This pandemic has forced us to change habits and patterns and made us discover new ways of carrying out our apostolate.
Here in Oran, Algeria, we used to go to the prison in pairs (with a priest) once a week to meet between 25-38 men. The prisoners are almost all sub-Saharan (majority Cameroonians). Most have no other visits and no links with the outside since their arrest. During the visit I try to listen to each one. When I get home I contact their relatives, their partners, friends in Algeria and then by Facebook their families and friends living elsewhere. It is an extremely emotional and spiritual apostolate because we are journeying together and we are able to form a family that meets once a week around the Word of God.
Due to the health crisis, the country’s authorities suspended visits to prisoners, but during the last few months, I have been able to continue my commitment to the prisoners. We had to invent another way of being present. Instead of going to the prison, I started sending letters once a week to each prisoner. Thanks to this correspondence communication between the prisoners and their families was able to take place throughout the year, even with prisoners who in the meantime were transferred to other prisons in Algeria. We could follow them and keep sending the news. These exchanges of letters have been the most striking and powerful reality for me this year. This correspondence is beautiful and brings many blessings to all of us. I thank the Lord for this beautiful apostolate, which he has given me for two years. I thank the Lord for this time which made me see the unwavering presence of Jesus who accompanies us and fills us with strength, joy, and life against the winds and tides. How many times have I read in the letters of prisoners, “my sister Jesus is here, his Word is alive, it is fulfilled in my life …” I thank God for the gift of faith !!! How beautiful and happy our life is with Christ who gave his life for us.
In photo Our Lady of Santa Cruz