THE SERVANT GENERAL
ONE IN NEED
THE POOREST OF THE POOR
LCSC is our lay response to the call to the New Evangelization.
Through LCSC we will do rapid and massive evangelization,
focusing on the lapsed or non-practicing Catholics (though
not exclusively). LCSC has 4 pillars, all of critical importance.
They are Live Pure (youth chastity), Live the Word (focus
on Bible appreciation), Live Life (pro-life advocacy) and
Live Full (our work of building the Church of the Poor through
the No One In Need movement).
of our work with the poor is our Prison Ministry. A significant
aspect of our Prison Ministry is our work at the Maximum Security
Compound of the National Bilibid Penitentiary (Max-NBP) in
Metro Manila. This is where the so-called dregs of society
are incarcerated, possibly for life. These prisoners are actually
the poorest of the poor, poorer even than those without houses.
They have been forgotten or abandoned by their families, they
live in wretched conditions with very limited freedom of movement,
they can be said to have no future to speak of. Life in prison
at the Max-NBP is wretched and not comparable at all to prison
facilities in the West as you see in the movies.
have been at work at Max-NBP for a number of years. Now we
have introduced LCSC, and we intend to go massive. We do have
a captive audience, but the work is very challenging, demanding
much of those among our brethren who serve there. We currently
have an active membership of 500 prisoners, but there are
over 10,000 inmates in the Max-NBP. We hope to be able to
reach all the Catholics, even given very severe limitations,
such as restricted access and occasional gang wars. We also
hope to do more work in the Medium Security facility, where
we now have 30 members. One big limitation is money.
there are rich and famous (infamous) inmates, the great majority,
including all of our members, are poor. As we provide spiritual
food through the gospel, we also need to look to providing
physical or material assistance. As it is now, our budget
is just a measly 100 (Philippine) pesos per person a month,
supplemented now and then by donations in kind. We spend this
for food, medicine, and other services (like mailing). LCSC
currently is providing 50,000 pesos a month, with additional
amounts given by other CFC-FFL brethren. If we have 10,000
members, that would need 1M a month.
the poorest of the poor, our work at Max-NBP is at the heart
of our participation in building of the Church of the Poor.
It is what LCSC is all about. But here is encouraging news:
if we all did our little share, we will have enough. All it
takes is 100 pesos a month, or US$2.30 (round that off to
US$2.50), per person. That is just US$30 per year.
you sponsor one prisoner at US$2.50 per month? Those who can
sponsor more than one prisoner are of course welcome to give
more. Can we get enough sponsors to support 10,000 prisoners?
Is that too much to expect? For the majority of our brethren
who are not directly involved in our work with the poor, this
is one small opportunity to be involved, and to be reminded
of the poor whom we are supposed to have a preferential option
with this I have launched Gideon 10,000 (G10K). Because there
were those in Gideon's army who were afraid, "twenty-two
thousand of the soldiers left, but ten thousand remained."
(Jgs 7:3b). However, they were sent home, to participate in
the rout of Midian later. G10K will be those of our brethren
who from their homes support this fight.
will be glad to hear that spiritual renewal is very much happening
among the prisoners. Their worship is even more vibrant than
some of our chapters. They have their own Music Ministry.
They regularly do the Liturgical Bible Study. Leaders have
emerged from among them. Some of them even tithe, albeit in
very small amounts.
informed also that we have had an LCS for 111 new jail guards
for the New Bilibid Prison last February. In this work, jailers
and jailed are brethren. Members of various gangs war not
on each other but on the evil one. Rich (you who fund this
work) and poor come together.
theme for this year, Empowered to Witness, is from 2 Timothy
1:7-8. This prison ministry work is a big part of our "testimony
to our Lord" (v.8a), and with it, we are not ashamed
of our brother-prisoners nor of Paul, "a prisoner for
his sake" (v.8b). Paul also tells us, "bear your
share of hardship for the gospel." The prisoner endures
the most hardship. Our Prison Ministry team bears a lot of
hardship. Now you, the giver, can put in your little bit as
am kicking this off with my personal financial support for
50 prisoners. Can I count on you too? Please (1) let me know
directly by email (firstname.lastname@example.org), (2) tell me what district,
province and country you are from, (3) indicate how many prisoners
you are supporting (one or more), and (4) remit your contribution
(it can be consolidated by your national network) to:
Bank: Allied Bank, EDSA Extension Branch, EDSA Extension
Loring St., Pasay City
Account Name: LCSC
Account Number: 001631 - 00973 - 7
Swift Code: PNBMPHMM
request that this be a continuing commitment on your part,
until such time that you inform me you will no longer participate
in this particular work. It is a work critical to the New
Evangelization. It is at the very heart of our Lord, who said
he was sent “to proclaim liberty to captives”
(Lk 4:18c). It is your way to heaven, as you, through our
Prison Ministry team, can hear Jesus say, “I was in
prison and you visited me” (Mt 25:36c).
am confident the Lord will bless us all as we do more for
His mission of bringing glad tidings to the poor. This is
what the New Evangelization and the work of this third millennium
you very much.