Why do inmates need Jesus? This compelling story is just one example of the need to lead the incarcerated to Jesus:
The guard ushered 20 young women into the room where we hold our Communion Service. After locking the metal door that secured us inside, he left us alone. Of the 20 young inmates only 2 identified themselves as Catholic. Our service ran the full hour and afterwards I called on the radio to inform the guard that our service was over.
Normally they respond immediately and usher the inmates back to their cells. After a wait of one minute, I called again to let them know that we were finished. Still no response. So I sort of jokingly said, “Seems we have some extra time, does anyone have a question?”
One young woman, who sat at the back of the room, raised her hand. “Yeah! I have a question. I was baptized Catholic as a baby, but have never been to church since. Am I still a Catholic?”
I nodded my head and answered, “Yes when you were Baptized there was an indelible mark placed on your soul that cannot be erased. Yes you certainly are still Catholic.”
Then she asked. “I had a baby that died right after birth. Do Catholic’s believe my baby is in heaven?”
“Was your baby baptized?” I asked.
She shook her head, “No it was taken from me right after birth and I never saw it again. It was never baptized.” Tears began to well in her eyes as she asked, “Where is my baby?”
I walked over to her and suggested to the other women present that we pray together for her and the baby. As we all laid hands on her, it seemed that that was a signal for the tears to flow. After she told me her baby’s name, I lead her in a prayer where she imagined holding her new-born baby in her hands and presenting it to Jesus to keep safe for her until they both can be re-united in heaven. After the prayer I asked her, “Where is your baby?”
She immediately responded, “She’s with Jesus!”
“Then you have just answered your own question.”