Murcia, Spain, May 30, 2019 / 02:59 pm (CNA).- In one his first acts following his ordination as bishop, a prelate in Spain confirmed 62 inmates at the Murcia II Penitentiary Center in the town of Campos del Río.
The Sacrament of Confirmation was received by 50 men and 12 women in the prison. According to the Diocese of Cartagena-Murcia, this was the first time the sacrament was conferred inside the penitentiary.
The May 18 visit to the prison marked the first Confirmations celebrated by Bishop Sebastián Chico since his ordination as bishop one week prior.
Before beginning the Confirmation, the bishop personally received in the assembly hall each of the inmates that was going to receive the sacrament.
Fr. Antonio Sánchez, one of the chaplains at the penitentiary center, said the bishop set aside the homily that he had prepared in order to speak extemporaneously, “so his words would come from the heart.”
He said Bishop Chico encouraged the prisoners to not lose hope “and to dare to dream, because your life is not marked by your mistakes but by your dreams, and God dreams with them.”
The inmates thanked Chico for coming and dedicated a prayer to the prelate. They also gave him a basket of flowers made from breadcrumbs, which was prepared by a Muslim inmate on his own initiative, the chaplain related.
After the Confirmation ceremony, a small celebration was held. Prison management and heads of services joined with the inmates to celebrate their reception of the sacrament.
The Diocese of Cartagena-Murcia said in a statement that the prison chaplains thanked the center for their collaboration in holding the celebration, and also for the work of the Prison Ministry volunteers, who along with the chaplains and two seminarians were the sponsors for the prisoners.
While organizing the event required a significant amount of work, Fr. Sánchez said, “we believe it was worth the effort, because we felt the presence of God and, how through this sacrament, he was able to come to many people.”
This article was originally published by our sister agency, ACI Prensa. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.