The Valley Catholic June 11, 2019 - Page 8

8 COMMUNITY June 11, 2019 | The Valley Catholic Detention Ministry – Happy Easter … He is Risen! By Elizabeth Sanville Volunteer Detention Minister, Diocese of San Jose Our Easter celebrations often in- clude Mass, egg hunts, food and drink, chocolate and sweets, family and friends. This Easter, after attending Mass at my parish, I participated in an intimate Mass inside Main Jail! Yes, Mass inside the grim and often hope- less walls of a Jail in a multi-purpose room, 12 men, 3 musicians, a Sister, a Father, and me. Inside that room with no decorations, no crucifix, no Paschal candle, no baptismal font, and no tab- ernacle, the forgiveness and mercy of Christ brightened the room with smiles and joy as a young inmate received the sacraments of initiation. A year ago, in April 2018, I met Joseph, a young man in his twenties, charged with manslaughter. After his arrest and incarceration, Joseph began attending a weekly Catholic liturgy and Bible study. He expressed interest in learning more about the Catholic faith and so we began to meet every other week. Joseph demonstrated a childlike faith, accepting Church teachings. He expressed curiosity, asking questions; he showed initiative to learn, reading scripture daily and reading spiritual materials. As the weeks and months progressed, I could see Joseph transforming into a more strengthened by the gifts of the Holy Spirit. My prayer is that he will con- tinue to practice his faith, fostering a deeper relationship with Jesus. I recently visited Joseph. We talked about Peter (our first Pope), his human- ity and his failings, transformed into “So I can do great things also for Christ! I had to hit rock bottom to accept God in my life. Now I am more hopeful and at peace.” thoughtful, optimistic and kinder in- dividual. He was able to reflect on past mistakes and look to the future with hope. I was reminded of Jesus’ words that “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.” (Mark 2:17). I do not know what the future holds for this neophyte. What I do know is that the seed of faith has been planted and Joseph is claimed for Christ, courage and commitment through his great love for Christ. Joseph exclaimed, “So I can do great things also for Christ!”, and “I had to hit rock bottom to accept God in my life. Now I am more hopeful and at peace.” Joseph then went on to let me know that he had committed the Our Father, Hail Mary and Nicene Creed to memory! My heartfelt thanks to Sister Mary- ann who guides and leads the many Detention (Jail) Ministry volunteers, and who afforded me the opportunity to be Joseph’s catechist. Through my sessions with Joseph, reading and reflecting on Scripture, exploring Church teaching and tradition, my faith was strengthened and enriched. In the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 25, we are reminded to care for our fallen brothers and sisters “… in prison and you visited me. … Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.” Many thanks to the clergy, religious and volunteers who give generously of their time and talent to bring the message and light of Christ into our Jails. As we celebrate these 50 days of Easter, sharing the joy of the Resur- rection with our incarcerated brothers and sisters, may we always remember that “We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life. For if we have grown into union with him through a death like his, we shall also be united with him in the resur- rection.” (Romans 6:4-5). Saint Martin Young Adults Host 6th Annual Seven Churches Visitation Our Lady of Peace Church & Shrine Msgr. John Sweeny Family Learning Center 2800 Mission College Blvd. Santa Clara, CA 95054 Our Lady's Way is the remarkable story of the priests and people who turned a futureless church into a mecca of faith and conversion with a simple hope for the future, zeal for souls, and unwavering love for Christ and His Mother. The Saint Martin of Tours Young Adults (SMYA) recently held its 6th annual devotional pilgrimage on Holy Thursday. The “Seven Churches Visita- tion”, also known as “Visita Iglesia” is a tradition of visiting seven churches on Holy Thursday, which is thought to have originated in Rome, as early pilgrims visited the seven basilicas as penance. Members of the Saint Martin Par- ish community were invited to join the pilgrimage. Following the Holy Thursday Eucharistic procession, the pilgrims remained at Saint Martin for a brief period of prayer and adoration. They then traveled to other beautiful altars of repose to pray and keep watch with the Lord. The visitation route included: Saint Martin of Tours, Saint Leo the Great, Saint Clare, Saint Justin, Saint Lawrence the Martyr, Our Lady of Peace and Saint Martin’s Sunnyvale. The pilgrims found that the Visita Igle- sia was a beautiful way to enter into the Easter triduum, honor the Blessed Sacrament and reflect on Jesus’s agony in the garden. All young adults in the diocese are invited to be part of Saint Martin’s A collage of photos from Saint Martin of Tours 2019 Visita Iglesia (Seven Churches Visitation). Young Adult Ministry. For more infor- mation or to learn about our upcoming events, follow us on Facebook (Saint Martin of Tours Young Adults), email us at: or visit We are now accepting registrations for our Annual Summer Camping Trip, July 26-28 at Uvas Canyon Park in Morgan Hill. Details and regis- tration information is available at: