FATHER LINK and PRISON MINISTRY

            The Christophers are proud to have honored Father David T. Link with our 2014 Father James Keller Award. His life as a husband, father, and esteemed Dean of the Notre Dame Law School and then later as a widower and priest devoted to prison ministry is an inspiration to us all. In his remarks upon receiving the award, Father Link noted that the common thread among those who commit crimes and wind up in prison is that they have lost touch with their God given purpose in life. Father Link said:

                        “Unfortunately, I’ve found this failure to discover life’s purpose

                        exists outside the razor wire. It exists throughout society, and

                        organizations like The Christophers make it meaningful to find

                        that life’s purpose. The Christophers do some wonderful work in

                        sending things into our prisons, and they make people realize inside

                        the razor wire that there’s people outside that care about them.”

 

            How blessed we are to have prison ministers like Father Link who inspire us to continue all we do. We regularly hear from people like Father Link about the impact our materials have on their ministries, and we’d like to share a few quotes from these communications so our dedicated supporters know of the gratitude that has been expressed for the work we do together.

            Sister Mary Ann Collins, O.P., who ministers to the women of the Bedford Hills Correctional facility, recently wrote:

                        “I would like to take the time to thank you for your generosity and

                        your support of our ministry. Your gift of the beautiful Christophers

                        calendars was very well received. Many of the women were actually

                        looking to us for calendars with a combination of scenery and scriptures

                        and lo and behold your calendars arrived! In addition, we have put your

                        “Three Minutes a Day” booklets to good use and even the volunteers

                        who frequent the facility have expressed their interest in the booklets.

                        Thanks again!  

 

                        As always, we feel very blessed to have loving friends like you and your

                        thoughtfulness and your giving spirit permeates to the women as they realize

                        that others remember them. You and your wonderful organization are

                        an inspiration to us all. In a nutshell, you are making a big difference

                        in the lives of those less fortunate. Please know that we continue to

                        remember all of you in prayer. May God bless you all!”

 

            During the recent Christmas season, we sent Deacon Peter Andre, a prison minister from the Diocese of Saint Petersburg, Florida, our latest Three Minutes a Day books as well as prayer cards in both English and Spanish, and he wrote back, saying:

                        “We simply could not have done it without the help of The

                        Christophers! How can we ever adequately say thank you?

                        May God continue to bless you, your staff, your benefactors,

                        with a showering of His blessings, and constant affirmations

                        of his abiding love.”

 

            And when we heard that Sister Rosemary Dowd, RSG, who is in her 80s and now retired after decades of work in prison ministry, has returned to ministry as a volunteer, we sent her some of our materials, and she wrote back, saying:

                        What a lovely surprise to hear from you and to receive this much

appreciated gift of vol. 50 of Three Minutes a Day. The men in

jail are appreciative of these stories because they are true and that

gives them hope. So often they asked for true stories that showed

how people who wanted to change their lives succeeded.

 

I still miss my men in Cook County Jail very much. I do send one

there some reading material, as well as sending some to a man who

had helped me so much, a great reader, who was sentenced and is now

in Illinois State Penitentiary in Menard Illinois. He is the one to whom

I am sending the book you sent. He always shares with others.

 

To my great joy I expect to be back in jail soon, but in San Mateo City

Jail. A St. Vincent de Paul group visits there regularly and have weekly

Communion services. I expect to have permission to join them soon, and

then I’ll see what I’m allowed to bring in.

 

I hope all is well with you and the other Christophers. I hope I can be in

touch again soon.

 

            What an inspiration Sister Rosemary, Deacon Peter, Sister Mary Ann Collins, and all prison ministers are to us as they exemplify the very essence of what it means to be a Christopher. In his closing remarks at our awards ceremony, Father Link said:

                        “My job is easily explained. All I do is help prisoners get

                        out of themselves, help them find life’s purpose. I try to

                        help them light one little candle then I turn them over to

                        the Holy Spirit who finishes the job.”

 

            We encourage everyone to watch the short video of Father Jonathan Morris presenting our Father James Keller Award to Father Link. The remarks of both Father Morris and Father Link are truly inspiring and they remind us why we must persevere in this most important ministry.