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Our Lady of Salvation Church - Dadar - Mumbai - INDIA

Prison Ministry

Head:                   Elvira Lobo
Asst. Head:           Gladys D'Silva
Priest-in-charge:  Fr. Felix D'Souza

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The Dadar Unit of the Prison Ministry is one of the largest in the Archdiocese, effectively working in the Southern Region i.e. Arthur Road jail, Byculla jail and childrens’ remand home. It is the only unit in the country which works six days a week including Sundays whenever required.

 

The research wing of the ministry has bought about a new discovery which translates into a bigger vision the importance of the prison and its functioning as much as the B.M.C., Police, Electricity and Judiciary. If these were not in existence it would not be possible for anybody to be secure, because the Prison Department keeps all the transgressors of society under their care thereby giving us the liberty of a tension-free life.

 

 

The Prison Ministry conducts various regular programmes in the jail premises as follows:

            Dental clinic on a weekly basis

            Skin Camps

            Eye camps & equipping them with spectacles

            Skits with moral

            Moral Counseling

            Legal Counseling

            Legal Aid

            Literacy classes for Officials & their families

            Counseling prisoners families and aid

            Rehabilitation of Prisoners

            Drunk Driving Counseling & assistance to offenders and families

            Mass, Confessions, Praise & Worship once a month

            Christmas, New Year, Good Friday, Easter Celebration followed by a party for prisoners

            Standing guarantee for prisoners in court

            Assisting enrollment in school for officials children

            Helping officials whether required for jail and remand home matters

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CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS WITH THE PRISONERS

 

Prison Ministry celebrates Christmas with the prisoners on the Christmas Day with praise and worship, Eucharist, confession and a party on 25th December 2009. The parishioners of Salvation Church along with the parishioners of Holy Cross Church and the parishioners of St. Ignatius Church, Jacob Circle made it a point to sacrifice their time at home and elsewhere to be with the prisoners on this important day of Christmas. The prisoners expressed their gratitude with unbelief that there are people who leave their cozy home and celebrations for the sake of people in jail. They were overwhelmed by the love, joy, peace which came to them through these three parishes of Mumbai. They were in high rocking mood and played games and won many prizes for the same. The prisoners were very proud that they could distribute about 2500 cup cakes to all the inmates and jail staff through the contribution of Prison Ministry.

The constable staff of Mumbai jails and their families were also given a Christmas party on 27th December 2009 at Salvation Seva Kendra Hall, Dadar. They were very grateful on learning that the Parish of Our Lady of Salvation took the initiative to celebrate Christmas with them; they felt that our parish was very sensitive as regards the prison and its officials. They enjoyed every game and all the fun related things that went along with it. The prison officials said they all had a wonderful time and complimented on how well it was organized.

 

Sr. Jemma, National Secretary, Prison Ministry India, spoke about the inception of the Prison Ministry and thanked all the constable staff and their families for making it to the party. Fr. Aniceto Pereira, Parish Priest also encouraged and thanked the jail staff for all the work that they do in the prisons and all the sacrifices that they have to make in order to keep society, safe and sound. Mr. Ravi Das thanked the parish of Our Lady of Salvation Church for the support and help that it has been giving the Prison Ministry from time to time.

 

The program started with a welcome dance of praise and worship followed by the Nativity Skit organized by Br. Richard Anthony with the parish children. Mrs. Sunita Borkar of the CCO also put up a skit by the Women’s Cell on the reality of life in today’s world. 

 

Mrs. Elvira Lobo

Salvation Prison Cell, Dadar

Raksha bandhan  celebration in  Arthur Road jail

 

The function started at 9.30 am with 9 ladies from Salvation church led by  sister Jennifer Fernandes.

            

The introduction was given by Ravi Das who explained to the prisoners what the celebration meant and that it was not a Hindu festival but a national one.  This  brings people of all faiths together to live in harmony thus protecting our country  from  enemy attack. The culture of this tradition has now  gone to the west and come in the form of friendship day, wherein  people tie friendship bands on each other to keep life long friendship and loyalty.

 

There were around 300 inmates who had been given the opportunity of getting rakhi tied.  They  were waiting expectantly for this great moment when a stranger would come in the form of a sister to fill up the vacuum in their lives.

 

Right from the start of the song , which described the love of a sister to her brother, the inmates broke down, some were swaying, some just wept loudly, some just went into a trance enjoying every moment of the occasion & wondering whether what they were seeing was real or  their imagination. This was a heart warming experience. 

 

Not to be left behind from this divine function the jail authorities under the advice of Ravi Das too volountered for Rakhi to be tied by our sisters, saying their own sisters were far away in their native place and it is not possible for them to go there. They cherished every moment of it saying it was for the first time that this kind of programme was celebrated especially with the jail authorities.

 

The superintendent  & the Asst superintendent  thanked the prison ministry for conducting such a heart warming programme which not only brought great joy to the inmates but also to the officers and constable staff of the jail. They were very  appreciative of the sensitiveness  shown by prison ministry for this programme which

was apt.

 

The climax to the entire event  was, when Ajmal  Kasab the lone gunman from Pakistan noticed the Rakhis tied on the hands of the jailors, requested the judge to also allow him to be tied Rakhi in memory of his two sisters who are in Pakistan.

 

Ravi Das

Christmas 2008 at the Prison

 

Prison Ministry had a Christmas Eucharistic celebration by Fr. Joe D'Souza, Parish Priest, St. Ignatius church on the 25th Dec 2008.

 

There was an electrifying performance by a live Praise and worship team who also participated in the Eucharist. The celebration started by confessions and praying over by Fr. Joe D'Souza. The prisoners were all dawned in the best of their clothing and with caps of Christmas celebration. They enjoyed themselves to the full by singing, clapping and dancing to the group music and Christmas songs.

 

Fr Joe and his team provided them with cakes and goodies and the Prison -Ministry distributed cakes for the entire jail. Games were also played and gifts like soaps, shampoos were distributed. It was an event never to forget from the comments from the prisoners and jail officials.

Christmas at the Prison
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 Address:
Our Lady of Salvation Church
S.K. Bole Road,
Dadar (W), Mumbai 400 028
INDIA
 
Tel.No.: 24224471 / 24370180