peter Remigius expressed that he was the only bishop who is keen on taking up this ministry to establish it as a Commission under the CBCI.
The Guest of Honour, Rev.Fr.Vincent Xavier gave empirical evidences of the problem and enlisted areas of intervention such as:

1. Release & Reformation
2. The socio re-integration.
3. Rehabilitate them for better future.
4. Rehabilitation is not charity but right

The chief guest Most Rev. M.D. Prakasam, said in his message that he was blessed to have a very charismatic leader in the person of Most Rev. Dr. Peter Remigius. He quoted Gandhi who said “my life is my message. It is the wonderful ministry to give Christ to the people, to help and reach out to the brethren. He remembered late Fr. Maraiah and his contribution to PMI.

Mgr. Swarna Bernard special invitee, in his message said, PMI is to restore the human dignity. He said, it is essential and integral part of Jesus’ mission to set the captives free.

Most Rev. Bishop Peter Remigius, Chairman PMI in his presidential address stated Prison Ministry as a very precious ministry.  He gave all information of the pioneering efforts made by PMI from its inception and thanked all those who are committed in serving the cause. He emphasized that various dioceses which are not yet active and enthusiastic and advised to give special concern to strengthen such dioceses.
The inaugural function concluded with the distribution of mementos after which the Fr Chinnappa Reddy, AP State Co-ordinator proposed the vote of thanks.

The Scientific Session commenced at 10.30 am with talk on “21st Century Prisons –An Overview”, by Mr. M.V. Krishna Rao (Retd) IPS, he started his talk with a very impressive and remarkable comment that, PMI activity is not one of glamour, but a pragmatic reality oriented entity. He highlighted the concepts on how to ensure the restorative justice. His presentation involved many delegates to generate various queries which were convincingly answered. The session was well moderated by Fr. Anthony Sagayaraja, Hyderabad, Co-ordinator.

The Session on the topic “How to empower prisoners” began by Mr.Gopinath Reddy, DG of Prisons, saying empowerment is not the domain of prison department alone, it should begin from home, then state should take the responsibility and other structures such as NGO’s should play a pivotal role in bringing about the changes . He said lot of propaganda and publicity should be generated in educating the members of the society to accept these brethren. The self esteem of the prisoners is very low. Through counseling we can improve the self esteem.   Self – realization should come within.

The session was facilitated by Fr Stephen, who did justice; lots of queries were poured by the delegates. The session on “Role of Government in the Rehabilitation of the Prisoners”, was presented by Mr Irfan, a young practicing lawyer, he highlighted the various rehabilitation measures adopted by the prison department for the welfare of the prisoners. He said there is still a dire need to design long term rehabilitation measures involving various structures in the society for the acceptance and sustenance of those affected. The session was facilitated by Fr Joseph, Volunteer from Adilabad, queries came in leaps and bonds but due to time constraints the delegates were asked to limit the same.

The co-ordinators of various states presented their state-wise reports. Fr. Vincent Xavier for TN, Sr. Adele for Karnataka & Fr Francis Anthony for Hyderabad. All these units have done marvelously well in the outreach activity in the welfare of the prison brethren.

Soon after this the delegates spent their time in Silent Adoration led by Fr. Anthony Sagayaraja. After this the delegates were divided according to their states to discuss Action Plan for the year 2012-2013. Fr Sebastian Vadakumpadan gave 10 areas to discuss and plan…they are as follows,

1. Legal Upgrading
2. Full timers
3. Restorative justice
4. Capital punishment
5. Rehabilitation
6. Diocesan Unit
7. Support of the Church
8. PMI Sunday
9. Community participation in prison

The panel presentation of the action plan was moderated by Most Rev. Peter Remigius & Fr Sebastian Vadakumpadan. The secretaries of the various units gave an enthusiastic response to the given assignment. This was followed by presentation of 3rd South Region Conference Report held in Vellore which was approved and seconded by Rev Sr Leena , & Fr Y C Hrudayaraj.

The Chief Guest at Valedictory function, Most Rev. Peter Remigius in his homily said, Prison Ministry demands a lot of forfeit. The level of your sacrifice is the level of PMI.  Prayer can help us to do it. The guest of Honour Mr.Samuel Johnson, DIG, Telengana Region, stressed the attitude of empowering through empathy.  Creating self-confidence – personal bond equally works in prison, school and family.
The note of Fr. Josekutty Kalayil articulated feeling of oneness towards our brethren behind bars.

