Third Prison Visit

Tower Four and staging area for visitors

It was too warm to wait outside, so from my car I decided to take a few photos. I got out of the vehicle to take a better picture, then from high on tower #4 came the blaring announcement, “You can’t take photos!” I waved my hand as a gesture to say, “Okay.”

Yellow pants, cream-colored shirt, sports bra, two bracelets, sandals with  back straps, and the booking number – but I still got it wrong. The appointment was at 11 a.m., but I didn’t receive clearance for my visit until 12 p.m.  At the first check point I was informed that my shirt was see-through.

From a far distance I could see the  familiar building where I needed to change.  The woman in charge was late,  so three of us had to wait another 30 minutes for her arrival.

I started a  conversation with a strikingly beautiful young lady dressed all in black. She was driving a Tesla and forgot to bring the card to unlock the vehicle, so she had to store her phone. We had been talking about whether we should have our visit outdoors or indoors, we both decided outdoors.  I asked her who she was visiting, and she said a friend whom she had not seen in over a year. In the usual manner I was all up her business and from the looks of the visit this was her boyfriend!

Praise Report

The last time we visited, Mario shared with me that he was not comfortable in the cell he was in. The violence was at a high level due to so many young gang members. Blacks against Hispanics, it was a constant battle.  Mario hated it there and prayed to be moved. Praise be to God, he was moved to a another building where there is more peace.

New Ministry

On the drive to visit Mario I called my sister Jo. She mentioned that I must have been very close to Mario because I was visiting him so often. “I’m close to a lot of my nephews,” I answered. But I really felt a calling to continue to visit Mario.

Our parish has a prison ministry but they minister in Tehachapi, which is a four-hour drive  north of  Orange.  I could not wait for all the red tape and delays to get Catholic clergy to visit; so I answered the call.

The prison system does have Christian outreaches that serve Norco Rehabilitation Center, but Mario did not care for the recent message that a particular pastor was sharing. He felt that the pastor was out of the spirit.  As a result of his spiritual need, we have Bible studies. These studies are enriching to both of us, and because of this we have developed a spiritual bond. This has become my new ministry.

The Meal (Spiritual)

As soon as I arrived the first priority was to get the Good News Bible. Then we start the visit with a meal. Mario did not want the fried chicken, so I purchased two sandwiches, chips and a Dr. Pepper to wash it down. Mario wanted to study the Book of Haggai.


Haggai is a minor prophet with a powerful message:  the Lord wanted to call the people  of Judah  back  from the Babylonian exile and  to re-establish them. Since we are the Temple of God, this message can apply to all of us who are living a godless life. Those who belong to the world and are thriving in every area of their lives but fail to give God the glory for His blessings are empty. You can have all that the world offers, but deep inside there is a huge void, an emptiness that only God can fill. For the glory of God to live within us, there must be a cleansing of our spirits. This is how we obtain peace.

Mario’s Prayer Time
Mario shared that he gets up at 5:00 a.m. and reads the Bible for an hour, then he has breakfast at 6:15 a.m. Through this trial, he has disciplined himself to look toward the future. He recently completed a Microsoft Word class and is looking forward to the next one. On July 8, he will start a class on Excel. He said that most of the incarcerated operate in a spirit of negativity. I told him to start praying the Hail Mary (Luke Chapter One) when he hears this.
As we held hands and prayed, I asked that the words spoken during the Bible study would remain in our hearts.  I believe that God will watch over Mario as he continues to grow closer to Him.
My Prayer
Dear Heavenly Father, I pray for all incarcerated individuals, especially those who do not know You. Lord, speak to them in dreams, bring peace to their troubled minds, and deliver them from the hands of the Evil One. Lord, protect Mario and let his days be filled with joy in knowing how much You love him. Amen.


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