Prison ministry gathering set for May 3 in Vineland

The National Catholic Reporter, where she is a regular contributor, refers to her as “the indefatiguable Mercy Sister Camille D’Arienzo.”
A social activist, death penalty opponent and former president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, Sister Camille will offer reflections on Matthew 25:36 – “I was in prison and you visited me” – at the first-ever pastoral care in prison ministry. It will be held May 3 at Immaculate Conception Hall on the grounds of Pope John Paul II Center, Vineland.
Bishop Dennis Sullivan will offer remarks and the closing prayer.
The day also will include reports from Kairos prison ministry and groups in Camden, Gibbsboro, Bridgeton and Egg Harbor Township.
“This Gathering Day on May 3rd is Catholic Charities small way of saying ‘Thank You’ for your ministry to our brothers and sisters,” Franciscan Sister Mary Lou Lafferty, diocesan Prison Ministry coordinator wrote in a letter to people associated with prison ministry.
Sister Camille, who lives in the Diocese of Brooklyn, has worked for more than 38 years as a religion commentator for 1010 WINS Radio. More than 20 years ago she founded the Cherish Life Circle, a group that ministers to people on death row and to victims of crime.
Sister Camille has often spoken on her relationship with David Paul Hammer, a death row inmate who converted to Catholicism and uses his artistic talent to help produce Christmas cards, the profits going to children in need.
“Because David’s life was spared, many have been helped,” Sister Camille wrote in the Jesuit journal America in October 2013 in the article “One of Us: How a death row inmate changed my outlook on life.”
“What he has been allowed is God’s gift of time; the opportunity to choose good over evil, hope instead of despair,” she wrote.
In related news, Bishop Sullivan plans to celebrate Mass at South Woods State Prison, Bridgeton, on April 16.

If you go
Pastoral Care in Prison Ministry will be held, May 3, 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Immaculate Conception Hall, on the grounds of Pope John Paul II Center, 414 South 8th Street, Vineland. Free will offering. Registration deadline April 22. To register or for information, contact Sister Mary Lou Lafferty, 856-342-4106,

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