One of our Sunday ministries is in the Maa City Jail in Davao where the Marist Fathers have been involved since 2000. Other branches of the Marist family are also involved in the ministry, such as the Marist Sisters, the Marist Brothers of the program “ad gentes” and Marist lay people.
Within the jail the first thing that catches your attention is the congested cells. There is living from 40 to 60 inmates in a cell for 20 persons. The installations are a bit old, but the jail warden is rather gentle with the inmates, and also the guardians.
All the volunteers try to bring into the jail a bit of hope for the inmates. They prepare different religious activities during the week and the Mass on Sunday. There are also different groups that come in for faith sharing, and other events are sometimes planned, such as the Jail Break musical organised by Fr. Larry Sabud and supporters, which portrayed life inside the prison and was performed mainly by the inmates. It was very well done and the proceeds went to help support the programs in the jail. Fr. Larry himself and some of the Marist Sisters and volunteers also starred in the three performances.
The Sunday Mass is celebrated in Cebuano (the local language – also known as Visaya) and has many chants making it very lively and joyful. The inmates enjoy the Mass a lot, as do the visitors that go to support. For the inmates, the visitors are a way to break with the routine.
See the other ministries we are involved in…