“Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.”
– Matthew 5:16
Deacon Larry Oney led a one-day retreat for the inmates at Rayburn Correctional Center in Angie, Louisiana on Saturday, May 16. John Messenheimer, coordinator for the prison ministry for the Archdiocese of New Orleans, passed along testimonials from the men who attended the event.
John asked the forty men in attendance, by a show of hands, what their opinion of the retreat was. The answers could range from “fantastic” to “didn’t care for it.” All in attendance agreed that the retreat was “fantastic”! Comments from the group included:
“The Holy Spirit filled the room”
“I felt so at peace”
“I now feel the need to minister here in prison”
“I am excited about growing in my faith…I feel that I have a purpose in my life”
“I have never slept as good as I have since the retreat”
“My life has meaning”
“It has put me on the right track…I think I can make it now”
In addition, two new members were called to join Jimmy Dykes’ prison ministry group because of the retreat. Dykes discussed one of the men, saying,
“One of them is serving 40 years. He came up to me and said that he wants to change his life. He’s served 20 years and feels, from the retreat, that he is finally able to forgive himself from all the hurt that he caused, particularly to his mother who died the week prior to the retreat. He was in tears.”
May the Lord continue to bless the prison ministry and everyone involved in it.