Inmate art show at Homeboy

“Why do we have the inmate art show?” Sister Mary Sean Hodges asks before answering her own query.

“We do it to educate the public,” explains the Dominican Sister of Mission San Jose, who directs PREP (Partnership for Re-entry Program). “The popular image of inmates in prison as media portrays them is evil persons who just do crimes and never should be welcomed back again into society. Well, all of us mess up, and all of us are redeemable and healing.

“And we do it to just to give greater self-esteem to the inmates through displaying their art. Art work in prison is very healing, because inmates can express the pain that’s inside them. And being able to express that pain, they really can heal. They can express a lot of the emotions that they’re dealing with in prison or after they just get out: the anger, the hurt they’ve caused, the hurt that they’re received — the expression of sorry and forgiveness for what they’ve done.”

The Office of Restorative Justice program helps male and female prison inmates re-integrate into society before and after release. PREP operates a number of half-way-like houses in Los Angeles mainly for released “lifers,” under the name Francisco Home and direction of Sister Hodges.

This year’s art fair and exhibit — “The Art of the Incarcerated: Faith and Hope Beyond Prison Walls” — will take place on Oct. 12, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at Homeboy Industries (130 W. Bruno St., Los Angeles) near Chinatown. It will feature black-and-white pencil drawings, paintings and sculptures. Two of the innovative works in this seventh-annual event are a motorcycle made out of potato chip bags and the wood carving of a buffalo.

The “Art of the Incarcerated” is a major fundraiser for both PREP and Families of the Incarcerated, another program of the Office of Restorative Justice. The latter ministry assists families of the incarcerated through support groups, parenting classes and educational workshops, along with providing support for family visits to prisons all under the direction of Amalia Molina.

Last year the art fair and exhibit raised $9,600, with this year’s goal being $10,000-plus for direct services in these two programs.

“We really have a lot of very talented artists in our prisons,” says Sister Hodges. “And this event really helps current and former prisoners a lot. Art is a strong way of healing and being able to express yourself. Plus, it really helps to educate people on the outside about the humanity of these men and women. We’re all children of God.”

For more information about “The Art of the Incarcerated,” contact Sister Mary Sean Hodges (213-438-4820, ext. 23 or SrMSHodges@la-archdiocese.org) or Amalia Molina (213-438-4820, ext. 24 or AAMolina@la-archdiocse.org).



Voices

Seeking the face of God in the Scriptures

Archbishop José H. Gomez

Prayer is seeking the face of God. The Catechism of the Catholic Church recalls the story of how St. John Vianney once found a peasant praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament. The saint asked him what he was doing, and the man replied: “I look at him and he looks at me.”

Events

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February 13, 2016

  • Saturday, February 13

    World Day of the Sick Mass, Mass and Anointing of the Sick, 12:30 p.m., Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels,  555 W Temple St, Los Angeles. Archbishop Gomez presiding with other bishops and priests. Special section designated for those in wheelchairs with volunteers available to help. Limited parking available for $8. Carpooling is encouraged. For more info: Chuck Huebner at cjhuebner @gmail.com or Jim LoCoco at flavialococ0@msn.com.

     

     

    Bosco Tech’s Yurak Memorial Run & Kids’ Fun Run, Check in begins at 8 a.m., Memorial Run at 9 a.m., Fun Run at 10 a.m., Bosco Tech, 1151 San Gabriel Blvd., Rosemead. Race registration is $35 per person. For school groups of 10 or more, the cost is $30. To register online, go to www.boscotech.edu/events or www.yurak.eventbrite.com; same-day registration available at check-in table. Included: racing fees, finisher medal, goodie bag and BBQ lunch. Plaques will be awarded to the top five male and female runners and to the fastest runner under 18.All proceeds to benefit Bosco Tech’s Yurak Athletic Center (YAC). 

     

    Cabrini Literary Guild “Sweetheart Bingo” Meeting, Sat., Feb.13 at Oakmont Country Club, 3100 Country Club Drive, Glendale. Meeting starts at 11 a.m., lunch at 12 p.m. ($30/person), and bingo social at 1 p.m. Bingo cards are $5 each, or $20 for five cards. For reservations, call (818) 790-3485.

     

    Footprints: Making Tracks for Neighbors in Need, 8:30 - 11:30 a.m., Bishop Amat High School track, 14301 Fairgrove Ave., La Puente. Catholic Charities San Gabriel Region will present this annual walk/run fundraiser to increase awareness about poverty, hunger and homelessness in the San Gabriel Region. Proceeds benefit those lacking basic needs, such as food, clothing, transportation and shelter. This is a come anytime, leave anytime event, with the first lap around the track to be led by Bishop David O'Connell. For more information, visit lentenfootprints.yolasite.com or contact Mary Romero at (213) 251-3582 or mromero@ccharities.org.

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