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Portugal: Fatima, National Meeting on Prison Ministry. “This is the time for mercy”

The coordinator for Prison Ministry of the Catholic Church in Portugal, Fr. João Gonçalves, has announced that the 12th National Meeting of the sector will take place at the “Santo Amaro” Hotel in Fatima on 20-21 January on the theme: “This is the time for mercy”, which is inspired by Pope Francis’ Apostolic Letter “Misericordia et misera”. The first day will be dedicated to spiritual assistants and Catholic religious who work in detention centres. The Auxiliary Bishop of Lisbon, Mgr. Joaquim Mendes, will attend the opening session, accompanying the work as a member of the Episcopal Commission for Social Ministry. In the morning, the topic of the meeting will be introduced by Fr. Fernando Calado Rodrigues, spiritual assistant at Bragança Prison, whilst in the afternoon, “discussion will focus on concrete ways to practice mercy, through the communication and exchange of pastoral experiences of those working in the sector”. The second day, devoted primarily to Catholic collaborators, volunteers, and supporters of Prison Ministry, will feature “important and significant testimonies from former prisoners”, and the conclusions.

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