I used to work with the prison ministry as a seminarian, visiting the national penitentiary called Bilibid, a place for the "rejected and discarded," both young and old men and women deemed "worthless" by society, their communities and even by their own families and friends. One young man, 17 years old, approached me and told me his story.
O God, from whom all holy desires,
all right counsels and all just works do proceed;
give Your servants that peace which the world cannot give,
that both our hearts may be set to obey Your commandments,
and also that we,
being delivered from the fear of our enemies,
may pass our time,
under Your protection,
in rest and quietness.
One afternoon while walking from work to the house, I met some people I did not know, and one of them was very helpful. A local deputy asked me where I was going. At first, I was surprised with the question since I constantly walked along the same route and no one stopped to ask me where I am going, despite the fact that I went to a Catholic Church, where I lived.
Lord, if what I seek be according to Your will,
then let it come to pass
and let success attend the outcome.
But if not, my God,
let it not come to pass.
Do not leave me to my own devices,
for you know how unwise I can be.
Keep me safe under your protection Lord my God,
and in your own gentle way guide me
and rule me as you know best.
Queen of the Holy Rosary,
you have designed to come to Fatima,
to reveal to the three shepherd children,
the treasures of grace hidden in the Rosary.
Inspire my heart with a sincere love of this devotion,
in order that by meditating on the Mysteries
of our Redemption which are recalled in it,
I may obtain peace for the world,
O Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, in these times of such brazen impiety,
manifest your power with the signs of your ancient victories.
From your throne where you give pardon and grace,
mercifully regard the Church of your Son,
His Vicar on Earth, and every order of clergy, religious, and laity,
who are oppressed in this mighty conflict.
Lord, you offer freedom to all people.
We pray for all who are incarcerated
and for those who are affected by
or involved in their imprisonment.
Break the bonds of fear and isolation that exist.
Support with your love, prisoners,
their families, friends,
prison staff and all who care.
In 2009, a Columban Sister and a Columban Father each published a book about the histories of their respective communities.
The German Bundestag Committee on Economic Cooperation and Development led by the German Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights and Policy and Humanitarian Aid, Dr. Bärbel Kofler, nominated the work done by the Preda Foundation, Columban Father Shay Cullen and his team for the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize. It can only now be made public.