Today the mission went to the prison, which is just across from the gymnasium where the Rosa Mystica medical mission takes place. Our devoted Filipino dentist spent the entire morning extracting teeth from prisoners who were in need of this service.
Dr. Steven Lantier, from the United States, who is participating in the mission for the first time, spent the afternoon attending to the medical needs of 55 prisoners and employees of the prison. He gave us his impression of his experiences :
«To begin with, the prison was austere and open to the elements. With this in mind, it was very surprising that the inmates were charitable, well-mannered, courteous, non-threatening, and appreciative, even though admittedly a bit on the needy side. I was hoping to give back to them as much as they were giving me.
At this point, I was reminded of our 2000 year Catholic heritage. The great missionary saints of the past always had their eyes on the end...the Beatific Vision, but always knew the importance of simultaneously providing for the physical needs, as well. In this case, the medical care was given to preceed the priests’ spiritual care. So, humbly following their example, I tried to prepare the way for the priest’s visit tomorrow by being attentive, encouraging and giving a smile to everyone with whom I gave care. We pray tomorrow the priests will be successful in taking care of their true needs, with the help of the Blessed Virgin Mary.»
The entrance to the prison.
The consultation room which is also the "place of life" of prisoners when they are not in a cell. This is where they work on making various items that they can sell to earn a few pesos.
The chief warden of the prison, who gave us some details about the life of the prisoners.
The works of prisoners: For sale.
The kitchen of the prison.
Dr. Steven Lantier, Sally, his nursing assistant at the prison, Lisa Lantier, Fabienne de Geofroy. In the background, Father Louis-Joseph Vaillant, Dr. Philippe de Geofroy. - Lisa and Steven Lantier received "home made" gifts from prisoners: a Japanese tree made from plastic bottles and straws.