Bishop Richard Moth's Message

13/11/2013 10:30 am

I write these few words as we welcome Fr Roger Reader as the new Catholic Bishops’ Prisons Adviser and say "farewell" to Mgr Malachy Keegan who returns to parish ministry after so many years of devoted service to prison ministry. All engaged in pastoral care of our prison communities owe a great deal to Mgr Malachy and I am very conscious of the all he did to support Pact over those years. Please remember him in prayer as he embarks upon his new ministry as Parish Priest in West Byfleet.

Fr Roger with Mgr Malachy

Fr. Roger brings many years of experience to the role of Catholic Bishops’ Prisons Advisor. I am sure he will be known to a number of those reading this letter and I know he will continue and develop the strong link between his post and the work of Pact.

We are in interesting times for the care of our prison population and proposed changes to the care of those completing custodial sentences will bring much work to Pact’s door. It will become increasingly important for our Dioceses, our Parishes, to develop their awareness of the Church's outreach to those leaving Prison, that they may find a welcome and find New Life.

All we do must be based upon the essential truth of the dignity of the human person. We are called to recognise the person of Christ in every person, especially in those who, for whatever reason, are marginalised and those who, in a very particular way, are called to be open to the peace and reconciliation that is the gift of the Risen Christ.

Pact is very specially placed to foster the Church’s work in this important area of our outreach, for we are called to reach out to the dispossessed and those on the margins of our society.

I also welcome and commend to you the work of Caritas Social Action Network in the establishment of the Criminal Justice Forum – recently launched. This is an important initiative and will complement the wonderful work being carried out by Pact.

There is much to encourage us all here and I do believe that, looking to the future, we shall become even more effective in outreach to those who have been in prison and strengthen our voice in the field of criminal justice, that all may find Life to the Full.

With every blessing.

+Richard Moth