The following comes from the Diocese of Sacramento website:
Bishop Jaime Soto made a pastoral visit and celebrated Mass at Folsom State Prison on Saturday, Nov. 5. Below he shares his reflections on the visit:
Sin and its consequences can overwhelm a prison environment. Shame and sorrow, fear and anger, bitterness and retribution, regret and despair — these can be the daily grind wearing down the souls of those incarcerated.
Father Humberto Gomez, the chaplain at Folsom State Prison, brought a request from the Catholic inmates that I open a Holy Door of Mercy. Because of their predicament, they could not make a pilgrimage to any of the available holy doors in the diocese. Would I open the door for them at Folsom?
I responded to their request on Saturday morning, Nov. 5. I performed the rite celebrated at the Cathedral and many churches when the Jubilee Year of Mercy began. The ritual in Folsom seemed to bring the Year of Mercy full circle. We should always be walking through the door of God’s mercy. I asked that, when crossing the threshold of the door into the chapel, they imagine themselves entering into the wounded side of Christ and touching His sacred heart. As Catholics, we should do that with one another and for one another.
It was good to live that out in such a visible way at Folsom Prison. I found myself in the oasis of mercy urged by Pope Francis.