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Home||Benedictine Sisters of Erie||Catalogue||Joan in the News||Contact Benetvision
Fund for Prisoners||Retreats||About Benetvision||Ideas in Passing

Benetvision • 355 East Ninth Street • Erie, PA 16503-1107 • Phone 814-459-5994 • Fax 814-459-8066 Copyrighted © 2007 Benedictine Sisters of Erie, PA
Dear Friends,

We are all addicted to something: to money, to power, to fame, to work, to play, to sport. And we think
we are free.

We are all imprisoned by something, as well. For some it is yesterday. For others it is tomorrow. But we
think we are free.

The people in our prison systems are addicted to freedom and they know they are not free.
Add a person in
prison to your
Christmas list.

For a donation of
only $12.00 we will
send a special
Christmas Gift, a
subscription, to
a prisoner.

Click to make a
difference now.

They are imprisoned by the society they yearn for but are bereft of. High and dry, as we like to put it. Gone aground with no hope of

The only difference between us and them is that we have the luxury of not having to face what it is that has us trapped inside ourselves.
Or, at least, the luxury of not having to admit it.

They have to get up and face themselves every day of their lives, remember their mistakes, and go on paying for them. They cannot hide
from that. They cannot escape that. And far, far too often they cannot deal with that.

Some of them have been raised going to church, perhaps, but as Jane, one of the chaplains in this video tells us—they know about
religion but they do not know about spirituality, about a sense of the personal presence of a loving God in the very marrow of their dull
and daily lives. What we want from them, it seems is remorse—and pain.

The problem is that remorse seldom comes out of the pain that comes with punishment. Remorse can only come out of the softened

And that's where you and I come in.
Without something more than rules and regulations and recrimination, without someone who
can help them find the God within, we fool ourselves if we think that spiritual change can
take place in cages devoid of caring.

Unless we can find a way to touch the hearts and souls of men and women who have lived
heartless lives and lived in soul-less places, nothing will change.

You have begun to make a difference for these people. Thanks to you they are beginning to
be able to sink into the big questions of life to find a place for themselves there.

Add a person in prison to your Christmas list.

For a donation of only $12.00 we will send a special Christmas Gift, a one-year
Monastic Way
subscription, to a prisoner.

Click to make a difference now.
Your support of the prison fund these five years has enabled us to give chaplains over $300,000 of spiritual materials—The Monastic Way,
journals, books, discussion guides—that begin the kind of caring conversations that give people stars to steer by, something to believe in, a
sense of the presence of God even in themselves.

They are begging us to continue sending these materials. Their chaplains call and write constantly, asking for the same. You see samples of
their letters in Vision & Viewpoint, our weekly e-newsletter, every month. I can't say no to them and I hope you can't either.

There is a great difference between being outside looking up at the sun and being in a dark place with nothing but a small beam of light to
live by. People are living on these materials, talking about these ideas for the first time in their lives, and coming to an awareness that God is
in the darkness, too. Where they are.

And all of it—all of it—because of you.

I'm asking you, even in a time that is more stringent for all of us, to go on sharing whatever you can. Why? So that in every prison there can
be something of the kind of beauty that beautifies the soul. So that they can become small monastic communities together. So that even
prison can have some real meaning rather than the kind of uselessness that breeds anger and violence as much in there as it ever did for
them out here.

Thank you for believing in those who have had far too few people ever believe in them at all. Which may be at least part of the reason that
they are there in the first place.

When we started this outreach, I never really expected such a generous response. When you all started to round up your bills for
Benetvision materials and send your donations and provide
Monastic Way Christmas gift subscriptions to people you have never seen and
know only of the gaping wounds in their lives, you converted me to greater compassion. Your goodness and kindness and trust puts me to

I can't tell you how grateful I am for that.

P.S. I urge you to meet Barbara and Jane in the video above. These volunteer prison chaplains will tell you how important you are to their
Click here now to help continue this good work.