Seventy-eight prisoners were baptized, confirmed, and received their First Holy Communion in an Argentine prison Dec. 1.

The inmates are entering the Catholic Church after working with the Diocese of San Isidro’s prison ministry, which operates in the greater Buenos Aires metropolitan area.

With the pastoral support of Bishop Oscar Ojea of San Isidro and Auxiliary Bishop Martín Fassi, the ministry is led by Sister María Cristina Albornoz and served by 20 volunteers. They have been active since 2007 in both male-only and mixed gender units of the Buenos Aires Province prison system.

The sacraments were administered to 68 men and 10 women during a Mass celebrated by Auxiliary Bishop Fassi and attended by the prison ministry volunteers.

In his homily, Bishop Fassi encouraged the inmates to take the same path as Jesus, uniting their lives to him.

“Jesus was rejected. But just as he did back then, he comes to us to change our mentality. He comes to us to bring a new way of thinking,” the bishop said.

The prison ministry offers catechesis, Mass, and other sacraments. In addition, it offers workshops in pottery, weaving and gardening.

rnThis article was originally published by our sister agency, ACI Prensa. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.