PDLs in Camarines Sur celebrate Prison Awareness Sunday

By Myrna Bermudo


Persons deprived of Liberty (PDL) at the Camarines Sur Provincial Jail and Penal Farm at Tinangis, Pili, here, joined the celebration of the 34th Prison Awareness Sunday held October 31.


All other PDLs from BJMP of Naga, Tigaon and Iriga District Jail participated in the celebration of the mass through live streaming in the FB page of the Archdiocese of Caceres.


Caceres Archbishop Rolando J. Tirona, OCD, DD, presided over the pontifical mass held inside the Tinangis Penal Farm at three o’clock in the afternoon.


The residents who attended the mass observed health protocols by practicing physical distancing and wearing masks.


Prison Awareness Week was celebrated on October 25-31, 2021 with the theme : Gifted to give love that restores life, hope and healing to the prison ministry.


In his homily, Archbishop Tirona shared Jesus’ experience related to the PDLs.

Archbishop Rolando J. Tirona, OCD, DD gives communion to persons deprived of liberty who participated in the celebration of the mass on Prison Awareness Sunday, October 31 at Camarines Sur Provincial Jail and Penal Farm, Tinangis, Pili, Camarines Sur. / MB (Photo: Archdiocese of Caceres Live Stream)


“Jesus understands your situation. He also experienced being a PDL or person deprived of liberty. He experienced being a prisoner. Jesus inclines his gaze towards you. Thus, there is hope.May bukas ka pa. God does not close his doors of everlasting life for us. We just need to be humble, acknowledge our sinfulness and rely on God’s mercy and compassion. Prison Awareness Sunday is awareness of God’s compassion, mercy, love, hope and forgiveness,” Arch. Tirona said.


The celebration was spearheaded by the Maximilian Prison Ministry / Caceres Commission on Ministry’s director, Fr. Jay Aguilar, together with Fr. Jayson Gaite, the newly appointed assistant director.


Fr. Gerome Pelagio, Secretary to the Archbishop and Lt. Col Fr. Domingo Labrilla, Chaplain of 9ID were also there as concelebrants.


Fr. Aguilar thanked Caceres Archbishop Tirona, the provincial warden and his staff, and all the prison ministry volunteers in behalf of the 1, 708 PDLs under the pastoral care of the Maximilian Ministry.


PCol Romeo Landagan Pillonar, OIC Provincial Warden of the Camarines Sur Provincial Jail and Penal Farm thanked Archbishop Tirona, Fr. Aguilar, the concelebrating priests, the prison guards and all the volunteers. He further said that “as we face this challenging times of pandemic, the celebration of the Prison Awareness Sunday is just timely in strengthening the moral and spiritual aspects of the persons deprived of liberty.”


Archbishop Tirona ended the celebration quoting St. Paul: “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” 2 Corinthians 3:17