Madagascar: “I was in prison and you visited me”
On the Sunday after Easter, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Divine Mercy, a message that has become the life’s work of Father Henryk Sawarski. A native Pole, the missionary has been working on the island of Madagascar for more than 40 years. He has been a pastoral worker at the prison of Port-Bergé since 2015. Time and again, he has witnessed God touch the souls of the inmates and help them to begin a new life. Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) donated AUD $33,700 to set up a chapel and a small library to carry out pastoral care at the prison.
Portrait Fr. Henryk Sawarski. Copyright Aid to the Church in Need.
Father Henryk Sawarski had never set foot in a prison before starting to work there as a pastoral worker. “When I drove by a prison, I saw the prison walls topped by barbed wire, or heard people talking about it,” the Polish missionary explained to the pastoral charity. Father Henryk was transferred to the diocese of Port-Bergé in the year that was declared an Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy by Pope Francis. “The Pope issued a call for corporal and spiritual acts of mercy. When I found out that the prison didn’t have any clergy, I suddenly realized that this was the place where I could best spread the mercy of God. Today I know that I myself was given this epiphany by the Merciful Jesus.”