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African prisoners

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 Contents - Sep 2007AD2000 September 2007 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: How to ensure AD2000's continuing impact - Michael Gilchrist
Pastoral Letter: NSW and ACT Bishops call for a shake-up in Catholic education - Michael Gilchrist
News: The Church Around the World
A successful quest for vocations in Melbourne - Br Barry Coldrey
Rome reaffirms Vatican II's teaching on 'one true Church' - Frank Mobbs
New Age: Centering Prayer and other spiritualities: are they Catholic? - Wanda Skowronska
'Thought that has been thought out' - John Haldane
Rediscovering the real history of Australian Catholic education - Eamonn Keane
Catholic education must be 'unashamedly Catholic' - Bishop Robert Finn
Laity: How the Legion of Mary can benefit parishes - Fr Hugh Thwaites SJ
Letters: Vatican II - Peter D. Howard
Letters: Infallible? - Francis Vrijmoed
Letters: Dr Mobbs' response - Frank Mobbs
Letters: Extraordinary? - Mark Szymczak
Letters: Lapsed Catholics - Robert Garratt
Letters: Preaching - Kevin McManus
Letters: Religious attire - Tom King
Letters: African prisoners - John Evans
Poem: A poem for Mary's Birthday - Brian Joseph Mulligan
Books: THE BEAUTY OF THY HOUSE, by Mark Alessio - Tim Cannon (reviewer)
Books: FAITH AND CERTITUDE, by Thomas Dubay SM - Tim Cannon (reviewer)
Events: Silent Retreat 9-12 November 2007
Books: Books available from AD2000
Reflection: An informed conscience: what the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches - Bishop Luc Matthys

For some time I have been corresponding with prisoners in the maximum security prison in Kabwe, Zambia. I originally received the information through correspondence at our Serra Club meeting. Originally there were two, but as time has passed several more have sent letters.

The conditions in Zambian jails are less than acceptable, with overcrowding and hygiene issues being far from satisfactory. The men with whom I correspond profess to be Christian although Zambia is a predominantly Muslim country. Their letters always start and conclude with a Christian greeting.

The prisoners have sent me the name and address of a Catholic priest who visits them, and with whom I have also corresponded. I try to send them soaps and toiletries and international postage vouchers, as they have no money to purchase stamps. I also send Catholic magazines and publications, bibles, and rosary beads. They rarely see friends or family.

I am seeking readers who may feel inclined to write to some of them, to offer them hope and encouragement in maintaining their faith while they complete their time. One prisoner has been on remand since January 2000, but not yet convicted. I don't know much about their crimes and make no judgement, but rather encourage them to place their trust in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Comments from them indicate they greatly appreciate any letters as these are their only contact with the outside world. Anyone interested in assisting can obtain their names and addresses from me at 1/38 Horsley St, Wagga Wagga 2650, NSW, (tel) 02 6922-6287 or by email: evans07 @

Wagga Wagga, NSW

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 20 No 8 (September 2007), p. 15

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