Last month we were able to send out free of charge 103 Bread of Life Catholic Bible Studies. The cost to us is $18 each book we ship. With your prayers and financial help we hope to send out more next month.
Dear St. Dismas Guild, I have been receiving your monthly newsletters now since 2008, and throughout the years that have passed I’d say that I was mostly “spiritually lost.” I was not Catholic at any time in my life. I am 26 years old and have been incarcerated since I was 17 on a sentence for home invasion/burglary. As I mentioned, I have been lost. Over the years I’ve been in a vicious jail gang and have gotten into all kinds of trouble, then phased out of that into religion. Well sort of. First I liked the idea of being a Christian. That didn’t last long and before I knew it I was back in my old ways gang banging and sinning. Then, more recently, I began to study Islam. That didn’t last either! Soon I was plotting and scheming again.
Out of the blue I received a letter from one of my Catholic school teachers and he began corresponding regularly, talking about all kinds of things – family and life, my future, but most importantly, religion. I managed to find myself in the hole – again, for something foolish and here I’ve been for the last eight months with nothing to do but think. My teacher has continued to stay in touch for moral support and spiritual guidance. Recently I received your January newsletter. As I was reading the testimonies given I couldn’t explain why, but tears began to build up in my eyes. At first I tried to hold them back, but for whatever reason, I couldn’t and the urge to cry just became even more intense. I finally just let go and wept and found myself praying to the Lord. And inside of me I knew this was right. I could feel that it was right in every part of my being. I have from that day decided to give myself to Jesus, to convert, and take whatever steps necessary. I am ready to change my life and live properly. I am eager to read and learn anything you may have for me. If possible, could you provide me with a Catholic bible and bible study course? It would truly mean a lot to me. I want to thank you for your newsletters and all that you do! Without you I’m not sure that I’d be where I am today, so thank you! May the Blessings of Christ, Our Lord, be bestowed upon you! God bless always, MF
MF, what a wonderful teacher you must have had to support you in your time of need. Sharing with you family and life, your future, and like you said most importantly religion must bring you comfort. It sounds like he prepared the way for you to receive the love of Jesus when you were reading one of the testimonies from the newsletter. “I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.”(Philippians 1:6) It says in Revelations 21:4, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, for the old order has passed away.” Thank you for sharing your testimony.
Doing Time With Jesus
Dear St. Dismas Guild, I have received your newsletter for several years now, and in addition the Catholic Bible and several other publications. A simple thanks is not enough to show my gratitude, so I give it up to Our Father. My message today is to state that after serving 6-1/2+ years for Gross Vehicular Manslaughter that I will parole this month. I was the driver in a single car accident on a rural road, a roll-over occurred, and I caused the death of my older brother for which I have accepted my responsibility for the laws I broke. That stated, I was left with much unresolved sorrow, remorse and guilt. Today, while the sorrow has not totally subsided, I live more peacefully in the faith God gives us all for the future. A good part of my recovery and rehabilitation comes from the testimonies I read from other inmates through your newsletter. Thanks Be to God! My spiritual healing will continue for all my life on earth as I cannot fix the dead, but only through the One, God our Father, who overcame the sting of death. Lord Have Mercy. As much as I have gained spiritually from your newsletters, please cancel my delivery, as I am being paroled this month, so to allow it to reach another inmate. God bless you all, AL
AL, The pain you suffered for causing your brothers death must be tremendous. Your testimony has brought me to repentance. Thank you for that as you may have saved someone else’s life. It made me look at how I drive. I am always in a hurry and I speed all the time and sometimes even look at my phone if someone calls. I could be sitting where you are. I could kill someone. The Holy Spirit convicted me as I was reading your testimony and I asked God to forgive me for breaking the law and went to confession. Its been almost two weeks since I read your letter and I have not gone over the speed limit or used my phone since then. That’s what is called repentance, turning away from the sin and turning to God (obeying His Word) Thank you so much for sharing. The scripture that comes to mind is Romans 13:1-2, “Let every person be subordinate to the higher authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been established by God. Therefore; whoever resists authority opposes what God has appointed, and those who oppose it will bring judgment upon themselves.” The traffic laws are there for our benefit and to keep us safe. God bless you.
