Bishop Mario Grech said that Pope Francis’s reference to a Franciscan Capuchin priest who would be spending this Holy Week with the prisoners in jail was a reference to Maltese religious Fr Hayden Williams.
Bishop Grech said that he had received an email from Fr Hayden describing his experience with prison inmates and prison officials; an email he had forwarded to Pope Francis. It seems that the Pope was so impressed by the witnessing given by Fr Hayden that he decided to refer to it in his homily during the celebration of the Mass of Lord’s Supper on Thursday in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican.
Bishop Mario Grech said this during a special edition of Newsbook Hour on 103 Malta’s Heart and Newsbook. Fr Joe Borg led a discussion with Bishop Mario Grech, Dr Anna Vella, who works with drug addicts, the homeless and prostitutes, and Carmen Zammit who studied the Gospel of St John as part of her masters in theology.
Bishop Grech had mentioned the email received from Fr Hayden during the celebration of Mass on Maundy Thursday at the Gozo Cathedral.
Bishop Grech said that one of the chaplains at the Corradino Correction Facility (CCF) explained how some of the prisoners not only have to suffer the feeling of regret but also feeling the pain of not getting to see their family even for a while especially those who have become fathers.
During the programme, Bishop Grech said that the chapel at CCF has been transformed in a dormitory and that mass is not being celebrated at the chapel anymore. He said that now the altar has been transformed into the beds for those who are deprived of seeing their loved ones.
We are saved by Jesus’ love – Bishop Grech
During the programme, Bishop Grech said that we should never forget that Jesus Christ saved us through his love towards humanity. Christ was conscious of the passion he was going to undergo, said Bishop Grech adding that whenever we live through difficult times we should remember and find strength in this love.
Bishop Grech also explained that sometimes we see or think that our faith has lost its true meaning as we have replaced our faith with a belief in meaningless idols.