At the closing session few members from various units uttered their comments on the conference and students from St. Francis College presented a rhythmic dance. An oath was taken by all the members of the PMI family as the light of God lit by the dignitaries and was emblematically taken to each state. Thereafter, concluded the valedictory function with National Anthem.

Thanking you,

Sr. Rosily JMJ
(Secretary – Southern Region)

Christmas Celebrated in Prisons All over India

Rejoice in the Lord always, I shall say it again. Rejoice! The Lord is near!  Phil. 4:4-5.  Christmas is a time of year which never fails to lift one’s heart with hope and joy, it brings with it a feeling of elation in giving, receiving and sharing. St Paul puts things n perspective when he says the cause of our joy is the presence of Christ in our midst abeit as a vulnerable, humble, dependent babe. To the people of Phillipi this was a special message in the difficult time they were going through.  Faith at such times is vital as it means believing in the unseen God in our midst.

For us, this is a special message to see Christ in the presence of those around us especially the weak and vulnerable and those most despised and considered unworthy by the world, to remember specially that the birth of Jesus was meant to bring joy and peace to those most despised and rejected.
For the Prison Ministry this is a call to see Christ in the prisoners and inmates and to bring joy into their lives.  The words of Christ still ring true. “I was in Prison and you visited me…”

This is a time to make that special effort to reach out to not only prisoners but to any unfortunate person who is in need of God’s loving presence. Humble service towards others can only bring us closer to God the only cause of our joy.  Rejoice! Joy be to you on this Christmas Season. May this joy abide in you all through the New Year.

Christmas Celebration at Bangalore Central Jail

Christmas came early to inmates of Parappana Agrahara on Monday when Prison Ministry of India took inside the high walls the message of love, peace and forgiveness that this season calls for.

Prison ministry India is a National Voluntary Organization working for release, reformation and rehabilitation of the prisoners, woman in distress and juvenile delinquent.

The President of today’s Christmas programme was Rev. Dr. Bernard Moras, the Chief Guest  Chief Superintendent Shri. Lakhsmi Narayan, the rest of the dignitaries on stage were namely, the Assistant National Co-ordinator of Prison Ministry India Rev. Fr. Mathew Joseph MI, the State Co-ordinator Mrs. Aida Margaret D’Cunha, Guest of Honours Jail Superintendent Shri. Krishna Kumar, CMO Vijaya Kumar, Rev.Fr. Anthony D’Souza, Sr. Adele, Mr. Manoj George.

As with Birthday Celebrations, this one too began with the cutting of the cake. As Chief Guest Rev Dr. Bernard Moras, the Archbishop of Bangalore, put it in his message, “No matter how difficult our circumstances, we still celebrate the birthday of our children.” It was the same on Monday. He in his message shared about the aspect of seeing God in the nature and in the Life of people we meet. The God we believe is a universal God who is being honored in different names by different persons but we are all created by one God.

We are all prone to commit mistakes in our life big or small but what is absolutely important is to realize our faults and turn back to God. Our God is a loving God who is not born in a raging whirlwind nor in a devouring fire but he is a humble God who came down on earth and became human.

He exemplified the message of love through the example of Blessed Mother Theresa who envisioned the countenance of God in the people she served. Similarly the voluntaries of prison ministry India today has brought us God’s countenance in to the lives of prison inmates, central prison, Bangalore.
He challenged them about the need to live a quality life like the others, as they are served they should be ready to responsibly serve the people who require their help.

But perhaps the greatest treat of the morning was when Mr. Manoj George, music composer, and a violinist who played for Mungaru Male, took to the stage along with Renju George, a pianist. The two played hits like A R Rahman’s Chinna Chinna Aase and Uyira, and from Mungaru Male. As they say, music has no boundaries and this was the music that touched all those who heard it and healed the emotionally broken – even if it was for a short time. There were cheers and claps and whistles that even the stern authorities couldn’t quell. And by the time they played jingle bells, Christmas had truly arrived.