Dear St. Dismas Guild, My name is S…., and I have six children. In 2012 I watched as Satan tore my family and our life completely apart. It started with the death of the children’s father, then my addition to drugs and alcohol. I eventually had to give up my children and then I ended up in jail and then prison. Little did I know prison was the best thing that God ever did for me. Prison saved my life. Prison is where my miracle begins. Little by little I have watched and felt God working with me, staying beside me through good times and bad, never giving up on me nor letting me give up on myself putting my life back together again. These last four months I have been fighting for my parental rights for two of my six children. I am in the facilities’ law library every day making sure I know my rights. I am also in my Bible every day making sure I am giving to God because He does my worrying for me. He knows my heart’s desire. God has shown me that through Him my life can be amazing even in my trials. I am now more free that I’m in prison than I have ever been. I still have my parental rights and I am going in front of the parole board in February because the Lord saw fit to allow it. I will be a better mother now that I have experienced this. Praise be to God. My faith will never waiver in good time and in bad and I will turn to my Father in Heaven. The friend who gave me this address said I may be able to get a bible study and a Catholic study Bible from you. I would greatly appreciate it if possible. Thank you for your time. God bless, SY
SY, Your right, God never gives up on us. It must be very difficult for you being separated from your children. The Bread of Life Catholic Bible Study, Bible, Catechism & Pamphlets are on the way to you. These will help you in your walk with Jesus. Yes, he knows your hearts desire and it sounds like that is to be united with your children. 1 Samuel 16:7 says, “Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance but the Lord looks into the heart.” We are so sorry for the death of the children’s father. Children need a godly father but most of all they need our heavenly Father. He fills all their needs. Stay close to the Lord and do not waiver. Pray fervently. God will do what’s best for you and your children. James 5:16 says, “…The fervent prayer of a righteous person is very powerful.” We will pray you will get your children back and raise them to know, love, and serve our wonderful loving Lord.
I am a man who has two sisters. Our mother passed way about 5 years ago at the age of 85. We are children from the same mother, however we all have different fathers. My older sister and I knew each other from the start. She went with my mother to be raised by my single parent mother after the second marriage failed. I am the child of the second marriage and my father kept me to raise me. The third child was never seen by me or my older sister for 60 years. We didn’t even know we had a younger sister until about 12 years ago when our mother shared with us that she had gotten pregnant by a married man she worked with in 1955. Our mother had secretly given birth to that little girl and given her up for a closed adoption through Catholic Charities. She told us about her decision to be Pro-life so that we would not be shocked when we were going through her paperwork after she had passed away, and found out we had a sister somewhere in the world. She continued by telling us that she had contacted some adoption organizations and “opened up” some paperwork trails that would allow the child (who was now a woman) to find her birth mother and her siblings if she chose to do so. We were curious, but never felt like we “had” to find her. If God wanted us to meet…we figured it would certainly happen. So we just went on with our lives. That is,… we went on with our lives, until one day I was sitting in my office. I was tired and needed a break, so I reached into my drawer at work to get the last file I need for my work, and out came the adoption file for my little sister that my mother had given to me. I could not understand what that particular file was doing in my business files. I opened the file again in curiosity. I looked at the simple paperwork with limited information which included the name of my sister given at birth, the hospital she was born in and the name of the father and the mother. So, for no particular reason, other than it was all that I had to go on….I searched the name of my sister given to her at birth; her name before her adoption.
Up came a website of a high school in Tennessee. There was a picture of a woman who is a teacher at that school. She looked very much like my mother and seemed to be in an age range that might include a birthday in 1955. I immediately called my older sister and told her what I had done. She was sitting in front of a computer, so she searched just as I had done…and up came the picture on her screen. She quickly agreed that the picture did look like her personally and also that of our mother. But then things got really wild in a hurry. My older sister said in an excited voice, “look at the website right below the one we are looking at…its an adoption search website and our sisters birth name is there”! I didn’t see what she was looking at. We quickly realized I was searching on “Bing” and she was searching on “Google”. I opened up the adoption search website which was one dedicated to children looking for their birth parents….and there she was! In a database line item, I followed her birth name across the line to the name of the mother. It was my mother as well! The hospital was a match as was the date of birth. I knew I had just found our long lost little sister! Interestingly enough, the teacher in Tennessee is not related. I contacted the adoption search website people and filled in the online form. They called me very quickly and said “yes” you have found your sister. The adoption search group contacted my little sister that night and called me back the next morning. They were both excited and sad at the same time. They informed me that they had spoken to the daughter of my sister (our new-found niece). Our little sister was living in L.A. just 100 miles from me, however, two weeks earlier, she had been diagnosed with aggressive, non-curable brain cancer.
We all wanted to meet….and to meet soon. So my older sister flew out the next week from Florida and we drove up to meet our little sister in L.A. She was divorced but had two children, a son and a daughter…unfortunately, her son is currently in prison for drug trafficking. Her daughter is amazing. She had been adopted by a wonderful Catholic family who loved her completely and had told her from the beginning that she was “chosen” by them through adoption. Our little sister had enjoyed a great life. She was a graphics designer and in charge of that department at one of the largest universities in California. In the next two months my older sister and I visited our little sister twice before she passed away from cancer. We had been allowed to find her just in time to share with her that she had more of a family than she knew. Our little sister was soon called home to be with God the Father.
I share this story with you because our mother chose life, and that life was lived well. God in all his mercy made many miraculous things happen for us all to meet before He took her home to heaven. Only the hand of God could have made all things work together as he did (Romans 8:28). It was a gift of love given to three siblings who will be forever grateful that God loves us all so much and proves it often.
He loves you too, far more than you may realize! Never give up on God, because He will never give up on you.
In Jesus’ love,
St. Dismas Staff