His Eminence Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle officiated the annual celebration of the Holy Eucharist in National Bilibid Prison at Our Lady of Lourdes Chaped inside the maximum security compound last December 19, 2015, con-celebrated by other priests from the Archdiocese of Manila: Fr. Anton Pascual, Executive Director of Caritas Manila and Fr. Bobby dela Cruz, Restorative Justice Minister, and Fr. Gerry Cosal – Chaplain of NBP, Fathers Ely Lumbo (Chaplain) & Henry Ponce from the Phil. Jesuit Prison Society, and Fr. Gabriel Dieryck CICM.
In his homily, Cardinal Tagle encouraged the 1,000 attendee-resident inmates to repent: “Huwag kayong matakot sa Diyos. Magbalik-loob kayo. Ang Diyos ay maawin.”
Church worker resident inmates of the Ushers and Collectors Group (UCG) were commissioned during the mass.
Restorative Justice Program is one of the social developmental programs of Caritas Manila. It provides values formation, paralegal assistance, and pastoral care to resident inmates, and productivity through livelihood and skills training programs.
47 resident inmates were awarded with certificates of “graduation” (Batch 12) for their completion of a 12-month Pa-Release-Me values formation module. The awarding was led by Cardinal Tagle together with Fr. Anton Pascual, Fr. Bobby Dela Cruz, Bureau of Corrections Deputy Director (for Rehabilation) Martin Perfecto and Mr. Benny Ramos, resident inmate head of NBP-Maximum’s pastoral council.