Christ calls on all of us to perform works of mercy. Here's the story of one woman who does so through ministering to prisoners.
By Diana Roda
Sometimes, I wonder if I am really making a difference as a volunteer in the Catholic Chapel of Sing Sing, a maximum security prison in Ossining, N.Y.
Then a recent incident showed me God's mercy in action. I was just beginning my weekly routine in the prison, which starts with Holy Mass, when the priest collapsed on the altar. As Father received medical attention, one of the inmates went to the podium and led everyone in praying The Divine Mercy Chaplet for him.
The correctional officers raced into the chapel and were amazed to find the inmates devoutly and orderly praying The Divine Mercy Chaplet. The following week, one of them asked me how Father was feeling and to find out what "magic" the chaplet seemed to possess.
"Magic?" I responded. "Not magic, but mercy and forgiveness!"
I know from my own personal journey of mistakes that to be forgiven is one of the greatest joys in life. I want the Sing Sing inmates to know that same "freedom" and joy.
By teaching the inmates The Divine Mercy Chaplet and its promises from the Diary of St. Faustina, I hope to give them the tools for salvation and conversion not only for themselves but in praying for others, especially the dying.
The experience of seeing the inmates praying the chaplet for Father now makes going to Sing Sing even more important.
Diana Roda, a retired schoolteacher and Marian Helper, lives with her husband, Chuck, in Garrison, N.Y. In addition to her prison ministry at Sing Sing, she is active in many ministries in her parish. Learn how you, too, can become a Marian Helper.
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