The Chief Superintendent expressed his heartfelt happiness on the occasion of the Christmas celebration by the voluntaries of prison ministry India on 19-12-2011. He said all the programmes were well done specially the dances performed by the children of the prisoners, the girls of Jeevodaya (rehabilitation centre for women in distress and released prisoners), Children of premodaya, Socare (a centre for the prisoners children),  and the Sisters of St. Charles convent displayed a very powerful message of Christmas through dramatic dance presentation. He expressed gratitude to all the volunteers of prison ministry India for their relentless and collective effort to make this day a memorable one. He honored Archbishop Bernard Moras’ presence on this auspicious day and spoke very exuberantly about the message of Christmas that is love and forgiveness and never retaliation or regret.

All India Coordinators Meet Nagpur – November 15th to 17th 2011 All India Coordinators Meet Nagpur – November 15th to 17th 2011

“The theme of the meeting was Community participation in the prison”

The three-day Meet began on November 15th at the pastoral centre of Arch Bishop’s house in Nagpur. Over 100 PMI representatives from across various locations participated. After the welcome address by Sr. Grace the unit convener of Nagpur, we had the Holy mass by Fr. Karippery the founder father of PMI concelebrated by Bp Peter Remigius and all priests attending the program.

At Fr.Sebastian Vadakumpadan the National Coordinator set the context for the program. Bp Peter Remigius addressed the group in a very interactive and innovative manner. After dinner the delegates reassembled for an ice-breaking session to help them to get to know the others.   Day one concluded at 8.45pm with a prayer.

16th Nov. the Second day of the meeting began at 6.30 am with the morning prayer by Kerala unit followed by Holy Mass celebrated by Arch-bishop Abraham Viruthakulangara and concelebrated by Bp Remigius and all the priests. After the breakfast Rev. Fr. Varghese Karippery delivered an inspiring talk with lot of enthusiasm and conviction. He expressed his concern for the Prison ministry, its growth, strength and expectations and value based continuity. He gave the methodologies on how to work for the prison ministry effectively.

At 9.30 am the inaugural function started.  The dignitaries of the day were Arch bishop Abraham, Bp Peter Remigius and the special invitee Chief Guest Shri Vipin Bihari Director general prison, Eastern Region Nagpur, our founder father Varghese Karippery, Fr. Josekutty, Fr.Sebastian Vadakumpadan, Fr.Mathew MI, Sr.Maria Rose, Advocate Prashant Santhiyanathan, Public Prosecutor-Nagpur, Fr. Jerome Vicar General, Fr.Dominic Mendonza. The cultural programs such as dance and songs added joy and color to the function. Fr. Sebastian the National Co-ordinator welcomed the dignitaries. He spoke about improving Public Co-operation through the community participation in prison and circulated the printed copies to everyone. Sr. Ancy, the National Secretary presented the annual report for2010-11 and it was passed by the chairman Bp. Peter Remigius. The traditional lamp lighting was done by the special dignitaries. Bp. Peter Remigius, in his speech emphasized upon what must be our attitudes when we visit the prison.  Quoting the Gospel passage Jn: 8-7 he said that “We are here to bring reconciliation and not revenge”.

At 11.45 am Sr. Leena Kattukaran and Br. Deacon Benny were honoured with a shawl and memento as a token of appreciation for their sincere efforts in the Ministry and best wishes from PMI for their future endeavors. The Calendar for the year 2012-13 and Vimochana diary, Prison Voice magazine for Nov. etc were released. At 11.50 am Fr. Mathew the assistant National Coordinator gave the vote of thanks and felicitated all the dignitaries with mementos.   Mr.Vipin Bihari the Chief Guest for the day, spoke about the Cooperation of the society in prison.  He said, “Crime cannot be erased, it can be contained or controlled”. Prof. Devasya, a man with faith and trust in God spoke, and his speech was appreciated by all and the participants could benefit from it. Sr. Philo’s session on Plea Bargaining was informative. She explained the procedures of the plea bargaining. A Panel Discussion had been held by Mr. Saksena and team from CHRI (Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative). The discussion points were: the under trial prisoners and the challenges, Jail Adalath, and Video conferencing. The Q & A session was very interactive.

From 5.45 pm onwards the regional coordinators’ presented their reports. After that Fr.Sebastian spoke about restorative justice. The live example of Sr. Rani Maria and an African sister were really touching as it was presented with power point.  From 8.15 pm onwards the state coordinators presented their reports.  By 9.15 pm we concluded the day’s programme with a prayer.

 The Third Day 17th began with the Morning Prayer.  The Holy mass was celebrated by Bp. Remigius concelebrated by all other priests. We specially remembered all the departed members of PMI and very particularly Fr. Karipery’s mother. The Tamil Nadu state conducted the prayer and mass with a small skit titled dispelling the darkness.

