The Christophers are proud to have honored Father David T. Link with our 2014 Father James Keller Award. His life as a husband, father, and esteemed Dean of the Notre Dame Law School and then later as a widower and priest devoted to prison ministry is an inspiration to us all. In his remarks upon receiving the award, Father Link noted that the common thread among those who commit crimes and wind up in prison is that they have lost touch with their God given purpose in life. Father Link said:
“Unfortunately, I’ve found this failure to discover life’s purpose
exists outside the razor wire. It exists throughout society, and
organizations like The Christophers make it meaningful to find
that life’s purpose. The Christophers do some wonderful work in
sending things into our prisons, and they make people realize inside
the razor wire that there’s people outside that care about them.”
How blessed we are to have prison ministers like Father Link who inspire us to continue all we do. We regularly hear from people like Father Link about the impact our materials have on their ministries, and we’d like to share a few quotes from these communications so our dedicated supporters know of the gratitude that has been expressed for the work we do together.
Sister Mary Ann Collins, O.P., who ministers to the women of the Bedford Hills Correctional facility, recently wrote:
“I would like to take the time to thank you for your generosity and
your support of our ministry. Your gift of the beautiful Christophers
calendars was very well received. Many of the women were actually
looking to us for calendars with a combination of scenery and scriptures
and lo and behold your calendars arrived! In addition, we have put your
“Three Minutes a Day” booklets to good use and even the volunteers
who frequent the facility have expressed their interest in the booklets.
As always, we feel very blessed to have loving friends like you and your
thoughtfulness and your giving spirit permeates to the women as they realize
that others remember them. You and your wonderful organization are
an inspiration to us all. In a nutshell, you are making a big difference
in the lives of those less fortunate. Please know that we continue to
remember all of you in prayer. May God bless you all!”
During the recent Christmas season, we sent Deacon Peter Andre, a prison minister from the Diocese of Saint Petersburg, Florida, our latest Three Minutes a Day books as well as prayer cards in both English and Spanish, and he wrote back, saying:
“We simply could not have done it without the help of The
Christophers! How can we ever adequately say thank you?
May God continue to bless you, your staff, your benefactors,
with a showering of His blessings, and constant affirmations
of his abiding love.”
And when we heard that Sister Rosemary Dowd, RSG, who is in her 80s and now retired after decades of work in prison ministry, has returned to ministry as a volunteer, we sent her some of our materials, and she wrote back, saying:
What a lovely surprise to hear from you and to receive this much
appreciated gift of vol. 50 of Three Minutes a Day. The men in
jail are appreciative of these stories because they are true and that
gives them hope. So often they asked for true stories that showed
how people who wanted to change their lives succeeded.
I still miss my men in Cook County Jail very much. I do send one
there some reading material, as well as sending some to a man who
had helped me so much, a great reader, who was sentenced and is now
in Illinois State Penitentiary in Menard Illinois. He is the one to whom
I am sending the book you sent. He always shares with others.
To my great joy I expect to be back in jail soon, but in San Mateo City
Jail. A St. Vincent de Paul group visits there regularly and have weekly
Communion services. I expect to have permission to join them soon, and
then I’ll see what I’m allowed to bring in.
I hope all is well with you and the other Christophers. I hope I can be in
touch again soon.
What an inspiration Sister Rosemary, Deacon Peter, Sister Mary Ann Collins, and all prison ministers are to us as they exemplify the very essence of what it means to be a Christopher. In his closing remarks at our awards ceremony, Father Link said:
“My job is easily explained. All I do is help prisoners get
out of themselves, help them find life’s purpose. I try to
help them light one little candle then I turn them over to
the Holy Spirit who finishes the job.”
We encourage everyone to watch the short video of Father Jonathan Morris presenting our Father James Keller Award to Father Link. The remarks of both Father Morris and Father Link are truly inspiring and they remind us why we must persevere in this most important ministry.