The second national convention of Prison Ministry India was conducted at Navinta Retreat centre, in Delhi from 22 to 24th of September, 1995. From ten states people participated in the convention. The national convention was blessed with the Bl. Mother Theressa who inaugurated the convention and Most Rt. Rev. Alen De Lastic , Archbishop of Delhi presided over the function.
The message of Mother Teresa
Let us ask our lady to give us her heart so beautiful, so pure, so immaculate her heart is full of loving and humility that we may be able to receive Jesus and love him as she loved him and take care of him as she took care of him.
Let us thank lord for his great love to share the joy of loving. It is a beautiful gift of god to take of people men and women in jail. It is something beautiful for god and is a real gift of god. I remember last time I met our chief minister and he told me that there are girls in jail and he wants to send them to me. I went and found 34 young girls all beautiful girls; they were there because they were caught for pr4ostitution. They were put to such life. Police caught them and put them into jail. When I told them that I can take them, they were all very happy. They were all put into the street by their own family members. When I went to them they asked mother do something, they are not guilty. We have not done anything wrong. So I gave them a word that I will do something in time I was able to take them out. Now there are 150 of them young and old people.
Such a tremendous change is there in their life and what is most beautiful in that we had such a big number of families bringing them food cloths and so on. Even a big group of men came together and made a society. The name of that society is “Hope” and the aim of the society is to help the people. They had a meeting and decided who is the most hopeless person now Mother Theresa. So they all started to raise money together and also collect things for the jail people. I was so much touched by this young people that they make so much sacrifice to help these unwanted young girls.
Then I started to work to get another 75 and government was happy to release all to them. They are all beautifully with me in Shanthi Dhan which means gift of peace. They are all being taught handwork by the sister. Some group of ladies also organized themselves to help them.
Then I started a bank account for them to make some future project for them. We have to settle them In life. We hope to settle them with the money that is grown in the bank account. We have absolutely no trouble with anybody and there is such love, joy and peace and it has been a real gift of god for our Hindu families also. It has brought them to know love and to share that love with them.
One day the top man of the Calcutta eminently came and asked what he can do. I said we have these young ladies and so teach them something. Now every day they came and teach English and Bengali and bring them to a certain standard. This created such wonderful unity among them. So much of sacrifice is being made by our Hindu families and then there is something unbelievable. We never thought there would be so much of peace, unity and love among them. Now the government has passed a law that non criminals should not be taken to jail. So they asked me take 35 young men also from jail. So they asked me take 35 young men also from jail and have arranged the missionaries of charity brothers to take care of them. There are 22 more when I leave to Calcutta. So I will have 57 young beautiful girls. Hope some schools will come forward to help with education. So that their future is with secure. Government is ready to give any kind of help. I will have to get somebody to help the older ones also. There is such a beautiful spirit among them. I think we could continue doing something like that also in Delhi and Bombay.
Let us thank the lord for this gift to share the tender love of Jesus in the nearest of so many people. The face of these women are completely changed because they are at so much of peace and so anxious to be loved and to grow. Many are making big sacrifices to come and help those in jail.
Let us thank the lord for his love. The other day some protestant families came together and gathered about 500 Sarees and gave them to me for the jail people. I think that was a wonderful thoughtful gesture of sharing. We had even Brahmin ladies who come to help the girls. Anyone who can help as nurses or teachers are welcome.
I am very happy that the church is the first one to be there to start this beautiful work. I will be very happy if some of you who are in Calcutta can come and organize this work with them especially for the older ones. What is most interesting is to see them pray together. I believe when the sisters go for meditation, they are praying for them. We see a beautiful spirit among them. One big beautiful thing is that it has created a good relation between Hindus and catholic’s. They are appreciating the work so much. I have never seen that clearly before. Let us thank the lord for his great love. I want you all to help in some way to teach these girls something more that we can arrange for their future. I am also taking 35 men with the brothers some can help with them also. Many are coming forward in Bombay to help me.
So let us thank god for his great love in giving this beautiful opportunity to us to do something beautiful for god to give tender love and care to our brothers and sisters.
THE FIRST NATIONAL CONVENTION OF PRISON MINISTRY INDIA was conducted at Christian Workers’ Centre, Bangalore, Karnataka from 13th to 15th of August, 1994. The convention was inaugurated by Mr. Alphonse Kannanthanam IAS , the commissioner DDA and presided over by Very Fr. Alex Ukkarn CMI , the national Secretary of Catholic religious of India.The first national meeting of volunteers of Prison Ministry India from 8 states of India gathered and resolved to establish a regular national organization for this special ministry with dedicated qualified workers among the inmates of prisons. With this end in view, an adhoc executive committee comprising 8 members whose names are given below
This first national meeting placed before the CBCI the proposal of establishing a broad – based and regular national ministry for this most necessary apostolate with units in all the dioceses of the country. His grace Archbishop of Arokiasamy, Archbishop of Madurai was the patron of Prison Ministry India since it was under the Justice Peace Development commission.
The blessing , support and guidance of the Indian Hierarchy is requested through the CBCI for this purpose, for which this resolution of this first national meeting of volunteers for prison apostolate is being submitted to the CBCI through the chairman of KCBC commission for Justice, Peace and development. Fr. Varghese Karippery, the national Coordinator was the man behind the first national convention.
Year Of Convention