At 8.50 we started the session by Dr. Mrinald a psychologist on anti-social, psycho-pathic and criminal personalities. After this, the participants grouped region wise to discuss and elect new coordinators and leaders. Fr. Sebastian gave the guide lines and discussed the future plan.  He also spoke about the full timers course, and the urgent need to have a National Directory for PMI. Bp Peter Remigius told the regional coordinators to ensure that more Volunteers are sent for the full timers training programme.  Bp also urged the gathering to have more contact with parishioners and find benefactors and subscribers for the Prison Voice. Fr. Mathew summarised the report of the group discussion of all the regions.

The Annual General Body Meeting began at 11.45 a.m. Our chair man Bp. Peter Remigius invited the National team and founder fathers to the stage. Sr. Ancy the National Secretary read out the report of the previous General Body meeting. Bp. Peter Remigius asked the consent of the group and it was approved by all. Then Bp told that the term for the executive members are 3 years. Bishop asked the participants what is the expectation from the National Office. He raised concerns on how the National office would function. He asked to send one third of the collection from every regional office to the National Office. Then Bp asked the newly elected members to introduce themselves. It was followed by a Photo Session.

Suggestions and concerns of PMI

The following points were clarified by Fr.Sebastian Vadakumpadan, the National Coordinator PMI such as, Internationals in Foreign Prisons. Full timers course. Few suggestions also had come up during the discussion namely; there should be a friendly club for the released prisoners.  We should have a charity based approach when we visit the prison. We need to have more volunteers from the lay people. The provincials must be ready to send more sisters for the prison ministry. Persons are expecting salary and conveniences when they are asked to do prison ministry. At 1 pm the commissioner of Police Mr. Ankush reportedly graced our gathering with his flamboyant speech and everybody admired him for his hard work.

Vote of thanks:

Fr. Mathew the Assistant National Coordinator thanked everyone especially the Nagpur volunteers. He extended thanks on behalf of PMI to all those who gave us accommodations, electricity, sound system, and those who contributed financially. The Nagpur team was called on the stage and thanked them giving special gifts. At 2.30 pm we sang the National Anthem and Prison Ministry anthem. Then Bp. Peter Remigius, the Chairman waved his way back. We could distribute the name and address along with cell numbers and e-mail ID of all participants before we left the place. At 3.45 pm was the departure.

Medical Camp Organized by Mangalore Unit, PMI

As many as 127 jail inmates including 12 women prisoners benefited from a free medical camp organized by the Prison Ministry India (PMI), Mangalore Unit in association with A.J. Institute of Medical Sciences in the Mangalore Jail Premises on 30th Oct 2011.

The Medical camp was organized following a demand from the jail inmates as a large number of inmates were reportedly suffering from skin related diseases. While all the medicines were provided free of cost to all the needy inmates by A.J. Institute of medical sciences. The medical team headed by Dr. Narendra J. Shetty spent half a day in examining and treating the inmates.

Excerpts from an Interview with Sr. Leena Kattukaran, Ex-State Coordinator of PMI Andhra pradesh

I have fallen in love with our brethren behind bars
 (She is 77 and as Sr Leena Kattookaren, FMM, leaves the office of state co-ordinator of PMI in Andhra Pradesh, she speaks of her experiences and leaves behind words of wisdom).

You have been an active and very vibrant member of Prison Ministry in Andhra Pradesh. Can you share your prison experiences?

Prison Ministry was for me A Call within a call. It helped my own conversion whenever I visited my brothers and sisters behind the bars. I heard, I saw many innocent victims languishing in jail. And every time I heard the real story of their life, I thanked God for saving me from such situations. Every visit of mine helped me to increase my faith and trust in the Lord and helped me to spend more time praying before the Lord and thus getting into a Praying Ministry. Once I understood my brethren in the prison, I continuously prayed for more workers in His vineyard of prison ministry. I learned how to seek and ask the Lord for development of this ministry.

