in the jail that was truly blessed and filled with God's love.
October 18-24 is National Prison Awareness Week.
As part of the celebration, Father Fernando Suarez, the priest with healing gifts from the Holy Spirit, celebrated mass at the QC Jail yesterday, in spite of many obstacles. Although Fr. Suarez and his Superior said yes right away, we had problems getting permission for the mass from the Prison admin! We knew that the enemy wanted QC Jail for himself so we continued to
intercede and God gave us victory.
Fr. Suarez was a little late as he had been praying over sick people at UST Hospital
and many wanted him to pray when they saw him there. While waiting for him, we could see that even the prison guards were excited and even joked around with us. The mood was so different from other times we visit when the guards are usually gruff or indifferent. Father Hector from Laguna and Father Jeff from Canada heard confession before the mass.
Father Suarez spoke to the prisoners during his homily about Viktor Frankl
and how even in the prison, in their darkest moments, they can find meaning,
that their salvation would always be in finding God, and because of that,
they would be able to give love to others around them. We could see that he was very sympathetic of the plight of the prisoners and the first thing he said before the mass was that he was honored to be there, and that he wanted to come back.
The sky was a little dark, and I was praying the rains wouldn't fall, as there was hardly a roof over our heads! God is good all the time- the rains fell AFTER the mass! Since it was overcast, it was not so hot!
After the mass, Father prayed over many of the prisoners even if he had said earlier he would just give a general praying over. Prisoners and even the guards lined up for praying over. Father Suarez was almost hugging them as he prayed over them. One inmate, Patrick de la Rosa, who was in the news recently, did not want to let go of Father and was obviously crying as he spoke to Father S. After Father prayed over the inmates at the basement, where we held the mass, he went to the cells and even to the infirmary. He also prayed over Jopet as Jopet had an attack of asthma the previous night.
Father S was obviously sincere when he said he wanted to come back. He even gave a date for his next visit! When I thanked him for coming, he waved away my thanks saying that he was really happy to be there.
Thank you also for the toys some of you have donated. We brought them yesterday. They will be given away to inmates' children on Sunday, October 31, when the families and friends of inmates will visit and there will be games and prizes. So if you still have toys to donate, we can still bring it on our next scheduled visit, Friday, October 29. You can bring the toys to any papemelroti branch, or you can contact me and I'll try to arrange for pick up. Please mark donations with "Prison" as we are also a drop center for CYA's Ukay Ukay.
God bless you for your untiring support and prayers!
Hebrews 13:3 (New International Version)
3Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners,
and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.