Heavenly Father, you are the Creator and we are all your children. Make us truly one. Protect us from the division in families, in communities, in the Church and in the world.
Lord Jesus Christ, you are the Savior who died for us and saved us. Now as your disciples, you send us forth to proclaim the good news of salvation in you throughout the world. May we be worthy witnesses. Show us the way to self-denial, embrace of the cross, and following you. Raise among us true servant leaders who have a passion for souls.
Holy Spirit, you are the agent of evangelization who sends us to engage in spiritual warfare. Equip us with the armor of God and weapons of righteousness. Help us to preserve unity in the Spirit through the bond of peace. May we stand together as your holy warriors.
Triune God, you are three Persons in one God. In you we have one baptism, one faith, one hope. We are one body. Help us to truly become united in mind and heart, in vision and mission, to be one with the Father through the Son and in the Spirit.
Mama Mary, you are our beloved Mother. We are your offspring who strive to keep God's commands, bear witness to Jesus, and wage war in the Spirit against the enemy. Cover us with your mantle of protection, keeping us in your loving embrace always.
We as the people of God live by the Spirit and not by the flesh. “Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires.” (v.24). We are to avoid the works of the flesh. “Now the works of the flesh are obvious: immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, rivalry, jealousy, outbursts of fury, acts of selfishness, dissensions, factions, occasions of envy, drinking bouts, orgies, and the like.” (v.19-21a).
December 12, 2016 (C-Fam) – With his job still on the line, the newly appointed UN independent expert for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights laid out a provocative agenda for his 3-year term a couple weeks ago. “This mandate will cover every country under the sun and under the moon,” Thai Professor Vitit Muntarbhorn is reported to have said, further antagonizing countries that have already promised not to cooperate with him.
LCSC is our lay response to the call to the New Evangelization. Through LCSC we will do rapid and massive evangelization, focusing on the lapsed or non-practicing Catholics (though not exclusively). LCSC has 4 pillars, all of critical importance. They are Live Pure (youth chastity), Live the Word (focus on Bible appreciation), Live Life (pro-life advocacy) and Live Full (our work of building the Church of the Poor through the No One In Need movement).
Part of our work with the poor is our Prison Ministry. A significant aspect of our Prison Ministry is our work at the Maximum Security Compound of the National Bilibid Penitentiary (Max-NBP) in Metro Manila. This is where the so-called dregs of society are incarcerated, possibly for life. These prisoners are actually the poorest of the poor, poorer even than those without houses. They have been forgotten or abandoned by their families, they live in wretched conditions with very limited freedom of movement, they can be said to have no future to speak of. Life in prison at the Max-NBP is wretched and not comparable at all to prison facilities in the West as you see in the movies.
We have been at work at Max-NBP for a number of years. Now we have introduced LCSC, and we intend to go massive. We do have a captive audience, but the work is very challenging, demanding much of those among our brethren who serve there. We currently have an active membership of 500 prisoners, but there are over 10,000 inmates in the Max-NBP. We hope to be able to reach all the Catholics, even given very severe limitations, such as restricted access and occasional gang wars. We also hope to do more work in the Medium Security facility, where we now have 30 members. One big limitation is money.
While there are rich and famous (infamous) inmates, the great majority, including all of our members, are poor. As we provide spiritual food through the gospel, we also need to look to providing physical or material assistance. As it is now, our budget is just a measly 100 pesos per person a month, supplemented now and then by donations in kind. We spend this for food, medicine, and other services (like mailing). LCSC currently is contributing 40K a month, with additional amounts provided by other CFC-FFL brethren. If we have 10,000 members, that would need 1M a month.
Being the poorest of the poor, our work at Max-NBP is at the heart of our participation in the building of the Church of the Poor. It is what LCSC is all about. But here is encouraging news: if we all did our little share, we will have enough. All it takes is 100 pesos a month, or US$2.30 (round that off to US$2.50), per person. That is just US$30 per year.
Can you sponsor one prisoner at US$2.50 per month? Those who can sponsor more than one prisoner are of course welcome to give more. Can I ultimately get 10,000 of our CFC-FFL brethren to sponsor at least one prisoner each? Is that too much to expect? For the majority of our brethren who are not directly involved in our work with the poor, this is one small opportunity to be involved, and to be reminded of the poor whom we are supposed to have a preferential option for.
So with this I am launching Gideon 10,000 (G10K). Because there were those in Gideon's army who were afraid, "twenty-two thousand of the soldiers left, but ten thousand remained." (Jgs 7:3b). However, they were sent home, to participate in the rout of Midian later. G10K will be those of our brethren who from their homes support this fight.
You will be glad to hear that spiritual renewal is very much happening among the prisoners. Their worship is even more vibrant than some of our chapters. They have their own Music Ministry. They regularly do the Liturgical Bible Study. Leaders have emerged from among them. Some of them even tithe, albeit in very small amounts.
Note also that we have had an LCS for 111 new jail guards for the New Bilibid Prison last February. In this work, jailers and jailed are brethren. Members of various gangs war not on each other but on the evil one. Rich (you who fund this work) and poor come together.
Our theme for this year, Empowered to Witness, is from 2 Timothy 1:7-8. This prison ministry work is a big part of our "testimony to our Lord" (v.8a), and with it, we are not ashamed of our brother-prisoners nor of Paul, "a prisoner for his sake" (v.8b). Paul also tells us, "bear your share of hardship for the gospel." The prisoner endures the most hardship. Our Prison Ministry team bears a lot of hardship. Now you, the giver, can put in your little bit as well.
I am kicking this off with my personal financial support for 50 prisoners. Can I count on you too? Please (1) let me know directly by email, (2) tell me what district, province and country you are from, (3) indicate how many prisoners you are supporting (one or more), and (4) remit your contribution to:
Or, click on the "DONATE" button in the right column.
I request that this be a continuing commitment on your part, until such time that you inform me you will no longer participate in this particular work. I ask the leaders in the loop to disseminate this appeal down the line to all of our members worldwide, but also to their friends or other contacts. It is a work critical to the New Evangelization.
I am confident the Lord will bless us all as we do more for His mission of bringing glad tidings to the poor. This is what the New Evangelization and the work of this third millennium are about.
Thank you very much.
"For to me life is Christ, and death is gain." (Phil 1:21)
Eastern Canada Regional Conference
1250 Markham Rd, Scarborough
May 12 - 13, 2017
Planet Bowl 5555 Eglinton Ave West Etobicoke April 29, 1 PM
March For Life
Parliament Hill, Ottawa May 11, 2017, 12 PM Bus leaves: St. Francis Xavier Church Miississauga - 6 AM Kennedy Commons Scarborough - 7 AM
Last updated: Monday, April 3, 2017