Bishop Malooly proclaimed the joy of Christmas during Masses at two prisons Dec. 17 and 19 and brought the inmates the message that Jesus was born for all and wants to draw everyone closer to him.
The bishop’s Masses were on Dec. 17 at Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna and Dec. 19 at Baylor Women’s Correctional Institution in New Castle.
The imprisoned “will not have the same kind of Christmas that most of us will,” the bishop said Dec. 19, “so we prayed especially for their families and children.”
Bishop Malooly said the men at Vaughn are always extremely organized and well prepared for his annual Christmas liturgy. “We had over 100 men attending Mass and their choir was outstanding. As I greeted each inmate, I was met with a smile and a ‘merry Christmas.’”
This year, as in previous years, Vaughn has a number of men in the RCIA program, Bishop Malooly said. “We are blessed to have a good number of volunteers, most from Holy Cross Church in Dover,” who work with the inmates at the prison.
Father Joe McQuaide and Deacon Vince Pisano, both of Holy Cross, and Deacon Mike Truman, the diocese’s coordinator of prison ministry, attended the Mass at Vaughn.
At Baylor, Franciscan Father John Frambes assisted the bishop, along with members of Franciscan Volunteer Ministries and members of New Beginnings at St. Joseph’s Parish in Wilmington.
When the women at the Mass sang Christmas carols, “There certainly was a joyful sound in the prison chapel,” the bishop said. “Once again, I was greeted with ‘merry Christmas’ by each of the inmates as I had the chance to meet them.”