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Fr. Paul Mast

A retired priest of the Diocese of Wilmington assisting at St. Polycarp Parish in Smyrna, Delaware, Fr. Paul Mast, is launching a program in response to Christ’s invitation to visit those in prison without physically going to see inmates: a letter-writing campaign to prisoners.

Vaughn Correctional Center

The James T. Vaughn Correctional Center, a maximum security prison holding more than 2,500 inmates, is located just three miles from the parish, and many of its inmates no longer have relationships with family and friends in the outside world.

Writing letters

Interested Catholics will be paired with an inmate and begin a written correspondence, following the regulations, requirements and oversight of prison officials.

To give them hope

It would be something like a pen pal relationship, Father explained, with those outside “giving affirmation, dignity and respect. Those writing the letters will be doing what they can do, as local Catholics in Smyrna, to be companions to those imprisoned, and to give them hope.”