Some Good News from the Catholic Church

The word gospel literally translates as “good news”, and here is some from the Catholic Church (for once).

I’ve done my share of verbally beating up on the Catholic heirarchy over the years, covering topics ranging from the banning of gay priests to covering for pedophelic ones. However, this case deserves some positive reinforcement:

Just 5-foot-2 but crackling with energy, Brenner’s days are jammed. She administers quick counseling sessions and does countless small tasks on behalf of the 7,100 inmates at La Mesa State Penitentiary, just across the U.S. border from San Diego. In come bandages, soap and medicine; out go messages to loved ones beyond the prison’s high walls.

In order to perform these services, she actually lives in the prison:

The cell at the end of the dark hallway barely fits a cot, a desk and a folding chair. There lives Sister Antonia Brenner, an aging American nun who was raised in Beverly Hills but abandoned a life of rare privilege to live in a notorious Mexican jail.

A snapshot of a day in her life provides:

She rises around 5 a.m. for prayer, then distributes prayer cards to inmates who are crammed inside a boxed chain-link fence waiting for a court appearance. Four days a week she speaks at the prison’s new church, an orange building with five rows of wooden benches and white plastic chairs.

“Everything eventually ends – your money, your sickness, your family, your time in jail,” she tells about 20 inmates dressed in gray sweatsuits, speaking in flawless though American accented, Spanish. “The only thing that won’t end is Christ’s love for you.”

From there, she walks the grounds, where a guard thanks her for finding a wheelchair for his grandmother, who died that morning.

The world could use a few more Catholics like this.

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