ACN Project of the Week – Peru
500 Bibles for a prison apostolate
By ACN Projects Department, ACN International
Adapted by ACN Canada
Published to the web March 18, 2020
As in many other parts of the world, in Latin America the prisons are hopelessly overcrowded and conditions are extremely hard.
For example, the prison in Callao, Peru, was designed for 1,500 prisoners but currently holds 5,600. For these prisoners the Catholic prison outreach is a real blessing. Twice a week, those who wish to participate come together for a joint Lectio Divina, while Holy Mass is celebrated every week for a congregation of up to 800 prisoners. And there are also Holy Masses for the major feasts of the Church year.
Bishop José Luis del Palacio Peréz-Medel has himself frequently visited the prison. When he travelled to Rome to meet Pope Francis in 2018, he brought with him a letter from the prisoners. The Pope answered the letter personally and encouraged them all, despite all past failures and weaknesses, to believe and trust in the help and Mercy of Christ.
The Holy Scriptures are indispensable
A vital and indispensable part of this outreach which helps those concerned to a better and deeper knowledge of God‘s love and mercy, is the reading of Holy Scripture. But inmates and their families are too poor to afford a Bible. In 2017, thanks to the help of ACN, 500 Bibles were distributed among them. Now, thanks to the generosity of our benefactors, we are able to contribute $7,500 once again, so that another 500 copies of the sacred scriptures can be made available for the prison outreach program.
The Bibles are used for the sessions of Lectio Divina and for catechetical instruction of those preparing for baptism.
For all the inmates this has been a great joy and consolation and the bishop has written to us to say that his priests working in the prison ministry are also delighted.
Our heartfelt thanks to all who have helped!