Offering Hope to Prisoners

A column from The Christophers’ Jerry Costello:

Bill R. is a prisoner, confined to a correctional facility in a midwestern state. At The Christophers we had a letter from him not long ago, and although he’ll remain anonymous in this column I assure you he’s very real. So is the reason that he had for writing. It all stems from our Christopher News Notes, the popular short pamphlets that we regularly send out on timely topics–always with words of hope and encouragement.

“We found them a great source of information on relevant topics for living a Christian life,” Bill wrote. “We’d like to continue to receive the publications if at all possible…”

No problem so far; the News Notes were practically in the mail. But then it came:

“Unfortunately, the state is in dire financial stress and has cut our budget. We are unable to procure funding for anything that is not ‘mandatory’ to continue operating. If your News Notes are a free humanitarian service for prisoners, we would like to continue receiving them. If there is a fee, please send us the information and we will see what we can do to find funds to pay for them. Either way, thank you for the wonderful work you are doing for the love of our Lord and his children.”

The letter was one among many. They arrive in our mail every day, from prisoners and their chaplains alike, reminding us of just how important hope is to those whose own supply of it is fragile and fleeting.

Read the rest on The Christophers’ website.

For a free copy of the Christopher News Note, THE CORPORAL WORKS OF MERCY, write: The Christophers, 5 Hanover Square, New York, NY 10004; or e-mail:

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