Marking Prisoners' Sunday - A word from Bishop Richard Moth

Today, Sunday October 8th, we mark Prisoners’ Sunday, the national day of prayer and action for prisoners and their dependants. It is a day to direct our thoughts and prayers to prisoners, their families and their children. Prisoners’ Sunday offers an important opportunity to open our hearts to those members of our community who may be in crisis and to be there for those who most need our support. I ask you to remember prisoners and their dependants in your prayers.

Pact is the only Catholic charity solely dedicated to tackling the issues that arise from having a loved one in prison and who actively work to minimise the harm caused by imprisonment on prisoners, families and communities. Pope Francis said ‘It is necessary to offer concrete signs of hope to those who experience pain and suffering. Social organisations and associations, as well as individuals who strive towards acceptance and sharing, are generators of hope. Therefore, I exhort your Christian communities to be agents of solidarity’.

On Prisoners’ Sunday this year our focus is “We Press On – Together, In Hope”. As a community we reinforce the message of hope, for those who press on in the face of adversity, no matter how seemingly great or small. Hope after all is both a core Christian precept and a fundamental human value, and the seed from which positive change can grow.

May I direct you to the resources section of Pact’s website where, under the Prisoners’ Sunday section you will find materials which can be used to mark the day including suggested homilies, children’s liturgy and group discussion guidance. In the Prisoner’s Sunday pack you can also find a messages from Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Monsignor Roger Reader (Catholic Bishop’s Prison Adviser) and Pact CEO Andy Keen-Downs. Prayer leaflets are also available for distribution upon request.

On this occasion I ask you to please pray for all those affected by the criminal justice system, and I encourage you to volunteer your time to help those affected, and support the work of Pact in any way you can.  Pact, its staff and people it supports will be grateful for any support you may be able to offer at any point in the year.  Do contact their friendly team should you be in need of more information.

Yours in Christ,

 

Rt Rev Richard Moth

Liaison Bishop for Prisons

Bishops of the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton