Loved Ones Connect at Menard Prison

On June 10th, thirty-seven men, women, and youth, along with Sister Donna boarded a bus for Menard Prison, a six-hour drive from Southside Chicago.   Most of the travelers were Mothers of sons who have been incarcerated for some time.  They do not have the opportunity to visit their sons very often due to the expense of travel and accommodations.    So three years ago, plans were made to help bring families together with their sons.   Some had not seen their sons for years.   Some of their sons were sentenced to life without parole at 14 or 15.    Now some 15-20 years later they are having the opportunity to visit these sons with the help of a collaborative team.   Father Kelly contacted the Sister Adorers of the Blood of Christ and with Sister Barbara Jean, plans were made to offer these families hospitality at the Ruma Peace Center.

An organization “Communities and Relatives of Illinois Incarcerated Children” (CRIIC) were contacted and they invited families to participate in this wonderful opportunity offered them by PBMR, ASC Sisters, CRIIC and Northwestern University.

So on the morning of June 10th, Father Kelly led us in a prayer and we were off for 3 days – guests of the Sister Adorers of the Blood of Christ.   We were treated with such dignity in this place of peace; fed abundantly and loved unconditionally.   Mothers and Fathers and other family members visited their loved ones on Wednesday and Thursday for 2 hours each day.  Thursday night we arrived back in Chicago, tired, but so grateful.   They are already looking forward to next year.

Dear Lord, with a heavy heart I get down on my knees to pray- you know how much I miss my son since her went away.  He has lost his freedom, Lord, for the things he has done- but he is still my shining star, He’s still my loving son.  ….. I am giving you my son, Lord, mold him with your care – let him know that in his heart and mine, Mother’s always there.    (Prayer used as the opening for the Circle the night after the Wednesday visits).