When I realised that prison ministry is a mission of mending  up broken hearts changing their attitudes into simple human beings, I began to spend more time before the Blessed Sacrament praying for this noble cause. I used to offer all the volunteers and co-ordinators to the Lord at the time of Consecration during the Eucharistic Celebration. And I really experienced Gods wonders through this ministry. The Lord heard my prayer and gave a co-ordinator for each diocese of AP in the course of time. Today, with the co-operation of Bishops, we have 13 diocesan co-ordinators for all the 13 dioceses to reach out to all the jails in AP.
Late Fr Maraiah and I used to visit the dioceses to give animation programmes for volunteers and trained more than 300 dedicated and committed volunteers. Our relationship with the prison officials was very cordial and they understood and supported us this ministry in a very systematic and organized manner. They always helped and supported us to visit the prisoners and do all what is allowed as per the prison manual. The officials, especially from the Correctional Wing, have always appreciated our service in love and compassion. My contact with Naxalites in Warangal prison through several visits, had helped their children to be educated in Missionary schools, made the Director General to give me permission to do the same for all the prisons in AP. The Naxalites are normally kept away from the others and no one dares to go to them because of their cruel behavior. Today, I can go to any prison in AP and speak to any prisoner. Praise the Lord!

Tell us about your how you first came into the ministry.

I was born and brought up in Kerala and joined the FMM Institute after my training. I worked in the school for 12 years. Then I moved to Chennai for further studies and remained there for three years. Next, I was transferred to Andhra Pradesh and worked in the school for 23 years. From day one, I worked on an aided post in different districts.

One year before my retirement, I began to reflect on my future mission. I knew the language and culture of the place and had very good experience with society and officials. I sat quietly and asked the Lord in prayer where He wanted me to go next. The Lord whispered in my ear, go to my prisoners. I simply put it off since I had great fear of thieves and policemen. I had a bitter experience of a thief at home when I was a child of four. This psychological fear lingered in me always. The following day, I prayed and again and got the same whisper. Next day, I opened the Bible and got Is.42/7 which said, Release the captives, go to the prisoners and set them free etc. I continued my reflection in prayer.

The next day Sunday, for the first time, I went to the Central Prison, Warangal, with another sister. The deputy superintendent took us around all the barracks. When we reached near the women’s barrack, I stopped to listen to the lady jawans. There were about 65 women in the barrack. The jawans pointed out three women and told me they were ex-students of Fatima School. I used to be the headmistress of Fatima School, a very old and reputed Institution in Warangal Dist. I began to question myself what did we give to them to stand on their own feet in the society? Then while we were having a cup of tea at the superintendent’s house, he asked me if I could spend half an hour to visit the women and give them moral instruction.
His daughter was also my student and he knew my relationship with the students in the school. Again, I began to think in silence connecting with all the previous events the Lords words, Bible text and now this man asking for the same. When I said yes, he asked me to get a letter from the district collector for regular visits. The next step was meeting the collector and explaining to him the reason why I wanted the letter. He sent me the letter the next day and I went to the prison the following Sunday. The superintendent was at his house and I went to him as the deputy superintendent advised me. The superintendent was a Brahmin and in the very first instance he told me, Oh, you have come to convert my people into your religion! I told him, the first part is for me to convert their attitudes but the second part is not for me, and if at all you come to know that I have baptised someone to my religion, you can stop me immediately. Then he allowed me to go forward and visit not only the women but also the youngsters in the other barracks.

What were the hurdles in getting access to the prisoners in the jail?

I did not have many hurdles from the officials. They were very happy that I, a Keralite, had offered myself to help the Correctional Wing of the prison department in serving the prisoners with love and compassion. They were ready to give the necessary permissions and support in seeing to the welfare of the prisoners. Sometimes, we had to go through rough and tough ways to continue our ministry, mainly because of certain officials with wrong understanding. If there was any problem with respect to volunteers, I would approach the DG and get it rectified. So far, there is a great respect and acceptance between us. So, I could have a good relationship with the officials and the Church authorities.

What are your perspectives about the situation of prisoners in the jail?

Here in AP, there are about 15,000 prisoners. If we have really committed and service-minded volunteers, we can do a lot. The volunteers change from time to time so some animation programme is required for the new ones. As far as the officials are concerned, they will not care much for the welfare of the inmates. We should be their saviours, the link between the government and prison officials, to plead for their cause.
The candidates of petty cases, for example, can be sent away soon if someone speaks for them and brings them to the notice of higher authorities. But they are kept for days, months and years. There is no one to plead for them. As Gandhiji said, Five years of punishment is enough for the prisoners to be corrected and sent them to society. Immediate needs are not provided for in some cases. There is no one to give them counseling, to get in touch with a lawyer for their cases, to visit the families and reach out to them etc.

