January usually means winding down soccer season, the heart of basketball season, and the first mention of softball season in the way of preseason meetings. To no one’s surprise, soccer and basketball seasons have fallen victim to pandemic cautions.
That leaves the softball season preparation to “announce” and this will surprise no one either. Due to the incredibly unpredictable prison landscape today, the preseason meetings for softball season are postponed until further notice. We are optimistic that we will see some level in-prison activity this summer but, until we have some indication of what that may look like, we are going to move forward cautiously to avoid any confusion or misleading statements.
We appreciate your prayers for our missionary-athletes as they are anxious to once again meet inmates who are desperate for answers once again, face-to-face, in the furtherance of the Gospel.
COVID-19 certainly qualifies as a Hot Topic, and even more so as it impacts not only our ministry but also the men and women to whom we minister.
Just this week, the first inmate at the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) Fort Dix passed away as a result of COVID. The Bureau of Prisons (BOP) is a long-time partner of the Saints Prison Ministry and we have visited Federal prisons all over the country. But FCI Fort Dix is right in our backyard, a mere 15 miles from our headquarters in NJ, and we have developed many close relationships there over the years.
One inmate’s death is no more or less important than another, but this news reminds us that the incarcerated men and women we visit are living in perilous conditions. While we may choose to lock ourselves in our homes or wear a hazmat suit in public if we choose, prison conditions are so cramped that “social distancing” is almost impossible.
While our ministry is not allowed in-person visits at this time, prayer is a ministry unto itself and we ask all of our Saints family to be praying regularly for the mission field to which we are called.
“Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them……” Hebrews 13:3 [Link to the nj.com article referenced above https://www.nj.com/news/2021/01/first-inmate-dies-at-nj-prison-ravaged-by-covid.html