Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Kenya: Eucharistic Retreat at Kamiti Prison with MC Fathers

Eucharistic Adoration in the chapel at Kamiti prison.

On Wednesday - Friday, October 3-5, we conducted the second Eucharistic retreat for inmates at Kamiti Prison, Nairobi, this time focusing on those in the maximum security block. Like the retreat we did back in April, we followed a format very similar to YOUTH 2OOO, only adapted to the needs and circumstances of  the prison.

Each day there was Rosary, Mass and a talk in the morning, and Eucharistic Adoration in the afternoon (with the exception of Friday because the retreat concluded at midday). There were simple talks about the Person of Jesus, the Holy Eucharist, following Jesus, mercy and forgiveness, and staying spiritually strong. It was a special blessing for me to be with these men on the feast of St. Francis (Oct 4), and to be the main celebrant and homilist at Mass that day.

On Wednesday and Thursday afternoons at 3:00 pm the Blessed Sacrament was carried in procession across the prison yard, accompanied by the chanting of the Divine Mercy Chaplet in Kiswahili, to the cell block where there would be adoration throughout the night. Those were the most moving moments of the retreat for me, and something I've never heard of happening in any other prison.

Attentive listeners.

The retreat once again had an transforming effect in the lives of these men who face the challenges of life in prison daily for many years, but now not alone, instead accompanied by Christ.

Fr. Ray, MC, giving the final blessing at the closing Mass.

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