What are your sentiments about the prisoners and the ministry, while you leave your office as the state co-ordinator of PMI in AP?

I lift my eyes and thank the Lord for being with me all these 12 years and showing me such progress in the mission of the Church today. I also thank the Lord for His call to this noble Ministry.
Prison Ministry is not to stop, it will continue till the end of the world. As long as there are people in the world, there will be prisons and this mission is absolutely necessary. As I leave the office of state co-ordinator, my prayer is: Lord, may my successor, your servant, understand that this is special call for him. It was a call within a call for me and you strengthened my call all through. I pray for the same for my successor and may he experience the importance of this ministry, for this is the command of the Lord, to continue His Mission here on earth for His beloved children. The Lord came in search of the lost sheep and He wants us to continue this search for the last, lost and the least of the society. Yes, I pray every day during the Consecration for the co-ordinators and the volunteers of PMI in AP.

This Mission is very dear to me for; we are building human beings with our visit to the prisoners.
What are your hopes for the future of Prison Ministry India?

The seed that was sown by the Founders of Prison Ministry should flourish, not in quantity of numbers but in QUALITY. People who accepted this as a special call from the Lord should dedicate themselves for this noble cause. The members who are responsible should give the volunteers real MOTIVATION. Organise animation programmes from time to time for those who have come forward to be true disciples of Christ so that they can be trained for this Mission. They must be prepared not for money but for their reward in heaven.
All are sinners; today they are caught and put in prison. And it is our duty and responsibility to go in search of them to bring back to the fold. May this Ministry be accepted by the Church and the faithful as one of the ministries of the Church and instruct the faithful to be Christ’s disciples for this ministry.

Most of the people languishing behind the bars are young. Would you like to give some suggestions to the youth to live well?

Here, I go back to my first association with the Naxalites in Warangal prison. The Naxalites are considered terrorists and when I listened to them patiently, I understood they too have their own views. This particular group is composed of mostly youth. Very few are genuine Naxalites, the others are caught in the trap. Why? Due to poverty, unemployment problems, disputes, quarrels at home , not given due respect etc. Unless and until, we listen and understand their problems, we cannot do anything . The psychology of youth is totally different. So, what we can do is, accept them as they are and build a good rapport with them. Listen to their ideas and views. Speak to them like St Paul spoke to Onesimus , gently, with sympathy and compassion. They can be changed and transformed into better people. And remember, they are the backbone of our country. Pray for them, praise them in spite of their bad behaviour. No action will be done without reason. Try to see good in them and bring them to the feet of the Lord. Then speak to them about authentic living. It will take time, but we can win them to our fold and make them instruments and builders of our society.

Message for the volunteers working in the prisons?

From my 20-year experience, I can say that accept this Mission as a call from the Lord. Every volunteer should be equipped with two certificates, ie, conviction and commitment. Work in this Ministry with dedication and commitment as long as you can. Pray to the Lord of the harvest to send more volunteers into His vineyard. Build up a good relationship with the prison officials and the Church authorities. Accept the challenges and do everything in humility and simplicity. Every time you meet with challenges, it is a sign of God,s love to strengthen you in your Mission. Let your aim be to bring about ATTITUDINAL changes among the prisoners filling them with the light of Christ our Saviour. Allow them to listen, to ponder what you say and help them to change in themselves. Finally, Prison Ministry is a PRAYING MINISTRY, an EVANGELISING MINISTRY.

What are your future plans?

I will continue visiting my people in the prisons. I have literally fallen in love with them. They are my source of strength in prayer. I pray for the inmates, prison officials and the families of prisoners before the Lord. Yes, I am already 77 years old and I have certain ailments and yet I told my provincial, I will continue visiting my beloved brethren until I drop down. I am ready to help anyone who is in need of my help. Please pray for me.

Formation of a Football team

A Foot Ball Team has been formed by the hard work and relentless effort of Mr. Elvis Joseph, the chairman of the Children’s sports foundation in Bangalore and the members of Prison Ministry. The Final match was held inside the prison premises on a fine day between the prison inmates and the Students of St. Joseph’s College. The Match had ended on a very competitive and thrilling note with the St. Joseph’s college team’s Victory. Bishop Most Rev. Bernard Moras greeted both the team mates for their friendly yet very competitive game and the organizing unit PMI for all their tireless initiatives.