LONDON, APRIL 23, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Zambian prisoners, including those on death row, will be able to learn to pray the rosary, as the result of an initiative from two United Kingdom charities.
The U.K. office of Aid to the Church in Need and the rosary charity Crown of Thorns, will be sending some 1,600 rosary booklets to Kamfinsa State Prison and Kabwe Maximum Security Prison.
Lisa de Quay, chief executive of Crown of Thorns, explained to Aid to the Church in Need that contact with the prisoners probably initiated with a visiting chaplain who distributed prayer cards explaining the rosary.
De Quay said: “Inmates are usually family breadwinners, worried about the poverty and hardship that their crime has left their families suffering and too far from home for their families to visit.
“Although kindly treated, most inmates spend years in prison with only the clothes that they were arrested in, and with no soap, and with no blanket or sheet to cover themselves in through the cold months of the year, and often rejected from their society through crime or disease.”
She said that letters from inmates will reflect “the great joy of contact, of being accepted, and of finding God.”
Neville Kyrke-Smith, the national director for Aid to the Church in Need in the United Kingdom, affirmed the charity is eager to participate in this “beautiful initiative which will change prisoners’ lives and bring them closer to God.”
Crown of Thorns promotes the rosary for peace, and sends various items to Africa. Aid to the Church in Need also aids Africa by supporting priests and various pastoral projects.